Natural History Notes

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

ghost of Dolly, crying

Well, hurray for the ghost of Hurricane Dolly. When she came ashore down in Brownsville, no moisture or even clouds to speak of made it up here. But over the last week she has drifted up the Rio Grande Valley, across the Panhandle, and along between Oklahoma and Kansas. There she joined up with some instability, and wonder of wonders, produced some off-and-on rain from 6 to 8 this morning. Not much, maybe an eighth of an inch, but it's something. And the clouds that kept the temperature to only 96 or 97 yesterday when another 103 was forecast, they were pretty welcome too.

It sure doesn't look like much on the radar. Going by usual occurrences, I would have expected the clouds to develop a hole that slid right over Denton. And last night the forecast only said 10% chance, though that's upped to 30% this morning, I see.

Well, anyway, we aren't going to get skunked entirely for the month of July, like I thought -- the last decent rain was a inch and a half the last weekend of June. I feel sort of like that old headline from July 20, 1969: "Man on the Moon! Besides, it rained"

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

ugh ... indubitably high summer

301 am CDT.
Yesterday evening's 500 mb analysis shows the upper level ridge is now firmly situated right on top of North Texas. Unanimous agreement exists among the model forecasts - showing little change to the overall synoptic pattern for the next few days. The upper level ridge will remain stationary over the region...but gradually weaken as 500 mb heights fall about 6dm. As a result...the hottest temperatures will occur early in the forecast period...with a very slight cooling trend taking place during the work week. Needless to say...rain chances will be slim to none over the next seven days as upper level energy tracks up and over the ridge across the Central Plains and into the Midwest.

I went up to Ray Roberts last evening for a pleasant hour making part of a new little girl's size bracelet in yellow, orange, and red, and a half hour's paddle in the water at dusk. I felt wonderfully cool and clean up till about an hour ago, when I was out adjusting the soakerhose on the front sidewalk iris bed (unused for a year) and got all sweaty in the sun. I should have started watering the front bank before this; half the redbud leaves are brown.

We had a decent thunderstorm the last weekend of June, and essentially nothing in July - 4 one-hundredths. Looks like that will be it for the month. Hurricane Dolly was no help; she went too far south, and that dratted summertime "ridge of high pressure" just sits there and blocks any relief.

This of course is normal. It happens, more or less severely, every summer. But every summer it somehow catches me by surprise. We DO have summer thunderstorms. The actual normal rain for July and for August is I believe a couple of inches. But I don't know that we have ever gotten that much rain in both months in the same summer. (Wonder how I could research that, hmmm?)

Oh, well. It's July. It's hot.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

one left, and mom

Well, the spring of the kitties may almost be over. The two gray guys got adopted from Petco, and Tabby-spot and Ruffie have found homes from the Cupboard flyer. I put in another Craigslist ad last night and have four inquiries.
I'll be sad to see her go, she's SUCH a little cutie, and I have invested an awful lot of time and effort (and cash) in getting the little thing this big even. But truly I need to have just my two cats, And maybe if I get set up at the Ridge I can occasionally foster some upstairs. Put a screen door at the entrance to the big room, maybe, so they could have the room and porch, and I could see through the door before I opened it.

Mama Tut is NOISILY in heat, almost all the time. And she is licking and chewing her back so it is all covered with raw spots. I wonder if she could be allergic to Revolution? Anyway, I'm calling in the morning for appointments for her and Floof; hope I can get her maneuvered into the carrier. How long after spaying do the hormones die out?

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