Weather conditions

While the fog is all the way up here, which makes for rather drippy, wet, and cold conditions, there is a red-flag warning out for some areas per this report from NOAA:

“FIRE WEATHER…AS OF 2:00 AM TUESDAY…RED FLAG WARNING WAS ISSUED FOR LATE TUESDAY INTO THURSDAY MORNING. CONDITIONS WARRANT A RED FLAG FOR THE NORTH AND EAST BAY HILLS. HUMIDITIES WILL LOWER DURING THIS TIME. THE PERIOD OF STRONGEST SUSTAINED WINDS IN THE 15 TO 30 MPH RANGE WITH GUSTS 35 TO 40 MPH LOOKS TO OCCUR FROM ABOUT 3 AM WEDS THROUGH MIDDAY WEDS. WINDS WILL EASE WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON BUT THEN VERY DRY AIR WILL FILTER IN WEDS NIGHT THROUGH EARLY THURSDAY MORNING. WINDS WILL BE MUCH LIGHTER WEDS NIGHT BUT RH VALUES WILL LIKELY NOT RECOVER AT ALL…STAYING WELL UNDER 30 PERCENT.

WE ARE AWARE OF THE GREEN GRASS THAT HAS CROPPED UP BUT ALL LAND MANAGEMENT AGENCIES REPORT CONCERN THAT FIRE WILL INDEED SPREAD THROUGH THE BRUSH AND OTHER DEAD FUELS WHILE LIVE FUELS HAVE NOT YET TAKEN ON MOISTURE. SO BOTH THE FUELS AND METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO BE MET.”

Also, Debbie sent me some photos of the Anderson Peak project to bury all the PG&E lines for a couple of miles in order to safeguard the condors. Unfortunately, my internet is not cooperating in allowing me to upload photos, at the moment.

South Coast Fire Clearance Grant

From John Handy, of Treebones, who did a terrific job putting this grant application to the USDA all together and soliciting the matching “in-kind” donations from local residents and businesses.

“It’s a great day for us. We were awarded a grant of $178,633 to work on fuel mitigation on our roads and driveways and make our properties safer and defensible in case of fire. It will take a lot of planning and cooperation to make this money go as far as possible. It’s a lot of money but we could have used much more. This grant approval just happened today (10/19) so give me some time to organize next steps. We won’t have the money in hand immediately.

I’ll pull together an informational meeting as soon as I can to explain the process going forward.

The application process was long and involved and was only made possible by some generous in-kind contribution commitments by members of our South Coast Community. Thank you all.

Warmly, John Handy”

Weather, Jade Festival, and Health Clinic

Weather reports are that the first storm of the season will hit sometime tonight into tomorrow, but it is not expected to bring much rain. The one on its heels, expected Wednesday into Thursday is expected to bring much more rain.

Jade Festival count-down is underway. For those wanting to camp, neither Plaskett Creek Campground nor Kirk Creek Campground accept reservations. Last year, the campgrounds were full by Thursday morning. Don’t know about Wednesday, as I usually don’t go down that day. My last minute supply run is usually on Thursday.

Big Sur Health Center’s Annual Health Fair
Tuesday, October 11th, Noon – 5 p.m.

Join the Big Sur Community at the Health Center and get your
-Flu Shot Blood pressure Checked Asthma Screening
-Meet with the CHOMP lab to get your blood sugar and cholesterol tested
-Learn a great way to teach children good dental hygiene,
-the benefits of breastfeeding,
-the impact of plastics
-find out more about breast care and cancer prevention
– Meet with a holistic pharmacist
-Receive a session with Healing Touch or Acupuncture
-Donate at the Blood Mobile
And so much more!!

Enjoy lots of healthy snacks and Rachel Fann’s amazing smoothies!
Get a chance at the raffle drawing for: a cook book, gas card, food store certificate, your own smoothie blender

Weather, Jade Festival, Photo Contest

Weather is a bit unsettled, or at least I am getting conflicting reports of possible thunderstorms tonight or tomorrow, and then a second storm next week (before Jade Fest, so far).

