Thursday, March 12

Rain Dance, Anyone?

The word meniscus means “the curved upper surface of a liquid in a tube.” In the case of rainwater in a rain gauge, the edge of the water curves up while the surface is at the bottom of that curve. So when I first glanced at the level in our gauge, anxious to see how much rain we got yesterday, I was heartened to see that we got an enormous three hundredths of an inch. But then the real reading is a third less—two hundredths. Fooled once again by the meniscus!

Either way it’s a piddling amount of rain. California’s drought is getting to be something that will take an awful lot of precipitation to overcome. Today I checked a satellite picture of California and saw the disappointing snowpack in the Sierra. Here in the foothills we’ve had, since July 1 this year, a measly 9.96” of rain (25.3cm for my Australian readers). That’s ahead of last year, but still piddling.

Time to start dancing methinks.


Karla said...

May I have this next dance?


Susan said...

I wish I could give you some of the cyclonic rain heading our way. If you look at the South Pacific, there were four cyclones in the region yesterday, all dumping loads of rain and destroying things too. All of us are fine but poor Vanuatu is about to get clobbered by a Category 5 cyclone named (ludicrously) Pam. The only Pam I know wouldn't hurt a fly. The cyclonic activity doesn't always break droughts, strangely, but there's a lot of water in them.