March Photo Contest

I am putting out a call for the best spring photo of Big Sur — winner’s photo to be featured as my header on March 21st, the spring equinox, for the spring. It will be replaced on June 21st. Credit will be given to the photographer during the spring feature. Only one submission per person, please. I would publish the 10 finalists The deadline for submissions would be March 14th. As soon as the judges have chosen the top 10, I would then post them on my blog, and give the readers the final vote to March 20th, and announce the winner on March 21st. This would be an anonymous panel of judges, and judges would also be able to submit a photograph. I am hoping to get a few more volunteer judges. Contact me immediately if you would like to volunteer to be a judge. If you want to enter the contest, also contact me with your entry by March 14th. ONLY ONE ENTRY PER PERSON PLEASE! Because of the timing, I expect most of these photographs to be from last year. Contact me at kwnovoa@mac.com to either volunteer to judge the entries, and/or to submit a photograph. Thanks for your participation!

Storm Watch, 2/27/10

10 pm – and to end today’s storm report, I have a couple great shots of the waves taken at Garrapata today by Cameron Douglas. Thank you Cameron!

5:00 pm – my north coast sources say there were two separate incidences of road closures, but the road opened about 4 pm. Both involved trees and/or power lines, both south of Fernwood. I am informed that the State Park does not have power. Uh oh, I hope that is resolved quickly, as the Chanterelle Festival is going on there, even as I type! The grange has power. Debbie reports another 1/2 inch in her gauge. I got another 1/4 inch after I dumped my gauge this morning at 4 inches. That’s 4.25 for the storm, 54.25 for the season.

3:10 pm – Current Nexrad. Those cells in Salinas are moving southward, directly toward Big Sur. If you haven’t been following this post today, scroll down and watch the progression of a very interesting day of storms, tsunami warnings, and road closures.

2:37 pm – ROAD UPDATE – CHP REPORTING A FIRE JSO OF FERNWOOD, PG&E CALLED IN, SO PRESUMABLY FROM THE DOWNED LINES REPORTED EARLIER.

Additionally, there are reports of damage in Ventura Harbor, unknown if storm or tsunami related, but residents are reporting receeding and waves, about 3.3 ft, every twenty minutes at the Harbor and Pierpoint.

Significant rain here, again!

2:08 pm – an oceanographer in Hawaii just reported live on Hawaiian television that he had just received a report of tsunami damage in Ventura County. I have not been able to confirm that report. His information came from the Tsunami Center in AK, responsible for the entire western coast.

1:00 PM – Wow, I just got a reverse 911 call (555-555-5555) for the tsunami advisory alert. I’m a cell phone, and since I am at 3272 ft. I really don’t think I have anything to worry about, but was definitely interesting!

12:30 ROAD UPDATE: HIGHWAY ONE CLOSED (BOTH LANES) JSO OF FERNWOOD DUE TO DOWNED WIRES, PER CHP, AT LEAST UNTIL 1:15 PM. Per my friend: evidently a poll or electrical line is down between Glen Oaks and Fernwood and the road is blocked, so can’t get to the lodge.

11:50 am – for those interested in watching the Hawaiian tsunami live reports, news, tweets, and other, go to this site: live reporting
it is scheduled to hit HI in a little over an hour (around 1:05 pm, PST, first in Hilo, Hawaii, and later for other islands).

10 am – it is *pouring* here again! And for a brief moment in time, I thought I was going to see the sun! My rain gauge is fast approaching capacity, and I will have to go out during the next break to empty it. There was a mud slide JSO of Gorda late last night, but all indications are that it is open this morning. Knowing Cal-Trans, they are keeping an eye on it today!

I received another 1.5 inches after 8:30 am – for a total of 4 inches for the storm, 54 inches (originally posted 64, but that was in error) for the season. Debbie reports 2.5 inches in Big Sur Valley total for the storm. I have a bit of snow, slush, and hail on the ground this morning. San Jose reports blue skies, and Big Sur Valley reports the blue is coming through! However, Pebble Beach just reported in that it was still pouring there at 9:19 am.

