27 September 2007

Blues For The Red Sun

In August we had lots of occasions to observe a curious weather related phenomenon that occurs particularly this time of year here in California.

You notice that the sunlight has a slightly unusual orange glow - it's reminiscent of the light you see right around sunrise and sunset, but admittedly a little strange in the middle of the day. You also notice how fine white (or pale grey) particles are falling from the sky and covering everything - peoples' cars, your bicycle, perhaps the windowsill - in a thin layer. That's when you realize it's ashes and the weather related phenomenon is called "wildfire weather".

As already mentioned we experienced it a lot in August, not least because of a wildfire in Los Padres National Forest just on the other side of the nearest mountain range - the socalled Zaca Fire. It started on July 4th (no, not from fireworks, but from spark from a metal grinder) and wasn't contained untill September 2nd.

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