Welcome to the Weekly Siren Test, AtmoLife’s hodgepodge of meteorological happenings helping you survive your Tuesday. Content may or may not be satire, and it is your responsibility to decipher that for yourself.
When I began college as a young,
bright sorta-book-smart Meteorology student at Texas A&M in the fall of 2007 (Holy shit, where have those 10 years gone?), my California-ness stuck out like a sore thumb at a school of roughly 90% in-state kids. Unfortunately, Texas folks were too polite to tell me that I looked like an idiot skateboarding around campus in flip flops, plaid shorts, a big ass San Jose Sharks jersey, and puka shell necklace, while rocking the fluffiest of fros (This was the cool preppy look back in Nor-Cal 10 years ago. I think.). Despite being raised by Texans, and having a vast extended family living in the Lone Star State, it took me a couple years in College Station to truly learn the Texan way. Like I said, sorta-book-smart. Thank God I’ve since developed an ever so slight amount of street smarts.
Likewise, most of my fellow Aggies didn’t fully understand the California way of life. I frequently received ludicrous questions such as, “Do people surf to school?” and “Are there actually sharks in San Jose?”
Today, instead of the usual resounding, “Are you fucking serious?” I can sincerely answer these questions with “Maybe!”
Because boy, do we ever have flooding today. Lake Anderson, one of San Jose’s main reservoirs located just southeast of the city, is now rapidly flowing out its spillway into Coyote Creek, which has currently overtaken a heavily-populated neighborhood along the route I’d drive to school every day. In the 13+ years that I lived in San Jose, I had never seen anything like this, not even during the ’98 Super Godzilla Harambe El Niño (we didn’t understand why it was called Harambe until recently). We’ve experienced plenty of other extreme weather disasters such as droughts, wildfires, and dot com bubble bursts. We also have these pesky things called earthquakes. Folks in Oklahoma and Kansas claim to have them too, but I’ve felt a few there, and they ain’t shit. As far as flooding goes however, the only major events I can find for San Jose before today are the 1983 Alviso flood (already a swamp anyway), and the 1995 Guadalupe River flood (a year before my family moved to San Jose), both which today’s flood appears to be well eclipsing.
Floods generally tend to miss us since we’re located in the rain shadow of the Santa Cruz mountains, and while San Jose proper hasn’t received rainfall totals (1.87″ yesterday) that would raise many of our nation’s eyebrows, yesterday marks the 18th highest rainfall day in the city’s history. What I’m saying is 1.87″ is a shit-ton for us. What’s truly causing the flooding however, is the rainfall in the East Hills, the source of Coyote Creek located outside Silicon Valley’s rain shadow.
To illustrate, here’s a map with a really shitty estimation of rainfall totals using Doppler radar data.
Despite the glaring limitations of these rainfall calculations (1. questionable z-R relationship, and 2. the radar being located in the fucking mountains) there is still a very clear rain shadow showing “only” the yellows of ~1.6″ in Silicon Valley while plenty of oranges and reds of ~3″ lie SW and NE of San Jose in the Santa Cruz mountains and East Hills respectively.
Now let’s take a look at the Lake Anderson/Coyote Creek watershed.
Yup, it lies right where those dark oranges and reds are. That, combined with an already extremely rainy winter is how you get San Jose’s biggest flood that anyone living there can remember. While this certainly brings tough times for my hometown, I am confident that we will ultimately prevail. We survived the dot com bust after all.
GROAN AREA FORECASTS
In case you live under a rock, the greatest news of 2017 happened earlier today, A BULL ESCAPED A SLAUGHTERHOUSE AND RAN WILD THROUGH THE STREETS OF QUEENS, NY. Despite the lack of this occurrence’s relationship to weather, plenty of meteorologists prodded twitter with their terrible cattle puns. Unfortunately, The bull was wounded during its escape and ultimately perished from those injuries. While his escape was short lived, he died a free bull. RIP in peace, big fella. To celebrate the best animal escape since the llamas, this week’s Groan Area Forecasts are dedicated to the best (see also: worst) puns we found on wx twitter.
It’s not quite rare, it’s more medium-rare. This pun was well done. https://t.co/GnOaLewzXt
— Matt Lanza (@mattlanza) February 21, 2017
This is udderly ridiculous! They’re really milking this story. What a tail. Angus what happened next? Makes me want to bison ribeye. https://t.co/WkpOxRaleH
— Briana Gordon (@GAWXer) February 21, 2017
Interesting satellite image this afternoon across NYC… pic.twitter.com/La4DEQuoeS
— Stormchasernick (@stormchasernick) February 21, 2017
@stormchasernick Moomatus clouds!
— Jacob DeFlitch (@WxDeFlitch) February 21, 2017
@stormchasernick interesting moososcale features
— Steve Silver (@SteveTSRA) February 21, 2017
BIBLICAL WEATHER EVENT POWER RANKINGS
1. The world-wide flood
2. Jesus walking on water and calming the fierce storm
3. Jonah becoming fish food and calming the fierce storm
4. Exodus hailstorm plague
5. People scattered during Tower of Babel construction (sounds like a wedge to me)
6. Drought of Judah
7. King Herod being struck down by angel (lightning angel?)
HYPE PREDICTION OF THE WEEK
Speaking of biblical weather…
Create your own name for a storm. ✅
Name storm after the devil. ✅
Deem storm strength to be that of an arbitrary category.✅
Forecast hurricane force winds and tornadoes when nobody else does.✅
Have forecast of hurricane force winds and tornadoes fail to verify.✅
Tell people they will die if they don’t evacuate.❌
Sorry, SouthernCaliforniaWeatherForce dot com, but you failed to use the oldest scare tactic in the book when hyping your forecast, and for that, we can only rate your hype 8/10.
As we’ve mentioned in previous weeks, If you see someone post an absurd weather forecast on twitter/facebook/wherever, please bring it to our attention because this is a section dedicated to poking fun at when people produce such sincere sensationalist garbage. If I use the ridiculously hyped forecast that you have pointed out, we’ll be sure to credit you and award your school with an AtmoCup bonus point!
Hat tip to @geostrophic for bringing this week’s hype to my attention (still counts even if it’s unintentional).
ATMOLIFE MS PAINT FORECAST
WEEKLY INSTAGRAM CONTEST
Each week, AtmoLife asks our followers to post a challenge response photo/video to Instagram and tag our Instagram account (atmolife) in it.
Last week’s challenge: Tag AtmoLife in a photo/video of you celebrating spring a little too early.
Here is last week’s winner:
Oh, cool, nobody submitted any entries. I might as well just shut down the blog now. AtmoLife had a good run, but I guess everyone’s moved on to the next big thing in weather media. [Haaaa, kidding. We were never a big thing]. Anyway, we’re already 90% of the way through this blog post, so we might as well finish. This time, let’s go with a more simple Instagram challenge that hopefully more people will feel inclined to participate in.
This week’s challenge: Tag AtmoLife in a photo/video of the coolest non-tornado thing you’ve seen on a storm chase.
Here is our example:
The winning responder will again earn a free AtmoLife koozie and 3 AtmoCup points for their school. We’ll announce the winner in next week’s Siren Test, so be sure to submit your Instagram posts by 12Z Tuesday!