December 6th, 2014



A rainy morning gave way to a chilly afternoon. I wrapped myself in a blanket and watched television for a while after lunch, but fell asleep and didn't wake up until after dark when I got a phone call. Only the absence of an infomercial on the television told me that it was still evening and not the hour before dawn. I'm still somewhat dazed.

It has turned much colder tonight, but tomorrow is supposed to be warmer than today was. Oddly, several places in the Central Valley had record high temperatures for the date today, but the mountains remained overcast and chilly. The accumulated rain has filled the Sacramento River to within a dozen feet of flood stage, which is quite unusual for December. Floods usually happen in the spring around here. Next week there is to be a lot more rain, so it's possible that the flood control system will kick in and large areas that have been dry for along time will be underwater. I'll bet the trumpeter swans I heard flying over the neighborhood an hour ago will be happy if that happens.

It's nice that everything is getting a good soaking, but it will do little to assuage the drought if we don't get some very heavy snowfall in the mountains this winter. A rainy fall doesn't predict a snowy winter, alas. Those record high temperatures today don't look very promising, either. I'd be very happy to see the ski resorts open, even though I'm not a skier. A winter with lots of happy skiers means lots of water next year. It's been a long time since California has had lots of happy skiers.