Archive for the 'Weather' Category

Covering the Atrium

Saturday, November 29th, 2008
Atrium Cover & Lights

We do get weather in California. Beyond the 9 months of sun, we have 3 months of sun and rain. And, believe it or not, cold weather. It actually freezes quite a few times over the winter.

And when you live in a glass house with a gigantic hole in the middle, this can make for a few wet and chilly days.

To compound the issue, we are in the midst of a remodel and, thus, our kitchen is actually in our atrium. We cook, eat, and refrigerate in this open space.

In past years, I have tied a tarp over the hole. It worked, but was ugly and leaky.

Clearly, a better solution was in order.

Many of the Eichler’s in our neighborhood have covers, but most are permanent — intentional or otherwise due to the inconvenience of dealing with it.

When I searched for “eichler atrium cover“, the first non “network” hit was this beauty. Well engineered and stylish, but unintentionally permanent. Coincidentally, that cover was built by Robert Bowdidge, a rather smart fellow that I used to work with at Apple.

So, we took a wander about Home Depot to peruse all of the materials that might be suitable.

Off the bat, I chose Suntuf corrugated lexan panels as the actual covering material. It is lightweight, very strong, and reasonably priced. Suntuf blocks almost all UV radiation.

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Yes, The Bay Area Has Weather

Saturday, January 5th, 2008
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!

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Hurricane Wilma

Wednesday, October 19th, 2005

Jeff Mathers has a weblog where he analyzes the various Atlantic weather patterns. It is incredibly interesting. Of course, given the extraordinary 2005 storm season, the recent posts have been particularly enlightening.

Hurricane Wilma has proven to be an incredibly unique storm. Wilma strengthened from a Category 1 to Category 5 hurricane in something near 24 hours and has produced the lowest pressure ever recorded in an Atlantic hurricane.

How do the forecasters know the pressure? There is a hurricane hunter plane that flies through the eye of the hurricane. From Jeff’s current post on Wilma:

… It’s amazing the hurricane hunters were even able to penetrate the eye–it’s really tough to hit a 2 mile wide eye when you’re flying crabbed over at a 30 degree yaw angle fighting horizontal flight level winds of 185 mph and severe turbulence. This is an incredibly compact, amazingly intense hurricane, the likes of which has never been seen in the Atlantic. …

Holy crap! That sounds like one hell of a ride! Anyone know anyone that can get me a seat on just such a plane?

(Yeah, my spelling sucks. At least I was consistent.)

Tides at Half Moon Bay

Saturday, May 28th, 2005

Half Moon Bay lies just north of Pescadero State Beach and Bean Hollow State Beach.

If you want to clamor around the rocks along the shore to check out the sea life, including the barnacles, you will want to go at low tide. Given that the tides vary by numerous feet along the Northern CA shore, the window of low tide tends to be pretty small.

This site provides excellent tide tables. Better yet, they offer iCal subscriptions to the various tide tables!

8.* quake off Northern Sumatra

Monday, March 28th, 2005

News links: The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center Notice issued a bulletin. Reuters has also published an initial report that contains links to the growing collection of stories.

There was an 8.something quake off of Sumatra at 8:09pm PST. This is in the same fault system where a magnitude 9.0 quake caused a massive tsunami that killed hundreds of thousands of people while displacing millions more.

Like the earlier quake, this quake was also situated along an undersea ridge. Depending on the movement of the earth’s crust, this quake may also have unleashed a tsunami.

That this second quake happened was expected. Maybe not of such a great magnitude, but any given event of the magnitude of the original 9.0 quake causes enough motion within the earth’s crust that it takes a long, long time for the fault system to settle again.

And the impact is not limited to that local fault system. With the original 9.0 event, the quake was felt in the south eastern United States.

Similar events have happened before. When the New Madrid Quake of 1811-1812 hit, it caused damage on the east coast of the United States and there were strong aftershocks for nearly a year.

So, unfortunately, it looks like the Indian Ocean and the surrounding countries are at high risk for further earthquake related damages. Hopefully, the December 26th, 2004 event will have put people on alert such that the various countries can react a little more quickly.

Someone asked how I knew about the earthquake before it had hit any major news services. The USGS has a site that provides maps dotted (squared?) with global earthquake information. There are also maps for specific regions. The global page has an RSS feed.

I happened to have been reading my morning feeds via NetNewsWires about 10 minutes after the initial tremor hit.