Sunday, December 4, 2016

An interesting month, yes indeed it 'twas...

We got some good doses of rain!


... and some nice stretches in between, with a variety of arresting views. I keep rather voluminous notes, thinking they might be of interest. But no, mother nature is a whole lot more interesting than my yakety-yak. So let's get to mother nature's show, some nice sunsets in betwixt the rain.

When it rains it pours - makes for interesting driving. The storm drain on the street outside my window:

Clogged! It's now a small lake! It made for some interesting driving:

Do you remember jumping into puddles when you were a kid? 
This is the adult automotive equivalent. Don't be standing on that corner!

Hope all these work for you.

Polar stratospheric cloud
Something i stumbled upon, looks a few i have seen:

Polar stratospheric clouds or PSCs, also known as nacreous clouds, are clouds in the winter polar stratosphere at altitudes of 15,000–25,000 meters

A most devoted sky watcher reported:

where does the term nacreous come from?

It looks a lot like an abalone shell,  commonly found on the the No. Ca. coast.

Plenty of talk about drought:

Megadroughts, rather scientific

"They are suspected of playing a primary role in the collapse of several pre-industrial civilizations, including the Anasazi of the North American Southwest, the Khmer Empire of Cambodia, the Mayan of Mesoamerica, the Tiwanaku of Bolivia, and the Yuan Dynasty of China."

"When megadroughts occur, lakes dry up and trees and other plants grow in the dry lake beds. When the drought ends the lakes refill, when this happens the trees are submerged and die. In some locations these trees have remained preserved and can be studied giving accurate radio-carbon dates, and the tree rings of the same long dead trees can be studied. Such trees have been found in Mono and Tenaya lakes in California, Lake Bosumtwi in Ghana; and various other lakes."

"During a 200-year mega drought in the Sierra Nevada that lasted from the 9th and 12th centuries, trees would grow on newly exposed shoreline at Fallen Leaf Lake, then as the lake grew once again, the trees were preserved under cold water."


Persistent drought in North America:
a climate modeling and paleoclimate perspective
Richard Seager
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University

A millennium of North American droughts and pluvials

A farm during the Dust Bowl. This one is in South Dakota during May 1936.
For year after year across vast areas of North America rainfall was low. Summers were parched and the heat excessive. Plants withered and sand dunes moved freely across a formerly green landscape. Human settlements had to be abandoned and populations migrated, forcing social change. By some measures the drought lasted more than a decade.
No, this is not a description of the Dust Bowl drought of the 1930s but of the truly severe drought of the late thirteenth century, which coincided with the end of the Anasazi civilization. It could just as easily describe the severe drought of the late sixteenth century. Or it could describe the droughts of the mid-Holocene which so taxed the indigenous peoples of the Great Plains."

'A tree stump in Mono Lake in California that grew during an ancient drought and was submerged when wet years returned. Scott Stine used carbon dating of stumps to recreate the drought history of the area'

Photo - Scott Stine

Another excellent weather blog for those on the north west coast - CA, OR, & Washington:

Even with drought, a California river will begin flowing year-round for the first time in 60 years
A decade ago, environmentalists and the federal government agreed to revive a 150-mile stretch of California's second-longest river, an ambitious effort aimed at allowing salmon again to swim up to the Sierra Nevada foothills to spawn.
A major milestone is expected by the end of the month, when the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation says the stretch of the San Joaquin River will be flowing year-round for the first time in more than 60 years.

Some news is good:

"We're currently at over 17 inches of liquid for October and November combined—that's 200 percent above normal—and haven't had that high of a reading since 1985-86.

"It has really been a pretty good start to the water year," Kurth, who work's in the NOAA's Sacramento office, said. "We had a really wet October. We had a dry start to November, but last week things changed."

Fall snow, rains have 'satisfied the drought debt' in Northern Sierra Nevada, climatologist says

In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, concerns over dry conditions were quickly dispatched when more than two feet of snow dropped around the lake in just two days.

Let's see what happens - you can tell from al the links above, there is much room for discussion!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Winter finally arrived - Friday 10/14

But first let's back up a bit to take in a few nice things since the last post (July 30)
It's been a couple of pretty dull months skies-wise. Even the NWS forecast calls it a broken record.

A few troughs of varying high and low pressure have moved thru from time to time, but they don't break the almost constant monotony of a clear blue sky from horizon to horizon much.
A few weak systems have blown thru, and serving up a bit of nice cirrus. I've been naming them sometimes, w/ adverbs or adjectives ... like 'dancing'... frothy...

This is dancing

I'm not sure what the rest are called

How 'bout a few mo' from another day?

Here's the take from weekend when winter finally rolled in, on again and off again rain. The first wave friday was the worst for sure.

