Yes, The Bay Area Has Weather

Storm Damage

For 9 to 10 months out of the year, the bay area has exactly one kind of weather. Cool evenings, warm to hot days, little to no humidity.

For the other 2 months, it is mostly just the occasional rain shower, colder temperatures, and the occasional freezing temperature.

Of course, like everywhere else, the local news folk are all about senstionalizing the crap out of the weather as much as anything else. Which leads to the ridiculous. I remember when I moved out to the bay area in the middle of June and all the news stations were, like, “OMG! STORM OF THE CENTURY! AAUUGH!! FIRE & BRIMSTONE!!!”.

Turned out to be a bit of rain and some lightning in the mountains in June.

Storm Damage

As laughable as “severe weather” in the bay area most often is (OMG! IT’S HOT! OHNOESRAIN!), the bay area does actually have weather. And seasons, too (we had awesome fall colors this year).

And weather we just had!

In the last 12 hours or so, we have had about 3.5″ of rain in the San Jose area. Accompanied by the rain was wind. Lots and lots of wind. Gusts of wind upwards of 50MPH.

Now, in the Midwest (where I grew up), gusts of wind around 50 mph typically happen a couple of times a year. Hell, when I was in Missouri in October, thunderstorms moved through at 50 to 60 MPH. It went from calm to chaotic in less than 10 minutes, to the point of actually blowing my parents Big Green Egg across the deck.

In the bay area, it works a bit differently. There will be a wind storm, major or minor, maybe once a year. Maybe. Today’s storm was the first really intense wind storm in a couple of years.

Storm Damage

As a result, there aren’t the constant stream of “pruning storms” like those in the midwest or east coast.

Going as long as we have without any major wind means that a storm of today’s magnitude causes massive damage as everything that has rotted, weakened, decayed, or otherwise been damaged in the previous couple of years simply fails under the intensity of the winds.

And fail it did.

We lost two huge branches off trees in our yard. One missed a car by less than 6″. The other would have smashed both of our cars in the drive way if we hadn’t been at work.

And, boy howdy, that drive to/from work was an adventure. Debris everywhere. Our neighbor’s pine trees must have dumped a ton of needles in the road — very slick.

On the way home, most of the street lights were out, lines down here and there and huge lake like puddles everywhere.

As we approached home, it just went dark. The major shopping centers and adjacent intersections still had power (underground feed lines FTW!) but everything else was dark.

When we got to the turn where the choice is “home” or “hardware store”, I swung by the hardware store to see if they might have a generator left in stock. They did; 4, in fact. 3 of the 4 were bought as I bought mine. Used it to make sure the contents of the fridge/freezer didn’t go bad.

We are lucky. We have power as of this evening; only 12 hours outage. There are over 1M folk without power in the bay area, many of whom will likely not have power for several days or more (hell, our power came back on for an hour and then cut out again).

And we have at least one more relatively major storm system hitting tomorrow. Likely mostly rain, less wind and, thus, n o more significant damage.

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4 Responses to “Yes, The Bay Area Has Weather”

  1. John C. Randolph says:

    I used to live in the Santa Cruz mountains, and I was high enough to be above the snow line about once a year. I’ve been through 30-year snowstorm events in Washington DC, Chicago, and here in California. In DC, the thirty-year storm gave us a bit more than a foot of snow. In Chicago, about three feet.

    In Los Gatos, it was about five to six inches, but that amount of snow took out our power for a week. The trees up there just weren’t used to the weight, and they came down in droves, taking power lines with them.


  2. Robert Fenerty says:

    Interesting, I had assumed that was Kurt’s generator.

  3. Dad says:

    glad u’all got through this and that we were back in Florida, although we brought the cold from san Jose back with us. the temp is back to normal here,near 70 today.
    i complained to the Chamber of Commerce down here.

  4. Fascination Place » Stormy Weather says:

    […] got windy enough to blow down some small branches (or large branches, in bbum’s case) and a sales sign at a nearby condo complex, but that’s about it. We had a couple of power […]

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