Category Archives: Weather

Texas Thunderstorm

It was a dozen years ago, a cross-country trip, somewhere on I-10 in Texas.

Big clouds. Bright white from a distance, convection reaching for the heavens.

Getting darker and darker underneath, heading toward black punctuated only by lightning. Lots of that, small hail, winds that might or might not have been a tornado or at least tornado-adjacent, and sheets and sheets of rain.

It was an experience!

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Autumn Splendor, SoCal Style

Those vistas horizon to horizon of golds and reds and oranges and the occasional evergreens mixed in? Maybe up in the Sierras, but not down here in the the brown, desert wastelands.

One of our fruit trees (which has NEVER had any fruit on it) is kinda sorta maybe turning a little. Most leaves are turning straight to brown, but a few are giving it the old college try. (I don’t know what old college they attended.)

If you’re fond of building a huge pile of leaves in the front yard and then running full speed and diving into them? Here you might get a big enough pile for one of the popcorn fence lizards to take a dive into, but that’s about it.

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Neat Clouds – No Rain

I guess that’s not 100% true – some folks got rain, up in the mountains and Antelope Valley.

We got dramatic clouds…

…and a couple of peals of thunder. No lightning that I could see, but it had to be there somplace.

Eventually we had mammatus clouds sailing overhead…

…which would indicate that we were on the bottom side of something turbulent, but it never led to anything.

Still dry.

I heard that there were Qanon lunatics trying to claim that “the libs” were using weather control technology to steer Hurricane Ian toward Florida to “punish” the Republican government and followers there. I know it’s a stretch to use logic and facts when dealing with that crowd, but did it ever occur to them that if “the libs” had that kind of technology, California wouldn’t be in a historic multi-year drought?

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Pillars Of Sunlight

A different job, a different life in many ways. It was way, WAY too early on a day that was going to be way, WAY too long.

But at least at the beginning, there was this bit of beauty and spectacle.

It’s always there if you look for it.

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Keep Color In Your Life

One thing I noticed in watching all of the news coverage of Hurricane Ian slamming into Florida as a Category 4 storm was the lack of color in most of the scenes. The clouds and rain are white and gray and the lack of sunshine makes everything that does have color seem washed out and pale. The sea not only turns angry and threatening, but it turns gray and black with the whitecaps showing up as the winds explode.

Colorful signs and storefronts and home turn to debris, brown, gray, black, with occasional splotches of color which are quickly spun away and scattered by the storm, to be sunken into the brown and black storm surge.

I think that’s a good analogy for the way our lives are going right now. We want life to be colorful, filled with blue skies, green fields, yellow sunshine, white clouds, multicolored flowers. Instead, some days so many things feel like a hurricane going through our lives, leaving everything broken and reduced to various shades of white, black, gray, and brown.

Keep the color in your life. Fight for it. Cling to it. Share it with others. And if everything’s gray and black and white and brown for you, ask others if they can share some of theirs.


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Filed under Art, Deep Thoughts, Photography, Weather

In Search Of A Little Green

We started restrictions on lawn watering back in June (or was it May?) and between that and several solid weeks of 100+ºF days every single day, the back yard has taken a beating.

But abour ten days ago, just after we got back from Chicago, there were some hurricane remnants wandering through and we got a tiny bit of rain here. Other places out in the mountains and deserts inland, out beyond Palm Springs and into Nevada and Arizona, some isolated spots got enough rain to cause some flash flooding and mudslides, but here we got maybe 0.2 inches of rain over a 24-hour stretch.

Plus, since then it’s been mostly in the mid-80’s every day instead of 100+.

Did it help?

I’m going to go with a resounding, “Maybe?”

I’m not sure how much of it is wishful thinking and how much is actual recovery, but it seems to be a tiny little bit more green than it was.

I’m not talking about those tall, long desert grasses on the right, it’s the standard issue monoculture lawn grass on the left hand side of that barrier that I’m wondering about. Maybe? In spots? Kinda?

At this point, I would be happy to have the lawn hanging on in a “less dead” state than even bothering to hope for “thriving.” Let’s manage our expectations, folks.

