According to wingnut radio host Kevin Swanson, most bad things that happen in Colorado are a result of God’s judgment upon gayness and assorted other things that Kevin does not like. According to Right Wing Watch, Swanson previously blamed Colorado wildfires on a picture of gays kissing on the front of the Denver Post. Now he is declaring that because Colorado has spent the past year, in Kevin’s view, being as gay, stoned, and women’s rights-supportive, that God is just really angry and sending unprecedented flooding:
Readers will be shocked to learn that there is a simple scientific explanation for the flooding that pretty much eliminates the possibility that God was just so put out with Colorado that he decided to drench the place:
Parts of Boulder are experiencing a 1-in-1,000 year flood. That doesn’t literally mean that the kind of rainfall seen over the past week only occurs once in a millennium. Rather, it means that a flood of this magnitude only has a 0.1% chance of happening in a given year. This is historically bad luck, due in part to the combination of an active, drenching Southwest monsoon and a low pressure area that trapped over the region. A tropical air mass—unusual in the dry Rocky Mountains—is slowly being hauled across the Front Range by weak southwesterly winds. This is known as an orographic lift, which is converting the incredibly moist air into sheets and sheets of rainfall.
Here’s how the weather blogger Dr. Jeff Masters described the flash flooding on Sept. 12:
“The floods were triggered by widespread torrential rains of 4 – 6″ that fell in less than twelve hours, thanks to a flow of extremely moist air from the southeast that pushed up against the mountains. These sort of upslope rain events are so-named because as the air flows uphill, it expands and cools, forcing the moisture in it to fall as rain. Balloon soundings from Denver last night and this morning recorded the highest levels of September moisture on record for the station.”
But as Adam Andrew Freedman of Climate Central noted, it wasn’t just weather that was playing a role in the biblical Colorado floods:
“An increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme precipitation events is expected to take place even though annual precipitation amounts are projected to decrease in the Southwest. Colorado sits right along the dividing line between the areas where average annual precipitation is expected to increase, and the region that is expected to become drier as a result of climate change. That may translate into more frequent, sharp swings between drought and flood, as has recently been the case. Last year, after all, was Colorado’s second-driest on record, with the warmest spring and warmest summer on record, leading to an intense drought that is only just easing.”
Amazing, how science explains things, and how rarely the hypothesis “because of men kissing” pans out.