A Quick Opinion: It is hard not to write about the weather

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A Winters Express opinion column

By Charley Wallace
Publisher Emeritus

With the first major rainfall in years, I couldn’t stop myself from looking at the test tube rain gauge that I put on my back fence a few years ago. I had not checked it in years and when I did check it on Saturday, it was full of leaves.

When the U.S. Weather Service moved the Winters Weather Station from the old Winters Express backyard to Joe the Weatherman’s backyard, they gave him a new and improved plastic rain gauge. I put the old brass rain gauge in the museum. When I was reading the weather for Joe a few years ago when he was on vacation, I noticed that the new measuring sticks were repelling water. I borrowed an old ruler from the museum and gave it to Joe. The rulers were exactly the same length with the same markings, measuring down to .01 of an inch.

On Sunday, when it was really raining, I moved the museum rain gauge to my backyard. Luckily there were still two rulers with the gauge. I let Joe know that I would be checking his measurements against a real rain gauge, and he just laughed. He told me to start my measurement at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, so I emptied the gauge and started over.

Joe’s backyard is about 1,000 yards from my backyard, so I figured that we would be pretty close in rainfall. I was wrong. On Monday morning, at 9 o’clock, the normal time for checking the weather station, I had 2.30 inches of rain since 12:30 when I started measuring. Joe reported 2.41 inches of rain for the same time period. I remember a time when it rained at the Express and not at my house, so maybe the closer to the creek you are the more rainfall you get. The Berryessa Gap must be bigger than it looks.

I’m hopeful about the rainfall contest this year as entries are starting to show up, but keep the entries coming. The winner gets $100 from Publisher Taylor, $125 if you are a subscriber and I’m hoping for other local prizes for the runner-ups.

Newscasters are trying to downplay the amount of rain we received, reporting that this won’t end the drought, but with over 6 inches of rain, so far, it will put a dent in our problem. Early rains soak the ground, so future rainfall will run off into our reservoirs. Remember, last year we had less than 8 inches of rain for the whole season.

Keep your fingers crossed that we will have a wet year, and get those entries mailed. I’m sticking with my 23.45 inches guess, but I’m hoping I’m way short.

Have a good week.

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