Category Archives: weather

And it just keeps coming down!

May was a record month for rain (see previous post) but June and July are no slouches either, with 8.64″ in June and almost 4″ so far in July. Oh and did I mention it was raining today? Since dawn!

In May, I mentioned there was no stopping the water from coming into the house. The rainfall rate onto saturated soils left no other possibility but to run off on the surface. So yes, it got in the house. The dining room floor flooded in one corner and it would have been worse if I hadn’t been actively sopping it up as it flowed in. Peter attempted to control the flooding in his office with the Shopvac, but the water managed to make in under the wall and soak the hallway carpeting. There was no damage to my cork flooring, but water did seep under the vapor barrier and got into my studio closet. And of course the rain seeped under the wall in our bedroom and closet.  It took most of a week after the Memorial Day Weekend rain to dry out the carpeting. That was with all fans going full blast, using the Shopvac to suck up as much water out of the carpet under padding, and using the air conditioning to lower the indoor humidity to give the evaporating water some place to go.
Outdoors, was another problem. The front yard was a swamp. It took two weeks for the water to drain away, then we got another eight inches of rain. By the time the front yard had finally drained enough to mow, the grass was eighteen inches high, but I must say, it’s quite lush.





So while our front lawn is a gorgeous lush lawn (with hidden trenches that’ll break your ankle if you’re not careful)…








The back yard is a delta of sand six inches deep. Every time it rains enough to get a river flowing through the back yard, I have to dig out the chicken door.





When we heard tropical storm Bill was headed our way back in June, we decided to take steps and bought self-filling sandbags. And it worked! The last rainfall we had, a drain got plugged up from debris and water ran over the back porch. Usually when that happens Peter’s office floods. This time, not a drop came in the house. I remain cautiously optimistic that all the rain forecast for this week will also stay outside our walls.


Enough is enough!





This was the lake level on May 10th.highwater




This is the lake level today. Soils are now 100% saturated down to 32″. We’ve had 21.63″ of rain for the month, and it’s still raining. The drought is well and truly busted. Now we’re dealing with periodic house flooding when the rain comes down in buckets and just has no place to go.  Last night using a Shopvac, and 32 towels of various sizes, we sopped up some eighty gallons of water inside the house and some carpets still got soaked. When the rainfall rate is light to medium, my swales and diversion ditches can handle the runoff, but when the rainfall rate gets up to an inch an hour, all my efforts are quickly overwhelmed.  Last night we got six inches of rain in roughly six hours.  It was a crazy amount of rain, and there was no stopping it from getting into the house.

Relief at last!

This has officially been the hottest summer in Oklahoma on record. We’ve had a record number of days over 100 degrees, 61 days, over three months with temperatures higher than 90. It’s been hot, hot, and hot. Oh, and did I mention dry? We’ve had very little rain, not the worst drought ever, but one of the worst. Now that September is here, we got a break from the oppressive heat. Since Sunday, we’ve been in the blissful high seventies and low eighties. Low temperatures have been in the brisk fifties for the last three mornings. It finally feels like I can breathe again. However, the drought continues. No rain came with the cold front. So while the East is drowning, we’re still watering gardens and trees, desperately trying to keep them alive until the rains come again. At least the transpiration rates have decreased, so we don’t have to water quite as often.

Spring in Oklahoma

Yesterday four very large tornadoes raked across central Oklahoma. We had plenty of warning; lots of time to prepare. We knew on Monday that Tuesday afternoon would be bad. Upon return from my agility class on Tuesday I began to prepare the storm shelter. Jeans, boots, hard hats and gloves went in, just in case, along with a small battery powered fan. The shelter is equipped with LED lights, but since the storms were arriving after 5PM, I added a flashlight to my supplies should we lose power. In my “grab and go” bag I put my purse, my cameras, cell phone chargers, prescription drugs, and orthotics. At the last minute I added my computer, and hung the works on the kitchen door. The shelter door was opened and the handrail was in place. All we had to do now was wait.

The first tornado started late afternoon in the northwest part of the State, they strengthened very rapidly, and continued to form further and further South until they’re were two tornadoes likely to threaten parts of Norman. The tornado sirens sounded at 5:30 PM and we headed for the shelter. The dogs were happy enough to have their leashes on, but not pleased with the idea of going into a dark hole. Odo tried to fight it, but I’m bigger than he is. D’Argo settled down after getting his treats but Odo wasn’t happy. He panted and stared at the back wall most of the hour he was in there.

While Peter watched the hail fall outside the garage door, I listened to the radio. Piedmont was hit, El Reno, Chickasha, Blanchard, Golsdby, Washington. More tornado warnings were issued including Slaughterville and Noble to our south, and Lake Thunderbird, us. The sirens sounded again and we shut the shelter door locking it in place.

We’ll probably never know why the rotation weakened at the very edge of Norman, but the tornado lifted, sparing the property of so many dear friends. We emerged from the earth unscathed.

As the tornado lifted and the winds abated a rain of debris fell over Norman. Walking the dogs that evening, we came across bits and pieces of flotsam: a torn piece of painted plywood, an envelope, some sodden lumps of insulation, a piece of wheat. Evidence of the shattered lives of people to our southwest. Evidence of the atmospheric violence that often accompanies Spring in Oklahoma.