Northwest Ohio Nearing Drought

US Drought Monitor Says “Abnormally Dry” Conditions Have Rapidly Developed
Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 8:40 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - After a very wet winter and wet start to spring, the pattern has gone calm and dry at a time of the year that is normally wet and stormy. May is normally the wettest month of the year and June is typically the 2nd wettest. Yet this past May ended up being the driest May since the dust bowl in 1934. The Climate Prediction Center’s June outlook, which was released on Wednesday, highlights below normal rainfall is likely for the month of June especially for the first 2 weeks of the month with a chance of a pattern shift for the 2nd half of the month.

Last week parts of Lucas, Wood, Ottawa and Henry Counties were classified as experiencing “abnormally dry” conditions. The newest update shows the dry weather has rapidly expanded across the Great Lakes region and every spot in the 13abc viewing area now has “abnormally dry” conditions which is the level just before “moderate” drought.

While the area isn’t officially in a drought yet, the term flash drought is a better representation of what we are seeing at this moment. The area went from a cool and wet pattern in April, to a hot, sunny, and dry pattern in the last few weeks. Today is likely to be the 12th dry day in a row right as evaporation rates increase and the growing season enters an important period for growth. A “flash drought” is the rapid onset or intensification of drought by a sudden shift in precipitation, temperatures, wind, and radiation. The result lowers the topsoil moisture significantly in a short period of time which can have the biggest impact on agriculture.

The US drought scale measures drought in 4 different severity levels. “Moderate” is the lowest level followed by “Severe”, “Extreme” and the worst category is “Exceptional”. The worst drought areas across the United States are in the panhandle of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska. The US drought monitor is the agency that monitors drought in the country. They release an update each Thursday morning around 8:30am Eastern Time. The next update is expected on June 8th.

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