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Health, Science & Environment

Rainfall in Central Ohio breaks the area's dry spell

A dried-up lawn.
Wikimedia Commons

Many Ohioans woke up Tuesday to what was at times heavy rainfall, and more showers and thunderstorms are in the forecast through much of the rest of the week. The rain is a break in what has been a long stretch of dry days that has left plenty of lawns across our region looking patchy and brown.

Despite the brief dry spell, WCMH meteorologist Ben Gelber said Ohio has seen slightly above average precipitation this year.

"Our deeper moisture levels have been more than adequate. We had about 3.3 inches of rain in April, that's a half-inch below normal. But then we came back with 8.69 inches of rain in May, more than twice the average. June was our deficit— where we normally get roughly 4 inches of rain, we had 2.5, but for the long term for the calendar year, we're 4 inches above normal. So we had a surplus going into this dry spell. So our deeper moisture, our soil moisture was fine," said Gelber.

While the dry spell the region has seen hasn't been good for lawns, Gelber said the root systems below them are doing just fine.

"We have plenty of subsoil moisture for the root systems. Where our concern lies is right at the top, that soil moisture is not there for the grass. That starts to turn the grass brown and maybe some of our shrubbery and flowers begin to wilt a little bit. But everything is secured because we had a large moisture surplus and the root systems have plenty of moisture to work with," said Gelber.

"I think overall we're going to see more seasonal back and forth between hot, humid and comfortable weather rather than a prolonged heatwave," said Gelber. "I don't see drought developing here in Ohio over the next couple of months. And we should have at least near-normal rainfall."

Health, Science & Environment ben gelberWeather
Matthew Rand is the Morning Edition host for 89.7 NPR News. Rand served as an interim producer during the pandemic for WOSU’s All Sides daily talk show.