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Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Inconvenient Truth About Rain

Let me begin by saying I don't like having the day's outdoor plan ruined by waking up to un-forecasted pouring-down rain. Jesus H. Christ, people… Intellicast, AccuWeather, Weather Underground—even NOAA, for crying out loud—I mean do they ever look out a freaking window? Call me, NOAA, and I'll look out my window so you can up your pitiful accuracy! Well, they should call people once in a while, ask them how bad they're botching the forecast.

Weatherman: "Uh, pardon this interruption sir, but this is NOAA calling… NOAA, you know, the people who tell you if it's going to rain… No, that was Noah, N-o-a-h, the guy who built the Ark. We're N-O-A-A, but it's pronounced the same so I understand the confusion. But anyway, could you look out your window and tell me what the weather's up to so we can verify our "Sunny to partly cloudy" forecast... It's what? Raining cats and dogs? Shit! Hey Fred, he says it raining cats and dogs in Ooo-ray. Yeah, I know. We need to tighten up a little in that neck of the woods, people are going camping and stuff."  

How do people in western Oregon and Washington endure nine months of sketchy forecasts and weather when just one missed forecast pisses me off? What do they do up there where it rains all the time? Does everyone go to the mall or a movie when norwester's are on a roll? RAIN (and bugs as a result) is one of the overriding reasons I left Missouri way back in '76. It was both uncanny, as well as cruel and unusual punishment, how RAIN seemed to synchronize with weekends... how it turned best laid recreational plans into a moody, gray-skied, mud-up-to-the-ankles washout. Campgrounds and Park Headquarters in such soggy places should have Grief Counselors on staff.

I have nothing against rain if properly forewarned.  I actually look forward to Colorado's monsoon season almost as much as I do the arrival of Ms Autumn (eye flutter). I love the excitement of booming thunderstorms and moist air smelling of ozone and pine, especially after June's 30 day sentence to unfettered sun, beating down with at most five percent humidity—dry enough have us shedding skin like Arizona rattlesnakes. At least the monsoons are predicable, clear skies in the morning, clouding up around noon, and a 50-50 chance of thunderstorms after 2 pm. But the monsoonal transition to fall has begun. Now it can rain day or night or both… it can even snow, and no matter what NOAA says it's going to do, it's probably going to do something else. 

It might surprise you to learn that Colorado comes in at number 7 on a list of the 10 driest states. Yes, Colorful Colorado is an "Arid" state, in spite of all that fluffy white snow every winter and alpine green tundra all summer. What state would you guess as being the wettest? Hawaii? Oregon? Washington? Nope, not even close. Take a look:

RankAverage Precipitation ▼State / Population
1.59.15 inchesLouisiana / 4,533,372
2.56.48 inchesMississippi / 2,967,297
3.56.00 inchesAlabama / 4,779,736
4.54.73 inchesFlorida / 18,801,310
5.51.85 inchesTennessee / 6,346,105
6.50.33 inchesHawaii / 1,360,301
7.50.22 inchesGeorgia / 9,687,653
8.50.07 inchesConnecticut / 3,574,097
9.49.96 inchesRhode Island / 1,052,567
10.49.72 inchesArkansas / 2,915,918
11.49.24 inchesSouth Carolina / 4,625,364
12.48.42 inchesMassachusetts / 6,547,629
13.48.02 inchesNew Jersey / 8,791,894
14.46.92 inchesNorth Carolina / 9,535,483
15.46.27 inchesKentucky / 4,339,367
16.45.82 inchesDelaware / 897,934
17.45.49 inchesMaine / 1,328,361
18.44.84 inchesNew Hampshire / 1,316,470
19.44.36 inchesWest Virginia / 1,852,994
20.43.62 inchesOregon / 3,831,074
21.42.87 inchesNew York / 19,378,102
22.42.77 inchesPennsylvania / 12,702,379
23.42.76 inchesVirginia / 8,001,024
24.42.70 inchesMaryland / 5,773,552
25.42.58 inchesVermont / 625,741
26.42.52 inchesMissouri / 5,988,927
27.42.17 inchesDistrict of Columbia / 601,723
28.41.86 inchesIndiana / 6,483,802
29.39.24 inchesOhio / 11,536,504
30.38.67 inchesWashington / 6,724,540
31.38.52 inchesIllinois / 12,830,632
32.37.62 inchesOklahoma / 3,751,351
33.35.00 inchesTexas / 25,145,561
34.34.50 inchesIowa / 3,046,355
35.33.11 inchesWisconsin / 5,686,986
36.32.79 inchesMichigan / 9,883,640
37.32.43 inchesKansas / 2,853,118
38.29.03 inchesAlaska / 710,231
39.28.61 inchesMinnesota / 5,303,925
40.26.66 inchesNebraska / 1,826,341
41.22.97 inchesCalifornia / 37,253,956
42.22.02 inchesSouth Dakota / 814,180
43.18.59 inchesNorth Dakota / 672,591
44.16.98 inchesColorado / 5,029,196
45.16.91 inchesIdaho / 1,567,582
46.15.79 inchesUtah / 2,763,885
47.14.92 inchesMontana / 989,415
48.14.24 inchesNew Mexico / 2,059,179
49.13.23 inchesWyoming / 563,626
50.11.80 inchesArizona / 6,392,017
51.9.46 inchesNevada / 2,700,551
Nevada kinda surprises me as being the driest state; it has all those sky island mountains that suck moisture out of passing storms. Maybe it doesn't get to cash in as much on the annual monsoonal flow that comes mainly up through Arid-zona to Colorado. 

