Thursday, January 21, 2010

Unprecedented

Waves at Agate Beach, courtesy of Weather Underground photographer Tsurai.

So far this incredible series of rapid-fire storms has lived up to the ominous forecaster predictions. According to my amateur measurements we've had somewhere between 10-12" of rain since Sunday. We've also had hail (some as large as 1"), high winds, tornadoes, mudslides, downed trees, water spouts, power outages, thunder and lightning. It's made it hard to carry on with daily routines (particularly for those without generators), but everyone is doing their best. I think most people around here come to accept this as a regular way of life and they make the best of it. They hunker down with candles and a good book, a pot of soup, a cozy wood fire, and an easy going attitude, and forget trying to get out and about. Only those with deadlines and schedules dependent on modern technology seem to be phased by it.

Our progress on the bathroom facelift has been hindered by these events, since our generator proved to be too wimpy to run a tile saw. But we're back on track today with a break in the severest weather forecasted until the weekend, though it's still raining.

Progress on my preparations for the Best Bead show were also temporarily disrupted, albeit by equipment malfunctions. I'm pretty sure my propane regulator is shot, but thanks to the kindness of a fellow Lampwork Etc member I've got a loaner while he checks mine out.

The meteorologists are having a field day with this weather situation, saying that the atmospheric conditions we have right now are unprecedented and incredible. The "storm door", as they like to refer to the pressure gradient setup that either protects the California coast or pummels it, is fully open with very little end in sight to this pattern for the foreseeable future. Apparently the low pressures recorded along the coast are among the lowest ever recorded. I can't imagine what it's like for them now, with their computer models, comparing data with each other and trying to make sense of it all, but I'm sure it's exciting. This ominous forecast from a USGS scientist is sobering indeed, unless of course if you're a snowboarder, and then you're making plans to quit your day job (if you even had one) and get to the slopes. My only question concerns the credibility of a geologist (who specializes in coastal and marine geology) making weather predictions.

80', 14" diameter fir tree split and snapped in half.
The tree was forked and thus weakened, which likely contributed to this.

Adjacent fir with split trunk near the ground.

We've weathered this series of storms with fairly little damage except for a large fir tree snapped in half and a myriad of tree limbs down, not to mention the debris everywhere. One more large tree downhill from the broken one seems to be splitting near the ground, which I'm assuming is from some torquing it may have had during the storm. On the bright side - I take a Darwin's view of this stuff and thank Mother Nature for very efficiently removing the weaker limbs so that we don't have to. I just wish she would bring her crew in to clean up the mess she made!

Over and out - the torch is calling.

4 comments:

mairedodd said...

this is an incredible storm... my brother lives in san diego... stay well!

Patty said...

I hope your brother is unaffected, Maire. I hear it's a pretty big deal down there. We're kind of used to this wild weather where I live farther North of there.

rosebud101 said...

OMG, Patty! Take care of yourself! That storm sounds terrible.

Patty said...

Yeah, terrible in a beautiful, exciting kind of way.

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