Goodbye 2022, hello 2023

Happy New Year, friends. I hope you all arrived safely in 2023. Please excuse the late New Year’s greeting. I have no idea how we’re almost halfway through January already, but here we are.

We had a little bit of a wild start into the new year. California was hit with an atmospheric river, which is basically a series of bomb cyclones that bring waves of wind and lots of rain. In drought-stricken California, we usually take whatever precipitation we can get, but of course, we also can’t handle too much water all at once either. There are not enough reservoirs, and the soil gets saturated so fast that it causes major flooding issues.

New Year’s Eve was pretty stormy and it rained nonstop. We stayed in and celebrated the New Year from the couch (yes, we did make it until midnight).

As always, I tried to start the new year on the “right foot”, literally, by getting my first few running miles of 2023 under my belt. The rain had stopped in the morning, thank goodness, and I got out for a (scheduled) 7-mile training run. I ran through our neighborhood and determined that the storm couldn’t have been that bad. There were some downed branches and lots of debris, but I didn’t see any major impacts… until I listened to the news and heard that there was severe flooding in South Sacramento, Highway 99 was partially flooded and three people drowned. Ugh.

But that wasn’t the end of it.

The next round of storms hit us last weekend. Saturday night was c-r-a-z-y. We’ve had our share of bad storms in the past, but I don’t think I have experienced this kind of wind. And our neighborhood – and really, ALL of California – suffered. At some point, I heard a loud noise and I was convinced it was thunder, but Jon said right away: that was a tree that came crashing down.

And he was right. When I stepped out the next morning for a run, there was a huge tree (just a few houses down on our street) that had fallen on the house across the street and completely ripped up the sidewalk (first picture). I saw multiple more downed trees on my run, some of which were blocking streets or had taken down powerlines.

Luckily, we never lost power, but many people did.

I also decided to run up to the American River to check on its water level. While the river is definitely visibly swollen, it’s not anywhere near the top of the levee (yet), which is good. They’ve done a decent amount of work along the levees in recent months, too. The American River joins the north-south running Sacramento river near downtown, and we do have a huge Yolo bypass floodplain that can be used to divert water away from the city! This is probably more than you wanted to know about flood control in the Sacramento area, but I find it fascinating how these things work.

I am sorry I talked about weather so much here, but it’s been on the forefront of everyone’s mind – not just around here, but pretty much everywhere in California. And while I know that we do need the rain (and associated snow pack in the Sierra Nevada), I am hoping that the storm cycle will let up and give us a moment to recover. Let’s all take a collective deep breath, shall we? Ok, good.

I want to emphasize that otherwise, we had a good start into the new year (really can’t complain!) and I am looking forward to what this new year will bring. I am looking forward to showing up here and strengthening our little community. Who’s with me?

And tell me, how was the start into the new year in your part of the world?

  1. OH MY GOSH! That tree is huge! Glad you are ok, and I hope the rest of the year is less exciting, weather wise.

    1. Thank you Sarah. I hope things calm down a bit.

  2. I am all the way on the other side of the country in New England and have been following the Cali weather on the news. Sending you good thoughts (and calmer weather) through the second half of January!

    1. Thank you Lindsay – I appreciate it :)

  3. Flooding is so scary, and it makes a person feel so helpless. I guess it really shows that Mother Nature is really the boss here. We had severe flooding in 2013 and it was absolutely terrifying. I hope you stay safe!

    1. Thank you Nicole. Flooding is really scary… I hope the rain lets up soon.

  4. Flooding is so scary! Weather-wise we’ve had a very “light” winter so far. Mild temps and almost no snow. We’re supposed to get a lot of rain tomorrow, but then maybe more snow in the coming days?

    Aside from the weather, it’s been a really nice start to a new year. Last January was especially tough with another wave of lockdowns and at-home learning and I was just feeling completely and utterly worn out. So this year I think I feel extra happy and optimistic because life has just been a lot more pleasant at the start of the year!

    1. I am glad you’re having a mild winter and good start to the new year, friend.

  5. Oh my goodness, San. That looks so dreadful. I’m glad that you have had minimal issues, but the reports of what so many are enduring are really upsetting. Maybe this will be like that old saying about March (in like a lion, out like a lamb) and the rest of the year will be lovely calm weather for California?

    I adore your holiday card. So pretty. And still so jolting to see your full name! Haha! I guess I get so accustomed to everyone’s blog names that it’s hard to retrain the brain. :-)

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, Suzanne – both about the weather and our holiday card ;)
      Just keep thinking of me as San though – I know it’s hard to retrain the brain.

