Last month should have been.
In fact, comparing the month of July from 2005 through 2009, July 2010 was hotter on several counts.
The average high temperature in July 2010 was 93.5 degrees, as recorded by the Archbold Wastewater Treatment Plant. From 2005- 2009, the July average never topped the 89.2 degrees set in 2005.
During July 2009, the average high was 82.3 degrees.
From 2005 through 2009, the top reading in July hit 100 degrees only twice: July 16, 2006, and July 31, 2006.
In 2010, the mercury hit 100, and kept on going. It was 101 degrees on July 6. The following day, it hit a scorching 105.
In July 2010, there were only eight days when the recorded high temperature was below 90. Compare that to July 2009, when the high temperature never exceeded 90.
Perhaps some rain showers cooled things off? Hardly.
In July 2010, only 2.75 inches of rain were recorded. The biggest rainfall was on July 8, when 1.4 inches fell.
The only July with less rainfall between 2005 and 2009 was 2007, when just 1.8 inches was recorded.
Greg LaBarge, Fulton County agricultural extension agent, said for Fulton County farmers, the heat didn’t hurt crops.
“I think overall, in our area, we generally had enough rainfall so there were no ill effects,” he said.
In fact, for those who were able to plant crops early, before rain shut them out of their fields, the warm temperatures “helped move things along.”
For example, corn planted during April developed quickly.
For wheat, “This was one of the earliest harvest seasons I can remember.”
The heat might shave a few bushels off production. When temperatures remain warm at night, plants continue to “respire,” trading carbon dioxide for oxygen. As a result, some of the sugars that would typically go to fill kernels or soybeans will be used up, keeping the plant “breathing,” he said.
The heat impacted livestock. LaBarge said farmers worked to keep their animals as comfortable as possible.
Archbold Hospital and the Fulton County Health Department didn’t report an unusual influx of heat-related cases, probably because those working outdoors took precautions.
For example, Brian Smucker, an engineer with Heer Excavating, said construction crew foremen made sure laborers didn’t spend too much time in underground trenches, where no air moves.
Also, workers were reminded to keep drinking plenty of water, so they keep thinking clearly and working safely.
“We went through a ton more water. Our foremen said the water cans were drained,” Smucker said.
Kevin Sauder, president and chief executive officer of Sauder Woodworking, said when the temperatures rise, company officials make sure the production workers get extra water breaks.
And the company continues its tradition of handing out popsicles, 1,300 at a time, when it’s hot.
“We’ve done this four times this summer already,” he said.