Category Archives: Weather

Smoke & Humidity

The Holy Fire may be 50+ miles away, but it kicked up today and we’re downwind. In addition, today was the hottest day of the week so far (the rental car I was driving said it was 110° at 14:15). Best of all, it was humid.

The humidity’s actually good, since it makes the brush somewhat harder to burn as the plants, grasses, brush, and trees absorb water. It also fills the skies with some nice popcorn clouds. Put it all together when I finally got out of the office, and it was spectacular.

I can’t rule out the possibility that I was staring into the wormhole as a starship emerged – but I’m pretty sure the odds favor it just being the sun, smoke to make it orangeish, and a bunch of puffy clouds running interference.

You’re right, this isn’t the new view from the new house. It’s the old view from the office parking garage roof.

I wish I could claim credit for getting the exposure just perfect here due to an amazing amount of skill! Nope, just got lucky. (No filters!)

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Smoky Sunset

As you might have heard, California is burning. On the other hand, California’s a pretty big place, so there’s nothing burning particularly close to us, at least not right at this second.

The closest fire here is the Holy Fire, down on the Orange County / Riverside County border, fifty or sixty miles away. But we still got a bunch of that smoke drifting over tonight and I was hoping it might at least make for a spectacular sunset.


I’m not saying that the view from the heat soaked front porch wasn’t nice, but it wasn’t a 10/10 sort of day, let alone “an eleven.”

I do love me some sunset silhouettes, though!

You can see the bands of smoke that had drifted to the west from the Holy Fire.

As the sun set you could see (click on the picture to blow it up to full size) little bright spots in the palm tree fronds as certain fronds caught the sunlight just right and reflected it in my direction.

Admittedly, a much better sunset than some of the completely cloudless, boring ones we’ve been having, but not an award winner.

There were some nice ripples in the cloud layer showing up as the sun got further over the horizon.

And that little dot out there just to the left of center (click to enlarge) is a 747 on its way into LAX from Singapore –> Hong Kong –> Anchorage. We see them out there like beads on a string, coming in from over the pole, down the coast until they’re off Malibu, then turning downwind over West LA, turning base over Dodger Stadium and Downtown LA, and then turning final into LAX.

This particular one was Singapore Airlines Flight #7972, at about 13,000 feet when I caught it, slowing down to 342 knots. How do I know?

There’s an app for that.

(Image from Flight Aware)

As I said, like beads on a string, another big jet off of Santa Monica about five minutes ahead of it, another just coming into Ventura County north of Santa Paula and Fillmore about five minutes behind it.

I hope the people on the starboard side of those flights had a nice view of the sunset!


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Filed under Flying, Photography, Weather

Wispy Clouds Over Santa Clarita

We had a dedication event this afternoon out at the site where we’re building homes. While I was waiting for a few minutes, I noticed the wispy, high clouds and contrails over the roofs of the houses.

Simple – but not simplistic.

There is joy to be found in tiny, “normal,” beautiful things, such as wispy white clouds in a baby blue sky. Especially when there are so many tiny evils trying to nibble our spirits away in a death by a thousand bites, we can restore ourselves by recognizing the thousand healing bits of beauty around us.

Of course, if it’s incredibly stinking hot & miserable while you’re out there collecting your thousand bits o’ beauty, your mileage may vary!

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Filed under Homes4Families, Photography, Weather

Crepuscular Tuesday

“Crepuscular” rays are rays of sunshine formed by holes in the clouds, otherwise known as sunbeams. They’re particular visible around sunset or in cloudy, stormy skies. While tonight’s sunset wasn’t quite five-star, it did have a few crepuscular rays on display.

And then, just in case you forgot (or ignored) last night:

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Monsoonal Moisture

It’s still hot, but not “Jezz-did-the-Sun-start-turning-into-a-red-giant-and-swallow-the-inner-Solar-System” hot. But now there’s some moisture being sucked up from a tropical storm off of Baja so the humidity’s up.

The big thunderboomers are off in the desert between LA and Las Vegas. I had that whole “have to go to work today” thing so I didn’t get to go chasing the action. But we did get some nice puffy stuff filling the sky at sunset.

Some days you don’t even get half a loaf, but you just take what you can get.


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Superior Sunset

As you may have heard, it’s been record-breakingly hot in Southern California the last couple of days – officially 118°F locally yesterday, while today it had cooled off to a balmy 116°F. (Tomorrow’s only supposed to be 103°F – break out the parkas and mukluks!)

Today however was a bit more humid, with some subtropical moisture being sucked up from a tropical storm off of Baja California, so late today we started to pick up a few clouds. We also have a number of brush fires burning around the area (nothing as major as we had last year, at least not in this neck of the woods) and that’s put a lot of particulate matter into the air.

Put it all together and we finally got our first above average sunset at the new house!

Last sunlight on the clouds:

And by this time it was down to about 91°F. The hawks were out. The hummingbirds were out. The bats were out.

It was lovely.

The mosquitoes and gnats were out. I can take a hint and leave them to the bats!

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Filed under Castle Willett, Photography, Weather

Cloudy Days

If you have a clear Western horizon with minimal clouds over the next few days, take a look just a few minutes to a half hour or 45 minutes after sunset. You’ll see the crescent moon, a little bigger and a little higher every night. You’ll see Venus, which will be REALLY BRIGHT. And if you’re lucky (not too lucky, it’s not THAT hard), to the upper right of Venus a ways you’ll see a much dimmer object – that’s Mercury.

We won’t be seeing that in Los Angeles. This was last night:

And this was tonight:

There’s a major storm moving in for the next several days, so maybe Thursday? Friday?

That’s the message from the Universe tonight. It doesn’t care what you wanted or were wishing for or were hoping for. It doesn’t care if any given time period was going to have something happening that you wanted to observe or participate in or enjoy. The Universe will cloud out your planetary conjunction or eclipse or rocket launch or baseball game or marathon or parade or plane flight or vacation and be totally oblivious and uncaring.

It us, the little animated meat sacks on this dust most in the cosmos who put meaning on it. We are the context.

Logically, or perhaps “theologically,” the Serenity Prayer has it correct in that there are three things we should ask for – serenity to accept things that can’t be changed, courage or strength to change the things that can, and wisdom to know which is which.

It’s one cloudy day when I start quoting prayers. As for this particular prayer, today I’m apparently zero for three.

There’s always tomorrow, even if it’s cloudy.

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Filed under Deep Thoughts, Photography, Religion, Weather