Sunday, July 23, 2006

Summer lightening in a fire ecology





Last night, about 8:20 PM, I was driving home from dinner with friends. All around me was the most spectacular display of lightening I'd seen since moving to Los Angeles. It was a combination of heat lightening and bold strikes - no thunder. An oddity occurred as I drove through the Hollywood Riviera section of Redondo Beach - rain, in July. We don't get rain in July. But as I was driving, I saw one particular bolt of lightening that hit somewhere in the vicinity of Catalina Island. I rounded the corner onto Palos Verdes Drive South, and saw an eirie orange glow - it took me a few minutes to realize that Catalina Island had taken a direct hit, and was on fire. All along the drive, people were pulled over. They stood outside their cars, watching, taking photos. Meanwhile, lightening continued to strike. Now, I'm from the midwest - I'm not going to stand outside in a lightening storm no matter how beautiful it is, because that's how people get fried.

Catalina Island is beautiful, but with limited capacity to fight this blaze. Marines from Camp Pendelton were called over to help contain it. Somewhere around 1200 acres have burned.

It is so hot in the LA basin, record heat - it hit 119 in Woodland Hills yesterday. At 9AM, here in Pedro, it's close to 80 degrees.

What have we done to our earth?

9 comments:

Alicia said...

We were up to 105 in Sherman Oaks yesterday. It's simply gruesome.

karena said...

My word, that must have looked like a rocket attack. It is crazy strange weather you are having. Smart of you to stay in the car. Of course, none of this has been on the news, it's just been a blow by blow description of breaking news, like Tiger Woods winning the golf tournament and Israel and Hezbollah going at it all day and all night.

Yoga Korunta said...

I wrote a post this morning on the heat wave and Blogger lost it.

DivaJood said...

Hey, Alicia. 105 is brutal. We had a T-storm this morning in San Pedro, cooled off for 30 seconds, then back up to scorched earth.

Karena, it was strangely beautiful. Just awesome strikes, then rolling heat lightening. I've been too hot to watch the news.

Yoga, even Blogger is too hot. That happened to me yesterday.

Comandante Agí said...

There was a lighting/thunderstorm-shower here in Irvine this morning. I just watched War of the Worlds last night, so I thought Martians had finally set off their plans for Earth domination.

sumo said...

I think it's 110 here...we're having electrical problems here too (our house is old) so we haven't gotten our pool ready for the summer yet. Mr. Sumo says it's too hot to bother with...as I smack him upside the head!

DivaJood said...

Agi, I thought the same thing last night when I was driving home! That's weird.

Sumo, I would smack Mr. Sumo upside the head too. Pool? Let me at it.

The Fat Lady Sings said...

Its broiling down here as well - and we get nasty humidity on top of it all. Going outside to get anything done is impossible – the heat beats you down. This is tornado weather down here – so I’m really keeping an eye on the weather these days.

Man! That's some picture, honey! I find lightening attractive too; but I'm damned if I'm gonna stand out in it. Cows do that - and I have more sense than a cow, hopefully! Though a friend and I used to park up on a hill in really intense lightening storms and share a joint while we watched Mother Nature unleash her fury (I was in college – what can I say). Electrical storms can be quite beautiful.

DivaJood said...

TFLS, two things scare me at an unnatural level. One is spiders. The other is tornados. When I lived in Chicago, and would watch the sky turn that unnatural green/gray, ooh-eee, that was not good. Once, on a long bike ride, the day started out gorgeous, and at the half-way point (50 miles) the sky changed; the temperature dropped; there was no shelter in sight - tornados and bikes. We managed to get to the Botanic Gardens and wait it out in the restaurant. Funnels touched down way west of us, but we had the rain and wind. But in July in Los Angeles, we don't GET this kind of weather. Or, we didn't used to.