Weekend forecast brings rain; farmers enjoying wet weather

The city and its residents had favorable weather for its Fourth of July celebrations and picnics Thursday but rain and thunderstorms could put a damper on weekend activities, according to the National Weather Service in State College.

The possibility of thunderstorms will linger throughout the area for most of the weekend.

“It looks like (today) there’s a chance of showers and thunderstorms pretty much from late morning through the afternoon,” said Meteorologist Elyse Colbert.

But today won’t be a continuous rain, like the area has seen in the past month, as there will be patches of sunshine sprinkled in. The high for today is in the upper 80s, Colbert reported.

The chance of rain will increase as the weekend heads into Sunday with increased cloudiness, Colbert said.

The weekend is expected to yield about a half an inch of rain, but areas hit by thunderstorms will most likely see a higher total of rainfall.

And although the year’s rainfall up to this point is about two inches lower than the average, it has been more than usual since June 1.

And for local farmers, more rain is better than no rain.

“The corn’s really jumping,” said local farmer Hal Drick.

Drick, who has been farming for 65 years, said the only problem with the rain over the past month is that it’s more difficult to dry hay.

“If you had hay down at that time it would just mush when it came time to bail it,” he said. “It wasn’t any good.”

The long periods of rain this past month forced the farm to wrap more of its hay as this process takes less time for it to dry. That which couldn’t be used as hay was used as mulch, Drick said.

And although Drick has seen years when it has rained more than normal, this year has been quite unique as there isn’t many breaks from it, he said.

He added that he wished the showers could be “maybe a little farther apart but you take her as you get her.”

Colbert explained that the source of this weekend’s rain is the same as its been for the past few weeks as there’s a high pressure “anchored” over the Atlantic Ocean and winds are bringing gulf moisture to the area.

Colbert also reported that despite the rain, this weekend will see above-average temperatures. She said highs usually are in the lower 80s and lows in the lower 60s for this time of year. This weekend’s temperatures will be in the upper 80s.