On another note, a Tsanumi Warning has been issued for Hawaii with evacuations issued this morning, it is expected to hit the coast of California with minimal impact, however an advisory has been issued.”TSUNAMI ADVISORIES MEAN THAT A TSUNAMI CAPABLE OF PRODUCING STRONG CURRENTS OR WAVES DANGEROUS TO PERSONS IN OR VERY NEAR WATER IS IMMINENT OF EXPECTED. SIGNIFICANT WIDESPREAD INUNDATION IS NOT EXPECTED FOR AREAS IN AN ADVISORY.” Arrival time for Pt. Sur is given as 12:32 pm, per NOAA.

Storm Watch, 2/26/10

9:30 pm – rain has picked up again, and be sure to note the mud slide JSO of the State Park, mentioned below! As of 9:27 pm, CHP is reporting the slide is 2 ft. into the NB lane.

8:00 pm – the rain seems to be pretty much over, at least the heavy part, light sprinkles now. Against my intentions, my curiosity got the better of me, so I went out in the sprinkles, in the dark, and checked the rain gauge. 2.5 inches for the storm, bringing the season total up to 52.5 inches. Nice. Debbie in Big Sur Valley reports 2″ between 2 pm and 5:30 pm, and reports all streams in their banks.

One last note: CHP REPORTS A MUDSLIDE/TREE PARTIALLY BLOCKING ONE LANE JSO OF STATE PARK AS OF 7:34 PM!

Is it over? Dave just sent me the latest satellite pic:

5:30 pm – 1.5 inches for the storm and 51.5 inches for the season. More rain totals tomorrow, while I try to upgrade my storage on wordpress so I can post more photos and graphics!

4:30 pm – this storm is kickin’ some serious bootay! another 1/2 an inch, for a total of 1 inch in an hour and 45 minutes! woowee, this is going to be an interesting night. How’s the highway doing? It is going to be messy. I’ll keep an eye on the CHP site, so you don’t have to, and post here if anything worth posting.

3:30 pm – I am already up to 1/2 an inch in 45 mins!

2 pm – and here it is! Rain just started up here. Am I good, or what? (just kidding) I must admit, it is still quite light, so far. Okay, now at 2:46, still trying to get this up, wordpress having problems, again, it seems, and it is finally really pouring!

The Cyclone Parade, by Dave Allen:

2 pm from NexRad:

11 am – It seems to be slow moving, but here it comes. My feeling is that it will “hit” me sometime between 2 and 3. (Note, I started trying to upload this at 11 and here it is 1:30 pm, and it is STILL not up. Wind interfering with my internet, I suspect.) Also, wordpress reports it was down for almost two hours! Grr…

Hunker down. The wind is here, and it is usually a precursor to the storm.
NOAA discussion: “AS OF 3:15 AM FRIDAY…STRONG STORM TO BLAST INTO CALIFORNIA TODAY. PERIODS OF HEAVY RAIN AND LOCALLY VERY WINDY CONDITIONS EXPECTED. … RAIN WILL SPREAD THROUGH SF BAY CLOSE TO NOON AND MAKE ITS WAY SOUTHWARD THROUGH MONTEREY BAY BY EARLY AFTERNOON. TOTALS WITH THIS EVENT LOOK FAIRLY GOOD WITH THE SREF SHOWING A 100% CHANCE THAT ALMOST THE ENTIRE CWA WILL PICK UP OVER .25″ THROUGH THE DAY.

WHAT WILL BE A BIGGER STORY THAN JUST THE PRECIPITATION TOTALS WILL BE POCKETS OF MODERATE TO HEAVY RAINFALL ACROSS MUCH OF OUR AREA THAT WILL LIKELY LEAD TO MANY REPORTS OF MINOR URBAN AND SMALL STREAM FLOODING.”

Like I said, hunker down, and keep a watchful eye today. I’ll be back when the rains actually start, probably this afternoon, it looks like.

Woohoo! Sunshine!

Enjoy the day — looks like the only sunshine we’ll have all week!

