July 30, 2013

the continental divide: where does the rain go?



the continental divide is kind of super cool. it runs from the bering strait in alaska to the strait of magellan in chile, over 6700 miles long. because it's so long, it passes through twelve countries (us, canada, mexico, guatemala, honduras, nicaragua, costa rica, panama, colombia, ecuador, peru, & chile) and six us states (alaska, montana, idaho, wyoming, colorado, & new mexico). it's nifty to think that at any given moment someone else is passing over the continental divide in another country or state.

i also think it's pretty neat to think about how rainfall reacts near the continental divide. if it's raining on the west side of the divide, the water runoff is draining into the pacific ocean, while if it's raining on the east side, the rain drains into the atlantic ocean. and of course, this all makes sense, but it's still awesome to revel in nature's beauty and common sense sometimes.