Lots of rain at BM?

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xevioso
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Lots of rain at BM?

Post by xevioso » Tue Aug 17, 2004 2:57 pm

I was randomly looking at the upcoming forecast for the Gerlach area, and it looks liek theres supposed to be quite a bit of rain there over the next week or two. I'm wondering how this will affect the playa if it was supposedly very dry earlier in the year.

I.e., how does a lot of rain affect a very dry ground? I guess this means the dust won't be so bad this year as has previously predicted? Is rain this late very common, and should I rpepare to get soaked more than having to prepare for dust? Inquiring minds want to know...

Xevioso

MissNev
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Post by MissNev » Tue Aug 17, 2004 3:19 pm

Rain for the playa is good. It makes the surface hard (enabling the ease of bicycling) and cuts down on the dust. Absolutely prepare for anything and everything. Lovely rain showers during the afternoons are common. A few years back (4 or 5) it rained a lot. My rainfly blew partially off my tent and I awoke in the middle of the night to about 1/2" of water in my tent.

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Post by dragonfly Jafe » Tue Aug 17, 2004 3:27 pm

But until it dries out the Playa is miserable! A brief rain now and then may be good, but a steady down pour would be a disaster. Even a couple of heavy rains each day would pretty much nix vehicular or bicycle traffic and make walking a chore. Be sure to have a good shelter to hang out in or cozy up to the neighbors if this happens! The Playa will eventually dry...

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robbidobbs
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Post by robbidobbs » Tue Aug 17, 2004 3:32 pm

Bring rain gear. If it rains during the Event, all vehicle traffic stops, and bicycle traffic as well. We'll all be walking around in Playa-platforms -- your shoes will be caked with several inches (!) of glue-like mud. If you're sleeping on the ground (inside of a shelter of course), you might consider bringing a cot, or fashioning one from milk crates and plywood. Bring extra tarps.

And most importantly, don't panic. Human's have been out in the rain since the beginning of time. It's ok to get wet. Enjoy it.

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xevioso
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Yes but

Post by xevioso » Tue Aug 17, 2004 3:42 pm

How often has it rained as much as it looks like it will? The forecasts on weather.com say theres a pretty good chance of rain every day, almost up until the burn. Yikes!

Are plastic bags on your feet a good way to deal with the mud? I used to use plastic bags with rubber bands around my calfs and that would make sure that now mud or snow caked my shoes, at least until my cleats ripped up the bags and made them useless.

xevioso

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DVD Burner
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Post by DVD Burner » Tue Aug 17, 2004 3:43 pm

Tell you the honest truth, when it rained when I was up there long ago we had a blast.

Please take heed to robbidobbs advise. It's true what she says.

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Post by actiongrl » Tue Aug 17, 2004 4:13 pm

it's almost impossible to move around if it rains for any extended period of time. That said, a storm on the playa rarely (and I said rarely, not never) lasts for very very long, and it does dry quick. Weather tends to change pretty rapidly in such a location.

Some rain now - it's apparently overcast (keeps it cool, easier to work!) and sprinkling here and there (dust be gone!) But I haven't heard of heavy rains at all. So this is good news as long as it doesn't stop progress. Please, though, can we do a little dance to make it stop by Friday night? My wedding dress isn't gonna look so great caked with mud. :(

BTW, it's been a little chillier right before dawn than we're used to, but a heatup is still projected in the almanacs I've read.

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headquarters
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Post by headquarters » Tue Aug 17, 2004 4:16 pm

not that it matters much, as i'll be there all week no matter what the weather. But weather.com doesn't seem to be as negative as you would make it sound.

http://www.weather.com/weather/local/US ... earch_city

30% isolated t-storms is not that bad at all. toward the end of this week they look to be back toward sunny weather.

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Post by Sensei » Tue Aug 17, 2004 4:34 pm

actiongrl wrote: Please, though, can we do a little dance to make it stop by Friday night? My wedding dress isn't gonna look so great caked with mud. :(
One "Seattle Rain Dance" coming up. But if I screw this one up again, you guys have to apologize to Florida; that was really, really embarrassing. Lessee now, stop by Friday... hold on, I remember this... hmmm, better check the manual (ya' know, just to be sure)... stopping rain... now how the hell... Can you guys hang on a minute? I'll be right back, I need to consult. There's this pod of orcas down the beach aways and those guys know EVERYTHING. Seriously. I'll be right back.

