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Author Topic: Comparing Precipitation  (Read 5319 times)

Rearden

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Comparing Precipitation
« on: July 01, 2003, 11:37:12 pm »

Some have posted concerns about having enough water, especially in the drier, western states.  Alternatively, some have said that a drier climate is more comfortable and easier on vehicles.

This post is not intended to take sides on the state debate.  It is merely intended to share information that some FSP members may find worthwhile.

For the nation as a whole: http://personalpages.tds.net/~gordies/USprecMap.htm

For select cities:  http://www.mobot.org/education/02programsresources/mappingenvironment/mynaturalcommunity/table.htm

For each distinct state: http://www.ocs.orst.edu/pub/maps/Precipitation/Total/States/


Alaska

Ranges from 4.49(Barrow) to 151.25(Yakutat).  Anchorage comes  in at 15.91.  

http://www.ocs.orst.edu/pub/maps/Precipitation/Total/States/AK/ak_ppt_in.gif

Given the extreme size of Alaska, it is not surprising that the range of precipitation would be so huge.  The .gif shows that the higher amounts of precipitation lines the southern fringe of the state, while the northern tier qualifies as desert.  

Delaware

40.91 (Wilmington)

http://www.ocs.orst.edu/pub/maps/Precipitation/Total/States/DE/de.gif

The precipitation in Delaware is consistently between 40 and 45 in all three of the state's counties.

Idaho

Ranges from 12.11 (Boise) to 12.43 (Lewiston)

http://www.ocs.orst.edu/pub/maps/Precipitation/Total/States/ID/id.gif

While these cities seem to indicate uniformity, a look at the .gif belies this.  The land along the Montana border recieves 50 to 60 inches per year, with most of the rest of the state receiving very little rain.  Most of Idaho would appear to receive less than 20 inches per year.  Curiously, this is where the majority of Idaho's population seems to be clustered, as the rainy portion of the state is  occupied by vast sections of national forest.  A map of the state reveals some large reservoirs lining the national forests, indicating that the cities transfer water from the wet portion to the dry portion, thereby managing to live in a near-desert environment.  

Maine

Ranges from 36.60 (Caribou) to 44.34 (Portland)

http://www.ocs.orst.edu/pub/maps/Precipitation/Total/States/ME/me.gif

The .gif indicates that most of Maine receives between 38 and 50 inches per year.  The drier portion is in the unpopulated north, while the denser coastline receives the most precipitation.

Montana

Ranges from 10.96 (Glasgow) to 16.51 (Kalispell)

http://www.ocs.orst.edu/pub/maps/Precipitation/Total/States/MT/mt.gif

The .gif reveals an inverse pattern from that of Idaho, with the vast majority of the rain falling on the Idaho border.  Most of the state's population, according to a quick look at a map, shares this pattern.  The eastern two-thirds of the state would appear to be either desert (<10) or near-desert (<18).  

New Hampshire

36.37 (Concord)

http://www.ocs.orst.edu/pub/maps/Precipitation/Total/States/NH/nh.gif

The vast majority of the state receives between 42 and 52 inches of year annually, with few exceptions.  At one extreme, Mt. Washington in the Presidential Range, the highest mountain in the Northeast, receives more than 96 inches per year.  This is also the site of the highest winds ever recorded on earth.  At the other, A strip of land along the Vermont border and a small patch near Concord receive less than 38 inches.  All in all, New Hampshire recieves remarkably consistent rainfall.

North Dakota

Ranges from 13.67 (Williston) to 19.45 (Fargo)

http://www.ocs.orst.edu/pub/maps/Precipitation/Total/States/ND/nd.gif

The entire state receives between 10 and 20 inches of rain per year.  The greater amounts are on the east side of the state, with the western edge receiving less than 15.

South Dakota

Ranges from 16.64 (Rapid City) to 23.86 (Sioux Falls)

http://www.ocs.orst.edu/pub/maps/Precipitation/Total/States/SD/sd.gif

The precipitation in South Dakota ranges from 15 to 26 inches.  Like North Dakota, the further east you go, the more rain you will find.  The only exception to this is a small spot on the western border, which receives over 34 inches of rain per year.  This is, of course, the Black Hills National Forest.

