I got barely a glimpse at the crescent moon tonight. The clouds had regathered by the time I woke, so I got one of those steely gray autumn afternoons when the color of the leaves is deepened and muted by dimness. Only a brief thinning of the western vapors revealed the moon for a few minutes before it settled among the pines. There isn't supposed to be rain tonight, but I'm not so sure that those clouds will be able to resist dumping their burden. If they do, it probably won't be a very cold rain. The air is cool tonight, but milder than on recent nights.
Some weather folk are speculating that conditions are right this year for the phenomenon which goes by the name Pineapple Express. This results when the failure of the normal high pressure zone over the southwest U.S. causes the jet stream dip south across the Pacific from Alaska and pick up much moisture from the area around Hawaii, then bring it hither to dump. Typically, it leads to almost constant rain for up to two weeks at a time, followed by long dry periods of up to two months. This pattern could repeat through next spring. It would mean a very wet winter, with more rain than snow due to the tropical source of the moisture.
In the worst case, prolonged heavy rains could lead to levee breaches and over-topped dams, resulting in widespread flooding. Now that New Orleans is largely depopulated, Sacramento contains the largest concentration of population vulnerable to severe floods anywhere in the United States. I don't think Arnold could help by sticking his muscles in the dike, either.
Potential for massive disaster aside, the most annoying thing is that, while the rainy periods are filled with warm, wet Hawaiian air, the periods between storms are filled with cold, dry Alaskan air, due to the absence of the normal high pressure zone. Drat. The gas bills! I'm not looking forward to weeks on end of icy chill.
Oh, and my head is itching because the stores around here no longer carry my favorite shampoo, and I've had to resort to a substitute to which I apparently have some allergy. I may be forced to begin ordering shampoo over teh Internets, as the stuff I like is still available in Canada. The shipping charges would be nasty, though.