03 September 2011

how about that?

The denizens of Stratheden Farm found it was hard to believe their eyes on Thursday afternoon - one little isolated thunderstorm cell parked itself over the farm and delivered a quarter-inch of much needed precipitation. Two hours later I walked in my socks through the parched remains of the lawn and the grass was already so dry that my socks picked up no moisture whatsoever.

Will miracles never cease? The same event repeated itself to within 0.01" on Friday afternoon. The NWS ranked our probability of rain at 20% for Thursday and 30% for Friday.

The pattern this summer has been fronts sweeping out of Ohio through West Virginia thence into the the valley which I-81 runs. Then the line of storms develops a break as it sweeps into Floyd county, leaving the central portion of the county untouched but after the storms jump the Blue Ridge, the line links back together before the storm moves into North Carolina.

These little rains were not part of one of these sweeping long fronts but rather irregular small scattered thunderstorm cells that have dotted western Virginia like pimples on a fourteen year old's face. Observing them on radar, they are intense and nearly always depicted in red. Especially Friday's downpour was accompanied by deep rolling consoling peals of thunder and the occasional burst of brilliant bolts of lightning. Ah, how satisfying to hear and see the display.

With tropical storm Lee coming from the south and possible hurricane Katia approaching from the southeast, we fantasize about more water from the heavens. Mr. Fuzzy planted an autumn crop of mustard greens and the last of the potted tobacco plants today; it was disconcerting to find that the soil was dry down at least five inches - so soon after these sprinkles. The ground could probably absorb five or six inches of rain before any runoff could occur.

The rains came too late for the beans, corn and muskmelons. The moon & stars watermelons are all still on the vine and would benefit as would the Hopi rattle gourds, tobacco and newly planted seeds. Please, oh, please, more rain.

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