It's not your imagination, but fact. It has rained a lot lately. Actually, 12 of the last 20 days (as of July 9)had some type of measurable precipitation, amounting to about 4 inches. Local businesses and farmers whom count on the weather know this only too well.
According to the National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio, Ripley County has averaged 7 inches of rain from June 1 to July 7. That's a lot more than this time last year, when the average precipitation count was 1.9 inches. Of course, that too was unusually dry.
Jeff Sites, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said they receive two daily reports from weather observers in Ripley County; one is located four miles northeast of Osgood and another three miles southwest of Batesville. They also get another report from south of Batesville, but not consistently.
The Osgood report showed in the past five weeks, from June 1 to July 7, they had 7.63 inches, and the Batesville report had 6.50 inches.
During June, Osgood reported 6.39 inches, and Batesville, 5.59, averaging to 5.99 inches.
To put it in perspective, last year at the same time, Osgood had 2.31 inches, and Batesville 1.68 inches. Many may recall the dry weather called for some fireworks to be cancelled last year.
The most rain reported in one day was on June 27 with 1.89 inches from Osgood. For the Batesville report, it was July 2, with 1.03 inches. It can be spotty though. For example, Batesville received .32 inches of rain Tuesday by 7 a.m., and Osgood, none.
Furthermore, the normal precipitation rate for the area is 4.15 inches. This is taken from the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. The airport actually had two more inches of rain last month than normal. Sites noted that it's also been a cooler June. The average high was 82.3, and in 2012 it was 84.9. However, last June 29, it was 101 degrees, and 90+ temperatures continued throughout most of July and into August.
While the wet weather and cooler temps have meant greener lawns, it's not ideal for the farmer. Dave Osborne, educator with the Ripley County Extension Office, said "Mother Nature has thrown us a curve." He added, "The crops are drowning. Too much rain and not enough heat. It was the opposite last year. We need to dry out some to get the best out of the crops."
Osborne said farmers are having a hard time getting in the fields to cut hay, and too much moisture affects the hay quality. As for corn crops, some areas are struggling with water logged sods and nitrogen loss of fertilizer due to the saturation of the ground. "It's a 180 degrees different than where we were last year, and still creating some tough situations." Osborne reiterated what many in the ag business confront: there's no control over the weather. "We haven't seen normal in years."
Gardens may start to have fungus problems, and it's hard to mow, creating ruts in the ground.
These wet days also can affect some season businesses. Dylan Chandler, owner of DC Turf Management, said, "It's the first year we've had to turn away business." When there are dry days, they get so many calls to mow or landscape, they have hard time keeping up, he said. Chandler also commented that they've had calls from their competition to help them out with their business.
On the other hand, Milan Town Manager John Ingram said the rains have kept them from mowing, but in the meantime, they can work on maintenance projects. Brad Walker at the Versailles State Park, said it's been less than ideal for swimming, which means less revenue, but they continue to be full at the campgrounds and with their shelter rentals. "I'd like to see the pool attendance go up a little," he said.
It may go up this weekend, if the forecast is any indication. Metrologist Jeff Sites said,"We are looking at a dry spell toward the end of the week."
And on the plus side, the lawns and gardens are green and plush.
Staff Writer Cindy Ward also contributed to this story.