More on the drought....(7-6-12)
The dry weather continues here in central New York. Syracuse has seen less than a tenth of an inch since last Friday morning. In spite of all the dry weather the last 3 weeks and all the brown lawns we are not in a drought. Here is the latest drought map for the Northeast:
With our rain chances looking slim after tomorrow the above map will look different when it is issued again next Thursday. We are likely to see more yellow as the abnormally dry weather expands. I was looking over the rest of the country and boy the change in the drought conditions in the Midwest has been dramatic since the middle of of Spring. Here are a couple maps that show those changes.Now look at how things have changed over the last two months:The size of area affected by drought in the Midwest doubled in the last 3 months. The next week or so is critical for corn farmers in that part of the country. The pollination of the corn will take place and in areas of the country with the worst heat and drought the corn may be too stressed for that to happen. It may be the worst season for crops in the middle of the country since the drought of 1988. Back in that summer the losses to crops totalled more than 70 billion dollars and next to Hurricane Katrina it was the costliest weather-related disaster in U.S. history. Here is a chart that shows the status of the crop across the United States this year compared to this point in 1988
While the heat will ease here in the Northeast and parts of the Midwest over the next week, the chances for significant rain look to be low. Below is an accumulated rainfall forecast from the GFS for the next 7 days:
|July 3, 1988|
Instead of getting hung up over the exact totals over us (which may or may not happen) the key is the fact that there is a relative minimum in precipitation over us during the next week. Certainly the pattern over us is not one that would produce a steady soaking rain that we really need. And the first look beyond next week in the 8 to 14 day forecast from the National Weather Service is not very promising.Here in central New York, farmers will be watching the weather carefully as we head toward the end of July when the pollination is scheduled to take place with our local corn crop. More moderate temperatures and some rain would be helpful.
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