My 2014 Rainfall So Far Matches 2011....
Despite the fact that it rained last night and today, our rainfall has been pretty pitiful this year. For weeks now, one thought has been running through my mind and that thought is "this is just like the winter/spring of 2011".
I was starting to think that maybe I was imagining it. However, every time I put a trowel or a shovel in the garden soil, what I found was an almost total lack of moisture in the top 7 or 8" or soil. I had to go down 8-9" to hit moist soil.
So, with that "2011" in my head as an analog year, I went to the OK Mesonet and researched my rainfall totals for January-March 2011 and January-March 2014. What I found was a bit disturbing. The rainfall for the first three months of 2011 was 2.94" and the rainfall for the first three months of 2014 was a tiny bit higher at 3.01". That's discouraging.
Of course, just because this year's rainfall for January through March so closely resembles that of 2011 really doesn't mean anything. A foot of rain could fall this month or next or whatever and things could be completely different. It's just that the resemblance between the two years' rainfall makes me feel slightly uneasy.
My county's average rainfall for January through March runs just a little over 7", but we've had below-average rainfall for the period of Jan-Mar for 3 of the last 4 years, and it never is good to go into planting season with the soil so dry.
I do not want another 2011, and I'm not saying I think 2014 will be just like 2011. However, if my April 2014 rainfall is very similar to 2011's, I might start thinking it is more than a strange coincidence.
We have had almost an inch of rain in the last day and a half, so maybe the April rainfall will occur early and often and will make for the deficit from January through March.