Category Archives: Weather

Watch The Skies The Next Few Days!

If you’re just about anywhere for the next couple of weeks and you have a clear sky at sunset, look to the west just after sunset.

Remember when Venus and Saturn (and sometimes the young Moon) were all near each other in the evening sky about a month ago? Well, something similar and very bright is happening again.

This time it’s Jupiter and Venus. And for the next couple of days, the young Moon as well. For the next nine or ten days you’ll see Venus nearest the horizon with Jupiter above it, both quite bright. On March 1st they’ll appear the closest to each other (from our viewpoint, of course – in reality they’re a billion-plus miles apart) and then Jupiter will continue to sink toward the sunset and Venus will continue to rise above until Jupiter disappears in the glare in mid-March.

Again, as always for this sort of thing, ignore the mass media clickbait that will try to tell you, “TONIGHT!!!” March 1st they’ll appear the closest, but if it’s clear you’ll be able to easily see them for another month.

Yes, there will be pictures here. Later. After we get past…well…

In Los Angeles (and most of California) there’s no seeing anything other than clouds for several days as a large, unusual, and COLD storm moves in. It might not be the same cold that they’re getting in Chicago and Vermont, but there’s a finite chance that it could mean the oddest of odd events in places like San Francisco and Los Angeles – SNOW.

“1-4 inches” possible down to 1,000 feet??!! And yes, folks are asking specific questions about places near us like the Santa Monica Mountains, Santa Clarita, the Antelope Valley, and so on.

Our house? We’re at about 1,060 feet according to the GPS fix on ForeFlight.

This could be interesting…

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Filed under Astronomy, Space, Weather

Sunset – February 18th

A little bit of color tonight.

Warming weather coming to SoCal for a day or two, then rain.

Again, we always need the rain.

But when it’s completely overcast, grey, and raining, we do miss the colorful sunsets.

It’s all a tradeoff.

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Filed under Photography, Sunsets, Weather

Skyscapes – February 13th

Happy Monday!

Another winter storm moving in.

The high is only going to be in the mid 40’s for the next few days.

We might get some showers, but it won’t be much.

Snow is predicted on the Grapevine, but we won’t be going up there.

Instead I’ll just look at the clouds.


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Filed under Photography, Weather

Barren Bush

In addition to the big tree in the back yard that’s lost about 99% of its leaves (and in my possibly flawed memory is usually like maybe 70% to 75%), there’s a bougainvillea bush there that’s also lost about 99% of its leaves this year, when I don’t remember that happening in any of the four previous winters we’ve been here.

My first concern was that there might be some sort of disease in common or contaminant in the soil that might be killing both, but after a moment’s thought I think that a much better explanation might be the lack of water this year as we went through significant watering restrictions due to the drought.

That’s the BIG change between the previous four years and this one. While we had a significant amount of rain in December and January, the six months prior to that were hot and very dry, with only about a third of the irrigation watering allowed. I can see how that would leave these plants suffering and showing the effects now that they’re having trouble hanging onto their leaves when it gets cooler and windy and stormy. Let’s hope the recent rain lets them come back now that the days are getting longer again.

At least if it dies, the bougainvillea is unlikely to tip over in a Santa Ana wind event and crush the house!

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Filed under Climate Change, Photography, Weather

Skyscapes – February 03rd

Pay attention.

Even if you’re just bringing in the trash barrels.

You might be awestruck by the incredibly delicate clouds above your head.

Like looking at bubbles of spun cotton candy, bubbles the size of houses and spread from horizon to horizon.

While you there you may hear the red-tailed hawks calling, a pair of them right by the sun.

You look, but they’re up in the sun, like fighter planes in a war. Hunting.

You may suddenly see one of them, diving, right over your head, maybe 25-30 feet up. Wings tucked back, the wind screaming through their feathers.

As it sails across the houses on the other side of the street and disappears down into the canyon there, be grateful that you’re not the rabbit or squirrel or mourning dove that doesn’t see it coming.

Watch as the sheets of clouds above you start to shred and tear, like enormous spiderwebs torn by a bird flying through them.

Pay attention. Take your time.


Filed under Photography, Weather


We haven’t seen this for a while.

That’s a LOT of blue, so many shades, such an astonishing gradient from horizon to zenith.

And it was so warm today in the sun (pushing 60ยบ after days of only being in the mid 40’s).



Filed under Weather

Last Week’s Full Moon & Clouds Before The Storm

Last Friday night the full moon looked amazing through the cloud layers that were leading the way for the rest of the big storm that hit on the weekend.

What was really odd, and not really visible at all to the eye (which makes me wonder if it’s some sort of artifact, like dew or moisture on the lens) was the ring around the moon a minute or two later.

But looking at the way there’s a thin layer of clouds from about 7:00 to 3:00, where the arc is, but no thin clouds and no arc from about 3:00 to 7:00… Maybe there was some odd boundry layer there in that layer of clouds and I was seeing the moon at just the right spot?

Who knows? I’m just throwing ideas up against the wall to see what sticks…

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Filed under Astronomy, Photography, Weather

A Hint Of Green

One almost immediate benefit that’s come from all of the rain that we’ve had is that the back yard is starting to look a tiny bit less barren.

With a few days of sun in between a few days of rain, for the first time since the lawn watering restrictions went into effect back on June 1st the back yard has some green to it. There’s a long way to go, but any port in a storm! (So to speak…)

Unfortunately, it’s not grass, except for a couple of patches around the sprinkler heads where there were slow drips. Instead it’s this clover-like stuff, so it’s not clear how much actual coverage we’re going to get, how sturdy or hardy it is, or anything else.

I would probably worry more about it if I owned the house. But we’ve been renting for 4+ years, and it’s ultimately not going to be my problem. I try not to be a schmuck about such things, but I’ve also got my limits on what I can afford to spend time worrying about, and someone else’s landscaping when under a strictly enforced set of water restrictions is over the line for me.

Welcome, little clover-like stuff! Don’t get eaten by the birds!

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Filed under Castle Willett, Photography, Weather

Big Rain In SoCal

Well, NorCal is getting hit hard to, but this is even more unusual for us. It started out quiet, with steady, soft rain all day. I love the sound.

I started to see news reports about some seriously bad weather heading south towards us, with places up in the Santa Barbara mountains getting over ten inches of rain in just a couple of hours. That, of course, leads to some major flooding up in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, and now we’re seeing some of that in Los Angeles County.

Then the heavy rain started.

Followed by the strong winds.

We’re fine. We live on top of a fairly large hill, so as long as we don’t have a mudslide or something taking the ground out beneath us, we’ll be just fine. If water gets to our yard, we don’t need a rescue, we need an ark! There might be some branches down and some street flooding down at the bottom of the hill, but our biggest potential concern would be a power outage or one of the big trees coming down on the house. So far, no sign of anything like that happening.

We’re in a lull for a couple of hours, but the word is that the second, BIG part of this storm is coming by tomorrow morning. Thunderbolts! Lighting! Very, very exciting!

Stay safe out there, folks!

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Filed under Video, Weather

Converging Lines

It’s really late and it’s been a really long day.

It’s raining again, but before the clouds moved in, there were two contrails, one old, one new, converging as the planes took the same route to their destination.


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Filed under Flying, Photography, Weather