Storm 47, May 25-27, 2010

Storm 47 finally cleared out, and I was pleasantly surprised how much more mild it was than storms 44, 45 and 46! Storm CBS 47 brought some very light rainfall, including an hour of light rain Wednesday. Enjoyed all the not-too-cold pleasant breezes and pretty clouds. It surprised me what a plethora of patio chime ringing winds that came with this storm. You see, this time of year, there’s only one kind of wind: the Northwest wind. When it’s on, it cools off. When it stops, you get a heat wave. But Storm 47 was strong enough to switch the direction to southerly, albeit not to a true southerly that storms bring in the the heart of rainy season. It was sort of a West South West thing, and it never got very definite. Most the time the winds were blowing two completely different directions simultaneously, going one way then the other in any ten minute period. I didn’t think it was possible for wind to do that, but apparently it was possible. The powerful prevailing northwesterly wind is king at this time of year – it would take a very strong storm to bring a true southerly flow for any length of distance ahead of the front in May. Storm 47 wasn’t as cold either. For the first time in this whole series of late season storms of May, the cold air core from the Gulf of Alaska failed to come down this far. It didn’t have the speed of travel and momentum the other cores had.
Fresno has two seasons, cool/rainy and hot/dry. Well, the Weather Service indicated a “strong heat buildup” over this Memorial Day Weekend. You can all stop pretending it’s summer.
That doesn’t mean more “storms” won’t be coming through – I just won’t be counting anything that doesn’t bring a complete storm experience. All summer long, the North Pacific Ocean’s cool wind machine will send refreshing blasts of relief into the typically sweltering Valley, sometimes with a few clouds. That’s not a real storm.
And not often but every couple of decades, a cool valley summer happens, one where those Northwesterlies dominate. I like to call them “The Valley’s Air Conditioner.”

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