An overview of the extraordinary and ongoing California dry spell

Filed in Uncategorized by on November 14, 2013 91 Comments

Drought in California: an quick overview

California is no stranger to drought. Periods of low precipitation show up throughout the historical record–some lasting only a single winter season (most notably 1976-1977), and others lasting the better part of a decade (for example, 1928-1935). Reconstructions of California climate suggest that meteorological droughts lasting multiple decades are not uncommon over the past 1000 years, while there is evidence that dry periods of even longer duration occurred in California’s deeper geological past.


Section of the California Aqueduct system near Tracy, CA. (Wikipedia/Ikluft)

Of course, as many Californians are acutely aware, it doesn’t take a drought of historic intensity to cause serious problems in this state. Since essentially the entire geographic region experiences a qualitatively Mediterranean climate–with strongly seasonal precipitation and a very distinct (but globally uncommon) summer dry season–most of California’s annual precipitation derives from a relatively small handful of major cool-season precipitation events. For this reason, any delay in onset or early truncation of our rainy season (which typically runs from October through May) can quickly result in diminished annual precipitation totals; conversely, the occurrence of just a couple of additional storm events can lead to well-above totals for the year. On top of this large natural climate variability, California’s water supply system is notoriously convoluted and subject to a bewildering array of environmental, legal, political, and usage constraints. These human factors combine with inherent meteorological and hydrological limitations to create a distribution system that can be stressed to its limits even in near-average years.


The current situation

California has now experienced two consecutive dry winter seasons: 2011-2012 and 2012-2013. The 2012-2013 water year was especially remarkable because it began rather early with a series of very intense and moist storms associated with “atmospheric rivers” in Northern California during November but then quickly tapered off, with only light and sporadic precipitation falling for the remainder of the typical “rainy” season from mid-December through May. We’re now in the early portion of the 2013-2014 water year, and so far the extraordinary dry pattern that has been in place since mid-December 2012 is continuing (as of this writing on 11/13/13). In fact, calendar year 2013 now appears to be the driest on record to date–specifically, California has received less precipitation during the period January 1, 2013 – November 13, 2013 than during any other January 1 – November 13 period in at least the past 119 years. This calendar year statistic spans a portion of two water years, which is very unusual for a dry spell of this intensity at any time during the historical record.


2013 calendar year precipitation to date (percent of normal). (NOAA/NWS)


Meteorological Analysis

An examination of 315-day (1/1/2013-11/11/2013) departures from average for several different atmospheric variables gives substantial insight into the proximate cause of California’s extreme dry spell. Immediately apparent is the prominence of a broad region of anomalous geopotential height ridging over the northeastern Pacific Ocean. This geographically vast area of unusually high geopotential heights has been extraordinarily persistent over the past 12 months and has also been a common feature in recent dry years (including, notably, the 2011-2012 winter season). Under this huge ridge, sea level pressure also been well above average for the same 315-day period.

500 mb geopotential height anomaly. Data from NOAA/ESRL PSD.

Impressive and long-lived wind anomalies at all levels of the atmosphere have been associated with these geopotential height and sea level pressure anomalies in the North Pacific. The jet stream has been diverted well to the north around the northern periphery of the anomalous ridge–all the way up into Alaska, which has been experiencing record warmth and storminess over the past several months. At the same time, a deep anticyclonic flow anomaly is centered on the region of enhanced high pressure, resulting in persistent northerly flow over the West Coast and persistent southerly flow in the Gulf of Alaska (which is likely contributing to some of the ongoing precipitation and temperature anomalies there).

500 mb zonal wind anomaly. Data from NOAA/ESRL PSD.

For California, this particular meteorological setup is especially effective at reducing precipitation. High pressure tends to inhibit rainfall by suppressing the vertical motions in the atmosphere necessary for the development of clouds and storm systems, while geopotential ridging acts to shift the storm track northward and to divert existing storm systems away from California. Additionally, a disproportionate fraction of those systems that have made it into the Golden State over the past year or so have had a large over-land trajectory (typically associated with dry “inside slider” low pressure systems, which contain dry continental air rather than moist marine air), a reality that is not all that surprising given the large north-to-south wind anomaly observed.

500 mb meridional wind anomaly. Data from NOAA/ESRL PSD.

