Monday, January 18, 2010


Every time it even gets misty around here, it seems like the media goes crazy and suddenly, we're on Storm Watch on the televisions.... It's normal around here not to have rain from spring until fall.... and to have pretty much clear weather punctuated with brief monsoons (just kidding) during the late fall, winter and very early spring. You can pretty much plan on an outdoor event around here and not even make backup plans in the event of rain. What rain?

Well, then something like this week's forecast comes along, and we're kind of pooh-poohing it and thinking, "yeah.... right."

Here's what the news predicted for the week, when I read the on-line headlines yesterday afternoon....

The National Weather Service has issued a new and disturbing forecast for this week’s series of storms, saying Orange County could receive “potentially epic” rains, with as much as 20” of precipitation in the Santa Ana Mountains and 4” to 8” along the coast.

Santa Ana averages less than 3” of rain for the entire month of January.

“We’re giving a lot of advance warning so property owners and emergency planners can take action ahead of this,” says Rob Balfour, a weather service forecaster.

The U.S. Climate Prediction Center said today the upcoming storms “finally show El Nino traipsing in” to Southern California. El Nino can greatly enhance rainfall. Forecasters said the upcoming storms could rival the damaging El Nino rains that hit Orange County in January 1995.

Balfour said the polar jet stream “is extremely strong; it already extends from off Asia to Hawaii and up higher.” The storms will tap some of that sub-tropical moisture, strengthening the storms.

The first storm will arrive late Sunday night or early Monday and will drop 1.5” or more of rain. The surges coming Tuesday and Thursday/Friday will be stronger. By the end of the week, hillsides will be soaked, raising the prospect of mudslides. Ski resorts in the San Bernardino Mountains are expected to get 4 feet of snow.

I decided to stick a precise (not!) rain gauge outside at 4 p.m. yesterday, when the first droplets appeared. The rains came. And came, and came, and came. Then at 4 p.m. today, the clouds scurried away, and the blue sky laughed at us as we walked around the backyard in this.

And here's my "precise rain gauge".....

2.75" in 24 hours. Hmmm. Maybe they're actually on to something this time! If that's the case, the rest of the week could get interesting!

And here's how Michael warmed up today after he got home, soggy and cold, from the Land of Lost Packages..... he asked for help from his personal space heaters!


Susan In Texas said...

Well, at least it looks like you're in a fairly flat area from the puddles in the picture. I like your rain gauge. Since the top of it is very slightly larger than the rest, you probably got closer to 2.5 inches, which is a tiny bit better, no?

I never really saw heavy rain (or hail) until I moved from Wisconsin to Texas 25 years ago. I drove into a supercell driven wall of water one night last year. I was less than a mile from home and could barely find my way. Scary stuff! That was probably 5 inches in 15 minutes.

Stay safe and dry and away from those saturated hillsides. (That's one thing we don't have to worry about here; it's way too flat for mudslides.)


Yvette said...

I love the rain when I can stay home. Fortunately, it was a holiday yesterday and we got to work in one piece and in an hour. The rest of this week could pose a problem. I should pack a bag and stay there. LOL

Love Mr. B's heaters.

Jacque said...

I think you and Mr. B and DD1 should just hunker down and stay inside with your cute lil heaters! Stay safe!