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KellY
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Post by KellY » Tue Aug 17, 2004 5:31 pm

That's Friday before the burn, Sensei, not this Friday - a bit of rain is still good juju on the playa.
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TheJudge
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Post by TheJudge » Tue Aug 17, 2004 7:07 pm

Keep in mind that the weather channel site uses information from Lovelock NV, which is about 130 miles to the Southeast of Gerlach.

The most accurate information I've found for weather comes from the NOAA:

http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/wrhq/To ... NV+005+031

But even this is not 100% because the weather in Gerlach is not the same as the weather on the playa.
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Badger
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Post by Badger » Tue Aug 17, 2004 7:08 pm

Are plastic bags on your feet a good way to deal with the mud?
A great idea actually. Don't wear any shoes and the bags will last longer.

Actiongirl's correct in that my experience on the playa is that rain RARELY last more than 30 minutes and the playa dries quickly. My only fear is that there might be a downpour and that some of the less experienced campers will bail out. Others might latch on to the herd mentality and follow suit. If that's the case then the one road out will be trashed fairly quickly for the rest of the attendees.
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TheJudge
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Post by TheJudge » Tue Aug 17, 2004 7:17 pm

But a city with a couple thousand fewer people might be kinda nice. Reminicent of the old days or something.
"Be at one with the dust of the earth. This is primal union." - Lao Tsu

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headquarters
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Post by headquarters » Tue Aug 17, 2004 7:36 pm

TheJudge wrote:Keep in mind that the weather channel site uses information from Lovelock NV, which is about 130 miles to the Southeast of Gerlach.

The most accurate information I've found for weather comes from the NOAA:

http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/wrhq/To ... NV+005+031

But even this is not 100% because the weather in Gerlach is not the same as the weather on the playa.
not trying to be a picky bitch or anything, because i know what you are saying that it's not really that close, but lovelock is only about 60 miles by way of the crow. so it isn't too bad of a representation of the weather.

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dapete
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Prepare for rain

Post by dapete » Tue Aug 17, 2004 11:12 pm

You can drive yourself crazy trying to predict the future. Relax. Prepare for rain and deal with it when it comes. Try not to put too much stock in those voodoo weather medicine men...just look what they did for Florida!

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xevioso
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Post by xevioso » Wed Aug 18, 2004 9:22 am

The reason I was initially curious about how this would affect the playa didnt really have anything to do with the rain, but rather how it would affect the dust. Supposedly the lack of rain earlier in the year made it so that there was a crusty surface, and this year was supposed to be dustier than most. If it rains all next week, I'm sure that would drop the dust down a lot, but would it fundamentally change the nature of the crusty playa while we are there?

This will be my second burn; I didnt experience any rain last year and I am sure I will this year, but the one thing that did bother me was the sometimes never ending dust storms. I'm just hoping that lots of rain beforehand will make them much less likely.

--Jeremy

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TheJudge
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Re: Prepare for rain

Post by TheJudge » Wed Aug 18, 2004 10:52 am

dapete wrote:You can drive yourself crazy trying to predict the future. Relax. Prepare for rain and deal with it when it comes. Try not to put too much stock in those voodoo weather medicine men...just look what they did for Florida!
I agree. Part of the fun of going there is experiencing the random weather and being prepared to not only ride it out, but have fun with it.
"Be at one with the dust of the earth. This is primal union." - Lao Tsu

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Post by dapete » Wed Aug 18, 2004 11:08 am

xevioso wrote:I'm just hoping that lots of rain beforehand will make them much less likely.

--Jeremy
Your best bet is to leave your expections in Reno.

Apathy for that which you cannot control is the key to happiness.

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headquarters
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Post by headquarters » Wed Aug 18, 2004 11:34 am

agreed, we were sitting around on sunday last year when that dust storm came through. there were some people in my camp who just wanted to leave right away since it "could" rain. We had sat there for 7 days and they wanted to leave 2 hours before the temple burned. That was weak sauce. and in retrospect the dust storm was one of my favorite parts of the week. same with the dust/rain storm on the friday the year before.

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Post by DVD Burner » Wed Aug 18, 2004 11:37 am

Something about a dust storm that's so romantic.

(I'm not a romantic.) I had a great time last dust storm I was in on the playa.

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Post by DVD Burner » Wed Aug 18, 2004 11:38 am

Sorry,

I already said that on this thread.


