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
Force Classification Atmospheric Effects 0 Dry State of rainlessness; Picnics a genuine possibility; Hosepipe ban likely 1 Droplet People look quizzically at the sky in case a pigeon has deposited on them 2 Sprinkle Only ladies who've just been to the hairdressers get their umbrellas out 3 Drizzle Cricket matches terminate; Initial signs of rummaging for kagoules 4 Shower Umbrellas appear mysteriously in tubs near the door of small shops 5 Light Rain Barbecues withdraw indoors; Weddings ruined; Cinema owners rub their hands 6 Rain Village fête stallholders wish they'd laminated their signage, as attendees flee 7 Heavy Rain Spectacles become opaque; T-shirts become transparent 8 Downpour Those without waterproof protection start to look silly rather than stoical 9 Cloudburst Strangers hide under shop awnings and strike up unprompted conversations 10 Tipping down People decide to stay at work for another half hour rather than leave the office 11 Deluge Gene Kelly seen gyrating round lamppost; Smokers give up and return to the pub 12 Monsoon Noah seen building ark; Climate change deniers tut and say it proves nothing
Unless you could do better.
...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan18 Feb18 Mar18 Apr18 May18 Jun18 Jul18
Jan17 Feb17 Mar17 Apr17 May17 Jun17 Jul17 Aug17 Sep17 Oct17 Nov17 Dec17
Jan16 Feb16 Mar16 Apr16 May16 Jun16 Jul16 Aug16 Sep16 Oct16 Nov16 Dec16
Jan15 Feb15 Mar15 Apr15 May15 Jun15 Jul15 Aug15 Sep15 Oct15 Nov15 Dec15
Jan14 Feb14 Mar14 Apr14 May14 Jun14 Jul14 Aug14 Sep14 Oct14 Nov14 Dec14
Jan13 Feb13 Mar13 Apr13 May13 Jun13 Jul13 Aug13 Sep13 Oct13 Nov13 Dec13
Jan12 Feb12 Mar12 Apr12 May12 Jun12 Jul12 Aug12 Sep12 Oct12 Nov12 Dec12
Jan11 Feb11 Mar11 Apr11 May11 Jun11 Jul11 Aug11 Sep11 Oct11 Nov11 Dec11
Jan10 Feb10 Mar10 Apr10 May10 Jun10 Jul10 Aug10 Sep10 Oct10 Nov10 Dec10
Jan09 Feb09 Mar09 Apr09 May09 Jun09 Jul09 Aug09 Sep09 Oct09 Nov09 Dec09
Jan08 Feb08 Mar08 Apr08 May08 Jun08 Jul08 Aug08 Sep08 Oct08 Nov08 Dec08
Jan07 Feb07 Mar07 Apr07 May07 Jun07 Jul07 Aug07 Sep07 Oct07 Nov07 Dec07
Jan06 Feb06 Mar06 Apr06 May06 Jun06 Jul06 Aug06 Sep06 Oct06 Nov06 Dec06
Jan05 Feb05 Mar05 Apr05 May05 Jun05 Jul05 Aug05 Sep05 Oct05 Nov05 Dec05
Jan04 Feb04 Mar04 Apr04 May04 Jun04 Jul04 Aug04 Sep04 Oct04 Nov04 Dec04
Jan03 Feb03 Mar03 Apr03 May03 Jun03 Jul03 Aug03 Sep03 Oct03 Nov03 Dec03
Jan02 Feb02 Mar02 Apr02 May02 Jun02 Jul02 Aug02 Sep02 Oct02 Nov02 Dec02