Given the context of this highly anomalous and extremely persistent atmospheric ridging over the northeastern Pacific Ocean, it’s very interesting to note that there has also been a region of strongly positive sea surface temperature anomalies in same the general vicinity for the past 10-11 months. Causality is always tricky to assign in cases such as this one, since it’s entirely possible that the ridging itself has led to warm surface water though decreased oceanic mixing by wind and unusually high air temperatures. On the other hand, ocean-atmosphere coupling is very well recognized in this region on longer timescales  (such as the multi-decade periodicity of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, or PDO), so it seems likely that the anomalous ridging that has led to to California’s extremely dry weather and the North Pacific warm pool are physically linked in one way or another.


Sea surface temperature anomaly over the past 6 months. (NOAA/NESDIS)

When will the current dry spell end?

Unfortunately, there are presently no indications that the persistent northeast Pacific ridging and the associated California dry spell will end any time soon. Medium range numerical forecast models are currently rather consistent in projecting a continuation of the same general pattern for the rest of the month. This doesn’t preclude the possibility of sporadic light precipitation in some regions, but at this point it appears very likely that November precipitation will be well below average statewide. It is difficult to make a prediction for the rest of the water season from early December onward given the lack of a strong ENSO signal. It is worth noting that the PDO is currently in a negative phase, which historically favors reduced precipitation across much of California during ENSO-neutral years. With this in mind, and given how difficult it can be to dislodge deeply-entrenched ridging such as is currently being observed, I estimate that there is an above average probability that total precipitation for water year 2013-2014 will be below normal once again. As we saw last November, though, it only takes a couple of really big storms to fill up the reservoirs, so at this early juncture we’ll just have to wait and see.

Stay tuned.

Update on 11/17

Some light to moderate precipitation now appears likely this week across most of the state as a weak system interacts with a modest suptropical moisture plume. The precipitation this week will probably only be enough to bring us up to normal for the week–that is, in the long run, this week’s rainfall/snowfall will only prevent the already huge precipitation deficit from increasing further. By next weekend, however, a much stronger and broader ridge will build in over the Eastern Pacific, bringing warm temperatures and dry weather heading towards Thanksgiving. While this week’s expected precipitation is much-needed and notable given the recent extreme dryness, we’re probably still on track for the driest year on record.



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  • Dan the Weatherman

    Does geopotential ridging or geopotential height ridging basically mean the same thing as upper level ridging?

    • “Geopotential height” is effectively a gravity-adjusted height (so you can think of as roughly approximating elevation above sea level). A “ridge” at any level in the atmosphere is defined as a relative maximum of some geopotential height surface (e.g., 500 mb). Since the thickness of layers between geopotential surfaces (like the thickness of the 1000-500 mb layer) is proportional to the mean temperature of that layer, ridging usually suggests expansion/warming of the air beneath the top level (e.g. 500 mb).

      • Dan the Weatherman

        Thank you. I am starting to research the topic of heights more to get a better understanding of it overall. Even though I understand weather patterns to an extent, I know this is a very important concept in meteorology and feel the need to get a grasp of it at least at an elementary level. I have not studied meteorology or atmospheric science, but have learned about the weather little by little throughout the years by watching weather broadcasts on TV including the Weather Channel, reading NWS AFDs on the Internet, and other weather-related information I have found online including blogs like yours!

  • Nicholas

    I don’t like this new design. I find it confusing.

    • sc100

      I don’t notice a new design. Do you have to use a certain browser to see it?

    • So far I’ve only made minor cosmetic changes, like re-ordering the menu bar on the left margin, adding the blogroll, and moving the social media buttons to the lower right from the upper right. Any specific suggestions? The final task remaining is an overhaul of the comments section…

      • Nicholas

        I dont like how it only shows one article on each page. More clicking.

        • Ah, yes. I did this because it reduces the load time, and some have complained in the past that page was loading slowly with slower internet connections.

          • Dan the Weatherman

            Despite a bit more clicking, showing one article per page with the date posted just below makes it easier to find a specific topic or a specific weather event that you are looking for. It prevents having to scroll down to find other entries, which can lead to confusion, especially during active weather periods with frequent post updates.

