So how have we faired in the weather department so far this year? Anyone remember our February deep freeze? Actually, other than that, the temperatures have been relatively normal and mild. We have had some days in the 90s, but haven’t cracked 100 except in isolated areas.
But as gardeners, our major concern is rain. We say plants need an inch of water a week. This is variable depending on the season. More (sometime double in a hot, dry summer) may be required. Free water falling from the sky is better than paid water from a pipe. How have we done so far in the rain department?
The broad answer is: Fairly normal. After six months, we have exceeded half our annual average total by about 10%. But when you look at the monthly totals, it shows more variability…as usual.
I have been keeping records on daily and monthly rainfall at my place for the past 10 years. I live on the county line between Henderson and Van Zandt counties. My numbers are representative—similar to but not exactly what you may experience.
Here is a summary of the first six months of 2021 based on my numbers with some thoughts about the next six months. We average 42 inches of rain a year although the average has increased slightly during my time keeping data.
January:On average, we expect about 3-3.5”. This year, I recorded almost 5”. (A measurable rain is at least 1/10th (.01) of an inch.)
February:On average, February is about the same as January. This year, despite the snow and ice, I only recorded 2.25”.
March:March begins our Spring rains and we typically get between 4.5 and 5 inches. This year, I recorded 3.25”.
April:We typically expect around 4” of April showers. This year, I recorded just over 4”.
May:May has been a transition month for rain. On average, we get about 5” but in the past 10 years, four have been over 6”, with six less than 4”. This year, we had a wet 8.25”.
June:Historically, June has been an enigma. The average is between 3.5-4 inches but in the past 10 years, only three exceeded this average with seven having less. This year, we had a dry 1.75”.
Once again, these are averages and may or may not represent what you actually got on your garden.
What is coming in the next six months? Here is what the past shows.
July:Normally, we see just over 2”. In 2020, we got over 6”.
August:The average is about 2.5”. Twice in the last 10 years, August had over 4”.
September:September averages over 3”, but in five of the past nine years, we received less than 1”. The other four had over 5”, with 10” in 2020.
October:Halloween season averages over 5” but five times out of nine years, we have had less than 4”.
November:The average is around 3.5” but three of the last nine years have shown well over 5”.
December:Our year-end season averages just over 4”. Four of the last nine years have been well over 4.”
That’s the problem with averages; every month is different but the average balances out the extreme highs and lows. In 2020, we only had 18 weeks with at least 1” rain. This year, we’ve had 12 so far.
As a general statement, we have not experienced the extreme drought conditions plaguing West Texas and the Far West…but the weather changes regularly. It is a wise gardener who monitors their water usage.