Vermont

34.37 (Burlington)

http://www.ocs.orst.edu/pub/maps/Precipitation/Total/States/VT/vt.gif

The entire state receives between 35 and 52 inches of rain per year, with most being between 40 and 48.  However, there is one exception to this:  the Green Mountain Chair, running the length of Vermont down the middle, receives up to 68 inches per year.

Wyoming

Ranges from 12.52 (Casper) to 14.48 (Sheridan)

http://www.ocs.orst.edu/pub/maps/Precipitation/Total/States/WY/wy.gif

Almost all of the significant area of rainfall in Wyoming falls in the northwest quadrant of the state, in Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Forest.  The shape of the parks even follow the rainfall pattern -- very strange.  It's as if the federal government just said that the rest isn't worth taking.  There are two small pockets that receive over 30 inches per year, one on the southern border near Laramie (although there's a national forest here, too -- Medecine Bow) and the other near Sheridan ( Bighorn National Forest.)  Approximately half of the state receives less than 14 inches of rain per year, and the rest that falls outside of federal land receives between 14 and 22 inches per year.  

I hope members find this information useful, and welcome discussion of any possible implications for the Free State.  Many thanks to Tim for forwarding this information.





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Michelle

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Re:Comparing Precipitation
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2003, 06:47:25 am »

Wow. That is really interesting, especially when one considers that some of the states that have the least amount of precipitation actually have it written into the constitution that the state owns all the water.

I thought I had read that the definition of a desert is 10" or less of rainfall each year, so I looked it up (http://www.earlham.edu/~biol/desert/whatis.htm) and that is correct. I guess that explains a lot to me.  :-\
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freedomroad

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Re:Comparing Precipitation
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2003, 07:47:09 am »

Some have posted concerns about having enough water, especially in the drier, western states.  Alternatively, some have said that a drier climate is more comfortable and easier on vehicles.

Personally, I'm tired of 45-72 inches of rain a year.  I tired of the temp saying it is 98F but it actually feels like 107F.  Any of the state will be better than where I currently am.  Of course, western Dakota, MT, ID, and WY offer the best weather, as far as less rainfall.  However, if people like being wet, go to Maine.  Maine has wet, hot summers.  

One of the great advantages of even states like Montana (which, otherwise, don't have much going for them) is the dry weather.  Dry weather means outdoor life is better and the cost of living is lower.

I'll still be better in the Northeast, at least, better than I currently am.  This factor will certainly not change my vote.  Though, it is nice to know what much of my favorite states is dry for part of the year.

I've lived near swamps before.  I do not want to go back to that.  DE has swamps :(
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Karl

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Re:Comparing Precipitation
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2003, 08:02:38 am »

I tired of the temp saying it is 98F but it actually feels like 107F ... Maine has wet, hot summers.  

Geez.  First you say that New England states are too cold.  Now they're too hot?  So which is it?

Quote
One of the great advantages of even states like Montana (which, otherwise, don't have much going for them) is the dry weather.  Dry weather means outdoor life is better and the cost of living is lower.

Good, there will be something for our unemployed folks to do.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2003, 08:05:52 am by Karl »
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Penfist

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Re:Comparing Precipitation
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2003, 08:11:58 am »

Are you kidding? Dry weather means wells must be dug deeper and run dry more often. Dry weather means that each new immigrant adds to the strain on a limited supply of water.

If I have to choose between more outdoor recreation days and a stable water supply, I know which one I'll choose.
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Penfist

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Re:Comparing Precipitation
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2003, 08:16:26 am »

The state would have to have a monitoring device attached to every well in order to bill people for water usage. Maybe they do, I don't know. I would certainly have reservations about allowing anyone to put a meter on my well. Hell, I'm looking for feasible ways to generate my own power so no one can monitor or charge me for that.
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Karl

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Re:Comparing Precipitation
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2003, 08:58:21 am »

Can anyone post about the practical implications of this? For example, do you need a permit to drill a well on your own land? Or does the state send you a water bill for water you use out of your own well? The idea of the state owning all the water is very foreign to me.

From my understanding, the water laws can be extremely complex, and can vary between locations depending on the availability of water.

Here's Wyomng's water statutes.  You do have to have a permit to construct a well.

http://legisweb.state.wy.us/statutes/sub41.htm
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