Last week we took a look at how unusual the temperatures have been this summer. This week, we’ll return to the water situation for another update on that front. Needless to say, August has been very good to us. By the time you read this, we will have the news about how much good last weekend’s sometimes torrential rainfall did for our watershed. If my garden is any indication, it will be a LOT of good. But because of the realities of newspapers and deadlines, we find ourselves once again in this strange time warp where you already know things that I don’t yet. But I’ll be sure to update the new drought situation on the Teton Valley Weather Facebook page as soon as we find out.
What I do know, though, is that here in Teton Valley, people reported two-day rainfall amounts on Friday and Saturday of well over the average monthly total rainfall for August. Sometimes it was between two and three times the average August skywater, and this was just the first week. I also know that the area around the Moose fire did not do as well as we did with rain this weekend.
According to Inciweb, they only received between a trace and a quarter of an inch of rain yesterday, but that and high humidity temporarily reduced the fire’s activity. “Firefighters were able to take advantage of the moderated conditions to strengthen containment lines and improve structure protection,” they reported. That fire is now over 68,000 acres in size and 16% contained. Full containment isn’t expected until mid-September.
At the end of last week, before the deluge, the natural flow in our beautiful Teton River was already up from the beginning of the week. A peek at the gauge near Driggs shows a bump in the river’s water level that had it over 2 feet deep for about 12 hours late Saturday and Sunday morning. These are all good signs.
Normally, July is our driest month of the year, and this year it was drier than usual. But the good news is that precipitation typically picks up as we move through the fall, and last weekend’s rain sure gave us a good start on that trend. Keep it comin’!