February 8th, 2014



About two o'clock this afternoon there was a break in the rain. It only lasted half an hour or so, but it gave the downspouts a chance to turn quiet. After that, the rain came back stronger than ever. In the last two days the bucket that catches the drip from the back porch skylight has filled almost to the top three times. It makes me wonder if the leak in the ceiling over my room is as big. So far there have been no drips from the ceiling, nor do I smell wet insulation, so maybe I've gotten lucky. The only place inside the house that is dripping is the fireplace. Portia discovered it. I went to the fireplace to see what she found so interesting and saw that a small pool of water had formed in it, and drips were falling from above it. I've put a big coffee can under it.

There has been some gusty wind, too, and my cable was out for an hour last night. My Internet connection has been very slow, probably due to the wet telephone lines. The storm isn't going to pass until sometime Sunday night or Monday morning. The next storm will probably arrive on Wednesday and last through next Saturday. As the current storm has been so warm it hasn't done much for the snowpack, which for this region was, as of yesterday, still at an alarming six percent of normal for the date. Unless we get some colder storms later in the month, drought conditions could still prevail this summer. That's when, in normal years, the snowmelt replaces the water taken out of the reservoirs for agriculture and other uses. Six percent of normal snowmelt just won't do it.

But summer isn't here yet, and right now we are as wet as we've been in years. The more rain the soil soaks up now, the longer we can wait before we'll have to begin watering— if we are allowed to water. Summer might be a disaster, but we could still have a decent spring. Plus I've seen snowfalls here as late as the first week of spring, so there's still a chance for the snowpack conditions to improve even if February continues unusually warm.

I've pretty much resigned myself to getting soaked when I go shopping tomorrow. It's actually been such a long time since that has happened that I really don't even mind. I'll leave some dry clothes near the furnace vent, ready for when I return, just in case I need them.