Thursday, May 30, 2013

Fill 'er Up, Please!

Fill 'er up! The rain gauge, that is!

My area has been suffering drought conditions for the past year. We haven't been at "normal" moisture levels since March 2012. In April 2012, we entered the "abnormally dry" category, and it just kept getting worse as the summer went on, going through the "moderate" and "severe" drought levels. By September, we were in an "extreme" drought.

Summer 2012 was a terrible combination of hot, windy, and dry. It was a summer of wildfires all around our region. Smoke filled the skies pretty much from June on, only clearing out when the weather cooled in autumn. Fire bans were widespread, even in the mountains, and the temperatures were in the 90° to 100° F range much of the time. All of this was hard on crops, anyone with allergies or asthma, and nearly ruined many of the ranchers in the area as they struggled to find enough hay for their livestock. No grass was growing here, and hay had to be trucked in from as far away as Canada (at a premium price, of course). Reservoirs were drying out at an alarming rate. 

One of the large, nearly dry reservoirs in my area that I saw from the window of a plane in September. I have photo after photo of many different reservoirs from that trip, and they all look pretty much the same as this one. Can you tell we were looking down through a layer of smoke?

But things are looking up! After a very dry winter, we are finally getting some good moisture. A couple of heavy spring snowstorms got us headed in the right direction, getting us out of the extreme drought,  and into the severe drought level, as of May 28th (according to the US Department of Agriculture's drought monitor).

April 10, 2013

We have been having some rain showers off and on for the past few days, but yesterday afternoon, it got busy and gave us some serious rain. We'd gotten half an inch by the time the showers ended in the evening, then more rain moved in overnight, and currently we are edging up towards 1 1/4 inches! And it's still coming down! We have rain in the forecast every day through Saturday, so we may just bust this drought yet, and hopefully be able to stay out of it all summer.

Keep coming down, you beautiful, delicious rain, and quench the thirst of this parched land! 

Thank you, Lord, for blessing us with all of this water!

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