Storm Watch, 10/12/09

AS OF 9:30
PM PDT MONDAY…STORM SYSTEM CONTINUES TO APPROACH CALIFORNIA AS
FORECAST. KMUX AND MT VACA RADARS CURRENTLY SHOWING INITIAL BAND OF
RAIN SHOWERS ABOUT 60 MI OFF THE COAST. EXPECT RAIN TO REACH THE CA
COAST WITHIN THE NEXT 2-3 HOURS (BY 06-07Z). SATELLITE PRODUCTS AND
00Z OAKLAND SOUNDING VERIFYING THE HIGH WATER CONTENT OF THIS
SYSTEM. HIGH PW AMOUNTS AND STRONG UPPER-LEVEL WINDS ARE STILL
EVIDENT ON LATEST SATELLITE DERIVED ATMOSPHERIC MOISTURE CONTENT AND
WINDS. COASTAL BUOYS HAVE SHOWN INCREASING SOUTHERLY WINDS IN THE
PAST 6 HOURS WITH GUSTS 23 TO 35 MPH.

7:45 pm – while coming in fits and spurts, the rain is definitely here for the evening. Enjoy. And may our thirsty hills absorb all that they are offered!

7:36 pm – a cloud burst. It did not last long, but was significant in its short strength.

Got this from a friend in town this evening: “Kate, you might be relieved to know that Cal Trans is on the way south….as I was coming home this afternoon there were two brand new HUGE trucks equipped with plows in front, each pulling a large bulldozer and they were zooming south on Hwy I…….I guess that is in anticipation of potential mud slides etc on Hwy 1 in your area.”

I am about to take an Advil PM (thanks, Avis) as I overdid the Jade Festival these past few days. If I am lucky, I will sleep through the beginnings of the heavy winds and rain, but that remains to be seen. IF I am lucky, I’ll be blogging again in the morning, if not, then later, as the storm hits.

5:00 pm – Here is the latest rain prediction map from NOAA. You will note the amount of rain expected for tomorrow has gone UP, not down. Also note the grey area on the Big Sur Coast has gotten bigger. This is the area where 6 inches or more is predicted. Compare the two maps, the first one earlier in this post from this morning, and this recent one. Sigh … Stay warm, dry, and above all, SAFE tomorrow everyone!

This will help you understand the rain prediction maps a little better:
gradient chart

rain map 2

AS OF 2:30 PM
PDT MONDAY…THE STORM OFFSHORE IS DEVELOPING AS FORECAST. HIGH
PRECIPITABLE WATER…PW…AMOUNTS AND STRONG WINDS ARE WORKING THEIR
WAY TOWARD THE CALIFORNIA COAST. LATEST SATELLITE PRECIPITATION
ESTIMATES BULLETIN INDICATES A 140+ KNOT JET POINTED AT CENTRAL
CALIFORNIA WITH A LEADING EDGE PW PLUME OF 1.8 INCHES. THE FIRST
WAVE OF RAIN IS EXPECTED TO MOVE INTO THE SAN FRANCISCO AND MONTEREY
BAY AREAS BETWEEN 5 PM PDT AND 11 PM PDT ACCORDING TO SATELLITE
EXTRAPOLATION.

2:00 pm – the “drizzle” has continued since noon, now wetting everything. Still not really a “rain” but it is still wet.

1:10 pm – the predicted wind event has begun, but just gustings at this point, and no where near the 70 mph predicted for ridge tops like mine. This is NOAA’s latest:

LATER TONIGHT LOCATIONS ALONG THE COAST AND IN THE HILLS AND MOUNTAINS WILL EXPERIENCE DAMAGING WINDS WITH GUSTS TO 60 MPH ALONG THE COAST AND UP TO 70 MPH IN THE HIGHER TERRAIN. THEREFORE…A HIGH WIND WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR LATE TONIGHT THROUGH TUESDAY NIGHT.

Noon — slight sprinkles have chased the dogs inside (they don’t like getting wet) where they will probably remain for most of the next few days. Nothing significant, not really rain, yet, just enough to see drops on the deck.

My fire links have disappeared for the winter, and my weather links from last year have magically reappeared.

From the predicted rain map link — click on Day 2 (Tuesday). The predictions are off the charts, which only go up to 6 inches. This first storm of the season is a real doozie. The grey area in the center of Big Sur is 6 inches or over.
rainmap

Here are 2 radar shots provided to me by Dave Allen. The top one is from yesterday at 1 pm, the bottom one is from this morning at 8:00 am.
storm radar

In the mean time, here is the early morning weather report for our area:

LIGHT WARM ADVECTION RAIN COULD START IN THE AFTERNOON. AS THE
SYSTEM MOVES CLOSER WIND AND RAIN WILL INCREASE WITH RAIN BECOMING
HEAVY AT TIMES LATE TONIGHT THROUGH TUESDAY NIGHT. THE EURO IS INDC
PLENTY OF ISENTROPIC LIFT…WITH NEARLY 60 KT OF UPGLIDE ALONG THE
295 K SURFACE. TIMEHEIGHT CROSS SECTIONS INDC THAT THE ATMOSPHERE
WILL BE SATURATED UP TO THE TROPOPAUSE…NEARLY 40K FEET. OMEGA
VALUES ARE IN EXCESS OF 15 UBAR/SEC TUE AND TUE EVENING. WITH TPW
VALUES UP TO 1.5 INCHES…OR EVEN HIGHER THERE COULD BE COPIOUS
AMOUNTS OF RAIN. WITH THE WINDS RAMPING UP OROGRAPHICS WILL PLAY A
ROLE…WITH RAINFALL AMOUNTS 4 TO 6 INCHES WITH LOCAL AMOUNTS TO
8INCHES IN THE MOUNTAINS. ALONG THE COAST AND IN THE VALLEYS RAINFALL
WILL RANGE FROM 1.5 TO 3 INCHES WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS. AS THE
PREVIOUS FORECASTER MENTIONED…THE AREAS MOST LIKELY TO HAVE
PROBLEMS FROM HEAVY RAIN WILL BE THE FIRE SCARS. FLASH FLOODING AND
DEBRIS FLOWS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN AND BELOW THE FIRE SCARRED AREAS. A
FLASH FLOOD WATCH WILL MOST LIKELY BE ISSUED FOR TUESDAY.

Now, you understood all that, right? But I’ll bet you “got” the important stuff!