Friday, July 8, 2005

By The Numbers, 2: When It Rains in Tucson

Rainy Palms
Last night I teased you with this photo, taken near my office yesterday.  Yes, it rained! That probably doesn't excite you, but in Tucson, it's a big deal.

When I got to the building's hallway after work, headed for the stairs, I was surprised to see the rain through a large window.  I didn't think the clouds would pay off yesterday.  I took a picture of the rainy lot from the upstairs hallway, but I'm saving that photo for another occasion.

At least half a dozen employees were hanging out just inside the employee entrance at the bottom of the stairs.  The door was propped open.

"What, are you all waiting for the rain to stop?" I asked. 

"Pretty much, yeah," someone replied.

"Well, I'm hoofing it.  Good night!" I said, and off I went.

It wasn't exactly pouring, but I can't really blame my fellow employees.  For some of them, it would have been a long, wet walk.  Many of us aren't allowed to park in the overfilled lot near the building, and have to walk to our assigned parking in a satellite lot across the street.

a lot of wet cars, none of them mine.

The only relevant crosswalk is a three minute walk away from the second parking lot, so people usually jaywalk between the two lots.   I did it too, until last week when a cop threatened to give me a ticket.  Now I park someplace even farther away, but closer to a (different) crosswalk. It's legal and it's safer, with a sidewalk instead of a torn-up property line.

Walking past a building near St. Michael's. In the rain.

Nowadays, I often walk past this building.  Usually, it isn't raining at the time.  Yesterday it was, but it wasn't raining hard.  I suppose when the monsoon arrives, it will often rain during the walk to the car. 5 PM is a classic time for a monsoon storm.  I should look for an umbrella.

81 degrees! Better!

When I got into the car, the overhead thermometer claimed a temperature of only 81 degrees, a distinct improvement over 111 earlier in the day.  It was still hot in the car, so the sensor must be on the roof or something like that.  This would explain what happened next.

It started to rain again...
It started to rain again, and...

...and in seconds the thermometer fell two more degrees.

...within  seconds, the thermometer fell two more degrees. 

I drove home. It is normally a five minute drive, except for rush hour, which this was. The rain stopped a block after I started driving. By the time I got home, the sun was out, the roof of the car was dry, or at least drier...

The respite didn't last.

...and the reported temperature had risen to 96 degrees.

The Weather Service says the monsoon may not get here for another two weeks.  I sure hope they're wrong!  It thundered off and on all evening, but it didn't rain much.  My office was hot and sticky. It still is. Humidity this morning was up to 37%.  I'm hoping that real rain will bring more relief than five minutes' worth.  The month to date total rainfall is only .01 inches, officially.  But it was nice while it lasted.

Rain!  Rain some more!  Come on, monsoon!



yankeygr said...

We got your rain right here! I'm sick of it. Todays high was only 63. What happened to summer? Sorry yours is so extreme.    Rhonda

ryanagi said...

Wild weather!