We need a season to dry out from summer!

It’s been far wetter and stormier than usual in northern Texas during spring, and that looks set to continue into early summer.  Miss D. and I have only lived here for three and a half years, but people who’ve been here all their lives are also complaining.  The ground is sodden – it has almost no capacity to absorb new moisture, so any fresh rain that falls simply runs off into creeks and rivers.  This is the result (clickit to biggit):

That’s the Red River, on the boundary between Texas and Oklahoma, where it’s crossed by Interstate 44.  It’s been about ten feet wide and six inches deep through the winter.  Now, it’s in flood, so make that three-quarters of a mile wide, including the flood plain, and about ten feet deep at the time that photograph was taken (by Miss D.) yesterday afternoon.  We drove up to see the river in flood, as many locals have done.  It hasn’t been this impressive for a long time, or so we’re told.  The tornado watches and warnings have also been impressive!  Looks like they’re that way over a wide area.

All that water is on its way to Louisiana, so Shreveport and Alexandria are in for some interesting times when it gets there.  From there, it’ll join the Mississippi, and head for the Gulf of Mexico.

Mowing our back yard has become an exercise in frustration.  First off, we have to wait until we can walk on the grass without sinking into it with a soggy squelch!  That means waiting for three days rain-free, to allow ground water to drain off.  By the third day, we can usually run the mower.  Trouble is, it’s Texas grass.  If it catches even the merest sniff of water, it’s going to grow!

We cut the lawn on Monday morning.  By yesterday afternoon (Wednesday) it was visibly taller, by at least an inch.  Tuesday night and Wednesday morning were wet and stormy again, and more rain is coming.  In fact, its next cut will probably have to wait another twelve to fifteen days.  Look what’s forecast:

We’ve got to wait for all that water to run off before we can cut the grass again.  By the time that happens, we may need a brush hog rather than a lawnmower!

I hope most of my readers are keeping a little dryer than we are.  On the other hand, our ranchers are generally pretty happy about their fields.  The water’s an inconvenience for farmers, and has delayed planting in some areas, but the cows are loving the fresh, green, rapidly growing grass.  I predict a bumper Texas steak harvest this year!



  1. Here too, in Indiana, it has rained a great deal…if not every day, then nearly every other day. Same ground conditions. Same lawn issues too.

    The dirt farmers are worried. Too much rain means to wet to prep the ground to plant, and if they do plant, the seeds may well rot in the ground before sprouting.

    All that beef may well be cheap this summer as the farmers slaughter their cattle because they don't have the grain to feed them over the winter.

    This may not be the wettest year ever, but it is the wettest I remember for the past 23 years.

  2. We have the same here in east Kansas. The Marais des Cygne River is way up and has flooded regularly as well though it's not as impressive as the Red. The farmers here are in the same boat as those in Indiana described by B. The ones I've talked to say that if the rain ever stops they might get in a soybean crop or perhaps milo. Corn appears to be off the table this year. That could mean higher prices at the pump since a lot of that crop goes to ethanol production. At least I was able to mow yesterday.

  3. I drive up to Winstar or Choctaw from Plano every now and then to donate a bit of money to the casinos and cross the Red River in the process. Maybe I'll wait a bit longer for my next jaunt, since some type of bridges have been known to just wash away. It would be just my sort of luck to be on the spot when it happens again.

  4. We are having the same issues in Wisconsin. Up in the far North, the only options left for crops are short season ones with no market. Smart money is on corn futures. It is likely the price will go through the roof.

  5. So the next question: what did the Warmists predict. No, not after rapid erasing and revising. Go back to the last ten years of predictions and see what they were saying…

    The problem is: regardless of whether it's warmer, colder, wetter, drier, stormier, or calmer, they crow SEE PROOF!

  6. Strangely, it's been dry in my part of S. FL lately. Had to top off the pool and fire up the irrigation system.

    Meanwhile, on my boat in NY, we're getting mold issues from the constant daily rains. Every single one of us has boot rash from constant wet feet. Go figure.

  7. I live in Brazos County, a couple hours north of Houston. We've had an extremely wet fall/winter/spring, starting in October, and we're finally getting some extended dry time.

    My weather app has been showing repeated flood warnings (most of them minor – 0.1-0.5 feet over flood stage) for the Navasota River for the last 2 or 3 months. Lucky for Louisiana, the Navasota goes into the Gulf, not the Mississippi.

  8. As Paul, Dammit, says, Florida is in crunchy grass drought stage. Haven't seen it this dry since right before the big firestorms in 1998 (drought in 95-98, then firestorms in 98, that is…)

    Hopefully we'll return to the 4pm thunderstorm/rainstorm cycle soon, before all the clay under the sand dries up and cracks.

  9. rent-a-sheep. if you have fences, good. if not the rental of the sheep dog will be pricey. the sheep cans serve the neighborhood, too.

  10. Peter,
    I'm thinking you might try using snowshoes to walk the mower around.
    Also, seems like a good situation to marry a roomba to a mower, so it can run itself around a yard.

  11. Tulsa the same. Arkansas river near record '86 flood level. Headed to the Mississippi as well. Left yesterday headed to Austin. got hammered in Tulsa and Dallas some the rest of the way was hoping Texas would be nice to me. Brazos in Waco near top of its banks. Got to visit the Texas Ranger museum though. I will never complain about the rain as I remember the drought and cracks in the ground all the way to McAllen

  12. Pretty dry here in the central Shendandoah Valley. All the bad weather seems to be passing us by to the north, though we might get a 1/4 inch later today.

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