I have been busy with preparations for the Jade Festival, as well as work, but continue to work on the photo contest. I apparently lost my mind when I said everyone could submit up to 5 photos – I’ve recovered, but still getting them all downloaded and filed.

Wicked Winds and Thunder?

11:00 pm – just received from my SLO Co weatherman
“An upper-level low pressure system spinning off the coast of Southern California is drifting northeastward and steering subtropical moisture in a counterclockwise fashion over San Luis Obispo County tonight.

Thunderstorms developed in eastern regions of San Luis Obispo County this evening and are now spreading throughout our area tonight with numerous lightning strikes reported.
Please see http://www.sloweather.com/lightning.htm
This thunderstorm activity will continue through early Saturday morning.  

Because of the dry air in place and limited moisture accompanying
these storms, dry lighting is possible. Gusty winds near thunderstorms
can also add to the fire danger. However, brief periods of rain and hail are also possible.  

The upper-level low responsible for this activity will move to the east later on Saturday, leaving behind mostly dry and clear skies. For your safety, stay inside during electrical storms.

9:45 pm – Couldn’t tell for sure, but it was either the rumble of thunder, or the falling of a tree in the forest, although my thunder phobic dog has been hiding for an hour, and her hearing is better than mine. The wicked winds have my other three on edge. Going to be a long night. Have some interesting shots of the clouds, but reception not good enough to upload tonight. Will try tomorrow.

Fracking Protests in PA

In Pennsylvania, fracking opponent protesters are spurred on by federal reports indicating that the oil companies are overstating the natural gas reserves in the Marcellus Shale. This shale is found in parts of Kentucky, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virgina and West Virginia.

Quebec, Germany, France and South Africa, as well as several states have already implemented limited fracking bans. The EPA is still studying the claims and will release its findings late in 2012.

We will continue to monitor this issue in our own SoMoCo area.

Arroyo Seco River Clean up day

Annual Coastal Cleanup Day Set for September 17

KING CITY, CA…The Monterey Ranger District of the Los Padres National Forest is partnering with Save Our Shores again this year to coordinate a cleanup on the Arroyo Seco River. This event will take place on Saturday, September 17, 2011, from 9 am until noon. Cleanup Day is open to volunteers of all ages, and those who would like to participate should meet at the Day Use Parking Lot of the Arroyo Seco Recreation Area at 8:30 am.

Volunteers are encouraged to wear long pants and sleeves, sturdy shoes, and work gloves as a safety precaution while working in the wooded areas. Volunteers interested in working along the river bank may want to wear rubber boots or water shoes and be prepared to get wet. Please bring a refillable water bottle. Garbage bags will be provided on site.

“This is a great opportunity for community members and those who enjoy spending time on the Arroyo Seco River to join with the Los Padres National Forest and Save our Shores to help keep this amazing recreation area clean and beautiful,” said Monterey District Ranger Sherry Tune.

For more information, please contact the Monterey Ranger District at (831) 385-5434, or on-line at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/lpnf.

Lightning

5 pm – here is SLO lightning tracker. One can see that the lightning is coming across the SLO/Monterey Co line and here on the South Coast. I haven’t heard any, yet, but it definitely looks like rain. It is hard to see the county line here, but it is below the “50” and right smack through the middle of the northern group of cells.

Here is what RL (real life) looked like at 5 pm. It currently looks as if there might be rain over the ocean:

4 pm cloud build up (this is, of course, looking north, but the ESE is getting dark)

Clouds, 9/10/11

1:00 pm – red flag warning ended at 11am. Here is what NWS said: “…RED FLAG WARNING FOR DRY LIGHTNING NO LONGER IN EFFECT. THUNDERSTORMS FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE WEEKEND ARE EXPECTED TO BE WET…”

10:30 am – nothing visible here, and the clouds I woke to are gone. It is clear with a blanket of fog on the coast. However, all around us they are getting pounded with lightning strikes in Kern County and southern San Luis Obispo County as well as the LPNF in Santa Barbara. There are multiple down strikes in each of those three counties and complex fires (multiple strikes grouped together into one fire-fighting effort) are present in each county.

