Open The Heavens

I’m excited. The rains are coming.

Now, you have to live in California to appreciate my enthusiasm. The weather is subtle here. When I speak of rains, I don’t mean the hair-raising, eardrum-splitting drama of a Texas thunderstorm. (Oh, how I miss those!) Even my hometown, Syracuse, is capable of stormy antics. No, the rains here are often mists or light drizzles, though it has been known to pour heavily and steadily here (spring of 2006 was an example). Rare is the thunderstorm here. About a month ago there was a thunderstorm in the middle of the night, the first in perhaps a year — nothing to write about, but still one that woke me — and it generated many comments on among my Facebook and Twitter companions. It was kind of pathetic, and therefore funny.

Here the earth receives no precipitation of substance for about six months each year during the hottest season. The ground shrivels and shrinks up like an O-cello sponge that escaped its packaging. Claire would not nap today, not even in my arms, so I took a long country ramble. As I drove through the hills, I noticed the boar-bristle landscape, the grass stiff and scratchy and looking as though it ached for rain. The stoic trees clutched their leaves, desperate for the the cleansing shower of drops. The air was a gauze curtain of dust and smog. We are parched and poised. And on Tuesday, the meteorologists say, we will be drenched and quenched.

From Weather Underground:

Heavy rain and potentially high winds expected to accompany a significant storm expected to hit late Monday into early Wednesday of next week…

A potent storm system… especially for October… will move into central and northern California beginning late Monday and continuing through Wednesday morning. This will be a very dramatic change from the typical late Summer pattern the area has been experiencing. The origins of this storm Stem from a western Pacific typhoon named Melor that hit Japan a few days ago.

Rain and increasing wind will begin in the North Bay Monday afternoon… spreading south Monday night. Tuesday and Tuesday night should see the heaviest rainfall and the strongest winds. Rainfall amounts could reach 1 to 3 inches along the coast and in the valleys. In the hills… rainfall amounts will range from 2 to 4 inches in the North Bay… with 3 to 6 inches in the Santa Cruz and northern Santa Lucia Range near Big Sur. Local amounts up to 8 to 10 inches are possible in the Santa Cruz and Santa Lucia Range. Winds Tuesday and Tuesday night will increase to 20 to 40 mph along the coast and in the hills. Gusts to 60 mph are possible in these areas. Strong southerly winds may develop in the northern Salinas valley and southern Santa Clara valleys with this storm.

Potential impacts from this storm system include:

  • possible mud and debris flows from burn scars from last Summer and this Summer. Persons living near these areas should pay close attention to updated forecasts.
  • Urban and Small Stream flooding and ponding on roadways and underpasses.
  • High winds that can down trees and thus power lines producing power outages.
  • Hazardous driving conditions due to very slippery Road conditions from a buildup of oil over the Summer and debris such as leaves accumulating on the roads.

If you want me, you’ll find me inside with my face pressed up against the window, tracking the raindrops as they wander down the window and watching the trees dance. If Claire is over her cold, you’ll probably find us outside in rain gear pouncing on puddles. The crumpled hills will soon turn emerald green. W00t!!

rain on leaves
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One Comment on “Open The Heavens”

  1. Sister Says:

    Oh, how I do understand your calling to Mother Earth’s elements!!! Winds, rains and all out storms just seem to invigorate the senses! After our long winter in the northeast, I do look forward to the first Spring time monster thunderstorms! Be prepared if the electricity goes out. Sounds like you will see some heavy winds! Have fun! Help Claire to understand what fun it is to watch Mother Nature kick butt!