“April Showers Bring May Flowers” that is the saying, right? If so the May flowers will be a bit sparser this year at Quartz Mountain Nature Park. In April only 1 inch of rain fell- our average is 2 inches. In fact, we have received less than average rain every month of 2014.
By May 1 in average years, almost 5 inches of rain falls at Quartz Mountain, between January 1 and May 1. In 2014, only 2.69 inches of rain fell during this time frame and over half of that came in late April.
There is a bit of good news. The cooler spring weather kept evaporation down at Lake Altus-Lugert. In fact, the Lake has only dropped about 8 inches in elevation so far this year. The hotter and windier weather we have the faster lake water is lost to evaporation. As of May 1 the lake was about 11 percent full and lacked 30 feet from being full.
The most recent US Drought Seasonal Outlook has the drought persisting or intensifying for all of western Oklahoma through July 31. There is still discussion of the el Nino effect bringing a “cooler and wetter” June through May 2015. However, with the rain deficit we’re in, it will take several years of el Nino type weather to bring us back to “normal”.
So while some of the wildflowers that like moister conditions will be few & far between. The wildflowers that like it drier are thriving. Currently Quartz Mountain is awash in yellow. Huge swaths of Greenthread (Thelesperma) and Tickseed (Coreopsis) are in full bloom. Why not take Mom or Grandma out for a Mother’s Day drive around Quartz mountain to see just how beautiful it is?