All or Nothing: Rain in San Jose

rain on the street

Over worked storm drains send rain water down the street (that’s our curb garden on the left)

San Jose received about six inches of rain last year, marking year three of our drought. A more typical rainfall averages 12 – 18 inches annually. With that in mind, you can appreciate how welcome our recent storms have been. Unfortunately, the past 24 hours brought rain in the other extreme. Here’s what Accuweather had to say:

A Flash Flood Watch and a High Wind Warning are in effect for the San Francisco – Coastal North Bay including San José. Moderate to heavy rainfall and high winds are expected with flash flooding possible across northern California.

mid day rainfall

Mid-day rainfall

The public should closely monitor weather forecasts and take precautions. Driving conditions may be very poor at times during this severe storm.

stranded car

Stranded car. Police on the scene, help on the way

Several area schools closed for the day and we were all encouraged to stay home if we could. My husband worked from home and to my relief they cancelled a business dinner in the city due to power failures and flooded streets. I’m glad he is close to home on a night like this.

A few of the storm drains on our street backed up for a few hours, but otherwise it’s been okay. The North Bay, about two hours from here, took the brunt of the storm which continues till early Friday morning. It’s been an interesting day.

Downed trees and power lines are the biggest safety risk in storms like this. I learned something new today as well. After several years of drought, large trees shrink their roots in an effort to conserve water. When heavy rains hit all at once, trees are at greater risk of falling. I never knew.

This beautiful pine tree shades our garden year round and provides shelter and exercise for the squirrels. The tree grows in our neighbor’s yard at the corner of our shared fence. An arborist thinned the tree canopy just three weeks ago. At the same time they declared the tree healthy and in sound condition. What a relief.

pine tree pruning

Neighboring Pine Tree Gets a Trim

Californian’s enjoy moderate weather year round, so this is a big deal for us. Other parts of the country experience heavy snowfall, tornadoes, hurricanes and bitter cold. We simply suffer the occasional heat wave and of late, this confounding drought.

My hope is that the rest of the Bay Area weathers the storm as well as we have, and that we can appreciate this gift of moisture for our rain-parched state.

Wherever your are, I hope you’re safe, warm and dry. Cheers to you.

34 thoughts on “All or Nothing: Rain in San Jose

  1. We here in Perth have similar weather to you Californians, although I beieve our summers are consisently hotter. The feeling I get here when I see all that water wasted down storm drains, is, “Oh I wish we could save it all”, just to get us through the droughts. It is heating up here and we are used to watering restrictions. Most of us have reticulated gardens that get watered twice a week 10-15 minutes at a time, there are fines for householders who exceed the limit, I don’t bother with a vegetable garden in summer, it is just a waste of water and effort trying to keep the plants alive. We do have large water storage dams and several huge underground (natural) aquifers, but taking too much water from them is a risk, a couple of years ago a desalination plant was built south of Perth, but the effects on the immediate ocean environment remain to be seen… ah water, our most precious necessity…


    • Thanks for your comment, Jenny. I’ve heard it said of late that water is the new oil. It’s a precious commodity, not to be taken for granted.

      I’ve learned so much this past year about water as we’ve pushed through three years of drought. I’m exploring the idea of a rain storage system to help get through the drier months. We’re converting part of our lawn to grass (should have done it ages ago) and working on other ideas to improve our conservation efforts.

      Her in California, many people’s wells are running dry or have dried out completely. Farmers were pulling from ground water resources and that too has depleted. It’s scary.


  2. I have been thinking of you and wondering how things are, so glad to see this post! am pleased you have your much needed rain and are safe too. It is most fortunate that Mike can work from home when necessary.

    Water shortage is not an issue here Alys – lack of summer is however. For the second year running our lack of sunshine hours is rather startling. I’m making this stat up, but I feel we have logged no more than 10 days worth of sunshine in the last three months. Vitamin D deficiency will see increased depression and general malaise. If it wasn’t for the long hours of day light I would swear it was early winter weather!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Pauline, I’m sorry to hear that your summer has been stubbornly stuck in a winter pattern. I’ve read several posts on your weather via Sarah the Gardener as well. Only ten days of sunshine? That’s sad.

