Hail, but could be worse

The news from Joplin puts our own recent storms in perspective, but we did sustain some damage from the severe storms that passed through Boone County on Sunday. No trees down here, but about 10 minutes of pea-sized hail with a few stones up to nickel-sized did a number on our spinach:
We intended to harvest this Monday for restaurant sale, but both the intended sources had to regretfully reject this kind of damage, which renders the spinach unfit for salad (their expected use), and also significantly reduces its shelf life once picked. We’re going to leave it in the field for the rest of the week, and bring it to market clearly marked as Hail Spinach. It’s good enough for short-term home use or for cooking. But an annoying loss nonetheless. We’re just grateful the hail stopped when it did, before real damage was done to our tomatoes, zucchini, beans, garlic, and all the other growing crops.
When I finish deliveries on Tuesday, I’ll be heading for the Columbia Red Cross station to give blood. I do this regularly through the winter, but generally not in summer as we can’t afford even the one-day recovery period afterward. But I’m making an exception this time for Joplin, and hope many others will find some way to help.
After the storms passed, we were treated to the most spectacular set of mammatus clouds I’ve personally seem (even as a weather nut). Lit from beneath by the setting sun, the entire sky was spread with these beautiful formations, which were very hard to photograph properly in the harsh and quickly fading light:

We’re not through yet, by a long shot. The NWS is expecting two more days of potential heavy rain and severe weather through central Missouri´╗┐:
A COLD FRONT ACROSS MISSOURI AND ILLINOIS WILL STALL OVER THE REGION THROUGH MIDWEEK. SEVERAL UPPER LEVEL STORM SYSTEMS WILL MOVE ACROSS THIS EAST TO WEST STATIONARY FRONT BRINGING SEVERAL ROUNDS OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS. AN ADDITIONAL 1 TO 3 INCHES OF RAIN IS EXPECTED THROUGH FRIDAY. LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS WILL BE POSSIBLE WHERE THUNDERSTORMS REPEATEDLY MOVE OVER THE SAME AREAS.
Given this forecast, I’ll soon be posting a long piece I wrote in 2010 (but never published) on why too much rain is bad for farms. On re-reading, it’s still quite relevant with a few updates.

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