Dennis’ Tidbits


April 18, 2017

My head in the clouds, I’m looking at extreme weather

“Let me tell you how it will be. There’s one for you, nineteen for me. ‘Cause I’m the taxman.” - John Lennon, 1966.

That’s my thought today, but I’d better get my head back in the clouds.

All in all it was a pretty decent weekend here buat it’s a whole different ball game up in the Bay area and surrounding communities as another strong soaker continued to pile up those already swollen seasonal rain totals – and in the Sierras an additional foot of snow fell on Sunday. What drought?

My third documented extreme weather event came on October 8-10, in 1958, when a strong, very hot Santana wind event sent temps all the way up to 101 degrees at water’s edge here in Laguna. Humidity at water’s edge plunged to 8% as northeast winds up to 45 mph blew relentlessly for three whole days. Nighttime temps were an unbelievable 80 degrees. 

Amazingly enough, there were no serious wildfires throughout Southern California at that time, except for a few small brush fires that were quickly extinguished. There was a lot of fuel for fires that fall as the previous winter had been a wet one, with over 24 inches of rain falling in Laguna, allowing for natural wilderness chaparral to grow to very large heights. In the winter that followed, only 5.58 inches fell, which, at the time, was the driest year on record. So a lot of Santana wind events occurred throughout the fall and winter of 1958-59.

My next documented extreme weather event occurred on December 3, 1958 when a new high temp record for December was set as the mercury shot up to 88 degrees (a record that stood until December 12, 1979). A strong Santana wind event hit Laguna that day, with gusts up to 40 mph here in town. December of 1958 was very dry with only a tenth of an inch falling that month compared to a normal of 2.5 inches.

Gotta quit here as my computer is getting ready to do a possibly long update. 

See you on Friday, ALOHA!

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