Category Archives: Weather


The skies matched my soul this week…

…turbulent, troubled…

…uplifted at times (convection builds thunderstorms as unstable air heats and rises),…

…overwhelmed by downdrafts (crashing to earth) at others.

Always both threatening and beautiful, but sometimes dangerous.

May your days this weekend, in the upcoming week, and on into spring be an appropriate balance of sunny, cloudy, and rainy.

No rainbows without at least a bit of rain.

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Storm Panorama

Another day of rain (which is good, we’re in a drought year – AGAIN), but no hail here today, although there was a couple of inches of it up in Simi Valley, just a few miles to our northwest.

What we did get here that we didn’t yesterday was lightning and thunder, which I dearly, dearly love.

Panoramic view of thunderstorm clouds(Click to open up full sized)

It was widely scattered, so there were huge swaths of deep blue skies with blindingly white, puffy clouds (on the left, to our south over Malibu) while just a few miles to our northwest, all that hail was being dumped on Simi Valley. That convective cell in the center-right was one of several that rolled over us, rattling the house with thunder every couple of hours, occasionally soaking us.

It was not a boring weather day.

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Hail, Yeah!

It rained in Los Angeles today. Yes, for those of you who have never lived here, that *IS* a big deal, especially in a drought year like this.

Even more importantly, especially for storytelling and narrative interest purposes, we got hail and I happened to be out in it instead of being locked away in COVID quarantine for the 356th day in a row.

Just after spending almost three hours (AGAIN!!) in the dentist’s chair, having horrible, torturous things done to my body and face and jaw and teeth, I was driving home and had to stop in a local Target store of a couple of quick things that the grocery store didn’t carry.

And, yes, there were other folks out there with their cell phones taking picture of this icy hazard, our very own snowdrift! (Or “icedrift.” Or “temporary accumulation.” Or whatever.)

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Filed under Los Angeles, Photography, Weather

A Moment Of Zen – March 03rd

February is normally the rainiest month of the year in Southern California – this year, for only the eighth time since they started recording weather records in 1877, zero measurable rain was recorded in Los Angeles.

We had the slightest of showers today, more like drizzle with attitude at best.

Mainly it was just gray and gloomy all day. But I went out late this afternoon, just before sunset, and found a few blue spots poking through.

Still cool, still damp, but a happy little bit of color and sky. I also got to chat (okay, we yelled across the street at each other) with my neighbor, checking in to make sure we’re all healthy and staying sane.

That was nice too.

Looking forward to the days when again I can cross the street to chat face to face, you know, like normal folks used to do.

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Chasing Rainbows

Which sounds like it should be a song…and apparently is, at least three times. But this isn’t about that.

Scattered showers all day after some pretty solid rain last night. Great! We needed it! Finally, this afternoon about 16:00 I noticed some sunlight out in front. But it still looked damp and drizzly. Good conditions for rainbows, right? Low, bright sun in the west, dark, moody clouds in the east, drizzle in between?

Well…okay. Sort of weak, off to the north, but those white, low clouds just above the rooftops lend atmosphere? Maybe today’s not the day for rainbows after all. So I went into the house and looked out the back doors to the east…


These pictures really, REALLY don’t do justice to how stinking BRIGHT this rainbow segment was. I’m sure it’s a combination of the bright sun behind us and the dark clouds overhead and behind it, but jeez louise!! It was like some kind of Hollywood special effect, or a cartoon ad for some kids’ cereal!

Maybe for some reason this lens/camera combination isn’t picking up the colors. What about the other camera?

Better… What about the cell phone?

Better! And part of the problem is all of the bushes and trees in the way. Move! Bob and weave! Serpentine!!

There we go! It was amazing, truly.

I played with the exposure settings on the iPhone a couple of times – some seemed to work and bring out more contrast in color.

To the naked eye, it was trivially easy to see the (left to right, inside to outside) violet, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red bands. And even more amazing, it was out there for a good half hour or more. It faded a bit after those first couple of minutes, but it stuck around for a while!

Maybe that’s a sign. We could use some beauty and peace and calm in the world right now. There’s plenty of good out there, but it’s a royal pain to have to sort through so much bullshit to find it. Having it splashed across the sky so much that it literally makes you yell “WOW!” when you see it? That’s a good thing.


