WeatherWhys Blog

Metric time: a mental stimulation

Metric time: a mental stimulation

If most of the world deals with metric weight, volume and length, then why not metric time?While there was a serious effort to change the names of months during the French Revolution in the late 18th century, it never really caught on. And metric time probably never will either. But let’s have fun with it for a moment (a non-metric moment).

Why can’t we have tornado detectors in every home?

Why can’t we have tornado detectors in every home?

Everyone has a smoke detector in their house. It is “code”. Twice a year, when Daylight time starts and ends, we are all expected to check batteries in our smoke detectors. In many states, carbon monoxide detectors are also required by building code, or soon will be. These devices are mandated to ensure that a potentially catastrophic and imminent threat is clearly and automatically announced. It guarantees (when properly used) that the inhabitants are warned. What they do next is up to them, but at the very least they have been duly notified of a life threatening fire or odorless gas. They are simple and ubiquitous ceiling (or wall) embellishments that play an important background roll.

9-10-11: a surreal day

9-10-11: a surreal day
Provided photo

 If 9-11 is forever known throughout the world as the biggest “emergency” our nation has witnessed (owing to the universally understood 9-1-1 phone number), then September 10th, 2011 will probably hold special significance in Kern County. And that comes from the symbolic meaning of 9-10-11, or predictable continuity. Specifically, “one thing leads to another, which leads to another, which leads to another..”. 

Weather a constant in a world of chaos

Weather a constant in a world of chaos

These are no doubt difficult times we’re living in. The economy is in a tailspin. Our country seems to have never been as divided as it is today. Cities around the world are burning, both figuratively and in reality, with discontent. It seems that everything is out of control and there is precious little that we, as individuals, can do about it.

2011 fire season underway

2011 fire season underway
A lawn mower sparks a grass fire in the area of Lotus Lane and Watts Drive in southeast Bakersfield on Wednesday, May 25, 2011. Two sheds burned in that fire.

Our monsoon season has begun earlier than usual (normal is mid-July). And although triple digit heat started a bit late, it too has made up for lost time. We end the abbreviated work week with day number 7 of Heat Wave #2. It will be the 12th 100-degree day, compared to a normal occurrence of 13 triple digit days by now. So we’re back on track after a cool start to the sizzling summer season.

Spring storms unleash powerful damage

Spring storms unleash powerful damage
In this April 17, 2011 photo, Jeffery Lee looks at a photograph in the middle of debris that was once his friend's home in Fayetteville, N.C., after a tornado hit the area on Saturday. (AP Photo/The Fayetteville Observer, Andrew Craft)

A couple of Wednesdays ago,  a cold front came through Kern County. It turned 10 degrees cooler in Bakersfield, but that same system moved east to eventually kill 45 people in what would become the biggest tornado outbreak the US has witnessed in years.

Nature plays its wild card as spring starts

Nature plays its wild card as spring starts
Smoke rises from Unit 3 of the tsunami-stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okumamachi, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, Monday, March 21, 2011.

Spring began on Sunday at 4:21 PM. It has occurred amidst novelties that continue to astound. Those novelties include a Super Full Moon, unusually high tides, an historic earthquake and tsunami last week and the resumption of our “sandwich” rainy season.

Final phase of 'sandwich season' underway

Final phase of 'sandwich season' underway

You win some, you lose some. This past weekend’s weather had been expected to be rather wet on Saturday with thunderstorms and low snow levels. In fact, we only received .09” total in Bakersfield and Saturday morning was beautiful. Passes were never shut down. Major impact from the strong storm system hit generally north and south of Kern County. But rain and snow that did affect the state was indication of the third and final phase of what I have called our “sandwich season”.

What's up with the worldwide wacky weather?

What's up with the worldwide wacky weather?
Cars are buried as a woman tries to clear her windshield Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011, in Milwaukee. The area was under a blizzard warning and some freeways were shut down. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

January is in the books now and was a notable departure from the months leading up to it. In what has been characterized as a “sandwich season”, January proved to be a sandwich of its own with rain only at the start and end. Meantime the rest of the world is in melt down mode.

Weather blog: Records are made to be broken

Weather blog: Records are made to be broken
Contributed photo

Yes, we all are quite aware of the incredible rainfall that has come to Kern County this month. And I’m sure you know it has broken records. But perhaps you don’t know the sheer magnitude of this weather anomaly.

The Great Solstice Storm of 2010

The Great Solstice Storm of 2010
Contributed photo

Winter arrives at 3:38 PM on Tuesday and is beginning with a vengeance across Kern County. Historic rainfall brings much of California into a state of emergency with widespread flooding affecting many this Christmastide.

Cold season off to rousing start

Cold season off to rousing start

October delivered 197% of normal precipitation and now November comes to an end with additional generosity from the skies. A total of .84” fell during the month which is 142% of normal. But will it last?