A drier than normal August has led to brown grass and dry conditions around the region, but compared to last summer’s drought, crop production appears to be back to normal.
The rainfall for Miami Valley this year is 22.38 inches, which is 5.31 inches below normal.
Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Jamie Simpson said the issue hasn’t been the amount of rainfall, but the frequency.
It has only rained six out of 26 days in August with a total of 1.38 inches of rainfall recorded. hat’s nearly an inch below normal for the traditionally dry month.
Simpson said precipitation was recorded on more than half the days of every month this year prior to August. So despite being below average in terms of total rainfall, the ground has gotten moisture frequently enough to keep grass from turning brown until now.
According to the most recent U.S. Drought Monitor, released on Aug. 22, there are no drought conditions in Ohio. Parts of lllinois, Michigan and Indiana are considered “abnormally dry” and Simpson said that designation will likely creep into Ohio soon.
The only possibility of rain this week will come today and Wednesday when a 40 percent chance of rain is forecast along with a chance of thunderstorms. The National Weather Service predicts less than a tenth of an inch of rain to fall, but Simpson said areas that get storms could see up to half an inch.
The rest of the week will be mostly sunny with highs approaching 90 degrees over the weekend. Simpson said the outlook for September and October is normal in terms of precipitation.
Reuters reports that the predicted hot and dry end to the month has sent corn and soybean futures soaring, however yields are still expected to be high compared to last year.
According to a USDA report released Aug. 12, corn production is forecast to be up 28 percent from 2012 while soybean production is expected to be up 8 percent from last year.
“For our area (rainfall) has been pretty good,” said Dan Ennist, executive director of Preble-Montgomery County Farm Service Agency. “A little rain right now would help enlarge the size of the beans, but the corn is pretty well made.”
He said local corn production is expected to be above average while soybean production is predicted to be average.
The flow in the Great Miami River is close to normal, according to Michael Eckberg, manager of water resources monitoring and analysis for the Miami Conservancy District.
He said the river appears very low through downtown Dayton because damn gates have been opened to accommodate ongoing construction on Interstate 75. “They’ve dropped the pool that would normally be behind the low damn,” Eckberg said.
|Month||Days with percipitation||Total days||% days with precipitation||Surplus/Deficit (inches)|
|August (so far)||6||26||23%||-1.08|
|Jan. 1 - July 31||120||212||56%||-4.32|