Big Sur Library closure extended

Monterey County Free Libraries is extending the Big Sur Library closure. Due to deteriorating building conditions and planned structural repairs, the Big Sur Library remains temporarily closed until further notice. MCFL will be offering other library service options. The Bookmobile will be at this site on Fridays 11:00am–3:00pm. Other library services are:
Library by Mail: (831) 883-7544 or
(800) 322-6884
Seaside Library: (831) 899-2055 or 550 Harcourt Avenue, Seaside, CA 93955

For more information and online services:

Is there any rain in sight?

March, maybe? This is one forecaster has to say: “The next chance for rain will be late Friday into Saturday morning when a weak cold front moves into the Central Coast. Another weather system will move into San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara
Counties around the end of the month and that low pressure system is also forecast to be weak and not expected to produce significant precipitation either. However, rain chances will increase into the the first week of March and storms may get stronger by the end of that week.”

Weather West had this to say earlier this week: “There has also been a consistent wet signal in CFS seasonal forecasts for March, which would be in agreement with more recent GFS/ECMWF model trends. Therefore, I’d still say there’s a good chance that most or all of California will experience above-average precipitation going into March (although with each passing dry week it’s getting decidedly harder to make up the accumulated seasonal deficits in Southern California). Despite some recent claims to the contrary, there is still time for substantial drought relief this winter in California…but the clock is ticking.”

I must say, I am getting more skeptical as the season progresses. I am hopeful, but not optimistic at this point with only 8 days left in February.


Weather Update, 2/17/16


*Impact 1 (Rain) :

· Widespread rainfall can be expected with locally heavy rainfall possible, especially along the coastal ranges. The most notable impact will be potential for a wet afternoon/evening commute on Wednesday.

*Impact 2 (Winds):

· South to southeast winds of 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 45 to 50 mph can be expected in elevations near and above 1000 feet by Wednesday afternoon.

· These wind speeds may result in tree damage that could lead to isolated power outages.

· Difficult driving conditions are also likely in the higher elevations, especially for high profile vehicles and those pulling trailers/campers.

*Current Watches/Warnings/Advisories:

Wind Advisory for the Following Areas:

North Bay Mountains
East Bay Hills and the Diablo Range
Santa Cruz Mountains
Santa Lucia Mountains and Los Padres National Forest
Mountains of San Benito County and Interior Monterey County, including Pinnacles National Park

· For all current watch/warning/advisories,


· Moderate to High for the timing and location of the greatest impact.


· Wind speeds will increase over the region Wednesday morning and peak in the afternoon and early evening.

· Widespread rainfall will mainly impact the region Wednesday afternoon and evening with lingering showers continuing into Thursday.


· Widespread rainfall will impact the entire region on Wednesday.

· The heaviest rainfall will likely occur over the coastal ranges were isolated locations may pick up as much as 1.25” through Thursday night.

· The strongest wind speeds will impact locations near and above 1000 feet in elevations while locally breezy conditions are expected in lower elevations, especially near the coast.

Weather Summary

A Pacific storm system will approach the region on Wednesday and spread rainfall across the entire region Wednesday afternoon and evening. Wind speeds will also increase Wednesday morning, peaking during the afternoon and early evening, ahead of a cold frontal passage. A few thunderstorms will be possible late Wednesday afternoon and evening with lingering showers likely through Thursday morning. A secondary, weak weather system passing to the north on Friday will bring another chance of light rain to the North Bay. However, no major impacts are expected at this time from this system.

BTW,this blog is in the finals for MC Weekley’s “best of …” Contest and voting is going on now.


“El Nino slow to start, fast to finish…”

… So says a respected climatologist from the JPL in Pasadena.

In January, well above normal amounts of rain fell in most Central Coast locations. My records indicate 1/31/98 rain totals were 41.7″ and 1/31/16 rain totals were 25.75″.

