Field of Science

Mini-drought over?

It's a wet one here in the upper mid-west today.  It was slow to get going, just light over cast and a light drizzle.  But then after Mrs. Phactor bad mouthed the weather, it's been raining quite hard ever since.  This is the same system coming up from the south that drowned Baton Rouge, poor Baton Rouge. TPP has seen rain falls like that, measured in feet rather than inches, and he's been flooded out of a study site, but that was in the wet tropics. Here in the upper midwest, there are times when living in the Highland neighborhood is a good thing. Soil that was parched and cracked a week ago is now forming puddles around our yard. This usually translates into at least 2 inches of rain, so this mini-drought, about a 2.5 week dry spell, typical enough for August, is over for now.  Now prior to the drought this area had gotten some 4+ inches of rain, and now another heavy rain. It never seems to come just an inch at a time, and unfortunately this is something we may have to learn to live with as climate change models predict bigger weather systems of longer duration.  The leaves in the maize fields had curled, a sign the plants need some watering; the leaves will be uncurling now.  
The summer has  been quite wet so far because the rhododendrons have not needed their irrigation system, the pond hasn't needed any topping up and in fact has needed some draining, so our water bills have remained within reasonable limits.

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