If you live in Southern California, you know that we don’t have rain often. In fact, the years 2012 through 2014 have been some of the driest, drought-impending years on record. It is the diametric opposite of the state of Washington. Governor Jerry Brown is doing commercials about water conservation, and a state agency is running commercials about saving water if you love California – cute commercials showing people hugging an animated cartoon shape, shaped like the state. Residents of SoCal are ripping out their lawns and planting drought tolerant native plants to conserve water – succulents, cacti, aloes, and such – and some are going so far as to install expensive Astroturf in their yards, not willing to give up that “lush look.” Their yards now look like high end miniature golf courses, minus the windmills. And Home Owner Associations (HOAs) are distributing notes tacked to tenants’ garage doors about conserving water – those residents overwatering sufficiently to cause run-off will be cited after the second warning.
So when a Pacific storm comes along, albeit infrequently, it is big news. All the local TV stations have STORM WATCH coverage. The local weather reporters are suddenly supplanted by bona fide meteorologists showing Doppler radar maps of the impending storm, hanging off the Pacific coast, with prognostication about how exactly the storm, when it materializes, will affect your particular area. These meteorologists often pontificate in a way that reminds you of Ted Baxter from the old Mary Tyler Moore show. Their forecasts could vary, depending on whether you live in a beach community, a canyon or the mountains, or near a recent burn area following last season’s wild fires. You aren’t sure whether to be alarmed or laugh. Continue reading