Tell me/us about your weather

I live in San Diego. One week ago today the temperature high here was 70°. Right now it’s 100° outside. These radical fluctuations in temperature come with the Santa Ana winds,  a.ka. the “devil winds,” so-called because when they blow in from the east all of Southern California becomes hot as You Know Where.

It seems like each year the Santa Ana winds blow harder, longer and more often. There used to be a short Santa Ana season wherein the winds would periodically gently blow; now those furnace blasts roar through for days on end. And for the last month or two they’ve come once a week.

This, combined with the fact that California is suffering through one of the most severe droughts on record, results in … well, this sceen shot, just taken from the San Diego County Emergency Site:

(If it’s too small for you to see, it lists a bunch of recent and ongoing wildfires that are now breaking out all over San Diego. I was at the gym yesterday with my friend Pastor Bob, and there were so many firetrucks screaming all around the place that I thought I was finally going to have a real reason not to work out. But, alas, they were only turning the parking lot of the gym into a staging area for the largest of the fires the county is now facing. Pffft. And those guys call themselves civil servants.)

I actually think my wife and I might have to evacuate before too long here: one of those fires is right now about ten miles from our house. But we probably won’t have to flee. I hope not. I never even know where my shoes are, let alone stuff like my wallet. If we’re supposed to evacuate I might as well just sit on our couch and wait to fry (which is probably my ultimate fate anyway), because the only other option will be to actually find my car keys. And I don’t see that happening in a rush.

I hope my wife Cat meets a nice guy at the emergency shelter. Someone with some organizational skills, for one. She deserves a man like that.

Anyway, I am now officially fascinated by weather. Like, seriously, crazily interested.

Please tell me in the comments selection below what if anything is generally going on with the weather where you live. Please share the place you live, where in your state that’s located, and what your experience has been–over however long a period you think is pertinent–with the weather there.

Specifically, has your weather gone bonkers lately? If so, does it freak you out at all?

I get a lot of kind of random reports from people across the country about bizarre weather they’re having. A wildlife photographer friend in Yosemite reports an alarming drop in the number of myriad animals and birds he’s been dependably seeing in the same spots every year for decades. A friend this winter sent me a screen save of his weather in Montana: 22 degrees below zero. (I don’t know if that was particularly abnormal or not, but just seeing a figure like that made me break out one of my better Hawaiian shirts.) Someone recently posted me a note about how a riverbed that’s been dry since he was a kid recently flooded. He’s officially freaked.

So now I wanna know more. I know I could follow the weather on TV or in the news–but along with “following the news” comes so much media crap that at this point in my life I prefer to remain as uninformed as anyone can these days. Plus … I dunno: something about hearing what actual people are actually experiencing makes things so much more … real, somehow. You know what I mean. I hope.

Toward that hope, please tell me/us what’s happening with your local weather. I’d like to know. And maybe it would also be helpful to have such information in one place. It would be interesting, for sure. Very, to me.

So what’s happening with the weather where you live? Has it changed?

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/RetroEssence Jacqueline Baker

    It’s hot, dry and eerily quiet in Chula Vista. I think the wildlife are hiding away in any cool spots they can find! However, I just heard that friends of mine, living near Carlsbad, are packing up ready for evacuation as the fire is very, very close. Not a good situation there, unfortunately.

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      yeah, that’s the fire that’s got our attention. we’re not that far from it.

  • BarbaraR

    I am in Shasta County (that’s NorCal, about 120 miles from the Oregon border). There was a 20-acre wildfire this afternoon about 10 miles away, the smoke plainly visible from my back porch.
    We’ve had a lack of rain the last several winters as well as snow that melts right away and doesn’t contribute to the snowpack. In other words: we’re in a drought. Last summer for the first time ever, the well showed signs of going dry. I’m on a self-imposed water austerity program and hoping to limp through until El Nino kicks in this fall (if it does). We do have another well drilled but not tapped as a last-ditch resort.
    This area is famous for extremely hot weather. You meet someone on the other side of the world and they all say the same thing: “Yeah, I went through Shasta County once. It was hot.” The summers have begun extending further into autumn and starting earlier in the spring (Kaboom! It was 70 yesterday and today it’s 118!).
    So yeah… it’s getting hotter.

