We're in the middle of a true Pacific winter storm, with driving rain and 20-30mph winds. This is badly needed; we're coming off a winter with only about 35% of typical rainfall, and we've only had about two inches so far this year. This storm was forecast to give us a couple of inches, and as of 2:45pm it had already dropped 2.8 inches. A panoramic from the top of the vineyard:
According to local meteorologists, the reason for the storm is that a long-lasting ridge of Pacific high pressure (that was giving us cold but dry weather) dissolved last weekend, opening the way for a series of cold, wet storm systems out of the Pacific Northwest to drop far enough south to affect us. And it does not look like this storm will be a one-off. There are two more systems lined up behind this one, and I've read in two weather forecasts that "the storm door is open". Let's hope so.
Two more photos that give a feel for the stormy morning: