“One touch of Nature makes the whole world kin.”
~ William Shakespeare
Last Friday afternoon, driving home from Pasadena during the monsoonal thunderstorm, Shakespeare’s “One Touch of Nature” almost got the best of me. After reading the CV Weekly for the past two years, you have probably figured, besides summer evenings and Santa Ana winds, weather-wise I love rain the best. Well, not true (this time) when I hit a large patch of water on the flooded Foothill (210) Freeway. Steering and braking were non-existent. I really didn’t know what was happening and certainly had no control over it. Somehow I made it safely – across three lanes – to the emergency lane on the side of the freeway and turned on my emergency flashers. All the while, I managed to stay calm and apply all those rules in case of such an incident.
As I waited for my “knight in shining armor” (my husband) to rescue this damsel, the thunder and lightening ripped across the sky and the rain came in torrents. I felt a total sense of calm … I was alive! Whew – all’s well, that ends well.
By the end of the day we had received 1.27 inches of rain and I knew firsthand the definition of *hydroplaning.
“The rain in CV stays mainly in The Foothills.”
“Now once again, where does it rain?”
“In The Foothills, in The Foothills …”
Well, Professor Higgins, this is usually not the case! Roads, streets and freeways become rain channels during storms, making for dangerous driving conditions. Now with temperatures climbing into the 80s, writing about “driving during dangerous weather conditions” seems a little odd. But this year’s late arrival of the rainy season has been unusual also. So, read ahead – these tips I gathered from various sources may save your life.
Rainy Weather and Driving in
1. Keep tires and wiper blades in good condition.
2. Use headlights – it’s the law.
3. Always have a charged cell phone and flashlight within reach.
4. Keep the gas tank half full.
5. Drive in the center lanes. Water tends to pool in the outer ones.
6. Slow down – skidding and hydroplaning* are more likely on wet surfaces.
7. Allow for more space around your vehicle.
8. Don’t use cruise control.
9. Avoid unnecessary driving.
10. Try and stay calm if an emergency arises.
*Hydroplaning is when a thin film of water comes between the tires and the road. At this time there is no contact between the tires’ rubber and the pavement.
Showers are expected this weekend, but aren’t of the nature to impact our lives much. On the evenings of April 21 and April 22, in the dark of a new moon, the annual Lyrid meteor shower will put on a show.
Sue Kilpatrick is a
Crescenta Valley resident and
Official Skywarn Spotter for the
National Weather Service. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.