August 08, 2008
sunrise -- it's Sky Watch Friday !
click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney
Hope everybody is enjoying a great Sky Watch Friday.
Well, it's been a while since I've seen a really spectacular sunrise out at China Camp, but I finally was able to oooh and aaah on Wednesday...
We had some clouds roll through the Bay Area Monday night, and San Francisco even got a brief shower. Yes, we need rain out here in the west -- it's been dry as a bone. But what we don't need right now is lightning-strikes -- the threat of wild-fires is extremely high.
Read more about the wild-fires in the west at Wikipedia, but here is a brief summary:
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The fires broke out after three years of below-normal rainfall dehydrated much of California's forests and woodlands, making them prone to wildfires. Spring 2008 for California was the driest on record for many locations; for example, San Francisco registered only 0.007 inches (0 cm) of rain out of a normal of 6.18 inches (16 cm) from March to May. As vegetation turned into bone-dry tinder in early June, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a statewide drought for the first time in over a century. Dry thunderstorms and lightning, rarely seen on the California coastline in June, rolled onshore on the weekend of June 20 - June 21. The storm unleashed 5,000 to 6,000 dry lightning strikes across Northern and Central California, igniting more than 800 fires. The same thunderstorms also caused fires in Oregon. High daytime temperatures facilitated the spread of the fires and the number of wildfires skyrocketed in the days after the thunderstorm.
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