Tag Archives: Atmospheric river

Rivers are, um … full!

EUGENE, Ore. — I am back in the state where I began my life on this good Earth and noticed something intriguing — but not at all surprising, given what we have heard and read — as I drove here.

The rivers are full, as in brimming full of water. They’re past their normal “full” settings.

The North and South Umpqua rivers? Full. The headwaters of the Willamette River? Full. Every creek was more than a creek as I drove past them.

That is what the “atmospheric river” has brought to the normally wet Pacific Northwest, or as one of my sisters calls it: the Great Northwet.

It’s good to be back, even though it is under circumstances I would trade for a moment, given the tragedy I have suffered in recent weeks. I said when Kathy Anne passed away that I wanted to get out of the North Texas home we shared. I have done so.

The trees are mighty tall. Many of the leafy varieties haven’t yet bloomed, but their day is coming soon.

The rivers look healthy, as do the playas that dot the landscape. The mountain sides have snow, and that, too, will help alleviate the drought conditions that have plagued this region in recent years.

Ah, yes. It’s good to be back, although I don’t call it “home” any longer. Home is where I live these days nine miles from my granddaughter.

Still, I intend to get caught up with family members and friends.

The journey has borne plenty of emotional fruit for me. I am glad and grateful to have taken this plunge.


The ‘river’ has arrived!

EUREKA, Calif. — I set out this morning headed northward from the San Francisco Bay Area, and with forecasters predicting a return visit of that Atmospheric River.

My sister expressed some faint hope that they would get it wrong.

They didn’t. It arrived with a vengeance … again!

I drove into the sucker from Oakland and it never dried out when I landed at my next stop just south of the Oregon border.

To be honest, I totally get why our California countrymen and women are tired of the wind, rain, and “wintry mix” that doesn’t seem to let up. We’re now well into the spring season and it feels damn near like winter.

You are welcome to spare the notion that the prolonged cold doesn’t mean our “climate is changing.” It damn sure is changing, so I won’t debate anyone here on the merits of climate change.

I just had hoped to avoid that “atmospheric river” nonsense on this westward trek. Hey, it has taken my mind off the sad event of a month ago that prompted me to leave my house in North Texas.

So, the trek continues into Oregon, the state where I came into this world more than seven decades ago … and where it rains for three days before anyone even notices.


Atmospheric River update …

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — I am about to skedaddle from this lovely coastal city … apparently in the nick of time.

The weathermen and women tell us that the Atmospheric River is about to start “flowing” again over the region sometime Tuesday. Toby the Puppy and I hope to be on the road en route north to a coastal town just south of the Oregon border.

Does that mean we can breathe easily? Hardly, according to my family members here. One of them said we would be driving “into the belly of the beast.”

Well, OK. I am aware of the hazards. I have told ’em all that we are prepared to stop whenever the need arises.

The locals here are understandably full of the nervous jerks when it comes to this weather pattern. It has been — to say the very least — a highly unusual winter.

It has been a cold winter and a very wet one, indeed. The mountain snowpack isn’t quite a record, but I understand it’s close.

But, Toby the Puppy and I have a bit of a schedule to keep. Fortunately, we’ll be staying with family members over the course of the next several days on the road. Which means we aren’t bound by “cancellation policies” at various lodging establishments.

It’s been an adventure so far. I am just going to hope for the best as we motor on.


Rain? What rain?

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — OK, gang. I came to this coastal community half expecting to be battling wind, rain, possible thunder and lightning … and all manner of difficulty associated with the well-chronicled “atmospheric river.”

Hah! Nothing of the sort greeted Toby the Puppy and me as we cruised into town after spending a lovely two days with my cousin and his wife in Sacramento,

To be certain, I saw plenty of remnants of the damage brought by the storms that have ravaged Santa Cruz and its surroundings. Tree limbs are down, the stream beds are way up past normal flows, plenty of standing water where I am certain there usually any such thing.

We got here just at the right moment. The weather app on my phone tells me it’ll be nice and sunny here for the next few days. Then on  Tuesday, when we shove off for points north, the rain is expected to return.


I am visiting my sister and her husband and my niece and her husband and their daughter. I also intend to see one of my dearest friends on Earth. It will be a relaxing break from all the driving I’ve been doing … and will do in the days ahead.

That damn storm, though, can stay at bay for as long as I am here, thank you very much.


Heading into the ‘belly of the beast’?

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — This therapeutic journey I’ve been on for the past several days is going to take a fascinating turn in the morning.

But I hope it isn’t too fascinating.

My sister and her family await Toby the Puppy and me on the California coast, in Santa Cruz, which, if you’ve been following the news lately, has been at sort of “ground zero” of this thing they have labeled an “atmospheric river.”

This so-called “river” has dumped a lot of rain on the gorgeous community. Sis has been keeping me apprised of the situation as I have trekked my way westward from Texas on a journey that began March 15. It’s been “pouring,” then the sky has cleared, then it has poured again.

On and off it has been.

Toby the Puppy and I have had a marvelous time so far. We believe more fun is in store as we prepare to head for the coast. I just hope it will be a “dry” fun.

The adventure continues.


Nature gets in the way

VISALIA, Calif. – You’ve heard it said that “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.”

Well, my westward journey delivered that truism to me squarely as I drove into what the weathermen and women around the nation keep referring to as the “atmospheric river.”

To be clear, I haven’t slowed or changed my route to the latest stop on Toby the Puppy’s and my trek. However, I had intended while in this central California community to visit one of nature’s grand exhibits, the sentinels that tower above the forest floor in Sequoia National Park.

No … can … do!

The torrents of rain that have fallen on California for the past several weeks have closed Sequoia and nearby Kings Canyon national parks. I called the Sequoia park office today and learned that Kings Canyon would be closed for the remainder of this month and Sequoia will close until mid-April … but that it remain closed long after that.

Dang it!

We were able to visit the Grand Canyon the other day. That was a wonderful period of exploration for Toby the Puppy and me. And after we visit with family in Sacramento and then Santa Cruz, we’ll venture north toward Eureka, Calif., to see more family.

And along the way we hope to see towering redwood timber, providing of course that Mother Nature will enable us to gaze at those trees.

Still, the adventure continues. More to see and enjoy.