Monday, July 6, 2009

Middle America's Climate Zones

Well I am back from my road trip from Denver to Little Rock.

I am happy to report that I saw a slight decrease in gas prices over the last week AND that the rest areas and state visitor center's were full of happy summer travelers.

My mom's 50th birthday party went off without a hitch and my grandma is slowly but surely recovering from her hip replacement.

All is well down in Arkansas.

It is awesome how green the drive across eastern Colorado, western Oklahoma and much of Kansas still is for this time of the year.

Evidence of all the rain we've been getting this spring and early summer.

I am sure that will change in a hurry this week. Here in the southeast burbs of Denver this morning it is quite breezy and we are finally going to hit the 90s this week. Mid to upper 90s in fact.

The heat and the wind will zap the moisture out of the vegetation in just a matter of days -- turning the beautiful green into the typical summer brown.

We've been fortunate it has lasted this long!

Though I haven't been into the mountains lately, a friend of mine went over the weekend and said the wildflowers are spectacular, the most he has ever seen -- and he is a Colorado native so that is saying a lot!

In addition to all the green, I had a great time observing the weather and the changes to the landscape as you cross the different climate zones.

As I drove out of eastern Colorado and across the panhandle of Oklahoma, I noticed the temperature slowly rise.

Once I reached Woodward, OK -- changes really began between there and Oklahoma City. The car thermometer rose from the lower and middle 80s to just shy of 100 degrees.

And the humidity went way up too.

It was about at this point that I started noticing the landscape change from the rolling plains with just a few small to middle size trees and dry river and creek beds just west of Oklahoma City -- into a lush series rolling hills completely covered with thick, tall beautiful trees, containing large lakes and flowing streams on the east side of the metro area.

This all happens within about 50 to 100 miles on either side of Oklahoma City. It is a pretty drastic change over such a relatively short distance.

On my way home I took a more northerly route across the top of Oklahoma, and noticed the same identical change between Tulsa and Perry, along the Cimarron Turnpike.

From there I turned north and made my way up to Salina, Kansas for an overnight stay. I was greeted by a good ole overnight complex of thunderstorms in Salina.

Before going to bed about 11 pm I saw a batch of storms in eastern Colorado. I wondered if they'd hold together and come across Kansas during the overnight hours.

Sure enough, about 4 am, I awoke to gusty winds, lightning, large claps of thunder and heavy rain.

The next day I made the 350 miles journey west along I-70 to my home in southeast metro Denver.

I arrived to a heavy afternoon thundershower. It was good to be home.

Ok with that I need to get to work.

Someone recently asked about the polls I used to post. I have posted one today about the current Atlantic Hurricane Season.

As you have been seeing and hearing on the news it is off to a slow start, which isn't necessarily a bad thing for those who live in harm's way.

So when do you think we will see the first named storm? Post your guess in the poll.

No comments:

Post a Comment