Both the rainbow last evening, and in a momentary language lapse below….

A once-severe severe thunderstorm with warnings out at one time, whimpered into Catalina last evening giving us just sprinkles or, in aviation parlance, “RW–” (meaning, “very light rain shower”) And long with it, one of our memorable sunset views of the rocky faces of the Catalinas.  Total rain?  A “trace”; i.e.,  not measurable, but drops fell.

Once again I will take this opportunity in the event of very light rain consisting of sparse drops to educate:  Its not “drizzle”, DAMMITALL!

My apologies; probably shouldn’t cuss while educating.

What IS “drizzle” then?  The People of Earth, well those people represented by the United Nations World Meteorological Organization, have officially defined “drizzle” as “fine, close together drops that virtually FLOAT in the air.”   They are LESS THAN 500 microns (micrometers) in diameter (about five human hair widths) at their greatest size.   The smallest size is 200 microns, since drops much smaller than this do not fall fast enough to qualify as precipitation.  Note, some researchers have termed drops from as small as 50 microns to 100 microns, “drizzle” drops.

If any TEEVEE weather presenter uses “drizzle” in the context of RW– (sprinkles)  type of rain, please turn off the set immediately, change channels, send in some angry e-mails to this “pretender”.  Find a weather presenter approaching the status of a “real meteorologist” who knows his precipitation!  In this vein, let us recall the memorable words of the National Science Foundation sponsored program, “Bill Nye the Science Guy” and one of the little Disney Studios produced ditties, Water Cycle Jump:

“Your brain is on vacation, if you don’t know about precipitation.”

Feeling better now.

(This ditty,  my favorite one, of course, from that program….)  ((On second thought, I REALLY liked the “Smells Like Air Pressure”,  the Disney cover of Nirvana’s, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” too.  Very funny and yet educational!))

PS:  Remember in the olden days, when, say a baseball manager excoriated an umpire using “colorful” language?  Cussing was quite “colorful” back then.