Good morning, cumulus cloud lovers. This past Saturday was day number two of the Summer of Love, 2008. It was also one of the most unusual weather days I can recall from my 23 years and 8 days on the central coast. The morning started out with a baby blue, cloudless sky and it looked like another scorcher was on the way as the temperature had hit triple digits the day before. Then in late morning, before you could say “What happened to John Edwards?” storm clouds started to move in. The sky was completing a 180 degree turnabout-I hadn’t seen anything change that quickly since the TSA started denying airline passengers the right to bear water on flights.
So we went from a stifling hot morning to the sky turning shades of blue and darkening as the mammatus clouds rolled in. These tornado-like clouds visit us only a few times a year around Monterey Bay, as they prefer to hang in the midwest. You can see them in photos #1 & 2. These uniquely shaped white pillows of moisture make their appearance when thunderstorms are in the area and this day proved no different. All of a sudden ThunderClap Newman was rolling in, lightning bolts were flashing across the bay and giants raindrops were pelting beachgoers. It was very strange, indeed with these dark, threatening skies after a morning full of crystal blue persuasion. Meanwhile, the thunderstorms sparked 14 small wildfires in the Santa Cruz mountains to add to the problem of trying to put out the fire on Friday that destroyed numerous homes and burned 630 acres.
And then in early evening on the second longest day of the year, the clouds rolled away, the sky returned to its Pacific blue self and if you had left for the afternoon you never would have known that anything was amiss in the universe. But it was a wild ride as a friend said hail fell in Soquel. I know that the rain in Spain falls gently on the plain but hail in June? The only thing that was missing was Dorothy, the Wizard and a golden rainbow. And rest assured I was looking for that one, Toto.
So that’s it for the wildest weather day of 2008. Tune in again on Friday when we’ll give you a photo update on the continuing saga of the cormorants on the cliffs. We’ll also look at a surgical procedure performed on an endangered species that is a Sunrise Santa Cruz classic that you are not going to want to miss.
So I thought we’d end with a little weather humor. A Hollywood director was shooting a big budget movie on location in the desert. One day and old Indian came up to him and said, “Tomorrow rain.” And sure enough, the next day it rained.
A few days later the Indian appeared again and said to the director, “Tomorrow storm.” And sure enough the following day there was a terrible storm, which brought a temporary halt to the filming.
The director was hugely impressed by the old Indian’s weather predictions and told his secretary to put him on the payroll. However, after a number of successful forecasts, the Indian didn’t show up for three weeks. Eventually, the director sent for him and said, “I have to shoot a big scene tomorrow and I’m relying on you. What is the weather going to be like?
The old Indian shrugged his shoulders. “Don’t know. Radio broken.”
That’s it. Goodnight, everybody. Catch you on Friday.