Almanac Weather Predictions Released
The 2011 issue of The Old Farmer’s Almanac was released this week. It predicts that in the coming months, the Earth will continue to see a - gradual cooling of the atmosphere ... offset by any warming caused by increased greenhouse gases. Most of the United States will see a colder-than-usual winter while summer and spring will be relatively cool and dry.
Hurricane Earl Leaves Latest Drought Monitor Unchanged
The arrival of Hurricane Earl last week did absolutely nothing to abate the drought conditions along the east coast. If nothing else, drought conditions are worse. Woody Yontz with the North Carolina Drought Management Advisory Council Division of Water Resources, in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources says rain across the Carolina’s this past week was been spotty at best:
“Well, we continue to see the drying out in most of North Carolina, far as rainfall, the last seven days, up to the time that the US drought monitor was effective, or valid which Tuesday, this past Tuesday, September 7th, very little rain happened in North Carolina except the coastal areas where there were the effects of Earl.”
Some parts of the NC coast saw very small amounts of precipitation in Earl’s wake:
“Well, in some areas now, I know in Southeast North Carolina at or around Wilmington, that area, we had reports that someplace in the Wilmington area there, that they only had less than a tenth of an inch. So, yes, there was rainfall in coastal North Carolina.”
It would appear that the lack of moisture throughout the summer has gone from what’s been called an ‘agricultural drought’ to possibly involving the urban populations in the near future:
“This drying out period is continuing and certainly is being reflected in our stream flows, our stream flows have really starting to feel the effects of minimal runoff and precipitation so their starting to get below normal levels and continuing to be that way. And of course, what we’re seeing now, and as we all know for this time of year precipitation is more reflective of tropical storm activity. And it just seems that it’s not….we’ve not seen a lot of that to get this rain that we so badly need here now. It’s really drying out, and we’re in a situation now where we have to keep close eyes on our water supplies.”
Yontz says that using water conservation measures now wouldn’t be a bad idea since there’s no significant chance of precipitation in the near-term forecast:
“Just hopefully, this drying out, or lack of precipitation doesn’t continue, but the forecast appears that it could continue for some time, we’ll just have to wait and see. We’re asking folks to be aware of it, and as always continue to use water conservation measures to lessen the effect in case we do have the return of drought throughout North Carolina.”
As is the usual for this time of year, tropical storm activity is the primary rain maker in the Carolinas:
“It appears that this drying out period might be around for a while until we get some tropical storm activity.”
Woody Yontz with the North Carolina Drought Management Advisory Council.
Smithfield Hitting on All Cylinders Again
Smithfield Foods reported record first-quarter net income of 76.3-million dollars - up from a loss of 107.7-million a year earlier. President Larry Pope attributed the earnings turnaround to higher packaged meat sales and the highest live hog prices in two years.