You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Area on brink for drought conditions

Rainfall well below normal in recent weeks

After above-normal precipitation in early summer that saw 33 straight days with recorded rainfall at stations monitored by the National Weather Service’s Wilmington office, recent totals have dwindled to a few drops.

When the National Drought Mitigation Center releases its new map Thursday based on the latest data, it’s likely that a growing section of western Ohio will be categorized as “abnormally dry.”

New Carlisle has measured a measly 0.6 inches, Hamilton 1.4 inches and the Dayton International Airport just 0.15 inches in the past month.

The airport’s gauges are almost three inches below normal over two months and eight inches down since October 2012.

Dry weather has been most widespread over the past month or two, which doesn’t qualify — yet — as the drought that is widespread west of Indiana and advancing eastward.

“You would have a hard time convincing farmers around Ansonia and Union City that they aren’t experiencing an actual drought,” said Sam Custer, director of agriculture and natural resources in the Darke County extension office.

“Most of them have seen less than .2 of an inch since July 1 and they’ve been hammered with extra dry conditions for the past three years.”

Two counties to the south, Butler County extension office educator Cindy Meyer hasn’t been “getting reports about crop losses. I think most people are under the impression that we are still OK because we had so much rain early in the summer. The truth is that most of our crops, plants and trees need an inch of water per week. We’re definitely in a deficit.”

Rainfall at the Butler County Regional Airport is 2.11 below normal for the past 30 days and five inches down since October 2012. Although the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Airport is 1.37 below normal for the past month, it’s 2.2 inches above average for the past year.

Jamie Simpson, chief meteorologist for WHIO-TV, said the area finished last year several inches below average “and now we are almost seven inches below average for this year. However, we have not had the intense heat we did last year and that means the overall impact is much less.”

Until mid-July, “it rained or snowed on 60 percent of the days this year, which is far above average. However, the amounts were not that great when compared to average,” he said.

Restrictions on watering lawns, which have been common in area communities in past years, have not been imposed this year.

“I don’t foresee any this summer,” said Ronald Volkerding, director of sanitary engineering for Greene County.

NWS meteorologist Jim Lott said the I-70 corridor from south central Indiana into Ohio “has been the worst in our region over the last 90 days. In general, rainfall there is nearing just 50 percent of normal for the period. But Butler and Warren counties have some areas that are 1 to 3 inches above normal over those 90 days.”

Lott “wouldn’t be surprised if the area of moderate drought expands into Indiana and the abnormally dry portion of the map spreads in Ohio. A cold front coming through later this week doesn’t look like it will be a drought buster. We will get some showers, but they may be light. It’s going to dry out again through the weekend.”

Custer said that this year’s crops are now being harvested. Darke County “has gone from what looked back in July to be a record-breaking yield to what will now be a pretty average harvest. If we don’t get some moisture back into the soil by Oct. 1, that’s going to affect the next round of planting.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in News

Rape case lawyer says women are 'especially good' at lying
Rape case lawyer says women are 'especially good' at lying

A lawyer for a wealthy Tennessee businessman who was later found not guilty in a Memphis rape trial made a comment during closing arguments Thursday that raised some eyebrows. According to WHBQ, Steve Farese, attorney for Mark Giannini, said women are "especially good" at lying. "People can be very good at lying," Farese said...
Donald Trump reveals where he'll be instead of the White House Correspondents' Dinner
Donald Trump reveals where he'll be instead of the White House Correspondents' Dinner

Every year, the White House Correspondents’ Dinner is one of the social events of the spring. For almost 100 years, journalists, government officials and celebrities have gotten together to crack jokes and eat expensive meals. The event has been attended by Frank Sinatra and Duke Ellington. In 2011, then-President Barack Obama roasted Donald...
14-year-old recovers, smiles 2 months after being shot in head
14-year-old recovers, smiles 2 months after being shot in head

A 14-year-old girl is going home following a long hospital stay. Police say two teenage boys shot her in the head and left her for dead in a canal near their school. Deserae Turner of Smithfield, Utah, was found in extremely critical condition Feb. 17, KSL reports. Two 16-year-old boys are accused of luring Deserae to join them after school...
Sunshine and warmer temperatures this week
Sunshine and warmer temperatures this week

More sunshine today - Tuesday A warming trend kicks in this week Showers/Storms Today: We’ll see more sunshine today, with a few more clouds possible mainly south of 70 and east of 75. Highs today will be in the middle to upper 60s. Tonight: Mostly clear skies are expected overnight tonight with lows in the middle 40s. Monday: ...
Police officer helps boy tie necktie in heartwarming viral photo
Police officer helps boy tie necktie in heartwarming viral photo

A police officer is going viral after teaching a boy how to tie a tie when he was “too embarrassed” to ask for help. X’zavier was at the Indiana Statehouse recently to receive the “Youth of the Year” award from his local Boys and Girls Club, according to Inside Edition. X’zavier was escorted to the ceremony...
More Stories