California’s Drought

I ran into a wonderful country lady at the Cookie Crock today (hi, Joan!) and we talked about water and the mountains and human interference. Her spring is doing great. No change in forever. My spring is great. No change in at least 65 years. Neither of us interfere. We catch what the mountains gives us, leave a little runoff for the birds, the critters, and the goddess, but don’t try to get it from deep below, or make it do what it wants not to do. As long as we let it run, it will always run.

All that as the precursor to a couple photos I took on Saturday, on the way to King City.


This was the reason I went to King City. It was at least 2 and 1/2 feet in diameter. This tree blocked Plaskett. Duke, of the USFS eventually dragged it out of the way. I love the drive to King City, although it is long and tough.

This is a creek-fed pond at Chalk Camp off So Coast Rd. I was shocked to see so much water in it.

And this is a creek that feeds into or becomes the Nacemiento River. We are in the third year of a drought, but there is water, in the mountains where no one interferes.

NWS Drought Monitor


Here is the link drought monitor

Likely chance of rain on the 27th and 28th, but there are also early indications that early March may hold substantial rain. If so, maybe we can go from exceptional drought back down to extreme!

I am having trouble deciding whether to keep my links as-is (recently changed from fire to my winter weather watch links), go back to fire, or change to a combination, but pared down version of each. Think I’ll wait until mid-March and then decide.

New Drought Category

A new drought category has been created. It is called, “exceptional drought.” It is the Category Five of droughts. The coastal portion of Big Sur is not yet in this category, but the mountain/eastern portions are. Including me. Coastal areas are in “extreme drought” or Category 4 conditions. As we all know, this is not good. It is even more surreal to write this as I watch the news of Atlanta recover from a little bit OS snow.

My rain gauge measured absolutely zilch today. I thought maybe when I moved it a few weeks ago I might not have gotten it straight, but considering that seems to be the consensus in other areas that showed some wetness, but no measurable rain, it probably is fine. I did get some dampness up here, but mostly under trees and on window screens. Certainly could not call it rain under anyone’s definition.

I am a native Californian. I have lived in this state all my life. I am going to be 65. I have never experienced anything like this. Extreme measures are in the works and necessary. Conserve, be aware, and educate those who aren’t.


There is an interesting article in today’s Herald about California’s drought. It has broken scores of 160-year-old records. You can find the whole article here: ridiculously resilient ridge

Here are just a few quotes.

“…meteorologists have fixed their attention on the scientific phenomenon they say is to blame for the emerging drought: a vast zone of high pressure in the atmosphere off the West Coast, nearly four miles high and 2,000 miles long, so stubborn that one researcher has dubbed it the ‘Ridiculously Resilient Ridge.'”

“The current high-pressure ridge is even stronger and more persistent than a similar ridge that parked over the Pacific Ocean during the 1976-77 drought, one of the driest in the 20th century.”

“Last year was the driest calendar year in recorded history in California in most cities, with records going back 160 years. The first snowpack reading in the Sierra Nevada earlier this month found a snowpack of just 20 percent of normal.”

The Herald article took me to a California weather blog that is full of interesting information, weather blog including this graphic of the high pressure ridge that parked itself over the Pacific Ocean last year and the first month of this year.


Don’t get me wrong, this weather is better than summer – no bugs! BUT … and this is a big BUT … I am a native Californian, and I reach SS age this year. I’ve seen a lot of California weather. Nothing like this. I have foregone planting new bare root fruit trees and roses. I am debating a vegetable garden this year. My spring is still producing well, but if all the aquifers that must feed it are at 20% of normal, how can my spring be far behind?