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Bumper crops seen at farm stands one upside to frequent storms

There is a definite correlation between a wet and hot July and a bumper crop of fresh fruits and vegetables during this month, which has been one for the record books in terms of severe storms, tornado warnings and watches and flash flood advisories.

Across the region, farmers’ vegetable and fresh fruit stands are an array of colors and varieties this summer. They are bursting with flavor and juiciness and the crowds are keeping those business operators hopping.

Sweet corn and tomato bumper crops harvested and in the bins are getting scooped up.

“We’ve got a good crop now,” said Dick Snyder, owner of Snyder’s Quality Sweet Corn, 457 Route 87 near Montoursville.

He noted how he planted late to prevent spoilage.

The month of June was relatively cooler with some nights in the upper 30s, he said.

This month has been a series of rain showers and thunderstorms, bringing the necessary wetness for corn, vegetables and fruit to flourish.

At Green Barn Berry Farm, 7299 Armstrong Road near Muncy, customers can pick their own green and yellow string beans along with red beets. The store also offers items already picked in small quantities and can take orders for half bushels or more.

On Saturdays, the Williamsport Growers Market is lined with shoppers and the stands are bountifully supplied by area farmers, including the Amish.

“We’ve got a line of customers,” an employee at Tebbs Farms and Greenhouses, 1620 Four Mile Drive in Loyalsock Township said.

Their stand has a bumper crops of sweet corn, peppers, peaches, cantaloupe, onions, potatoes and tomatoes.

“Dick is in the farm field,” the worker said. The business has been growing since 1948.

All of this good summer production is a result of cooperative weather.

In State College, John Banghoff, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service was looking at a string of thunderstorms heading toward Williamsport.

“We are definitely having a more active and severe July than in previous years,” he said.

He said there is a prevailing upper-level trough creating unsettled air. It isn’t extreme heat as in the West Coast but it has resulted in more than 100 severe thunderstorm, tornado and flash flood warnings issued in this month and the second least amount of those as of late May.

“We’ve given 137 total warnings in July alone,” Banghoff said.

From July 7 through July 17, the National Weather Service issued 138 watch, warnings and advisories, he said.

So far, this summer, the service issued 193 and that ranks seventh most since 1986, he said.

Conversely, through May 25 only one type of warning was issued.

Banghoff said nobody can anticipate what might happen in August, which begins Sunday.

Climatic information indicates the month is a little less humid and hot, with average temperature in the mid-70s, however the high temperature approaches 90 and there can be anomalies that bring heat waves. On average, the months brings about eight days when it is raining.

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