Sunday, September 24, 2017 Elyria 86°


Sick of scorching heat? Look on the bright side


ELYRIA — Lawn lovers have been lamenting the weather — the hot, dry conditions have left their normally lush patches of grass sporting more brown than green and the exposed earth beneath it riddled with cracks.
But guess what? It may be hot and dry, but we aren’t even close to a drought here. At least not yet.
Frank Kietyka, a meteorologist with
the National Weather Service in Cleveland, said it will take a couple more weeks of dry weather to elevate the area’s classification
to moderate drought conditions.
Kietyka said north central and Northeast Ohio are the only two parts of the state on the cusp of drought conditions.
“In some ways, a drought is good,” Kietyka said. “People will spend more time outside. There are less bugs.”
Kietyka said June 19 was the last day to see a decent amount of rain in northern Ohio, but says he is expecting some rain and thunderstorms tonight and into Wednesday morning.
Ray Diederich, a North Ridgeville-based weather observer for the National Weather Service, said we will need to see four inches of rain in July to get back on track with the 30-year rainfall average for the area.
Diederich said the average rainfall was down 0.95 of an inch in June.
“I’ve seen it worse,” Diederich said. “The soy fields are not burnt or yellowing, and the corn isn’t toppling. When crops start to die, they will blossom prematurely. That hasn’t happened yet that I know of.”
Local sweet corn grower Pat Fenik said the dry weather has actually helped his crop, making for one of the sweetest batches he can remember.
Fenik runs a fresh produce stand on Lake Avenue in Elyria Township.
“Right now, things are going great,” Fenik said. “Several months from now, who knows? It is a long season. Things would be better if we had some rain.”
Diederich said areas along Lake Erie are closest to suffering drought conditions, but the southern part of the state has made up for June’s dry conditions.
“Drought is hard to predict,” Diederich said. “But there’s nothing you can do, just hope for the best.”
So far, no cities or townships in the area have imposed water restrictions.
But Columbia Township Fire Chief Ray Anthony has issued a burning ban for the township that includes agricultural burning.
Contact Ben Norris at 329-7119 or

Bruce Bishop / Chronicle photos
Jerry Berthoff, one of the volunteer gardeners at St Jude in Elyria, gives the plants some much needed water.

The following types are permitted:
Avon: Recreational and small cooking fires
Avon Lake: Small cooking fires not exceeding 3 feet by
3 feet
Carlisle Township: Small cooking fires
Columbia Township: Small cooking fires
Eaton Township: Small cooking fires
Elyria: Small cooking and recreational fires
Elyria Township: Cooking fires and reasonable-sized recreational fires
Lorain: Small cooking fires
North Olmsted: Cooking and small recreational fires
North Ridgeville: Cooking fires, recreational fires and agricultural fires with permit
Oberlin: Cooking and small recreational fires and agricultural with permit
Sheffield: Cooking and small recreational fires in approved containers
Sheffield Lake: Cooking and small recreational fires

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