Category: Weather

Atmospheric River Meditation in SF

December 13th, 2014

Here’s my 7-minute storm video, meditative and exploratory rather than my usual strict documentation.

San Francisco was blasted by a few inches of rain in a single day on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. It was an ‘atmospheric river’ (AR) blasting at the coast like a fire hose. These “rivers” contain as much water as many Mississippis, wafting through the air about a mile above the sea from the equatorial region beyond Hawai’i.

This one first blasted Canada and then Washington, then Oregon, then us (in essEFF), then Southern California.

I’ve been researching the […]

Clementine’s Little Sister

June 25th, 2014

I was in a canyon in the Gold Country last weekend, at the Yuba River researching my usual, the storm of 1862. And going for a nice swim. The Bridgeport covered bridge has signs saying it was built to replace the one washed away by the storm.

I marveled at the beauty of the canyon, saw a sign about gold panning regulations and found myself singing, “In a cavern, in a canyon, excavating for a mine….” I suddenly wondered, Is this song about the flood!? Is this yet another clue to […]

A Creek Through the Wiggle & Across Market at Church St.

December 10th, 2011

We tried to put the creek into our mural. Mona sketched it on paper. Seth painted it on the wall—three times before getting it the way he liked it, with the street names of the Wiggle bike route shimmering in the water. We carefully mocked reality with brown (Franciscan chert) rocks on the one side of the creek and green (serpentine) on the other side. We even allowed ourselves interpretive license when we colored it in crayon blues.

When we designed the mural (1996 & ’97) I […]

News-digitizing making 1862 storm research easier

March 3rd, 2011

There’s great news about researching the storm. The California Digital Newspaper Collection has been working on digitizing old news, just as Thinkwalks has been doing, only with more funding. I love calling 150-year-old articles “news”! Perhaps it should be “renews.”

If you’ve been reading this blog, you know about my effort to create a detailed historical survey of the record-setting storm of 1862, which began in December 1861, lasting so long it was called the Noachian Deluge by many alive at the time; it was more than forty days and forty […]

ARkStorm’s science challenge

January 17th, 2011

Since the Big Summit last week, ARkStorm has been getting a lot of press. Most of the coverage has been simply warning the public that a Big One could happen in the form of a superstorm, rather than a quake. The public interest is generally portrayed as being strictly about natural hazard emergency response.

Official preparation is certainly important. Information about the science and history of storms also needs to be emphasized. In fact, it’s in some ways even more important for the public to understand the implications in context, than […]

Reports from the Storm—Part 1

January 4th, 2011

In my diggings concerning the bizarre month-long storm of 1861 and 1862, I’ve come across exciting tidbits. Some, such as the gold country rains of more than nine feet depth in one month (!) are shocking enough. However, nothing has been so exciting as reading words written in the midst of it, each more dire than the previous.

Leland Stanford was apparently forced to take a boat through the streets of Sacramento just to attend his own inaguration as Governor of California. Here's the speech he gave, as reprinted […]

Taming the Weather with Intrepid Wigglers

December 15th, 2010

Take a look at this luck!

As always, I held off on canceling the tour on Tuesday. I hoped there would be a gap in the rain. I was right, but more than right, I was using a weather prediction system for local San Francisco short-term planning that I’ve now tested enough to share around. Feel free to pass the link along.

The tour ended at 2pm. At 2:20, this is how the oncoming rain looked, sweeping in from the west. Good timing!

The tour only had six people, but they […]

Storm book project now a definitive Yes!

October 16th, 2010

The Thinkwalks blog is going into full swing today. At least for a time, likely many months, most content here will be related to the Storm Book I’ve begun researching.

My intent is to publish articles and a prospectus booklet, eventually extruding a book on the topic. I hope I can nudge The Great Storm and Flood from obscurity into public awareness with some serious research and writing. I consider myself lucky to have stumbled upon this incredible little-known topic. Of the professionals I recently consulted in related fields, few have […]