Tag Archives: weather

Snow on Mission Street!

Snow on Mission Street, San Francisco!

This stuff fell from the sky just a few minutes ago and I’m calling it snow.

You think I’m wrong, but try walking up the stairs from 16th/Mission BART while water is cascading back down, stepping carefully over a whitened sidewalk, and checking the wonder on kids’ faces – and then pay heed to this “distinction”:

Hail and snow are formed by different processes and thus look quite
different, although both are composed of ice.

Snowflakes are composed of single or conglomerated ice
crystals, whereas hail is a ball of ice.

Snowflakes form when an ice crystal grows in very cold air
at the expense of surrounding water vapor.
By the way, there are many other shapes of ice crystals
(platelets, columns, etc.) that can form in a similar way,
but under different atmospheric conditions.

Hail usually starts as a frozen drop of water on a soil or
pollutant particle. The frozen drop is repeatedly carried aloft
and dropped by strong updrafts and down-drafts in a thunderstorm.
As the hailstone rises and falls, super-cooled water droplets
freeze to its surface, enlarging it.

Both snowflakes and hail drop from the clouds where they formed
when they become too heavy for the upward atmospheric motions
in the clouds to support them.

Did I mentioned it snowed on Mission Street just now?

1983 Snowy Winter Scene from a Tokyo Neighborhood

I spent Christmas this year with my fiance’s family in Southampton, PA. Her dad pulled out a DVD of some footage he took on one of the earliest VHS vidcams (a Hitachi) that chronicled a trip around Japan in 1983 when they lived there. This clip is from the small neighborhood in Tokyo – Hatsudai – where they were living.

The 27-year-old footage of snowman-building kids, lanterns, tight quarters, and a thick collection of snow, really evoke the feeling of Winter and Christmas for me. I also love the ambient sound.

Below is the same street today with images grabbed off Google Streetview:

(Thanks, Bob!)

Turn On The Pumps!

rain

If you think the streets are bad after today’s downpour, you should see what’s going on underneath the streets.

San Francisco has an antiquated sewer system, but with a “green” twist. It’s the only community in California that operates a predominantly “combined” system, which means our wastewater and our stormwater flow through the same pipes to the ocean/Bay. More after the jump…
Continue reading Turn On The Pumps!