Dennis’ Local Almanac

By DENNIS McTIGHE

May gloom in full swing

The L.A. Angels have already found their comfort zone which is last place in their division, and it only took them around 45 games to get there. I really feel bad for Mike Trout whose superstar performance year after year has gone to waste. At least Shohei Ohtani got out of there and he’s with a real winner, as he is surrounded by high-caliber players up and down the Dodgers’ line-up.

Currently the Dodgers own the second-best record in baseball and are a pretty sure bet to win their division, thus advancing to the postseason once again. Trout is a humble guy, honoring his contract with little or no complaining but just imagine, if you will, the kind of numbers he’d be putting up if he had any kind of support from the rest of that line-up.

Meanwhile, here in Laguna, the gloom is pretty much running the show as local daily temps are near or below seasonal norms, still looking for that elusive 70-degree day. Normal hi-lo to date is 72-56. The curse continues along much of the East Coast and Northeast with chilly temps and dampness over much of that region for yet another weekend washout. High temps during the workweek climbed into the 80s and of course never made it out of the 50s when the weekend arrived. Up to this point, tornado totals for the country are well above normal and violent tornado numbers are way up with several EF-3s and EF-4s that killed people and did catastrophic damage to many in the plains and Midwest. Right now, it’s peak season.

When I was only 5, I was introduced to severe weather, and I’ve craved it ever since. Severe weather really gets me going, but casualties and damage take the charm out of all that atmospheric madness. I was tornado chasing way back as early as 1971 when I drove from Laguna all the way to Oklahoma, the capital of violent thunderstorms known as super cells just to experience the sheer power of this kind of weather. On August 3, 1952, my path in life was chosen as right then and there in the Grand Canyon during an intense thunderstorm I knew what I wanted to do in life.

There are folks out there that never find their path in life, but I was one of the lucky ones. My path literally found me! Imagine the rush I got when I witnessed hail the size of grapefruits falling out of the sky at over 100 mph with lightning every three seconds with ear piercing thunder to follow. I’m talking thunder that scares grown men under bunk beds! Doesn’t scare me one bit, as I thrive on that kind of stuff.

I do realize that not everyone shares that kind of mindset when it comes to this type of dramatics. I’ve also witnessed two category 5 hurricanes, Patricia in 2015 in a remote area of mainland Mexico between Acapulco and Manzanillo, and Linda in September 1997 near Cabo San Lucas – although it wasn’t a direct hit, but the waves from Linda were 35 ft. I also witnessed a full-on blizzard in 1983 near Yosemite. There was a flash flood near Sedona, Ariz. in July 1978 caused by two inches of rain in just a half hour. There was an intense microburst just outside of Tucson, Ariz. three years ago and a 2.6-mile-wide EF-5 tornado with winds of 318 mph near El Reno, Okla. in May 2013. I’ve definitely seen my share of radical stuff, and I’ll keep on chasing this stuff ‘til I drop!

No dramatics here this week with more gloom and below normal temps, but the sun does try and peek through in the afternoons.

See y’all next week, ALOHA!


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