Incoming Storm System, 12/15/18

From NOAA Forecast Discussion - button up!
(new editing format by WP is resulting in formatting issues.
I hate when wp decides to change what works for something that doesn’t)
”Unlike previous storm system this one will have plenty of moisture to work with.
Latest TPW imagery puts values of 1-1.5" or 150-200% percent of normal.
Simply put there is moisture to work with.
Atmospheric River guidance has been rather consistent
for several days now indicating IVT over 500 kg/m/s,
which would fall into the moderate category
and be one of the stronger ARs of the 2018 season.

Once the upper level TROUGH arrives Sunday afternoon it will
help to push the FRONT through the region.
Additionally, the upper level TROUGH will increase upper level support and increase overall INSTABILITY.
Model guidance shows rather decent surface and mid- level INSTABILITY Sunday afternoon through early Monday.
Decided to add a 15-20% CHC of thunderstorms with the FROPA.
It should be noted that the Storm Prediction Center
has a large portion of CA in a general mention
of thunder Sunday into Monday.
Given the landfalling AR and convective potential
there could be a brief period of moderate to heavy rainfall
leading to minor flooding/ponding on roads and urban areas.
A more showery regime will set up late Sunday night over northern areas behind the FRONT and then slowly spread S and E Monday afternoon.
Rainfall totals tonight through Monday will be greatest over the North Bay and coastal mountains 1-3" - locally 3+" North Bay Peaks and Santa Lucias.”
Repeat: Locally, over 3” in the Santa Lucias.

Storm Watch, 11/29/18

9 am – I am hearing some grumbling from locals on Caltrans’s decision to close the road. I get it, I do, but things have changed. Conditions are not like they used to be where it was understood that we locals took our chances. Now, we have clueless tourists who would also “take their chances” and then ask to be rescued and/or sue if they were injured or their vehicle was damaged. I do have concerns about even emergency vehicles not being able to get through, but I do understand  the concerns of Caltrans. Safety first. Always.


Rain is coming

From Weather West, aka, Daniel Swain: “The good news: significant, perhaps even fire “season ending” rains possible across much of Northern California by late next week. The bad news: some models suggesting heavy rainfall capable of causing significant post-fire flood/debris flow concerns near #CampFire.” Looks like Big Sur is in the 2 to 3” area. So, is this significant enough to close the gates on Mud Creek and Paul’s Slide? I guess we will see 48 hours out.


Atmospheric River, 2/7/17

This does not look good… do not expect any problem areas: slides, slip outs, flooding, to get fixed this week. And for whatever consolation it can provide, we are not alone. Much of Central and Northern California is getting hammered with flooding, road closures, school closures, and other forms of weather-related problems.


Rain & Road, 2/3/17

7:30 am – it was quiet last night, then Just before 3 am, the cats & dogs started pounding on the roof. The South Coast 24 hour rain amounts are 2.84″ at Chalk Peak, 3.15″ at Three Peaks, and 2.74″ at Mining Ridge. That’s a lot of rain for 24 hours on saturated ground. We will be seeing movement from this. The CHP website log hasn’t been updated since yesterday at 9:46 am, so will have to wait to see what CHP, CT, or locals have to say, but it can’t be good out there with this much rain.

From Meterologist John Lindsey: “Another but stronger low-pressure system will bring
increasing clouds and rain showers Sunday evening and night. As the associated a cold front approaches the Central Coast, the southerly winds will increase to moderate gale-force to fresh gale-force (32 to 46 mph) levels on Monday. This system is forecast to tap into a large plume of subtropical moisture. Consequently, 2 and 3 inches of rain may fall on Monday with higher amounts in the coastal mountains.” BTW, Rocky Butte got over 4″ in the last 24 hours. (Up in the mountains behind and north of Hearst Castle)

Rain & Road, 2/2/17

9:46 am – closure back in place at Ragged Point on the south end.

8:30 am – Consistent with what Cal Trans put out last night – From the CHP log:

Rain down here 1.38″ at Anderson Peak and 1.5″ at Three Peaks. NOAA says: “Wet start to the year looks to stay in place at least through mid-month.” Rain on and off throughout the day, with another system coming in tonight through Friday, then a bit of a break on Saturday, and another system Sun-Mon.

(this post will be updated throughout the day as needed, but new post with CT update, when received.)

Upcoming Storms

Current, 1/31/17, predicts for late Wednesday (tomorrow) through Friday indicate:

“By that point rainfall amounts will likely range from 2.5″ to 5″ for higher elevation spots with many urban locations in the .75″ to 1.50″ range. Thankfully local rivers and streams have greatly receded due to several dry days (and recent warmer weather), which will provide a buffer against the first round of rain.”

Then Sunday night through Monday is slated to bring:

“This will lead to a higher risk for flooding. Early numbers indicate that urban locations can expect another 1/2″ to 1.25″ with higher elevation spots generally in the 1.5″-3″ range.

Rain will change back to showers later on Monday with a third system indicated on the GFS for Tuesday (ECMWF shows dry weather).”

