Precipitation watch, 11/25/08

9 pm – very quiet night. No rain that I can see or hear. Santa Barbara is not faring as well, per the Santa Maria station. Lots of rain and Evacuation orders. So the predictions were pretty accurate with this one. See you in the morning with an update.

5 pm – reports south indicate significant rain for the past 4 hours in Pismo Beach. Up here, we just finally made it to .25. It is getting dark, so I won’t be able to post my own rainfall totals until first light.

The Santa Maria news station is reporting 1/2 inch of rain in that area this afternoon, and significant rains coming into the southern portion of the Santa Lucia ranges, south of the Monterey/SLO county line, with heavy rains heading into the Highway 41 and 46 areas. Evacuation Orders have been issued for the Tea Fire area as well as the Sycamore Canyon area just now, at 5 pm.

3:30 pm – NWS Discussion:

DISCUSSION...AS OF 3:00 PM TUESDAY...MAIN FOCUS ON RAIN OVER
 MONTEREY COUNTY THE NEXT 24 HOURS THEN DRY AND WARM WEATHER
 THANKSGIVING AND THROUGH THE REST OF THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND.

 VANDENBERG AND KMUX RADARS LOOK IMPRESSIVE AT FIRST GLANCE 
BUT SO FAR RAIN TOTALS HAVE BEEN MEAGER. 1 TO 2 TENTHS 
REPORTED IN THE HIGHER TERRAIN ABOVE BIG SUR WITH A TRACE 
HERE IN MONTEREY. IR SATELLITE AND VISIBLE SATELLITE LOOK 
JUICY BUT APPARENTLY NOT ENOUGH LIFT TO GENERATE HEAVY RAIN 
SO FAR. IN GENERAL THE MODELS HAVE HANDLED THIS AS ADVERTISED 
WITH ANY HEAVY RAIN STAYING TO OUR SOUTH. EARLIER THIS 
AFTERNOON VANDENBERG AND SANTA MARIA WERE REPORTING HEAVY 
RAIN WITH STEADY RAINS BEING REPORTED AT SANTA BARBARA 
AND SAN LUIS OBISPO. SO THE FORECAST REMAINS ON TRACK WITH
THE HEAVIEST RAINS STAYING SOUTH OF MONTEREY COUNTY. 
NONETHELESS WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR RAIN RATES OVERNIGHT 
INTO WEDNESDAY AS MORE PIECES OF ENERGY WILL ROTATE ONSHORE.

1:30 pm – Rain reported in San Luis Obispo north to Morro Bay from about 1 pm on. It has been lightly raining here for about 15 minutes, again up here. Just shy of .25. 

Mining Ridge and Anderson Peak automatic gauges are only reporting .12 in the last 24 hours, but being south of both for a storm coming up from the south, as well as my higher elevation, would probably explain the discrepancy.

Noon – rain has become intermittent, as of 15 minutes ago. A total of .20 in an hour and ten minutes. Other automatic rain gauges are showing much less, with Mining Ridge indicating the highest at .04. Maybe the data hasn’t caught up to the sites, yet, or I am in a “pocket” of sorts. 

Also, the animated satellite photos available from the weather link to the right, clearly show the storm pushing north. Take a look for yourself. Remember, click on weather, scroll down to satellite on right, click on that, scroll down to West Coast, 4 km animated, click, and wait to load. Keep an eye on this today. It is clearly tracking north from Point Conception!

11:20 am – consistent rain for the past 1/2 hour. Will post when it hits .25. Friends are in Pismo, still no rain to the south.

10:50 am – the rain has started up here. Also a bit of wind. NWS models predicted it for 2 pm, so we are about 3 hours early. I’ll let you know if it keeps up. No word from my friends traveling up from the south.

9:15 am – just spoke to friends driving up from LA, currently in Oxnard, and nothing, yet. They will call when they hit rain.

This from NOAA:

900 AM PST TUE NOV 25 2008

 .DISCUSSION...AS OF 9:00 AM TUESDAY...FORECAST ITEM OF CONCERN
 CONTINUES TO BE RAIN CHANCES ACROSS MONTEREY COUNTY HILLS.
ALL MODELS CONTINUE TO
 INDICATE THAT THE MOST PRECIP WILL BE FOCUSED SOUTH OF MONTEREY
 COUNTY WITH BIGGER RAIN/QPF IMPACTS FOR SANTA BARBARA AND VENTURA
 COUNTIES. HOWEVER STILL NEED TO CLOSELY MONITOR FOR ANY NORTHWARD
 MOVEMENT IN THE MOISTURE FIELD OR ANY CONVECTIVE SHOWERS THAT
 DEVELOP IN THE MOIST UNSTABLE ENVIRONMENT. WIDELY SCATTERED 
SHOWERS OFF THE COAST WILL SLOWLY INCREASE THIS AFTERNOON ACROSS
MONTEREY/SAN BENITO AND SANTA CRUZ COUNTIES.
SOME MODELS INDICATING A COOL POOL PASSING OVER MONTEREY
COUNTY. [Wednesday] SHOULD THIS OCCUR THIS IS WHEN THE HEAVIEST 
SHOWERS WOULD OCCUR...HOWEVER THE MORE LIKELY SCENARIO IS 
THAT HEAVIER SHOWERS STAY SOUTH. LATEST STORM TOTAL QPF FOR 
MONTEREY HILLS IS 0.50-0.75
AFTER THE CURRENT LOW MOVES EAST ITS HARD TO SEE ANY RAIN 
CHANCES THROUGH ABOUT THE WEEKEND OF DEC 5TH...IF THEN.

8:30 am – All reports seem to indicate that this storm is going to impact Santa Barbara and south, at this time, although we are still expected to see rain today. I had some drizzle around 4 am, but no real rain, yet. Rain predictions are still slightly over 1/2 inch for those of us close to the SLO Co. border, but less for Big Sur proper. Will keep everyone posted as I see or learn more throughout the day.