Rain showers this week were good news for gardeners, lawn lovers and farmers. However, the long term forecast has some possible trouble in it. It appears our dry spring could mean a race against drought this summer.
Earlier this spring many areas across our region were teetering on the edge of a drought. But, several rounds of showers moving through the Valley have put crops in pretty good shape.
Jared Hollands, Agrimax: "It was pretty dry here for awhile, but then it kind of picked up in this last weekend with a little under an inch, then just this morning a little under half an inch. Things are looking better."
Unfortunately, the National Weather Service says these recent shots of rain have not ended our dry cycle. Their drought map from March shows abnormally dry conditions around much of the Valley. This week 's rains have shrunk the area quite a bit. But, the long term forecast isn't looking that good.
Mark Ewens, National Weather Service: "We will se a gradual decrease in the precipitation as we get into July with perhaps below normal precipitation in July and August and consequently, warmer temperatures that could start to stress crops, depending on the timing."
And while recent rains have crops in overall good condition now, the overall dry soil conditions means the rain will have to keep coming.
Mark Ewens: "Some places will dry out and that will cause some stress to the agriculture and it is impossible to predict at any length of time, because thunderstorms are so relatively random."
Ewens says the Valley on average is running one to two inches below normal precipitation this year. However, areas in the far northern and far southern Valley have close to normal soil moisture.