Category Archives: 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

Cloud Activity

I absolutely love the time lapse photography functions built into the iPhone. Add it to a rare day in LA where there’s a bit of weather moving through…

Now if I could just figure out how to get ride of the reflections off the inside of the windows. (There’s a “bar” across the top of the image about a fifth of the way down – that’s the top of the file cabinet the camera was tilted up against.)

Still, nice clouds. Next maybe some lightning? Please?

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Filed under Video, 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