This is what NOAA has to say: “AS OF 4:00 AM THURSDAY…TODAY WILL MARK THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM WITH RAINY WEATHER ON TRACK FOR FRIDAY. SHOWERY SATURDAY WITH DRY WEATHER SUNDAY INTO MONDAY. …
COLD FRONT WILL MOVE ONSHORE DURING THE DAY FRIDAY AND EXPECT ABOUT A 6 HOUR WINDOW OF MODERATE AND LOCALLY HEAVY RAIN AS THE FRONT PASSES THROUGH THE BAY AREA AND NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. PERIOD OF HEAVIEST PRECIP ROUGHLY TO OCCUR FROM 18Z FRIDAY THROUGH 00Z SATURDAY…SUGGESTING A MESSY FRIDAY AFTERNOON COMMUTE. [subtract 8 hours for PDT to zulu, i.e. 1800=10:00 am; 00Z=4:00 pm] …
MODELS HAVE BEEN IN PRETTY GOOD AGREEMENT FOR ANOTHER LIGHT RAIN CHANCE BY NEXT TUESDAY AS ANOTHER COLD UPPER LOW APPROACHES THE CAPE MENDOCINO REGION. LINGERING SHOWERS WEDS WITH DRY WEATHER THURSDAY. PRETTY GOOD MODEL AGREEMENT FOR THIS FAR OUT IN BRINGING ANOTHER COLD AND WET TROUGH ON SHORE BY NEXT FRIDAY.”

And one weather report last night says March is looking to be a repeat, with many storms setting up for next month. Joy. Just think of the happy wildflowers, water tables, and reservoirs!

Storm Watch, 2/24/10

Photos for you, from my friend, Debbie Reed. Thank you once again, our north coast reporter-at-large!

Big Sur River, near The Grange, taken at 10:47 am.

Juan Higuera Creek, taken at the same time. And yes, that is a bit of sun beginning to shine through!

Received 1.75 inches last night, 2.0 inches for the storm, and 50.0 inches for the season. It is still drizzling, this morning. Looks like it will end up being a good season after all. But remember, I am at a high elevation, and get more rain than the coast usually does. For example, when I checked Nepenthe’s gauge last night, they had only received 18 inches for the season. Quite a difference! Also remember, that being on the coast side of the Santa Lucia Mountains, all my rain heads down to the coast, and Highway One!

And just as I type that, I get a message from my friend in Big Sur Valley that she got 3 inches of rain from this storm. However, she reports that everyone made it to work, from both north and south, so that indicates Highway One is passable. She also says the Big Sur River is up, but “not crazy up.” Thanks Debbie for the report!

NOAA discussion: “AS OF 9:10 AM PST WEDNESDAY…RADAR IS INDC A FEW LIGHT SHOWERS OVER THE SOUTHERN PORTIONS OF THE DISTRICT. OTHERWISE…LOOKS LIKE THIS SYSTEM IS PRETTY MUCH OVER FOR THE DISTRICT.”

At 10:00 am, I am still receiving some light sprinkles here at the southern end of the district. Friday’s system is looking to bring in quicker bursts of more intense rain, with snow at the higher elevations. (No predictions about elevation levels, yet.) Whereas, tomorrow looks to be dry, as well as most of the rest of today.

Storm Watch, 2/23/10

5:30 pm – rain received today, 1/4 inch. Rain totals in the morning.

3:30 pm – current Nexrad:

1:30 pm – drops earlier (around 10:30) but the rain just started in earnest, now. Bundled up tight! If you want to know what my day has been like today, read my report on my Modern Homesteader’s page. Life is nothing, if not interesting!

9:30 am – rain drops started in Big Sur Valley. Okay, boys and girls, the show is about to begin, again! Rain gauge is empty, everything is covered, closed, and ready for this next system, including me!

9:00 am – still gathering information, but here is this morning’s NOAA report: “WARM RAIN PROCESSES SHOULD LEAD TO SEVERAL HOURS OF STEADY/LIGHT RAIN BEFORE HEAVIER RAIN ARRIVES WITH THE COLD FRONTAL PASSAGE TONIGHT. … WITH 3 PLUS INCHES OF RAIN FOR THE WETTEST HILL LOCATIONS EXPECTED…BUT OVER A SEVERAL HOUR PERIOD. … THIS SYSTEM [Friday] LOOKS A LITTLE STRONGER THAN TODAY`S EVENT. RAIN TO DEVELOP LATE THURSDAY NIGHT INTO FRIDAY MORNING FOR THE NORTH BAY AND THEN CONTINUE THROUGH THE DAY FRIDAY FOR MUCH OF THE REGION. ANOTHER GOOD SOAKING RAIN IS FORECAST WITH BRIEF GUSTY WINDS WITH THE COLD FRONTAL PASSAGE. HEAVY SNOW FOR THE SIERRA FRIDAY NIGHT FOR FOLKS LOOKING TO HEAD UP THAT WAY.”

