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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?