Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Tropical Tuesday

After over a month of unseasonably cool weather, our daytime temperature shot up to 93F (34C) on Monday, signifying a major shift.  That morning, I noticed unusual agitation on the part of the crow population as a flock of the birds swooped through the neighborhood, crying raucously.  It was hot, muggy and miserable.  Forecasters gave Los Angeles a 20% chance of rain for Tuesday but Weather Underground, the service I rely on for local forecasts, indicated that rain was unlikely.  When I awoke, the pavement was damp but what little drizzle there was barely registered on my new weather station, a birthday gift from my husband.  However, 2 hours later, things changed as the drizzle became light rain, courtesy of tropical storm Blanca.  I used the brief downpour to collect what water I could.

A LOT of rain comes down the rain chain off the back of the house even in a short downpour

Rain also poured into my collection tanks (the 50-gallon tank is shown on the left and the 265-gallon tank on the right)

I estimate that my 50-gallon tank is about 70% full.  My 160-gallon tank, its supply down to 45 gallons before the rain, is now back up close to 80 gallons.  My 265-gallon tank looks as though it may now be full.  And, dropping our rain chain into plastic trugs, I managed to fill those and most of my watering cans.  This water all came off our house and garage roofs with only a total of 0.14 inches (3.6 mm) of rain.



Drizzle continued off and on throughout the day but the weather station total didn't move and no water poured down the rain chain as it had that morning.  Still, the evening temperature and humidity made it feel as though I was in Hawaii rather than Los Angeles.

View of the LA harbor in early evening



The finches didn't mind the muggy conditions.



And neither did the cat.

She only resents having her rest disturbed


As for my part, I'm hoping for a bit more rain this evening to fill the rest of my 160-gallon rain tank.  Summer rain is unusual in Los Angeles but very, very welcome.


All material © 2012-2015 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

28 comments:

  1. Glad you got some rain, Kris! Hope you get that extra bit to finish filling your tank.

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    1. Sadly, the rain moved on and we got no more here. Another blogger alerted me to a map showing yesterday's rainfall records and it seems we got more here than anywhere else in LA County so I'm counting us lucky.

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  2. Haha your cat looks very unimpressed! I'm glad you finally got a bit of rain. You seem very well equipped to catch as much as possible! Your plants will appreciate your efforts :)

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  3. Your cat looks comfy in her spot at least :) hope more of that rain falls, your garden needs it and you get some relief too once pre rain mugginess passes by.

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    1. No more rain but the mugginess is over (at least for now). We're absolutely socked in by fog today which provides cooler temps.

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  4. Looks great! Pipig is quite right ;-) Our rain has so far not materialized...

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  5. Every drop of rain is valuable!
    Hope you get more!
    Very good with all the water barrels.
    Mariana

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    1. There's no more rain on the horizon, Mariana, but I appreciate what I got.

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  6. Well done, you certainly manage to save every drop. I can' t imagine what it feels like to be so hot and muggy. Here we have a cold wind that never seems to let up.

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    1. The transition from spring's cool days to summer's toasty hot ones is always difficult but, paradoxically perhaps, seemed especially so given the extended spring we had this year. Surprisingly, though, today was cooler than the last 2 days.

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  7. I'm glad to see some rain for LA, you guys deserve it after so much drought and it's good to see your water reserves topped up for the short-term. Those little weather stations are such a great gadget to have.

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    1. This weather station has all sorts of bells and whistles but I haven't gotten round to reading my manual yet. The data can be downloaded, which appealed to my scientist husband - he loves data.

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  8. Wow--lucky you!!! Only a few drops here, but we were at least 10 degrees cooler. It was warm here rather than hot. Enjoy that precious wonderful rain water!

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    1. I was surprised to learn that the rain wasn't more generally distributed. I do count myself lucky!

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  9. Rain - if only it would fall where it was needed... It does look like you've become well equipped to hold on to what you get, you'll find that stands you in good stead with regular replenishment, even on a small scale. It is when the rain stops completely that we are all toast. Hopefully, neither one of us will be dealing with that!

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    1. Rain usually stops for us in April and doesn't return until late October or November. Summer storms of any kind are unusual and a tropical storm, especially this early, is remarkable.

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  10. I installed a rain barrel on the front corner of my house after my new addition was completed, and I've been amazed at how much water runs off the roof. A storm with only a tenth of an inch will fill the 50-gallon barrel. -Jean

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    1. The amount of rain that comes off the roof is truly remarkable. I wish I could collect all of it but that would mean more large tanks or a cistern and making room for either isn't simple.

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  11. Hooray for the rain, but sorry it came with mugginess. Humid heat is a bummer, unless you're actually IN a sauna.

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    1. My Scandinavian heritage aside, I never could get used to a sauna.

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  12. Amazing how much hotter you are. We didn't break out of the mid 80s. My brother once lived on your side of the hill, and I'd forgotten how his house was always hotter in summer. I thought Tuesday was a wonderful day, weather-wise! No measurable rain here though.

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    1. Our temps here run a good 10-12 degrees warmer in summer than those in the beach city we came from. My husband periodically reminds me that it was MY idea to live on this side of the hill (and I remind him that we couldn't afford either the space or the view on the other side).

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  13. Wow, you got way more than we did in Davis. Here the plants out in the open got wet but that was about it. I'll come to your house with a bucket the next time I need water.

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    1. I expect our annual rainfall is still lower than yours, Gerhard, so you might want to save yourself the trip.

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  14. What absolutely amazing views you have, Kris. Your garden frames them just perfectly; I love your choice of plants.

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