Saturday, January 30, 2010

More of the Crags

The clouds have separated enough and with the addition of a little
sun the rest of the crags are revealed. See the post from the 26th for the other view with the fog and clouds.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Sun Came Out

The sun came out today and I had a chance to get a couple of nice shots. It looks like Mount Shasta got another few feet of snow in the last few days. Black Butte which looks like it sits right in the middle of I-5, was quite beautifully glistening in the sun.

 then there was this AT&T truck who's driver brought some of the snow back with him to prove there was 18 inches of snow in the last storm...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Castle Crags and the Clouds

As I was passing the Castle Crags State Park turnoff today I noticed a break in the clouds and saw the snow covered granite peaks jutting out through the opening and sparkling in the sunlight. A beautiful sight. (Click for a larger hi def view)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mount Shasta City Snow

A few of my delivery stops today in Mount Shasta City.
Lots of snow, still some businesses without power or heat.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Shasta Lake is Rising

The water level at Shasta Lake has gone up almost 24 feet in the past week during this Pacific storm. On Sunday the 17th the lake level was at 952.17 (a full lake has 1067 feet) and yesterday the lake level was at 976.05.  Mount Shasta ski park got some 7 feet of snow in the past couple of days.  Mount Shasta city had lost power both Thursday and Friday from the storm.  The ski park is closed today due to a power outage also.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Mount Shasta after the Storm

The sun came out for a bit today on my way home and I was able to get a couple of shots of Mount Shasta with a few feet of new snow. The bottom picture is the base of Black Butte as you come into Mount Shasta on southbound I-5.
(as always, click the image for a larger picture)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Roads Open Again

They reopened I-5 this morning so we had a chance to get caught up. The lines of trucks in both directions (northbound and southbound) at the chain control checkpoints extended for 15-20 miles in each direction. Some intense snow stuck to the trees along the freeway in Mount Shasta plus it was like this on the wires and Mount Shasta lost power for quite some time today. The truckers would just stop in the slow land and either put on or take off chains depending on the road conditions so the traffic only really moved in the fast lane.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Storm, Day 3

No pictures today. They closed I-5 northbound just north of Redding due to hazardous winter driving conditions and several accidents.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Storm, Day 2

Lots of interesting stuff today. Chain controls cause traffic back ups which cause slow traffic, accidents, etc. More snow, deeper snow. Then I get to a delivery stop near Mugginsville and there is no snow at all and I see two "forest" Christmas trees. The truck mashed the wall and broke the trailer in half. Bad picture, bad weather...
(as always, click for a larger image)

Monday, January 18, 2010

The storm has started...

The storm has started. I had a lot of rain this morning but it cooled off this afternoon and it was a blizzard coming through Mount Shasta on the way back to Redding.
(as always, click pictures for a larger image)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Interesting weather pattern building.

Anyone who ever said that winter weather in California was boring has never experienced a pattern like the one we’re headed for over the next several weeks. After a very prolonged period of benign and mostly dry weather across the entire state brought about by an anomalously and almost bizarrely persistent high-latitude block for much of the winter season thus far, a major shift in the hemispheric flow pattern will being a prolonged period of heavy rainfall and strong winds to the entire state of California. Though there have been a few large storms California over the last few years, the first decade of the new millennium was generally not known for its active weather patterns in our state. The new decade appears to be trying to make up for some lost time in that regard. For the first time in at least several years, a powerful southern stream branch of the jet stream over the Pacific is expected to roar across CA for at least the next two weeks, potentially bringing a tremendous amount of precipitation and frequent strong wind events.

All this excitement revolves around the southern branch of the jet stream over the Pacific, which is known to be energized by El Nino. Currently, the strong El Nino is reaching its peak in the Eastern Pacific, and now finally appears to be exerting an influence on our weather. The strong jet has been apparent for quite some time out over the open water, but the persistent block had prevented it from reaching the coast. Now that the block has dissolved completely, a 200+ kt jet is barreling towards us. Multiple large and powerful storm systems are expected to slam into CA from the west and northwest over the coming two weeks, all riding this extremely powerful jet stream directly into the state. The jet will itself provide tremendous dynamic lift, in addition to directing numerous disturbances right at the state and supplying them with an ample oceanic moisture source. The jet will be at quite a low latitude over much of the Pacific, so these storms will be quite cold, at least initially. Very heavy rainfall and strong to potentially very strong winds will impact the lower elevations beginning late Sunday and continuing through at least the following Sunday. This will be the case for the entire state, from (and south of) the Mexican border all the way up to Oregon. Above 3000-4000 feet, precipitation will be all snow, and since temperatures will be unusually cold for a precipitation event of this magnitude, a truly prodigious amount of snowfall is likely to occur in the mountains, possibly measured in the tens of feet in the Sierra after it’s all said and done. But there’s a big and rather threatening caveat to that (discussed below).Individual storm events are going to be hard to time for at least few more days, since this jet is just about as powerful as they come (on this planet, anyway). Between this Sunday and the following Sunday, I expect categorical statewide rainfall totals in excess of 3-4 inches. That is likely to be a huge underestimate for most areas. Much of NorCal is likely to see 5-10 inches in the lowlands, with 10-20 inches in orographically-favored areas. Most of SoCal will see 3-6 inches at lower elevations, with perhaps triple that amount in favored areas.

