I knew they were coming: the thunderstorms bringing fierce winds and heavy rains. All weekend the temperatures kept rising. The nights never cooled. The air was damp and close. Then last night at about 10 PM the rains exploded from the clouds with huge flashes of lightning. Some areas in eastern Minnesota received hail. I was lucky that it only rained three inches in six hours. The wind wasn’t too bad, none of the predicted 60 mph gusts. There was enough wind though to knock over a few dead trees and drive the rain hard enough to flatten tall grass. How much of and how long the rain will remain in the soil or seep down into the deeper layers to replenish groundwater is unknown.
At the same time other parts of the world, like Alberta and Saskatchewan in Canada, that are normally temperate and well-watered during the spring and early summer are dry. Drought conditions came early and are severe. Their forests are on fire with hundreds of fires large and small scattered across the land. But a lack of rain keeps the forests dry and the fires continue to spread forcing thousands to leave their homes for safety in what many say is the worst forest fire in memory.