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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Remarkable Rainfall Facts

Remarkable Rainfall Facts

Move over March. It looks like another month’s weather went out like a lion. April’s last week of weather roared with ominous tornadoes and torrential rainfall.

The multi-day tornado outbreak across the South last week proved deadly and very destructive, but also turned into dangerous flooding across the East Coast. According to the National Weather Service, up to 18.9 inches of rain fell over a 24-hour period in Alabama, and the airport in Pensacola, Florida, recorded 15.5 inches of rain, the highest rainfall in a single calendar day since the NWS began keeping track.

But how much rain is a lot? And what does an inch of rain in snow amount to?

Check out these interesting tidbits about rain:

  • Rain, also known as precipitation, occurs not only on Earth but also in our solar system. However the rain we experience is very different from rain on other planets. For example Venus’s rain is composed of sulfuric acid that never reaches that planet’s surface due to its intense heat. Scientists also confirm that rain occurs on Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus.
  • The amount of precipitation that falls around the world ranges from less than 0.1 inch per year in some deserts to more than 900 inches per year in the tropics.
  • Lquique, Chile, is one of the driest areas on Earth, where no rain fell for 14 years.
  • On the other side of puddle, Mt. Waieleale, Hawaii, averages more than 451 inches of rain each year.
  • One inch of rain falling on 1 acre of ground is equal to about 27,154 gallons and weighs about 113 tons.
  • Most people agree that 1 inch of rain is equal to about 10 inches of snow.
  • Raindrops average around .02 inches to about .031 inches in diameter, and without wind, usually fall at the rate of 7-18 miles per hour.

The saying “April showers bring May flowers” may be true, but for many people in the East, they’ve seen enough rain for awhile. If only they could bottle it up and send it to areas in the country that are still experiencing drought. Bring on May flowers.

3 comments

1 Stephen Rowland { 05.08.14 at 12:35 pm }

Howdy Jeff! Like your State, Texas is also sitting in a high drought condition…at least the top half of the State. We’re heading into our 3rd year of little to none as far as rain goes. Hope it’s not a biblical thing that will last for another 4 years! For Ms. McIntyre…hey, at least you have something dripping. Sorry you and yours suffer from rainy season ailments. C’mon down to Texas or check out Nevada. I think you will return home rather quickly!

2 S. McIntyre { 05.07.14 at 9:49 pm }

So much rain!! Sinus infections, dripping nose… aching knees and cold hands… floods, and mold on everything… Southern Quebec spring…. I sure would like to trade a little of that heat and sunshine in for a while.
Dehumidifiers and antibiotics can get lost! :)

3 Jeff Pauly { 05.07.14 at 10:58 am }

I know in the east talking about rain is not something people may care to talk about. However out here in the west (as in Nevada), we like to see all the rain we can get. It is essential in the mountains as snow for later use in our reservoirs which is then used on farms and ranches for a variety of crops. We only have a short season in the spring when things will green up. So little rain we see, we have not had need for an umbrella. Haven’t had one for over 20 years now. No complaints here about too much rain… let it come.

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