Rainfall, Gray Whales, Venus, and the Short-Lived Quadrantid Meteor Shower
Highest Monthly Rainfall totals in San Diego are most likely to occur in January and February (nearly two inches each on average) according to weather-service statistics. If low temperatures accompany the typical Pacific storms of this period, there's a chance of snow in the mountains, including a very slim chance of snowfall as far west as the coast. Only during the months of December and January have traces of snow ever been recorded at San Diego's National Weather Service station.
Gray Whale Migration off San Diego County's coast peaks this month. The best view spots from land are high points close to the surf. Aside from the whale watching overlook at Cabrillo National Monument, try Sunset Cliffs, the pocket parks and dead-end streets from Pacific Beach to Scripps Park in La Jolla, various ocean overlooks on the trail system at Torrey Pines State Reserve, the cliffs opposite Carmel Valley Road south of Del Mar, overlooks opposite Lomas Santa Fe Drive in Solana Beach, and various clifftop view points and beach access stairways in Encinitas and Leucadia. Scan the ocean a few hundred yards to a couple of miles out using high-power binoculars. Best times for viewing are about 9 a.m. to noon.
Venus continues blazing bright in the west as a brilliant "evening star" visible at dusk and into the early night hours for the next several weeks. By early March, however, Venus will be slipping into the sun's glare. In early April, Venus emerges again as a bright "morning star" visible in the east at dawn. It will continue its morning-star apparition through the remainder of 2009.
The Short-Lived Quadrantid Meteor Shower peaks in the late-night hours (11 p.m. to 5 a.m.) on the night/morning of January 2-3. Meteor numbers will increase toward dawn to as many as 100 per hour, assuming the event is observed from a clear, dark, rural location. The meteors seem to radiate from the constellation Bootes, which is in the eastern sky during this time period.
More like this:
- The Quadrantid Meteor Shower, Extreme Tides — Jan. 2, 2011
- The Taurid Meteor Shower and the Planet Venus — Nov. 4, 2010
- The Perseid Meteor Shower, Venus, Mars, and Saturn — Aug. 11, 2010
- Venus As Evening Star — Feb. 10, 2010
- Leonid Meteor Shower — Nov. 16, 2009