It’s been a hot and very dry summer. It’s been very unsettling how dry and dusty the woods have been. Sword ferns and salmonberry bushes are withering and dying. I have never seen that happen before in the quarter-century I have lived in the Pacific Northwest.
At 3:00 AM this morning I was awoken by a thunderstorm. It passed, then another one woke me. And another, and another. By daybreak, four thunderstorms had passed. This is an approximate count, because I eventually incorporated the thunder into my dreams, dreaming of a day on the island with multiple thunderstorms. And in my half-awake state, it was hard to distinguish dreams from reality.
Alas, the rainfall from those four storms didn’t amount to much: only .10 inches.
Shortly after noon, Thunderstorm No. 5 announced its presence in the distance with low rumbles. The rumbles grew louder and the sky darker. Checking the NWS radar showed a large blob of echoes slowly (very slowly) working its way in my direction. Would it make it here, or would it fizzle first?
I was not to be disappointed. It took tantalizingly long, but the rain progressed from just lightly spitting to light rain to moderate to heavy at times. The thunder and lightning kept up for over two hours straight, and then the rain lasted for at least three more hours, gradually diminishing as the storm shifted direction, gradually weakened and moved its way west.
Final total for the day: 1.30 inches. The woods are fresh and moist again. All in all, one of the most satisfying rain storms I can remember.
It’s not enough to end the drought, but it did cut the summer dry spell in half, which I believe will really ease the impact on the struggling vegetation.