Tuesday 19 May 2020

End of Days: Rain Dept

Now see here Tó Neinilii, I know you have a reputation for being a trickster and your bailiwick may not extend beyond the Navaho homelands, but the rain (absence of) here is getting beyond a jesting matter.
At last Sunday's weekly family zoom-in, someone asked what our local weather was about. I was happy to report that, while it hadn't rained that morning, a great soggy cloud had hung about the garden for a couple of hours before breakfast. I'd danced out in me jim-jams to move the seedlings out of the tunnel and into some free water. Rain is really the best way to deliver water to plants, a watering can is a very crude substitute. I further asserted that we'd only had 2 days of rain in the last 60. That seemed an unlikely statistic for dear old green old damp old Ireland so I had to check Met Eireann for the cumulative rainfall totals for our nearest weather station [L].

That's  really informative once you twig how to read the diagrams. The bottom picture shows a series of horizontal steps [=no rain] interspersed with dumps of rain 09Mar, 11Mar, 03Apr and 29Apr (these are the vertical bars poking up from the horizontal axis; I've added the horizontal pink lines to emphasise the flat no-rain steps.

It was a really wet February 2020 in Ireland: 3x the 20 year average for the month. But that's really not good enough. In the East of the island we get about 1000mm precipitation a year. If Tó Neinilii wasn't intent on foolery, he'd see that we got 1000/365 = 3mm a night; or better still 10mm every 3rd night. That way the ground would get a good soaking, but there would be no destructive and wasteful run-off like from Storm Deirdre in December 2018. Thrifty me  does my best to capture rain when it falls, but my system of IBCs, herring-barrels, pipes and siphons cannot sequester thin air.

We had a dibble of rain last night. But the top diagram shows that we are really behind on rainfall 2/3s of the way through May 2020. The green diagonal line is the 20-year average for the month and this year's accumulation is barely wetting the bottom of the bucket. I tell ya, we'd better give up the ould sins because The End of Days approacheth.

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