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.