10/21/2010

Weather, weather everywhere....

In Kansas, you can see weather coming for miles and miles. In Stratford, if you see any sort of clouds around the mountain, you know it's going to rain in some degree. I found this article that explains it rather nicely.
Mountains make a barrier for moving air. The wind pushes air, and clouds  in the air, up the mountain slopes. The atmosphere is cooler at high elevations, and there is less of it: lower pressure makes it hard for lowland animals to get enough air to breathe. Dense masses of warm, moist air that move up and over a mountain swell as the air pressure confining them drops away. The air becomes colder in the same way as a pressurized spray can's contents become colder when the can's pressure drops rapidly. (The phrase that describes this phenomenon is adiabatic expansion.) Water that existed as a gas under the high pressure and temperature  of the flatlands now condenses into cool droplets, and clouds form over the mountain. As the cloud continues to rise, droplets grow and grow, eventually becoming too heavy to float in the air. The clouds dump rain, and snow, on the mountain slopes. After topping the crest, however, the clouds may have no more moisture to rain on the other side of the mountain, which becomes arid. This rain shadow is best illustrated in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, where the  tall Redwood Forests cover the ocean-facing side of the mountains and Death Valley lies in the rain shadow.
               from     Mountains - Weather Effects Of Mountains


I first thought this whole weather thing would be a problem and make hanging clothes on the line a bit tricky. Then I realized that the neighbors didn't seem to care what the weather was--they just hung clothes out whenever they were moved. So the conclusions I found were these:


  • If I look out all the windows and see even a small patch of blue anywhere, the clothes should eventually get dry today. 
  • The rain is so fine on this side of the mountain that it doesn't hinder the drying process to any degree unless it's blowing sideways. [Sometimes, it's pleasantly balmy and I don't realize it's actually raining (misting, we used to call it) until I get outside.]
  • Except for the dreaded winter months, the rain is always intermittent--the blue skies and sunshine can break through the clouds 10 times over a period of a few hours, interrupted by some mist or drizzle or having both sunshine and rain simultaneously.
  • Even if the clothes don't get dry today, they will be nicely rinsed in pure, mountain rainwater and will dry tomorrow.
I have learned not to worry about the laundry. And I have, thus, learned not to worry about many things over which I have no control. Life is always a learning process.

5 comments:

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Cool post! So I know you used the hanging laundry as a metaphor -- but from strictly a practical standpoint, I think it is so cool that you CAN hang it out. Many communities here are finally coming around (coming back) to the idea that it is OK. Here in Oregon its a bit moot during Fall and Winter, they'd NEVER dry.

but in Florida where they live we can hang them outside and I just love that!~!

AND I do appreciate the metaphor. Live with what you get!

Pearl said...

I love the idea of something small -- like laundry -- teaching us things we can carry over into the rest of our lives. :-)

Pearl

ladyfi said...

Who knew that laundry could teach a lesson about life? Wonderful!

hummer said...

Great life lesson. I love the smell of clothes dried on the clothes line outside, especially bedding.
Thanks for the insights.

laura said...

I enjoyed reading your post as I used to live in a moutain region, and miss it (surprise weather and all)!

I love line-drying as well, except for my bedsheets. The air quality is not very good where I live now, and I really like to be able to forget that when I'm falling asleep!