Sunday, July 15, 2012

Propitious Precipitation

Good news! The disappearance of our desert city has been postponed for at least another week. We were just moments away from drying up and blowing away with the next dust storm, but our so-called rainy season came through with actual rain this year. There have been so many years when we have waited and waited, but not gotten more than a few drops. Last night we went over one inch for the year to date rainfall, which is cause for celebration.

As usual, I was transfixed by the sounds and smells created by the water. It’s so rare to see these sights that I took some photos to remind myself next time we go into an eight-month (or three-year) dry spell.
Water spilling off the roof

The temperatures have only dropped slightly, to around 100 (38 C), but the rain itself is cool and there is the psychological cooling effect of the gray clouds above rather than the burning sun. It’s a nice break for us.
Raindrop patterns in the pool

While the standard definition of a desert is an arid place than receives less than 10 inches of rain per year, the Sonoran Desert has a wide geographic range and can receive between 3 and 15 inches depending on the altitude, latitude, proximity of mountains, oceans, and other features.
Phoenix is located in a section of the desert called the Lower Colorado River Valley. While this lovely name conjures images of verdant meadows with birds chirping in willow trees as the river rushes by, the reality is that it is second only to Death Valley as the hottest, driest place in North America.

I hope we’ll get to enjoy rain for the rest of July and throughout August. It would be a big help to the desert wildlife and plants, as well as the humans. Maybe the waterlogged citizens of England can send their rain our way!


  1. Yay! So pleased for you..and the wildlife!
    We have had floods again this weekend and have just posted about them.. so much rain and thunder.You long for grey skies and I long for a bit of bright blue!!! I like how your temperatures have only dropped slightly to around 38..I was so cold the other night I took a hot water bottle to bed!

  2. Hooray! We are actually getting a bit of much needed rain today, too, though we are never as dry as your region. Enjoy!

  3. You can gladly have some of our wet!