I walk down the lane, with a happy refrain


It rained some here overnight. Came down pretty hard, with thunder and lightning even, but it didn't last long. Two-tenths of an inch.

There's more to come throughout the day, they say. Let's hope so. And hope that it helps the firefighters and the people who are under threat. What a mess.

The face on the air quality meter closest to our place has changed from the dark maroon frowny face (hazardous) to the red frowny face (unhealthy). Merely unhealthy – for that we should be grateful, I guess. It's a start.

UPDATE, later that morning: The amount of rain Portlanders got overnight seems to vary quite a bit by neighborhood. My 2-tenths-of-an-inch number is from the rain gauge at Irvington School in close-in Northeast Portland. The airport is showing 3 tenths. Lewis & Clark College, slightly west of the Willamette and on the southern edge of the city, is showing 8 tenths.


  1. That was a magnificent show last night. It started around 3 a.m. with a faint rumble of thunder. I had been up most of the night looking at the same old smoky, windless skies, and I immediately perked up. A single flash followed with no sound. Oh, my God it was going to happen after all. I had looked at the radar map and there was a huge cloud but it all seemed to be going by Portland to the west in a northerly direction. But looking down there was this one nodule of solid rain hooked on the east side of it and it looked like a direct shot on the Rose City. Could it be? I figured from the radar that it would hit at 4:30 a.m. so to have the show start earlier than expected was awesome. I made a pot of coffee and watched out my kitchen window as some bigger and bigger lightning strikes hit every 5 minutes or so. Then there was a textbook flash that lit up the sky over the West Hills. It was a lateral strike that went from the south all the way across the horizon towards Washington. I became a little emotional seeing the earth speak like this. My God, I even saw the top of a tree blowing in the wind. When was the last time that happened around here? Labor Day? Plus I appreciated that the rain wasn't going to return with a whimper - no, it was going to be a Van Halen concert and the lights in the stadium had dimmed. The show was about to start. I sat at the dining room table watching these bolts every 5 minutes or so for like a half hour. Then I heard the unmistakable sound of rain coming down. I could see it on the streets - a most welcome sight. By around 3:40 a.m. the big guns of the storm were here. I went out the front door wearing a sweater and boxer shorts and let the power of the storm rock my spirit. The rain started falling quite hard and the intensity would bump up every few minutes. The lighting out the east side of the house was now coming in huge flashes that lit up the neighborhood brighter than day. But it was the thunder that stole the show. These long peals of thunder would start down south and then cross the sky heading north like God driving by in a hot rod. Over and over they went by - I think the particles in the air might have had an effect on the sound because it was different than thunder I've heard before. It was rolling but it was fierce. I debated waking my wife up but thought better of it. She's from the Chicago area so it's hard to impress her with one of our electrical storms. By 4:30 a.m. the show was over. Van Halen was out in their tour bus - the rain was steady but light. I'd estimate an inch fell in the first half hour. Afterwards the air was still smoky but much better. The sky had spoken. It said, "I run this show, and you tiny people down there can just sit back and deal with it." All told, given the circumstances, it was one hell of a way to break the drought. But now I must compose an email. I believe I owe Matt Zaffino an apology.


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