John Lindsey, SLO forecaster writes: “By the end of January, most of the local weather forecasters, including myself, felt confident that the wet El Niño gravy train pattern would continue.

However — in the heart of our rainfall season, no less — the weather pattern reverted to one we’ve seen over the last four years of drought, when a strong ridge of high pressure settled over the West Coast, forcing the storm track northward. Consequently, this condition created persistent Santa Lucia (offshore) winds, near or record-breaking warmth, and dry and clear skies despite this year’s record-breaking El Niño event….

Heavy rains may be on the way, and here’s why.

“It’s looking likely that we will whiplash from a weather pattern that resembles July to one that looks like March,” William Patzert, a respected climatologist with Caltech’s NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, told me over the phone Friday.

Dr. Patzert suggests the current El Niño might still be too big for Southern California, and the inland areas to receive heavy rain. The 1997-98 very strong El Niño event peaked in November and by February 1998 had shrunk to a much smaller size along the Eastern Pacific. This year’s El Niño event peaked much later — in fact, just last month.

His hypothesis states that the southern branch of the jet stream will shift southward later this month and take a position over Southern California. That will allow the storm door to swing open for the later part of February, March and into April for the central and southern parts of the state. Historically, the 1997-98 El Niño, along with the 1982-83 winter, produced its heaviest rainfall in the February-through-March timeframe, as well. Both of these El Niños were late bloomers.”

Critical  words in these statements are “may” and “hypothetical.” Weather forecasting, while substantially improved, is still as much of an art as it is a science. John Lindsey predicts the next bout of rain to begin Wednesday night. Another forecaster I hear predicts Thursday and Friday. Whenever it starts, while the summer-like weather has been great, it’s time for February to deliver.


Medical Marijuana in MoCo

Monterey County to Hold Community Meeting on Medical Marijuana Regulations

The County of Monterey will hold a public meeting for stakeholders and interested members of the community to discuss regulations pertaining to medical marijuana in the unincorporated areas of Monterey County.

Date: February 16, 2016
Time: 3:30 p.m.
Location: Monterey Conference Room
168 W. Alisal Street, 2nd floor
Salinas, CA 93901

Draft ordinances regarding medical marijuana regulations area available for review online through the Clerk of the Board’s website. For those needing detailed navigation: go to, select the Board of Supervisors hearing agenda for February 9, 2016 and click on the links for the medical marijuana status report under agenda item 35. Anyone interested in marijuana regulations is encouraged to attend this meeting. If you have any questions about the meeting please contact Craig Spencer, project planner at (831) 755-5233 or

Fracking in Monterey County

What the Frack ? Fracturing our County

Big Sur Grange
Tuesday February 9th, 6-8 pm.
A soup, salad and cornbread supper will begin at 6
Free but donations gratefully accepted
Please bring a place setting

Big Sur Advocates for a Green Environment (B-SAGE) voted fracking as our most pressing environmental issue, so we decided to host an event on this topic. Fracking has been banned in Scotland, Bulgaria, Germany and France. Here in the United States, New York State, and the state of Vermont have also instituted bans. In California, three counties and the city of Los Angeles have passed bans. Currently, Monterey County is one of the 10 counties in California where fracking is known to have occurred. Over half of the frack-able oil in the U.S. is in the state of California.

Fracking is
a. a petrochemical extraction process using water to flush energy-rich components out of shale
b. an excellent way to cause earthquakes!
c. the key to U.S. energy independence
d. an obscenity
e. profitable
f. a painful procedure, much like a lumbar puncture, performed upon a planetary body
g. an issue that can be discussed cordially
h. a process that pollutes huge amounts of water, even during an historic drought

B-Sage invites everyone who agrees with “g” to our upcoming event on fracking, whatever your other answers might be. Members of Protect Monterey County ( to attend.
with speakers and inclusive discussion of this divisive issue to follow. In the next few elections to come, voters will be asked to make critical decisions on this issue. Email Jessica at if you would like to speak at this event, need directions, etc.