Rain Reports, 11/26/16

6:57 pm – a major downpour at the rate of almost 4″ and hour. That lasted for a few minutes, and now just consistent rain, heavy at times.

9:30 am – here is the weather spotter number for NWS-Monterey Bay: 800-826-7827. Call this number if you spot ANY debris flow anywhere near the Soberanes Fire area. Note the location (GPS coordinates a plus) and date and time. If you have a photo of it send to:


The more info we send them early in the winter, the more they can fine-tune their predictions later in the season.


7 am – It started about 6 am, and within an hour, I had about 1/2″ of rain. I don’t see any reports of road problems, yet, but there are bound to be rocks on the road, so drive carefully. I will check back throughout the day, but please share any information you have. In my trip north on Turkey Day, I saw several spots in Big Sur Valley which could be very problematic this winter. Stock up, keep gassed up, and take care of each other.

Rain Report, 10/28/16

9:30 am – been quiet since 9 am, when I glimpsed a lot of blue sky before the clouds closed in on me. Big Sur Station reports 1.4″ of rain, a report of 1.1″ in Seaside Highlands, and another local reports the highway is clear from River Inn to Lucia. So far, so good, but several more storms to go, yet.

7:00 am – I woke at 12:30 am to the sound I had been waiting all day for – the patter of dogs and cats across my roof – or so my rain gauge told me. The rain rate was 1.23″/hour or well past the 1/2″ rate that triggers debris flow – raining cats and dogs is a favorite saying of my rain gauge. I was still up an hour later and noted that we had had that 1/2″. My worry began for my neighbors to the north and to the east, particularly Palo Colorado Canyon.

Eventually, I did get back to sleep and re-woke at 6:30 am. Now, the rain is soft and gentle, and I note no other periods of heavy rainfall while I slept. It is now 1.1″ since midnight. I check the CHP site and see roadway flooding notes all over Monterey County, particularly along highway 101, but none here? Really? Meredith Gafill commented on my post on FB of a problem by Lucia, but it is gone when I check. I will continue to keep an eye out and hope those of you who can will share reports with the rest of us. We have rain predicted on and off through Tuesday, so this could become a very long weekend, particularly near the burn scar of the Soberanes. Be safe, everyone.

Here are the 24 hour totals. Some automatic gauges did not work, thus an “M” for missing.


Links & Info, Soberanes Winter, Part II

From Peter Garin, on the Arroyo Seco side of the fire:
“I just got back from talking to a group of BAER’s…

First of all, I have to thank Tim Short, the Chief Ranger for the Los Padres National Forest (Ed note: District Ranger, Monterey District) and Judith Downing, Emergency Management Specialist for inviting me to the presentation on Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 19th. It was chaired by Kevin Cooper, the Los Padres BAER Team Coordinator.

It was one of the most, fast paced, concise, well organized meetings I’ve attended in a while. Although the first part of BAER study was presented on October 5th, in Big Sur which attended, the second part was presented and shared with various agencies that worked together on compiling the information as the fire was still being contained in Carmel Valley and Arroyo Seco. Now that the fire was contained they all rushed to get out the report that at the meeting was being presented and finalized. The report will then be distributed officially to all the various government agencies sometime next week. In short, I got a preview.

I got to see how the report was compiled by the experts who used satellite imagery, heat sensor maps, documentation from previous fires in the area, helicopter flights, and first hand “boots on the ground” staff inspections. The staff was compiled of geologists, hydrologists, erosion specialists, local Rangers, staff experts in roads, trails, archeology as well as cultural sites, botany and wildlife.

Without going into too much detail the following points emerged:

The brunt of fire is in the Carmel Valley and Big Sur Watersheds.

Every possible scenario has been considered concerning health and human safety.

Mapping and documentation was carefully calculated, and projections made on the best data possible.

Maps were created showing probable debris flow, volume of flow and the combined hazard of both.

Debris flow start when rain exceeds .05 inches in one hour even before soils are saturated.

Short, high intensity rains create the worst debris flows.

Constant vigilance over culverts, storm drains, key drainage points in trails and roads help immensely.

Preparation and organization mitigate most disasters.

Early warning systems that were just tested with the recent rain worked very well. (Ed Note: Some question re this, from what I heard, due to landlines down from storm)

Get advice before you try and implement erosion control yourself.

Experts can advise you on “Best practices”, and the NCRS will provide confidential advice for free.

Follow warnings. Pay attention to signage. Be sure you get the best advice possible, confirm the source.

There will be a meeting when the agencies have a chance to confer and will coordinate a date and time with Dee Heckman. The date and time will be announced.”

Flash Flood Warning

Following Flash Flood Warning from the National Weather Service.