  • Pingback: Precipitation watch: Maybe something next week … ? plus an overview of California’s dry spell » MAVEN'S NOTEBOOK | MAVEN'S NOTEBOOK()

  • Now looks like some light rain is possible in NorCal during the middle next week, with some moderate totals possible along the far North Coast as a very weak system acts on a modest subtropical moisture plume. Things quickly dry out by the end of the week, though, as the ridge rebuilds strongly. I would be very surprised if the Bay Area received more than 0.2 inches, and the North Coast 0.5 Keep in mind that weekly means this time of year are around 1 inch in the Bay Area and 2+ inches in the far north, so we’ll remain well behind average even for the week!

    • ECMWF is considerably wetter for the middle of next week in Central California, but I am extremely suspicious of this solution. There is a pretty moist airmass slated to move through but almost no dynamics to speak of–the GFS washes out the cold front completely by the time it gets to the Bay Area. Will be keeping an eye on this…

  • kcanton40

    Hi Dan,

    I know this is a long ways out, but check out the latest CFSv2 3.4 Nino model below regarding the start of a significant ENSO warm episode event during the Spring months? As we know from past history, if a major El Nino event should occur it almost always would need to start March, April or May of that year.

    • There have been some early signs in the dynamical models that an ENSO signal might emerge starting in the spring. This CFS projection seems to be consistent with that evolution. We shall see!

  • kcanton40

    Here is another long range outlook of a major increase of the SSTA supporting the model above. Looks like an El Nino will be developing during the Spring of 2014? The only thing I’m wondering though is will the possible El Nino pattern hold together and not collapse under the influence of the -PDO later next year? We will have to keep an on this in the coming months. If everything does hold together then I would be much more optimistic about next year than this year.

  • kcanton40

    We do need to keep a very close eye on the possible evolution of an El Nino event later in the Spring and early Summer months.

  • thams

    “while geopotential ridging acts to shift the storm track northward and to divert existing storm systems away from California.”

    Does this mean that other regions near California have experienced greater rainfalls over the past two years?

    Anecdotally, I’ve noticed that the past two winters have had unusually-high numbers of days when I can fly my sailplane in California. Normally, winter has very few days with the right instability to make soaring possible.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      The southwestern U.S. as a whole has had below normal precipitation during the last two winter seasons along with California, including Colorado which helped lead to all the destructive forest / brush fires they had recently. Even portions of the Pacific NW had below normal precipitation this last winter, especially in Oregon where some cities such as Eugene had set their driest January to June on record (or some similar time period like that). On the other hand, the Seattle area had received closer to normal precipitation. A more active monsoon season led to more rainfall in the inland SW this last summer, helping to erase some of the deficits, and a cutoff upper low in conjunction with the monsoon moisture was the culprit in all the terrible flooding that the Boulder, CO area experienced.

      BTW, welcome to the forum!

    • The American West as a whole has been experiencing a fairly prolonged drought over the better part of the past decade. Drought is particularly severe in Nevada at the moment, though recently very dry conditions have expanded north into Oregon.

      I’d assume that soaring requires fairly consistent thermals, which are more likely when the surface is relatively warm and there are no atmospheric temperature inversions. Large-scale weather systems and cool, foggy/low cloud days (as one might expect in a typical winter) would be unfavorable for the development of thermals (dry convection in the lower troposphere). The last two winters have featured very stable, at-times warm conditions that would be potentially favorable.

      And, as Dan already said: welcome!

  • Dan the Weatherman

    One lone brief shower fell here in Orange late this afternoon, but it wasn’t enough to get everything wet. It was certainly cooler today than it was earlier this week when it was downright hot for a day or two. Despite the stratocumulus deck for most of today, it still managed to hit the upper 60s, which is rather mild for November on a cloudy day with the flow being onshore. In fact, it has felt more like mid-October rather than mid-November recently, and the nights have been milder than average for this time of year, too.

  • After taking a second look at the numbers, it actually appears that some parts of Central and Northern California are not only experiencing the driest calendar year to date but are exceeding the previous all-time record low by margins greater than 50%! This really is an incredible anomaly entirely outside the scope of living memory. Also, this statistic suggests that even a rather wet second half of November and December might still allow the state to claim the title of “driest year on record.” And despite some light to moderate rain that may fall in parts of the state this week, that modest respite will be very short lived: a late-November heat wave appears to be in the works for next week.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      I really hope that this isn’t the start of a long-term drought for the state that could potentially last for decades like those seen in the past geological record, unlike the more recent droughts that have been of shorter duration.

