Last week a couple of solid falls now overnight 104 mm. This is after 3
months without one fall more than a spit. I may get some fresh goodies from
the garden for Xmas after all. The pasture has greened-up, the horses are
Where are you? Can you send some rain towards southern California?
Until 10 October, we went 155 days without measurable rain. That is NOT
unusual. Sometimes, we go over 200 days.
Since 10 October, we have had 0.06 inches (1.5 mm). The most recent was
4 November, with 0.03 inches (0.8 mm).
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
from what i've read (tree ring studies):
the longer term record seems to show that the past 100
years was much wetter than the previous 1900 years. that
we may just be seeing a return to the norm.
if so, yikes for people over there...
Yeah, they may need to stop washing their cars with garden hoses,
filling swimming pools, and close golf courses for lack of water from
the Colorado River, and Northern California. Such a tragedy.
The up-side is that we could have water for salmon, and farmers.
i'm glad you've finally got some rain there.
i was going to say down there, but do you consider
yourself down? :)
we've managed fairly regular rains the past
month, including last nights major storms (parts
further south of us had tornado weather). it
must not have blown above 100km/hr as the house
didn't shake, much, but for a while i had to get
up a few times and find the bottles in the window
shelves that were rattling (adjustable stained
glass windows :) ). the driving rain was hard
enough to push through the front door and i had
to wipe that up and left a towel on the floor to
keep it from running. probably only around 30-
40mm of rain.
Congratulations. You must have got some of the weather that hit Sydney and
ended up all over the news. What a bunch of wimps. We love rain events
even if they do nearly always result in our gutters overflowing and thus
flooding our sun room.
We had great rain a few days before and it turned the paddocks green and the
world looked new washed and less crisp underfoot.
Locally we had an inch of rain (25.4 mm) over night. The first rain
since Feb. when we had .01 inches of rain (0.254mm), which followed a
Jan. of .03 inches (0.762mm). I got my wood in. Let the good times roll.
Sometimes it seems as if it just oscillates between fire and flood with
intervening droughts, doesn't it? In my area something happened last Spring
and Summer that prevented nut growth so I've got starving squirrels digging
up all of my bulbs to survive, even the toxic Gloriosa were being eaten.
Last Autumn the acorns and hickory nuts were literally lying in drifts
because of the overproduction and the squirrel population exploded in response.
Yes, its a hard land even without ENSO swings, this last mini-drought was
just another random fluctuation.
As the rains were coming we got a nice lightning storm. The tree on the
hill 200m south coped a strike and my computer's power supply (despite surge
protection) and the fuses on my sewerage plant went. As well we had to get
the house transformer fuses fixed too and the rural fire service to put out
the fire the strike started. It could have been worse, some people lost
most of their appliances (from other strikes).
Bugger! None of that sounds like fun. We had a powerful storm last night
and last power for 3 hours just on dinner time. Lucky for us the toilet
operates on gravity feed from a tank on the hill and we have lots of camping
equipment so I brought in a bucket of water and we were right till the power
came back on.
These events seem to have become more regular.
certainly more exciting than i'd like to be near. for
one a lightning strike that close to the house is loud!
the fire would not be much fun either.
we didn't get hit by the power outages last weekend
from the strong storms that went through, but we did
have a power outage here last night too. something
in the distance arc'd and lit up the sky a few times
while the power went off and on and then it finally
stayed off. four hours later it came back on and
things went back to normal. we always have extra
water stashed away to flush the toilets in case we
have the power go out on us. in the winter i more
worry about heat than anything as it gets cold
enough to freeze pipes and cause damage. we have a
gas fireplace so we can keep ourselves from freezing
but that doesn't heat the crawlspace underneath.
perhaps two very strong hurricanes/typhoons so close
together will finally wake up the governments and peoples
to make much stronger changes... i can sure hope so.
in the meantime i think we're only on the front edge of
this sort of thing, both frequency and strength are likely
to increase for some folks.
We installed another wood burning heater over the past winter and it has
improved out quality of life enormously as a result of selecting just the
right spot to place it.
Luckily for us we don't have temps that (usually) get low enough to freeze
our water pipes but I know why you'd not want that to be happening at your
place. I think we've had our pipes freeze perhaps 4 times in about 20
years. It makes for an uncomfortable morning but that's aoubt all the
inconvenience it gives.
An unheated crawl space is not a good place for water pipes. I
suggest closing the crawl space, insulate, and since you already have
a gas supply install a ventless gas heater, they work fantastically
well, need no chimney, and no electric. I have two of them, a 30,000
BTU in my basement and a 10,000 BTU in the tool shed that contains my
well tank. They were a far better option than a generator. Ventless
gas heaters are 99% efficient (no heat goes up a chimney), they are
thermostatically controlled, and have a self contained carbon monoxide
detector that shuts them off when it senses incomplete combustion. At
next to it's lowest setting it maintains my 2,000 sqft basement at
70ºF, I keep the basement door open and at the other end of the house
installed a 6" X 12" register in the hallway floor so it keeps the
entire house at 70ºF too, and this is when it's hovering around 0ºF
outdoors. This winter I'm using the one in my basement in conjuction
with my propane fired boiler for hot water baseboard, it keeps the
boiler from coming on nearly as often as it did previously. This past
May I had a tankless on demand water heater installed (I no longer use
my boiler to make hot water, my boiler will be off from April to
November, my propane bill has already been $500 less than for the same
period in the previous year, it will pay for itself in 18 months. I
thought long and hard about a generator, but I can live without TV/PC
for a few days during a power outage, and during winter I don't need a
fridge/freezer here. For $35 I bought a crank radio that works great,
it will even charge a cell phone battery, and Ray-O-Vac makes
fantastic battery operated lanterns, they give as much light as a 100W
bulb and will run for 80 hours on three D cells... much better than
burning candles. I don't need to squirrel away water for flushing,
even during the coldest winters the creek out front is running, I'm
able to scoop all I need with a 5 gallon contractor's bucket. Anyway,
ventless heaters and tankless water heaters are beautiful things.
it is not unheated nor is it open. only when the power goes
out for several days is there any worries (even in the middle
of the winter with sub zero temperatures).
the crawl space is where the heater is at for the
house, stays pretty warm.
there are several upgrades i would like to make at
some point in the future, but at present we're as we
we spend about $600-900/yr for heat and to run the
gas fireplace once in a while. the rest of our monthly
costs are electric at about $1200/yr. compared to many
we're quite inexpensive on heating/cooling. if it were
just me i could probably cut those expenses in half or
:) it's nice when it works out well like that.
neither of us can tolerate the smell of smoke.
i sneeze and get plugged up with wood burning
fireplaces. even drifts from the neighbors who
burn wood at times bothers me.
it sucks because i really do like fires and
fireplaces and would love to have an efficient
wood burning stove for heat and hot water also
i'd like to do experiments with biochar and
rocket stoves... all of those become much more
difficult when you can't really tolerate smoke.
i don't mind the cold aspect of it nearly as much
as the possible damage to pipes and equipment, but
we've not had an extended outage yet that gets me to
think about draining tanks and putting down anti-
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