Big Sur Information

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Links for phone users who can’t see the links to the right without scrolling through two years of posts. I’ll start with just a few, but if you have others you wish to see here, let me know.

Alert Wildfire: https://www.alertwildfire.org/

CHP dispatch: https://cad.chp.ca.gov/Traffic.aspx

LPNF dispatch: https://www.wildwebe.net/?dc_name=CALPCC

Watch Duty: https://www.watchduty.org

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PORTIONS OF THE LOS PADRES NATIONAL FOREST ON THE SOUTH COAST OF BIG SUR CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE DUE TO ROAD AND TRAIL DAMAGE. SEE LISTING HERE: https://bigsurkate.blog/2023/03/13/parts-of-lpnf-reopen-but-these-portions-remain-closed-due-to-damage/

Current Closure Order as of 9/1/23 is here: https://https://bigsurkate.blog/2023/09/05/forest-closure-update-for-9-1-10-31/

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IMPORTANT, READ THIS POST FIRST FOR INFORMATION ABOUT VISITING BIG SUR!! HIGHWAY ONE IS CLOSED FROM LIMEKILN STATE PARK (ALSO CLOSED DUE TO STORM DAMAGE) TO LUCIA, A TWO MILE STRETCH DUE TO STORM DAMAGE AT PAUL’S SLIDE.

**NACIMIENTO-FERGUSSON ROAD, SOUTH COAST RIDGE ROAD, PLASKETT RIDGE ROAD, LOB BURROS ROAD ARE ALL CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, PROBABLY UNTIL March 2024 FOR NACIMIENTO AND UNKNOWN RE THE OTHERS. THIS IS DUE TO SEVERE ROAD AND TRAIL DAMAGE**

Interactive Highway Map with Mile Markers and slide names is to the right, under “Pages” first one *Big Sur Interactive Maps... if the following link doesn’t work. *Big Sur Interactive Slide Maps will answer any questions you may have about where something is in relation to something else.

MY DIRECT EMAIL IS: kwnovoa@mac.com

 

El Niño Winter, 2023-2024

From Dr. Daniel Swain, aka Weather West. While this is quite long, as he says toward the end of this article, it is an important conversation, and I would urge you to read the entire thing: “Some additional thoughts regarding the still strengthening El Niño and its implications for western U.S. hydroclimate during winter 2023-24.

International dynamical models ensemble is now unanimous in predicting strong to very strong #ElNiño event that will peak sometime this winter. This is a remarkably strong signal, so I’m reasonably confident that the oceanic signature of a strong EN will actually occur.

Additionally, there’s good consensus that this #ElNiño event will be centered in the eastern Pacific basin, versus the central Pacific (i.e., this is not “#ElNiño Modoki”). High confidence in strong, east-based event signals increased likelihood of WUS hydroclimate impacts.

Canonically, that would mean increased odds of a drier than usual winter across the PacNW & Hawaii and of a wetter than usual winter across much of California, Arizona, and New Mexico. But although El Niño’s never the only game in town, that’s especially true this year.

In addition the likely strong El Niño event clearly apparent in the eastern tropical Pacific, nearly the entirety of the global oceans have been (and are projected to remain) far warmer than average (and record warm in some places). This complicates things considerably.

The co-occurrence of numerous pockets of exceptionally/record warm ocean water outside of the tropics with a strong east-based #ElNiño event has essentially not been observed before. The oceans presently have, and are expected to retain, a configuration without modern analogue.

Because ENSO teleconnections are driven by anomalous ocean temps gradients as well as absolute ocean warmth, this has potential to throw wrench into things. How? Depends: different mechanisms could either interfere with or reinforce “classic” ENSO teleconnections.

Extraordinary warmth in mid-latitude oceans will reduce anomalous latitudinal ocean temperature gradient, for example, perhaps weakening subtropical jet response. But those same warm waters will add additional moisture atmosphere, potentially enhancing those storms that do form.

All of that said: here’s a probabilistic take from the large ECMWF seasonal ensemble. Here, I’m focusing on potential for conditions to fall into in the wettest (or driest) third of Jan-Mar periods on record, rather than just looking at averages.

All of that said: here’s a probabilistic take from the large ECMWF seasonal ensemble. Here, I’m focusing on potential for conditions to fall into in the wettest (or driest) third of Jan-Mar periods on record, rather than just looking at averages.

There’s a strong signal toward emerging/worsening drought (precip in the lowest 33% of years) in the Pacific Northwest and SW British Columbia, as well as the entire Hawaiian island chain, this winter.

Meanwhile, there’s a modest signal toward a second consecutive wet winter in the Pacific Southwest, especially coastal/central & southern CA. Notably, however, this is less certain than the drought signal in the PacNW & Hawaii.

These probabilistic outlooks represent tilts in the odds, not certainties. A wide range of outcomes remains possible. But given potential for dry winter in PacNW to worsen existing drought, & for wet winter in CA to follow wet antecedents, this is an important conversation.

