Tag Archives: Texas drought

Soaking rains

Our several long days of soaking rain, which ended Monday, have been really welcome here at the parched rancho. According to our amateur rain gauge we’ve collected a little more than two inches since the steady showers began at the end of last week.

Now Mr. B. has something extra to look forward to on his Boy Scout troop’s Hill Country camping trip this weekend: a camp fire for the first time this year. The rains most likely have been sufficient to lift the burn bans imposed in most parts of Texas this year.

More Texas drought ahead

Drought is normal in Texas, but this certainly is overdoing it. Especially with the fires—though it should be said they are more a matter of modern population density than anything else. Some people are comparing it all to the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.

More accurately, if less commonly known, it’s an analog of the terrible Texas drought of the 1950s—long before the greenhouse effect/global warming/climate change was a money-making gleam in Al Gore’s cynical eye. Which means it will continue for a while, at least through this winter.

Wildfires

Getting antsy at the rancho with drought-induced wildfires to the north, east, south and west. Hundreds of homes destroyed in all those directions, plus about 16,000 acres of pine forest out in Bastrop County. Nothing in our immediate area yet but we’ve got the garden hoses ready just in case.

Firefighters don’t know what’s causing the fires. Arson doesn’t seem to be the culprit. But they know what’s spreading them: High winds caused by a cold front moving slowly towards us from the northwest.

Usually one of those attracts wind and moisture out of the Gulf and the differential in temperatures causes rain showers, if not thunderstorms. But all the moisture seems to be tied up in Tropical Storm Lee, leaving us with the winds—and, thanks to the drought, wildfires.

UPDATE:  Good roundup story by the daily, which is leading Drudge.

Rain!

Mrs. Charm’s photo, celebrating yesterday’s brief shower in near South Austin, something quite rare this year in any part of the city.

Be careful what you wish for

UPDATE: Well, it looked bad here on radar, but it was moving fast. We got a nice soaking of two-and-a-half  inches at the rancho. But other than some minor street flooding elsewhere in the city, there was no frog-strangler to disrupt anything. And now, at 5:20 p.m., it hasn’t rained at all for several hours.

Where have all the flowers gone?

Texas wildflowers are scarce this spring, done in by the drought, the heat of the past few weeks, and, last but hardly least, the wildfires that have scorched the landscape.

It’s made for a sad season, as Austin’s KXAN shows in this video report.

The new garden state

txnodrought.JPG

This isn’t precisely new. It’s just so much fun to look at. Texas rarely has no drought anywhere. Just look at how different it was less than thirteen months ago. Texas would be even more of (chauvinism alert) a garden than it already is if we got this much rain every year.