From the ABC 7 Weather team

7.8 billion gallons of rainwater just fell on Fairfax County

July 13, 2011 - 05:31 PM
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How much rain did this storm drop on the D.C. region? A lot: Check out the numbers.

Some of the 586,706,268 gallons of rain that fell in Arlington this afternoon. (Photo by Ben Eisler)

Meteorologist Ryan Miller, who forecasts for ABC7 and WTOP, recently found himself wondering about how much rain falls on the D.C. region during a storm. So he set out to find the answer, using today's thunderstorm for the raw data. Here's what he has to say:

The storms were pretty much uniform at one point or another across D.C., Arlington and Fairfax. Based on that, I took the average total rainfall recorded in eight WeatherBug stations across each individual aforementioned county/area.

Based on the average total rainfall from the storm of the past few hours I calculated that:

586,706,268 gallons of rainwater fell in Arlington County with this storm. (Avg rain total of 1.305 inches.)

7,860,555,220 gallons of rainwater fell in Fairfax Country with this storm (Avg rain total of 1.13 inches)

448,158,305 gallons of rainwater fell in D.C. with this storm (Avg rain total of .42. inches)

These calculations were done for these three areas because radar trends this afternoon indicated storm (precipitation uniformity) over the entire locations, where Montgomery County did not have complete storm coverage.

I did this because when people see heavy rain sometimes I hear them say, "That's a lot of water." Well, it is.

If it rains 1 inch of rain over 1 acre of land that would equate to 27,154 gallons of rain. That is how I based my calculations.

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