Finally: Despite caveats, there is meaningful physical & statistical information embedded in this. So just as I’d advise folks to be wary of social media folks “overhyping” El Niño, I’d advise same regarding folks saying ENSO tells us nothing about SW US hydroclimate!

Highway One winter prep work

Date:Monday September 18, 2023
District:05 – Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz Counties
Contact:Kevin Drabinski or Jim Shivers
Phone:(805) 549-3138 or (805) 549-3237 
  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WINTER PREP WORK ON HIGHWAY 1 CONTINUES BETWEEN

CARMEL HIGHLANDS AND GARRAPATA STATE PARK

MONTEREY COUNTY – Travelers in both directions of Highway 1 south of Carmel Highlands will encounter one-way traffic control Tuesday thru Thursday this week as Caltrans crews conduct winter prep operations.

Travelers will encounter one-way traffic control this week on Highway 1 between Garrapata State Park and Carmel Highlands (Post Mile 66.8 to 67.8) from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm.

This work will take place on Tuesday Sept. 19, Wednesday Sept. 20, and Thursday Sept. 21.

Travelers can expect delays of up to five minutes

Message and directional signs will be in place to alert travelers.

This traffic control will permit crews to clean debris and growth from ditches and culverts in advance of winter weather. This drainage infrastructure helps divert water away from roadways enabling them to stay open longer during inclement weather.

Road information and updates can also be found on Caltrans District 5 Social Media platforms: Twitter at: @CaltransD5, Facebook at: Caltrans Central Coast (District 5) and Instagram at: Caltrans_D5. 

Our crews deserve to get home safely too.

Drive slowly and carefully in work zones.

CHP Traffic Incident Information Page: http://cad.chp.ca.gov

Traveler information at: https://quickmap.dot.ca.gov/

Paul’s Slide aerial photos taken 9/11/23

Date:Tuesday, September 12, 2023
District:05 – Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz Counties
Contact:Kevin Drabinski or Jim Shivers
Phone:(805) 549-3138 or (805) 549-3237

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

UPDATE #48

REPAIRS CONTINUE AT PAUL’S SLIDE WITH UPDATED REPAIR DESIGN 

MONTEREY/SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTIES – After a brief reassessment in early August, crews have continued to engage in ongoing repairs to Highway 1 at Paul’s Slide. Highway 1 remains closed to vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic for two miles, between Limekiln State Park to the south and the town of Lucia to the north. 

There have been two overriding safety priorities while working to fully reopen the highway. The first has been the safety of the crews who make these repairs while working at a site that is steep and where slide activity continues (and will continue) to take place.

The second goal has been to design a repair that will create a safe roadway for the travelling public.

With those safety priorities in mind, engineering teams have developed a repair design which will bring the roadway slightly inland as it passes in front of the Paul’s Slide complex. This design also allows for an enlarged catchment area between concrete barriers and fencing placed along the northbound lane and the toe of the slide. This will enhance safety for the travelling public as well as for construction and maintenance crews.

Crews are working seven days a week during all daylight hours. Because of uncertainty regarding continued slide activity at the repair site as well as weather conditions over the coming months, there is no current estimated time for a full reopening of Highway 1 at Paul’s Slide.

Road information and updates can also be found on Caltrans District 5 Social Media platforms: Twitter at: @CaltransD5, Facebook at: Caltrans Central Coast (District 5) and Instagram at: Caltrans_D5.

Our crews deserve to get home safely too.

Drive slowly and carefully in work zones.

CHP Traffic Incident Information Page: http://cad.chp.ca.gov

Traveler information at: https://quickmap.dot.ca.gov/

                           | #BeWorkZoneAlert | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube |

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Views of the south end of Paul’s Slide with fill being added to support the new roadbed.

Kevin Drabinski

Public Information Officer

The Tree that survived 9/11

One can only imagine the grim job that 9/11 workers had at Ground Zero, working day in and day out to clean up the wreckage of such devastation. And one can only imagine the surprise they must have felt when, a month into the job, they discovered a bit of life sticking out from the rubble—the charred remains of a Callery pear tree.

The tree was originally planted in the 1970s at the World Trade Center site and had been humming along for decades, providing shade to humans and habitat to wildlife both local and passing through.

But upon its discovery in the ruins, it had little more than a few leaves issuing from a single branch, with snapped roots and burned and broken boughs. Yet the battered tree was sent to Van Cortlandt Park for convalescence under the care of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Park workers say they weren’t sure the tree would make it, but the little tree that could, did. In the spring of 2002, she sprouted a riot of leaves; a dove made a nest in her boughs.

When Ronaldo Vega was hired as a special project manager in 2007, he remembered the story of the tree and went to the Bronx to find it. “I fell in love with her the second I saw her,” he recounts in the video below. “She was a fighter. We knew she was going to come back here.”

For the rest of the story, please click here and be sure to watch the video: https://www.treehugger.com/meet-beautiful-remarkable-tree-survived-4856725