diamond geezer

 Friday, January 17, 2014

It's rained every day this year.

It's rained enough to flood Surrey, enough to close the Thames Barrier 13 times in succession, enough to make us forget what dry weather is.

But just how wet is it when it rains?

We don't have a readily accepted way of measuring how hard it's raining. There's no recognised indication in the weather forecast of quite how heavy a downpour will be, whether it'll lightly spot your shoes or drench you to the skin. "Millimetres per hour" is a bit too technical, and "wet", "very wet" and "extremely wet" is far too subjective. What I believe we need is a common scale on which to measure rainfall intensity, something everybody understands.

So I'd like to propose the following twelve point rating, a bit like the Beaufort Scale for wind, but for rain.

The Rainforce Scale

ForceClassificationAtmospheric Effects
0DryState of rainlessness; Picnics a genuine possibility; Hosepipe ban likely
1DropletPeople look quizzically at the sky in case a pigeon has deposited on them
2SprinkleOnly ladies who've just been to the hairdressers get their umbrellas out
3DrizzleCricket matches terminate; Initial signs of rummaging for kagoules
4ShowerUmbrellas appear mysteriously in tubs near the door of small shops
5Light RainBarbecues withdraw indoors; Weddings ruined; Cinema owners rub their hands
6RainVillage fĂȘte stallholders wish they'd laminated their signage, as attendees flee
7Heavy RainSpectacles become opaque; T-shirts become transparent
8DownpourThose without waterproof protection start to look silly rather than stoical
9CloudburstStrangers hide under shop awnings and strike up unprompted conversations
10Tipping downPeople decide to stay at work for another half hour rather than leave the office
11DelugeGene Kelly seen gyrating round lamppost; Smokers give up and return to the pub
12MonsoonNoah seen building ark; Climate change deniers tut and say it proves nothing

Unless you could do better.


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