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Written by Chris Lee   

Rain, rain go ... where did you come from?

I don’t know about you, but the weather we have witnessed these past few weeks is the craziest thing I have ever seen.

Growing up in Imperial, Neb. and then moving around Missouri for nearly five years, I experienced lots of different types of weather.

I spent my high school summers working on a ranch north of Imperial. As you may or may not know, we were in what some people like to call a drought. I’m pretty sure it has rained more in the past few weeks then it did all summer on the ranch. I remember temperatures climbing upwards of 100 degrees. Hot and dry was the only way to explain it.

There was one aspect of the job that made the drought-like conditions even worse. Post holes, yes, post holes. Digging them six or seven years ago required buckets of water to be poured down the hole just so it could be dug. Today, I’m sure, well I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t need that bucket. I would really enjoy that.

I went to college in the northwest corner of Missouri in Maryville. The weather there liked to fluctuate big time. The winters were extremely cold and windy. It didn’t matter if I was walking to class or back to my dorm, the wind was always in my face. I envied those who rode bikes. They flew right by me making it to class quicker.

Summers were hot and humid. I found it funny when I came back to Imperial for the 4th of July or for the county fair, people here were complaining about the humidity. I find this humidity to be nothing compared to Missouri humidity. Although it does get pretty sticky out when it rains every day.

All of this rain is a blessing for farmers in the area. Maybe not to all the farmers. I can venture to guess the hay farmers aren’t liking it. I have seen some hay on the ground waiting to dry out but it can’t. It won’t stop raining. Now for wheat farmers on the other hand, this is ideal, unless hail is mixed in with the rain then you are on the same side of the hay farmer.

Like we always hear, I find it interesting how one summer we are upset with the amount of rain we are getting and then the next there isn’t near enough rain. Welcome to the Midwest.

We have seen some pretty wicked storms recently. There is something about a storm rolling through the sky that is fascinating. I remember one a few years ago on the 4th of July. Come to think about it, doesn’t it always rain on the 4th of July? Anyway, it put a damper on the night’s festivities but it was magnificent.

I was with some of my good friends in Imperial hanging out, lighting fireworks in the street. All of a sudden a storm rolled over town. The wind picked up, the rain began and the thunder and lightning boomed while lighting up the sky. The coolest part was the lightning. You hear of lightning storms but until that day, I had never seen one.

For roughly 30 minutes it was flash after flash. Sort of like when Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan leave a nightclub and the paparazzi snap photo after photo of them.

Being a photographer, I get very excited during storm season. I can be seen outside with my camera gear trying to capture that perfect lightning bolt or cool looking skyline. Capturing an entire rainbow is always a goal of mine.

Just this past weekend, I was on my way to Imperial for the weekend. On my way a storm was brewing and followed me like a hungry dog who knew I had a doggy biscuit in my back pocket.

I made it to my buddy’s house and got my car put away in one of the big sheds just as the 60-70 mph wind hit, blowing branches off of trees, siding off the house, chairs off the deck, power lines and poles to the ground and more dirt through the air than the dust at the racetrack. It was an impressive storm. I watched a plastic playschool jungle gym get blown away as if it were a gum wrapper.

This storm came just hours after golf ball sized hail ravished the streets, homes and vehicles of Imperial. It’s as if storms are a part of our everyday life right now.

During the month of April, Holyoke saw 4.05 inches of rain fall followed by 2.89 inches in May and 5.83 inches as of June 18.

This time last year eight inches of rain had fallen since April, and 2.25 of that fell in June.

I’m not sure how long we are in for this sort of weather, I’m not a meteorologist. I guess however you look at it, the rain is either good or bad. Remember you can’t please everyone all of the time.