12 December 2012
The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality issued this declaration today:
"A new Drought Watch Advisory has been issued for the New River Drought Evaluation Region and for the Upper James River Drought Evaluation Region.
The New River Drought Evaluation Region includes the counties of Bland, Carroll, Floyd, Giles, Grayson, Montgomery, Pulaski and Wythe, the cities of Galax and Radford, and the towns of Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Dublin, Floyd, Fries, Glen Lyn, Hillsville, Independence, Narrows, Pearisburg, Pembroke, Pulaski, Rural Retreat, Rich Creek, Troutdale and Wytheville."
As much as eight weeks may have passed without significant precipitation at Stratheden. Even the backside of Hurricane Sandy produced little more than high winds and cold temperatures here. Although the temperatures have been favorable to grass growth, and sunlight has been abundant, the blades of grass are the same height as three months ago. The trees will soon, if not already, be suffering for want of water. So very odd at this time of year.
Today was totally gray and dull, at least until sunset when the sky became a brilliant yellow. Most striking. This photograph fails to reproduce the brilliance and depth of the yellow but may give the reader some slight impression of the event.