Parched

Here’s the bad news via The Houston Chronicle:

…the Houston region’s drought continues to worsen.

After another generally dry week, the Houston area has now received just 1.57 inches of rain since Feb. 1, said Charles Roeseler, with the National Weather Service. This has made for the driest such period on record since 1916.

Accordingly, the latest report from the U.S. Drought Monitor, released Thursday, shows nearly all of Harris County in at least a severe drought. And 98 percent of Texas remains in at least a moderate drought.

For the upper Texas coast, the drought began around the beginning of October, scientists say.

In the last 6½ months, Southeast Texas has experienced the driest weather on record since 1956, which is not a flattering comparison, said Victor Murphy, the climate service program manager with the weather service in Fort Worth.

“Any kind of comparison to the mid-1950s is not good,” he said.

That’s because, during the decade of the 1950s, the upper Texas coast had two of the three driest individual years on record as well as the driest five-year period on record.

And here’s the worse news. That article was published on April 15, 2011. I think it has rained once since then, but only briefly and certainly not enough to put a dent in the worst drought I can remember.

When I moved here with my family as a child, I envisioned dry, dirt roads traveled by horses and the occasional tumbleweed. But Houston’s climate is typically nothing like that. It’s ridiculously hot, but it also rains here often. Long, soaking rains courtesy of some wicked thunderstorms and tropical storms and hurricanes formed in the Gulf of Mexico. Usually by this time of year I would be complaining about the mosquito and fire ant population. But those horrid creatures need rainwater to breed and thrive. If there’s a silver lining to any of this, it would be the lack of those pests. I can’t say I miss them, but we desperately need some rain.

The grass is always greener under the septic sprinklers.

I don’t have any deep, philosophical thoughts about any of this, except maybe this: So much we take for granted. So many things we even consider a nuisance, but it’s not until we are forced to do without that we begin to understand how vital they are. “Even sunshine burns if we get too much.” – Veronica Shoffstall, and I’d love to see a rainbow again to go with all this sunshine.

This has been such a crazy year for weather. What kind of weather have you been dealing with in your neck of the woods?

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12 Responses to “Parched”

  1. Kathleen June 19, 2011 at 11:49 pm #

    Makes my mermaid scales shrivel up just thinking about being so dry. I will NOT complain about the rain that makes my garden greenly grow so lush. I feel thirsty all of a sudden.

  2. Jason June 20, 2011 at 12:12 am #

    Hot and humid. It’s still in the 80s tonight. My kids are “camping” on the back porch and I don’t see how anyone can sleep in this sticky weather. 🙂

  3. Michael June 20, 2011 at 7:48 am #

    It has been over 100 for 22 straight days here in Natchitoches and all of it with no rain.

  4. Simply Darlene June 20, 2011 at 9:04 am #

    Opposite weather up here in the pacific northwest… rain, rain, rain & cold. The wood stove was burning in our place Saturday. No foolin’. We were gone over the weekend and a we crossed a mountain pass that still had 6 feet of snow in some places.

    Blessings.

  5. Megan Willome June 20, 2011 at 9:50 am #

    Drought in Fredericksburg, too, and here that means that farmers are plowing up their fields because there’s no rain and the gas is too high. All of Gillespie county is depressed.

  6. Helen June 20, 2011 at 10:09 am #

    We have been having lots of rain. I wish we could send you some. I’ve been trying to talk God into sending it to Arizona to put out the fire, but so far He hasn’t.

    For what it’s worth, I saw my pastor after Church yesterday (well, before Church for me, after for him. He had the earlier Mass …) and said hello. He told me to pray that it rains in Texas. (No, he is not from Texas. He actually grew up in the parish next to ours, but I think I’m starting to digress.) I told him I’ve been praying for it to rain in Arizona hard enough to put out the fire, and he said “Them too!” My point? That we are praying for you here in Chicago.

  7. jasonS June 20, 2011 at 11:52 am #

    I’ve been in Juneau almost 10 years now and our weather is pretty consistent. We have lots of misting/drizzle. We have rains. We have clouds. And we have sunshine every once in a while, but man, when that sun comes out it’s a beautiful thing.

  8. Marni June 20, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

    Dallas-ish area is under drought as well. We’re also have unprecendented high winds. This weekend the town next to us evacuated a subdivision because a grass fire “jumped” Interstate 35 (that’s 12 lanes thankyouverymuch) and was bearing down on a neighborhood. Best they can tell, a cigarette butt is to blame.
    The local weatherman says we’re due for rain this week. I’m praying it is so.

  9. Marni June 20, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    Oh yeah…and our highs have been a balmy 102 and our lows have been a frigid 82. On Friday, it was still 98 degrees at 10:00pm. Sigh.

  10. Tony Alicea June 20, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

    Humid as ever in sunny south Florida. I’m just waiting because I know it’s going to get even hotter!

  11. floyd June 20, 2011 at 5:02 pm #

    It’s not been bad in Arizona other than the fires up north. It’s only broken 100 a couple of times and it’s always dry. It still getting into the 70’s at night time. It’s supposed to be 112 by the end of the week though… Nothing lasts forever I guess.
    We’ve been in a drought as well, although it did rain more here than it has down there. I know it’s bad there, my brother has a little farm in Coleman and he says it’s been awful.
    Seriously, with all your connections, maybe you should start a day or week of prayer for rain through this site. I know a lot of people are praying, but a whole army of Christians connected all over the world coming together for this purpose would be amazing. Just a thought?

    • katdish June 20, 2011 at 5:05 pm #

      Thanks, Floyd. The forecast calls for rain tomorrow. I know many folks are suffering through this drought, so praying for rain is actually a great idea.

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