Rain, explained

Posted on | January 18, 2010 | No Comments

A TREAT arrived with the rain on Sunday, a treat worth breaking from this site’s normal policy of not quoting, referencing or linking to pseudonymous sources.* The Southern Californian meteorologist who blogs on science and home life as “Bad Mom Good Mom” passed on this explanation of our storm.

FIFTH graders in California study the weather. Not surprisingly, my fifth grade daughter and I have been talking about the weather on our walk to school in the mornings.  Last week, we discussed the difference between latent and sensible heat and how the increase of surface level moisture can mask the temperature signal of global warming.

I am not sure she got it.  I will have to figure out another way to explain that.

In the mean time, I want to better explain why meteorologists are so certain that Los Angeles will be hit by a series of heavy rainstorms …  I could have said something about really complex computer models running on really humongous supercomputers.  But, in fifth grade, I will be happy if she understands some of the underlying physics. To keep reading the rain  explained in terms that a 53-year-old can understand, click here.

*On the subject of pseudonyms, these are entertained on this site only when the person masking their identity is known to the editor as a credible source and holds a job, usually a government position, where their employer takes a dim view of any contact with the press or blogosphere.

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