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It Just Keeps Raining!

By: Modular Robotics

Thanks everyone for your calls and emails.  We’ve got some amazing flooding going on right now in Boulder but we’re all OK.  A few modbot people are out of their homes and have flooded basements but modbot HQ is dry with very minimal damage.  We expect to be shipping Cubelets out the door again on Monday.

Everyone knew that this was coming sooner or later.  Our last 100-year flood was in 1894, and Boulder is basically built in the flood plain.  To be clear, 100-year floods don’t occur every hundred years, it’s just a funny way of labeling a flood that has a 1% chance of occurring each year.  Regardless, Boulder’s in a low spot at the mouth of many canyons that drain the Continental Divide, it’s a pretty likely spot for serious flooding.  The weird part of this, though, is that flooding doesn’t normally happen in the Fall, it happens in the Spring, when all of the snow melts and fattens all of the rivers and creeks.

It’s still raining.  I’ve been in and around Boulder for almost 20 years and I’ve never seen it rain continuously like this for days and days.  It generally sprinkles in the afternoon for 15 to 20 minutes during the Summer, but a grey day of rain is a once-a-year novelty.  People here look forward to it, we get all Seattle and drink coffee and watch movies during the day.  But it’s been raining here for a week.

boulderprecip

I catch a little flack around Modular Robotics sometimes because I can get get pretty excited about charts.  Some people can look at huge spreadsheets of numbers and make sense of them, but I generally cannot.  I usually think of data as an input, and a chart as the output.  Well, anyway, take a look at the rainfall chart above!

I’m stuck in Nederland, the little mountain town West of Boulder where I live; all of the roads in and out are closed.  We’re at 8,236 feet above sea level, so all’s fine here, all of our rain just washed down to Boulder.  It feels a little odd not being able to leave, but we have ample stores of coffee and chocolate and also a big vegetable garden, so we’ll be just fine.  It just started raining again.

If you’re interested in reading about the meteorology behind the current flooding, Bob Henson wrote a great piece on the UCAR/NCAR site.

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