Weather’s Humbling Majesty
by Bill Walker
March 17, 2019
To some, I’ve touched on this subject several years ago. However, I spoke recently at a Master Gardeners General Meeting presenting a couple of slides and related points to the subject… the sheer humbling majesty of weather.
We see storm fronts move across the US almost weekly. Some are very impressive as was this past week. Lots of energy to say the least. Everything from, rain, snow, wind to lightening.
Many times you see these storm fronts develop and stretch from central Texas up into Iowa as they move across the US. Let’s just take two things with a typical storm front as it moves. Those being lightening and rain.
Lightening contributes to soil/plant health by assisting in the development of NO3. About 75% of our atmosphere consist of Nitrogen in the form of N2. This N2 is a very stable gas taking a lot of energy to breakdown to another form. Need energy? ….. hello lightening….. lots of power there. With the power of lightening, N2 can split. The N combines with the falling rainwater to form NO3, which soil microbes and plants feast on.
Rain is a little easier to get your arms around. You know what you got. Just look at your rain gauge or a weather app. The numbers are mind boggling and humbling. Lots of you are going to say “oh, come on man” and get your fact check and calculator app open, but let’s give it a try. The example below is just for 1” of rain 3/13/2019 on Bell County, Texas, where we live. Imagine one of these storm fronts moving across the US and number of square miles involved.
27,154 = gallons in 1” of rain on one acre. If you are a weight person, it’s 113 tons.
640 = acres in one square mile
1,008 = square miles in Bell County, TX
17,517,588,480 = gallons of rain water
If you can’t relate to the 17,517,588,480 gallons, think about the next fuel tanker tuck you see on the highway. It would take about 43,000 tanker trucks to hold this much water.
By the way, don’t even get into the subject of run off, until you understand the water holding capacity of soils. What healthy soils can absorb is an amazing subject in its self.
So all said, I trust you find yourself humbled with realization of the majesty of this wonderful world we live in.