The Inuit and Aleut tribes living around and above the arctic circle can recall more than 100 names that describe snow and ice.  Studies of the Sami languages of Norway, Sweden and Finland, conclude that the languages have anywhere from 180 snow- and ice-related words and as many as 300 different words for types of snow, tracks in snow, and conditions of the use of snow.  Of course, there appears to be some disagreement with all of that within the linquistic and anthropology communities that care about such things. Communitiers as such are never homogenous in their belief systems.  Discussions about climate change and global warming have certainly proven that.  I would bet that most South Pacific Islanders have very few words for ice or snow.  Just a thought…

The Pacific Northwest is a land of temperate rainforests and certain places with very wet weather.  There are many names for all of the precipitation types ranging from very light to damaging precipitation.  Starting with the lighter forms of precipitation:  vapor, haze, mist, drizzle, sprinkling, sprinkle, Scotch or Irish Mist.  The middle ground can be covered by referring to a shower, rain, heavy shower, and driving rain which is essentially a heavy shower with a lot of wind as an added energy source.  The upper and more energetic spectrum of precipitation can be referred to as a torrent, spit, cloudburst, downpour, deluge, or rain storm.  A rain storm probably includes all of the rain types of the Northwest within any particular rain storm, by starting as a slow drizzle ramping up to a sprinkle, a rain, a driving rain as the storm front gets close, and a cloudburst, downpour and outright deluge as the front hits and then ramps down back to a drizzle and mist as the front moves on…  Who cares you might ask?  Well this morning it was sprinkling…

The Sprinkling

2 thoughts on “Rain…

  1. Wonderful prose. Reminds me of the many forms of rain I have personally encountered in the Northwest and the reason I currently live where I do.


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