The Lack of Rain June 30, 2005
Are we in drought conditions?
Everybody talks about the weather, but none of us can do anything about the weather. Our news sources all contain reports about the weather. The weather reports all contain differences. One of our farmers told me awhile back that he subscribed to five different weather forecasting sources.
NASA launched a satellite August 29,2003 that was supposed to cover the whole world and teamed up with four other satellites would provide a good source of weather forecasting. Thus far I have seen no such reports. Maybe I have seen the reports but don't recognize the source.
It is only June, I am already hauling water to my vegetable garden and to my flower beds. Usually, we are lush green. My grass is already brown, it looks like late August. We traveled to Hannibal, Missouri last week and I noticed things were a little greener as we traveled along. People told me that they were short of rainfall, but clearly there was more rain than we have had in Stark County. My brother in Kansas reported excess rain and said that the wheat crop was in danger of being lost because of too much moisture.
Ross Streitmatter, out in the Valley and Larry Meaker who lives south of Toulon, keep rainfall records for the National Weather Service, Cooperative Observer Program.
Ross told me that the first six months of 2004 produced 16.45 inches while the same period this year produced 10.88. He said in May of last year the rainfall amounted to 8.24 inches, this year we had .91 inches. He said that if it was not for the 4.92 inches that fell in January we would be in real trouble.
Larry reported 15.07 inches in 2004 and 10.88 inches in 2005. I have called them for several years and noted the differing amounts between those two collection places.
We have also discussed the decreasing amounts of rainfall in our area for the last several years.
The average rainfall for the years 1971- 2000 recorded at Princeville was 19.25 inches. The Illinois Weather station at Galva recorded an average of 18.14 inches for the same period. Those figures bear out what several people including myself have noted that the rainfall is below normal. The rain fall is less and less and the temperatures are above normal.
NWS reported that the normal temperature for June for the 30 year period, ('71 - 2000) was 81 degrees. The last two years we have had a lot of 90 degree days during the months of May and June. The weather has definitely changed. Is this temporary and will go back to normal or will there be a new normal? What do you think? Are we in a drought?
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