Unusual July showers bring change of pace for Bay Area residents

NOVATO, Calif. (KTVU) - With windshield wipers and headlights on, along with umbrellas and jackets in hand, some Bay Area residents were wondering if it was really July 9th.

"There was not enough rain collected to keep a goldfish alive, let's put it that way," joked Jeff Coplin, co-owner of Matt & Jeff's Car Wash in Novato.

Coplin and his customers were enjoying the unseasonable rain, although he told KTVU he was busy enough Thursday, he figures the wet weather won't last much longer.

"I think people were frankly, shocked. It's been so long. It's been so long since we've actually had rain."

Surprisingly, the last Bay Area rain was one month ago, June 10, another oddball summer day of sprinkles.

In downtown Santa Rosa, it was downright chilly, which disappointed some visitors from San Mateo who had planned a day of Russian River kayaking.

"It's good for the drought, I guess, but not so good for our vacation," admitted one.

"It's like a continuation of our winter that we never had, so we have to get it sometime," declared another passerby. 

By Thursday evening, the moisture seemed to be easing somewhat, along with the puddles.

At least the landscaping got a much-needed drink.

But it seems the rain was more a mood-lifter than anything else.

"It smelled nice, the smell of rain always smells good. Clears the air!" was one observation.

"Rain in July," exclaimed another young man, "it shouldn't be raining, so right on!"

Many people said they wished the rain would stick around.

"It is unusual, and we love it," declared one shopper, "we love it and we need it. As much as we can!"

At Indian Valley College in Novato, young swimmers took their marks for swim practice, in 62 degree weather.

"The kids are fine, the water is warm, 82 degrees, as long as we don't have them on the pool deck too much," Riptides Coach Jean Haley told KTVU, " the only ones with the goose bumps are the younger ones a bit, they don't have much body fat on them."  

One mom watching practice noted it was scorching outside only last week, so her nine-year-old twins were enjoying the drizzle.

"It's fun because it doesn't happen often," smiled Tianka Dimoba, "Kids, they like something that's different. Breaks the routine, makes it a bit more fun."