Saturday, December 31

Reflections on Rain

We finally got our first really good rain storm of this winter today, the last day of the year. We just keep catching the tails of storm fronts as they plow through north of us lately. That means scattered, light showers at best. But this latest one was apparently a "100-year storm" for the Bay Area and we got a fair amount of rain here as a result.

I like the rain. I love the sound on the roof, especially at night when I'm going to sleep. I find it very relaxing. I like the smell of it too; during and after. I like going out in it on occasion. And today I did. It's neat to go downtown and watch the swollen creek rush by.

Growing up in Northern California, we got decent rainstorms often in the winter (occasionally even snow!). Here in SLO, not so much, and it was one of the first differences that struck me with winter here. It all has to do with the jet stream. Some years, it carries the storms to the north of us, other years it dips down and we get hit. Our latitude places us right on the fringe.

My oddest rain experience (for a Californian): I was in Houston for a student conference when a tropical storm hit. The group I was with were all standing under the hotel's carport waiting for our airport shuttle. We were all standing outside quite comfortably in t-shirts and shorts (for our flight back to LAX) while globules of rain fell not more than a few feet from us. It was a torrent of big fat drops that were warm to the touch when I held out my hand to them.

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