Rain, rain, beautiful rain.
That was the refrain across a Kansas that didn't mind have Memorial Day weekend events spoiled by downpours because the moisture was so welcome that even urbanites realized that getting rain was a bigger gift than spending time in the sunshine on the summer's first holiday weekend.
Not that there wasn't plenty of sunshine for the lake goers on the holiday weekend. Thunderstorms that hit and missed across much of the state left plenty of people watching the skies but breathing a sigh of relief when their particular event was spared the widely scattered downpours that brought welcome moisture across the region.
In Wichita on Saturday, the southwest end of town got more than 2 inches of rain while the northeast end got nothing. And that's not backyard gauges; that's official National Weather Service reports.
Saturday night into Sunday, however, brought more widely spread showers and some of the state's most drought-stricken areas were hit with real, substantive rain for the first time in months.
For the 2014 wheat crop, the arrival of moisture came too late to do maximum good but there is no such thing as useless rainfall. Even for farmers looking at tearing up their failed wheat crop the arrival of rain before the first of June spells the opportunity to plant fall crop and at least hope for better fortunes ahead. The worrisome part of the equation is the scattered nature of the rainfall, which was plentiful enough for flash floods in some areas and non-existent in others.
In the deeply parched southwest corner of the state the holiday weekend brought something to celebrate – the proof that water still is capable of falling from the sky despite months and months of evidence to the contrary. Rainfall, unfortunately, was scattered and only locally plentiful, leaving much of the region to continue suffering from extreme drought that has plagued the region for a decade.
A decreasing chance of thunderstorms continues into the middle of this week with temperatures holding to seasonable levels in the low to mid-80s. And that is good news for the 2014 Kansas wheat crop, which needs optimum conditions to produce even an almost-average crop.