Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Flirting With The Dustbowl

This morning we woke up to the blessed sound of rain and thunder; it has been incredibly dry here in eastern Iowa, and it had been almost a month since our last rain. Gardeners tend to be a cranky and paranoid lot when it comes to the weather, always thinking, when it's dry, that rain clouds conspire to go around them. My brother has some quite incredible tales of rain storms making extensive evasive maneuvers to avoid his garden. THIS year, though, our paranoia has been justified; eastern Iowa and central Illinois have had the driest March-June since the dust bowl years of 1934-5. We have been trapped, sweltering, under a persistent cap of hot air, which consistently steers large storms around us, or like last night, huge storms head right at us, then fall apart 10 miles to our west, when they hit the cap. Most of Iowa has been deluged, with up to 10 inches of rain in just the last two days, and yet in east central Iowa we've had only 6 inches all year. Well, a powerful cold front may finally be breaking down our cap, and hopefully it won't just re-form. I will never take rain for granted; a wonderful sound.

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