Confessions of a Weather Junkie


Let me finally come clean and admit it: I have a bit of an issue with the weather. Now, I feel a little better since I read The Ballad of Dry Betty at Gardening Gone Wild.  Here's a kindred soul is also obsessed enough to run out right after the storm in flip-flops and check. I have a frog rain gage, that I bought for very little money at a discount store. It's even more kitschy-looking in reality, but it does the job. 

Here's the ugly truth, though. The frog isn't enough for me. I also check the Santa Clara Valley Water District's ALERT pages. The Precipitation gauge shows 10.91 inches for Mountain View (take that, Palo Alto! Only 8.74?). The Reservoir gauge is also quite interesting, and shows how far we still have to go for this year. 50% for Lexington Reservoir? And here I thought we were at 120% after all that rain. 

And of course, I'm also no longer satisfied with the weather forecast the likes of Yahoo! or the Weather Channel have to offer. A picture may say more than 1 000 words, but these pictures don't say enough for my taste. 

Instead, I've become quite addicted to the NWS Text Forecast. You can find the forecast for the Santa Clara Valley here. Now that's a forecast! I love to read about the troughs and ridges and "model inconsistencies."


That's a forecast! Who needs the pictures! Now, if I could just stop checking it 3 times a day, or maybe 4 times, or... It really does take too much time away from going out and checking the frog.

Well, thank goodness, I usually recover by May when the forecast is always for dry weather, and I only have to see whether it will be warm or too warm. Of course I still check once a day. You never know, and I like to be prepared. 


Don't worry, you're not alone! I have my NOAA Weather Radios (two actually), my weather station, umpteen links to NOAA/NWS sites etc. When we were first planning our orchard, the site owner at a great local site called Formlessvoid was kind enough to share his chill hours data with us for the preceeding few years so we could roughly calculate average chill for our area:

I'd say we're pretty obsessed with weather too...although I think it's hard not be for some gardeners!
Country Mouse said…
I didn't know this about you and the weather, Town Mouse. Thanks for the resources. Curbstone Valley too - we live not too far outside Scotts Valley. I'm not that concerned generally about knowing the weather. I should be more concerned, I know. Maybe that will come in time. Our micro climate doesn't resemble local forecasts that much. It's usually hotter here than the weather. I just want it to dry up enough that we can get the greenhouse frame painted. I have tried to get my dad interested in the idea of running a weather station but he's not that into it. He might get a kick out of though.
Rosey Pollen said…
I am totally with you. I check the weather more than once a day. but it is usually because I am on the look out for cruddy roads and school closures.
It is good to be aware of weather in other parts of the country...sometimes CA weather brings some nasty storms to CO.
Brent said…
I'm a wet weather junkie. I've tracked my backyard rainfall for several years now, following my father's example of years of precipitation records. Hot weather? No so much.
Elephant's Eye said…
That's why I record our weather on the sidebar. Small country town - our weather forecast lies somewhere between Cape Town (the city), Langebaan (at the sea), Malmesbury (halfway back to the city)and Worcester (either hotter or colder!)
Christine said…
My weather needs are typically, "can I go outside today or no?" But I have been interested in how much rain we've gotten for the season and how much more we'll need to get back to "normal" water levels. When was the last time we were at normal, anyway?
susan morrison said…
I know what you mean about the reservoir only being 50% full. I feel like it has been raining for MONTHS, and even though the logical side of my brain understands it takes a lot to recover from such an extended drought period, the illogical side of me keeps thinking "water shortage? How can their be a water shortage?"
NellJean said…
I keep both and on my menu bar. We are sometimes awakened to be told by the transmitter on the wall above the bed that we're under a watch of some kind. I am not afraid of being blown away by a tornado a la Dorothy, but I am terrified of being found blown away and set down somewhere in a nightgown and no shoes.
Hey, weather rocks! I just don't get folks who think a discussion of weather is just pointless smalltalk. How can you not appreciate something so important and so fascinating? But we're gardeners. I'm not sure blogs dedicated to politics or dental hygiene would ever have a weather gadget on their sidebar like you'd find on many of our pages.
debsgarden said…
You sound like my husband.
Anonymous said…
Hey, a girl after my own heart...I think I was a meteorologist in a former life! My husband thinks I am such a geek...oh, well. Love your frog, I think he is very handsome.