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Over A Billion Gallons Of Water Fall On Front Range, More On The Way

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The Mobile Weather Lab tracks severe storms on Wednesday afternoon (credit: CBS)

The Mobile Weather Lab tracks severe storms on Wednesday afternoon (credit: CBS)

Chris Spears By Chris Spears
CBS4 Meteorologist
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DENVER (CBS4) - You’ve heard the saying, water is a precious resource? Or every drop counts?

It’s true, especially in an arid state like Colorado.

To understand just how much rain falls from the sky, it can easily be converted from inches to gallons.

Here are a few fun facts…

• 1 inch of rain over the typical roof of a home (40×70) is 1,743 gallons of water

• 1 inch of rain over an acre of land is 27,154 gallons of water

• 1 inch of rain over a square mile (640 acres) is 17.38 million gallons of water

Now, to figure out how much rain fell over your area, simply do the math, using the above references.

The Denver metropolitan area is just over 150 square miles, and the Front Range Urban Corridor between Denver and Fort Collins is several hundred square miles.

Rainfall reports along the Front Range from the CoCoRaHS network, for the 24-hour period ending at 7 a.m. on May 8, 2014.

Rain reports from the Front Range for the 24-hour period ending at 7 a.m. on May 8, 2014. (credit: CoCoRaHS Network)

For easy math, let’s say the average rainfall last night was 0.50″ along the Front Range. (it was actually higher in some areas and lower in others) That equates to a well over a billion gallons of water falling from the sky!

It’s important to know that there are other factors involved in the water cycle that can lower the amount of water actually absorbed into the land, such as runoff and evaporation.

But it goes to show you that while a small rainstorm can be very beneficial, the really big storms are what we count on in Colorado to sustain life.

Much of northeast Colorado saw very beneficial rainfall on Wednesday. One of the highest totals was 1.60″ reported near Akron.

If only we could get this type of rain to fall over southeast Colorado where extreme to exceptional drought conditions continue to grip the region.

Rainfall reports from northeast Colorado for the 24-hour period ending at 7 a.m. on May 8, 2014. (credit: CoCoRaHS Network)

Rainfall reports from northeast Colorado for the 24-hour period ending at 7 a.m. on May 8, 2014. (credit: CoCoRaHS Network)

There is a fantastic organization based in Colorado called the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network, or CoCoRaHS. They have volunteers all over the state tracking daily precipitation like on the maps used in this story.

If tracking rain and snow interest you, they’d love your help. You can learn more by visiting http://www.cocorahs.org or contacting me for additional information.

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