Wicked Weather

 Posted by at 7:02 am  Nick's Blog
Jan 222010
 

Winter Storm Apache Junction webThe weather forecast has been for rain all week, though it seemed to come in spurts, with periods of blue sky in between. But Wednesday night it began to rain in earnest, and it hasn’t stopped yet.

The rain was accompanied with high winds that whipped the palm trees in our park, Winter Storm Apache Junction 4 weband about 4:30 p.m., the National Weather Service issued tornado watches for southwest Arizona, including Yuma, Quartzsite, and Phoenix! That almost never happens. Up in the high country, heavy snow was falling, with accumulations measured in feet.

There were flash flood warnings for the entire state, and weather reports said that Oak Creek, near Sedona, could crest at 20 feet above normal. Yuma got its normal entire year’s rain accumulation in just one day! It was not a good time to be traveling, and while I was glad we were safely parked with full hookups, I was worried about the many friends we have who are boondocking in the desert at Quartzsite.

Since we get the east and west coast network feeds out of New York and San Francisco, I cranked up the rooftop Winegard batwing antenna, and was grateful to Mark Didelot for setting up our converter box so we could tune in the local channels and get more direct weather reports.

Unexpected bad weather is why we always keep our fresh water tank at least half full, and have enough fuel on board to run our generator, even when we are going to be parked for an extended period of time with full hookups. In fact, when we are going to be sitting still for a while, I always fill our fuel tank. I’m not sure about more modern rigs like our Winnebago, but in our old MCI bus conversion, condensation could accumulate in our diesel fuel tank if it was low and we were parked for several weeks. Having had to deal with that once, I don’t want it to happen again.

Because we lived in snow country in northern Arizona (yes, it snows in Arizona), Terry and I always kept enough provisions on hand to last us for a few days if we got snowed in. As RVers, we can’t carry a fully stocked pantry, but we always have food and fresh water on hand, just in case. There are times when living in a self-contained RV can be very nice.

Bad weather is not the only reason to be prepared. A few summers ago we were at the Thousand Trails preserve near Hershey, Pennsylvania for two weeks. During that time it was pretty hot, and they were having power problems. A transformer had to be replaced twice, leaving the campground without electricity.

No problem, we just opened our windows and ran our Fantastic roof vents to create an air flow, and if it got too hot, we buttoned the bus up and fired up our generator to run the rooftop air conditioner. Several of our neighbors came in with nearly empty tanks, and ran so low on fuel that their generators would not work. Most RV generators are set up so that they will stop drawing fuel from the RV’s tank when it drops below a certain level, to prevent you from running out and being stuck somewhere.

It’s been a long time since I was a Boy Scout, but that motto “Be prepared” still comes in handy.

Thought For The Day – If you don’t pick up the bat, you’ll never hit the ball.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  16 Responses to “Wicked Weather”

  1. We are in Benson and we have had constant rain since early last night and no end in sight…. and they were predicting snow for tomorrow….It is nice to be sitting someplace and not traveling at this time….

  2. So, you were a Boy Scout too?” That old “Be Prepared” motto has served you — and us — well over the years. And you are wrong when you say sometimes living in a self-contained RV can be very nice. Over seven years we have learned that ALL the time, living in a self-contained RV is nice. We’ve also learned that living in a park trailer part of the time and the self-contained RV much of the time is even nicer!

  3. Dare I say it?
    .
    .
    .
    The weather has been nearly perfect here in Fort Lauderdale since our short “cold” spell.
    Work has interfered with my diving, but I’ll get out there.

    I believe there is something to this Global Climate Change stuff. Too much.

    Boy Scouts was good for many of us. Tlhfckoctbcr.

  4. The tornado warning Thursday afternoon woke up our Weather Alert Radio (we were running the inverter or the genset at the time) but reminded us it was time to change the battery in it. It also apparently caused them to evacuate the Big Tent area and to close up shop for the day. Watching the weather radar we had a long band of “red” covering us around 5:15 pm and then later watched the online version of a Phoenix TV weather report and saw that same band had passed through their area and stretched from Fountain Hills down through Gila Bend/Ajo. Hope all the RVers were safely parked above the local washes and area rivers. Unfortunately, another mixed day of weather is expected today. On the SKP Boomer’s BBB it was suggested we have a campfire workshop today on Building an Ark. Not a bad idea. 🙂

    – Judy
    (in “Boomerville”)

  5. We’re out on the desert 6 miles south of Quartzsite. No problem right here, but highway 95 to Yuma was supposedly closed for a while – water over the road in places. Five semi’s and one RV were pushed over on I-10, west of Quartzsite. Not a good day to be on the road.

