Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Water now an issue in record heat

The Detroit Free Press reports Soaring temperatures, thirsty lawns put water in demand.
Rush has some trees to shade his lawn, but much of it is exposed to the sun and heat -- which today is predicted to reach 102 degrees to break the record of 101 set in 1887.
Another day, another record high temperature. Welcome to global warming.

That's not all.
Fifty-five percent of the continental U.S. was in a moderate to extreme drought by the end of June, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center said in its monthly drought report. That's the largest percentage since December 1956, when 58% of the country was covered by drought.

A U.S. Drought Monitor report released last week showed much of the lower part of Michigan's Lower Peninsula in moderate drought.
And how are communities responding to the drought?
Novi, Shelby Township, Northville Township, Troy and Clinton Township are among the communities that restrict or have ordinances directing water usage to what are considered off-peak hours. That approach has the dual benefit of helping keep water rates lower and avoiding issues with high water usage in dry periods.

The ordinances tend to be similar but can vary in their specifics.

Novi restricts lawn watering with programmable underground water sprinkler systems to 11 p.m.-5 a.m. on alternating days. In Shelby Township, the ordinance is voluntary but "strongly" discourages automatic irrigation of lawns 5-9 a.m. and 5-9 p.m. The township reserves the right to declare an emergency and make specific restrictions.
So, is there any relief in sight? Yes.
However, he said, a fairly strong cold front is expected tonight, with the metro region seeing that good shot at rain Wednesday. The cold front is expected to drop temperatures into the low to mid-80s by Thursday. The normal high is 84 degrees, Behnke said.

Behnke said temperatures aren't expected to rise above 90 degrees until Sunday. But no precipitation is expected through the weekend, either.

Despite the straw-like grass around many homes, the area is above normal for rainfall for the month, Behnke said. He said 2.17 inches of rain had fallen through Sunday night, which is 1.54 inches above normal. But most of that rain -- 1.76 inches -- fell July 5, he said.

The rain came on the heels of the 10th driest June and the warmest January through June on record in Michigan.
As for beating the heat, WXYZ reports on one way metro Detroiters should not do it.

Fire fighters are warning people to not open up the hydrants to cool off.

Stay cool, everyone!

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