Weather-wise by PJ Schramel, your Weather Wonk
San Carlos’ solar-powered blanket “saves our bacon”.
Despite the relative coolness of San Carlos this past week (the Proto-German type, if you recall), a quick look up north, this week, reveals an even more ghastly situation. A Frigid Arctic Blast! Arggg!!!!
Yes, the first episode of a Frigid Arctic Blast (the Wonk’s emphasis) has descended on the Lower 48 and will likely produce temps below freezing in all 48 contiguous states. It’s not a record-setting blast but even Florida is not expected to escape some freezing temps.
Not to worry in San Carlos, though………..so you can come in off the balcony railing, Chauncey! You were thinking of ending it all, rather than wearing long pants and a jacket? I can dig it, brutha.
A combination of factors keeps us insulated from most of these Frigid Arctic Blasts. Mostly, it is the relatively warm ocean water at our doorstep. Lots of solar heat being stored in the Sea. Air moving over a 65 F liquid has some of its chill mitigated. Since our prevailing winds (i.e., most common winds) are anywhere from WNW to S, air traveling slowly over this has some of the teeth knocked out of it.
The other major factor is the “jet stream”, forcing the west-to-east direction of these Frigid Arctic Blasts. By the time the cold air mass descends towards us, it has traveled too far east to affect us much. This is why latitudes similar to ours, but further east (like the Florida Panhandle), will feel the effects while we take a pass. Plus, they have no large body of warm water for the cold air to pass OVER, before it reaches them. Only cold land.
For us to experience a FAB, the jet stream must dive much farther south and west from the Frigid North. It happens, but not this week………
Wednesday: this constitutes our FAB. The ebbing of the south wind (of the past two days) still has enough strength to keep the not-so-FAB temps at bay. High: 20.5/69. Low: 12/53. Light winds, with some clouds hanging around.
Thursday/Friday/Saturday: Lo and behold, we have our first predicted highs above 24/75 in maybe 7-10 days! Rejoice, rejoice!! Moderately strong, drier winds from the WNW are our tradeoff. Highs: 25.5/78. Lows: 14.5/58.
Sunday: a notch or two downward on the highs as a cold front passes north of us…….. but still above 24/75! High: 24.5/76. Low: 14.5/58.
Monday/Tuesday: high pressure builds behind the front, producing warmer temps. Dare we hope for a day above 80F? Highs: 26/79. Lows: 15/59.
So, lives in San Carlos have been saved, once again, by our excellent location. Our “bacon” has been saved, as the saying goes.
Where did this odd expression come from? The earliest recorded use is from Ireland in the 1600s. Makes sense to me. Any culture so dedicated to potatoes (like those fanatic Idahoans!) would certainly know the importance of bacon as a topping, right? So, “saving your bacon” became synonymous with saving your life, because, well, what is life without bacon?
And the saying has never gone out of fashion, due mostly to the rise of Baconmania in the U.S. and Canada (it’s a phenomenon; Wiki it!). There are bacon camps, the Bacon-ator hamburger at Wendy’s, probably a bacon Yahoo group and there is even baconnaise as a substitute for mayonnaise.
In point of fact, there is a cult of Baconmaniacs right here in San Carlos!! The bacon at Santa Rosa market seems to be their holy icon of worship. The rest of us “infidels” are still buying Bafar, Oscar Mayer and Burr brands. It’s like the different denominations of Christianity or Islam, I guess, without the holy wars (thus far). So, if someone shows up at your holiday dinner with their OWN bacon bits, you can be certain they worship at Santa Rosa…………
Other “phrases of praise” for bacon have followed, since the 1600s. The Wonk’s favorites? Well, you’ve never heard someone say “that’s too much bacon”, have you? Not going to happen.
And then there’s the now famous, but often misquoted, line from the great American orator, Patrick Henry, during the period of American Independence.
“Give me bacon, or give me death!”
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