A shortfall of rain in Pergo

A long, hot and dry summer has seen 50 percent less rainfall in some areas of Cortona...a worrying situation...

From his hillside perch above Pergo, Tommy Simmons has been recording annual rainfall, for over 40 odd years.  With temperatures soaring this summer, he watched rainclouds forming over the Esse Valley, Sepoltaglia and the Valdichiana with  increasing frustration as Pergo was bypassed.  This year he has so far recorded a 50 per cent shortfall of rain compared to previous years. A worrying situation for farmers and wine makers and hopefully not a new trend for the area albeit that there would seem to be many micro-climates across Cortona.  Here is a photographic diary of this summer's near misses at Pergo.
5th June (above) - After a dry spring, fire swept through an unkept Pergo olive grove.
7th July - Lovely roe deer hiding under a tree.
21st July - thunderstorms swept across the Valdichiana, but headed towards the lake, so the drought on our hill persisted.
20th August - yet more distant rain.
23rd August - more rain over the valley, but only a few drops reached us.
24th August - even the oaks started losing their leaves.
27th August - Some rain, finally, although everything dried up very quickly.
28th August - a definite change in the weather, but not much rain.
31st August - more hopeful clouds, but the rain only fell over the lake.
17th September - As usual, rain beyond Sepoltaglia.
21st September - First day of Autumn... 
...and first early morning mist in the valley.
22nd September - Still no rain, but farmers starting to burn off summer cuttings. Somewhat worryingly.
September has been the 7th month in a row with less than 50 percent the average rainfall. Many households are beginning to worry their wells might dry up.
Already in mid-August the Montedoglio dam, near Sansepolcro, was below its seasonal levels.
Thomas Simmons, 04/10/2021 13:11:05
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