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Missing daily weather

16 Sep

Lightning near Billings, MT

On our trip, we saw lots of thunder and lightning storms.  Storms are exciting.  Will they come close?  Will they pass by?

I know the weather will start-up here soon enough and then I’ll be complaining about the rain but just now I’m missing the crash and boom of a good thunder-storm.



17 Sep


This seems like a cruel jest.  A few days of perfect weather, after nightmarish heat and then . . . back to Nightmarish Heat.  Whine, whine, whine!

(Oh, that current temp of 56F was the 6am temp.  Sigh.)

Is our drought over?

20 Feb


With our intense rainfall over the long holiday weekend, the question remains as to whether or not we can stop worrying about drought.  The short answer is nope.

The long answer requires looking at some data.  First of all, I found an amazing website called US Drought Monitor.  Wondering if there’s a drought anywhere in the US?  Wonder no more . . . every week, they analyze the country and determine the drought status of every region.  They have a great map and a code.  My region in California is currently in a D1 (Drought Moderate) but we’re surrounded by D2 (Drought Severe).  One storm changed my area from D1 to D2.  Hopefully, we’ll continue with slightly higher than normal rainfall for the rest of the season and pull out of the fear of drought altogether.

Using data from our Water District’s historical record, I used figured out the Mean, Median, Mode, and Range (just like I teach the kids at school).  I didn’t use all the data — just the data since 1975.  The mean (average) is 52″.  The median (put all the data in order from least to greatest and find the middle number) is 46″.  The mode (most common — after I rounded the numbers so that any of them were common) is 50″.  Our range for Boulder Creek is 20″ to 100″.

When I first talked about the lack of rain, we were at around 15″ for the year which is frighteningly low especially since we had received almost no rain in the month of January which is typically one of our heaviest rainfall years.  We are now at 28″ for the year and more rain is coming.  This is very hopeful.

The problem is that even if we make it up to our normal rainfall, we haven’t hit that normal mark in the last two years.  Last year, we had 40″, the year before that 30″.  So, we are making up a deficit.  Our reservoirs are frighteningly low.  One year of normal rainfall won’t fix that.

So, no, not really.  We’re in much better shape but we need a few more storms like that one before we’ll feel safe.  Still, it’s looking like I’ll be able to water my garden this summer which is a good thing!

Spring Dress

Wordless Wednesday – Driving in the Rain

18 Feb


Ruby Tuesday: Storm Watch!

17 Feb

Ruby's going to wait out the storm

Ruby’s philosophy is to get cozy and wait out the storm.  I agree with her completely!

I’m using this weather site to keep track of the rain rate.  Past tests have shown that it tracks pretty consistently with my house.  Another really cool thing I found while perusing local weather stuff is this neat tool.  It is a USGS site that shows the water rate going through our local river, the San Lorenzo River.  As you can see, we got very close to our all-time high yesterday.  For the record, I lived here when we had that all-time-high in 1982 — it was the year that we had mudslides that took out 16 homes.

If you are curious about how this storm is looking for our creek and how it compares to previous years, take a look at the Flickr set I’ve created for my photos of our creek during storms [click].

Oh, and you may notice that my friend, Neefer, has wondered about this huge log that is in my creek.  I don’t see it going anywhere soon — it’s on rock, not mud.  But, now there is additional cause for concern . . . Winnie the Pooh is hanging out on it just tempting fate!

Teddy Bear in peril

Hopefully, the storms have settled down for now although we’d like to have more rain, please!  If the creek gets higher, I’ll share here and on the Flickr group.

6 Feb

Chickadee in the rain

On the verge of a gigantic drought, we are so relieved to have a few days of steady rain.  The rain beating on the rooftops is a delight.  I’ve mentioned in the past that I live in a most unusual rainforest.  We get the vast majority of our rain in the winter.  Our rainy season starts in October and runs through like May.   A typical year shows around 50″ of rain with the range running from 20″ to 112″.

2007-2008   37.60″
2006-2007  27.35″
2005-2006  63.94″
2003-2004  45.22″
1997-1998   90.64″

As you can see, we have had significantly less rain in recent years than in years prior to that.  The 64″ and 45″ years are more typical when you check our historical records.  The 91″ year was atypical at the other end of the spectrum — that was the infamous El Nino year in California with flooding all over the place.

This year, so far, we have about 16″ of rain.  It’s disturbingly low.  While we’ve been enjoying the warm sunny days, we would actually like to not run out of water by mid-June.   It’s especially worrisome since usually January and February are our biggest rain months.  January came and went with very little rain.

So, while I’ve enjoyed the nice weather, I’d rather see gray skies and liquid sunshine for awhile, if it’s not too much trouble!  Our redwood trees need it.  Our streams and rivers need it.  My garden (such as it is) certainly needs it!

So, let it rain!  Let it rain!  Let it rain!

Stats taken from SLV Water Districts data.

Winter Skies

23 Jan

Winter Sky

For weeks, my skies have looked like this: crisp and blue.  The weather has been warm.  Nearly freezing at night and then nearing 70 during the day.  Fall weather, not winter.  Wednesday, it started raining again. Today, it’s pouring.  The weather maps are showing rain through the weekend.

We are all grateful here.  By this time in a normal year, our annual rainfall would be much higher than th 13.74 inches that one local weather station is reporting.  Last year we had a storm in January that gave us 7.09 inches all itself.  All this is to say that the rain is very, very welcome.  We drove by one of the local reservoirs yesterday and I have never seen it so low.

Let it rain!  Let it rain!  Let it rain!

For more winter skies, visit Skywatch® Friday!