Tag Archives: rainfall

Rain in the new year

We are grateful to be getting a few raindrops in these early days of the new year since we are far behind our normal rainfall numbers. It could be another season of drought if the rain totals don’t begin to add up. The new year snowfall check was very poor, too. Not only has there been no rain in the valley, there has been no snow in the mountains. One of the local ski resorts closed up before the new year as there just wasn’t any snow on its slopes.

Because of the fires in California, and the fact that the San Joaquin Valley is just a large bowl that collects all the air pollution from around the state, we have the worst air in decades. Just the other day the air in Fresno was worse than the air in Beijing. The bad air irritates throats and nasal passages. Coughs, colds, and respiratory infections are on the rise. If I’m outdoors for very long I get a headache and I know it’s the bad air that’s causing it.

These three weeks of school vacation have been nice. A chance to catch my breath, sit and contemplate the new year and how I will go through it, to read and relax with no demands on my time and energy. I continue to take my probiotics and to eat well so as to build up my immune system. I’m sure I’ve stayed well because I could spend so much time indoors and away from small children who cough and sneeze on me.

Next week that will change as school goes back in session and I get my bag of tricks ready to return to two days of storytelling. I’ve already been to the bank and gotten my lunch money. I will sit with small children and eat lunch. I will get hugs from these children and their small hands will slip into mine. I will be outdoors, breathing the air that may still be polluted if we don’t get enough rain to wash it away.

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Doing our part in drought season

While the midwest and eastern states are digging out of record snow and cold, here in California we are having high temperatures and no rain. It was 72 in Fresno yesterday, 88 in other parts of the state. Funny thing, though, is that it’s still cold overnight-37 this morning when we got up.

There is no snowpack in the Sierras. That’s where our water comes from. You see, we live in a desert but smart people saw all that snow melting, running down in the rivers and out to the Pacific Ocean so decided to dam the rivers, build reservoirs and use the water for agriculture. The soil here is very good for growing just about everything, but there is a lack of rainfall. Normal yearly rainfall for the Valley is about 11 inches. This year we’ve had less than one inch.

Governor Brown has declared a drought (surprise) and asked everyone to reduce water usage by 20 percent. Terry got out the manual for the dishwasher to check about water usage. Turns out our light wash, which we normally use, takes nine gallons of water whereas the normal wash takes only seven gallons. I guess the light wash uses more water and goes faster. Our dishwasher has a sensor that can tell how dirty the dishes are and adjusts itself accordingly. Some loads take less time than others for that reason. Doing our part, we are now using the normal wash cycle. We have a joke in our family about NORMAL. There’s no such thing as normal; it’s just a setting on the dryer, or in this case, on the dishwasher.