We went to bed around midnight last night with a high wind warning hanging over us. The front moving out of Texas and up into New England was spawning all manner of dangerous weather, nature displaying its options. The SPC graphics for convection showed us in a predicted thunderstorm area, a high wind area, and a slight distance from a winter storm advisory.
The previous wind warnings blew through our locale as fiercely as predicted. The areas that took much of the damage in April 2011 took a lot of damage last Wednesday and Thursday. It was with a sinking feeling in my gut that I watched the projections displayed and played forward. We were predicted to be the target zone for the front currently wreaking havoc on the eastern seaboard.
Last week’s storm blew into the area with the breaking day and took about 12 hours to peak, decrease, and exit. Today’s front was forecast to show up about 0100 and then build in intensity. That would put the strongest and windiest part of the storm overhead in the dark. Given the terrain and the lack of light from nearby towns, the only illumination useful for observing the sky is lightning. Not the best source. You hear things in the wind on dark and stormy nights that don’t manifest in even the weakest daylight.
The wind began picking up about 2330 and gusts of around 20 MPH were being recorded by 0100. I woke up at 0450 and heard some fairly high, sustained winds but managed to doze off for another hour. By 0800, the strongest winds were blowing down valley. A trip out to the mailbox with a wind-spooked dog revealed no trees down in the road. We could hear the wind decreasing and see blue sky overhead as we ate breakfast. By 1130, the clouds were rolling back in and light rain was falling.
It’s 1245 and pouring rain now. The creek is high and will be higher by the day’s end. The winds have decreased and the promised damage has not been visited upon Cassi Creek. It’s a good day to bunker in and chase Gloria around the house. (Honestly, every day is a good day for that). We may see some snow tonight. We may not. The winter advisories don’t include us. But, the delineation line is only three miles distant and 3000 feet higher than where I sit right now. There’s a scraper and a snow shovel in the Pathfinder. It’s a good day for sea stories and good coffee.
The winds of morning have blown past. Yesterday’s fog has lifted and there’s no likelihood of hearing the Flying Dutchman tonight.