  • Polly Van Fleet

    I am just south of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and we often laugh about how unpredictable our weather is – favorite son Will Rogers has been credited with saying “If you don’t like the weather here, wait five minutes” – but it feels like it’s been weirder than usual the last couple of years.

    It’s not unusual to have to switch from the heater to the AC (or vice versa) on the same day, but we are currently about 20 degrees below normal and it seems like all our seasons have shifted; they change later than usual, for example. We’re having weather more suited to early spring than late spring, except our usual heavy spring rains have been few and far between. We, too, are on the verge of another drought (and we’ve barely recovered from the one of 2012).

    The big tornadoes in Moore (2013) and Quapaw (last month) notwithstanding, in general, tornado frequency statewide has diminished – tornado alley seems to have moved east. And I don’t know if it counts as weather, exactly, but Oklahoma is having A LOT of earthquakes these days. 3 today (so far), 23 in the last 7 days, 94 in the last month, 661 in the last year. Considering I lived here for over thirty years and never heard about earthquakes happening here, the frequency at which they happen now is rather alarming.

    We get a lot of wildfires and grassfires here, too. I think there were 5 separate fires reported this last Sunday…

  • Matt

    I am just west of St. Louis, MO. We are close enough to the Illinois border that it is normal for people to commute over state lines for work. Temperature extremes are normal here–cold winters and hot, humid summers. Tornado season seems to be going as usual. We’ve so far just had one time where we had to hole up in the basement.

    It was the length and intensity of the winter that was strange. Lots of ice and snow. My car was not equipped for that much ice, so that was a nail-biter. Much more snow days than usual, and spring had to fight its way in. More precipitation in general. Severe thunderstorms and flash flooding is not unusual, but there seems to be more.

    I hope you and Cat are okay if you do have to evacuate. Stay safe!

  • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

    Hi John. Oakland’s spike from a high of 64 to 90 in one week was a shock. Still nothing like a fire. Keep safe.

  • maryterry

    Hi John, I’m up here in Sacramento. It’s hot today 91 degrees. No wind to speak of though. Our relative humidity here is about 30%, where I hear there in San Diego area it is about 3%. I am a transplant from Southern California so I know exactly what you’re talking about. Yes, I worry….. I still have many relatives down your way; a sister in Fallbrook & more family in Orange County.

  • Jean Blais

    By no means do I wish to imply that random swings in weather implies any direct causation of climate change…. etc, disclaimer, legalize at the bottom of the TV screen…….but yes 6 inches of snow in Denver on Mother’s Day is pretty rare.

  • Bill Steffenhagen

    Wed nite, 5-14-14. rural LaCrosse, (on Wisconsin’s “West Coast”, the Miss River). Been a very cold winter. I’m 70 end of the month and it was the coldest winter I remember. Sure, every winter here has it’s periods of sub-zero temps, but never as sustained as this past winter. I have electric heat in an old 1880′s brick farmhouse and it cost me well over $1000 this past winter!! Winters seemed to have been getting milder here during recent years and suddenly came this past cold one. Spring has been struggling to develop. Much fluctuation. Cold and damp and rainy one day, warm and humid the next. Sunny for one or two days, then overcast and wet, then back again. Only yesterday I wondered if it was gonna snow yet once more. I didn’t. One day I’m opening the windows and doors to let the lovely air flow thru and the next I’m turning the heat back on to take off the chill. Seems like we can never be sure how to dress for the day. Weather talk here often includes the word “crazy”. Seems like an appropriate word for climate change deniers. I’d ask God to watch over you and your home, but when it comes to natural weather traumas, he doesn’t seem to pay much attention to our wishes. So I’ll just wish you good luck.

