The drought like conditions in Ulaanbaatar are over for the time being. It has been raining for 4 or 5 days now, and the soil is supersaturated with water. The hills are starting to look like they may actually turn green this summer, and the smaller rivers through town are flowing once again. I have even heard from a person who passed through Khentii over the weekend that it is now turning green there as well.
When the ACMS hosted a faculty development tour two weeks ago, the group stayed in a hotel near the Sky Center. Several times I was asked whether the river next to the Sky Center, also known as the Selbe River (Сэлбэ Гол), ever had water in it. The river had been completely dry for about a month, so my response to this question with a yes generally met with somewhat incredulous looks. The photo to the left shows for the record that the Selbe does in fact have water run through it occasionally. This is a day after the peak period of rain, so it is not nearly as full as it was the day before.