Dec 28, 2012

Why old habits are hard to break

Do you ever find yourself going through the motions but your heart really isn’t into it, but you do it anyway because that’s what everybody expects?

I’m talking annual rainfall totals.

Old way of reporting annual rain totals
i.e. using January as the cutoff month


The newspapers make a big fuss about tallying annual rainfall totals in accordance with the calendar year, as measured from January 1st through December 31st …

But how much does it really mean?


Up on The Continent, your true blue hydrologists tally rainfall from October 1st through September 30th, better known among us “insiders” as the water year.

The rationale?

River systems typically reach their annual ebb during the fall.


But here on the south peninsula, the Continental Water Year is useless, too. The swamp reaches its annual ebb in spring, not fall.

Thus, after very careful thought, I have become a stickler (and what we call in the profession as an over-zealous advocate) for computer totals for the region from May 1st to April 30th, the first six months of which match our wet season and the six months after that our dry season.


New Way
Blue-colored intervals indicated summer wet season months
and yellow-colored intervals indicate winter dry season months.

I am also aware that some habits are hard to break:

Thus I decided to post both.

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