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If you remember, Easter came a little later last year. On that Sunday morning, a cold front arrived and dropped temperatures almost down to the freeze mark of 32, maybe even a little lower in the northern part of the county, which had a wintery mix the next night.
This certainly went against what I learned more than 50 years ago reading Kathryn Duff’s front-page column in the Abilene Reporter-News. She always recalled Frank Grimes’ poem that told of how you would know if Spring had really arrived and we had our last freeze—the old mesquite trees being out with their yellowish-green blooms.
Well, that storm proved even the old mesquites could be fooled as I had seen them displaying their blooms days before.
Most of you have seen the entire poem entitled “Old Mesquites Ain’t Out Yet” in the past, so I will not repeat posting it again.
Spring officially arrived last Saturday and there are many signs that tell us that the cold weather is behind us. There were certainly a lot of people in the garden department of Home Depot in Abilene and the checkout line was long with carts full of things to plant. I saw some fruit trees around here showing off their white and purple blooms when out driving Sunday, too.
My wife Betty had wanted to buy some plants, but I reminded her that the old mesquites weren’t out yet and said let’s wait a little longer since we might get another freeze
Taking a look at the 2021 Old Farmer’s Almanac to see what it was saying about future weather conditions, I first thought we might have warmer temperatures and more rain here in our part of Texas, thus seeing visions everything around here getting really green by May and the end of school.
However, then I saw a completely different prediction from the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration, saying a drought that covers much of the country is likely to expand – and that expansion could include our part of Texas.
The NOAA said, “Drier conditions in the Southwest U.S. associated with La Nina and the failed summer monsoon have been contributing factors to the development and intensification of what represents the most significant U.S. spring drought since 2013.”
The NOAA did agree that we would experience warmer than average temperatures, but without the necessary soil moisture from rain, it still looks like drought conditions will exist. Certainly, not good news for farmers.
A map in the Sunday issue of the Times and Record News showed Wichita Falls and parts of North Texas in a narrow area where drought development was likely with even more of a persistent drought just to the west.