Dry summer taking toll on crops, lawns, tempers

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Wood County is parched after getting half its normal summer rainfall this year – leaving yards brown, corn stalks scrawny, and some farmers short on patience. Every once in awhile, the dark clouds build and rain starts hitting the thirsty earth, but most hints of precipitation have turned into a tease. Rainfall for May, June and July in Bowling Green added up to 5.64 inches, according to records kept at the Bowling Green Wastewater Treatment Plant. That is about half of the average 10.7 inches seen here during those three months. The stunted crops and crunchy lawns are the most obvious victims, affecting local farmers and grass mowing businesses. But the hot dry summer has been good for others, like ODOT’s road construction schedule, local swimming pool attendance, and ball seasons that haven’t been disrupted by rain. Bowling Green’s water supply has not been adversely affected since the Maumee River watershed covers a huge area, according to Brian O’Connell, director of utilities for the city. “Even under severe drought conditions, there’s a lot of water that drains into the Maumee River,” O’Connell said. However, the rainfall on individual farm fields has left corn and soybean crops hurting, according to Jonanthan Haines, of the Farm Service Agency. The spring started out strong, he said. “We had the rainfall in April and May. We were actually a little too wet.” Farmers were itching to get their crops in the fields as summer got near. “They had a window to plant at the end of May,” Haines said. There were a handful of dry days, followed by forecasts for spring showers. “Everybody raced to plant.” But the forecast was wrong. “The rain never came,” Haines said. “The spigot was turned off after that.” Some spots in the county have fared a bit better than others, with the driest fields in the southwest corner, he said. The corn may have finally shot upward and started tasseling – but that is somewhat deceptive. It doesn’t mean a…

Moderate risk of severe weather in southern Wood County

From BRADLEY J. GILBERT, WOOD COUNTY EMA DIRECTOR Overnight, the Storm Prediction Center has only slightly narrowed the “MODERATE” risk area but a small portion of Southern Wood County remains in the official “MODERATE” risk area.  Of course, this does not mean that the rest of the county is free from the increased severe weather threat. At this hour, there is a large area of showers and thunderstorms moving southeasterly through Indiana and will likely miss our area.  Forecast officials will need to see how the atmosphere “resets” after this mornings round of activity clears the Indiana/Ohio area before we can get better details on the severe storms later on this evening.  Current thoughts on timing shows the main push of storms into our area in the late evening towards midnight with scattered showers and thunderstorms possible throughout the day. The exact path of storm development tonight will also depend on how far north a warm front travels today.  There is some concern with the possible development of a derecho as well as isolated tornadoes with this storm system this evening.  The tornado threat will be somewhat isolated depending on the track of the low pressure system and accompanying warm and cold fronts. Again, extremely strong straight-line winds are going to be the major concern.    

Risk of severe weather declines for today (Wednesday, June 15)

From BRADLEY J. GILBERT,  WOOD COUNTY EMA DIRECTOR A fairly large area of showers and thunderstorms are moving through the area this morning (Wednesday, June 15)  from a large area of severe weather to our west last night.  This activity will not be severe. This activity will also release some energy from the atmosphere which could reduce our chances of widespread severe weather this afternoon and evening.  The SPC still has NW Ohio in the “Slight” risk category for severe weather this afternoon and evening. Isolated areas of strong to severe thunderstorms will still be possible later today.  The primary threats will be damaging straight-line winds and hail.  Secondary threats will be an isolated tornado, heavy rain, and frequent lightning.   Again, showers and thunderstorms will move through the area this morning and are not expected to be severe.  It is still advised to monitor weather conditions later today for possible scattered/isolated thunderstorms that could become strong to severe in some areas.

Watch for severe weather Wednesday

From BRADLEY J. GILBERT,  WOOD COUNTY EMA DIRECTOR Overnight, the Storm Prediction Center increased the severe weather risk for NW Ohio to “Enhanced” on Wednesday. We have also just received a severe weather briefing from the Cleveland forecast office with their concerns. This is the first time this year we have been at this risk category. Thunderstorms will develop in the late afternoon and into the evening and possibly continue into the overnight hours. Primary threats from thunderstorms will be damaging straight-line winds, hail, and heavy downpours of rain. Secondary threats include isolated tornadoes and frequent lightning. Please plan on monitoring weather conditions closely Wednesday afternoon and evening. Weather radios and local media should be monitored for the latest weather information and possible warnings.  We will provide another update Wednesday morning via this email and our Facebook page.

