I see a niche, and I try to fill it. I'm just wired that way. I noticed there is no wunderground blog for the Russellville, AR area, so now there will be.
I probably don't need to tell you that it has been hotter and dryer than usual. As of today, we have gone 3 weeks without rain, if you want to count the 0.09 inches we got 3 weeks ago as rain.
So, just how hot and dry has it been? Let's take a look at historical averages for high temperatures in Russellville. Jan=51, Feb=57, Mar=66, Apr=75, May=81, Jun=89.
Now, compare that to the high temperatures we've seen this year: Jan=70, Feb=80, Mar=83, Apr=87, May=96, Jun=99.
We've seen highs at least 10 degrees higher than normal -- and look at February, we were 23 degrees higher than normal!
So what has rainfall been like compared to historical averages?
January wasn't too bad, we were a little off the 3.15 average with 3.03. February wasn't quite as good at 2.06 instead of the normal 3.19. March was actually above average at 8.76, with normal being only 4.60. Things were looking up. Then in May we had 0.11 instead of 5.67. June came in at 0.61 instead of 4.26. And so far in July was have gotten zero, zilch, nada.
My son is convinced it’s just the beginning of the zombie apocalypse. I think we're just having a bad drought.
I started my fall raking early this year. It was still June when they began to fall. There are now 3 huge piles of leaves on my dead lawn. I would usually burn my leaves. But, we are under a burn ban that is unlikely to be lifted anytime in the near future.
I can now expect winter shade from my shade trees... in other words, whatever shade the trunk and bare branches will afford.
Some people would say that this is a drought of Biblical proportions. What does that mean, exactly, anyway? I suppose it has come to mean big, huge, ginormous. But I'm not sure Biblical is the right description.
I will concede that our recent and current weather is very strange indeed. I have watched the satellite maps show rain headed right for us here in Russellville, only to watch it evaporate just shy of the border. I recently saw a storm system coming up from Dardanelle that literally split in two and passed by Russellville on either side.
Today the weather maps showed rain moving in a southwest direction. How bizarre is that? It usually moves either southeast or northeast, but definitely not west. And again, huge storm systems vanished just before reaching us.
As I sit here in my living room just shy of 10:00 pm, with the temperature still 91 degrees outside, I'm reminded of true Biblical droughts... like the one in Egypt that lasted for 7 years. I think we can manage a few months with no rain. Will it change some things? Absolutely. In future posts, you can look forward to some tips on how to survive a water shortage. After all, I lived through the droughts in the 70's in California. So I have some experience with this sort of thing.
In the meantime, our weekend forecast says we have a 30% chance of rain tonight and tomorrow and a 50% chance on Sunday.
We shall see...