Western New Yorkers may think it’s good news that the days are warm and skies are blue and almost completely free of rain. But it’s not. Not entirely, anyway.
Yes, the days are beautiful, but the lack of precipitation is meteorologically unnatural, stressing both backyard gardens and king-size farms. It seems, in fact, to be adopting the disruptive patterns of American politics: confused and regionalized. While Western New York can hardly get a drop of rain this spring, parts of the South are underwater.
Consider: Since April 1, only 3.6 inches of rain has fallen at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. That’s notably less than half the normal amount of 8.25 inches. Lawns are turning brown, and the effects on water bills and at the supermarket can only be guessed.
Meanwhile, poor old Houston – as politically opposite from Buffalo as anyplace in North America – is drowning. The Texas city has broken rainfall records since April 1, with 33.7 inches of rain falling in the last 60 days. It’s the wettest such period on record in Houston. And a nearby city recently recorded a deluge of 15 inches that fell in just 12 hours.
So, yes, our weather could be worse.
Here, the sort-of-drought is being attributed, maybe, to the usual suspect: Lake Erie. The source of the lake-effect snows that blow like airborne tsunamis into the Southtowns may also be contributing to the lack of rain. Because spring was cool, so is the lake and, the theory goes, the lower-than-normal water temperature could be discouraging the development of thunderstorms that move this way from the southwest, where lies Houston.
The repeated insistence of TV weather forecasters notwithstanding, rain is not the enemy. Unless maybe you’re a golfer or a bicyclist. Other than that, rain is life-sustaining and, in some settings – think Paris at night – it is downright beautiful.
All we need is less rainfall there, and more of it here. Just a little balance. How hard is that?
And a note to whoever figures out how to make that happen: See if you can apply it to the politicians.