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What is an inch of rain?  

One inch of rain, like a billion dollars, is hard to comprehend. We hear it all the time in weather reports, but it is hard to relate to things we are familiar with. This should make it more meaningful.

An acre is 43,560 square feet. If you stack 12 of these one-inch tall square feet, you get cubic feet. So 43,560 divided by 12 yields 3630 cubic feet. A cubic foot contains 7.48 gallons. So 3630 times 7.48 yields 27,152.4 gallons. This is the amount of water deposited on one acre by one inch of rain. Still doesn’t mean too much, does it?                                           

Gasoline tank trucks vary between 5500 and 9000 gallons. So it would take 3 to 5 tankers to haul away one inch of rain on one acre. Still a bit fuzzy?                                             

A college football field is 360 feet long and 160 feet wide, or 57,600 square feet. Dividing by 12 yields 4800 cubic feet. Multiply by 7.48 to get 35,904 gallons. It would take 4 to 6 1/2 tankers to haul one inch of rain on the playing surface away.

Imagine sitting in a football stadium during a cloudburst watching all those tankers fill up. Got the picture now?   

Joe Jackan, Tryon