Rain gauge fills — finally

I’ve arrived at a moment that I haven’t anticipated for a number of years: My backyard rain gauge is full and I’ll have to empty it tonight.

It filled nearly to the top late Monday and early Tuesday during a whopper of a rain and hail storm that swept over Amarillo. Our gauge showed a 3-inch accumulation overnight, which is fantastic by any measure. Some neighborhood playas are overflowing. McDonald Lake’s water level had just about spilled over its banks this morning, nearly reaching the paved walk path that surrounds the lake.

The bad news is that my wife’s veggie garden took a bit of a beating from the hail, but after examining it this morning she is hopeful that the sunshine will let her still-infant crop recover.

This is all worth noting because the weather forecasters — who take their share of abuse from residents, much of it deserved — had predicted a wetter than normal spring. And so it has developed just about as they said it would.

El Nino gets the credit. It’s that Pacific Ocean current that washes moisture ashore; it then travels east across the desert, the mountains and down onto the plains. Thus, we’re getting drenched this spring.

I cannot forget to empty the rain gauge when I get home this evening. I’m anxious to watch it fill up once again.