Wednesday, August 03, 2005

going to be another hot one

Starting today on through at least Monday we are entering into another extreme heat alert here. We are expecting temps in the high 90's to 103 all days.
I never considered "microclimates" much before living here.
Everywhere else i had lived the climate was the same for many miles thropughout the geographical location.
Southwestern Ohio was pretty much the same as the Miami Valley and into Nothern KY and southeastern IN.The area I lived in north of Houston was pretty much the same for an 8 county region; even Galveston would report similar weather patters as we did although there was almost 90 miles difference. You had to get out to the hill country or up into deel east TX to start feeling a change.
I am amazedat how Mother Nature works here in this region.
San Fransisco itself will rarely report temps out of the 60's throughout the year.During a real heat spell they may go to mid 70's and that is there heat wave.They are unprepared for anything too hot.Except for businesses no one is air conditioned in the City.Usually there is no need.On normal days there usually is enough marine layer and the ensuing breeze it brings is nature's air conditioning.
:ast night as i was sitting in front of fans waiting for the fog to make it out this far we were watching the Giants game.Small children were bundled into winter coats and adultds had on hooded sweatshirts tied tight.It was such an odd sight to see.here it was early August, swe;tering daytime temperatures here inland yet 40 miles away they had to wear winter coats.
I've been in the City a few times and you always want to have at least a sweater if not cool weather clothing available.
If you look at a map of the area you woul;d of course look east towards Oakland. Outside of Oakland is the Caldecott tunnels where they bore through the mountains to develop out in the eastern regions many, many years ago.
If you ride the tunnel you definately feel the temperature shift as you are near the tunnel there can be a dratic 15 degree change just right there.
The further east you go the warmer it gets.We are on what they call the Delta. My town sits on an inlet of the Sacramento River.
Our weather is more determined by the desert climate of Nevada and Arizona than San Fransisco only 40 miles away.
So someone looking on a weather map would get a clearer picture of our weather by looking at Sacramento weather than San Fransisco weather. No mountain passes per se to block the air although Lake Tahoe is only a couple of hours away and is in the mountains.
I just think its fascinating to see the different microclimates in this area.A weather report on the news here is broken into sections.
The peninsula which includes San fransisco; the North Bay and above which will start out similar to the City but as you get further north it gets hot and dry again; the East Bay whioch includes Oakland is similar to the City but always a little warmer and Inland which is where I am and will almost always vary from the City.If the city is going to have a heavy marine layer it can take 2 days to reach out this far if it doesn't burn off before.
We don't have AC here in this house so it can get miserable.Yet at night unless we are in a heat wave as soon as the sun goes down the temperature can drop 20-30 degrees at night and windows have to be closed.
Its just an interesting phenomenon to me.
Right now its so dry.All the rain we had during the wet winter and spring made for lush growth on the mountains and prairie but with no rain reported now for a couple of months and the extreme temperatures we are in the height of wildfire season.
Everyone is very cautuous.There have been a few wildfires nearby but they have been under control in ashoty lenght of time.
Its frightening to see acres upon acres go up like kindling in just a snap of the finger.
So far i have yet to experience the other phenomen here; earthquakes. We have small ones everyday 2.0 or under the Richter scale but you don't feel them.
I don't want to ever go through one.For me that would be more frightening than a tornado or hurricane and they are frightening.But, they have a certain predictiblity to them. forecasters can know the liklihood it going to happen and when it will be over.There is shelter from them.
There is no shelter from the earth opening up and how do you know when it will start and end and return.
I don't dwell onit.I have learned the idea that we are supposed to get into a doorway is wrong.Most residential buildings were not built with seismic movement in mind so they are actually very unsafe during an earthquake.You are supposed to get outside away from any structures like into the middle of the street.
I will have a heart attack and drop unconscious or just die if I am ever in a big one so it won't matter!
Its interesting to ride the Bay Bridge and know that is where the big earthquake hit during the Worls Series of 1989.The lower deck is what you ride to head east out of San fransisco or Oakland and the upper deck is what you ride to head towards the City.
If you recall the upper deck fell into the lower deck during that quake.
They are in the process of rebuilding a new bay Bridge to withstand furthwer seismic activity but it has met delays due to political posturing and he said/she said kind of goings on.there has been a recent FBI investigation because the union that welded the parts togethe rclaim the material was hsoddy and inferior and there was payola going on.Work came to a screeching halt about the time I arrived here.The FBI determined this was false and have allowed the work to resume.
The cranes that are used to build this structure are immense.Its no egeration to say it would take someone 30 minutes to walk from ground ( sea) level to the top.They of course have an elevator sytem in place but these are huge.
Its just interesting to me to live in an area where there is so much history.i have been blessed to have those experiences in my life.
In Ohio there was historical significance in many area;of course in TX there was and now here.
To be around or even see the places you had read about but are witnessing with your own eyes is a gift to me.
To be in the City by the Bay and see the homes that made it through the 1906 earthquakes; the Golden Gate Bridge majestically jutting out of the mountain side across the water over to the peninsula; to be at the Piers and look out and see Alcratraz and know the history of it, to see how close it appears yet its an optical illusion and understand why some tried escaping but none were succesful; to be a Pier 39 with its history; to ride through Chinatown and remember heqring about it as a chil;d and understanding the Oriental influence in the Bay area and next to Chinatown is Japan town lesser known but also historical.To ride past acres and acres of vineyards and relaize you are in wine country USA.Beforehand it was PBS documentary or news story or a picture on a label of a beverage.To go past acres and acres of farm land and see the migrant workers hard at work realizing there are faces to the stories we heard on the news.I can go back to the Cesar Chevez days and the notion of supporting migrant farm workers was more an idealogical idea than something tangible yet here they were in front of you.they could be your neighbors.
The wildlife here that we just read about. And of course the endless traffic which to me is worse than Houston any day.
Its dirty, unkempt.Californians are not friendly by nature as Texans were.There isn't a sense of community I feel here as I did there.
I have lived here all this time and have said hello to two neighbors the rest don't even wave.
The sky high prices( higher than a giraffe's ass I say) aremind boggling to me and i think always will be.
Native CA are kind of proud of that fact I've discovered.Its like a badge of honor; a medal they wear, stating they survive the high prices.personally. to me i just think its ridiculous so I am not popular.
There is a lifesytle to be enjoyed here but few can enjoy it because they are constantly working to support even the basics.
For most retirees it isn't a choice to work after retirement but where.
Politically, its time to pay the piper now for all the wonderful benefits Californians have enjoyed over the years.
Cutbacks and cutthroats to education, social programs, infrastructure and health care are high on everyone's concern list which is true across the country but more prevalent here because Californians for decades just supported their grandiose notions of more and more by referendums after referundums.
Even now, the once popular Terminator turned governator is feeling the heat because he wants to do what he was elected to do and the reality has sunk in to the people of this state.
its just an interesting time to live here.
And, the area is proud of one of their own today as Astronaut Robinson makes the precent setting spacewalk today to repair the shuttle to ready it for its rteturn flight and reentry.
he is a native of Moraga.There is a corridor right after the tunnel I mentioned on the east side they call " LaMorinda. It is speaking of the areas of Lafayette. Moraga and Orinda.Its a tony area as are several other areas nearby.
He seems to be an all arounfd good guy as does the rest of the crew and I do wish them a safe reentry and landing home.

1 comment:

jon said...

Looking for air conditioning repair info I found your post. I agree!