Monday, December 7, 2009

About last Night...

Rough Going Tonight Over Sierra Highways
It's Sunday after dark. Here in the Inland Valley, I've successfully dodged rain squalls all afternoon. And I tied up a knitting basket-full of loose ends. At 8:45 PM there's chain controls up on Interstate 80 from Alta to the Nevada State Line, and Donner Pass is closed to trucks westbound. The CalTrans Chain Control page says I-80 is closed to westbound trucks at the Nevada State Line due to snow. Alta is about 3200ft, and snow levels are forecast to drop to around 500ft later Sunday night in the North Bay Counties of Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, and east. Frost and Freeze Warnings cover the Coast and Inland Valleys, a Winter Storm Warning stays in effect until 7PM Monday night...something for everybody...

It's going to be a bumpy night. The Remote Sensors report temps from 15F on Donner Summit down to 9F at the 8500ft level. The farther northeast the sensor, the colder the reading. This was a "Backdoor Storm" spun up over the Great Basin and retrograded overnight along the frontal boundary into the Tahoe Sierra, and points south west. The raindrops I dodged Sunday afternoon, were from the advancing front, not the retrograde snowmaker.

Over in the Reno NWS Office, forecasters are in their element, they're earning it, but they're lovin' it too. They've been updating their AFD every three hours or so all day. It's far from over, the next pulse is winding up and will pound the High Sierra by morning, when Ridge Winds are forecast to gust up to 70mph. They say another 8-16 inches at 7000ft. Nice dry champagne powder.

Surfer Dudes turn it down to Simmer
The Big Wave Surf Democracy punted...that is they decided to postpone their vote, and take a look at Wednesday's forecast...they need 48 hours to pull the trigger. They're getting some sleep. Thanks to their buzzing, I found that my favorite NDBC Buoys Twitter hourly updates now! They don't have anything significant to report yet...

Frothing up the pond where CorduroyPlanet's Lillypad floats, are the CalTrans Highway Signs that also Twitter their every update...even if they say: "I'm still not saying anything new"...every half hour... I follow the signs during storms, and unfollow them when the storms pass...they are verbose for electronic a point way beyond audience comprehension. Later this week, I have to run the gauntlet and try to thread the needle between storms, to get reacquainted with my DaveCave, and get back out on My Mountain!

From the Front Lines of the Flatlands
SFO/Monterey's NWS Office is getting in on the fun too. Their latest AFD backs off on the Snow Level they're saying 1500ft, which seems more realistic...less Fantasyland.

Dispatch from the Front
Back up on Interstate 80, chain controls are moving downhill. At 10:45PM chains are required from Colfax (2,425ft) to the Nevada State Line.

Dispatch from the Front Yard
This morning, I took my camera out with me to pick up the newspaper. Snow is on the foliage here at the 500ft elevation of the Ancestral Digs. The sun is shining, but the Morning News says there's still snow falling in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Chain Controls lowered all the way down to Auburn overnight...1,227ft

While I don't count this as a Major Storm here in the Bay Area, it counts in the High Sierra. So the Surf Weather Dudes are 1/30 of the way to fulfilling their forecast for the winter...Score one for them.

History Dispatch
Remember Pearl Harbor today. Say a prayer for the departed, and thank a Veteran for their service to our country.

"December 7th, 1941, a day that will live in Infamy" FDR

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