As I drove north from San Diego it was pretty foggy but I could still see where the Thomas Fire had come across the 101 as I drove north to Santa Barbara on Friday. I knew then that the storm was going to hit Monday and Tuesday so my wife and I planned to drive up on Sunday even though it might have been better (weather permitting) if we had stayed in Santa Barbara a few more days. But we knew this was going to be a soaker. We were a little worried about a big oak on the family property there but hopefully it wasn't windy just a soaker instead regarding the big oak tree. We knew we should have been able to have it trimmed before the storms but we had to prioritize people before things in our lives this winter and fall.
But, in the SF Bay area (if this is any indication) it wasn't windy at all just heavy rain coming down at very slow speed as the storm went by. So, hopefully the slowness of the storm saved the big Oak Tree from falling or splitting from the weight of the leaves and branches this year. However, my wife is now calling friends in the affected area to make sure they are okay and offering a place for them to stay in if they have been inundated until they can make other plans.
The slow speed of the storm, however, likely caused the mudslides because it stayed and soaked longer because of it's slow speed overhead. This has been the heaviest rain so far this season. It was "raining buckets" last night and yesterday here on the north west Coast of California for us. All the nearby streams in the forests around here are likely running now from this much rain.
note: in other parts of the country you might have streams running year around but locally they only run from the rainy season into June or July at most because California in the end is a mostly dry state compared to eastern states. About half of California is a desert or about to become one from the droughts ongoing since around 2000 that stretch all the way to Colorado in the Colorado River Basin.
But, if you are traveling to California from another place and see rain clouds anywhere near you (within 50 miles) you don't want to be walking in any "Dry Washes" when you see this because dry washes aren't always dry so remember this when you see rain clouds even 50 miles from where you are when traveling to California.
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