  • Alliecat04

    I can’t say that it’s been weirder than usual. Memphis has always had weather that would turn on a dime. I remember riding at a horse show as a kid where they got a special dispensation from the governing body for people to take off their jackets because it was 114 or something. That was the record year, 1981 or 82, maybe. Winter before last we set records for cold.

    I guess the worst weather I’ve been involved in was the time a tornado killed three people and stopped 100 meters short of our house. It came close enough to drop chunks of the mall of memphis, which it damaged, in our yard. The thing about Memphis is that although this area gets as many tornados as the “tornado alley,” we don’t have basements here. So my husband and I were watching the radar and just sort of hoping it didn’t come this way, since we had nowhere to take shelter. Seriously, the same tornado touched a house with the same floor plan as ours, and these houses are essentially made of tissue paper.

    Out on the farm where I grew up, we had small tornadoes come down the lane periodically, but apart from losing small trees they never did much. My friend and I were standing in the shell of our under-construction barn when a funnel cloud dropped down from a thunderhead. We had just enough time to say, “That’s a funny cloud,” before it was on us. Kind of an awesome feeling how fast those suckers move compared to a person. Fortunately it turned, and yep, went up the lane, twisting the tops off the trees as it went.

    The Nonconnah creek, which is normally about 3 feet deep and a well-behaved little stream, flooded a few years ago and came close to causing us to be evacuated. Bunch of people on the Mississippi proper lost their houses, but we were lucky.

    John, praying for you and yours. Don’t take any chances!

  • http://katedanahy.blogspot.com/ Kate Danahy

    I live in Kodaikanal, India, and while the weather is nearly constantly beautiful and between 55-68 degrees F, we were in the midst of the worst drought in 25 years until the middle of last week, when we got hit by a surprise cyclone. As in, not one newspaper warned the town that hurricane-like winds and driving rain were on their way. Power was gone for 2.5 days, several shops in town were smashed by downed eucalyptus trees, electrical wires littered the streets, and my roof almost came off.

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    Its raining and a sticky 68 here in the upstate of South Carolina. Normal for this time of year. We had a very wet summer last year, with flash flooding that damaged a lot of roads, a cold wet winter, turned many roads into pothole meccas (yes, I work for the hwy dept) I do wish I could send some moisture west.

  • mhelbert

    in Ohio we have more severe weather/tornado warnings in the last week than any other state.

  • Diane Bourg

    In Albuquerque on Monday and Tuesday we had cold temps, wind, some rain and even a little snow. This weekend we will have temps in the high 80′s.

  • Bill Steffenhagen

    Thurs, 5-15-14m 10pm LaCrosse, Wis area. Overcast and quite chilly. Heat on again to take off the chill in the house. Patchy frost predicted!!! Unusual for this area this time of year.

    • Jill

      I’m in the other side of the state. The Midwest is fluctuating weirdly through cold snaps, heat waves, high humidity, then cold again. I thought my mood swings were rough.

      After the harshest/longest winter on record, I’d say weather patterns are shifting. To what, I’m not speculating.

      • Bill Steffenhagen

        And tonite we have frost warnings!!! I put the windshield cover on my van tonite and turned on my heat again. This is getting old but I spose we’ll be complaining about the heat in about a month. At least we don’t have to worry about going under water.

        • Jill

          Gotta keep those rose-colored glasses nearby! :)

        • Jill

          My little patch of newly planted sweet basil died because the weather can’t decide what it wants to do with itself. :(

    • Michelle Par

      South central Minnesota is experiencing the same thing. We had a frost warning last night. This time of year should be sunny and mild, with pretty regular rain, but we’re all over the charts. Climate changeD already.

  • Diane U

    Southeastern PA: perfect today – 60s and sunny – but we’ve had torrential rain and record flooding recently. Just coming off the worst winter ever – record cold and snowfall. Enjoying every second of moderate weather we can get.

  • http://madhatter.ca/ Wayne Borean

    Well, it snowed May 1. After that it has been warm. Ice finally melted off the lake about mid-May.

    Gotta love the North.


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