Friday, September 13, 2013

Five for Friday

Today I offer five things that happen in a high-plains arid climate zone (less than 18 inches of precip annually) when between 2.5 and 3.5 inches of rain in less than twelve hours.
  1. Roof leaks happen.  The Southwest sun bakes everything. It destroys roofing material and everything else like nobody's business.  And we can go for 10 or 20 years without this kind of soaking rain.  So when it finally comes, it finds all those baked, dried, shrivelled areas, and makes its way inside.  Our roof, Dave's roof at work, a friend's roof up in Los Alamos, and my parent's roof down in Rio Rancho are all leaking this morning.
  2. Your skin feels amazing.  After years of single-digit humidity in the dry seasons and 20-30% humidity in the wet seasons, 12 straight hours of 100% humidty makes your face feel 10 years younger, and all those itchy places are less itchy!
  3. Water flows fast, and carries the dried and dessicated top layer of stuff with it.  This is particularly true in burn scars.  In the areas near us where forest fires have burned last summer or in recent summers, walls of water come washing down the canyons and arroyos, depositing lots of material.  We have several roads closed around us because of the debris the water has carried across and deposited on top of the roads.
  4. Things flood because the baked earth can't absorb the water fast enough. The Senior Center a few blocks from us is flooded.  The paths and arroyos are flooded.  Bandelier National Monument is flooded and closed. 
  5. We praise God for the answer to our prayers for rain.  While it brings headaches and messes, we have been in a sustained drought for many years.  This deluge will help not just water everything, but refill some portion of our aquifers and reservoirs.  In the end, it is a very good thing, and God is gracious to send it our way.  That being said, we still appreciate your prayers, Gentle Reader.  And please pray for those north of us who are getting the worst of it.  They have a similar climate and conditions in Colorado, and the rains are even heavier there.

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