With the sizzle of summer Bar-B-Que's and summer vacation ahead - warm weather is on everyone's minds.
Meteorologist Chris Vickers says last summer was extreme, with triple-digit heat and severe drought. The heat and dry weather wilted crops, devastating the growing season. Last summer's quickly-developing drought, coined a "flash drought," has now been completely erased due to winter precipitation and recent spring rains. This means we're off to a good start for the summer ahead.
The months of June, July and August are essential months for rainfall and account for nearly one third of our entire yearly precipitation, most of which comes from summertime thunderstorms.
Chris expects the summer heat may again be a big story, the summer is expected to be again warmer than average. In part, this will be fueled by the hot and dry conditions out west. Summer heat waves that build out west will be occasionally directed east by the jet stream which will send temperatures soaring into the 90s and possibly again to 100 degrees, something that we did an astounding four times last summer.
The summer season is also the peak of our severe weather season. Ohio averages 19 tornadoes a year, and more than half of them happen in the summer months. The first few weeks around the start of summer in June are the peak of tornado season in northwest Ohio, but severe weather and tornadoes can occur any time of the year.
It's also possible that a warmer summer would provide more energy for storms and higher impact severe weather events like the Derecho last summer and the July microburst through Springfield Township.
Chris says severe weather is an inevitable part of any summer forecast and of course will be this year too. Fortunately, last year's drought – the worst in many decades—which may total over $30 Billion in losses nationally is not foreseen to return locally this year.
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