Funny thing about the weather – it has been a strange year for us over here in the Central Valley of California. We are expecting a late Spring rain, a rather sizeable system to come through sometime today and hang around until tomorrow. And while most of you, in the rest of country, experience normal and predictable weather patterns, and think nothing of rain in April (hence the phrase April showers bring May flowers), here in our little valley, it is considered a freak of nature, something that needs to be discussed ad nauseam.
Spring comes early here. The miles and miles of orchards were in full bloom about one month ago. It is really a sight to see, with the red, white, and varying shades of pink blossoms everywhere. And when the wind blows, the colorful blossoms all swirl around, and fill the air and cover the cars and streets in little delicate petals. Right after Easter is when the hot weather begins. And it gets hotter and hotter, so hot pretty much everyone goes inside after about 10 o’clock in the morning, because it is so unbearable.
To get rain in April is really, really unusual. The weather service is calling this storm an “atmospheric river” or more romantically – the Pineapple Express. Of course, when I hear that term, I always think of that silly movie – “The Pineapple Express”, which I hate to admit, but I really enjoyed. But this type of weather pattern can bring an enormous amount of precipitation to our area, which is good, but completely unexpected. We usually have rain from November through March, and then after that nothing at all, not a drop for months and months. Imagine 7 months without a drop of rain. That is one thing I really miss with living in this area – the summer thunderstorms and showers. Everything becomes parched, dry and dusty. The leaves on the trees lose their luster and all the foliage develops a dry, brown hue. And the dull hum of air conditioners running non-stop can heard throughout the city.
With the development of this front, we are all back to monitoring the weather. I keep a close eye on the barometric pressure, because that is a good predictor of things to come. I watch the weather service radar like a hawk, I have even gone so far as to load the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) app on my phone, which I guess is super nerdy of me. Presently the barometric pressure is at 29.98 (just in case you needed to know).
The news services are saying there is concern about flooding, dams not holding up – especially that one in Oroville, where the spillway burst last year, and caused all kinds of chaos. I always worry about Sacramento, because it is a city north of us, where two rivers converge and they have a history of some really devastating floods, especially the flood of 1862, in which they had to actually move the state capital out of Sacramento for about 18 months. That flood resulted in 4 feet deep water throughout the San Joaquin Valley. What if that happened this time, would I have to canoe to work? That would most assuredly make for some interesting commutes.
I was actually planning on gardening this weekend, but because of the unexpected rain, I will have to readjust my plans. Maybe I will paint something. What can I paint? Hmmm, let me think about that.
We shall see what comes of all of this. I will keep you posted!!!
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