Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Tropical Storm Hillary pretty much went like we said it would (though I'll admit the earthquake caught me off guard)

Basically what we said about the storm Sunday morning, butt now in the past tense... except for the earthquake. 

I was sitting on the couch watching the local news that afternoon. I'd taken a walk a little while earlier to see how things were looking. The rain had been mild but steady (the heavy stuff wasn't forecast until after midnight) and the air was mostly still. That's why I was so surprised when the building started to sway. My first thought was that wind feels almost like an earthquake. Then the alert went off on my phone and I noticed the news anchors had stopped talking and were looking around the studio.

Though it was felt over a considerable distance, the earthquake didn't do any major damage and so far there haven't been any major aftershocks. Much like the storm, it was more notable for its timing than its magnitude.

While Hillary was a severe storm, in terms of damage and loss of life, it was far from the worst storm we've seen recently, partially because the eye passed over the most populous part of the state.

 By Washington Post Staff | Aug 21, 2023

Los Angeles officials said Monday morning that there had been no known reports of deaths or major damage from Tropical Storm Hilary, as officials throughout Southern California begin to assess the storm’s toll. The storm, which no longer has tropical characteristics, swept through the deserts of California, Arizona and Nevada on Sunday, bringing brief but heavy downpours and record rainfall. Some of the effects were already evident Monday: deserts deluged with rainwater, motorists pushing broken-down cars across highways, disrupted air travel and mass power outages. 

And while you might have heard...

Dodger Stadium did not flood.

Contrary to popular belief, this weekend’s tropical storm did not transform Dodger Stadium into a forlorn island surrounded by floodwaters.


“Reflection of light,” said Times photographer Robert Gauthier, who captured new images on Monday. “That’s what it seems like.”

Still pictures and video of the inundated stadium drew tens of thousands of views on social media. Amid a wet, wild and historically abnormal weekend — which also included an earthquake — it isn’t surprising that people would be ready to believe anything.



  1. I'm not American but it does look to me like there is surface flooding at the far end and sides - water backed up because it can't run away at the moment. In the 2005, photo you can see the line markings but in 2023 shot you can't even see the bright blue triangular road marking. Also, you can see ripples where the water is running away along the line of shrubs, towards the bottom right, and on the left where there is an edge created by water running off the road into a standing pool. I am not surprised it dried up overnight - once the pooled water could run away, the heat stored in the concrete would evapourate the rest.

    1. It certainly looks that way, but that doesn't match the timing of the storm. When those pictures were taken Sunday, we'd only had a few hours of moderate rain. It didn't get heavy until after midnight and cleared off around sunrise. (Very fast moving storm.) Not much time for pooled water to dry out.

    2. I commented as Mark. No idea why blogger is being difficult.