Saturday, July 29, 2006
It's been raining for a couple of hours this morning, which in the desert means lightning and thunder. This is the fourth day in a row that we've had night time rains, and the last three have started after midnight and lasted into the morning. We had a couple of mornings that reminded me of Seattle -- gray skies, drizzle. Very unusual.
As much as I am sleep-deprived from being awakened by heavy rain and thunder, I am immensely grateful for the rain. The monsoon has been weird this year, starting with a week-long cycle of rain and then disappearing for nearly three weeks. But now it's back and dropping lots of needed rain.
At least one of the local weather reporters blames the strange monsoon on shifting temperature patterns in the oceans that have changed the flow of weather over the North American continent. He points to the heat in California and the record temperatures throughout the country as proof that things have gone awry.
I don't know.
Average temperatures for this part of the desert are predicted to increase by three to five degrees over the next 25-75 years (based on best available research models). Others (Dept. of Defense) think this is part of a natural cycle that will get worse in the next 10-20 years before producing an average drop of around 4 degrees in northern hemisphere temperatures.
Either way, things are pretty screwed up. So, for today, I am grateful for the rain we have been getting. I hope that it continues to rain regularly for the rest of this monsoon cycle.
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