Rainfall Deficit Will Worsen

July 9th, 2012 at 1:29 pm by under 4 Warn Weather

As I post this on a sparkling Monday afternoon, there is a disturbance sinking SSE from the northern Great Lakes which has a small–even remote–chance of bringing isolated convection to the Niagara Frontier early tonight. And that’ll do it for the work week. We’ll keep the comfortable conditions through midweek, with a gradual increase in temperatures later this week. The enormous east-west 500 mb ridge will  try to reestablish itself late this week, but since late last week models and ensembles tend to show a split in the ridge, with one center over the Atlantic and anther over the west. The weakness between the ridges will allow a gradually warmer & more humid SW flow to develop. Heights will not get to where they were on Friday, but after early this week they will run above average for some time to come. There may be enough moisture and instability for some poorly organized convection to begin to show up by Sunday, especially over the hills (the “least dry” part of our region). The operational Euro shows heights continuing to rise early next week, getting us back up to where we were late last week, but that is an extreme time range (240hr) for an operational model. And for those who dabble in the GFS and precip portrayal, I remind you of an apparent problem it has since its new version went on line in May. It continues to raise dewpoints too high, and develops spurious precipitation based on that elevated moisture. NCEP’s modelers are working on how best to deal with this, but it will take a few weeks to have an adequate dataset.

Having looked at the NWS Storm Total Rainfall Saturday night, I’d guesstimate that only around 10, possibly 12% of WNY got any meaningful rainfall Saturday. We continue to be in rainfall trouble during the peak growth period for corn and some other crops. This does not qualify as a  true drought (drought is usually thought of over a term of months and years, not weeks), but it’s getting fairly serious. To some commercial growers, I’m sure it qualifies as a drought for their livelihoods.


145 Responses to “Rainfall Deficit Will Worsen”

  1. Don Paul says:

    No one should be counting on above average precip with what I’m seeing thus far this AM. I didn’t buy that CPC call last week, and I still don’t this morning. More in a new thread in a little while.

  2. storm watcher says:

    Don, don’t know if you know the answer to this one, but here goes…my lawn has basically gone dormant, as I was away for over a week and did not water…my question is, is it worth watering now, or should I just wait until we get into a more normal weather pattern with increased rainfall?…I guess what I mean is will simple watering bring it out of dormancy, or does it need rainfall?…thanks…

  3. Barry says:

    How big is your yard? If it’s large you’ll need a lot of water to bring it out of dormancy. If you have a smaller yard you can green up your lawn a lot easier using less water. Lawns are fine in a drought. They always bounce back when the rains return. If you are a gardener or vegetable grower I would water those or you simply won’t get any returns on your garden investments.

  4. Don Paul says:

    I would at least wait until after Wednesday. I’m not certain I’m right on this, but I’ve read some grasses die after 3-4 weeks of dormancy.

  5. C from P says:

    Here is some info on watering lawns…


    Water ‘em between 4-6am if possible. Get timers if you water manually using hoses. 30-40 minutes on a sprinkler is a fairly good deep watering. It’s a waste to water during the afternoon and heat of the day because of evaporation, though on humid days like this one evaporation is slower.

    3-4 weeks seems about right in terms of how long a lawn can survive without any water at all. Only rarely do we go 3-4 weeks without any rain in WNY. I had about 1/2″ of rain a week ago Saturday at my residence, on July 7th, but only a few hundredths since then, and less than 1″ in the past month. Ideally lawns need 1″ of rainfall PER WEEK to stay green and lush.

    Put a screw driver into your soil – in dry soil it’s hard to get a screwdriver through the crusty layer, but you may find that there is some dampness 3″ or so into the soil. If your soil is dry beyond the 3″ mark, watering is prudent. If the dryness persists into August, don’t be surprised if watering bans become a factor…

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