Monday, June 16, 2008

Monsoon revisionism

We've been subject to a certain amount of hoorah having to do with the coming of the North American Monsoon (that's the official title, BTW). Seems the federal weather folk have revised their definition. For many years it had been an arcane formula involving the dew point in Phoenix -- obviously a Valley-centric arrangement, especially for people in, like, Flagstaff, Sonora, Tucson or, for that matter, Prescott. Now NOAA has picked an arbitrary pair of dates (June 15 through September 30) as the new definition; this, of course, completely overlooks Mexico, where the rains have already started. My own inclination is to vote for an explanation that involves physics, as being a lot more meaningful. In the meantime, I have to hand it to the meteorologists -- today, June 16, saw the appearance of a puff over the hills about 8:30 a.m. which grew into a clouded sky by about noon. That, to me, is the sign that the rains are on their way. And that the beastly heat we've had recently will finally break. Usually around July 4 or thereabouts.

9 comments:

You Know Where You Are With said...

Call me a mythologist, but I always liked the traditional cultural start date to monsoon, June 24th, Saint John the Baptist Day--for its obvious allusions to dousing.

worldphotos4 said...

I would be happy to send you some of our rain.

TomboCheck said...

OOOOooooo, I cant wait for monsoons!!!

Granny J said...

ykwyaw -- thank you for that interesting bit of lore, which I had never heard.

steve -- we'll take any you can send.

tombo -- me either!

RV-boondocker-explorer said...

Rather than choose June 24th, like the first commenter recommended, perhaps the official monsoon season should start on 15 April, with obvious allusions to getting soaked.

I enjoyed reading about your anticipation of the monsoons. Arizonans, half burned up as they are, can look forward to their "deliverance" like Inuit or Laplanders looked forward to migrating herds of reindeer or whatever. It meant survival.

Granny J said...

boonie -- of course, Phx doesn't cool off during the day the way it happens in the mountains. The storms build up all day in the hills, rain, and if they are big enough, spill down into the lowlands well after dark, with plenty of donner & blitzen. On the other hand, one of the many distinguishing features of AZ as contrasted with Calif. is that we get summer rains.

Lane said...

OK,so the first cloud looks, to me, like an otter on its back playing in the water. The second cloud looks like a weasle...what can I say...FNFM

Granny J said...

FNFM -- actually, the weasel is comprised in large part by the blue sky that remains visible, though his top is definitely cloudlike. Don't know what all this portends.

Desert Cat said...

Call me crazy, but I'll take the June blistering heat over the July/August swampland any day. I'm not anticipating the upcoming weeks at all.

 
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