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June finished with over 7 inches of rain in Lawrenceburg, making it clearly above average. So far, we are five days into July and we’ve already seen over 3.5 inches of rain and there is more in the forecast for the upcoming weekend, so you can already label July above average too. So … out of the first 7 months of the year, 6 of them have seen above average amounts of precipitation. That is why the grass still looks green, trees are growing rapidly, and the temperatures here have only passed 90°F on one day the entire year. This is a total reversal of this time last year, in which we were baking in 103°F temperatures with heat indices into the 115°F range.
So is this going to be the rule for summer 2013? It continues to look that way. Next week we will probably see warmer weather. Temperatures in the 85-90 degree range will be common I think, and areas that stay out of the scattered thunderstorms will have a chance to pass the 90°F mark. However, it looks to be short lived. The model data is predicting that the “heat bubble” will retrograde back to the western part of the nation again, which will open the gates for a large trough to once again take over in the east. This should result in a continuation of the relatively mild and wet summer that we’ve been seeing so far in the Ohio Valley.
I still do not expect July to finish as a hot month. The large amounts of rain we’ve seen this year have caused ground water levels to be high and vegetation to be green and moist and this will help mitigate the heat. And with the flow being mostly from the northwest we won’t see the tropical air mass down south invade this area. So I look for a July that is relatively cool compared to average and continued wet as well. What about August, the hottest month of the year? Time will tell, but there is no data currently suggesting that a reversal will take place. Summer 2013 will probably go down as one of the coolest and wettest on record.
Some farmers say that too much rain is as bad as not enough rain because you can’t get down into the field to work the crops. My hope is that the pattern lets up enough from time to time to allow the soil to drain some. I have also noticed a huge increase in mosquito activity and I’ve read that in the western part of the state there are areas that are being dusted via aircraft to try and control mosquitoes. So there is clearly good and bad with both drought and wet weather. It seems there is no such thing as “normal” anymore in Kentucky. This summer, though, is one for the books if you hate hot and oppressive summer weather.