Sunday and Monday are predicted to be dry, then another storm on tap for next Tuesday! Oh heavens. If I don’t get out on Monday …

Plaskett Ridge Rd.

Plaskett Ridge Rd. is now virtually impassable, and should be closed to the public, until we get a week of sunshine. Rock Knocker (with 30 years experience on Cal-Trans mudslides, and slippery roads) got stuck yesterday. On the way up this afternoon, the slippery clay caused me to slide into a ditch the depth of about 1/2 the circumference of my tire today, and the ONLY reason I got out is my 5.2 liter Jeep, 4×4, good tires, and 15 years experience on this road, and even so, it was quite “iffy.” I was shaking so badly by the time I got out of the trees to the top, I had to stop.

This is the price I pay for living “On Top o’ the World.”

Glorious Monday

6:30 pm – Upcoming forecast: “RAINFALL TOTALS [for Tuesday and Tuesday night] WILL RANGE FROM 1.5 TO 3 INCHES IN THE MOUNTAINS…WITH LESSER AMOUNTS IN THE VALLEYS. WINDS WILL BE GUSTY…BUT SHOULD STAY BELOW ADVISORY CRITERIA.

SHORTWAVE RIDGING WILL BUILD ONTO THE COAST ON THURSDAY BEFORE ANOTHER…AND POSSIBLY STRONGER SYSTEM MOVES TO THE COAST. YESTERDAY THE SYSTEM WAS FORECAST TO SPLIT…THE LATEST RUNS OF THE MEDIUM RANGE MODELS DO INDC LESS OF A SPLIT OCCURRING WITH THIS SYSTEM. WIND AND RAIN WILL INCREASE LATE THURSDAY NIGHT…WITH RAIN CONTINUING THROUGH FRIDAY…AND INTO FRIDAY EVENING. THIS SYSTEM WILL NEED TO BE WATCHED FOR THE POSSIBILITY OF STRONG WINDS AND MODERATE TO POSSIBLY HEAVY RAIN. DEPENDING ON THE AMOUNT OF RAIN ON TUESDAY WILL GREATLY DETERMINE IF THERE WILL BE HYDRO ISSUES FOR THE END OF THE WEEK.

Unbelievably beautiful up here. Clear, sunshine, and warm! Last night yielded just under .20 inches, that brings the season total to 47.95 inches. Just for comparison, the last rain received last season was an inch on May 2nd, for a season total of 34.75 inches. One of these days (sooner rather than later, I hope), I will find my 15 years of calendars with rain totals on them.

Sunday weather report, 2/21/10

10:00 pm – it is quite raining, and has been for the last 1/2 hour, on and off. The sound of rain on a metal roof is like no other. I can tell the strength just by the sound. Tonight’s is more than the light rain I got all day, but not the thundering hoofs of a stampede.

After living up here, and paying attention most of that time, I knew earlier when the winds picked up that rain was also likely to pick up.

4:45 pm – up to one inch, now, for last night and today, bringing the season total to 47.75 inches. I never would have guessed we could have gotten that much had I not been keeping my eye on the gauge all day. It has never been a heavy rain, just a steady, light rain ALL day, with no breaks. That’s the advantage of a human-operated, old-fashioned, dump-by-hand rain gauge over automated rain gauges, I do believe.

3:20 pm – light rain continues, and I am up to 3/4 of an inch for last night and today. Woohoo!

1 pm – it has been drizzling all day long, and I am almost, but not quite up to 1/2 an inch. I will certainly be there by the time the “rain” starts later today or tonight!

8:45 am – started raining again, gently. NOAA predicted this for this afternoon and this evening. NOAA also predicted this will not be much of a rain today/tonight, but Tuesday night/ Wednesday’s storm will carry more precipitation. Still unsettled about the storm for Thursday night into Friday.

7:00 am – Rain last night was another .25 inches, bringing the season total to 47.0 inches here on top of Plaskett Ridge.