Saturday, January 31, 2015

A quiet and rather dull month - Mother Nature, where's the rain???

There was one nice sunset this month:

Other than that?

An interesting mid-afternoon sky, this is the same sort of thing as those fiery red and orange sunsets, when the sunlight manages to strike the underside of the clouds thanks to the curvature of the earth, and a break in the clouds over the horizon.
Sun light is bouncing off the ocean just a few miles away, and hitting the underside of the clouds, a different effect than a sunset for sure, still interesting.

I'd hoped this set up would last until sunset, but nope, not happening.

We've had a lot of tule fog, which is unusual here, by the coast. Tule fog is named after the reeds in the marshes in the central valley where it forms, it hugs the ground - this is the stuff that severely lowers visibility and causes massive pile ups on the freeways. It follows the Sacramento river valley, and finds it's way into the bay, and inland valleys.

Low pressure system heading in...
Interesting delicate afternoon clouds.

1/26 No mo' tule fog, some nice sunrise cirrus!

1/27 Low pressure front approaches, no rain it it, but there are some peculiar low level clouds.
Try as I might, i don't know what to call them. They would seem to be formed by....? I dunno what.
They are stratus (which is low)... and they 'undulate', so i will dub them 'stratus undulatus' - correct me if i am wrong, puh-leeze!

An interesting article about water in the west, seeing as we are in drought conditions:

Owens Valley water

See the movie: Chinatown - You'll be glad you did.

P.S. Monday 2/2
So it's official, SF got *no* rain in January, the first ever rainless Jan., and they've been keeping track since the Gold Rush.

And is there much snow in the Sierras?
There is some hope on the way - forecasters are calling for a significant rain even starting this thursday, continuing thru the weekend,
Here's the satellite image:

I'm not holding my breath, there's definitely some moisture there, but this looks pretty disorganized to me. Time will tell - doesn't it always?

Friday, January 2, 2015

So... how 'bout that storm, 12/10 or so?

It started on wednesday night, forecasters were calling for a real whopper, and it didn't let us down, too much:

(Taken out my 4th floor apt window, rain lit by streetlight,
my tax dollars at work :-) )

(Hey, i just had to get creative here (again)! 
I also shoot pix of the city lights out my 4th floor window, slow shutter speed,
camera motion. Photoshop at work here :-) )

 By Friday morning, it was over.
What will the backside of this system bring??


Then we got a bit more on the 19th, this is the kind of satelite image i like to see
the 'pineapple express', low pressure sucking in subtropical moisture:

Not much rain for a few days, but today interesting patchy 'coastal clouds/over the mountain fog' - that leave hi-lites and throw shadows on the hills.

Reminds me of shadows on the land in the desert.
Alot of the weather out west has to do w/ elevation.
I can dig back into my archives for a few good skies from years ago,
Nevada, the clouds forming over mountains. Land affects sky, and vice versa.


Below, one of the most interesting examples of clouds lighting land 
i have ever witnessed:

Nevada Dec. 2008, driving west out of Valley of Fire, north of Las Vegas.
The 'end of day' sun light is bouncing diffusely off the clouds, 
lighting the snowy mountains with a warm glow.

Some people just don't get this (elevation vis a vis weather/precipitation).
And they are suddenly screwed, and then some:

Year-End Storm Strands Drivers on Southern California Mountain Roads
Roads to and from mountain communities, such as Big Bear, turned into snow-covered parking lots after a powerful winter storm slammed Southern California

Idiots, All!
Weather out west has a whole lot to w/ elevation? - yeah, the higher you get, the more you can get whacked, most  unexpectedly, the mountains make the clouds *dump*, bigtime, as snow -  I've been there, done that. Why don't some people learn?

After this: Totally boring, nothing happening, and it's now Jan 2, 2015.
The drought is by no means over, but you knew that already.
Here's hoping the first few months of the year will be wild, and WET!