Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Still waitin' on El Nino.......

11/15 - 5 am
I wake up, hear that *sizzle* of wheels on the street outside - Rain!
I roll over, try to go back to sleep, happy to hear rain.
When I wake up? the streets are barely wet. A 'no show' of a storm.

Some nice cirrrus though...

An unremarkable day, as the last few have been.
I get home at 4PM, fire up the mac mini, check email, and... i notice out my north window a certain warmth to the light.

I photographed architecture on a 4x5 view camera for 10 years ('82-'92) - i can see color temperature (the light of the sun filtered by passing thru much atmosphere) in a heart beat. Even if it is reflected off the landscape/buildings.
I can see something unique is building, there are waves in the air up there, way up. Ripples and eddies.
Sure enough, minutes later, the sunset to the west was a great show.
Like the last glowing embers in a fire.

It all happens in a new york minute. Or two.

In fact... life happens in a new york minute. There's more than clouds in the sky - there's philosophy too.
So where is El Nino?
Not 'sposed to really show up until January:

Excellent blog, bookmark it.
You'll hear from in a month or so, when the shit hits the fan.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The last month got alot more interesting

It actually rained!
Alotta people, sky/cloud watchers or not, would say that sunrise and sunset are the times most likely to deliver a colorful unique display. Can't disagree with that.
But I should point out that many times looking in the opposite direction (west at sunrise, east at sunset) can be equally interesting though probably much subtler.
So here's recent sunrise, and what goes on 180 degrees behind it.

This is looking east. Below, looking west


What this stretched out streaky cloud is, i have no idea.

10/25 AM fog.
Such mysterious and spooky stuff.

10/27 - Forecast was for some significant rain. Never happened even though AM skies looked kinda angry.

11/1 Sunday
Forecast? Rain, starting late, continuing thru the night. Correct, it happened! I woke at midnite and 3 AM to make a bit of 'rain' in my bathroom, and was pleasantly surprised to see the same out my window!

At the coast, half an inch, further east/ inland/east bay - 1.5 inches.

Many times, it's the backside of he storm that is most interesting, photogenic.
True once again. By 8 AM, rain is gone....

...but what passes by thru the day is, ah yes, worth many frames. Maybe half roll or more in 35mm camera terms. Even late in the afternoon there was still bombastic stuff passing thru. Thank you mother nature for a great show. I doubt you will ever bore me for long.

And a bit later, 'round sunset, warm color kicked in.

What's up w/ El nino?
Always check this one out, definitly worth a bookmark!
weatherwest blog - 10/28

I always quote the terminator, 'ahnold':
"ah'll be back"

Monday, October 5, 2015

Not a terribly interesting month until a few days ago

It just hasn't been a very interesting month in my neck of the woods.
There were a few scattered showers on 9/16 - 9/17, about enough to wet the pavement.
Elsewhere it was not so peaceful. Of course you've heard of the various wildfires toasting the state. A combination of drought, fire suppression and in many cases human stupidity. I read an article that listed the causes of Ca. wildfires in the last decade or so - many were created by homo sapiens.
Add a new cloud to your list: pyrocumulus. Created by fire, an oxygen sucking monster.


When & where it did rain?...people died.


Slot canyons are beautiful, but inherently dangerous, there's no escaping whatever happens. I have one rule of thumb when i am wandering on the coast or in the desert - 'if the worst that can happen, happens, are the consequences tolerable/surviveable?'.
The answer to that is the answer as to whether to continue on... or not.

As for El Nino?:


An excellent blog, bookmark it.


Oh, shut the fuck up!
California is good at reinventing itself.
It will continue to do so. I'll bet on it. :-)

On 9/23, it got a good bit better. Beautiful cirrus in the AM. First shots, at the bus/transit center at the bottom, no aesthetic apologies for the gritty reality of the place. In fact it emphasizes something very real. We are on a big ball of rock, held here by gravity, in a very gritty world. We are surrounded by a thin skin of air, protected from UV that could bake us in a heartbeat. Think 'Mars', OK? The 'cloud-sphere' changes constantly.

Love what's going on in the lower right:


Later on in the day, it continued to be interesting.

Once again, there's an interesting detail, far right:

So what are those wispy things at the bottom?



To quote a great songwriter:
'We contemplate eternity under the vast indifference of heaven'

Warren Zevon
Thanks, Warren RIP

Sunday, August 16, 2015

July was a another really, really dull month skies-wise.

And so was the first part of August.
Except for some seriously nice cirrus that were a spinoff of some rather unusual conditions, hurricanes off the coast of Mexico. San Diego got rain, and perhaps you read of the flash flood that washed out a bridge in.. i forget... So.Cal.?.. or AZ?
Here's the lowdown at this excellent blog, much more scientific than I will ever be:


Worth a bookmark for me.
Here's my skies - dancing, twirling, twisting, spinning:




A lively month for wild fires, wasn't it? At last count, over 20 in California, 4 of them 'major'.
Today is a 'spare the air' day in the Bay area, there's a haze that's makes hills not far away look distant.


El Nino? Still 'sposed to be heading our way.

If this one is anything like the winter of '97-98, we will be in deep doo-doo.
Or should i say 'water'.
I was living in SF at the time, on a nice quiet street, the rain was soooo heavy, it set off car alarms on a regular basis.
The predictions at this point are pretty certain for So.Cal., less certain for Nor.Cal.
Researchers have written that while the data is strong, nothing is certain, nothing.
Mother nature is a fickle bitch.
I hope I'll be able to make and post some images like this frothy angry view:

Plenty of good links this month, lots of interesting reading if you're in the mood.

