Sabot L'ours (sabotlours) wrote,
Sabot L'ours

Extreme Dog Walking '15

Every year that I have been posting to LJ, it seems that I make a post about "extreme dog walking," a phrase I have coined here describing the phenomenon of walking the dog during monsoon season where there is a possibility of death due to weather. This post is all about you, allaboutweather, *lol* "Extreme Dog Walking" refers to storms in the immediate area but not necessarily severe. Unfortunately, since it takes about 45 minutes to do my 2 mile walk, storms can quickly blow up and start throwing off lightning. This is not a good thing when you're walking on a flat, treeless mesa and you're the tallest thing around.

Just before I left work I checked the weather radar and saw a line of heavy thunderstorms just to the north of Fur Central heading east. When I got home I grabbed Mesa and decided to attempt walkies. I did a major doubletake because the sky was as angry as I have ever seen. I intently scanned the cloud bottoms for circulation because a funnel cloud would not have surprised me in the least. My logical side told me to just wait it out and go in an hour or so. My weather-geek side wanted to climb the mesa to see what was happening to the north because the non-stop thunder suggested something major was going on. I hiked to the top of the mesa with Mesa and was disappointed to see nothing but a wall of black to the north. There must have been an incredible light show going on based on the thunder, but it was not visible to me. The rain soon started, and since it was blowing almost sideways from the north, obviously outflow from the storm, I decided to retreat to a cliff to the south that is covered in petroglyphs. The cliff would surely provide me with cover. It did, for a couple of minutes. Soon it was pouring along with pea-sized hail. I hunkered up against the cliff and tried to protect Mesa's head from the hail. I could have made a break down the mesa to the house, but I kept hoping the storm would end as quickly as it began. No such luck. It poured for about 15 minutes. During this time the wind died down meaning that I was now getting pelted by rain and hail. I could see that there was actually flow coming off of the mesa. Even though I was soaking wet, I was all jazzed that I was experiencing the storm from the top of the mesa instead of from the bottom. Finally there was a break and I made my own break down to Fur Central. Sure enough the little arroyo was flowing. When I got back home I quickly grabbed a shovel and started to make a channel for the water to flow to the street. It was such a small flow that it was over as quickly as it had begun. I was squee-ing as a hydro geek, however, because the storm provided an important data point to my understanding of the mechanics of the arroyo above Fur Central. The storm produced 0.42" of rain in about 15 minutes. It has been my hypothesis that it's intensity/rate and not total rain/volume that produces flow. That's probably the main reason why I'm posting this to LJ. It's for my own record of flow events. This one is more significant because I was actually out in it while it was happening.
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