Saturday, December 27, 2008

Journal: Saturday, 12/27/08

►  Gusty south wind and intermittent light showers continue. No storms on the radar map yet. Temperature holding at 66ºF/19ºC @ 1:45 AM.

►  Strong south wind blowing ... gusts to 45 mph (72 kph) ... showers off and on ... .6 in/1.5 cm rain thus far ... 66ºF/19ºC @ 11:00 AM.

►  Checked the rain gauge.  Only .6" rain has fallen thus far.

►  The intensity and frequency of our rain is increasing, and as hard as it is to believe, the south wind is gusting even stronger.  Haven't heard any thunder yet, so we're obviously not experiencing thunderstorm yet.

►  Thanks to our extremely strong and gusty south wind, I can remove "Cut down dead hickory tree between house and studio" from my To Do list. However, now I must add "Install center clothesline support post" to my To Do list.  I've been needing to cut down that dead hickory for a couple of years -- or maybe longer -- but just haven't gotten around to it.  Had I cut it down, I could not have placed it in a more safe location than where it fell.  It was very rotten and just snapped off a couple of inches above the ground.  Now, I need to clean up the mess it made.  Unfortunately, the tree was too far gone and none of it is suitable for firewood.

►  1:30 PM:  Our power went off.  There was no flickering or surging off and on a couple of times.  The lights -- and every other electrical devise -- just went off as if someone had flipped a switch.  We checked an found that our telephone still worked.  Since the power line and telephone line down to our place run on the same poles, we concluded that the power outage was effecting this general area and was not some damage between us and our nearest neighbor.  Therefore, we didn't immediately call and report the outage.  However, after our power had been off for about forty minutes, Jo did phone in the problem.

►  I saw the biggest salamander I've ever seen out in the yard in front of the house.  It had to have been seven or eight inches long and as big around as my thumb.  I didn't even realize they grew that large.  Unfortunately, it was raining and I could not take the camera out into the yard to photograph the salamander.

►  2:00 PM:  Our new cold front seems to be beginning its arrival.  Our wind is becoming more variable in direction and the temperature is dropping slowly.  Evidently, this is going to be one of those fronts that just sloshes in and does not produce a dramatic change in our weather quickly.

►  3:00 PM:  Power restored.

►  4:00 PM:  The rain intensity and frequency had tapered off enough that we risked a walk to the gate.  Only one brief shower occurred while we were walking.  At the gate we discovered the reason for our power outage.  A tree was laying across the road just past the gate, and judging by where it's roots were located, it had to have hit the power lines on it's way down.  Also, even though the trunk is still across the road, some of its limbs have been removed with a chainsaw.  What I cannot figure is:  How did it fall and take out the electric lines without taking out the phone line too?  It must have gotten hung up as it fell and not have fallen completely down to the ground initially.  I'm glad it didn't bring the power and telephone lines together as it fell.  We've had one computer modem fried in that manner in the past.  Now I've got two fallen trees to clean up, and the one up by the gate must be removed before we can drive out.

►  5:00 PM:  The sky is finally beginning to clear.  The sun is breaking through the clouds low in the west.  It looks as if clearing is going to be a slow process.

►  The sky is pretty much clear now.  I can see lots of stars.   (42ºF/5ºC @ 7:00 PM)

►  Chilling down now that our new cold front has fully arrived. Clear, calm and 32ºF/0ºC @ midnight.

►  We received another one inch of rain this afternoon, giving us a total of 1.6" for the day.