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Old 12-25-2012, 05:53 AM   #15
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About rain and California, quite a few years ago I was out there on business staying in a motel before my flight home the next morning. I was awakened early in the morning to the sound of thunder and rain. I rolled over and went back to sleep. The next morning at the attached diner I was having breakfast, and all the locals in there were going on and on about the "big storm" last night.

Seems they don't know what a thunderstorm is in California?????

Merry Christmas all.
Correct. We rarely get "thunderstorms." So rare, it is a real event suitable for Big News Coverage. This is particularly true along the coast where most people live. Coastal California weather is dominated by the Pacific Marine layer. It's not warm air like the Gulf. Far more moderate. Since all our weather comes in from the west and NW, we don't have "collisions" of hot/cold air masses like occur in the rest of the country.

Where I live 1" of rain in a 12 hour period produces news crews all over the county to talk about the massive rainfall. We get 50 inches a year, but we don't get torrential downpours. The usual rate is 0.1"/hr. Heavier than that is "news."

What I saw yesterday felt like 6"/hr! Never seen anything like it in my life.
Frankly, I was a bit scared driving the rig through that. I kept wondering, will this get even worse?
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Old 12-25-2012, 06:22 AM   #16
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Welcome to the "Sunshine State", lol. We get torrential downpours like that where it seems someone is holding a bucket over you and just dumping it all right on you. Most "thunderboomers", or "gully washers", as the locals here call them, last around 10-15 minutes and then resume normal rain.

When I moved to Florida (Panama City) from Virginia I never understood why people would turn their hazard lights on in the rain and pull over to the shoulder and wait it out... now I do.
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Old 12-25-2012, 11:58 AM   #17
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Along a different line of thought we here in the northern states see some knuckleheads driving like maniacs on wet, cold, icy and snowy roads. I think one contributor is the increasing number of cars w/ all wheel drive. They go like hell on the snow but they don't stop any better than anyone else. They fail to realize how slippery the road is since they have traction and are moving along with no problem. Then whammo, they try to stop or take a curve. I see more cars / suv's with AWD spun out off the road than anything else lately.
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Old 12-25-2012, 12:49 PM   #18
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We get thunderstorms in the mountains all year long... below freezing a few days ago, and lighting in the hills...
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Old 12-25-2012, 02:34 PM   #19
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Welcome to the "Sunshine State", lol. We get torrential downpours like that where it seems someone is holding a bucket over you and just dumping it all right on you. Most "thunderboomers", or "gully washers", as the locals here call them, last around 10-15 minutes and then resume normal rain.

When I moved to Florida (Panama City) from Virginia I never understood why people would turn their hazard lights on in the rain and pull over to the shoulder and wait it out... now I do.
Thanks! We made it to Bradendan today where it is 78F. Finally, warm enough to open the windows. Warmest weather we have had since we left California on the 15th. It was 18F for two nights in Texas - -yikes!

We are headed to Ft. Meyers and will be there tomorrow.
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Old 12-25-2012, 07:38 PM   #20
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Thanks! We made it to Bradendan today where it is 78F. Finally, warm enough to open the windows. Warmest weather we have had since we left California on the 15th. It was 18F for two nights in Texas - -yikes!

We are headed to Ft. Meyers and will be there tomorrow.
Yeah, we're just north of you.. lovely weather today. Hope you were able to enjoy it... sounds like you were. Where in Ft Myers are you going? To a campground or are you staying with friends/family?
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Old 12-25-2012, 08:33 PM   #21
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Traveling, especially to a new place or area, should include some preplanning.

Get out the maps, and plot your course of travel.

Also check the weather reports for your route.

Site's like "weatherbug" are great for weather forecasts.

Being a pilot, I always checked the weather for my entire route of travel, as well as the destination.

It's amazing how it may suggest altering the route or days of travel.

Granted, a storm can pop up, but the big stuff is almost always in a good forecast.

Made my travels far less hectic and much safer.

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Old 12-26-2012, 06:30 AM   #22
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Traveling, especially to a new place or area, should include some preplanning.

Get out the maps, and plot your course of travel.

Also check the weather reports for your route.

Site's like "weatherbug" are great for weather forecasts.

Being a pilot, I always checked the weather for my entire route of travel, as well as the destination.

It's amazing how it may suggest altering the route or days of travel.

Granted, a storm can pop up, but the big stuff is almost always in a good forecast.

Made my travels far less hectic and much safer.

Andy
ha ha, Yeah, I never thought "rain" was something to drive around. Thanks Andy. We definitely learned something about weather and towing.

When we drive, we have an Internet connected tablet going (we're always looking stuff up). Wife was tracking the rain "live" - but we simply had no idea that rain could be so heavy. No clue, never seen it before. It's our first trailer trip to the South.

I also use the NOAA weather on the CB. And we were well aware of the tornado/hail warnings for the Mobile area, which is why we were beating feet to get farther east and south of I-65.

We have a new appreciation of what is possible with rain down here.

Taylor - - we will be staying in an RV park in Ft. Meyers and visiting family from there.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:38 AM   #23
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Glad you made it thru ok, you just missed the really nasty stuff that was behind you. A tornado touched down in the Mobile area and did extensive damage.
One good thing about living down here, I will take a little rain and wind over having to shovel or drive in blowing snow any day. I did enough of that living in Maine for so many years.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:18 AM   #24
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Taylor - - we will be staying in an RV park in Ft. Meyers and visiting family from there.

Cool! Hope you enjoy the area. If I can help with any stops on the way back, as far as where to go, what's good and what's not, in the way of campgrounds/state parks, just PM me.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:36 AM   #25
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mstephens: I am one of those locals you speak of. Believe me we are not use to weather like that. There are stupid people everywhere, sadly when it comes to stupid drivers we seem to have more than our fair share down here on the Gulf Coast. Just driving to work can be an adventure some days.
Ay-men to that! Yesterday, driving back earlier than planned from Percy Quin State Park, in that brief window of opportunity after the bad overnight storms and before the bad afternoon storms, I was passed by a surprising number of Christmas Day drivers, invariably doing well over the limit, on wet pavement, with no lights, kicking up rooster-tails of spray that blinded everyone behind them. Probably with cruise control on as well. Not a lick of consideration for their own safety, let alone anyone else's.

Me, I was doing about ten miles below the limit, dealing with high crosswinds that at one point (the Pass Manchac Bridge on I-55) shoved me over half-a-lane before I could correct my track on the wet pavement. I'm just glad that the crosswinds shoved me toward an empty lane, and not toward the bridge guardrail!

Handy hint for driving in— or after— heavy rain, from someone who does it more often than he'd like: If the standing water is too deep or too dirty to see the actual pavement (not just the white stripes), find a detour, or find a place to wait it out. I've seen cars stalled because they hit a pothole they couldn't see and splashed water up into the engine. It even happened to me exactly that way, once, back in the 80's when I was still new to Louisiana.
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:27 AM   #26
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I'm currently camped at Mystic Springs AS Park. The storm was a doozy - as you know Mobile had a tornado go through yesterday. Here at McDavid we had thunderstorm activity and some good downpours. I have to admit that during the tornado alert yesterday I was worried.

As Andy recommends re: plotting your travel, I use wunderground.com and use their trip planner. It plots the course and the weather predicted for your course (you input the date/time of departure and any stops). See Road Trip Planner | Weather Underground
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:02 PM   #27
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Thanks for the tip on the wunderground trip planner. Didn't know about that!
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