Things change quickly when it comes to weather and climate. Recall 2019, a record wet start to the year for many across Ohio, only to see 26% of the state enveloped in moderate drought conditions by October. Though not nearly as wet as last year, it has been wetter than average through the first five months of 2020.
Since our calendar flipped to the meteorological summer on June 1, however, precipitation has all but turned off across western and northwest Ohio (Figure 1). Most areas here have seen an inch or less of rainfall. Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) observers in Ada, Napoleon, and Lima have only recorded 0.18”, 0.29”, and 0.40” of rainfall so far for the month! With warm summer conditions, this has led to intense evaporation rates and rapidly drying soils. To submit a report of drought impacts for your area, consider the Drought Impact Reporter. For more information on recent climate conditions and impacts, check out the latest Hydro-Climate Assessment from the State Climate Office of Ohio.
A cold front slowly moving through the region on Tuesday this week will provide a focus for showers and storms across the state. Behind this front, cooler and slightly less humid air will move in for Wednesday through Friday, with highs in the low to mid-70s across northern Ohio and mid to upper 70s across southern Ohio. Temperatures will moderate back into the 80s for the weekend. Though a few scattered storms cannot be ruled out for Wednesday through Friday, typical summertime storms will return for the weekend. Overall, we are expecting 1-2” of rain over the next seven days across northern Ohio, with 0.50-1.25” across our southern counties (Figure 2). There could be locally heavier rainfall where stronger storms occur.
The latest NOAA/NWS/Climate Prediction Center outlook for the 6-10 day period (June 28 – July 2) shows elevated probabilities of above-average temperatures and above-average precipitation (Figure 3). This scenario strongly points to warmer than average overnight lows throughout the region. Normal highs during the period should be in the low- to mid-80s (north to south), normal lows in the low- to mid-60s, with 1.05-1.20 inches of rainfall per week. The 16-Day Rainfall Outlook from NOAA/NWS/Ohio River Forecast Center supports above-average precipitation over the next couple of weeks.