BY KRISTEN BUCKLES
Local farmers' predictions that, after early August, this year's above-average rainfall would dry up to a level closer to normal conditions may be starting to come true.
Greene County actually closed the month of August with only 2.1 inches of rain, according to the University of Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center at Greeneville.
As the county's official weather station, the center averages 3.8 inches of rainfall in August, making this year 1.7 inches below the norm.
That's just for the month, though.
When looking at the year to date, from Jan. 1 through Sept. 3, the county is already 4.15 inches above the average for the entire year, at 48.43 inches.
There were 12 days of rain in August, most of which saw only trace amounts.
There was 0.27 of an inch of rain recorded by 7 a.m. on Aug. 8; 0.64 of an inch on Aug. 14; 0.37 of an inch on Aug. 19; and 0.52 of an inch on Aug. 24.
'A WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY'
Milton Orr, University of Tennessee Extension Director for Greene County, said this morning in an interview that the reduced rainfall in August "for the most part has been good" for Greene County farmers.
The break in the unusually rainy weather in recent months, he said, has allowed local farmers "to get in the field and get done some things we have been waiting to do."
Examples of those things, he said, are doing a second cutting of hay, harvesting some corn silage, and, especially, cutting tobacco and getting it in the barn without its being mud-spattered.
Conditions were getting a bit dry recently, he noted, but the showers of the last few days helped relieved that situation.
"Certainly [the lower rainfall in August] has not been problematic from the standpoint of being too dry," Orr said.
"For the most part, I think it has given [Greene County] farmers a window of opportunity to get things done that they have needed to get done."