Do We Need More Rain? Scott Sabol Investigates
The quick answer is a surprising YES!
The frequent rains of February proved to be a little misleading. Thoughts of another record setting spring like last April through June have proved to be premature. The hottest March on record with several days of 80+ rapidly dried the ground out across northern Ohio. Soil conditions were still too wet for farmers to turn over the fields. April has proved that weather patterns can change drastically. Only 0.33″ of rain at Hopkins Airport with average temperatures running a degree above normal. (Expect the cool weekend to lower the monthly average). As of April 18th, as I drive into rural Lorain and Medina counties, many farmers’ fields seem ready to go.
Look at last year’s April rainfall compared to average. Most areas from upstate New York through Ohio to northern Mississippi were more than 10″ above normal. The trend continued through June.
Our pattern that shows a somewhat persistent zonal to WNW flow aloft still concerns me. The last two weeks of April should feature near normal temperatures with a few shots of cooler air. If the cooler air is accompanied with clear skies, expect a few more frost advisories to be issued so keep an eye on the nighttime forecasts. The WNW/NW flow could bring weak fronts with less frequent hard rains.
Should you plant your garden in early May? I wouldn’t. No way. I was burned one year as a late May freeze wiped everything out.