Tuesday, January 03, 2006
It Never Rains in Southern California
Actually it never really does - this is a picture from Napa (or NoCal) this week - you know - the wine country. I sat next to two nice older couples (old Ags) on the plane ride home, who were going on to Napa for an adventure in wine-tasting. I'm sure they are finding the local varietals a bit too, er, wet to their taste.
But it really doesn't ever rain in SoCal - such that when we really do get a storm, as defined by most people with a Webster's, then it really causes a conondrum for the neighborhood. Which is why everyone yesterday could say with such authority "this is the first Rose Bowl Parade that has ever had rain in the last 50 years". Unbelievable really. That's a parade-goer right there below. Must be a Longhorn fan - good for him - and look at all of his buddies (it will be like that after the game tommorrow, too). We went to the parade two years ago - thank god we picked a dry year.
When I moved out here in late'97 LA had El Nino (I still think of Chris Farley on SNL portraying El Nino: "What does El Nino mean?" "Uh, it means uh 'the...uh...Nino!") and it rained pretty good through January and February. Well being from SoTex (Southern Texas) this was pretty normal - I remember spending full months of March sloshing around from class-to-class in college.
But for SoCal this was an anomoly. The next five years - no rain. And when a sprinkle might be on the horizon the weathercasters would warn of a "storm". No, not a real storm - you might see a cloud in the sky - but not a drop of precipitation. Us out of towners would have to learn real quick that when they sometimes freaked you out like that on TV that it really was just....show bidness. Steve Martin had it right.
Really what you have to watch out for are the quakes and fires. And you see the fires come from this cyclical nature of no rain - it rains once a year and then brush grows because of it and then it doesn't rain for 350 more days and it burns up. And then when it rains everyone goes oh that's great but it just means more brush will grow to dry out and burn baby burn - that is called the Southern California Hydrologic Cycle. And then if it doesn't burn it will slide.
But I'm okay, we're high on a paved hill and on rock foundation. Our biggest fear are Jehovah Witnesses. Knock on wood.