I was glad i decided to take friday off from work. In the early AM it rained like a mad *MF*, and windy too. Really windy. I could look out my apt window to see an old oak tree half block away being twisted turned & wrenched down to it's roots. It all lasted for a few hours, and then some calm.
My commute, if i had done it, would have been hellacious. At 8:25 a produce truck overturned just north of me, stopped traffic on the freeway for 2 full hours. I always have at least one if not two magazines in my travel-bag... but really, these would be gone long before the traffic snarl was.

9 AM? some breaks in the clouds, by noon, all grey, moving very fast, but no rain. 
4 PM  more grey, no rain.
Bummer - i look ( or maybe i should say 'listen'?) for the soft, sizzling sound of traffic below me.

I can see out my northern facing window out of the corner of my eye. Being a longtime photographer, i can see the color of the light in a heart beat, and now the light on everything to the north is a  red-orange warmth. I walk to the top level breezeway in just my undies and T-shirt to take in... ( uh - i wasn't the only one!)

Very nice. I am happy to 'be here, now'.

10/16 sunday
No rain to speak of in my neck o' the woods, but plenty of frothy aerial displays.

I am sure the aerial cinema display will continue - I'll be back, for sure.
Mother nature always puts on a great slow motion cinema display :-)

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Summer Fog! ..and one stunning sunset...

6/21 - There was one stunning sunset in SF:

..... not so stunning just a few miles north, where i am.
I am looking for something truly different, like this:

Here's one excellent link:

Here's some nice cirrus, 6/16:

(A little something to break up the monotony of totally blue skies.)

Sat. 7/9 - By 1PM,  low clouds/fog starts advancing inland - a cool breeze blows in my window.
Love that natural air conditioning! This continues thru the month, it is a bit of a mild rollercoaster - the 7 day forecast looks like this:

Sunday 7/24

Wasn't expecting any good fog, just wanted to cool off a bit from San Rafael's 85ยบ afternoons.
Satellite image showed some fog, but offshore, not thru the Gate, or on onto the land. The Nat'l weather service text display product said the marine layer was shallow, about 1000 ft., which is ideal for photos at MH.
The NWS was right, the sat. image was wrong! - by the time i got there (an hour later, fog doesn't usually move that fast), it was doing my favorite thing, pouring thru the gate but burning off by alcatraz & struggling to get over the coastal hills (only 1000 ft high), burning off in marvelous mystical wispy strands.

The bus schedules had changed recently, but i was in luck, got one to the GGB as soon as i arrived at the transit center, and the one back to MH as soon as i got to the GGB.

Fog seems to have this pattern about it here - it burns off/backs off for a while in the AM, then early PM sometime it starts moving back in, and can overwhelm the headlands w/ pea soup, very cold. That's what it did today, with a vengeance. I waited for the bus at the last stop east before going over the bridge, and it was all i could do to stand up it was so windy. And the wait for the bus back to Marin county was loooong, traffic across the bridge was moving at a snail's pace. 
But the pix were worth it.

'Ah'll be back' as the terminator said most famously.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

What did the rest of May and June bring? Mostly boredom!

Absolutely nothing noteworthy. Nada, Zilch. The next few months? Perhaps maybe some fog, off the ocean.
Fog is our (=those who live close to the Ca coast) natural air conditioner, it sweeps in overnite, the morning is overcast, it burns off to the ocean by midday. The daily weather report becomes a mantra = 'low clouds and fog extending inland overnite, receding to the coast by midday, temps? 60 at the coast, 70-80 around the bay, 90's inland'.
I'd like to be well paid for being so repetitive!
By mid-afternoon, it can surge in again from the coast. 
On Sun, May 29, i went to Marin headlands, and that was exactly what happened, it surged in again at mid-afternoon.

Sooooo.... let's think 'coastal fog' whaddaya say?

Whoaa!!Not so fast..........!!
Recent days, June 12 or so, have brought some interesting things to the Bay area - two systems ( a low and i high) have rubbed up against each other, and made 'looking up' a lot more interesting :-)

441 PM PDT WED JUN 15 2016

" of 1:55 PM PDT Wednesday...Under partly cloudy
skies, area temperatures are running cooler than yesterday at this
time at most locations with most readings in the 60s. Moderate to
strong west winds are also occurring with many airports reporting
gusts from 25 to 35 mph. The gusty west winds will diminish late
tonight. Meanwhile, clouds are increasing from the north as a
frontal system approaches northern california.

The upper level low will drop southward just off of the Pacific
Northwest Coast tonight. As this occurs, a frontal boundary will
move through much of Northern California bringing shower chances
to at least the northern half of the district late tonight and
Thursday. Rain is forecast to begin in the far North Bay after
midnight and spread south into the San Francisco area by late
morning/early afternoon.


Rain? In June??
This I've gotta see to believe!

At Wed. 7:30PM? Barely a cloud in the sky. Thursday brought lots of nice skies though.

There was a nice sunrise in there. It was cinematic - changed constantly, minute by minute.
Here's about 1 hrs. worth out my north facing windows:

Who knows what tomorrow will bring?! - I'll be back!