The forecast says the snow level will drop to as low as 2000 feet Saturday evening, locally 1000. We are at 1500.
It has been a really cold week, by local standards, especially for late February.
Too bad all this chill is basically useless for the deciduous fruit trees, coming this late. We surpassed 500 chill hours earlier this month. However, we really won’t get more useful chill, as almost everything is leafing out or blooming by now. And getting snow, or freezing temperatures on the buds and blooms is not a good thing.
But some snow would certainly be interesting…
Thursday, early in the morning, one of the most incredible storms this region has seen finally moved out. We had 6.25 inches in just over six days, 2.76 of which fell on Wednesday; many areas to the north had a good deal more.
It rained heavily enough for a time on Wednesday that we had a little river running through the property, not to be deterred by fresh prunings off one of the apple trees (which has several varieties that were grafted on to it last spring).
The main event of the rain lasted about 72.5 hours. During that time, only near the end were there as many as five straight half-hour increments (the archive time on my weather data-logger) in which no rain was recorded. At one time on 20-21 December, rain was recorded in 42 consecutive half-hour periods. That was part of a run of 123 of 132 half-hour periods in which rain was recorded. So, it rained rather persistently.
I can recall some phases of rain over a week or so long in the past that were impressive. As recently as January of 2010, for example. And no one who lived in Southern California at the time will forget “epic” rainy periods in 1983 and 1969. But usually these involve a series of discrete heavy storms, punctuated by several hours of some sunshine and no rain. This time, as the stats above reveal, it just kept raining. And raining. There were not even any breaks in the clouds, at least during daylight hours (and the record suggests not at night, either) from Saturday afternoon till Wednesday afternoon.
Today it was sunny and relatively warm (first time over 60 since 14 Dec.). But more rain is forecast for Saturday night and at some point during the coming week.
It’s a bit saturated around here.
We won’t have to irrigate for a while. And, thanks to that cold snap in late November, and more than a week of cool days (albeit fairly warm nights for the time of year) during the rain, we are almost to 250 chill hours already, which is good for the stone fruits.
In late November, we had a couple of mornings with temperatures just below freezing.
This photo shows a hedge with some frost damage a few days later (3 Dec.), along with two other signs of the season: a Hachiya persimmon laden with fruit, and a navel orange tree with fruit just starting to color up. (The orange also shows the results of some major limb breakage from fruit weight and high winds back in October; yes that’s one orange tree).
Fall/winter season is well underway.
The most recent evidence of that is four straight days of essentially uninterrupted rain.
Some more seasonal shots (all from late November or early December):
An hour or so before sunset, this colorful cloud appeared in the southwestern sky. When I first noticed it out my window, I thought I was just getting some sort of light effect from the dual-paned widow itself. But it looked that way from outside, too. At least around these parts, this is an unusual sight.
Yesterday we had heavy wind (gust here up to 35, which is rare, but other areas nearby had much stronger) and quite a bit of rain (1.4 inches here, more elsewhere). Today very chilly, by local standards (high 55F). More rain coming in the next few days, and likely a cold night tonight. Winter is here.
It must be fall. It was 68 today. First day with a high below 70 since 10 June. And what’s that? It might rain this week? Bring on the rainy season!
Yesterday I looked out the window at about six in the morning and saw an unusual reflection. What was it? Oh, morning sun–the first time in nearly six weeks that there had been actual sunshine at sunrise.
Today things have returned to normal.
View to the east of the finca, 8:40 a.m., 17 June 2009
OK, so it is not exactly the golf-ball sized hail that struck parts of west Texas earlier, but this is quite a good sized hailstone for these parts. We almost never get hail at any time of year. Or rain at this time of year. And today was marked by thunderstorms and brief rain and hail throughout much of the day. Strange. And a lot nicer (and more interesting) than the uninterrupted marine layer gloom of most of the previous five days.