Sunday, April 09, 2006
Early Spring Storms
We got a round of severe Thunderstorms on Friday afternoon.
The day dawned stormy (and we got .4" of rain) but cleared up by 8am and became quite warm and sunny. This allowed us to get quite a bit done-the zukes and cukes got transplanted (finally), the tomato house got set up and ready to receive the maters (which are close to being ready to get hardened off, just waiting for the weather to warm back up) which means the irrigation tapes and landscape fabric are down. Got more plowed beds ready for tilling. Found two toads in the garden beds (toads eat a lot of slugs and slug eggs among other pesky things)
But at 3:30pm work time was over and storms were rolling in. By 3:45 there were several tornado warnings to the south of us near Hamilton, OH. We still had sun over us at that point but to the north, south and west it was black and ominous. Quite beautiful with the contrasting lights. Around 4pm the storms started hitting us-we got some good wind gusts, than some heavy rain and finally pea sized hail for maybe 4 minutes and than it was over for us. We got maybe .01" of rain out of the event. But the storms were not over for places north, south, east and west of us. It was kinda weird that everything around us was getting rain, wind and hail and except for the one event we got nada (and we could use the rain, it is getting pretty dry). It did rain a few more times that afternoon on the farm but nothing extensive (as I said we got under .01" of rain out of the event).
But while the storm was pretty much a non event for us all hell was breaking loose to the south of us with reports of 70 mph wind gusts, golf ball sized hail and flash flooding. I hope my farming friends south of us in Butler and Union counties made it through with minimal damage to their crops and hoophouses. It really sucks when you get a lot of storm damage to your market garden, especially when it is so close to market time. A lot storm damage can set one's garden back 6 to 8 weeks if it is not properly protected.
Our hoophouses and the row cover we use are a huge help in protecting crops like lettuce from horrible damage. I was thinking this as I watched it hail. If our lettuce and other greens were not under cover they would have been ruined by that 4 minutes of pea sized hail. We probably could have salvaged some of the greens for our own use but little if any would have been salable and that would have meant we would have had little if anything to take to our first Tuesday farmers' market May 2nd.
We got lucky with this round of storms but I have a feeling that global climate change is going to bring us many many more rounds of severe weather before the summer solstice which will make for a dramatic spring season.