I was checking out The Denver Channel, Channel 7’s Website, this morning for the latest news headlines, and I stumbled across what may be the single most boring blog in Colorado. Mike’s Weather Blog is Channel 7 weatherman Mike Nelson’s daily blog about weather, which is really a tough thing to make interesting no matter who you are.
This is no knock on Nelson, who is a fine weatherman, but it’s hard to bake a cake with manure. Take a look at some excerpts of recent blog entries:
How Much Does The Air Weigh
You may not think of the air as having a weight, but in fact, it does!
At sea level, the atmosphere exerts a pressure of about 14.7 pounds per square inch. You don’t notice this weight pressing against you because you are used to it.
Here in Denver, roughly 15% of the atmosphere is below us, so only 12.5 pounds per square inch is exerted on us.
Measuring A Very Precious Resource
When rain or snow falls from the sky, you often hear it measured in inches. Have you ever tried to quantify precipitation into a another type of measurement, like gallons?
One inch of rain falling uniformly over one acre of land is 27,154 gallons of water. (That’s about the same amount of water as most in ground backyard pools contain!!!)
So lets put this into a geographic perspective that we can all understand.
One square mile equals 640 acres. The Denver/Boulder Metropolitan Area is over 150 square miles. That equates to approximately 96,000 acres. (150 square miles X 640 acres per square mile)
So when the area picks up an inch of rain from a uniform storm system such as what is currently affecting the region, that equates to 2.6 billion gallons of water falling from the sky!!! (96,000 acres x 27,154 gallons of water per acre with an inch of rain)
Now of course there are obviously factors to consider that prevent all the rainwater from making it into our water supply. Things like the natural process of the water cycle (evaporation for instance), runoff from urbanization, and soil absorption into the water table. But clearly, precipitation is invaluable, even when we pick up just a few hundredths over a wide spread area.
If I’ve peaked your interest, then let me tell you about CoCoRaHS. (The Community Collaborative Rain and Hail Study).
Oh, sorry, I fell asleep while I was writing. I hope you weren’t on the edge of your seat waiting to hear about CoCoRaHS.
You’ve got to give Nelson credit for trying, however. Have you ever tried to quantify precipitation into a another type of measurement, like gallons? Uh, no. So lets put this into a geographic perspective that we can all understand. That might not be possible, Mike.
The beauty of the Internet is that it provides a forum for everyone, from Trekkies to weather geeks. But if there is a more coma-inducing blog in Colorado, I’d love to hear from you. Send in your suggestions (or non-suggestions) for consideration.