Vermont’s Second Soggy Summer

The summer of 2011 was soaking wet in Vermont. After a winter of record snows and a spring of heavy rain on top of the snowpack, the summer featured a series of storms, one after another, that culminated in the disastrous flooding of Tropical Storm Irene.

After a relatively dry summer in 2012, this summer is looking to possibly be even wetter than 2011. The state has been repeatedly pounded by storms. In May we experienced colder than average storms, but June has brought heavy thunderstorms, including severe storms. May was the wettest on record in Burlington, despite the soaking-wet May of 2011. June looks to be one of the wettest on record too.

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You can see our garden in the photo above… not growing. It’s just too wet. We may try raised beds or at least large mounds next year.

Why is the weather so wet here, while much of the West bakes under a heat wave? Well, like other flooding rains and extreme weather this year, it appears to be related to an unusual but recently common pattern in which the jet stream contorts into extreme undulations and then sticks there for days or even weeks. It may be related to the loss of Arctic sea ice, as I wrote about in a blog quite a long time ago and Jeff Masters has talked about often. It seems possible that our warming of the climate has created an unexpected, early shift in weather patterns. Or maybe not. It’s hard to say… but it’s scary to think about.

In the mean time all I can do is keep working on my drainage and rain garden system. This morning, after another inch of rain, a new side of our basement was spurting water. So I added another wing to the drainage system, which will funnel water to the rain garden faster. It seems to be working well, though the dam does ‘leak’ and I need a second level of garden below the first. My cinnamon fern is sending out new fiddleheads! (this species is not edible).

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  1. Pingback: Cold, Wet Storm Confirms Value of my Drainage System | Slow Water Movement

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