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Terra Firma

2018 was the wettest year in U.S. history

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Eighteen months ago almost 40% of the nation was gripped in drought, much of it severe. California appeared to be drying up, the large lake projects of the desert southwest were at historic lows, Texas and the southeast was turning into dust until historic tropical rainfalls created 24-hour records across the region.

As I type this today, only 3% of the United States is in drought (and most of Washington state is in the exceptionally dry to drought category). California got 21 Pineapple Express storms this past winter, obliterating drought conditions. The southeast and southwest were pummelled by tropical rains, the Midwest is facing historic flooding, and the northeast was kind of normal.

The weather is not climate and climate is not the weather. Oh wait a minute, this wasn’t weather, this was a continental trend which is more related to climate. The predicted models that go back to the 1970s continue to play out and at an accelerating rate.

As for the Pacific Northwest, El Nino conditions should continue through the summer, and we’re already behind on rainfall. Look for worsening drought conditions through the summer, including the lowlands. A good example of the weather is not climate and the climate is not the weather. Hey, we’re in a drought! I thought global warming would mean more rain??? Ya, for the other 97% of the country people are saying, “please make it stop.”

As I’ve recommended in Happy Hour last week if you’re a gardener/farmer planting your last starts and your annuals, target drought-resistant strains and vegetables that do well in a dryer, hotter climate. Also with the Golfer-in-Chief slapping tariffs on Mexican tomatoes and prices expected to nearly double (along with the fact that Florida tomatoes need to make a much longer trip to get to Washington state and taste like cardboard) this is a good year to plant them tomatoes and just grow them yourself.

You can read the Category 6 blog at the Weather Underground for more information.

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