Friday, May 25, 2012

Flash Drought

This just popped into my inbox and thought it worthwhile to share right now!

“Call it a flash drought,” said Pat Guinan, University of Missouri climatologist. The fast developing drought slows growing crops.

No rain and high temperatures cover most of Missouri and nearby regions. Abnormally dry weather covers much of the mid-western Corn Belt.

Soil moisture reserves are drawn down by high evapotranspiration rates. That's a combination of solar radiation, temperatures, relative humidity and wind to evaporate water from soil and plants.

“Those combined with many cloudless days in May to hasten loss of soil moisture,” Guinan said.
May, usually the wettest month of the year is on track to be abnormally dry. “According to weather records, the Missouri Bootheel has one of the driest April-May periods in 118 years,” Guinan said.

Those unusually dry conditions affected only the Bootheel in early spring, but cover the entire state as Memorial Day weekend approaches.

“It's going to seem more like the Fourth of July,” said Guinan. Temperatures will climb well into the 90s, with low humidity and drying winds, especially in the southern half of Missouri.

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