State-By-State Survey of Drought Developments
Undated (AP) _ Here is a state-by-state summary of drought developments Monday:
For the third weekend in a row, central and south Alabama received substantial rain and north Alabama did not.
Between Sunday afternoon and Monday morning, Montgomery got 1.6 inches, Dothan 1.3 inches, and Andalusia 1 inch. For the year, Montgomery has received twice as much rain as Huntsville and Birmingham, which are more than 13 inches below normal for the year. Montgomery is 4.4 inches above normal.
At the Capital Airport in Springfield, Ill., a trace of rainfall was recorded Sunday, the first official precipitation there since 0.03 inches registered June 29. Springfield has been without significant rainfall since June 8, when it recorded 0.59 inches. ---
A Purdue University agronomy professor says the rain that fell over much of Indiana on Sunday and Monday will help pollinate some late-blooming corn, but was too little too late for much of the crop.
Professor David Mengel said soybeans are not yet in as critical a stage, so any rain that falls during the next two weeks will help soybeans, which will be forming pods in about two weeks.
Gov. Terry Branstad said the drought emergency has not eased despite heavy weekend rain which dropped up to 5 inches on isolated spots. ″We’re certainly not out of the emergency situation,″ Branstad said. ″Some of the corn crop has already been severely damaged.″
The Governor’s Drought Response Team said state agencies must prepare for an extended period of hot, dry weather despite weekend rain. Officials said conditions in Kansas are not as serious as in many other states, but John Strickler, the governor’s assistant for environmental policy, said ″it’s probably worth laying the groundwork now instead of waiting until we’re in a crisis situation.″
In Frankfort, hundreds of city and county officials heard grim predictions that the drought could get worse, while Gov. Wallace Wilkinson accused federal agriculture officials of being timid and slow in dealing with farm losses.
There were more forest fires in eastern and southeastern Kentucky and Lexington recorded the state’s third heat-related fatality. A third ″haylift,″ with 10 truckloads of hay from Virginia was announced.
Department of Natural Resources Director David Hales banned off-road vehicles from state-owned land in the Upper Peninsula.
Hales also extended the state’s nearly month-old burning ban to prohibit all campfires and cooking fires in 23 state campgrounds and 1.5 million acres of state forest land.
Hales said two days of light rain that dampened parts of the state over the weekend had ″no appreciable effect″ on the worsening drought.
A smattering of rainfall ″has made perhaps a small scratch in the drought,″ said Jim Mathews, a forecaster with the National Weather Service.
Forecasters at the NWS Forecasting Center at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport say they’ve been deluged with more than 600 phone calls a day.
″The longer we go without significant precip, the more people want to talk about it,″ said meteorologist John Foggia. ″This drought really brings them out - in addition to farmers or people who just hear about it and want to be involved.″
Rain provided relief for some areas of Mississippi and the National Weather Service at Jackson said additional rainfall was possible into Tuesday.
A spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers at Vicksburg said the Mississippi River was open to the Gulf and heavy barge traffic was reported from Greenville south.
Rain fell in scattered areas - including more than three-fourths of an inch at Columbia and one-fourth of an inch at Springfield. The forecast called for periods of rain throughout the week as temperatures return to the 90s.
Remote sensing stations showed 0.10 inch to 0.20 inch of rainfall in parts of central Montana, but no rain fell at regular monitoring stations of the National Weather Service. Forecasters said an approaching Pacific front might bring thunderstorms, but no steady rainfall was anticipated.
Rain over the weekend helped some still-parched areas, but crops still need about an inch of rain a week to protect potential yields, a climatologist said.
Ken Hubbard, director of the High Plains Climate Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, said soil in the root zone still is dry in most areas.
Dry weather has evaporated at least half of the ″prairie potholes″ ducks use for nesting, and this year’s duck hatch is the worst he’s ever seen, said Dale Henegar, commissioner of the state Game and Fish Department.
″A lot of the major marshes are dried up, and the birds paired up early ... and just simply didn’t nest,″ Henegar said. ″The whole thing looks pretty grim.″
Thundershowers ahead of a cool front helped alleviate the heat, but farm experts said the rainfall was probably too little and too late. The rain was the first measurable precipitation in the state this month.
In Hardin County in north central Ohio, 16 truckloads of hay from Vermont arrived at the county fairgrounds for distribution to Amish farmers and other area growers.
Despite widely scattered rain over the weekend, rainfall in some locations remains more than 6 inches below normal for the year. The driest parts are in the northeast quadrant of the state. The only above-normal precipitation was reported in localized areas of the south central and west central portions of the state.
Residents in drought-stricken areas may notice fewer mosquitoes but more spider mites that attack house plants and landscape shrubs, an entomologist said.
″Mosquitoes have to have moisture to be able to complete development,″ said entomologist Jaime Yanes.
The drought also affects fleas and ticks, but since they are not dependent on water to reproduce like mosquitoes, they are stronger in hot, dry conditions, Yanes said.