9:30 and here’s the satellite photo, thanks to Dave Allen. BTW, there are periods of heavy rain in Big Sur Valley, as well as down here on the South Coast, but friends in town report little going on. The plume of this storm is really aimed right at Big Sur.
And from my SLO meteorologist, a great explanation about the way topography and rainfall interact. “topography plays an important role in our various rainfall anomalies and today’s rain certainly proves it. The coastal mountains force relatively warm, moisture-laden southerly winds blowing horizontally from the Pacific Ocean to turn vertical or upward.
Like squeezing a wet sponge, moisture from this air mass was released in the form of persistent rain on the ocean side of the Santa Lucia mountains. This is also called orographic enhancement or uplift. Areas near or just past the summit receive the greatest amount of rain. On the leeward (downwind) side of the Santa Lucias, the air was drier after losing much of its moisture on the upwind side of the mountain range.” Thanks, John!
8:10 pm – a “pretty big rock slide” has been reported in the area of Highway One and Big Sur station, per CHP. Any one up there with additional information, please send it along.
4:30 pm – the dark is settling in. I dumped my rain gauge and recorded the results given below. I have been keeping NEXRAD open all afternoon, and it is interesting to watch the storm come through.
Since 8:30 am – .75 inches
24-hour total – 2.25 inches
Since yesterday am – 3.5 inches
Total for the season – 13.25 inches.
2:30 pm – the storm is taking direct aim on Big Sur, as if we were the pins in a bowling alley – serving up a strike.
The heck with waiting until 5 o’clock. I’m cracking open the Merlot now!
And here is what NOAA has to say about all this: AS OF 2:30 PM PST SATURDAY…RAINFALL IS STARTING TO PICK UP ACROSS THE DISTRICT AS ECHOS BECOME MORE WIDESPREAD. ALSO… AN AREA OF HIGHER REFLECTIVITY ECHOES IS NOW MOVING TOWARDS SOUTHERN MONTEREY COUNTY AND HEAVIER RAINS ARE EXPECTED TO BEGIN ACROSS THE BIG SUR COAST WITHIN THE NEXT HOUR OR SO. RAINFALL IS EXPECTED TO PICK UP OVERNIGHT MOST AREAS AS THE NEXT IN A SERIES OF SHORT WAVES APPROACHES THE AREA. RAINFALL ESTIMATES THROUGH 4 AM SUNDAY GIVE MOST URBAN AREAS FROM 1/2 TO ONE INCH…WITH THE HIGHER HILLS OF SANTA CRUZ AND MONTEREY COUNTY SLATED TO RECEIVE 1.5 – 2.5 INCHES. AN ADDITIONAL 0.5-3 INCHES IS PROGGED FOR THE CWA THROUGH MONDAY MORNING…HOWEVER…SINCE THE MAIN BRUNT OF THE NEXT IMPULSE IS EXPECTED TO MOVE THROUGH THE AREA AFTER 4 AM SUNDAY…THE BULK OF THESE NUMBERS ARE EXPECTED TO FALL EARLY IN THAT PERIOD AND BE CONFINED TO THE SANTA LUCIA MOUNTAINS.
Naturally. Stay tuned!
2:00 pm – after a nice, quiet lull, and soft drizzle all day, the front is beginning to come on through with increased winds and rain. You can see it here:
Moments after I captured the above image, a new cell developed almost due west of me. West, but about midway between me and Big Sur Valley. Oh, fun!
8:30 am – picked up another inch and a half after dark last night. 2 and 3/4 for this storm so far. It is a gentle mist at this time, here. Checking on road conditions and storm conditions, and looks like the highway is still open.
Huge band of rain crossing over SLO Co at the moment, missing us in Big Sur, thankfully.
My neighbor just called, and Plaskett is closed. Lots of trees down blocking the road and more ready to come down – not to mention the mud. Neighbor and Rock Knocker are going to work on it tomorrow. Personally, I think they should wait a day.
As of 4 am, NOAA predicts this for today and tomorrow: FIRST SYSTEM IS MOVING ONSHORE WITH IR IMAGERY INDC COOLING CLOUD TOPS WEST OF THE MONTEREY/SAN LUIS COUNTY COASTS. THEREFORE…EXPECT RAIN…MODERATE TO HEAVY AT TIMES TO CONTINUE AT LEAST THRU THE MORNING HOURS IN THIS AREA. LIGHTER RAIN WILL CONTINUE ACROSS THE REST OF THE DISTRICT.
NEXT SYSTEM MOVES TO THE COAST LATE SAT NIGHT AND SUNDAY. LOOKS LIKE THIS SYSTEM WILL BRING RAIN…MODERATE TO HEAVY AT TIMES IN THE SANTA CRUZ AND SANTA LUCIA MOUNTAINS ONCE AGAIN.