Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Weathermen Are Idiots.

Yesterday, the wunderground gave us an 80% chance of rain in the afternoon and a 70% chance of rain in the evening.

How much rain do you think we actually got? Go on, guess.


Stupid weatherpeople.

They've been doing this to us all year--promising us thunderstorms and heavy showers with blithe confidence: 60%, 70%, 80%. And we get a big, fat nothing.

You may think, Sheesh woman, so they made a mistake or two. Let it go. Allow me to show you why I'm so hung up on this issue.

This is a chart of average annual rainfalls around the world and of Elgin's rainfall for this year as of 11 Nov. Note the usual rainfalls of our nearest sister cities. Houston gets a lush 50 inches. Dallas, "the City that Works: Diverse, Vibrant and Progressive," (they paid someone for that slogan? Why not just say "the city of pin-headed corporate drones" and be done with it?) gets a comfortable 33.7 inches. San Antonio, to the southwest, gets 28.

So far, Elgin has 17.4 inches of rain this year. And that's measured at a weather station on the other--wetter--side of Elgin (I kid you not. They get rain when we have blaring sunshine. Austin has had just over 10 inches this year, and I suspect our little patch of Elgin is more in line with them.)

But let's be conservative. Let's go with 17.4". How bad is 17.4"? Look a little to the left on the chart. That's less rain than Casablanca. Casablanca--town of which Claude Rains remarked "The waters? What waters? Casablanca is in the desert"--gets 18 inches per year.

Our next closest rain buddy in my unscientific study is Windhoek, Namibia. Windhoek gets a paltry 14.7 inches of rain per year, "which," the internet helpfully tells us, "is too low to support crops or gardens."

Park outside of Windhoek, Namibia

To be fair, the ultimate winner of this depressing game of Our Weather Sucks Worse Than Yours is Cairo, a city whose annual rainfall is so low, it couldn't be represented on the chart above. Poor Cairo gets a thirst-mocking 1 inch of water per year. Which is why there's no landscaping around those pyramids.

Undeterred, wunderground.com gives us a 70% chance of rain today and a 60% chance tonight.

As I write, the sky is blue with some fluffy, white clouds.


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