Pop-up Thunderstorms Offer Relief Here, There, Nowhere

Kansas Viewpoint

Storms pour down locally heavy rain but heat, drought devour the moisture

Published on: July 19, 2012

P.J. GRIEKSPOOR

We had what the weather service likes to call “pop-up thunderstorms” across a portion of south central Kansas this afternoon and tonight. That means where they popped, it rained. And where they didn’t, it didn’t.

My daughter called me from her job at Old Cowtown Museum in Wichita. It was pouring. I live about 7 miles northeast of there. Not a drop. A little thunder. Some clouds. No rain.

Too many of us know how that feels. I am delighted for any of the parched farms that got some rain today. A line of thunderstorms that sank slowly south from around Dodge City over past Arkansas City looked like it had some promising rain, even if it was fast-moving.

The reality is, this won’t stop the devastation that for a second year in a row is decimating South Central Kansas.

I went out tonight and watered my suffering garden. I’m trying to keep it alive until the weather gives us a break. It will interesting to see how that goes. I have a bunch of Vinca, which has to be the hardiest stuff out there. It looks pretty good. I’m trying to figure out exactly why the snapdragons are holding on. They are supposed to be a “cold tolerant” plant and they did survive the last year of the winter that wasn’t to look a lot more like something bush than something garden plant.

I don’t care. They have been blooming since before Christmas and they still look great. Well, great… considering.

The truth is, I go out every night and every morning and pour water on these limited, semi-potted specimens that I am hoping to keep alive one day at a time until this is over.

Farmers can’t turn the hose on morning and night and hope to save the 100 square foot garden. You have hundreds of acres of plants scorching and dying under this unrelenting sun. My heart goes out to you.

As hard as it is to watch my garden die, it is not my livelihood.

I plan to give you a heads-up on every program, every idea, every innovation, every relief effort that might help you survive this summer or thrive next year.  That IS my livelihood.