      We’ve had an abundance of rain this month and are now considered ahead for the season, though far behind making up for the past three years. I’m going to put together a post next week.

      It was fortunate that Mike could work from home. That is not always the case since he meets with clients off site, but last week it worked out. I’m grateful.


  3. Glad you’re not having flooding (beyond the water in the roadways) and I hope the soil moistens up enough to start soaking up the next rains. Did your Little Library and its books get through the storms ok? I still haven’t seen the books I want to send you; will let you know when I do (it may be after our move in mid-January). Stay dry and I wish you gentle rains in future; it’s so nice to walk in a reasonable rainstorm . . .


  4. Hi Alys. I’m glad for you that the storm isn’t any worst. But if all that water was going to fall from the sky anyway, it would have been much nicer if the rain was dispensed in smaller portions over an extended period and preferably at night. Stay safe, warm and dry.
    Cheers Sarah : o )


    • Thank you, Sarah.

      Yes, slow and steady wins the race in more ways than one. We’ll take what we can get, hoping future storms are wet but less wild. I see it is raining (again!) in your garden, but the image of you picking strawberries is actually a delight. I hope it’s a warm, gentle rain.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh dear, you wait so long for rain, and then it comes all at once. I agree with Jenny — being able to harvest that storm water would be great. Part of the problem we have is that there is so much ground that has been built over, paved and concreted. There is no way that the rain water can soak through and so just runs off. However, it looks like you got so much rain that it wouldn’t have been able to soak in anyway. Hope Santa brings you some nice, gentle rain for Christmas!


    • Thank you, Anne. Hard surfaces are really a problem, aren’t they. I’ve seen some people replace driveways with pavers (every little bit helps) but with so many paved roads and parking lots, I’m sure it’s barely a dent.

      I’m looking into a water tank for harvesting the rain. I wish we had one right now to take advantage of all these storms. It makes good sense everywhere, but especially here in our semi-arid climate.

      Thanks for your good Christmas wishes.


  6. Wowie, that’s a real soaker out front of your house hon. I’m glad you’re all safe and it hasn’t cause concerns about flooding. Also, I guess because you haven’t got a basement, that’s a good thing. I always worry that the power will go out and we won’t have the sump pump going. So far so good.

    It’s driving in the rain that seems quite dangerous here. Hardly anyone had their lights on today. It was hard to see them in the mist and spray of fast moving cars. I’m driving to a class at Paper Tales tomorrow, so I hope it stops 😀

    How’s you Christmas Tree making out in front of the house? We still need to grab dinner soon so ta ta for now xo be safe now!


      • What rain? What gloom? All I can think of is our day together. LOL everything else has gone into the ether. I’m looking forward to unpacking all my Paper Tale goodies tough. Maybe we’ll make it there together for a class one day. Thank you for your sweet message hon xoxo You make me feel like a kid when we’re out having fun xo


  7. It is crazy how rain can turn California into a tailspin. Although the storm hit big time yesterday, today we have awaken to sunny skies. Here in Southern California we never seem to be adequately prepared for rain. I did enjoy the beautiful sound of the rain yesterday and we certainly needed it. 🙂


    • I love the sound of the rain too. I just returned from a 24 hour trip to visit with friends in Coronado and could see the dampened roads. We have family in Newport as well so have spent some time down there. Our state sure needs this rain, so I’m happy to hear it outside my window once again, albeit gentler this go around. Thanks for stopping by and for taking time to comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh, Alys, my thoughts are with you whilst you’re having to wade through the deluge. And just like you, you’re always finding the bright side of things. I send my wishes of much needed balance your way, and will think as positively as possible until you see yourself to the other side. Stay safe.


    • Thanks so much, Shelley.The flooding eased quickly and for a change, people headed warnings and tried to stay off the roads which helped. We have another series of storms starting tonight, but they aren’t expected to pack as much of a wallop.

      Thanks for your always kind words and support.


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