Wednesday 20 September 2023


We had 24 hours of drizz 14-15 September last week. That's rather extreme for Ireland because the fronts tend to move in from the Atlantic and move smartly across the country for their destination in Cymru across the water. But Met Eireann issued a yellow [orange for The Déise and The People's Republic of Cork] rainfall (spot flooding possible) warning as a gert big slobby wet blanket settled down over the island. This may [wtf do I know?] have been an out-rider of Hurricane Margot whc was building 1,000 km due West of the Azores [mappe see end]. It is amazing and wonderful to be able to see these satellite / radar pictures so appropriately annotated: it really does help in predicting when to bring the laundry in off the line.

It is The End of Days: the driest June and the wettest July since records began and the hay still uncut. In June towards the end of the May/June drought we depleted all our rainwater storage and were reduced to using the standpipe and groundwater. Prev on drainage rates. Clearly we need more than 3 tonnes of stored water to be self-sufficient in the poly-tunnel. Our 1 tonne back-up storage was depleted over the rest of the Summer but there was sufficient "current" water to keep the tomatoes from going thirsty. The 24hrs of drizz was steady enough to fill every receptacle but not so heavy as to fill the drain and drive me out in the dark will tarpaulin jacket and a shovel.

Nevertheless, I was up and down to the polytunnel between dinner and midnight tricking about with the pipes, pumps and buckets. When the in-tunnel 1 tonne IBC is full, I've been in the habit of guttering the water into my new in-tunnel lawn. But that night I inserted our industrial wheel-barrow into the flow and held on to 200 lt there as well as filling its smaller cousin. At the tail end of Summer, this is surely overkill because we are past peak bean and approaching peak tomato. So even if we have further EndOfDays anomaly drought in the Fall, it won't be critical.

Last year we had an extended dry spell was 2018. Metachat pointed me at a report on Hungersteine = hladové kameny which mark the low-low watermark at certain places on the Elbe and other central European rivers. These are normally invisible except to snorklers but, in the past, local folks have memorialized drought-disasters in {1417, 1616, 1707, 1746, 1790, 1800, 1811, 1830, 1842, 1868, 1892 &1893}by carving the date and a warning to those who come after "We cried, we cry and you will cry."


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