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Sixty Seconds Of Rain

It’s finally arrived after days of anticipation – the first big rain of the season in SoCal. Here – enjoy sixty seconds of the cool (47°F), dark, sounds of the rain in the back yard:


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Same, Cedars! Same

The cedar trees were bent over pretty well in some stiff winds before the rain and snow moved in.

I know the feeling.

Same, cedars! Same. Bend, but don’t break.

But that’s a lot of bending. It’s been a long couple of weeks.

A day off, or five, would be nice. But not yet. “…miles to go before I sleep,” and all of that jazz.

Wait – did I say “snow?” Don’t I live in Los Angeles? Like, in the city, not up in the mountains?

Yes, and we didn’t get any snow here. (Yet.) We’re at 1,078 feet elevation and it’s only predicted to get “below 2,000 feet.” Which means that the Grapevine on I-5 (4,160′) going up to NorCal will be a mess, as will the I-15 (3,776′) headed out to Las Vegas. In addition, we all know that the San Gabriel mountains here in LA County go up to well over 10,000′, so there’s snow there all the time in the winter. (People are often amazed that there are ski resorts within a 60-90 minute drive of downtown LA.)

Remember Mount Wilson and the cameras we watched last summer with the brush fires there?

(Image from the HPWREN cameras on Mount Wilson, run by UC San Diego.)

It’s a freakin’ winter wonderland up there.

But closer to home? Places where you don’t normally get snow that often, maybe once a decade or less? Like, Malibu? You know, going through the Santa Monica Mountains between the San Fernando Valley (where I am) and the beach (where Malibu and Pepperdine University are)?

The tallest peak in Calabasas is 2,163′ and the tallest in the Santa Monicas is out in Ventura County at 3,114′. There are the canyon roads that run through there – twisty, turny, two lanes, can be fun, can be a nightmare if there’s an accident or landslide or rocks in the road or a brush fire? Topanga Canyon? Malibu Canyon? A bunch of those roads at their peaks go over 2,000’…

I would love to stay up all night to see if we get a dusting here so that I could go out in the yard and make a two-inch tall snowman – but I’m going to collapse and get some sleep instead.

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Filed under Los Angeles, Photography, Weather

It Was A Marvelous Night…


And yes, I did.

The Moon was a day or so past full last Wednesday and there was a high layer of clouds covering the sky. Through that cloud layer the bright moon cast a moonbow, a bit of which I was able to catch in this image. To the eye it was almost a full circle around the moon, but not the 22° halo that you get through a high layer of ice clouds. This was much smaller and had much more color to it. Different phenomenon.

Better for dancing.


Filed under Astronomy, Photography, Weather

Moon & Rain

No Great Conjunction tonight – the expected rain finally arrived.

By last night, when the almost full moon was overhead as the clouds were coming in, I caught it poking through.

If you blow it up to full sized, over in that dark area on the left you can just see Orion through the hazy, thin, high clouds.

The rest of the day was cold and soggy. It was our first rain since April and there was over 1.5″ in our area, about three times what they were expecting. It was a good day to stay off the roads. It’s nuts driving in LA on the best of days, and when it rains it’s worse. When it’s the first rain of the season and all of that oil and grease is coming up out of the pavement and floating on top…

Tow truck drivers make big bucks, but with the hospitals 100% full from COVID and most of them putting up tents in the parking lots for the overflow, it’s not a good day to need a trip to the ER due to a car accident.

Stay safe out there, y’all. Three days left in this year, 22 days 13 hours 19 minutes and 27 seconds until the US Presidential Inauguration. (But who’s counting?)


Filed under Photography, Weather

Cloudy Sunday

Again, no good view of the Great Conjunction from our part of the planet tonight.

The clouds were thin enough a couple of times to see Jupiter through, and I was pretty sure I could see Saturn at one point, but conditions were far from ideal for astronomy.

Tonight’s the peak of the Geminid meteor shower, which by all accounts from those reporting in from across the world and country is doing pretty well, several bright meteors per hour, even from light polluted cities. I may stick my head out before I go to bed. But I’ll have to remember to be back in by midnight. Not a Cinderella problem, but a much more practical issue with the lawn sprinklers coming on promptly at midnight.

I’m cold enough – cold and wet sounds like a good way to get sick. Sorry, there’s enough of that going around without going out and doing something stupid.

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Filed under Astronomy, Photography, Space, Weather