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.

Weather Predictions, 1/23/21

If this forecast verifies, Tuesday-Thursday will be insane.

From Supervisor Mary Adams: “With yesterday’s rain, Monterey County Office of Emergency Services had reports of some debris flow and is encouraging residents who live one to two miles from any of the burned areas to be on heightened alert. Winter is not over yet and more rain is coming!

All residents should sign up to receive emergency alerts at; these alerts can provide lifesaving evacuation notifications. Evacuation is often the only way to protect yourself from a debris flow. If you feel your life is in danger, DO NOT wait for an alert to evacuate, move away from the path of a debris flow as fast as you can!

If you are not sure about the proximity of your property to the burn scar or need information on preparedness for debris flow, please check the Monterey County Office of Emergency Winter Storm Preparedness webpage at:

Weather Predictions, 1/22/21

7:30 pm — Note: the .67” thus far at Chalk Peak — in or near the burn area of Dolan Fire. There has also already been a mud flow on the River Fire burn area about 6 pm tonight.

Interesting comments from Daniel Swain: “Models appear to be honing on the increasing potential for a slow-moving/stalled #AtmosphericRiver somewhere in CA between SF and LA mid next week. That would lead to potentially significant flash flood risk, especially if this happens near recent burn scars. Stay tuned. “

It’s still early, but there are increasing signs that a strong, dynamic, & cold storm could affect CA toward middle of next wk. Heavy rainfall, very heavy mountain snowfall, & strong winds poss. Could be issues w/2020 burn scar flood/debris flow risk, esp. Santa Cruz Mtns.

And John Lindsey adds this: “An intense low-pressure system will produce fresh gale-force to whole gale-force (47 to 63 mph) southerly winds with gusts to 70 mph and periods of moderate to heavy rain Wednesday through Friday morning as a possible Atmospheric River (AR) taps into subtropical moisture. Total rainfall amounts with this storm could range between 3.00 and 5.00 plus inches.

Upcoming Weather, 1/21/21

This evening from Dave Hovde of SLO: “Update on short-term forecast: The Friday into Saturday system looks to arrive Friday morning, peak in the afternoon but linger a bit into Saturday morning.  I had said less than .25" but looks like up to .50" is possible based on recent modeling.”

From NOAA Forecast discussion: 
Today will be the last of the mild and dry days before a significant shift towards a progressive (and wet) weather pattern takes hold over at least the next 7 to 10 days across the Bay Area and Central Coast. At least 3 to 4 wet systems will move over or near the region through this time frame-- with the system arriving midweek next week looking to be the most significant. One weather forecaster described it as a “conga line of storms,” a term that has become more prevalent in the last decade or two. 

Fire behind Hermitage

3 pm — Forest service has made access they’re releasing 7831 and the other engines are going to be on standby helping with mop up

2:45 pm photo by Rhea Withrow who says: Yes, looks like it’s in the green island between the seefelds and hermitage. I had asked her to confirm my red circle around the area of the fire.

2 pm – from chp site:

2:04 PM8[11] 1039 BIG SUR FIRE
1:24 PM4[5] 1039 STATE PARKS
1:22 PM3[4] 1039 MTYCOM
Unit Information

1:45 pm — Per scanner traffic as reported by Chris Buonocore, and calling for more resources. I can’t see anything specific, but it is pretty hazy here. Still pretty windy. Wild Cad-LPF had this:

01/19/2021 11:25LPF-139NewSmoke CheckLUCIA LODGE/HWY 1 M.PAT17ALPF...36 1.302, -121 33.05422S R4E Sec 17

I am guessing it is a reignite from the Dolan. There were lots of underground fires still happening.

High Winds

10:20 update: From CZU on Twitter…We have 2 new fires in Santa Cruz County. One is off Freedom Boulevard in Watsonville and one is in the Boulder Creek area off of Highway 9. Evacuations are being initiated.

10 am UPDATE — Advisory: Event extended (both time and area). Wind Advisory from 1/19/2021 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM PST for Monterey County, CA

Monterey County...
Old Coast Tower              71 MPH    0120 AM 01/19   36.32N/121.87W/1207
Calfire Portable 43          66 MPH    0115 AM 01/19   36.29N/121.85W/490
17.0 S Carmel Valley Vill (P 62 MPH    0310 AM 01/19   36.25N/121.79W/904
Crocker Ridge                53 MPH    0300 AM 01/19   36.06N/121.27W/2451
Moss Landing                 51 MPH    1251 AM 01/19   36.79N/121.79W/26
7.0 E Carmel Valley Vill (PG 51 MPH    0120 AM 01/19   36.53N/121.61W/3452
16.9 NW Lake Nacimiento (PGE 51 MPH    0310 AM 01/19   35.95N/121.00W/2790
Old Stage Road               51 MPH    0100 AM 01/19   36.67N/121.53W/1306
Corral De Cielo Road         49 MPH    0110 AM 01/19   36.53N/121.62W/3385

Quite a bit of haze, but I have been told it is dust and ash from the summer’s fires kicking up, not new ones. In Santa Cruz, downed power lines have caused a minimum of 4 fires, most put out by locals. Highway 9 is closed due to downed power lines, and I am told there is no power in Big Sur Valley. Welcome to Tuesday. In 24 and 1/2 hours we will have a new president.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

In his final speech, King addressed a church filled with striking sanitation workers who were protesting their low pay and working conditions. King emphasized the importance of unity and nonviolent protest in the fight for justice, no matter how painful the struggle.

“Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop… And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land.”

Congressman John Lewis’ powerful words, “Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime.”

Fire weather watch

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Sunday January 17, 2021, 2:05 PMMonterey County Office of Emergency ServicesAdvisory: Fire Weather Watch from 1/18/2021 7:00 PM to 1/19/2021 3:00 PM PST for Monterey County, CA.Dear Nixle User,Fire Weather Watch from 1/18/2021 7:00 PM to 1/19/2021 3:00 PM PST for Monterey County, CA.
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