Thursday, June 29, 2017

Can't Buy a Rain

We can't seem to buy a rain here. I'm not sure where that phrase comes from but it is one in situations like ours. All spring and summer long, storm after storm has approached our town only to split and go on either side or peter out on the edge of town. You can literally go about 5 miles north and they have plenty of moisture. To the south is dry but not nearly as dry as we are since they have gotten several rains that we haven't. At the last check, we were down 3.5 inches below normal just for this month.

Last week my trees that I planted two years ago were starting to suffer so I showed them mercy by carrying each of them a five gallon bucket full of water. Those that have seen my lawn, know that it is almost straight up and down so lugging two buckets full of water back and forth is quite taxing work. But an hour after I poured the water around the trees, they had perked up again so I know they were thanking me.

This week, we had three chances for storms. In fact, it was so serious looking that we have been under a flood watch the entire time. Storm one came raging across the plains and petered out just as it hit town leaving behind slightly less than 0.1 inch of rain. We have cracks in our lawn going down more than a foot deep and the top inch is nothing more than powder. When you get so little rain, the top quarter inch soaks it up entirely and then evaporates under the sun less than a couple hours later.

Last night we thought perhaps we might be the problem and with the kids off with my parents for the week, we set off for the urban jungle for a sushi fix. We got to the urban jungle right before the skies cut loose. It rained so hard and so much that cars were bobbing in the streets and then it hailed on them for good measure. We had driven our van which got pounded several weeks ago by two inch hail so the hail so I wasn't much worried about anymore dents. We just went about our shopping and eating sushi. I kept checking the radar map though and saw that there were yellows and reds above where we live for better part of forty minutes so I was hopeful that we finally got a measurable amount of rain.

A couple hours later we pulled into the driveway in the dark and I could swear that it hadn't rained but I knew better. I had seen the radar map. I went out onto the deck and turned over the rain gauge. Only a few pieces of dry dirt fell out of the bottom. I'm not sure how we didn't get any rain out of that storm. Perhaps someone stood over my gauge with an umbrella and we secretly got some.

Today has been a week since I last poured five gallons of water around each of my 21 trees and they now need some more. The last two storms were our best chances for rain for the next ten days. There is a slight chance this afternoon but it isn't supposed to be near the amounts of the previous storms. The rest of the state is talking about flooding and I think we are about to have one of the worst dry periods I can remember. We can't buy a rain.

For the record, the last measurable rain we had was 0.5 inches on May 26th. We were already dry before then.


Kelly said...

I thought about you last night. I was scrolling through Twitter and saw where there were multiple storm warnings in IA (a former meteorologist from our area just moved up there) and I hoped you'd get some rain out of it.

I feel for you. I've literally driven out of rain just a mile from my house to find not a single drop at home. It's frustrating. We've had a wet few months so far, but there have been years where we've been in your shoes. And who knows... we might get nothing more in the next few months. Time will tell.

Ed said...

Kelly - We were definitely in the mix. On the way home, we crossed paths with a recently departed tornado. Tore up a farm on one side of the road and took out a string of electrical lines on the other.

kymber said...

Ed, buddy - we'll nekkid rain dance for you this evening!

sending love! your friend,

Bob said...

Oh man, I can imagine how frustrating that must be. About 2.5 hours south of here is Birningham, AL, a city I travel to for work almost every week. They had the same experience last year. Rain all around them but they couldn't, as you say, buy a rain. It took a long time for them to recover. Hoping you'll get a downpour soon.

Ed said...

Kymber - I appreciate your help! Proof?

Bob - My brother lives just east of Birmingham and I got to hear his stories. It makes it worse when the drought it very local because our news is full of stories of flooding, deluges and cheery forecasters saying the next rain will FORTUNATELY miss us. When a large chunk of the state is in drought it is not so bad. I guess misery loves company!

kymber said...

keep me informed on the rain situation...we won't stop rain dancing for until you get rain!!! xox

Leigh said...

Oh gosh, that was us last summer. Plus heat! So frustrating to watch the storms coming on the radar, only to have them re-route or dissipate.

P.S. I want to see Kymber's proof too, LOL

Vince said...

If you are still going through the dry spell. Get gallon water containers and put tiny holes in them above the bottom rim. The bury then to the neck in the slope above the tree. Watering the surface isn't going to do much good, even if you soak it. And remember it doesn't need to be drinkable water, grey water will work just as well, if you can store it someplace.

Ed said...

Kymber - I'll let you know when we get some rain. It isn't in the ten day forecast though.

Leigh - I almost wish we didn't have radars so I was ignorant that others nearby are getting rain.

Vince - I actually have mulch around all the trees to control the weeds since they are caged in to protect them from being deer food. The mulch does a good job of retaining the moisture and keeping it from running off. Besides, I have over 20 trees that I am watering and that would be a lot of buckets!