Aug. 7: We were enjoying the last vestiges of a family cookout yesterday, Sunday, when a zephyr began to stir in western Denton County. That gentle puff of air progressed to a brisk breeze and then to a swirling, tree-bending windstorm that pushed a few dark clouds around the sky.

On the way home we witnessed flashes of lightning to the north, accompanied by rumbles of thunder.

We sat on our patio for a few minutes, enjoying the first cool breeze we’d felt for months. Large drops of rain began to pelt us and we detected that distinct somewhat acrid odor of rain coming through a dusty atmosphere. The combination of thunder, lightning and rain sent us inside.

I have not installed my rain gauge but if I had, following this weather event it likely would have registered zilch. By the time we had found comfortable seats on our sofa, the storm was gone, the droplets had evaporated, hope of a good soaking dried up as surely as that first fat drop of water that splattered the cement patio.

Folks to the north and east of us may have gotten a pretty good shower and a strong storm cell moved from east to west through downtown Dallas and a bit south. My good friend Jim Swart, IPM specialist in Northeast Texas, recorded about one-third inch in Commerce yesterday evening.

Another cell appears on the horizon this afternoon. I hope we get something substantial from it. I hope, even more, that farmers in this region are getting a few drops. Though not nearly enough to break this longtime drought, even a fraction of an inch may add a few pounds of lint to a cotton yield and possibly benefit late soybeans or grain sorghum.

Still, we need a good drenching. Even my favorite fishing places are too low to launch a boat.

More importantly, small grain farmers hope for enough moisture to avoid the planting debacle they had last fall.

e-mail: rsmith@farmpress.com