There's a lot of green on the regional radar today, meaning there is a good chance of significant precipitation within the next 48 hours. And I do mean significant, nothing like the drizzles and sputters we've had over the last 190 days or so.
That's right. Here in the mid-latitudes of the great state of California, it's been 190 days since we've seen any rain whatsoever. And the six months or so before that only gave us about 5 inches or so.
To say it's dry is an understatement. But all that's going to end tonight, meaning today feels like Christmas Eve, for farmers anyway. All day long we'll be watching the approach of the storm like children waiting for Santa, seeing if the front is strengthening (great!) or weakening (no!) and looking for those squall lines heading in our direction.
Most of us in this area are on good, deep wells, but our water has a very high minerality that, over time, can damage both the soil and the crops that are grown in it. Minerals like calcium and magnesium are fine in small amounts, but without several good downpours, they will remain in the soil, next to the roots, and eventually diminish yields and damage fruit. So we need rain. Boy do we.
Of course we have not yet made it to Home Depot to buy our big rain barrels for attaching to our downspouts, but with 190 or so days of dust, dirt and who knows what else built up on our roof, perhaps the water from this first gully-washer is not the best water to save anyway.
But hopefully it's the start of a long and wet season for us. We're hoping Santa brings us an early delivery of water that just keeps on coming. That's all this farmer wants for Christmas, anyway.