Lake Mead hits a new low, but the drought has a silver lining -- tourism!


Drought hastens decline of Joshua tree


On Parched Navajo Reservation, ‘Water Lady’ Brings Liquid Gold


Summer snowstorm hits California's Eastern Sierra - 7/11


And while we're on the topic of drought and climate change... dig these two:

A long read, very interesting:


(If you bookmark any news site, the NYT should be at the top of the list.)

I'm doin' my part, showering once a week or so... and people still sit beside me on the bus, no problem.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Another dull month of drought...

Posted 6/28

It actually rained! Just for a while, but that's pretty unusual for the SF area in June.
Only got a 10th or a few 100th of an inch in many places, but that broke records!
That's how rare rain in June is here.

6/16 - some 'cirruss-ly'-interesting hi clouds.
Definitely some cirrus fibratus in here...
I am not sure what else... but it's definitely interesting!

So for lack of interesting new images, here's a few oldies but goodies:

Above, somewhere in Nevada, this is called 'virga' - rain starts to fall but a dry layer of air beneath it evaporates the rain before it ever reaches the ground.

Above, early morning low clouds/fog part, enough to let a blast of sun shine on the bay water. Princeton harbor, south of SF, close to the famous Mavericks surf spot.

Let's hope summer brings some fog!

This drought has inspired a whole lot of discussion about water in the west:





People “should not be forced to live on property with brown lawns, golf on brown courses or apologize for wanting their gardens to be beautiful,” Yuhas fumed recently on social media. “We pay significant property taxes based on where we live,” he added in an interview. “And, no, we’re not all equal when it comes to water.”

An editorial comment? We are all equal, we all live on the same planet...don't we?





Nor Cal residents worry water bottling plant will hurt environment:

"The glacier-studded stratovolcano is the source of much of California's water. Snowmelt percolates through fractured rock to burst forth in clear cold springs below before making its way to Shasta Lake, which holds about 40% of the federal Central Valley Project's stored supply"





The end of California? I don't think so, not by a long shot.

Monday, May 25, 2015

A Rather dull month...

Some nice cirrus. Nothing to get excited about. But nice, anyway.

5/7 - 'Sposed to be some rainy action, but it only happens in the south bay, and some snow in the sierras. No big whoop-de-doo.


Today, the story is... wind! Enough to almost knock-me-over type wind!
The wind can cleanse all.

Forecast calls for some possible rain on thursday, 'possible' and 'scattered' being the operative words.
Can you see it from this pac sat image? I sure don't.

El Nino just may be back.......
El Niño conditions in the Pacific Ocean that were first identified in March are strengthening, federal scientists said Thursday, renewing hope that the next winter could be a long-awaited wet one for California.


El Niño conditions in the Pacific Ocean that were first identified in March are strengthening, federal scientists said Thursday, renewing hope that the next winter could be a long-awaited wet one for California.

I ain't holding my breath. Mother nature is a fickle bitch. I'll believe it when i look out my apt window and know I  have to put on ALL my rain gear. Then, and only then.

Owens Valley - no water for LA
L.A. getting no Owens Valley runoff for first time since 1913



'Substantial' El Nino event predicted
By Helen Briggs
BBC Environment Correspondent


It's been predicted in a large number of other articles on the net I've seen
Bring it ON!

So to keep you entertained with this blog in the meantime...
How 'bout a tangent?? Sure, why not. Here goes.

That big ol' sun!
(Excuse me (but not much) if i sound like Carl Sagan.)

We are just a speck of dust in the cosmos, we exist thanks to the sun, 93 million miles away, we live in a zone close enough to be warmed - but not toasted - by it, not so far away as to be left out, & be completely frozen. Earth spins, a warming and cooling cycle that moderates the solar energy, and creates our weather.

We take it all for granted, perhaps others know better. Birds are the descendants of dinosaurs, they may well have an ancient memory of the result of a massive darkening thanks to an asteroid impact and the debris it blew into the atmosphere that darkened the sky for... a long time. A very long time. Perhaps the reason they chirp twitter and sing so wildly as the sun rises is that they are celebrating the return of light, and warmth once again, on a regular 24 hour cycle basis.
They are much more thankful than we are. Their memories are long - ours? short.
In recent news? earthquakes in Nepal. Shouldn't be a surprise. According to John McPhee the highest rocks in the Himalayas, on the top of Mount Everest, are Marine shale. *MARINE* shale.
Ocean sediment heaved up almost 30,000 feet. Now that's some kind of awesome power the earth's geological tectonic plates lay on us. Most unpredictably. At least by our standards. But our standards are just ours, and subject to great debate and revision.


"The enormous effect of the Sun on the Earth has been recognized since prehistoric times, and the Sun has been regarded by some cultures as a deity. Earth's movement around the Sun is the basis of the solar calendar, which is the predominant calendar in use today"
This is a fascinating page, you should definitely check out. You might not understand a lot of it ( i didn't), but it's good to stretch your brain out a bit now and then. And not just with some new technological gadget. Dial that shit down a bit and *read*, at length.

A fitting end to this post:



Oh, and a few photos too.