Heavy rainfall in July dampened crop production, outdoor businesses in Alle-Kiski Valley
Heavy rainfall in July dampened crop production and outdoor businesses in the Alle-Kiski Valley, and a National Weather Service meteorologist predicts substantial precipitation levels to continue through September.
The Valley accumulated 7.59 inches of rainfall this month, which caused frequent flash flooding, according to the weather service, based in Moon.
It was the second consecutive month that rain exceeded monthly averages (4.06 inches) by more than 3 inches.
Area residents can expect chronic rainfall to resume in early August after this week's brief reprieve, weather service meteorologist Joe Palko said.
“I think we're going to see high precipitation levels and average temperatures all throughout August,” he said. “That trend should continue through mid-September, with above-average precipitation levels and normal temperatures.”
The Small Business Administration declared Allegheny County a disaster area on Tuesday after an assessment of property damage caused by storms and flooding between June 26 and July 21.
The designation may qualify Alle-Kiski Valley residents for low-interest disaster loans to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, according to a statement from the governor's office.
Outside work affected
July's high rain total in the Valley postponed several PennDOT maintenance projects, stunted agricultural production and shortened public swimming pools' hours.
Dave Hartman, assistant manager at Joseph Petrarca Memorial Pool (Vandergrift Park & Pool), said rainstorms forced the facility to close early seven times this month.
“We're looking at upward of $10,000 lost to inclement weather,” he said. “Between the cloudy days, subpar temperatures and rain closures, we got hit pretty hard in July.”
The average temperature in July was 74.6 degrees, which is within one degree of the monthly average.
The “subpar temperatures” that Hartman was referring to are a result of daily high temperatures that averaged less than normal, Palko said. Extensive cloud cover led to lower daytime highs, but warmer nights than usual.
With frequent yet sporadic rainfall this month — it rained 13 days over a 28-day period — outdoor businesses like White's Paving in West Franklin faced scheduling challenges. Joel Boguslawski, the paving company's general manager, said the weather caused delays and forced him to reschedule and cancel some projects.
“It's so streaky sometimes that it's hard to plan around,” he said. “It can affect the quality of the job sometimes, and it affects the amount of hours we can give out to our workers.”
Sustained rain unusual
Palko said it's atypical for Western Pennsylvania to face back-to-back rainy months during the summer.
The Alle-Kiski Valley accumulated 7.53 inches of rain in June.
Typically, storm tracks manifest farther north into Canada around this time of year, but they have instead soddened the Midwest and Atlantic regions of the United States.
The rainfall has not only drowned crops and slowed vegetable growth, but may bring to the area insects and diseases such as “late blight,” said Bob Pollock, a Penn State Cooperative extension educator for horticultural crops.
The “late blight” disease was responsible for the Irish potato famine.
The Valley News Dispatch reported this month that the damp-weather disease was confirmed to be in tomatoes in Westmoreland, Indiana and Somerset counties.
The Valley's high temperature reached the 90s on four occasions between July 15 and 20, but there was no rain.
“Usually, people have a hard time getting their grass to grow in June and July,” Palko said. “Now, I think people are mowing their lawns a couple times each month.”
Braden Ashe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4673 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Teens held for trial in cobbler heist
- Butler County men waive most theft charges to trial
- Picketer found to be at fault in accident at ATI plant
- ‘Banshee’ props, inventory up for sale
- Lower Burrell resident blames sewer project for fouling spring water
- Roofs to cost Freeport Area as much as $1.7 million over 3 years
- 3 named to do jobs of former South Butler School official
- Butler organization seeks answers for unexplained phenomena
- ATI continues to produce, ship products