Storm Watch, February 2011

Ah, time for a change. We had exceptional weather most of this year, so far, but that is about to change.

From NOAA: “A COOLING TREND WILL BEGIN TOMORROW IN EARNEST ACROSS THE DISTRICT AS THE WEATHER PATTERN TAKES A SHIFT TOWARDS A MORE UNSTABLE AND COOL ONE. BY SUNDAY AN APPROACHING UPPER LEVEL TROUGH WILL ENHANCE THE ONSHORE FLOW AS WELL AS INCREASE CLOUD COVER OVER THE STATE. RAIN IS FORECAST TO BEGIN ACROSS THE DISTRICT BY MIDDAY MONDAY WITH A STRONGER AND COLDER SYSTEM MOVING THROUGH ON TUESDAY. A COLD UPPER TROUGH ANCHORED ALONG THE WEST COAST WILL KEEP SHOWER CHANCES IN THE FORECAST THROUGH THE REST OF THE WEEK AS SYSTEMS ROTATE AROUND THE UPPER TROUGH. BY WEEK`S END…A COLD UPPER LOW IS PROGGED TO SLIDE SOUTHWARD OVER NORTHERN CALIFORNIA WITH LOWERING SNOW LEVELS.”

And from my SLO forecaster: “The cold front will cross the Central Coast north to south Monday night into Tuesday morning with scattered rain showers. Southerly winds will increase through the day Monday and will become gusty Monday night into Tuesday as the front passes.

Rain showers and gusty southwesterly winds will continue through Wednesday as an upper-level trough passes over our area. At this time, rainfall totals should range between 0.50 and 1.25 inches. Snow is expected across the Sierra, with snow levels initially at 6,500 feet, then dropping to 3,000 feet or possibly lower by Wednesday. Maximum temperatures late in the week next week will only range from the low to mid-50s, with minimums in the 30’s to low 40’s.

A break in the wet weather should develop on Thursday. However, another but stronger storm system is forecast to reach the Central Coast next Friday with gale force southerly winds and periods of heavy rain. Wet and cool weather could continue through the end of February, and possibly into early March.”

Smoke on the Horizon

There is a LOT of smoke on the horizon out to sea. I’m guessing a controlled burn, probably at Ft. Ord, but will do some investigation and let you know.

And hour and a half searching, but can find nothing on this smoke, so I am going with a controlled burn. I remember the USFS notifying us that there was going to be a number of controlled burns on the Brazil Ranch through April, and of course, the old Ft. Ord is always a good bet.

BTW, the “shitty hang gliders” are back – you know, the “God is Awesome” Dodge Durango. I haven’t seen them, just been told about them. Let’s see if they clean up their prior mess – which despite rain and wind is still there!

BSMAAC Meeting report

Yesterday’s meeting was very informative, and led by Bill Monning, managed to stay on schedule and on time. It was nice to see our new Sheriff, Scott Miller in attendance, as well as PUSD Superintendant, Rayanne Thomasson. Here are just a few of the reports given by various attendees.

State Assembly Member Bill Monning reported on the current status of the Coastal Trail project, then called on other core members of the team developing the planning process document for their assessments. Mike Caplin and Jack Ellwanger both provided their positions, while members Honey Williams and Betty Withrow stood on Monning’s report. The current configuration of the trail process can be obtained from Noelle White, Monning’s aide. The next meeting of the planning process group will be held February 22nd from 3-5 pm

Of course, budgets, federal, state, and local were a great part of the reporting by various agencies. It affects services governmental agencies can provide. Sherry Tune, of the USFS reported that forest wide, the Los Padres National Forest is under injunction from a law suit filed by Los Padres Forest Watch preventing any road maintenance, until a more current up-to-date biological report can be created.

Bad news for me and other users of Plaskett, which hasn’t been graded in 10 years. South Coast Ridge Rd. was graded this past spring, so it should be alright this year. Willow Creek Rd. and Nacemiento Rd. are both county, so should not be affected.

Also of note to Big Surians, the AMAGEN bicycle race is back on Highway One this year, but it is to be held in May.

Finally, meetings which are of note coming up are: March 8th and 9th with the USFS regarding the proposed Milpitas Special Interest Area in and around The Indians, Junipero Serra Peak, and Merle Ranch. These meetings will be held in the King City USFS office. March 10th and 19th, CPOA and Sam Farr are hosting a meeting regarding HR 4040- the proposal to create the Monterey District Unit of the Los Padres National Forest. These meetings will be at 10am and held at the Conference Center at the Big Sur Lodge at Big Sur State Park.

Lots of information this past week, and will be covering the upcoming storms next week, but I would love to post some photos and art for a change of pace the next few days.