Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Desert-like southwest? December 30, 2008

I just heard on our local news that so far this year we've had over 6 inches of rain~ That no longer qualifies our area as a desert, since a desert gets less than 4 inches of rain, according to our local weatherman. I looked it up online and most deserts are defined as having less than 10 inches of rain a year. That's a calendar year, so at 6 inches, we are still lacking 4 inches of rain, which we aren't expected to get in the next two days because it is clear and sunny here in CA! And, our rainy season has just begun! Actually, our desert has two rainy seasons: October through February and the summer monsoon season. During the monsoon season, moisture comes up from the Gulf of California and Mexico and produces tropical storms. So, during the summer, we watch for clouds coming from the south. That is typically the season that our desert gets flash floods, as well as the deserts in Arizona. In fact, our house was flooded during a summer tropical storm in 1979! I was alone at home, pregnant, with a 1 year old when the storm moved in, begain raining, and rained for 12 hours! I grabbed our daughter and our German Shepherd, my purse, and the bills (HA! I'd NEVER grab the bills again!) and headed out in our 1977 VW van, only to get stuck in high water. Fortunately, some WONDERFUL firemen came by and rescued us and we all spent the night in their house! Hubby was working in Los Angeles at the time and had to drive all the way to Indio to find a bridge to cross the flooded washes! During the fall/winter/spring, we watch for clouds coming from the west. I know these pics aren't from the desert. They are from our trip to Northern California,to Napa and Sonoma and San Anselmo, but here in the sunny California desert, we have so few rainy and foggy days, it was a pleasure to see them!


Katney said...

I had always thought the the cut-off for a desert was ten inches a year. I looked it up on dictionary.com, and way down a ways finally found an definition that included a specific amount and it was whatever number of cm translates into 9.75 inches. Most of the definitions simply say arid.

So maybe you are still a desert. I would hate to have Palm Desert have to change its name to Palm Almost-Desert of Palm Desert-some-years-but-not-others.

Karine said...

Hi fellow desert dweller. Thank you for your comment on my blog!! I barely keep up with ONE blog - I admire you for having five!!! Wow. Beautiful photos.