Jun 15, 2007

Will the 2007 Drought Hit Ohio?

(Toledo, OH) I dragged out the garden hose and attached the sprinkler this evening for the first time this year. I usually avoid heavy lawn watering, if the lawn can stand it, as the city of Toledo charges you twice on water: once for the actual water, and once for the sewer fee (they assume that any water used is going right back down the drain).

It has been quite a few days since we have seen any rain around here, although we are far from experiencing the killer drought of 2007 that has already dried up massive swaths of land from eastern Mississippi across Alabama, into southeastern Tennessee and northwestern Georgia.

78 percent of Alabama's pastures are in poor or very poor condition, as are 48 percent of the peanut crops and 68 percent of the cotton crop.

Left: Current drought forecast for Ohio

Data from U.S. Drought Monitor suggests that Northwest Ohio might be entering drought category D1. The National Weather Service lists the month-to-date precipitation at 2.23 inches, which is nearly a full inch below the 3.14 inches that have normally fallen by now.

Conditions in May were also poor, as Northwest Ohio received only 0.66 inches of precipitation, down almost three full inches from the average 3.50. I did not notice the dry ground as much last month as I do this month.

Still, it only takes a healthy storm system or two for conditions to improve, and the forecast is calling for the possibility of rain early next week. Let's hope that we can avoid any further decreases in monthly precipitation.


Man with the Muck-rake said...

Drought? Global Warming? Climate change?

Naw. Just more 'liberal rhetoric.' Go back to your snooze, America.

historymike said...


While I have some questions about the extent to which human activity is: a) responsible for global warming; and b) can change the course of global warming, only fools deny that it exists.

It is also disheartening that the debate over what to do about global warming has become so politicized, and that one must be a "liberal" if one is concerned about climate change, or that one must be a "conservative" if that person questions the worst-case computer-based models or the most expensive "solutions."

Stephanie said...


I am, by far, more concerned with the ridicule scientists receive if they question what is "public" knowledge; than by the politicized nature of the debate. Both were wholly intentional, but somehow I think science should be more idealized in that facts should matter more than politics.

BTW, did you hear about Mars? It's the kind of thing that makes you go 'Hmm.'

The real trouble I see is this, if it's not us (which I strongly suspect) and we cannot stop/prevent it (which I suspect even if it is, in some way, caused by us), then will we act to make the damage to the human population as small as we can? Will humanity do the "humane" thing?

We can't stop the sun from getting hotter, but we can try to save people on the coasts. We can try to prepare for the ensuing changes by harvesting and storing more food, instead of letting fields lie fallow for the government.

How many more hurricanes, mud slides, tsunamis, ect. do we need before we wake up and realize that if this is a worst-case scenario we have to act to save what people we can from the inevitable disaster? How much compassion for our fellow human beings are we capable of?

microdot said...

The sun is not getting hotter...
Stephanie, I don't know if you were being poetic, but it's not the sun, it's the atmosphere of our planet which traps heat due to the increase in carbon dioxide.
Like the atmosphere of Venus which is mainly Carbon Dioxide, it is a heat trap.
I watched on French News last night the latest attempts in Switzerland to insulate glaciers, then I read this morning in the NY Times about the Ganges in India which is a glacier fed river starting high in the Himalayas. The glacier which feeds the Ganges is retreating now at 40 meters a year.
Weather depends on so many variables. In the south of France, there is a real drought. The Canal du Midi is un navigable in parts.
There are water restrictions less than 200 kilometers from here and yet, here we are awash in water. The ground is too wet to plant salads! I am enjoying the best spring mushroom season I have ever seen. My raspberries are big and seem to be never ending...2 kilos a day! It is raining now and if you see the news from here, there is big storm after storm! Villages hit by flash flooding. We are getting all of this off the Atlantic.

At this point in time, I have no problem accepting that industrial man is a phenomena which has never existed on this planet before and we have altered the atmosphere through our influence. I do believe that this is reversible but it is something that has to start being seriously addressed now or the outcome of our actions will create conditions on earth in which the planet will rectify itself....iin other words, industrial man won't be around in numbers enough to throw our trash into the atmsophere.

Hooda Thunkit said...

Another of Toledo's dirty little secrets:

The Summer water rate does not charge sewage on all of the water usage like the Winter rate does, but your bill is some sort of average for you and your neighbors. So, no matter how much you conserve your bill will still be representative of your neighborhood's usage.

I don't know why it is that way, maybe the water department can explain it better.