More Real Estate Passing Through . . .

On Tuesday, New Mexico and the Permian Basin blew in. Yesterday and today, Colorado rushed past.

Ah, ’tis the season for traveling property. Dust, tree branches, garbage cans, tumbleweeds, small children . . . When a tightly-wound low-pressure system passes to the north of the region, we get troughs and dry cold-fronts that blow in. Translated into English, a large vacuum travels west to east along the jet stream, sucking air into itself to try and balance the pressures. This pulls air (wind) across a relatively low-resistance landscape. That being my house.

Southwest wind – dust, brown haze, smells like feedlot. The sky gets a brass-like hue to it, brownish-blue with a faint sheen to it.

North wind – my pickup looks as if it is trying to hatch tumbleweeds. There were so many that I gave up trying to pull them loose and just backed veeeeery slowly, hoping to break them free before one ignited. I was successful. Oh, and my house howls. The guards on the skylights catch the wind and moan, then start howling in a north-northwesterly wind (300-320 degrees).

When the wind starts to blow, you cinch down your hat, and start considering if you need to move garbage cans. After a certain point, you chase your garbage can down the block and bring it home. Windage matters: don’t “park” a rolling can with the wheels on the upwind side. That seems to encourage departures. It’s also a good idea to collapse light-weight patio furniture, and fold the umbrella or retract the awning. When the wind gusts to forty-five miles in hour, in town, things are going to move. And billboards collapse if the gusts are just right.

Back in the days of the haboobs, before the 1970s*, you could tell wind direction by the color of the soil that came in with the wind. Now we get far, far fewer of those kinds of storms. South of here still has them, however.

The head-shaking part is when you look at the horizon and see that all the wind turbines are locked, not turning. High winds are not good for them.

We need rain, as usual. Even just to tamp down the dust that moves when the wind blows, as it does out here.

*In 2011 we had the first and last one that I could recall. The sky went red, as in blood red, and visibility dropped down to an eighth of a mile. The power went out, and so I sat by the front window and read from my e-reader. Then a thunderstorm roared through and we got an inch of rain.


10 thoughts on “More Real Estate Passing Through . . .

  1. I can’t imagine what it’s like to live so close to the weather. And yet I wonder if it wouldn’t be good for us, to remind us that the physical world is not just a Social Construct, not just a thing we’ve wished into being, and can rewish at our pleasure.

    When we start to believe that the physical world can be wished–that is, subjected–to our desire, it’s a small jump to believing that other people can be wished into conformance with our desire as well.

  2. I remember laughing in disbelief when Seattle had massive property damage from “high winds” that were gusting up to 45 mph.

    • Yeah, this. Normal regular no big deal day ending in y windspeeds at our place are around 30 mph. 45 is common enough to not cause any changes. 60-80 mph is when things start happening, like billboads making contact with the ground. Or after a rain: the big trees don’t hold up so well when the soil is wet.

      But eh, Seattle, what can you expect?

      • When the Weather Channel™ or other national network news people are breathlessly reporting, “terrible winds with gusts as high as fifty miles an hour!” laughter fills RedQuarters. Down here, we call that “February and March.”

        • “Meterologists” who want to be on camera. Bet they’re the ones unable to run a simple tool like CLIMAT, and make sense of the probabilities derived from 100+ yrs of data.

          Send them for 30 yds of isobar line.

  3. When the high wind warnings appear, they’re most often northeast of us in a flat part of eastern Oregon. We’ll get the 55 mph gusts at times in our valley, while they’re recording 70 or so. Most of the winter storms come from a gap to our south, but west winds align with our valley. Either can make for fun times.

    I made a fence that would serve to hold the garbage cans in place next to the barn. After west winds did their thing and I found the stray can and multiple lids, I rigged chains to keep the cans in place. I purchase garbage cans by how well they hold their lids. Right now, the winner is the Rubbermaid Brute with a flat lid. OTOH, when it’s really cold, you need a warm spot, a crowbar, and a process server to get the freaking lid off.

  4. Yeah, we ‘only’ had gusts to 50 yesterday. Swept my garage out THREE times… And picked up probably 20 limbs of various sizes, some of which I’m pretty sure aren’t from around here… And speaking of garbage cans, yesterday was trash day… sigh… FULL garbage cans were trundling down/across streets… sigh

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