Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Who is this El Nino and Why is He Making It Rain So Much?

Yes, it's another El Nino year. For anyone who's not familiar with the term, the bottom line is that it means we're probably going to be getting a lot more rain than usual here in the desert southwest and weather conditions around the world will also be affected.

So, what exactly is El Nino? The term itself means "little boy" in spanish and was first coined by South American fishermen who noticed that every few years, the fishing waters near the coast would warm up beginning right around Christmas (the birth of the little boy Christ child), driving the fish to cooler waters - and totally messing up the fishermen's ability to catch anything. The other effect of this phenomenon was an increase in rain - often to devastating and dramatic effects. If you've been following the weather news here in the states over the last couple of weeks, you're probably familiar with the storms in California and the flooding and mudslides that are creating havoc. Some areas received over 13" of rain in just a few days time!

Here in the Phoenix, AZ area, we've been hit hard over the past week with almost as much rain as we receive in an entire monsoon season some years (nearly 7 inches just north of the valley) and we actually broke a local record for low pressure in the last storm as the barometric pressure fell to that of a category one hurricane. Fresh snowfall in the mountains here last week reached 3 foot levels over the course of just a couple days. Pretty amazing for a state where the average annual precipitation is about 13 inches. (I think we'll probably easily hit that - possibly before the end of February!)

And of course, our weather simply drifts east - which means that wet weather and snow will be putting a damper on things all across the country and even affecting weather around the globe as wave after wave of El Nino storms drift into the area. I must admit that I find these rainy years a bit refreshing, although a bit worrisome since we're surrounded by washes that can turn into deadly rushing flash floods in just moments. We're also seeing more violent weather in the form of microbursts and tornadoes - which don't really phase me that much since I grew up in tornado alley in the Midwest - but for many of our residents, they're just not accustomed to this kind of weather!

Since wet weather appears to be becoming a fact of life this year, I thought I'd take a peek and see what kind of wet weather gear might be available on Etsy. These are just a few of the great items I came up with - there's so many more great things - but unfortunately I only have so much room to post here!

While for the most part, I try to get by with just wearing my hooded raincoat on rainy days, sometimes you just need an umbrella. I think umbrellas should be functional as well as stand out a bit in a crowd. I think this PERSONALIZED, CLEAR -YOU DESIGN- ADULTS UMBRELLA from mitymonograms (a brand new shop at Etsy!) is perfect for one simple fact - you can actually see through it. No more hoping you're able to see where you're going, no more worrying because you can't see how the stormy sky looks - you'll actually be able to see! They had see through umbrellas back in the 70's and I absolutely loved the one I had - this one is much more stylish and the fact that it can be personalized will make it easy for you to find it in the umbrella stand!

I remember loving to slosh thru puddles on my way to school when I was a little girl... ok, I admit it, I still love sloshing thru puddles. But I also love having my feet stay dry just like they did when I had my yellow rainboots on in those days long ago. Thanks to shops like namethatthing, you can slosh thru puddles, keep your feet dry and make a fun and whimsical fashion statement at the same time with these great Personalized Rain Boots! What a great way to take a trip back to your childhood and have some rainy day fun in a stylish way!!

We can't forget our four-legged friends in inclement weather, now can we? Our dog is a bit schizoid about rainy weather. There are days that she'll saunter through the deepest puddles without a thought and other days when she's prissy and would rather walk around the perimeter of our property lest she get her paws too wet. Go figure. For me, I prefer her prissy days since she has long hair on her paws and when they get wet - yuck... pawprints and water all over the place! PoochBooties to the rescue! These outdoor pooch booties are water Resistant, insulated, and even have traction pads. I don't think many people think about it, but I'm guessing that the cold wet weather is pretty miserable for a dog's feet - keep your pooch's feet dry and protected and their pads free of cracks and abrasions with these great booties. (and save yourself the hassle of having to wipe up those paw prints!)

I hope the weather isn't too bad where you are - we're getting ready for more rain tomorrow, so I'm off to take advantage of the reasonably fair weather today and get some fresh air before I get to work on some new flower themed jewelry pieces later today. Have a great day!


Baroness Bijoutery said...

This has been a very strange one that is true..I can't say I mind the the fact that we haven't had a bunch of snow and ice this year...And we are use to the rain..that what it does in the Pacific Northwest..alot..
I love the umbrella, as long as it stands up to our horrible winds it would be great...And I have a pair of those lovely boots..They remind me of the ones we use to buy when we lived in Japan...

Engagement rings said...

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Sharon said...

El Nino has brought us a mild January here in Portland, Oregon. The average temperatures are the second highest on record with many days in the 50's, and there hasn't been as much rain as usual. If this keeps up, we could have a water shortage later in the year.

Last week we got some rain, though, and we still have plenty of grey days. It gets to me sometimes.

Those boots are cool!


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