    The main tent at the RV show was closed around noon and everyone forced out. They were worried about highwinds pulling it down. We were in Q at 10 AM and all of the vendor tents in our short drive around were buttoned up. Lots of water standing.

    In short, it was not a good day in Quartzsite yesterday. More wind and rain predicted for today. Right now, my neighbors wind-charger is dead still. But I’m sure it will be turning shortly.

    Gene

  6. Jim the Geek said, “Boy Scouts was good for many of us. Tlhfckoctbcr.”

    Close to 50 years now, and I can *still* recite that!

  7. Nick,
    Look into an occasional bottle of Power Service to help treat your fuel. I use their DFS (diesel fuel service) during the winter months particularly for my work van (sprinter), once a month and once every other month over the warmer months just for good measure. It can help with any water accumulation, plus keeps your injectors in good order.

  8. Thanks for today’s blog post Nick. Jill and I have been fulltiming for 3 years and I have always believed that we should keep half a tank of water onboard and fill our diesel tank when we will be stationary for several weeks. But my father-in-law said the fuel and water would both go stale, so my wife never wanted me to do either. Now that you have said Nickd oe sit, she wants me to do the same! I’m not sure if I’m jealous or appreciative! We always learn new things from your blogs as well as being entertained, for which we are both grateful.

  9. Nick, I was only a Girl Scout…what on earth is Tlhfckoctbcr?

  10. Well, we THOUGHT we would be staying put through these series of storms on the coast of California. We are park hosting for the state and were evacuated from our park in Ventura. All the state parks in the area are closed due to flooding or high swells. We are parked at a day used park with hookups but only 20 amp, I’m grateful for that. When we moved on Tuesday DH spent about an hour in the driving rain trying to hook up to elec, it kept tripping because of the moisture. He finally got it working and came in soaking wet. Of course, then the sun came out for awhile! There was an F1 tornado about 5 miles away that was on the national news last night. Maybe this year there is no sunny, warm place to be!

  11. Susan, if we told you, we’d have to kill you! ;>)

  12. Rick, the Boy Scout Law is not a secret!

    “A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.”

  13. We are in Quartzsite at Roses RV for INTO (International area rally of FMCA). NASTY, NASTY, NASTY yesterday. Wind gusts up to 78mph recorded. Lots o f rain. Some damage around the area but today everyone out and about cleaning up and shopping. PowWow now going on and most vendors were open. We had no damage as we put up all awnings and took in all chairs, etc before the big wind/rain storm. Some rocking and rolling but lots of coaches around us to break wind. Tonight going into the 30s. Yes, Global Change is happening.

  14. Hi Nick. I have been following your blog for a couple of months now and thank you very much for what you do.

    I am a 57 year old good ole boy from the beautiful province of British Columbia. My lovely wife (of 35 years) Janet and I are fortunate to live in the Okanagan valley in a small town named Summerland. (I think you will like that name). We have 4 grown daughters and now 4 grandchildren . Oops, just about forgot Coco the pomeranian.

    We own a 5th wheel and have made one 6 week trip down Oregon coast, San Diego, Yuma BLM, Lake Havasu, Las Vegas, Reno and back home. We hope within the next few years to be free to tackle the RV life.

    Another thank you to you for inspiring me to invest in writing my thoughts down in a blog. The blog can be found at alhays.blogspot.com and I would very much appreciate any comments you may have.

    You may alias as Bad Nick but there have been times Evil Al must break out.

    Best regards to you and Miss Terry.

  15. I’m in Quartzsite parked on BLM land across HWY 95 from the RV tent. Some vendors there today told me they had up to 2 feet of water in their booths prior to closing down yesterday. I spoke with a waitress at Casa del Sol. She said lots of folks were out during the storm at the restaurant. She was delayed getting home due to swollen washes. One worker at the RV Pit Stop told me they were busy all during the storm. He says it brings them out. I cannot imagine what those folks were thinking (were they?). I had placed my generator on blocks to keep it out of water the day prior to the storm and made other preparations which paid off. I certainly didn’t expect the high winds which I am in no doubt reached gusts of 78mph. I’ve seen worse rain in Oregon but never wind like we had. A fellow in our group failed to tell any of us about the tornado warning which he thought was funny. By the time I settled all my animals down and turned on my scanner which has weather alerts, the warning was nearly over. Pretty scarey stuff. Just cold and windy today with some slight rain in the forecast. I will add that RVer’s are back in full numbers this year after two lean years in Quartzsite. Everything you do is hurry up and wait. But, I love it!

  16. Weather here has been ok but a predicted cold front is moving in… Now that I am on the road to recovery and hoping the doctor will release me next Thursday so we can move on to our next destination… Dallas then San Antonio. I am so ready to go somewhere new and hopefully get out of this frigid weather. Have fun & travel safe!
    Donna

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