From my SLO weather source: “An upper-level low pressure system is anchored over southern California coast and will be slow to move out of the area resulting in scattered thunderstorms with rain and lightning today through Sunday.

The system has tapped into subtropical moisture and will continue to do so for the next couple days and, as a result, thunderstorms that develop will most likely be accompanied by possible heavy rain.

Since there is no well-defined front associated with this type of system, exact timing of thunderstorms and rain amounts is very difficult to predict. In other words, periods of sunshine or partly cloudy skies may last for extended periods, before bands of thunderstorms rolled through your area.

Note: Thunderstorms may be accompanied by lightning, gusty winds,heavy rain and hail.”

From a fire fighting source, “South Op’s has taken over 20,000 downstrikes in the last 24 hours. Most of the lightning on a line from the AZ border northwest to the SLO area appear to have light to moderate precip; Opal Mt. and White Mt. RAWS stations showed .24 and .27 inches of precip, but the majority of the RAWS stations showed less than .10 or no precip at all. but the storms farther north along the southern to central sierra foothills were light to no precip. Should be an interesting day.

http://raws.wrh.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/roman/raws_ca_monitor.cgi?state=SOCC&rawsflag=2”

Our fire weather watch continues through tomorrow. I will update later from NWS.

Urgent Fire Weather Message

From the NWS:

“URGENT – FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA
657 PM PDT FRI SEP 9 2011

…DRY LIGHTNING LIKELY IN THE EAST BAY…SOUTH BAY…AND
INTERIOR MONTEREY AND SAN BENITO COUNTIES TONIGHT AND SATURDAY…

…DRY LIGHTNING POSSIBLE LATE TONIGHT AND SATURDAY FOR THE SANTA
CRUZ MOUNTAINS…SANTA LUCIA MOUNTAINS AND LOS PADRES NATIONAL
FORREST…AND COASTAL SECTIONS OF MONTEREY AND SANTA CRUZ
COUNTIES…

…LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY RECOVERIES AND GUSTY OFFSHORE WINDS
EXPECTED IN THE NORTH BAY MOUNTAINS TONIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY
MORNING…
SANTA LUCIA MOUNTAINS AND LOS PADRES NATIONAL FOREST-
657 PM PDT FRI SEP 9 2011

…FIRE WEATHER WATCH NOW IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT PDT TONIGHT
THROUGH SATURDAY AFTERNOON FOR THUNDERSTORMS WITH DRY LIGHTNING
FOR THE SANTA LUCIA MOUNTAINS AND LOS PADRES NATIONAL FORREST…

THE FIRE WEATHER WATCH IS NOW IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT PDT TONIGHT
THROUGH SATURDAY AFTERNOON.

* AFFECTED AREA…SANTA LUCIA MOUNTAINS AND LOS PADRES NATIONAL
FOREST.

* DRY LIGHTNING…INITIALLY ANY THUNDERSTORMS WILL BE DRY WITH
GUSTY WINDS. THUNDERSTORMS WILL TRANSITION TO WET AS THE
ATMOSPHERE MOISTENS.

* THUNDERSTORMS…COVERAGE WILL BE ISOLATED WITH SOME AREAS
NOT SEEING ANY ACTIVITY AT ALL.

* IMPACTS…FUELS ARE DRY…PARTICULARLY IN THE HILLS.
THEREFORE…LIGHTNING STRIKES FROM ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS HAVE
THE POTENTIAL TO IGNITE FIRES.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A FIRE WEATHER WATCH MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS
ARE FORECAST TO OCCUR. LISTEN FOR LATER FORECASTS AND POSSIBLE
RED FLAG WARNINGS.
HTTP://WEATHER.GOV/SANFRANCISCO

Many of us remember that day almost exactly 12 years ago, when lightning sparked the Kirk-Hare Complex fire (9/8/99 according to my journal) that lasted 3 months and scorched 86K acres. Here is a shot I took that night. It is not very good, but one gets the idea:
(having technical difficulties, if I can get it up tonight, I will, if not, tomorrow.)

BTW, as of 8:30 pm, a lot of downstrikes being reported in Santa Clara County, 5 small fires at last count, largest is 5 acres NW of Mt. Diablo.