Weather Predictions, 1/23/21 — Updated

Do you remember March of 1995? I will never forget it. I was on a ski trip with the Pacific Valley High School. As we rushed to get home, the Carmel River Bridge washed away, so we had to go down the 101. It was flooded and it closed right behind us. We tried to get across FHL, but both bridges were out. We went down to Paso and had dinner and called home. Highway 1 was out at Soda Springs. We got hotel rooms in San Simeon. Cal Trans told us to come up the 1 in the early morning and they would punch us through. Soda Springs was just about washed away, but Cal Trans got us through, and Rock Knocker was there. I am sure you have your memories, too. They all came flooding back to me when I read John Lindsey’s ominous tweet today. I needed to wait a day before I posted it.

John wrote: “Today’s #ECMWF & #GFS models look eerily similar to March 1995, when an intense cold front (AR) stalled over our area and tapped into a plume of subtropical moisture that stretched to Hawaii. The Santa Lucia mountains above Cambria reported 12+ inches of rain in 24 hours! #CAwx”

As someone reminded me, we were already saturated in March of 1995. Also, MoCo would not open up the mouth of the river. However, we have burn scars which we didn’t have in 1995.

9 thoughts on “Weather Predictions, 1/23/21 — Updated

  1. I worked at The Herald. When the Salinas River washed out Hwy. 68, our reporters and photographers got back and forth b/w Monterey and Salinas via helicopter. My elderly mom was evacuated from her Arroyo Carmel condo parking lot in a motorboat! The Peninsula was essentially an island for days.

  2. My prayers are with all who reside in Big Sur paradise. May the storm coming in be gentle to the scared fire area. I know from experience as a child living at Lucia, that probably won’t be the case, but my prayers are with all of you to be safe. Stay home if possible and feel blessed you are safe in your cozy home.

  3. I had to work in PG at 4am coming from Salinas. I already knew I couldn’t go on Highway 68, so I headed out to Highway 1 via Blanco/Reservation to Marina. I got to the intersection of Blanco and Davis and it was closed. So off to Highway 183 to get to Castroville and Highway 1. I made it!! But, I remember seeing reflections on, what looked like, large lakes on either side oh 1. Not long after I got to work, the Monterey Peninsula would become and island and those large lakes were the artichoke fields just south of Castroville. I was lucky though. Because of the time I drove to work and the weather we had been having, I had a bag with a change of clothes and toiletries in my car.

  4. I was Principal at Carmel Middle School in 1995 and we had about 12 Captain Cooper / CMS students who were unable to get home. We had found them temporary homes in the District, but they missed Big Sur. I drove a 14 passenger CUSD van to King City / Jolon with all of the kids on board. Their parents, likely using Nacamiento-Ferguson road, met us in Jolon. What a day that was. We had been providing “Distance Learning” to those on the other side where school was held at the Big Sur Lodge. Karl and the Superintendent contacted the tech companies in San Jose – and they delivered equipment to provide Live Instruction from CMS to the Lodge. Was it effective? Barely. The phone line we were using (T-1) was sub-par (band width), but we did get a few lessons in. You may remember when the temporary portable bridge over the Carmel River was installed allowing us to head south. Cal Trans had cleared the way, but around the Old Coast Road heading south…the road had a sizable elevation difference, and was all dirt. The memories…….

  5. I think it was about 4:00 a.m. when Elliot pounded on my door, “Vicki, wake up, the bridge is gone and you need to fill your bathtub with water because the primary water line is out.” “Oh, Elliot, they’ll have the bridge open in a day or two.” “No, Vicki, you don’t understand—the bridge is GONE! Somewhere out in the Pacific Ocean!” Thus began a great adventure: daily briefings at the gas station, a mini-puddle-jumping helicopter standing in for the bridge, pooling neighboring resources (food & wine), strolling down the middle of a deserted Hwy One, solitary sojourns at Pt.Lobos. It was a memorable experience.
    Hope you pending storm is not memorable.

  6. I had a two-year-old, so the memory is dim…. but yes, I remember….and love your summoning the memory. Let’s hope for….. moderation.

  7. I remember that non-el nino year. I have pictures somewhere of a small backcountry stream scoured out to 35 feet wide and the Arroyo Seco just a few feet below the green bridge. I follow rainfall forecasts on the CNRFC website but it’s been down for about one day. Your maps are scarey enough!

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