Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Episode 258 (3-23-15): "Winter's Fall" by No Strings Attached, for Spring's Arrival and the Water that Winter Left Behind

CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (3:42)

Transcript, photo, and additional notes follow below.


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of March 23, 2015.

This week, we feature a Blacksburg- and Roanoke-based band with a tune to mark spring’s arrival and give a bit of water-credit to winter.  Have a listen for about 35 seconds.


You’ve been listening to part of “Winter’s Fall,” by No Strings Attached, on their 1999 album, “In the Vinyl Tradition, Vol. II,” from Enessay Music.  In one sense, the “fall” in the title brings to mind the welcome end of winter and the bursts of biological activities that start in spring [SOUND – Spring Peepers - ~3 sec] and continue through summer and early fall [SOUND – Evening insects in early October - ~2 sec].

But those activities—from frog calling, to insect buzzing, to many human activities—take water, and the water that’ll be available during spring and summer in pools, ponds, streams, and underground depends in large part on the water that falls during winter.  About 38 percent of Virginia’s statewide average annual precipitation falls from November through March, according to records since 1895.  But compared to warm-weather rainfall, winter precipitation is less likely to evaporate, less likely to be used by plants, and less likely to run off rapidly over the land surface.  As a result, much of winter precipitation can seep into groundwater, recharging supplies that’ll be available in warmer months for plants and as base flow in streams and rivers.  Winter recharge of water supplies is even more important in relatively dry—but snowy—western states; in California, for example, over 75 percent of the annual average precipitation occurs from November through March.  While Virginia’s water managers don’t have to focus each winter on snowpack levels, like many westerners do, what falls each Commonwealth winter is still key to our summer water supplies.  Thanks to No Strings Attached for permission to use this week’s music, and let’s end with about 10 more seconds of “Winter’s Fall.”


For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water

[All Internet addresses mentioned were functional as of 3/23/15]

Snow and ice on December 30, 2014, in Blacksburg, Va., at a temporary pond that provides spring breeding habitat for frogs and other amphibians.

“Winter’s Fall,” and “In the Vinyl Tradition, Vol. II,” are copyright by No Strings Attached and Enessay Music, used with permission.  More information about No Strings Attached is available from their Web site, http://enessay.com/.

The sounds heard were Spring Peepers in Blacksburg, Va., March 11, 2015; and various night-time insect sounds in Blacksburg, October 2, 2014.

Sources for this Episode
Southeast Regional Climate Center at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, “Monthly and Seasonal Climate Information,” online at http://www.sercc.com/climateinfo/monthly_seasonal.

Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force, “Drought Status Report for March 2015,” accessed 3/23/15 online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterSupplyWaterQuantity/Drought.aspx.

Western Regional Climate Center, “Average Statewide Precipitation for Western States,” online at http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/climate-summaries/.

Other Sources of Information about Water Quantity in Virginia
U.S. Geological Survey, “Water Resources of Virginia,” online at http://va.water.usgs.gov/.

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, “Water Supply and Quantity,” online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterSupplyWaterQuantity.aspx.

Virginia Water Central News Grouper posts on news, events, and information resources relevant to topics mentioned in this episodes:

Related Virginia Water Radio Episodes
For previous Virginia Water Radio episodes on water supply, weather, or winter, please see the “Groundwater,” “Overall Importance of Water,” and “Weather/Natural Disasters” categories in the Water Radio Index above (specific link: http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/p/index.html).

SOLs Information for Virginia Teachers
This episode may help with the following Virginia’s 2010 Science Standards of Learning (SOLs).
Grades K-6
Earth Patterns, Cycles, and Change: 3.8, 3.9
Earth Resources: 3.10, 4.9
Interrelationships in Earth/Space Systems: 4.6Living Systems: 3.6, 6.7

Specific Subjects
Life Science: LS.6

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/