  • redlands

    Redlands, Ca — November-16-2013 High today was 57 — rain for the day 0.09 — for the month of November 2013 0.09 Was surprised we got rain and surprised on how cool the day was was. It was nice it being so cool . The 57 is a record for the day — Nov-16. Hopefully we can still get some more rain

  • Nicholas

    Something to keep an eye on for next week here in So Cal. Models have been showing this low with a lot of wrap around moisture. It would be an interesting solution. While it would most likely not add a lot of rain to the bucket situations like this often bring lower snow levels and some of the more stronger thunderstorm events to So Cal. It looks a little like the November 2004 event just not as cold. I remember seeing a heck of a lightning show just to my north and east towards the mountains that lasted late into the night and very wind conditions.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      It does look as if Socal could have a chance of showers somewhere between the Thursday through Saturday time period this coming week. Hopefully the models remain consistent on this solution and we can finally start getting some rain down here now that it is time for things to start picking up.

      • Latest GFS came in somewhat drier than the last few runs. Still expecting fairly widespread rain in California this week, but if recent runs are correct it could be very light anywhere outside of the far North Coast, where it still won’t be especially heavy.

  • As of today, Weather West now has more than 100 Facebook fans! Many thanks to all those who have helped to spread the word about the California Weather Blog via social media and elsewhere on the web. Let’s keep the momentum going!

  • David

    Daniel i have noted the past few runs of the gfs at the end of the gfs have been flip floping from a wet storm or dry why the 00z was dry at the end the 06z had a wet storm at the end but this is good that the gfs is flip floping

    • silvertip

      Ignore the 00 and 12z runs of the GFS, it will eliminate a lot go drama

      • David

        sorry but I will not ignore the 00z and 12z mode runs

        the 00z and 12z are the best runs we have has they seem too have more mode runs data put in two them the 06z and 18z all way seem too jump the gune on things some times they suck and other time they are really good but some time I do think they go a little overe board on the 06z and 18z when it comes too storms that’s why the 00z and 12z runs are all ways the best

        • silvertip

          Enjoy your winter

  • mendodave

    Well, well…if you’ll excuse the pun
    over 1.25″ today here in Mendocino!
    our wells are happy!

    • Dan the Weatherman

      It is certainly good to see some rain in Norcal for a change! It will take many storms to completely erase the deficits, but it has to start somewhere. Meanwhile, there is a chance of showers here in Socal on Wednesday night into Thursday night / Friday morning, but amounts likely won’t be nearly as high as you experienced in Mendocino.

  • Good to hear! Nice steady rain down here in the Bay Area too, though I doubt it’ll amount to an inch in most places. Unfortunately, this is really only amounting to a week’s worth of rain this time of year, and next week looks dry again. So…while this is certainly beneficial…our November totals are still going to be very low.

    • mendodave

      1.95″ in Little River at my house, 1.73″ here in Mendocino, this is for the system, rainfall since 11/18/13. Nice rain!

      hopefully that blocking ridge got the stuffing knocked out of it…just in time for Thanksgiving!

  • snowcrazed

    We are at 2.25 inches storm total over here in Magalia just east of Chico in Norcal. Some great orographics in our area helped the moisture get squeezed out over us and we got quite the soaker and still going!!!

  • Nicholas

    Sit back and relax as this storm looks to be full of surprises. It has been a long time since something this exciting has came down the pipe.

  • Sunchaser

    Finally getting some light showers here in the South East part of Glendale as of 7:55 PM…. Hopefully we will get some more measurable rain…..!!!!!!

    • Dan the Weatherman

      It has just started to rain here in Orange within the last few minutes. Hopefully this continues overnight and into tomorrow as is forecast to do so and that we get measurable rainfall as we really need it!

  • Nicholas

    From what I have been told Cape values are insane for this storm.

    • I don’t know if I’d go that far–I’d say SoCal gets 3-6 systems each year with comparable numbers. Could see some nice convective development down south, though…

      • Nicholas

        I wonder what where some of the higher cape days in recent time for No and So Cal. I am sure a few events and mid and late 90’s that where memorable. I do recall a storm that was a power house storm in 92 that brought some srv weather to No Cal.

