Strange thing outside

It’s getting wet outside. I think it’s called rain (although it ended almost as soon as it began).

What’s odd about that? Since July 1, we’ve had one-third of an inch of rain here. That compares to the normal average of just under two inches. The norm is low by the standards of everywhere else I’ve lived in the world. But one-third of an inch in a quarter of a year is astounding.

The annual average for Oakland is 22.9 inches. Chicago, where I grew up, gets 37.5 inches a year. The coldest and wettest time of my life was my two years in Oxford. You can check the annual rainfall there back to 1767. Astoundingly, 1979 — one of those cold, wet years — only had 751.9mm, which is a bit over 29 inches. The problem is that for months on end the rain mizzes down all day. Here in the Bay Area we go three-fourths of the year with no rain, but for three winter months we have some days when it really, truly chucks down. A very different experience.

One thought on “Strange thing outside

  1. Felix

    I live in one of the very few cities in the world which has no water shortage at all — in fact, we have too MUCH water. The reservoirs are overflowing and getting dirty as a result, and NYC is at risk of being forced to spend enormous amounts of money on chemicals and filters and whatnot in order to keep our water up to standard. Which is a shame: one of the reasons NYC water tastes so good is that it basically comes straight from the Catskills and out of our taps.


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