Dan's Outside

I go, I see, I do, I walk, I think, I like…

Electrical Storms… In the San Francisco Bay Area?

As if on cue to reinforce my previous post’s observation about California’s dry weather year, the Weather Service is now predicting a very-unusual-around-these-parts chance of thunderstorms over the Central California coast today. From an article in SFGate:

Tropical moisture wandering up from Central California is predicted to make its way into the South Bay and East Bay this afternoon, producing a chance of thunderstorms over higher terrain, the weather service said…

In addition to the possible thunderstorm, the Bay Area and Northern California will be awash in red flag warnings, electricity alerts, fire weather watches and heat advisories.

Perhaps the greatest danger from the thunderstorms is the possibility that dry lightning could spark fires, given that inland temperatures are expected to approach 100 degrees again today. A red flag warning was posted for Monterey County.

Such weather is not unheard of in the late summer around here, but it isn’t the typical pattern. The problem – as mentioned in the article – is that frequently the lightning is not accompanied by any significant rain, so instead of relieving some of the dryness these storms more often set off fires. It is fire season between now and late October in California, and it is an exceptionally dry year.

August 30, 2007 Posted by | Environment | Comments Off on Electrical Storms… In the San Francisco Bay Area?

A Good – But Really, Really Bad – Web Site for Fire Conditions

Tom Mangan reports at Two-Heel Drive:

Fire news blog. California Fire News could use a visual-appeal consultant, but the content’s there. Has tons of news headlines and weather reports (still in all-caps, the way the National Weather Service likes it). [Two-Heel Drive]

Content, yes. Visual (and aural!) appeal? GACK!

The text doesn’t line up and some of it covers other text. The visual across the top of the page is… well, I’m at a loss for words. And then the audio comes on…

… A recording of a chainsaw! Sheesh!

But I bookmarked the site. It has a ton of information about fire conditions and related topics in California, and something tells me that this may be a critical concern between now and the end of October, what with historic drought in parts of the state right now.

I’ll just need to remember to turn the sound off when I visit the site…

August 30, 2007 Posted by | Commentary, Environment | 1 Comment

Chronicle Outdoors Writer Paul McHugh Moves On

San Francisco (and SFGate) outdoors writer Paul McHugh is moving on to other adventures:

California’s great outdoors still will be around after Saturday. But I won’t. Well, not at this particular newspaper, I mean. After 22 years of pounding the outdoors beat for The Chronicle – and sometimes getting pounded by it – I’m about to fold my tent and take a hike. And yes, I do mean that literally.


For me now, as the song says, the time has come to say sayonara. Not farewell to writing on these topics about which I care so much, no sir, no way. And not farewell to many other forms of work. Only, to practicing the craft at this particular venue. I plan to devote myself to larger projects, those grand pieces of artistry I’ve always lusted after, but never found enough time to address very well – you know, novels, plays, poetry. I’ve got a satchel full of pocket notebooks dating back to the teen years, and it’s getting on toward high time to crack ’em open and energize their contents.

I’ve enjoyed subscribing to his RSS feed from SFGate and reading his articles Good luck to Paul!

August 30, 2007 Posted by | People | Comments Off on Chronicle Outdoors Writer Paul McHugh Moves On


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