New Year’s Eve

I think I speak for many when I say, thank gawd it is over. Now can we concentrate on making this a planet that will sustain us, and not destroy it?

And from the Washington Post today:

The worst year in world history wasn’t even a close contest.
 [History’s deadliest pandemics, from ancient Rome to modern America] 
It was 1348, the height of the Black Death, during which as many as 200 million people died. That would be like wiping out about 65 percent of the U.S. population. The Holocaust in 1944 ranked second, followed by 1816, when a volcano eruption in Indonesia blocked out the sun, starving millions. 2020 ranked sixth.
 In U.S. history, 2020 was well down the list at No. 8, just behind the 2001 terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, the tumult of 1968’s riots and assassinations, the 1918 flu pandemic, the Trail of Tears of 1838, the 1929 stock market crash marking the beginning of the Great Depression, and at the very, very top, 1862.

 After the 1862 Battle of Antietam, in which 7,000 died, according to the National Park Service. (Library of Congress)
 That was, most historians say, the grimmest year of the Civil War, when the country’s total collapse seemed imminent.
“It’s a symbol of a time when the nation almost broke apart,” Parker said in an interview, “and that, really, goes to the essence of what it is to be a country and a society. It’s almost like a dagger to the heart of the country.”

This is why the forest is still closed from the Dolan Fire

There are many places where the redwood roots are still burning underground. It is still very, very dangerous. This was just taken yesterday in the area near Circle M/Big Creek by Rhea Withrow. San Carlos Rancho has reported the same thing, so imagine the rest of the back country. LPNF, Monterey District is closed for a reason, not to just make it inconvenient for hikers and campers.

Sunset at Bixby

Taken last night. What happened to stay at home orders? Social distancing? Also, both last night and the night before, every single turnout had people camped and campfires and backyard bbqs per friends who drove past them on both the north and south ends of Big Sur. No one wrote to let me know re the middle portion…use your imaginations.

Sunday/Monday storm

Now that the Christmas evening storm has passed, dropping .47” at Chalk Peak, I look ahead to tomorrow’s storm. This is what NOAA has to say:

Our focus is now concentrated on the upcoming Sunday-Monday cutoff low and its potential impacts, especially to the Santa Cruz Mountains and along the Big Sur coastline/Santa Lucia Range. GFS and ECMWF runs have been consistent that this system will arrive Sunday afternoon/evening and the center of the low will track directly over our area. That means the southern part of the low will track into the terrain of Santa Cruz and Monterey counties.

Keeping in mind that air rotates counter-clockwise around a low, that means a lot of moist air will be pushed right up those mountains (orographic effect) squeezing out a lot of rain from the clouds. Our entire CWA has a good chance of seeing rain Sunday evening through Monday afternoon moving west to east, but our main concern is where those orographic effects could enhance the rain totals...especially since the Dolan and CZU Lightning Complex burn areas are right along the coastal terrain. That`s where rain rates could be highest and most impactful. Latest WPC guidance has kept the forecast rain totals fairly similar with around a 1-1.5" possible in the Santa Cruz/Monterey coastal terrain, but
there could be locally higher numbers up to 2 inches with
orographic enhancement. Elsewhere, rain totals will range around 0.25" up to an inch. Could also see some gusty conditions over the coastal waters and across higher terrain. Bottom line, stay weather alert Sunday afternoon through Monday afternoon, especially if you`re in the areas of concern mentioned above.