This would be another benefit to owning our home instead of renting. If we owned I would be ripping out the wanna be putting green and putting in some low water, desert vegitation and flowers, along with some succulents, cactus, rocks, pathways, and lots of fancy gravel or decomposed granite in between everything. It would look great, be very low maintenance, and have ultra low water requirements. Maybe a bench or two, a birdbath, some bird feeders…

I think we’ll probably be out of the drought via natural causes and a couple of consecutive El Niño years before the owner will be doing that. Brown and dusty might be the new norm. With just the slightest, semi-hallucinatory bit of green mixed in…


Filed under Castle Willett, Photography, Weather

Full Moon Through Storm Clouds

After months and months of drought and an almost total lack of rain here in Los Angeles, tonight we have the outer bands of a Pacific hurricane sweeping over us. The worst of it is in the deserts and mountains inland toward Arizona, but we’re at least getting enough rain here to water the lawn a bit. Which is great, because with the water restrictions the drought has mandated, it’s been a while since there was much water out there, and it’s been well into the low 100’s every day for weeks.

Last night, as the 99% full moon was high (not a “supermoon,” but the “averagemoon” gets lousy press) it was visible coming in through the leading edge of the storm clouds.

Good thing Halloween is coming – this was spooky looking.

It was actually gorgeous, but “spooky” has had the same PR agent as “supermoon” for years, and it sells better than “gorgeous.”

Tonight, still a full-ish moon, but the clouds are way too thick to see anything. We’re just grateful for the rain.


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Filed under Astronomy, Photography, Weather

Skyscapes – Central Illinois Plus Trains

Out of Chicago for a day before going home, on a mission from God, as they say. First, in a small town, found a train moving some cars around the sidings, blocking the road for a long, long time.

I watch the trains on Virtual Railfan and I know that when they stop or start it’s loud, but until I was standing there I had no clue just how loud.

Later, a bit of convection started building up, making these fairy castle cloud castles.

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When The Conditions Are Right Again

It’s been a while since we had a decent sunset here. There have been clouds now and then (see the “Skyscapes” posts of the last month or three), days when it’s totally clouded over (but no rain AT ALL, at least not here), and lots of days when it’s “clear and a million.”

Down along the shore there have been some nice sunset pictures from San Diego, Orange County, Santa Barbara, and on up the coast.

But here, in “The Valley” – not much.

Until tonight.

Not the best ever, but not bad.

Not the same as getting the finest of wines, but to someone parched and panting, a cold glass of water can be exquisite!


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Filed under Photography, Sunsets, Weather

Skyscapes – August 02nd

Too much adrenaline the past few days. Starting with some dental issues that just put a constant buzz of advanced discomfort on every breath, along with a dentist who keeps telling me there’s nothing wrong at all. We’ll try again tomorrow on that front. Something to look forward to. (NOT!!)

Celebrity deaths over the weekend. Sometimes it’s just a footnote or a minor point of interest. Sometimes it’s more, like with Bill Russell or Nichelle Nichols.

Then tonight we hear about Vin Scully.

LA sports fans are lucky. For decades we got to hear Hall of Fame announcers almost every night. Chick Hearn doing the Lakers games, Bob Miller on the Kings’ broadcasts, and Vin Scully as the voice of the Dodgers for sixty-seven years.

Even growing up in KC as an A’s fan, then being a Cubs fan when the A’s moved away and I did to, finally being an Angels fan since the mid 1970’s when I moved to Southern California, I always knew who Vin Scully was. The man was a poet, a storyteller, far more than a mere baseball announcer.

Tonight we also went and donated blood again at the new Red Cross center, which happens to be right across the street from our “new” ALS Golden West offices. That’s a task we choose to participate in every eight weeks (-ish) and while it’s something I’ve done hundreds of times and I’m used to, there’s still some stress involved.

Then of course, politics, life, the Universe, and everything.

So I noticed that there were clouds, some subtropical moisture kicking into the area from a tropical storm off of Baja. Not enough for any rain here, although some mountain areas got a few showers, but enough to look pretty if you pay attention.

I paid attention.

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