weather

...now browsing by tag

 
 

Water

Friday, January 31st, 2020

Last weekend, after too many consecutive days of work, Brad and I took a hike in the canyon. Imagine our surprise to see water flowing there.

It’s rare that there is water flowing in Horseshoe Canyon, but we’ve had a good amount rain and snow this winter (well, for here at least). 

With all the water, we are hopeful for a good spring bloom. 

A little late

Sunday, October 6th, 2019

We planted garlic this weekend. A little late, but “a little late” has been the trend this summer.

The monsoons, which started right on time, are just now finishing up. (They usually end in late August or early September.)

Everything was late in the garden this year as well. Green beans in September, watermelons and tomatoes just coming ripe now. I hope that the first frost is late as well so that we can continue to harvest for a while.

The weather the last few weeks has been near perfect. Daytime temperatures have been very pleasant in the mid-80s, while the nights have been cool in the 50s. The sunsets have been nothing short of spectacular, and we have been enjoying fires in the evening and sleeping out under the star-filled skies.

The nature of nature

Friday, August 30th, 2019

Imagine my surprise when I began to step out of the greenhouse and saw this.

It startled me quite a bit.

Gila monsters are a rare sighting here, but this is the second year we’ve seen one. Interestingly, the last one was at the same time of year. This year, it was a mature adult, and we got a good look.

The monsoons have been continuing this month. It’s late in the year for them to still be going, but we’ve had rain every day this week. It’s good for the garden and a relief to be able to turn the drip off for a while.

We’ve also had a lot of wildlife around, including a bobcat that we’ve been seeing fairly regularly. There are also a pair of owls perching at a neighbor’s place. We’ve been visiting them on our nightly walks, and they seem quite unbothered by us.

Last weekend, we went camping up in the Chiricahuas at Rustler Park. At 9100 feet, it was quite cool. We did some great hiking and foraged both raspberries and elderberries. It was quite a treat to come home with enough berries to freeze for pies.

 

Is it spring yet?

Saturday, March 16th, 2019

Last night I woke up to loud thunder and lightning. Hmmm, I thought sleepily, there wasn’t any rain in the weather forecast. Should I go over to the office and unplug things to forestall a possible lightning strike? (We’ve had several that have fried various electronic devices.) My tiredness won over as I rolled over and went back to sleep.

An hour or so later, I awoke to the sound of rain on the roof. It was still dark, and I pulled the blankets over my head to drown out the sound.

Then when morning light came, I looked out the windows to see this.

This is the fifth significant snowfall we’ve had this winter. I believe it is the most snow we’ve had in a winter since we’ve lived here. In the last two years, we had no snow at all.

I don’t love the cold and snow, but the moisture is welcome. Our mountains have good snow, and the creek in Portal is flowing strong. Now for some warm spring temperatures to get things growing.

Snow

Saturday, December 29th, 2018

After two years with no snow, this week we had snow two days in a row. Each day we got 2-3 inches, but most of it didn’t last through the day, which is ok with me.

The temperatures are colder now, and there is more snow in the forecast for this week.

Wet

Thursday, September 20th, 2018

It is September 20, and last night we had a long, steady rain that measured in at about .5 inches. The monsoons continue, though we know that any day they will end.

This morning there was low clouds and fog everywhere. No mountains visible to the east or west.

The garden has loved all the moisture. One unfortunate result is that all of my melons split. I caught a few soon enough that we could eat them, but most started to rot before I got to them. The pumpkins and squash are looking good. We had an overabundance of green beans this summer, which we have shared with many friends. We’ve also had a great number of shishito peppers (hundreds) but there never seem to be too many of them for us to eat.

Soon it will be time to plant garlic again. We enjoy the cycles of the garden that overlap and extend through the whole year.

Changing weather patterns

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018

Summer monsoons are our favorite time of year here, but this year, they have been quite a bit different.

For the last ten years, we have seen monsoons always start within a day or two of July 4. This year, they seemed to start much sooner. We got a few good rains in early June and thought “This is the early monsoons!” Then nothing. The folklore here is that early monsoons mean a weak monsoon, and we feared this was the case.

But then in mid July, we started getting good rains. We have had in the neighborhood of 1-2″ in a 24 hour period at least three times in the last month. That’s really good rain for us (and the rains have been strong enough that we’ve had to repair our road a couple times already, and there have also been a few lengthy phone/Internet outages).

However, the pattern of the storms this year has been quite a bit different. In past years, the classic monsoon pattern has been for clouds to build up over the mountains to the west of us, to move from west to east, and to dump rain (somewhere, not necessarily on us) in the later afternoon or early evening.

This year though, storms have come from every direction, and the movement has sometimes been from south to north or north to south or even east to west. There have been several times we’ve watched the radar to see storms making a strange swirling pattern around some random center. Also the timing of the rains has varied. Several times we’ve had rain in the very early morning (2am) or even in the mid-day. In general, I’d say we’ve had less frequent rain here at the house, but in bigger quantities when it comes. The storms have been more violent, and we’ve had hail a couple times.

And as of today, August 6, the monsoons are still going strong. Knock on wood that they have a few more weeks.

All of this has felt rather unusual.

I’m not sure what all this means, but I’m recording it here for posterity and future analysis.

(On an semi-related note, as a part of my local oral history project, I recently listened to a long-time resident here talk about the 1970s and 80s here, before the drought, when the rains here were much more plentiful. Presumably there were still monsoons, but also more rain throughout the year. Perhaps we’ll return to that some day, or perhaps not.)

First freeze

Monday, November 20th, 2017

This is the annual recording of our first freeze of the year.

It was 27 degrees when I went to work this morning. Brrr…

We’re hoping for a year of minimal cold and snow this year. (Last year was the first year since we’ve lived here that we had no snow at our house. I didn’t miss it.)

Heat wave

Sunday, June 19th, 2016

I suppose you’ve heard that there is a heat wave, and if you are in the southwest, you may be experiencing it too.

I just looked at our temperature gauge, and it’s 111 degrees in the shade outside, and 86 degrees inside (with no air conditioning). I guess we built our house ok.

The greenhouse is up to 138 degrees, but things inside are looking good. Edamame, eggplant, radishes, and chiles all seem to like the heat. And of course, I water every day.

I did laundry today, and the clothes on the line were dry faster than they’d be in the dryer I think. Simple solar power.

What is saving us right now is the fact that the nights are still cool. We open the windows as soon as the sun is down, and by morning, the house is quite cool.

We’re supposed to be in the low 100s for the foreseeable future. (We’re glad we’re not in Phoenix where temps are overĀ 120.) Keep cool.

Snow

Sunday, December 27th, 2015

And lots more cold weather in store for this week.