Now that September is effectively over, I wanted to let you know where we stand now with our excessive rainfall season. We finished the month with 9.33 inches making it the fourth month in the past six to top nine inches of rain. Our 30-year monthly average for nearby Upper Tract is 3.15 inches. In the six months that have passed since April 1, we have received 50.02 inches of rain at our farm, which compares to a 30-year annual average (for a full 12 months) of 35.33 inches. This is a tremendous amount of rain for a full year for us, much less for only half a year.
September 27 was the 18th of the preceding 21 days that we had received measurable rainfall. Most of those days were cloudy with dense clouds heavy fog that clung to our mountains almost every morning. For the first time this month, the last three days of the month have been mostly sunny with cool, dry air. Despite this extended dry period, most of our rivers and creeks are running full just draining our mountains and hills of all the accumulated rainfall. Still, it was a pleasure to watch the fog lift from the mountains at sunrise on September 28 and to again see the high ridgelines that had been obscured by the clouds for weeks. The cool, dry weather over the past three days, with highs in the mid 70’s and lows in the upper 40’s and low 50’s, has given us a welcome opportunity to open the windows and air out the house. We will need more than a week more of this weather to dry out the saturated topsoil, which squishes under our feet when we walk in the yard.
It has been a wet and muggy summer that we will remember for many years to come. Even our hummingbirds stayed a few days later than usual, probably because they couldn’t tell from the temperatures and changing sun angle that the time has passed for their annual fall migration. It has been a long time since we have seen the stars at night or the sun during the day. I know that Seattle is a popular place to live, but I hope they won’t mind taking their weather back. We’ve tried it out this summer and decided that it’s not that popular with us. Unfortunately, it appears that the arrival of true fall weather will not deliver the brilliant fall foliage we usually enjoy. The supersaturated soil has stressed many of the deciduous trees, which are dropping exhausted brown and dried leaves early. Our landscape is drowning and even the grass has lost its brilliant green luster. Even our landscape can enjoy only so much rain in one season.
The big question everyone is asking now is what we can expect for winter. We’ve had two straight winter seasons with below average snowfalls. If the precipitation we’ve received this summer could be converted to snow, it would amount to nearly 500 inches. I certainly hope I don’t have to shovel that much this winter.