Sun sets the stage for Art in the Park

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News All kinds of artists turned out for Bowling Green’s second annual Art in the Park in Simpson Garden Park. Artists were drawing, painting, doing needle work. Adult and budding actors staged shows. Performer Nick Zoulek blew saxophone; Michiko Saiki blew bubbles. And, of course, there were those who expressed their artistic inclinations by snapping photos with their smart phones. Jacqueline Nathan, president of the Bowling Green Arts Council, said the Art in the Park was a success, drawing at least as many attendees as last year’s inaugural event. Sunny weather in the 80s certainly helped. Aaron Pickens, of Grand Rapids, was painting a line of arbor vitae. Painting outdoors is way of taking a break from his highly detailed and realistic paintings of toys. Those can take 500 hours to complete. But if painting outdoors is fun, it’s serious fun. Painting outdoors is a challenge. There’s so much detail, he said. “You have to learn what to leave out. The landscape taught me how to paint.” Denise Carter was working on a rag rug that will serve as a wall hanging. She pulled brightly colored fabric through the weave of a coffee bean sack. The fabric became flowers, but Carter wasn’t depicting the blossoms in front of her. For her working outside was enjoyable because the colors were so much brighter in the full sun. Nearby in the amphitheater the sun served as stage lighting for theater. The Black Swamp Players offered the all-too-topical political satire “The Spot” about the filming of a candidate’s television commercial. The one-act play cast light on a process where the best kind of authenticity is the totally fake variety. Horizon Youth Theatre offered up an excerpt from their upcoming musical “Honk!” The open air setting seemed quite fitting for the mother duckling played by Sky Frishman to sing about the trials and joys of being mother to a feathery brood. She lamented that her husband was largely absent. She might as well have mated with a decoy, she…

Possible severe weather today

Brad Gilbert, EMA director for Wood County has issued the following: A relatively strong cold front and upper atmosphere dynamics will develop thunderstorm activity this afternoon and evening.  The Storm Prediction Center has NW Ohio in the “Marginal” risk category for severe weather today.  The primary threats will be damaging straight-line winds and hail.  Some residual showers and possibly a thunderstorm will linger into the early parts of Tuesday as well, but the severe threat will be low to non-existent on Tuesday. Yesterday, storms became severe as they moved east of Wood County.  The Sandusky (and Cedar Point) area experienced a very strong but very narrow corridor of damaging wind called a microburst (straight-line wind) from a thunderstorm.  Thunderstorms today could have similar microburst activity across all of NW Ohio.  Please monitor weather conditions for isolated strong to severe thunderstorm activity this afternoon and evening.

Peek at our Parks by Frances Brent: April Showers Bring More Than Flowers

By Frances Brent From mud hole to green glory the  Hosta  Display Garden at Simpson Garden has burst forth in its variegated shades of greens. The Simpson Garden, located at the corner of Wintergarden and Conneaut, has hosted  an official Hosta Display garden with literally hundreds of precisely labeled specimens since 2014. The area is deeply shaded, accented by rocks,  flowering shrubs and comfortable seating.  It has become a  popular photo op site for toddlers, graduates and families.  

Yep, snow, that’s what we’re talking about

From Brad Gilbert, Wood County Emergency Management director I REALLY hate to say it, but the NWS Cleveland office just provided and updated forecast. Forecasting models have shifted heavier snow bands further west putting most of Wood County in the 4” to 6” of snow potential by Saturday morning. The NWS has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Wood County until 10:00 a.m. Saturday. Winds will be from the northwest at 15-25 mph. Convection within this storm system will be giving us the heavy snow potential. The convection will also make it likely that you could hear “thunder snow” especially when the snowfall is heavy at times later tonight. This is a vey unusual spring storm system, so please use extra caution this evening into the overnight hours and early Saturday morning if you have to travel.