A guy died one day and found himself waiting in the long line of judgment. As he stood there he noticed that some souls were allowed to march right through the pearly gates into Heaven. Others though, were led over to Satan who threw them into the burning pit. But every so often, instead of hurling a poor soul into the fire, Satan would toss a soul off to one side into a small pile.. After watching Satan do this several times, the guy's curiosity got the best of him. So he strolled over and asked Satan what he was doing. "Excuse me, Mr. Prince of Darkness," he said. "I'm waiting in line for judgment, but I couldn't help wondering, why are you tossing those people aside instead of flinging them into the Fires of Hell with the others?" "Ah, those," Satan said with a groan. "They're all from Iowa. They're still too wet to burn."
Ain't that the truth.
Over this last year as I've been commiserating with others about our near constant rain here, I've found myself thinking that I said the same things over the last three years. It has seemed as if we have had four especially wet years in a row. Then a couple weeks ago, I found a website run by a state university that records the amount of rain falling in my part of rural Iowa on a daily basis and has records going back a long ways. They even have a way to export the data into a format that I could import into an Excel spreadsheet to clarify things. As you can see in the graph below, it really does help to see just how wet it has been here. There are three lines. The top line shows or average annual rainfall for this part of Iowa which is 36.5 inches. The middle lines shows our accumulated precipitation thus far this year. We are at slightly above 33 inches (14 inches above normal) for the year and counting. Another thing to notice on the middle line is that there are very few level spots where rain has not falling. You can see the two weeks around the middle of April where the farmers got their crops in the first time and then it has been all uphill since. The bottom lines shows where our moisture should be on a "normal" year.
So this brings me back to my claim that I've been saying the same things for four years now. I dumped the data in the spreadsheet along with the data for 1993 which was the wettest year in the history of Iowa and got the graph below. The bottom line is the same average precipitation that we are supposed to receive in a year. The next three lines above average precipitation line represent the years of 2007, 2008 and 2009. That along with the half line of 2010 show that it hasn't been my imagination. The scary thing about this is that the 2010 line is keeping up with the blistering pace set on the wettest year in the records books, 1993. In 1993, it rained well into September before the spigots turned off.
I'm beginning to think I should pull my boat building dream off the back burner and put it on the front burner. I should also up-size the pot and start thinking ark sized boats.