Weather: A look back, a look ahead

So far for January


And for what is coming:


And NOAA forecast discussion from this am:

Longer range models are still bringing rain chances back to Northern California by the middle of next week. The GFS starts to increase southerly winds ahead of the system by early Wednesday morning with rain beginning in the North Bay by mid morning and
spreading south into the rest of the district by the afternoon. The GFS brings a secondary punch of moisture through Wednesday night, with showers ending by late Thursday. The 00z ECMWF delays the onset of precipitation by about 12 hours, but also ends the
precip by late Friday. While excessive rainfall is not expected with this system, given that soils are still saturated from copious recent rainfall, there is the possibility of at least
minor hydro issues and slides. In addition, winds with this system may be quite strong and gusty, particularly from late Wednesday into Thursday.

And here is the satellite photo sent in by Dave Allen:


Rain & Road Reports, Sunday, 1/8/17

Incident: 00329 Type: Traffic Hazard Location: SR1 / BIG CREEK Loc Desc: NB JSO Lat/Lon: 36.069587 -121.599060
Detail Information
1:36 PM 2 [3] 1039 DOT

11:30 – Due to the current weather and road conditions, CPOA is postponing its Annual Meeting that was scheduled for this coming Tuesday. A new date will be announced in the near future.

oh, and btw, it is POURING here!

10 am – Several of our most talented and knowageable locals went and took a look at the log jam this am and came to this conclusion:

We (4 guys) got out this morning at first light to evaluate the Redwood log jam on the Big Sur River. We sized up the situation under some down pours and gusty winds. The location is north of Saint Francis Church and south of “Dorwood” which is just south of the Grange. We accessed river left from a foot bridge over the river at this location.

The trees are the victims of an eroded river bank on a piece of State Park property and may not be the only trees to ultimately end up in the River. River left is getting scoured and is undermining the root balls of the remaining trees.
(River side determined by facing down stream),

The obvious solution is to cut the ends of the trees in a way that allowed the trunks to rotate parallel with the flow of the river. And I’m prepared to jump in and just do it, but aside from the danger, it is entirely possible that the trunks could realign in a way that took out the remaining bridges (4) downstream. I’d rather not be known as the guy who took out Brewer’s Bridge.

Aside from the issue of staging, which might be insurmountable, getting a crane involved would be hairy as well, under the current circumstances. The river is pulsing with a lot of energy and the hydraulics could easily out wit and out muscle that piece of equipment.

So, as in most things involving nature, I think we let her take her course, cross our fingers and keep an eye on it until the river goes down

Highway One to open at 11 am.


9 am – San Lorenzo River predicted to top 21 feet by 9 pm this evening. Flood stage is 16.5 feet.

8:30 am –

Big Sur Station Rain Totals:
Storm Total: 4.46″ (since Friday at 4 p.m.)
Overnight Total: 1.4″ (since Saturday at 8 p.m.)
We still have electricity & internet.
The station will be open from 9-4 today. (Thank you Tim Bills)

7:45 am – it has been quiet here since midnight, except for the wind. Most of the lightning and thunder and hail between midnight and 1 am was to the north of here. Little rain at the moment, but predictions are the storm will move southward this afternoon. The road is open north of Lucia, apparently, as I have seen or heard nothing to indicate otherwise. CHP still lists the closures of Palo Colorado, OCR, and south from Lucia to Ragged Point. Crews are probably already out down here on the south end taking care of the constant slides. I am actually going to get my first cup of coffee before 8 am this morning. As always, I will be monitoring throughout the day. Stay safe and aware.

Rain and Road Reports, 1/7/17

9 pm – and yet another one:

Incident: 00348 Type: Roadway Flooding Location: 47200 Sr1 Loc Desc: FERNWOOD RIVER AREA Lat/Lon: 36.303039 -121.880112
Detail Information

Incident: 00168 Type: Roadway Flooding Location: Sr1 / Andrew Molera State Park Loc Desc: Lat/Lon: 36.288901 -121.846554
Detail Information
12:31 PM 1 [2] 1039 CALTRANS

Noon – Three Peaks and Chalk Peak up to almost 2″

11:15 – Elkhorn Slough Rd. Expected to be closed for a month due to sink hole.

11 am – Paul’s slide puked again:

Incident: 00125 Type: Road/Weather Conditions Location: X Loc Desc: Lat/Lon: 0:0
Detail Information

9:30 – So, I have posted the 20″ in 2 days model of the NAM, the 40″ in 10 days NCEP and now here is the third model, GFS. They all seem to be in agreement that we are due to be hammered. This was originally an animated GIF, but I can’t post those here, and haven’t figured out how to post to FB so here are a couple of screen shots. BTW, at 9 am, over an inch at Big Sur Station, Chalk Peak, and Three Peaks. Black Cone was at 1 and 1/2″


5:30 am – Big Sur starts out the day with:

“As of 5 am about 0.50 inches of rain in Big Sur, 0.12 in downtown San Francisco and 0.25 around Santa Rosa. #CAStorm” per NWS. Per automatic gauges, Mining Ridge has .47″, Three Peaks has .51″ and Chalk Peak is missing its data. The heaviest rain is expected tonight into Sunday morning.

High Wind Advisories in effect through tomorrow. Howling pretty good up here.