Mason County News
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In My Opinion
As Fall Arrives, Welcome Spring...
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 • Posted September 12, 2013

Texas weather never fails to confuse, confound and contradict!

For several years, we've been dealing with and ongoing, and increasingly stubborn, drought. This past summer, we watched what little water remained in the stock tanks slowly evaporate, and what little grass had come last spring turned brittle and brown. Ranchers have been making tough decisions about how many cattle pastures can support, and how many cows need to go to sale. It has been a tough couple of years.

As we moved out of the heat of the summer and into the promise of a cooler fall, there were none of the tropical systems that we always hope for to provide additional rainfall for tanks, creeks and rivers. It seems that extreme drought in Brazil has been causing hot dry air to flow into the few systems that did try to form, stripping them of their energy before they could do any harm or good. (Talk about the butterfly effect!)

And now, with September almost half done, it has started to rain!

As always with weather, there are never any guarantees that the rain will continue, or how much we will receive. But, the rainfall we've gotten has greened up the countryside, settled the dust and hatched the mosquitos. While I was pulling the forecasts for next week, I was surprised to see that Weather Underground predicted an 80% chance of rain on Monday and Tuesday, with total amounts of 1.5 to 2.5 inches predicted. Nonplussed, I moved on to the second forecast from Intellicast. It was the same!!! It's never the same...

I pull my source material for forecasts from two places, then try to figure out a compromise between the two to make up a forecast for Mason County. When one source predicts rain, the other source will predict clear and sunny. But, what to do when both of them say that we could have several inches of rain by midweek???

I remember one of my pastors leading prayers for rain every week several years ago. Then a tropical system moved into central Texas and we had to deal with flooding all over the area. When parishioners complained to the pastor about what had happened, he replied, "God gave us what we asked for. Maybe we should have been more specific when we offered up our prayers!"

At Monday's City meeting, John Palacio reported that the wells were at the trigger that he had used last year when considering water rationing. Except, last year, we hit that target much earlier in the summer. We are now at a time when water use starts to drop by its own accord, so the City sees no need to change the water use of its residents.

I'm looking out my window at the courthouse square as I finish up this column on Tuesday morning, and a light rain continues falling. Though my Dachshund and our office cat are unhappy with the wet weather, those of us inside are positively giddy at the prospect of another day of measurable rainfall.

Texas weather, though reasonably predictable from season to season, makes liars of most meteorologists. Every day, they throw out percentages and guesses, and we find it more useful to simply poke our heads outside to see if it's raining or not. Some say Texas only has two seasons - hot and hotter. We all know better.

The seasons have distinct changes and I enjoy watching them change. Even when spring decides to make a surprise visit in the fall, it is a change of scenery that we can all live with and enjoy.

It’s all just my opinion.

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