        • Parts of the Sacramento Valley can see with CAPEs locally in the 1500-2500 range from late March through May (very high by West Coast standards). That level of instability occurs every couple of years, and is usually associated with at least a handful of severe thunderstorms with large hail (and occasionally a few tornadoes when the vertical wind shear is elevated). Every 5-10 years, a broader region in California sees very high CAPE values (usually associated with a very strong and warm Southern Stream storm during a warm SST year, often resulting in flash flooding and wind damage). The deserts in southeastern CA (and less commonly the Sierra Nevada) sometimes see very high CAPE values in the 2000+ J/Kg range during particularly strong summer monsoonal surges from the Gulf of California.

        • There are also rare occasions on which severe convective storms develop in a linear fashion along a particularly intense winter cold front, mainly in NorCal. These can be associated with locally very damaging winds (i.e. >80 mph even at lower elevations) and torrential rainfall (December 1995 comes to mind). In these instances, though, CAPE is often rather modest (<1000 J/Kg) and the intense storms are sustained by very strong frontal and synoptic scale lifting processes.

  • Dan the Weatherman

    So far the rain that has fallen here in Orange has been light and with generally small droplets, not the type of rain associated with convective thunderstorm activity. There is a chance of thunderstorms later on today into this evening, so there may be some heavier showers with larger droplets then. I will certainly comment here if I get heavier rains and/or hear any thunder.

  • redlands

    Redlands, Ca Weather Update — As of November 21-2013 1038pm 1.12 — November -20-2013 0.05 for a total of 1.17 Hi today only 59 — Hi rain rate of 1.61 at 109pm Nov-21 Was surprised that we got that much rain — hopefully we can pick up some more.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      I saw in the news today that there was some flash flooding between Redlands and Moreno Valley that closed San Timeteo Cyn Rd. I had to look at a map to figure out where this was as I was confused exactly where this happened and I originally thought it was in Moreno Valley itself, but the flooding victim was from Moreno Valley.

      • redlands

        Redlands, Ca Weather Update —- November 22 – 2013 Hi 58 – Low as of 1046pm 41.9 11/20 0.05 11/21 1.12 11/22 0.05 today as of 10.48pm — Was hoping for more rain — Another cool day — feeling more like November/Thanksgiving Is the Thanksgiving storm suppose to be bigger ???? 1.22 isn’t bad for 3 days

  • Nicholas

    Rather complex weather pattern today. This patter looks a bit like what we saw during the Compton Thunderstorm day. I think it might be a lot more interesting then what is shown on forecast.

    • Does looks like a pretty active afternoon shaping up for Los Angeles/San Diego based on current radar/satellite trends. Could be some strong convective cells in a few spots. Have fun…post to Facebook if you get any interesting photos!

  • Nicholas

    0.75 inch hail being reported by radar in San Deigo, CA.

  • Shady Blues

    Didn’t get anything crazy with this storm…just some showers. However, the storm on Thanksgiving is looking far more impressive. I don’t want to jinx it though!

  • Dan the Weatherman

    There have been some off and on showers here in Orange, but no thunderstorms yet. The Santa Ana winds have been blowing somewhat here, but not really strong, just breezy more than anything. It is certainly colder today than it has been with a current temperature of 55 degrees.

  • Despite the rain this week, the Bay Area has already dried out so much that there is a Red Flag Warning out for extreme fire danger due to wind in the North Bay! I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before, and it’s an indication of just how small a dent this week’s rain made around here.

    • Actually some pretty big wildfires up in the Napa/Lake/Mendocino County area today. Incredible, given the rain we just had. I’ll have a blog update within 24 hours…

  • alan

    Highest official recording in SoCal is 5″ rain in crest park area of lake arrowhead. Local personal gauge in lake arrowhead north bay hit 6.7″

    A little higher up the mountain I only had 2″ rain and 1″ snow despite the forecast for 5″-10″ locally 15″ snow…..maybe more snow this evening with wrap around moisture hopefully.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      Here in Orange, I only picked up .37″ from this last storm over the last couple of days. I think the higher amounts were more inland as well as in the mountain and desert regions.

  • kcanton40

    Despite this week’s storm, still did very little to put a dent in the current dry spell. Here in Nor Cal, Napa and S.F. got about 1.20in of rainfall. The Thanksgiving storm looks to me too weak and too far offshore to bring significant precipitation to the state. Going into at least the first week of Dec looks pretty dry again based on the latest GFS and even the European models reveals the same outlook at this point.

