Sept. 5: It rained all day at my house on Labor Day. We didn’t mind. The temperature also moderated, hung around the mid-70s all day. And that came on top of a few showers throughout the weekend. Earlier in the week, we had topped 100 degrees, yet again, so the fall-like weather was welcome.
And I felt no regret this morning for slipping a light jacket over a long sleeve shirt as I headed for the airport, where I caught a jet to Lubbock, Texas.
I drove from Lubbock north, past Abernathy and Plainview and Hale Center and up to Kress. All along the way I saw water standing in cotton rows. Ditches still ran with rainfall runoff. Playa lakes were full.
I did an interview with a cotton farmer and we walked some cotton rows shooting photos. I got mud all over my shoes, slimy, sticky, gooey mud.
“I got muddy the last time I was here,” I told my host.
“Well you should have come back about two months ago,” he said.
Maybe so, but if I could guarantee a mud slinging rain at will I’d work a couple of weeks and retire.
This rain appears to have covered much of the Southwest with some areas accumulating double-digit amounts. Folks around Kress reported as much as 5 inches. A farmer near Lubbock recorded 6 inches.
It’s too late to help dryland cotton, as evidenced by the scraggly fields in the South Plains that got no or too little irrigation. Dryland milo looks more like it came up to a volunteer stand than it was planted on purpose.
But it rained and the soil soaked a lot of that up. Cotton farmers with irrigation saved at least one, maybe two waterings to finish the crop. With energy prices where they are, that’s huge.
Folks planning on putting wheat seed in the ground also welcomed the water.
The drought may not be over. But for a day or two, it was good to forget it.