Category Archives: Weather

Howling – The Video

Mondays are high on suckage. This morning, due a power outage overnight caused by the winds, the parking garage gate at work was working sporadically.

Of course, one of the sporads happened when I pulled up. Card was read, successful beep sound heard, reflexively started to pull forward – only to quickly realize that the gate hadn’t gone up. Stop, but now have to back up a couple of feet to reach the card reader again. Scan card again. Still no working gate. Punch the button to take a ticket. Nothing. Cars starting to honk behind me. (Only one gate into the stupid garage – lousy design!) Try the card again. Nada. Try the ticket thing again. Zippo. Now have probably a dozen cars behind me, impatient. One of the attendants sticks his head out to see what the honking’s about, pushes a button, the gate lifts. I stomp on the gas.


I still have good reflexes, apparently. No damage, but it was close.

With that disaster narrowly averted, here’s the video of yesterday’s winds that wouldn’t upload to save my life yesterday. (I’ve got a YouTube channel, let’s use it!)

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Filed under Los Angeles, Video, Weather


As I said last night –

[this is where the video would go if it weren’t taking over ten minutes to load tonight when I really need to get to sleep]

A good day to invest in wind chimes and debris cleanup companies.

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Filed under Video, Weather

The Winds Blow Again Tonight

It’s dry as a bone and the winds are starting to howl again in SoCal.

At the hangar today, the buildings creak and groan, the giant steel hangar doors flexing and scraping against each other with every gust. The entry and exit doors threaten to rip out of everyone’s hands with each use. When someone opens the door, all of the ceiling tiles in the office pop and rattle.

Tonight as I sit here working, the rose bushes bash irregularly against the window, and there’s a steady draft through the never-properly-blocked-off doggy door. (It needs to be blocked, even when we had dogs, lest it become a skunk door, raccoon door, rat door, opossum door…)

The vent on the fire pit in this room sticks up about ten to twelve feet – it’s also creaking, rattling, and swaying.

I’ve decided that I’m not a fan of the wind.

It might be yet another long night. And this windy spell is expected to last into late Monday.

If anyone needs me, I’ll be hiding under the covers.

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Filed under CAF, Weather

Thanks, I Needed That

There has been a lot of instability lately, both outside and inside. After an intense batch of both yesterday, the exterior storm clouds parted for a minute or two.

Please ignore the reflections of file cabinets and the gobs of dirt on the outside of my office windows.

A brief and fleeting message of hope from the turbulence outside which can help make the turbulence inside a bit easier to survive.

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Filed under Photography, Weather

The Fires Continue

We’re fine – still nothing that close to us, although another new fire has apparently started up over to the east by Monrovia.

Being Saturday, I was out at the hangar in Camarillo. The first big fire in this current sequence of six or seven fires started not too far from there and is still burning.

Map from Google.

For reference to assist those not familiar with Southern California, this is Ventura County, just to the north of Los Angeles. We live at the far west end of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County – on the right-hand border you can just see the edge of the dot that indicates where. The Camarillo Airport is just under the “101” icon between the words “Oxnard” and “Camarillo.”

For scale, from my house to the airport is about 35 miles on the freeway, almost exactly 25 miles as the crow flies. From my house to Carpenteria, on the far left edge of the map and just south of Santa Barbara, is about 50 miles directly.

This is not a small area. It’s “local” by Southern California standards, but it could cover the better portion of several states in New England.

Here’s what’s burned in this fire (which is in turn, as I said, one of about six going on right now):

Map from Google and CalFire. Scale is similar to the one above.

The fire started near Santa Paula on December 4th, spread toward Ventura, and is now moving up into the mountains and up the coast toward Carpenteria.

What’s that look like from the ground at Camarillo Airport?

On the far left you can see the smoke plume from the main fire up toward Carpenteria. Straight ahead you’re looking up toward the Santa Paula and Fillmore area. When I got there this morning things had started to die down a bit overnight, but the winds were starting to blow again.

By lunch we were looking at 30 mph winds with gusts to 45 mph. In the mountains and canyons where the fire was, it was worse. Naturally, this led to a number of flareups.

Looking toward Carpenteria.

Looking toward Santa Paula

I also learned that two of our CAF SoCal members lost their homes, burned to the ground. One of our members got out with literally just the clothes on his back, managing to get out in his wheel chair in the middle of the night when he woke with the house burning, finding his cars on fire in the driveway, and saved only because a neighbor saw him as they were bugging out and drove him to safety.

The winds are supposed to continue into tomorrow and then start dying down in the next week, but there’s no rain in the foreseeable future and these fires are now pushing up into the mountains where they’ll be very difficult to fight. There’s a lot of brush after a very wet winter last year and most of these areas haven’t burned in decades. These fires may still be burning well into 2018.



Filed under CAF, Disasters, Photography, Weather

Planes In Pea Soup

Yesterday I was working late at the CAF hangars. I went to stretch my legs out around the ramp and found that a bit of pea soup fog had rolled in. It was eerie with the flashing runway lights, the blue taxiway lights, the orange of the sodium vapor security lights, the dampened sounds, and the fog.

So of course, I grabbed my camera.

I didn’t have a tripod for the long exposures (two and a half to five seconds), but in a pinch I was able to make do with an office chair.

The PBJ had been prepped for her mission today (see below).

The SNJ and C-46.

The other plane to the right of the C-46 is the AAF’s B-25, “Executive Sweet.”

What was our PBJ’s mission for today? We did the flyby over the LA Coliseum before the Rams-Saints NFL game!

For video of the flyover from inside one of the T-34 escort aircraft, see this afternoon’s post on our CAF SoCal Facebook page.


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Filed under CAF, Photography, Weather

Spooky Explained?

A few days ago I posted pictures of “Spooky Finger Clouds“:

Some speculated that it might be contrails or something, but the explanation turns out to be more exotic.

See a day or so later:

Hey, you can see our house from here!

While they’re referred to as “gravity wave clouds,” they’re not in fact (much to my disappointment!) caused by gravity waves like those produced by colliding black holes. They’re caused by oscillations in the atmosphere where a disturbance of some sort causes moist air to rise and fall (due to gravity) much like ripples spreading out from a stone dropped into a pond.

The end result is that you get these rows of linear clouds. They can be extremely spectacular – they’ve even been seen on Mars!

Science! For The Win!

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Filed under Astronomy, Space, Weather