  • kcanton40

    Although it was very welcome to see our first significant precipitation since early this year!

  • David

    some parts of the valley and foothills are now under Extreme Drought

  • Sunchaser

    Received .38 here is the south east part of Glendale with the lastest storm…was definitely very welcomed……looking forward to next weeks ( Turkey Day) storm…..and by looking at the latest enhanced infrared sat pic I am hoping that what appears to be storms lined up in the North Pacific hold together and make their way down to So Cal ….bring it on !!!!!

  • Dan the Weatherman

    Excerpt from tonight’s San Diego AFD:


    This sounds like a more over water trajectory for a change unlike a lot of systems in the last couple of seasons, and if the low is strong enough and takes a track favorable for Socal, maybe we could get some significant rain out of it and possibly be more widespread in nature as well.

  • David

    well now the the 06z and 12z of the gfs still have a storm at the end of the run but in this run the 12z speed things up and brings it two CA at 288hrs too where the 06z did not bring it in intell 384hr

    all so it has a wetter storm at 384hr

    all so i like too point out that the 12z has a big cold snap for the PAC N W looks like with the 1st storm the one at 288hrs will give CA snow levels of a round 2000 too 3000ft

    • The extended models still appear to be incredibly dry for California considering that day 16 is now in mid-December. There is not really a consistent or compelling trend towards a meaningful pattern change. In the meantime, this week’s system is looking less and less impressive, and could miss NorCal entirely if we’re unlucky. I’ll have a full update later.

  • Note: depending on ease of implementation, I may be upgrading the comments section on this site to the “Disqus” platform. This may require people to change the way they log in to Weather West, but all old comments will be retained and you should be able to re-associate your old comments with the new Disqus account. This platform has much better threading, formatting, and linking capabilities, and also has integration with search engines and social media. Another advantage is that if the upgrade does not go well, the option exists to revert to the original (i.e. current) commenting system. This should occur sometime this week if all goes well,…

    • David

      Daniel you have a wordPress update wounder when the last time this site was update too a newer verson

      WordPress 3.7.1 is available! Please notify the site administrator.

  • David Thomas

    thanks for the updated

  • David Thomas

    its nic now that you can long in with your face book name or twitter acct

  • David Thomas

    hmmm what happen tooo my commets

  • David Thomas

    gust there a few bugs two work out yet still

  • David Thomas

    this new commet thing am going too have two get uesd two but this is way fater it seem this a few bugs too work out

  • David Thomas

    Daniel one bug i have noted is when you are at home and when you look on how many commets your blog have it show it has 0 commets even no in your blog it has 5 commets + this one so that some in you may want too look in two

  • WeatherWest

    Please be patient–the old comments are being migrated to the new system and will re-appear within 24 hours. Once that happens, everyone can re-associate their old comments with their new profile. I’ll have details on that once the old comments reappear…

  • So far, so good with the new commenting implementation. All old comments appear to have returned in their original locations and associated with their original authors. However, to “claim” these old posts and associate them with your new account:

    1. The easiest option is to use the same email address as you used to sign up for Weather West in the first place. If you do this, your old comments should be automatically associated with your new account. To claim them, follow these instructions:

    2. If you are using a different email address, you can still follow the above instructions, but only after temporarily changing your Disqus email address so that it matches your old Weather West account. Verify this address, then follow the instructions in the above link.

    Note: there may be a delay between following steps 1 or 2 and your old comments actually being associated with the new account. Please be patient.

    Please let me know in the comments section on either this or the next post if you have any trouble with this. I apologize for the inconvenience, but hopefully the site experience will be much improved.

  • Dan the Weatherman

    I already have a Disqus account and I think I merged everything successfully. This is a test post just to make sure I can post here using Disqus.

    EDIT: Looks like it worked!

  • redlands

    Whats happened to the site
    Is it be updated

    • Yes–the comments section has been upgraded. See the comment below on how to claim all your old blog comments…

  • redlands


  • redlands

    Seems like its working

  • Flunking_retirement

    How nice. This should make it easier to post overseas as well.

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    Well. here it is January. It sprinkled here in the bay area last night. That was nice.

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