Posted: March 11th, 2009 under Water, Weather.

Last night the front blew in.  I was awake with a cramp (one of those you get up and loosen, think is gone, lie down, and it comes back) and all the windows were open–it had been near 80 in the day and was still in the 70s when we went to bed.   So I was muttering to the cramped muscle, when a little trickle of cool air came in the NE window.   Cold fronts here send scouts slithering under the warm air masses, lifting their skirts, as it were, testing to see if the warm air mass can be moved, before the real wind starts.  The front wasn’t supposed to arrive that soon, but nothing that cool had been around for weeks.

Then I heard it in the distance, an advancing roar.  The curtain fluttered, then lifted out into the room an inch or so.  The roar came nearer; the hall bathroom window shade banged on the frame, and I scuttled around in the dark shutting all the north-side windows, and smelling what I hoped was rain on the wind.

Instead of rain, the first sound on the roof was hail–small hail–but rain soon followed, along with flashes of lightning and booms and rolling grumbles of thunder.   When Richard went out to feed horses in the morning, we’d had 0.7 inches, and the temperature had dropped from mid-70s to low 40s.

We’ve now had more (but I’m not going out in the cold and wet to check the gauge tonight–it’s after 10:30 and I’m just home from choir.)   We had a little shower about midday, and another in the afternoon–neither could have been as much as a tenth of an inch, but every hundredth counts.  Then, about the time I left for choir, a harder rain came in.  It rained almost all the way to the city, sometimes hard.   On the way home after choir, I met no rain until within a mile or two of home, and then it was raining a good solid rain all the way in.   The 300 gallon tank by the back door is overflowing, and a stream of water’s shooting out of the carport gutter (the 300 gallon tank there is connected to another 300 gallon tank.)

It may have rained enough to make puddles that will last a day or so, though the soil is so dry that every drop that doesn’t run off soaks in (a good thing.)  At the least, wildlife will have wet leaves to drink from, and not be completely dependent on our wildlife guzzlers.

The grass looked greener (and so did the trees) within hours of the first rain We are so far behind that only a rain bomb (which we couldn’t store) would catch us up to average for the past year and a half, but 2-3 inches would count as a “rescue rain.”     We will need 8 inches or more in a span of less than two weeks to get the creek running clear again (the very dry soil where it has a clay bed has to swell shut) but a hard “gully-washer” could send a pulse of flood-water down it with as little as 3 inches.

The kind of rain we’ve had today–hard for fifteen or thirty minutes, light for an hour, off for an hour or so, then another shower, etc.–gives the water time to soak in.   We may get more over the next few days and I’ll rejoice in every inch.  Or fraction thereof.


  • Comment by Chuck — March 12, 2009 @ 11:58 pm


    Yesterday and today I’ve been enjoying the rain and the cool up here in my urban landscape, where we need it less; but out in Parker County at my dad’s they only got a little. He’s located about a quarter mile from the highest point of the county, and the pattern seems to be that most of the lines of storms sort of split before the reach Indian Knob, and miss his place by doing so. Closer to town, further east down the hill, usually gets a lot more rain.

  • Comment by elizabeth — March 13, 2009 @ 11:02 am


    Terrain and location definitely mean a lot in Texas rains. We are often the “blank” spot on the radar maps…storms training north-north-east fray into little separate storms as they pass us, and we’ve had the frustrating experience of hearing, seeing, and smelling rain that fell a mile or two away, while getting none.

    Last night, driving home from the city, I noticed how sharp the edges of the rain showers were. It was like driving in and out of a car wash. Even in this “general” rain, it wasn’t that general.

    My sympathies to your dad.

    This time we’ve had good rain but a friend’s ranch 13 miles east has had only a little drizzle. Another friend, SW of San Antonio, doesn’t get rain when San Antonio does, and last year’s hurricane rains in extreme South Texas didn’t get that far north.

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