I thought I’d take a bit of time over the next couple of days to record what is happening around me as I experience my first “hurricane”. It’s in quotes because there’s no way Tropical Cyclone Hilary will be a hurricane when it reaches my area. There’s an outside chance it will still be a tropical storm, but it’s more likely to be below that when it reaches me.
I took a bit of time yesterday (Friday) to make some minor preparations. I went up on my roof to do a bit of touch up on some weak spots. I really need to replace it, but that isn’t happening yet. I had a bit of a leak in one area last winter, so I’m doing a little patching around any roof penetrations in that general area. Not really sure if it will help, but it’s better than doing nothing. I also went around the yard and cleaned things up a bit. My wife loved to have dangly bits of decor around the yard. Those all came down for now to keep them out of the wind. Also made sure patio furniture was tucked away and things generally made secure. I didn’t go overboard, but I thought it was prudent.
I’m also doing minor preparations for a power outage. Given the current track and strength, I think an outage in my area is unlikely. But even with 20 or 30 MPH winds, an outage is possible. We go through a couple of Santa Ana wind events every fall that have winds of that intensity or higher, and rarely have problems with it. I’m making sure cell phones are charged as well as my collection of portable chargers. I have some bottled water on hand, and have put several in the freezer to have some ice available if needed.
We got the first bands of clouds around 10 am this morning. As they spread, the last bit of clear blue sky was to the north west, as one would expect. I’m going to be west of the storm center as it passes by. I’m about 6 miles from the coast in central Orange County. As of the last forecast, the storm center will pass by 60 or 70 miles to the east.
As of noon, the winds were still fairly light, but coming from the ocean, which surprises me. I wouldn’t expect winds to be from that direction until after the storm center passes. My neighbor has a couple of very tall palm trees, which make great wind detectors. Perhaps we aren’t yet in the wind field of the storm. Temperature was just under 80.
I also have a flood control channel over my back fence. I’m going to try to take photos of that at regular intervals just for the curiosity of tracking that level. Flooding and water damage is the most likely source of issues for my local area. Forecasters tell me to expect between 2 and 4 inches of rain from this storm. Other areas much further inland might see as much as 10 inches. While that’s a lot of rain in a short time, typical winter storms can also produce that much rain - although usually spread over a couple of days rather than in about 24 hours. Still, I suspect that much rain is well within the local flood control capabilities. There will certainly be some localized street flooding, but I don’t expect wide spread damage in the areas around me.
So there’s a starting point. I’ll report back in a few hours with an update. Rain isn’t expected until tomorrow (Sunday) early morning. I’m guessing we’ll see some increase in the winds before then.