Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New Challenges

The latest cold front has blown through, and my world is drying out a little. A busy week ahead with the promise of some Dungeness Crab fishing on tap.

Sunday morning I heard a traffic bulletin on a Sacramento radio station citing the messy conditions over Interstate 80's Donner Pass. As luck would have it, I was actually on the CHP's Traffic Incident Website wondering when chain controls would go up given the spate of spinouts and rollovers that littered the highway between 8:30AM and 9:30AM. The Kingvale webcam showed rain, but Boreal's images featured snow and lower visibility. Controls went up for a short time around 10AM.

Sunday Morning's 9:43 view
Sunday evening was lots of fun! I stayed in and  followed weather and road conditions like a ball game, leading up to the 11 O'Clock Newscasts. By 11PM the cold front was just a memory in the Valleys, but the TV WeatherFolks were overjoyed to have something wet and white to report. Up top over the High Sierra passes, the webcams showed the lingering snowfall. (I love that the Media is making heavy use of long before they start sponsoring HD webcams?) Chain controls were up for the second time Sunday.

Monday Morning Roundup
I woke up well before sunrise Monday (I'm no fan of Daylight Savings Time, sorry 'bout that Ben Franklin) I listened to some radio weather and traffic before I toured my suite of High Sierra websites. I caught weathercasts from Oakland and Sacramento on's all over but the shouting...the WeatherDudes I watched all teased "a chance of rain Tuesday", but a look at the AFD's says it'll pass us to the North.

@borealmtn showed up in my Twitter feed to announce their Tuesday Reopening. I looked at their webcam and the Groomers are already out pushing the new snow around. Nice to see the snowmaking fan blowing snow.

The cold air behind the front should hang in all week making for favorable snowmaking conditions. When I saw the fan pumping the man-made I looked at the neighboring PWS's, and the temps should warm to shutdown territory before noon.

I see that the storm closed the first mountain pass for the Winter. Hwy89 through Lassen National Park is closed for the season with 27 inches on the road near Lake Helen.

SturgeUrge called this morning, it's still sloppy wet at the SturgeUrge Compound so our construction project will be on the back burner for a day or two...I reminded Urge that Dungeness Crabs don't care if it's wet out...we're gonna try to get out to Tomales Bay permitting.

OK, Crab Fishing is ON for Wednesday! We're gonna have to get up at the crack of night to get over to Tomales Bay in time to hit the optimal tidal currents for success. I picked up two pounds of squid bait and moved my crab pots over to the Compound...we'll do some more work Tuesday afternoon before we prep and load up the boat.

I spent some time prospecting online for some relevant PWS's for Tomales Bay...I ended up resigning myself to the fact that the sparse population up there is going to make for some big-time extrapolation for real-time weather data. No matter, I'll record my observations each time we set a pot, and compare my observations to the two nearest remote stations...nothing too fancy at this juncture. Estimated windspeed, direction and time are all I'll need.

Buoyed by my PWS Tomales research, I surfed back up to Boreal and Donner Summit. Things are looking up and they'll be looking good Tuesday when they reopen at noon.

Boreal's fans are pumping the man-made big time! A look at Sugar Bowl's webcam shows they have their fans blowing snow too.

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