Last week, it seemed as though I was dumping 1-inch or more of rain out of our rain gauge, every day. Most people are wondering if this year will be a repeat of last year, when we received 50-percent more rain than normal. Rain helps plants grow, but sunshine makes local people feel better.
Heavy rainfalls seem to be much more localized now, than they were in the 20th century, with some storms dumping large amounts of rain in specific areas, over a brief period of time, often leading to flooding. Western Pennsylvania has also seen more tornadoes in 2019 than any year since 1998.
Checking Pittsburgh rainfall records this morning, I see we are about 24-percent above normal in 2019, and 16-percent above normal for the month of June. While our region is 1.7 degrees F. below normal for the month, we are 0.7 degrees F. above normal temperatures for the year.
One clear advantage of frequent rainfall is less plant watering, but so many of the blossoms (like petunias) begin to cry, “enough is enough already.” While our solar system still produces energy on cloudy days, production can decline by one-half to two-thirds what it is on a sunny day.
I often wonder how today’s landscapers and nurserymen get their work done, with the frequent rainfalls. When I was still landscaping, we always liked it when it rained at night — the best of both worlds!