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Weather or Not in Borrego: Rain!

 

Last updated 9/2/2021 at 9:56am



Local folks who were up late on the night of Aug. 10 were treated to what has become a rare atmospheric phenomenon in and around Borrego during August – rain! Well, only a quarter-inch over three hours, but that’s something, right? Seems like we wait and wait and wait, but the rain never comes. And then just when it seems all is without hope, it does. We even witnessed a short but spectacular heat-driven lightning and thunderstorm to go with that night of welcome precipitation.

Unusual for rain in August? Only if you call six out of the past eight years unusual, the exception being 0.07-inches in 2017, hardly worth the exception.

State Park weather records go back only to 2013, a year where we got a respectable 2-inches of rain in August, albeit mostly on one day and petering out the next. And the heat & humidity? The average August temp that year was 105-deg., compared to our current average (so far) of 109-deg; humidity was again low this year.

From the chart, it does look to be getting incrementally hotter in the month of August, and even a bit less humid, on average, over the same 8-year stretch. Ideally, 120-volt swamp coolers run most efficiently (and the electricity costs are cheaper) when the relative humidity is below 25%, compared to the higher expense of 240-volt air conditions). Note the 110-degree threshold for the onset of human suffering over the past eight years. And when approaching 120-degrees, it’s time to ditch outdoor activity and stand in front of open refrigerator and freezer doors.

As we become more aware of the scientific data piling up that the planet is warming, although by very small increments year after year, the cumulative effect becomes pronounced over years and decades. The trend, however, is anything but obvious from a daily glance from one’s front porch in Borrego without comparing the actual data.

So folks, there you have it. Good news that we got some welcome rain, and the usual grim news that we may be, like the rest of the planet, warming up year after year until we, together with the powers that be around the world, make time-dependent choices to lessen the problem.

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