Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The 40-Minute Weather Wheel

I try to keep an eye on the weather forecast during the Winter months, as it seems to change a lot from day to day. It's not uncommon for the local weather guys and girls to disagree on what's coming later in the week, and there may not be a consensus until the day before a planned event. And by "event", I mean "tomorrow's ride".

The forecast for today was supposed to be partly-to-mostly cloudy in the morning, followed by thickening cloud cover in the early afternoon, developing into light occasional rain showers later in the day ... windy all day long with strong gusts at times ... and chilly (for us, anyway). That worked for me. I figured I could go out for a nice long-ish ride in the morning and be home long before any showers started. I'm not exactly fond of strong wind, but I can handle it, so no big deal ... and I can just dress a little warmer when it's chilly ... but windy AND rainy AND chilly isn't my idea of good riding weather. Riding into a cold headwind with blowing cold rain? Nope.

Okay ... so this morning appeared to be as predicted. Mostly cloudy with the sun poking through here and there, and a little chilly. I got dressed and got out the door. As I rode down to the Harbor, I definitely felt the wind pushing back at me, which was nice in a way, because the direction meant I'd have a tailwind on the ride home ... but it made the 50-degree air temperature feel more like the mid-30's, and my fingers were getting very cold. No matter, though ... I always warm up as I ride on. I noticed some darker clouds beginning to roll in, but didn't think too much about it because there was also some blue sky showing:

Dark low clouds AND blue sky over the Harbor
As I began to leave the Harbor and head down past the beach to the trail, I started to feel a few drops of rain. My head told me it wasn't actually going to rain ... because how could ALL of the weather people be wrong? Well ... they were wrong. The few drops quickly became actual rain. Cold ... windy ... and now RAIN. I turned into  a small covered area at Doheny Beach to see if it would pass before I continued on. It did pass ... rather quickly, and treated me to some interesting sky images.

Doheny Beach sky
When the rain stopped, I decided I wasn't having a lot of fun ... and since I was now cold and wet, it might be a good idea to head home. I rode back past the beach and up the hills toward the house, stopping to look at the sky again. It was quite a sight, almost like two completely different skies split down the middle over the Harbor. To the left, it was dark, thick, gloomy clouds. To the right, bright blue, sunny, clear sky.

View to the left ... dark clouds

View to the right ... bright, sunny, clear blue
As I continued toward home, the clouds went away, and the sky became completely clear and sunny.

This all took place in a 40-minute time period. It was cloudy when I started ... then turned dark and started to rain ... and then became completely clear and sunny. How strange this Winter weather can be!

Had I thought there was any chance of rain, I could have prepared better and put on some rain-worthy clothing ... and I would have then continued on with the ride. But three weather people AND the weather dot com folks ALL said no rain until late afternoon. Their collective score for today: FAIL.

As I write this post, an hour after getting home, the weather wheel has turned again ... the sky has gone from sunny, blue, and clear to dark and cloudy, and it is starting to rain. I guess it can't be sunny and warm EVERY day ... even in Southern California!

Here's to a better tomorrow ... hope your Winter weather hasn't hindered your riding! More reviews in the works!

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