This is where things get even more interesting, though. The models are virtually unanimous in “reloading” the powerful jet stream and forming an additional persistent kink 2000-3000 miles to our southwest after next Sunday. This is a truly ominous pattern, because it implies the potential for a strong Pineapple-type connection to develop. Indeed, the 12z GFS now shows copious warm rains falling between days 12 and 16 across the entire state. Normally, such as scenario out beyond day seven would be dubious at best. Since the models are in such truly remarkable agreement, however, and because of the extremely high potential impact of such an event, it’s worth mentioning now. Since there will be a massive volume of freshly-fallen snow (even at relatively low elevations between 3000-5000 feet), even a moderately warm storm event would cause very serious flooding.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Finally, a beautiful mountain!

The sun came out for a little while so I did get a picture near Dunsmuir today. We are expecting another huge storm next week. "They" say it will bring 5-10 inches of rain and possibly 10 feet of snow at higher elevations (over 6000 feet). This will definitely add some more fluff to the mountain.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Still Concealed

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mount Shasta Concealed

We had a big rainstorm today and the weather was warmer than normal but the higher elevations will still get some snow. As the clouds partially revealed the blue skies they kept Mount Shasta under wraps for awhile longer. Maybe tomorrow I will see the new snow...
(click image for a larger more detailed picture)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Antlers Bridge Project

We have another storm coming Tuesday and Wednesday and I am not sure how this will affect the bridge work on the lower portion of the lake. I did get a better picture of the batch plant setup and a picture of another section of work.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Antlers Bridge Project

I got a couple of pictures on the abp (Antlers Bridge Project). They are setting up some of the equipment on the batch plant and are working on the grading for the bridge piers on the other side of the freeway. The scheduled completion of the bridge is 2013.
(click images for larger pictures)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Lenticular Clouds Forming

Yesterday the sun came out for a bit and I had a chance for a couple of shots as some lenticular clouds were forming over Mount Shasta. They are always quite interesting.
(as always, click image for a larger photo)

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year's Flood 1997 Marker

I saw these painted markers on the way to Seide Valley today. The painting for 1997 was about 8 feet above the highway, the 2005 marker only a couple of feet above the road. I had to search for the "rest of the story"...

New Year's Day 1997: Northern California flood

A series of tropical storms collectively called a pineapple connection hit northern California from late December 1996 to early January 1997.[1] December 1996 was one of the wettest Decembers on record.[1] The Klamath River on California's North Coast experienced significant flooding which led to the river permanently changing course in some areas.[6] The Klamath National Forest experienced its worst flood since 1974.[6] Unprecedented flows from rain surged into the Feather River basin while melted snow surged into the San Joaquin River basin.[6] Rain fell at elevations up to 11,000 feet (3,400 m), prompting snow melt.[6][1] The Cosumnes River, a tributary to the San Joaquin River, bore the brunt of the flooding.[6] Sacramento was spared, though levee failures flooded Olivehurst, Arboga, Wilton, Manteca, and Modesto.[7] Massive landslides in the Eldorado National Forest east of Sacramento closed Highway 50.[6] Damages totaled US$35 million (1997 dollars).[6]

Watersheds in the Sierra Nevada were already saturated by the time three subtropical storms added more than 30 inches (760 mm) of rain in late December 1996 and early January 1997. [1] Levee failures due to breaks or over topping in the Sacramento River Basin resulted in extensive damages.[1] In the San Joaquin River Basin, dozens of levees failed throughout the river system and produced widespread flooding.[1] The Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta also experienced several levee breaks and levee over topping.[1] 48 counties were declared disaster areas, including all 46 counties in northern California.[1] Over 23,000 homes and businesses, agricultural lands, bridges, roads and flood management infrastructures – valued at about $2 billion – were damaged. Nine people were killed and 120,000 people were evacuated from their homes.[1] 300 square miles (780 km2) were flooded, including the Yosemite Valley, which flooded for the first time since 1861-62.[1]


1."Historic Rainstorms in California". California Department of Water Resources. Retrieved 2007-10-23.
2."1986 Flood Disaster". Retrieved 2007-10-22.
3."Summary of Significant Floods in the United States, 1986". U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Kansas Water Science Center. Retrieved 2007-10-22.
5."1986 Flood Victims To Get Millions". KCRA 3. Retrieved 2007-10-22.
6.Aftermath of the 1997 Flood: Summary of a Workshop
7."Sacramento Flood Risk". Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency (SAFCA). Retrieved 2007-10-22.