a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Noah Would Feel Right At Home in Local Microclimates

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Noah Would Feel Right At Home in Local Microclimates

SUMMARY: Rain, rain, go away, little doggies want to play.[1]

I'm not the only one underwhelmed by the pleasures of constant, dreary, steady rain. Yesterday's headline in the San Jose Mercury News was "When Will It Ever End?" (Subtitled "TOO WET TO GO OUT, TOO COLD TO PLAY BALL: RAIN THROUGH MONDAY, AND THAT'S NOT ALL", showing how much this country consists of Seussophiles[2].)


Sure, it stopped long enough for us to be lucky in our travel and agility yesterday, but within 20 minutes after we'd started driving home, we were encountering drizzle, and by the time we were home, I was dropping my traveling companion off in that same boring steady annoyingly wet but unexceptional in volume dang rain. Today's weather forecast in the Merc (click image for larger version):

Rain rain rain RAIN!

Keep in mind that San Jose averages only about 15 inches of rain a year, and we've gotten about 5 of that in the last couple of weeks. I'm not saying that this is a disaster area (although, now that the ground is fully saturated--finally!--the danger of landslides and floods begins to rise precipitously, so to speak). It's really about the Climatalogical Water Torture, a psychologically deadly device designed to reduce our psyches to blubbering gelatinous blobs.


However, amidst all this, students, we can take an interesting lesson in microclimates[3] in the San Francisco Bay Area. People in most of the US don't live among such amazing variances in such close proximity. The preceding map covers an area of about 120 miles, north to south. The map shows the rainfall from 4 p.m. Friday through 4 p.m. Saturday for each measured location. Samples:
  • South San Jose (near where I live): 0.39 inches.
  • Downtown San Jose (10 miles north in the same valley): 0.50 inches
  • Los Gatos (forming a 10-mile triangle with two preceding): 0.89
  • Boulder Creek (about 10 miles from Los Gatos, in the Santa Cruz mountains): 3.04
  • Gilroy (about 20 miles south of South San Jose in the same valley): 0.0
It has been snowing in the mountains all around us most of the time (drive time to top--maybe an hour because of curvy roads), but we're just getting rain.

So, we can be gloomy, we can be scholarly, or--

Best Choice

We can check on Mr. Chia Head!


  1. I can't believe you didn't give your Chia head a more interesting hairstyle. Maybe you can do some styling once his hair grows in.

  2. Oh, good lord, this gives me all kinds of ideas that I shouldn't be having while I'm trying to catch up on OTHER projects!


  3. ok - this has nothing to do with this post :-) I randomly ran across a comment you made many months ago on another blog about having no way to listen to podcasts on the road ->

    So - it just so turns out that I have an old Ipod that I haven't used since I replaced it with a video ipod. It works fine - but the battery is completely dead - it will only play when plugged in. However, it's perfect for the car: You get one of those fm transmitters that also charges the Ipod and you're set. So if you want my old broken down ipod - let me know!!

  4. What a generous offer! I have to think about it, though--then that means I have no more excuses for not spending time downloading stuff. :-) I'll get back to you.