So, instead of climbing a mountain this morning, as forecast we should be able to do, I'm in the Lazy Boy in front of the Imax Windows, typing up a blogpost for you. :(

Now, for the good news: After Monday, Monday (can't trust that day), Bobbie and I are officially off work till next May. Got us four new Trojan Deep Cycle T-145 RV batteries for Goldie (I'll get two more if I have to). Yeah, I blew it trying to save a buck at Walmart on those cheap  Marine" batteries… an expensive lesson there, folk. Don't skimp in the RV Battery Department. 
Till next time, Mark and Bobbie.
Now go take a hike, before it starts raining!

Looking to downsize our house situation even further, and thus upsize the old Nest Egg, we almost bought this cute, be-still-my-heart Semi-Victorian bungalow on the upper side of Lovely Ouray. If it had been as "cute" on the inside as it is on the outside we would have snapped it up. But, as with most houses built in 1898, it would be a money pit (sigh).


  1. As you found out Marine means Marine and can be starting battery or deep cycle. Deep cycle means deep cycle and it can be a Marine battery or not a Marine battery. Folks continue to tell me I don't know what I am talking about Because the clerk told them different. Enjoy the new batts they will make a difference. I have found for me the two 100 AH each AGM batts with 350 watts of solar is working out about perfect.

  2. Agreed. Life should be more predictable. But would that make it more fun?
    Enjoy your rainy day.
    Take care.

    "Weather forecasting is the classic inexact science, relying on the complex mutual interactions of wind, currents, precipitation, tides, humidity and temperature variations, and a million other variables across a planet that’s rotating on its axis, revolving around its heat source, and tilted with regard to its plane of revolution. To say forecasting the weather is tricky is putting it mildly indeed."

  3. Damn -- finally a good rant!! Mark -you know how I enjoy a good rant! off to Florida! enjoy! walden creek rv -steve

  4. A tiny cottage, without Imax views? Is that a good idea? I agree, rain can be depressing.

  5. If state boundaries were geographical rather then political,those numbers would be a whole lot different. Our east side deserts in Oregon and Washington (2/3 of those states) really drop those 100 inches of rain down to silly numbers. 200 inches in the Hoh, and 5 inches on the east side. Average is a weird number in the west where there is so much variability.

  6. And. Like you I would go crazy on the west side of the Cascades. Except...oh....I am in Grants Pass today where it is 95 degrees and no rain in sight

  7. Cute little bungalow! Are those "dutch roof gable turndowns?" ;-)

  8. I share your frustration with poor forecasting, although I'm slight more tolerant of rain. That said we almost got washed out (figuratively) when we lived in Belgium for 2 years, otherwise known as the "kitchen sink" of Europe for the vast quantities of wet stuff that falls from the skies. Never again. I'm surprised OR is 20th on that list, but I guess it does have a dry side and a big rain shadow. FL I totally see..torrential pours everyday in summer.
    Looking forward to your upcoming adventures!
    P.S. The last pic looks like one of those tiny houses. Big movement on those right now,

  9. I have live the majority of my life in Arizona and Nevada. Your rain fall rankings explain why I'm always complaining about humidity when I leave those two states.

  10. Adorable little house! You would miss those views, though.

  11. "Marine" battery is just a heavy duty (hopefully) starter battery. They are not any place near being a "deep cycle" battery.
    The only battery to use as our house battery is a true deep cycle (if flooded cell then such as golf cart battery).
    A little rain is good.

  12. Rain here on the Oregon Coast comes as a huge relief after an exceptionally hot and cloudless summer. Can't wait to get some! I can't figure out what the tourists keep muttering about! But I loved the rant. Can't imagine rain interfering with any plans. I just love how the summer cow pastures turn into lakes come winter! :)

  13. We totally get your anger with the weather. Remember our last blog on the Grinnell Glacier? The forecast was for cloudy skies with a 20 % chance of a shower. Well, all 20% was right over the trail the whole time we hiked to the Grinnell Glacier. So our maybe semi nice day slowly got worse. I feel your pain!!!

  14. Glad u 2 r doing so well, I have been thinking about it a lot lately, my wife does sales for an assisted living facility, what are your long term care plans? Since I have not read many comments about this topic on most traveler/wonderer/adventurer/rv'r blogs?Since the stats show that 80% of us will need long term care. Louise sees people begging to come into her facility everyday. She has to turn away 70% of people that come to her facility because they can't pay for it and ultimately go to some family member who never anticipated caring for their loved ones. This is a serious issue and the government doesn't pay diddly for long term care.

  15. I wish I could rendezvous with you and Bobbie this fall, especially in Zion but I have one more surgery soon that keeps me home bound this fall. But I won't give up meeting y'all as I retired last June so now I have the time to travel. Hope springs eternal!

  16. Late to the comments party here but wtf? Florida and I love the rain. 'Course, I don't live in a swamp. Rolling hill horse country. We have our regular two hour downpour every day in the summer and 10 minutes later you're out walking in a dry pasture. The showers provide a very nice relief from high 90s temps with 110 heat index. Plus it's nice to have a reliable source of spring and well water. I figure we get three bad months a year here, June, July, August. But even then, mornings and late afternoons and evenings are great. All things considered, not a bad place. If we just had some snow capped peaks. Thanks for the enjoyable blog.

    1. Rolling hill country in Florida? Britton Hill is the highest natural point in the state of Florida, USA, with a summit elevation of 345 feet (105 meters) above mean sea level.

      Three bad months? Everyone has different likes and dislikes. I could not live in that humid a place for very long and need to see a mountain nearby.


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