Category Archives: 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 60º 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

Skyscapes – January 05th

After a couple days of steady rain, last night we got some heavy stuff, some good downpours with heavy winds. But by noon today, it had started to clear.

It looks like we’ll get a day or two of sun before the next waves of heavy rain move in early and then again late next week.

The good news is that I’ll probably get some decent weather this weekend when I need to make the time to take the Christmas lights down.

For today, it’s chilly and cold, but it would have been a glorious day to be a hawk and just soar on the thermals.

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From One Extreme To The Other

One of the key effects of climate change that we’ll see is a change in the historical norms.

More “storms of the century” – every couple of years.

More all time highs.

More all time lows.

Here in California and the Southwest we’re in record drought conditions. There are water use restrictions. The Colorado River is so low that it’s almost to the point where a lot of major metropolitan areas (LA, Las Vegas, Phoenix, etc) have to stop pulling water from it, which will REALLY mess things up, not to mention that hydroelectric generation will have to stop at Hoover Dam and other dams along the river.

And yet, seemingly out of nowhere, we’re now getting massive rain storms, one after another. We’re already having street flooding in Northern California and San Francisco.

Now the rain has started here for tonight, and it’s going to continue on and off for days and days.

Credit: Wunderground

Buckle up, folks! It’s not going to get any better, and we don’t even have any idea how bad it’s going to get in the short term or the long term. Our grandchildren might well look back on these days as a virtual paradise compared to what they get to deal with every day.

And tomorrow most of us go back to work to start catching up on everything that happened while we were celebrating.

It’s gonna be a slice…

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First Sunset Of 2023

I really wasn’t expecting to be able to see anything for the rest of the week as far as sunsets go, given the “atmospheric river” that lining up to dump many inches of (much needed, I know, I KNOW!) rain on California for the last four or five days and the next ten days or more. But lo and behold, we were between rain bands this evening and the sky was clear right at sunset.

Nice gradient. That whole thing I was talking about last week with all nine planets lined up has pretty much passed. Mercury has now sunk down in the evening sky toward the Sun and is too dim in the twilight to see, so on the Western hornizon we’re just left with Venus.

Even it’s not far from the Sun, but it’s really stinking bright so you can see it there just below center, to the left of that tree.

Above it was easy by this time to see Jupiter (also stinking bright) straight overhead, and Mars off to the east, reasonably bright and red, over in the neighborhood of Orion. In between Jupiter and Venus you can see Saturn if you know which one it is, and the Moon is also up off in the east, so that’s five of the six naked eye stars visible, plus the Moon. (I’m counting the telephone pole, wires, and neighbor’s houses as a legitimate sighting of the Third Rock from the Sun.)

I hope your New Year’s Eve was safe and enjoyable and your New Year’s Day restful and fun. Tomorrow we get all of the parades and the remaining football bowl games, so I hope you get to enjoy them without having to work. You’ll know how the weather’s deteriorating in SoCal by the weather conditions for the Rose Parade (should be dry-ish) and the Rose Bowl (may or may not get through the whole game without rain).

Meanwhile, 2023 fired a warning shot across my bow in the form of a whole slew of two-factor authentication codes being sent to my phone for my Google and Gmail accounts. I’ve changed the passwords and that seems to have stopped it for now, and I’ve verified that there aren’t any unauthorized logins, but I may end up spending a good chunk of tomorrow updating and changing all of my passwords on all critical accounts. Fun! Just what I was looking forward to.

Let’s not start off this way, 2023. I will not be willing to cut you much slack, just to be clear.

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Filed under Astronomy, Photography, Sunsets, Weather

New Year’s Eve 2022

Good bye, 2022. I can’t say that I’ll miss you much.

You were better than 2020 or 2021, what with Biden and House investigations and vaccines vs Trump and January 6th and COVID, but let’s be honest, the bar wasn’t set that high.

Personally, we did finally get to take a handful of trips, but you left a lot of room for improvement for 2023 to tackle.

It’s pouring in Los Angeles tonight, there’s street flooding in San Francisco, and pretty much the whole state is getting one of those 10-14 day “atmospheric river” deluges – the ones we’ve been praying for since the drought was getting pretty desperate, so 2023 is starting out okay from that viewpoint.

We’ll see what 2023 brings. I’m trying not to be hopeful, but the permanent optimism (Pollyanna syndrome) that was beaten into my DNA by the nuns at Christ the King Elementary still is lurking out there, hoping for good things for my beloved Chiefs, Kings, and Angels. There’s the eternal hope that THIS will be the year I get back into the left seat at the pointy end of a plane. There are already a couple of trips planned (barring the emergence of yet another COVID strain and the deaths of hundreds of thousands) and if I could spend some quality time with friends, well, that would be spectacular.

So, with the 2022 Christmas cards all sent (*) out last week, I’ll get on with with accounting and tax returns and financial statements for 2022 but let’s start living in 2023. As a good friend on Twitter was saying tonight, “We must love one another or die.” I like Plan A so much better. It sounds much more fun.

Let’s do that. Happy New Year, y’all.

(*) – If you’ve gotten cards in the past but have moved and don’t get a card this year, let me know what your new address is… If you haven’t gotten cards in the past but want to, I’ve still got a handful left, so send me your address. (


Filed under Christmas Lights, Video, Weather