Extreme weather… they are looking out for us

Cuyler Diggs of KGUN Nine TV and Capt. Ryan Miller of the Golder Ranch Fire District.

Cuyler Diggs of KGUN Nine TV and Capt. Ryan Miller of the Golder Ranch Fire District.

Pam Boedeker

SaddleBrooke Nature Club focused on extreme weather at its November meeting. Dan Chase coordinated the program with Cuyler Diggs of KGUN Nine and the Golder Ranch Fire Department.

Cyler Diggs started the program talking about predicting weather in the Tucson area. His 12 years in the community have made him more aware of the idiosyncrasies affecting southern Arizona weather.

While there are new weather computers and forecast models, the influence of mountains, tropical patterns, elevation and shifting winds have to be factored into the predictions. This makes it even more challenging for Cuyler, a competitive person who hates to be wrong!

The two most extreme weather conditions common to our area are flooding and dust storms. Both happen quickly and are hard to predict.

News media work with the National Weather Service to advise but not unnecessarily frighten residents. There have been improvements that have allowed the release of potential dust storm advisories. SaddleBrooke is fortunate to be protected from the dust storms by the Catalinas. There are sensors on bridges that have aided in anticipating the walls of flood water as they travel from the mountains to the city.

Cuyler said that indications are in place for an El Nino winter. We can anticipate a wetter winter. However, temperatures should not drop severely because of the cloud cover and humidity.

Ann Marie Braswell and Captain Miller from Golder Ranch Fire Department spoke to the club about the services our Fire Department has to offer. They emphasized the importance of calling the Fire Department with concerns. Gas leaks, carbon monoxide, unusual odors, chemical spills, hazardous materials and lightning strikes were some of the more frequent emergencies.

Overcharged golf carts due to old or defective batteries and chargers are one of the main causes of dangerous carbon monoxide levels in SaddleBrooke. While carbon monoxide monitors are not required in the state of Arizona, they are a good idea. It’s best they are placed high and near the bedroom area.

Smoke detectors are required. Batteries should be replaced yearly. Detectors themselves should be replaced every 10 years. Call 911 and say you have a non-emergency. The Fire Department will come and help with replacing your batteries. They would rather come to your home to help in this way than come in an ambulance because you have fallen from a ladder replacing batteries yourself!

The Golder Ranch Fire Department assists in swift water and mountain rescues, building collapse and trench rescues. These men and women work on their physical fitness constantly in order to meet the physical demands of their job. The ongoing training they participate in is impressive. We in SaddleBrooke are in very good hands!

SaddleBrooke Nature Club meets at 4:00 p.m. the second Monday of each month in the Coyote Room downstairs at the HOA One Clubhouse.

Check the website for upcoming programs, trips and membership information at www.SaddleBrookeNatureClub.com.