Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Rain, rain, don't go away!

For those that may not know, I'm fairly infatuated with weather, and I will likely throw around some weather terms from time to time. My wife calls me a weather geek/nerd, and I proudly accept that title. I've always kept a fairly close eye on the weather, as many of my favorite activities (fishing, hunting, softball, etc) are all done outside and weather is integrally tied to when I'm able to enjoy each different activity. My observations of predicted weather has turned into a "need-to-know" type of inquiry as to why certain weather features produce certain types of weather. Now, I can tell you why we had so much cold, snowy weather two winters ago for example. (That would be a weather phenomena called a Greenland Block - a strong, immovable high pressure system that sets up over Greenland and causes the jet stream to dip dramatically southward over the middle and eastern US, which in turn causes colder temps there and sets up the winds for continued lake-effect snows).

It seems things are getting dry earlier than normal this summer, but everything has been early this year with our abnormally warm spring. Normally this time of year, I would be persistently watching the weather to know how much water will be flowing at my next fishing destination, and hoping for the perfect flow-strong, but not swift, and for the perfect color, milky green. Now with my new-found obsession with vegetable gardening, I find myself watching the radar maps for bands of rain that will soak my small backyard crop of herbs, tomatoes, peppers, squash, and strawberries, yet still provide the sun they need to continue to grow.

Today ended up being a wonderful weather day for my garden. There were a few good soaking rains last night, and this morning started off with another nice rain shower. Around lunchtime, the sun decided to peek out and provide a few good hours of full sun to help my growing veggies. There is cold front pushing through the region, and there are forecasts for additional rain and thunderstorms over the next 12 hours before giving way to clear sunny weather on the back side of the front.

Our little backyard veggie garden

 After tomorrow morning though, the next rain in the forecast is over a week away. Sunbathers, boaters, and some other outdoor enthusiasts may relish the idea of a week free of rain, but not me. I cherish the rain, not only for my garden, or for optimal hunting or fishing conditions, but to provide the water we, along with our native flora and fauna, need to survive.

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