PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Weather-wise, one of the things the summer of 2020 will be known for is the heat and dry weather, leaving burnt lawns around the region.

Brown lawns are almost everywhere, and could really use any drop of rain that the atmosphere can muster. There is an old weather saying “drought breeds drought.” What this means is that dry hot weather usually leads to more dry, hot weather. So, why is that the case?

(Photo Credit: Ray Petelin)

When you have hot, dry weather, it makes the ground harder to absorb water, because it becomes very, very hard. You can think of the ground like a sponge. When it is fresh and used normally, it is able to absorb water. That means plant roots are able to tap into that water making for healthy plants and lawns.

(Photo Credit: Ray Petelin)

(Photo Courtesy of Ray Petelin)

However, if you have ever seen a sponge that has been used and not taken care of. Usually, they become stiff and dried out.

This sponge is not able to absorb the water as well, initially. While it needs water to become healthy again, the water runs off the sponge, giving little to no benefit to the plants or lawns.

(Photo Credit: Ray Petelin)

If you have very heavy rain after a long dry spell, this could lead to flash flooding, since the ground is not able to absorb the water. The best way to fix this is with long stretches of lighter, steady rain.

Unlike this summer, the past few years came with rather wet weather. While our lawns looked great and needed mowing more than once a week, heavy rain became a problem because the ground was full of water. It was saturated.

(Photo Credit: Ray Petelin)

Saturated ground can lead to flooding problems, too. In situations like this, all the excess water becomes runoff, since it can’t get into the ground.

The best recipe is to have a good mix of wet and dry days.