  6. Yikes, that’s way too close a call. I hope everything settles down soon.

    We spent NYE at home and went to bed at 11:30;-)

    1. You didn’t make it to midnight then? Girl! LOL

  7. I am in the same part of the world as you, so you know how it goes…I actually went up to Rhonert Park for a holiday party on Saturday, and went for a run first in the headlands and I was surprised and pleased that it was not bad in the morning. Not only did I get a completely rain free run, but the trails were in good shape (a few divots here and there but nothing serious). What a difference from Oakland where all the parks are closed due to downed trees and washed out trails.

    There we go, talking about the weather again! Other than that, this year has been uneventful, but I am starting to plan some things for the summer, which is very exciting! I can’t wait for some new adventures!

    1. I am glad things are okay where you are… but yeah, it’s funny how one area is okay and the next neighborhood over is completely devastated.

  8. I love talking about weather, haha, so I’m happy to chat about it at any time! Like Nicole said, Mother Nature just really likes to show us who is boss at times, and this whole situation in California is definitely proof of that. This all looks very scary! I’m glad you guys fared okay and I hope things clear up for you guys soon!

    1. Thanks Stephany… it feels like we’re all taking turns worrying about the weather right now… hurricanes in Florida, tornadoes in Alabama, storms/flooding here… I hope it all settles down soon.

  9. That is CRAZY weather for you. Our January weather has been beautiful so far, after a very warm fall. Yes, you do need rain but not all at once. I hope things calm down a little!

    1. Thank you Jenny… we definitely need the rain, but I’ll take it in smaller doses please ;)

  10. Those storms must have been scary to hear. I always find them a bit exhilarating too but when you see these trees afterwards it is just scary. I am glad you are all fine.
    I have heard once when a tree was struck by lightening. That was a loud weird noise.

    It is good to hear other than the storms you had a good start int the new year. I am definitely here for blogging and our little community. I just wished I can read all the blog posts on time. That is a real struggle for me currently.

    1. Oh girl, I hear you… I can never stay on top of my Feedly Reader, as much as I am trying to. Don’t feel bad about it. ;)

  11. Midwesterners LOVE to talk about weather so I am here for any and all weather talk! Although I wish you hadn’t experienced weather that is worth talking about. Those pictures of the downed trees are crazy!! I hope things normal soon!

    We had had a super snowy winter so far. We have had 48” of snow, 15” of which we got 2 weeks ago during a 2 day snow event. We usually get 51” total in a winter. And we haven’t even hit our snowiest month which is typically March! Then we got freezing rain last week so the sidewalks are dangerously icy, which makes running very hard. I was hoping the ice would melt this weekend so I could do a 4 mile run but it hasn’t so I have kept my runs short since it’s so awful out there!

    But weather aside, it’s been a good start to the year! I’m still feeling the new year energy even though Jan is half over!

    1. Haha, thank you Lisa… I am glad you like to talk about the weather… it seems like every state has some sort of crazy weather recently. I know you guys had A LOT of snow. I wish we could even it all out a little bit… wouldn’t that be nice? ;)

      I am happy to hear you that you feel good about this new year…. hope it’s going to be a good one.

  12. Happy New Year San! The rain has been crazy, and I am glad for the break coming soon. I’ll admit to hoping that after a week or two of quiet and dry, we get more rain in February and March, though. Mostly, we will need more snowpack. But for now, I am definitely ready for things to dry out!

    1. I totally get it, J… we need the rain and want the rain but we need it in smaller doses ;)

  13. I am so with you on the rain. The only time I can remember this much rain was in 2005 when we moved here and I don’t remember it being so windy at the same time. I also wonder how I ever managed to live through a dreary northern German winter when already two weeks of rain leave me craving sunshine.

  14. It’s just so scary when you have dangerous weather – there’s nothing you can do about it! i’m glad you were relatively unscathed, but it’s never a great feeling to have so much weather anxiety and uncertainty about whether or not you’ll have electricity or be able to get basic supplies and the like.

    It’s been really warm here (for January in Wisconsin) and all the snow has melted, which is not great. We need a good layer of snow to keep the ground cold and prevent plants from popping up too early because it’s inevitable that the weather will get super cold again before spring!

  15. You never have to apologize for talking about the weather! It’s nutso (and interesting, and sad). I am glad you and your house are okay!

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