Well, as much as I would like this thought to be about the economy, the actual thought deals more with the extreme drought that our state has been in for about 3 years now.
Actually, let me back things up just a little ........ we have probably been in at least a moderate drought really since the late 80s. In 1986, we had such an awfully dry summer that farmers in the upper plains sent us excess grain and hay for our farmers. We had done that several summers earlier, and they repaid the favor. It was really odd, since July 1984 was the wettest July we had on record (23 inches of rain in 31 days). In just 2 years, we had so little rain, we went into drought mode. Truth be told, I'm not sure that we ever really bounced back from the '86 drought. Two years later, the same thing happened. Even the foot of snow we got in winter '86-'87 and the other foot in '87-'88 weren't enough to offset what would be the Summer '88 drought.
I can't vouch for certain about the '90s. I wasn't interested enough in the weather to really pay much attention. But this decade has been a tough one on us -- too little steady rain, just buckets at a time. By the end of 2005, we finally had enough rain to not only put us ahead for the year, but to finally bounce us back from the drought-like conditions of 2000-2003. So what was it that brought us back? Tropical storms. All those storms that demolished Florida and the Gulf -- including the double-whammy of Katrina and Rita -- were good for us. Horrid for my friends along the coast, but a blessing for us.
We're back to drought conditions, just 3 and a half years removed from those awful storms. The lake levels this past fall were so horrendous that old roads that had been flooded when the lakes were constructed were coming not only into view, you could almost drive them again. That, my friends, is scary.
For the winter so far, we've had a good bit of rain -- and especially so in the last few weeks. Between the pretty decent snow (3-6"), and a few days of intermittent rain, we've been blessed. If I remember the weather report from the other night, we are finally at or above normal rainfall totals for the year. Let's hope that the spring and summer continue to have good rain, so that we can get out of this drought!!!