Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Rainy day

Today was another rainy day. It rained all night, and most of the morning. When I say rain it isn't the same as most of the country, what is rain here is either summer thunderstorms or a winter light drizzle. It's been raining for 24 hours, and we probably have had a total of a half inch of rain, at most. It's rather cold, so that means new snow on the mountains around us, and more in the ski area on Mt. Charleston.

So here is a sight that is not normal for Las Vegas - puddles in the street.
The ground is so hard that it will probably take a week before the water is all gone. It doesn't soak into the soil but rather evaporates. The desert around here is like that, the ground has so much clay and bakes from the heat that water does not penetrate. That's why we get those flash floods in the summer. Big desert thunderstorms roll through, and they can drop three inches of rain in fifteen minutes. Nothing soaks into the soil, it all rolls away, which means that downhill there is a LOT of water. An area about three miles from our house got that last fall, and TV carried pictures of helicopters pulling people off of the tops of cars, a crew in a firetruck had to be rescued as well, and those guys should know about dangers.
If you drive up to Vegas from LA you pass a large dry lakebed just before the Nevada border. In the summer this fills with water after the thunderstorms - not much, only a few inches deep. But it looks like you are driving through a mirage, with the sky reflecting off it doesn't look like water.
We are off to Green Valley Ranch for a buffet dinner, I'll try for some pictures while we are out. Just sitting at the computer all day.

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