Bulletin – EAS Activation Requested
Flash Flood Warning
National Weather Service San Francisco Ca
958 AM PDT Sun Oct 16 2016

The National Weather Service In The San Francisco Bay Area Has Issued A

* Flash Flood Warning For…
Southwestern Monterey County In Central California…

* Until 600 PM PDT Sunday

* At 957 AM PDT…Doppler Radar And Automated Rain Gauges Indicated
Heavy Rain Falling Across The Warned Area. Flash Flooding Is
Expected To Begin Shortly.

* Some Locations That Will Experience Flooding Include…
Sobranes Burn Area…Big Sur Village…Lucia…
Tassajara Hot Springs…Gorda…Jamesburg…
Carmel Valley Village…Pico Blanco Campground…
Cachagua Near The Los Padres Dam…
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park…Andrew Molera State Park…
San Clemente Dam…Partington Ridge…Esalen Institute…
Big Sur Raws And Arroyo Seco Raws.

Precautionary/Preparedness Actions…

Move Away From Recently Burned Areas. Life-Threatening Flooding Of
Creeks…Roads And Normally Dry Arroyos Is Likely. The Heavy Rains
Will Likely Trigger Rockslides…Mudslides And Debris Flows In Steep
Terrain…Especially In And Around These Areas

Upcoming Storm Series

Here is one graphic of possible expected rain by John Lindsey of SLO Co:


NOAA NWS is predicting 100% chance of rain on Friday in Big Sur, expected to be in the 1/2″ neighborhood. Keep an eye out for mudslides, but especially after the rains stop as the water makes its way down hillsides.

Season ending rains later this week?

As Paul H. Commented on yesterday’s post (please read), we have the potential of a storm with significant consequences heading this way. Here is what NOAA and the NWS had to say today:

“A more significant pattern change is expected to begin Thursday as a broad upper level trough approaches the region. This system is progged to tap into a plume of moisture over the Pacific with precipitable water values in excess of 1.5 inches. As this system approaches it will bring precipitation into northern Sonoma county Thursday afternoon and evening. While models have fallen into agreement on this there is still some disagreement with the timing and intensity of the rainfall for Friday. The Euro (ECMWF) is the more aggressive of the two models and brings rain as far south as the Monterey Bay Thursday night while the GFS keep rain changes north of the Golden Gate. The GFS appears to catch up to the Euro Friday night as it pushes the main rain band through the region. The Euro however remains the wetter of the two solutions.

Periods of moderate to locally heavy rain is anticipated Friday across the region. Heaviest precipitation is expected across the North Bay. Models indicate there will likely be a break the rain (GFS) or hit and miss showers (Euro) Saturday on the back side of the main frontal band. However a second round of showers is expected Sunday as the second boundary moves across the region. With a moist atmosphere in place the second boundary will have no trouble spreading widespread precipitation across the region. Rain is expected across the forecast area and will likely bring the season ending rains that the fires burning across the region have been waiting for.”


17 illegal campfires on the South Coast Sunday morning

I just don’t understand this … It is hotter than Darwin, as dry as the Mojave and people are having campfires? What is wrong with people?? And people wonder why those of us who live here don’t want any dispersed camping? Being constantly on edge that someone is going to “accidentally” burn us out is nerve wracking. This is absolutely nuts. I give up. We can’t educate those who don’t want to be, and they WAY out number the ones who do.


Stoney Fire, 6/3/16

3:00 pm – Strike Team SBC 1538C plus E 312, 318,323,332,351, plus battalion 513 assigned to Stoney. KRN ST reassigned from Chimney to Stoney.

1:00 pm – Per South Ops, the fire is 250 acres and 15% contained. Moderate ROS. Planned burning ops for today will cause acreage to increase to about 3800 acres.

8:30 am – Intel: “What I do know is they were attempting to get dozer line around, indirect, and then to fire it out. If that was/is successful, it would be approximately 5,000 acres. If the weather does what it is predicted to do today, that should be a very challenging line to hold. The ignition probability is about 100% out there right now. Anyway, that was the word I got”

Photos of Stoney Fire at mouth of Wizard Gulch taken last night by Geri Kavanagh-Baird


As of 4:30 am the fire has grown to 500 acres.

“Updated spot for Friday. Estimated acreage around 500 acres. Very hot and dry.


In addition to Fort Hunter Liggett RAWS this nearby weather station is likely more representative of the weather on the fire.


Last MODIS heat images are from about 10 pm, overnight heat signature has cooled considerably. Will see how it behaves with another day of 100 plus heat and single digit RH.”

The Music of the Rain

3:35 pm – Nice downpour – 1.49″/hour. Gratefully received.

I came into my library with a cup of coffee to read. I turned on my replica 1930’s radio for music. I could almost hear the rain on the metal roof, but not well. I turned off the radio. I won’t have too many more opportunities for a while to listen to the music of the rain.

Rain total at end of day. I’m busy listening to the music of the rain.