As of the Thursday July 30, 2020 release of the U.S. Drought Monitor, 37% of the state is covered by D1- moderate drought conditions (Figure 1). Hot and mostly dry conditions continued through much of June and July, with only scattered areas of heavy rain throughout the state. This has depleted soil moisture and lowered stream flows. If you are seeing drought impacts in your area, consider submitting a report to the Drought Impact Reporter.
Figure 1: U.S. Drought Monitor for Ohio as reported on Thursday, July 30, 2020
Over the last two weeks, the frequency and coverage of showers and storms have increased. West central, north central, and areas near the Ohio River have picked up widespread 2-4” over the last 14 days, with some local amounts greater than 5”. Coupled with cooler temperatures this past week, drought conditions have relaxed in these areas of Ohio. For more information on recent climate conditions and impacts, check out the latest Hydro-Climate Assessment from the State Climate Office of Ohio.
Though we are dealing with a frontal boundary with showers and storms moving through the region through Tuesday, drier and less humid conditions are expected to set up for most of the week. Temperatures will be below average on Wednesday through Saturday, generally in the mid to upper 70s across northern Ohio and upper 70s to low 80s across the south. Overnight lows will likely drop into the 50s several nights this week. Showers and storms may return for Sunday and Monday, though we are only expecting light precipitation over the next 7 days (Figure 2).
Figure 2: Forecast precipitation for the next 7 days. Valid from 8 pm Monday, August 3, 2020 through 8 pm Monday, August 10, 2020. Figure from Weather Prediction Center.
The latest NOAA/NWS/Climate Prediction Center outlook for the 8-14 day period (August 11 – 17) shows the heat returning, with increased confidence in above average temperatures and slightly elevated probability of above average precipitation (Figure 3). Normal highs during the period are in the low to mid-80s, normal lows in the low to mid-60s, with 0.80-0.90” of rainfall per week. The 16-Day Rainfall Outlook from NOAA/NWS/Ohio River Forecast Center shows about average rainfall over the period. This is likely to bring some continued minor improvement to drought conditions throughout Ohio.
Figure 3: Climate Prediction Center 8-14 Day Outlook valid for August 11 to 17, 2020 for temperatures (left) and precipitation (right). Colors represent the probability of below, normal, or above normal conditions.