Remember that atmospheric river I mentioned in a post a few days ago? It finally moved. The storm passed over us for a day and a half. An atmospheric river can dump as much water as if the Amazon River had just passed by.

I like to sleep outside on nights like that. I enjoy the sight and sound of a storm up close and personal. I was on a backpacking trip once with my dog Avery when we got caught in a real gully-washer. It was quite enjoyable until the tent I was in started leaking. I solved my personal problem by slipping the sleeping bag into a space blanket bag so it wouldn’t get wet but Avery was miserable from cold and wet and being afraid of the lightning.

We have a patio in the back of our house with just a roof over it for shade. I lay a chaise lounge out flat, put a foam pad over it, and then a sleeping bag and a pillow. If it is windy, I put a plastic tarp over everything to keep it dry. I enjoy the wind in the trees and the sound of our wind chimes. I enjoy the lightning and thunder. I enjoy the sound of the rain on the roof.

I could get the same result by putting up a tent in the yard but I’m lazy. Use what I have before setting something up I’d only have to tear down again the next morning.

A week ago we’d had lightning but no rain. Then last Monday, when the solar power people were installing our new electrical panel, we got a few random drops and some of that was frozen into pellets. (Oh yeah… did I mention we are having solar power added to our house?)

This time around there was no lightning or thunder, just buckets of rain. At about 6 in the morning, the rain turned into tiny hail. It sounded like someone was pouring a bag of pennies on the roof from high up. Very cool. Between the 28th to the 29th of January, we got about 1.3 inches. This may not sound like much but it is a tenth of an entire year’s rain in one evening. Other locations got ten times that on land that had just burned months ago.

Many of our local mountain and coastal roads were closed due to slides and flooding.

The Sierras got ten feet of snow. The ski resorts can finally start making real money instead of spraying millions of gallons of water for artificial snow just to survive. People died in the mountains and in flooded storm drains. Sadly, this is normal in California.

If you remember, that big atmospheric river seemed to stall over central California for a couple of days. Big Sur got much more rain than we did. That’s a lot of rain for that area and the hillsides won’t take it. The Pacific Coast Highway collapsed. Yet again. The PCH gets flushed into the Pacific every time we have a big storm. The state would like to stop repairing the damage and let it go but there is serious money living in that area and tourists bring many dollars into the state economy.

KPIX CBS Affiiliate, San Francisco Bay Area