Abnormally dry conditions in parts of Mid-Michigan - WNEM TV 5

First Warn 5

Abnormally dry conditions in parts of Mid-Michigan

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

Labor Day has come and gone and as far as the calendar goes, summer is fading fast. While the days keep passing by, as usual, Mother Nature is reminding everyone who's actually in charge with a return of the 80s. 

But despite much of the focus on the temperatures and generous sun, there's another weather story that isn't getting much attention. That other story is the lack of rainfall for some parts of Mid-Michigan, leaving many gardens and fields in need of a drink. 

Every Thursday morning at 8:30 AM, the U.S. Drought Monitor is released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the National Drought Mitigation Center. 

Their latest report on September 14th included parts of Mid-Michigan in the Abnormally Dry category, or one stage below drought level. Those ares include almost all of Shiawassee County, southern Gratiot County, and southwestern Genesee County (map below). 

For reference, this is the lowest level on the Drought Severity scale, but rain chances through the rest of the week and the weekend look slim. We have a shot on Tuesday and another on Wednesday night and early Thursday, but that's about it moving forward into Sunday and those chances are far from a sure thing.

If rain chances don't pan out and we continue to stay dry, the next stage would be Moderate Drought, which could lead to some crop and pasture damage. To check out the scale used by the Drought Monitor, head to their Classification Scheme page

For an illustration on our rainfall over the last 30 days around the state of Michigan, we can look to the Midwestern Regional Climate Center. They provide a map that shows how much rain we've received as a percentage, compared to our normal values. 

In this case, the map shows our rainfall from August 18th through September 16th, with some parts of Mid-Michigan seeing only 25-50% of our average rainfall during this 30 day period. Some pockets aren't quite as low, but even so, those remaining areas have only seen about 50-75% of our average. 

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