Off the Wall
Monsoon in Moab?
by Mike Duncan
Aug 08, 2013 | 1630 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
32 Off the Wall
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The only thing I really miss about growing up in northern Texas, back in the days of the War on Communism instead of Terrorism, when I was embarrassing my mother by singing harmony to hymns at church, was big thunderstorms. For a 14-year old boy, it was exciting.

A baritone (I was jealous), authoritative male (always male in those days) voice (that I would have unquestioningly obeyed had it asked me to strangle my sister with a ribbon from her hair) took over the TV. “We interrupt this broadcast (of “I Love Lucy”) for this Severe Weather Alert!! A line of thunderstorms 20 miles wide by 70 miles long (primitive radar image shown) is progressing from the northwest edge of Hartley County to the southeast edge of Oldham County. For the period from 6 to 10 p.m., expect wind gusts up to 80 miles per hour, up to two inches of rain, and localized areas of damaging hail up to golf ball size. Automobiles and infants with soft skulls should be protected.”

I would charge into the yard, survey the blackening sky, and secretly hope that a tornado would destroy our entire neighborhood, excluding, of course, my ham radio tower already swaying in the freshening wind. Storm over, the big kids in the neighborhood would gleefully torment the little ones in gutters overflowing with rain water.

Well, it must have rained in Moab too. In the hills northeast of town, there are check dams and reservoirs built, I’m told, during the WPA days, not to mention street intersections that are really storm drains.

And every June, particularly dry Junes like the one this year, everybody talks about the “monsoon” season, as if Moab were Bangladesh, with the same hopeful expectation and reverence one normally bestows on Abraham Lincoln or the utility of radio-carbon dating.

It’s said that Steven Hawking, when he wrote “A Brief History of Time,” was told that every equation would halve his book sales. So it is with some trepidation that I present the following 112-year histories, courtesy of the National Climatic Data Center, for the airport at Grand Junction. First, to answer the question, “Will it ever rain again?” I can definitively say, probably.

Re: “Is there a really a monsoon?” I can say, yes, sort of, in August. But don’t hold me to it.

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