CLEVELAND - My grass has been telling me for the last couple of weeks. It's green and growing fast! And now the official Palmer Drought Index issued each week by the Climate Prediction Center, confirms the news. The drought is officially over across most of Northern Ohio!
The latest drought index, issued this past weekend, shows the greater Cleveland, Akron, Lorain and Mansfield area are near normal for ground moisture. In fact, the North Central Ohio counties, which include Lorain, Medina, Erie, Huron, Sandusky, Seneca, and Ottawa Counties need no additional rains to moisten the soil. The northeastern counties, including Cuyahoga, Summit, Ashtabula, Lake, Geauga & Trumbull Counties are just a fat inch shy of normal.
After a very dry summer, in which all areas of northern Ohio reached Extreme Drought Conditions, recent rains have been plentiful area wide. For the month of September so far, Cleveland has received almost 6.5 inches of rain. That's about 3.5 inches above normal. Mansfield has measured well above 5 inches for the month.
The Central Hills Region, which includes Mansfield, Wooster, Ashland, & Millersburg, needs a little over 3 inches of rain to catch up. This region is still considered near normal on the Palmer Drought Index.
The only region in our area that is still in a Severe drought is the Northeast Hills. This includes Stark County and the Akron/Canton Regional Airport, Tuscarawas, Mahoning, Columbiana, & Carroll Counties. According to the drought index, this region needs about 8 more inches to bring soil moisture back to near normal levels.