Three Weeks Without Rain?

Drought’s a funny thing.

Take North Carolina (hi Dave!), which in general averages about 50 inches (125 cm) of rain per year. To a hardened desert dweller like me, it’s inconceivable that a 40 inch year (the great drought of ’07) could be anything other than a mild inconvenience. But drought is really all about what you’re used to, which is why I’m trying not to laugh too hard at this, from the Citizen-Times in Asheville:

Record rainfall in May pulled Western North Carolina out of years of drought, but a scarcity of precipitation since threatens to again parch portions of the region.

The National Weather Service says most of the western Carolinas and northeast Georgia have received only light rain for at least the third straight week, pushing some areas back into the category of abnormally dry.

I could go all weather data wonk on y’all and point to the latest soil moisture anomaly maps, but really, what’s the point? Drought is what you say it is when you’re in it, I guess.


  1. (Hi John!)

    Rain in the forecast again tonight. That’s good because my brand new fig tree is already used to a great deal of it.

  2. The last time we got 40″ of rain in a year, it triggered a round of improvements that changed the appearance of Mission Valley. Earthern berms, flood catchements, re-routed roads and stuff like that. it also added to our store of dead vegetation for fires to feed on. We were fortunate in that we avoided major fires for the next few years.

  3. Similar thoughts related to “it’s cold outside today, so much fer globul warmin!!!”

    That is: our sensory perceptors aren’t really that good for such scales. Which is probably part of the reason Descartes worked so hard to formalize scientific inquiry.



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