I must really like them dust storms. :wink:

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Post by Angel Ben » Wed Aug 18, 2004 12:29 pm

dapete wrote:Your best bet is to leave your expections in Reno.
I've actually taken to checking around the parking lots of Trader Joe's and Walmart to collect the thousands of discarded expectations. One of these years I'll use them all in a mind-blowing art installation.

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Post by Stormy » Wed Aug 18, 2004 3:50 pm

I'm partial to storms. :wink:
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Post by _tears_ » Wed Aug 18, 2004 3:58 pm

Does having a tarp under your tent help with the rain or does it seem to puddle it under your tent?
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Medium range weather forecasting

Post by bdongray » Wed Aug 18, 2004 4:37 pm

I have a friend who works at a medium range weather forecasting center. They have massive high power computers and finer resolution of the planet to be able to predict more than a few days out (like normal national weather centers can). He says anything over 10 days and even for them the variables start to compound and you're not going to get good predictions, unless things are fairly stable.

The event starts in 12 days, and at this moment the results are not very stable for more than about 5 days even with heavy computing, so he said he'll send me a prediction just before I leave for the BurningMan week. I'll post it's findings (and bring a printout).

Saying all that he sent me some analysis stats from today, predicting until Aug 27 (ie those magic ten days) for 15 miles NNE of the long/lat I gave for The Man. I'll ask if he can get it closer, but I seem to remember the grid they use of the Earth is 19 miles wide, which apparently is one of the most resolutions of all the medium range weather centers.

Thu 19: no cloud, no rain, light wind, temp lo=60F hi=90F
Cloud cover Thursday night, but watch out as the extreme end of the prediction (ie less than 25% probable) says there could be a <u><b>big</b></u> downpour for Thursday afternoon.
No cloud cover by morning, but later on Friday it'll get cloudy.
Sat 21: starts clear, cloudy later, wind getting a bit more by noon, getting less in the evening. But overnight, it'll get cloudy, and stay cloudy until Thursday (Aug 26).
Sun 22: will be quite a windy day, less hot (hi=72F - although extreme end of probability says 90F) and very likely have a little rain later in the day. Colder overnight, lo=50F
Mon 23: the wind dies down a little, but it does not get as hot (hi=60F - I cannot believe that, but the numbers reckon that is most likely). There maybe a drop or two of rain.
But from Monday night (the coldest at a lo=45F) the variance starts to get progressively worse and worse, although the forecast still has high probability that the cloud will clear on Fri 27, the wind will stay low all week, and the temperature will be back to normals (lo=60F, hi=90F) by then. It is obvious that there are too many variables to get a very good prediction that far out, so I'm looking forward to the prediction he'll be sending at the end of next week.
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dj big E
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wind!!!!!!!

Post by dj big E » Wed Aug 18, 2004 10:56 pm

LMAO. Regardless of rain or not there will be dust blowing on the playa you can count on that. Last year as well as 2002 weather was really nice the whole time. :twisted:

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Mithra
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Post by Mithra » Wed Aug 18, 2004 11:08 pm

Sensei?
There's this pod of orcas down the beach aways and those guys know EVERYTHING. Seriously. I'll be right back.
Um, you said you'd be right back.....I think they may have been a bad pod and they've captured you....that or too much shrooms....

Mithra

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Re: Medium range weather forecasting

Post by bdongray » Thu Aug 19, 2004 12:21 pm

...anything over 10 days and even for them the variables start to compound and you're not going to get good predictions...
Here is a good graph of how probabilities when predicting (in this case) the temperature can get worse over time:
Image
just by rerunning the prediction computer program again and again (each time with minor changes to variables of current weather readings). See how over the first few days things are not too bad, it's likely the weather report is fairly accurate, but after 10 days it gets seriously worse.

FYI The solid yellow line is the prediction running with the best data and most precision, and is what used to often be just looked at, but the variance of extreme probabilities is very important, it's why you now hear in weather reports things like "there is a 30% chance of rain tomorrow".

PS The temperature scale on the left is degC.
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Post by sparkletarte » Thu Aug 19, 2004 12:43 pm

And seriously, it's a desert isn't it? There will be a lot of things at BM, but I doubt rain will be one of them. Even if it does rain, what is the likelyhood of there being lots? Not very, I'd say, not what I'd call lots anyways.

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whether weather

Post by Desert Duck » Thu Aug 19, 2004 1:33 pm

Isn't this supposed to be a lake, anyway? I say bring it! I wanna get my feathers wet, again. :mrgreen:
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