Friday, March 28, 2008

It's Getting Wetter

Here's another opportunity to put my nerdy side to use. Since I quit working, I've had to channel my need to build spreadsheets to good, rather than evil, purposes. I have spreadsheets that calculate all kinds of things about our country life, from utility usage to weather patterns to who's coming to visit.

We've been keeping rain data for just over three years now with a handy little rain gauge in the back yard. We record the data after every rainfall in a little form that I then transfer to my spreadsheet. Then I make all kinds of charts and graphs. Hey - I used to get paid for this kind of stuff.

Today's chart illustrates that, as we suspected, the years are getting increasingly wetter since we've been here. I only have data for three years and we've lived in this house for nearly five, but still, a pattern is evident.

Click on the image to see it full size.

The monthly rainfall data is grouped into years that run from April to the following March. Kind of like a fiscal year. There was an 11% increase in rainfall from the 05-06 year to the 06-07 year, and a 6% increase in rainfall from 06-07 to 07-08.

We're still under the historical average annual rainfall amount of 650 mm (the average is actually for Blois*, but it's the closest city that I could find data for). For the feet & inches people, 650 mm is about 25 and a half inches.

When we moved here in the summer of 2003, the year of the great heat wave, it was very dry. The French weather channel often reports that the country has been dealing with drought conditions and a lowering water table for a while now. A look at our rain data vs. the historical average certainly supports that. Maybe we're beginning to come out of the drought.

It's hard to imagine it being any wetter than it is right now.

* I found weather data at another website that showed the average annual rainfall for Blois at 753mm, but there is no information about what years that average is based on, and since I already had my chart done, I decided to go with what I have.


  1. You get a 10 on the nerd-scale!

  2. Lewis likes spreadsheets also;-)

    We did a circle tour of France out of Barcelona the summer of 2003 in early July. The drought was the worst south of Paris, everything was parched.

    Our drought last year was terrible here. We've had normal rain so far this year, but it will take a lot of rain to catch us up.

  3. Australia has been in a serious drought for the past few years although some coastal areas have received welcome rain and even floods in the past three months.

  4. cheryl, why thank you, kimosabe!

    evelyn, I had heard you had a hot, dry summer. I'm kind of hoping for one again...

    victor, having lived in California, I know what effect the large urban populations can have on a drought-stricken water table.

  5. YES! I'm not the only one who loves making charts!!!!!!!!!

  6. I hear you about the spreadsheets, Walt! I used to get paid for doing them too.


  7. jennie, fellow nerds unite!

    bettyann, I don't think there's much of a market for what I do these days!

  8. forget global warming, i think its global cooling! i moved to france in 2003 also and felt that its getting cooler and cooler. its great that you did the spread sheets! (would be great for gardening for patterns)

  9. riana, yes, I've noticed the same thing.

  10. I'm a bit concerned about what you might have done for a living, if it involved producing spreadsheets for evil !!

  11. Walt your spreadsheets were always the best. I am glad you are still making them!


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