It Didn’t Take a Degree in Climatology…

to know this situation is bad, but the fact that he has one is validating.

“Who?” you ask.

That’d be John Nielsen-Gammon, the Texas State Climatologist and a Texas A&M professor. And he says that not only was July the hottest July ever, this drought is the worst one-year drought in recorded history.

In a recent TAMU press release–which is generating buzz here because we take every shred of information on this topic seriously, he ends on a hopeful note (bless him):

“The outlook is not entirely grim,” he reports. “Late August and September bring increased chances of widespread rain from tropical disturbances, as well as the occasional cold front. Some computer models predict a return to La Niña conditions this winter, which would imply continued dry weather, but most predict neutral conditions in the tropical Pacific and the possible return of normal weather patterns.”

So we’ll wait. We’ll stay inside, worry about brown outs, watch the Gulf Coast, and–like the First Baptist Church sign in Helotes suggests–we’ll “pray for rain.”


  1. I watch the climate stuff. I think everyone who gardens does, at least some of the time. The bottom line is, though, that whatever we do, the climate IS going to change (climate is not a static thing, after all). The reason we humans are still around and not fossil fuel for some other race, is because we can plan ahead, and we can adapt. So… if it gets warmer and drier where I am, then I need to learn NEW ways of gardening. Those of us in the north-east need to start adopting some of the Texas and Alabama methods for our mid-summer gardens. It may or may not make me happy, but if it works… does it really matter? (Note, I am not saying we shouldn’t try to reduce carbon emissions, etc.)

  2. I think gardening is a gateway to understanding two things: the food system and the climate.

    And along the “survival of the fittest” theme that you introduced, I’m seriously contemplating a dripline irrigation system. Also, we may need to bite the bullet and move the garden into partial shade. That’s another reason why I can’t get too worked up about planting again. I may need to work in a move this fall. I’ve just inherited a cultivator and I may try a little bit of inground planting–provided I can find enough manure.

  3. Thank you so much for this bit of hope — I really needed that!

    I was too bummed to start fall tomatoes (inside, of course), but thanks to you, I will plant some seeds and hope!

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