Atmospheric River

Source: NOAA website. Image is link.
Source: NOAA website. Image is link to article.

Our area of Oregon is famous for rain. Except it isn’t rain, it’s really just drizzle. Continuous, dreary drizzle. Until now.

A new term entered my vocabulary this week: “atmospheric river.” The entire west coast is being dumped on right now, particularly Northern California. I love drumming rain, but this is crazy.

It’s been scary to watch the news coverage of the flooding, because I remember. I grew up in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, and I’m old enough to have seen the wide (and usually empty) Tujunga Wash boil to overflowing with brown water. At night, there was clicking. Not the sound of insects, but of boulders colliding in the angry flood.

Image is link to Wikipedia article
Image is link to Wikipedia article

Usually Big Tujunga Creek is just a trickle. From a distance, you know it’s there because only because of the scrub oaks and sycamores. During the dry season. the water is underground–you have to dig for it. Until the deluge comes.

This kind of reminds me of the writing life. Sometimes I have to dig for words. At other times, there comes an unstoppable torrent. Today I’m on holiday from school and I’m loving it.

So the rain is pounding down–a sound I love, for I am still a California girl at heart–and I’m expectantly writing.  Tell you what, I’d sure welcome an “atmospheric river” of words.

Laura Hile (1)

5 thoughts on “Atmospheric River

  1. I have not been to Oregon but my daughter and her husband lived there for a number of years and we visited. She said it was not rain as much as overcast skies…no sun…where they lived near Seattle. We are having record breaking temperatures near 70 degrees for three days now… but I have noticed the headlines about the rain on the west coast.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your daughter nailed it. It’s not the amount of rain, but the continual gray. The closer you get to Seattle, the worse the rainfall gets–even in summertime.

      Here in the greater Portland area, our summers are wondrous. Meaning that the days are warm, sunny, and (for the most part) dry. But there’s a reason for our tall trees and continual green. That overcast and drizzle…


  2. Yes, the rain takes some getting used to when you first get here. Being from Eastern Oregon, our own high desert, the first year in the Willamette Valley, Salem to be precise, seemed really weird. It began to rain the day we moved in, Aug. 31st, and except for one ice storm, it rained until April 1st. I doubted that I would ever get used to it.
    Well, now I can’t imagine moving back to “fire country” in Eastern Oregon. I joke that I’ve become part plant and I need to be watered. I’m one of the few that get really tired of the sunshine in the summer. Oh, well, I guess we’re all different.
    Love your memories of the boulders clicking. I hadn’t thought of that. Have a great week.

    Liked by 2 people

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