Finally Rain!

Rains Come, Drought Lingers

The silly song goes like this…”How dry I am, How wet I will be…”. Well, here in the heart of Appalachia expected showers and thunderstorms have finally been able to break the dry spell. Don’t get me wrong, the general .25”-.5” we measured (more in spots) is far from a drought breaker. But it is a good start especially in lieu of the first heat wave of the season expected to build late this week.

Here’s a recap of rains that fell the last 4 days.

Last Friday, Paintsville and much of Johnson County Kentucky braved an evening gully washer. The streaks of lightning that dangled across the sky were accompanied by sheets of rain and gusty winds. A few power hits and flooded creek beds resulted in the Levisa Fork Valley. Boaters on Paintsville Lake scurried for cover while at nearby Dewey Lake, mariners stayed at sea and dress rehearsals for this summer’s outdoor plays at Jenny Wiley went on as scheduled just 20 miles away from the Paintsville rains. (I can’t wait to see West Side Story in July. The season begins next weekend June 15th.)

Saturday’s action was more between Cincinnati and Columbus and Toledo. That meant roller coaster riders on Millennium Force at Cedar Point, and King’s Island visitors to the pool and Memorial fans taking in Jack’s golf tourney all braved a rain delay. Locally, showers were widely scattered.

By Sunday, the air felt tropically humid for morning church goers just as Justin had promised. Meanwhile, thanks to the remnants of Tropical Storm Barry, rains were steady and soaking in the West Virginia Mountains. That meant state park visitors to Hawk’s Nest, Babcock and Watoga to name a few had a damp and showery encounter. Meanwhile, rains did fall for several hours in Charleston, but a mere .07” accumulated. Symphony Sunday’s evening weather turned delightful.

Here in Huntington, Teddy Kluemper and his hard working band of merry men and women did a great job with the annual Party in Paradise fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity. On the dock at Holderby’s landing, the tropical breeze was soothing, the music from Windjammer eclectic and the company of the few hundred who attended priceless! Teddy tells me more than $7,000 was raised during this second annual event. By the way, the orangey sunset on the Ohio amidst a shroud of cumulonimbus clouds reminded me of Margarita-ville (Mallory Dock at Key West). Well, sort of!

Those towering clouds we could see from the dock on the distant western sky proved to be a million dollar rain in Carter County Kentucky. Myron Evans extension agent told me of the “crop saving downpours” his region welcomed. “We received .7” in Grayson and an inch near Carter Caves” These rains likely salvaged the tobacco crop which had stood dry since the transplanting stage more than 2 weeks ago”.

Then came Monday late afternoon and evening when downpours rumbled thru much of the region. Amy’s timetable of Southern Ohio and Central Kentucky before 6 and West Virginia and Southeast Kentucky after 6 looked dead on to my eye. As I await the final tally for the rains from local rain buckets, it appears many areas measured a quarter to half inch with local 1" amounts of lawn greening and drought relieving rains falling.

Note I said drought “relieving” not breaking. Fact is, we are still in a developing long term drought and it will take many more of these cells before we can put the D word to rest. More on the drought will come later this week.

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