Photo by Pacifica Riptide drone, eastern Sierra Nevada.
By Gary Hanauer, Special to Riptide
Outdoor writer Tom Stienstra reports mind-boggling statistics in his San Francisco Chronicle/SF Gate blog: WHERE'S THE SNOW?
He writes: "Blue Canyon averages 252 inches of snow per year, Truckee averages 204 inches per year, and both have zilch right now. The weather station at Blue Canyon (5,240-foot elevation at the small airport) is used as a reporting point for meteorologists across America; it has bare dirt around it right now. Drought? Hardly. The station has already recorded an amazing 46.67 inches of rain this winter. If all that rain were snow, it could be 20, 30 feet high."
He adds: "It’s not only bare dirt along the Dunsmuir Grade, but it has not snowed there even once this season. Zero. Yet just above the Dunsmuir Grade, at Girard Ridge, the rain gauge has recorded 46.88 inches of rain this winter. Last year at this time, it was about 4 inches. On Saturday, the freezing level was 10,600 feet at Mount Shasta, some 1,500 feet higher than 9,025-foot Mount Eddy to the west."
Meanwhile, in the Redwood Empire to the north of us, Gasquet has received a towering 47.52 inches of rain, 37.43 inches have fallen in Zenia on the Eel River, and, closer to home right in Sonoma County, Yorkville (familiar to those of us who take Highway 128 from 101 to Mendocino) has had a staggering 53.76 inches of rain. But almost all of that wet stuff fell in December. January has been so dry, Tom reports, "that the rivers are low and clear."
Pacifica Police Department has information on a burglar arrested in a neighboring jurisdiction. The suspect claims to have burglarized vehicles in the north end of Pacifica overnight Wednesday to Thursday (January 21-22). Please contact the police non-emergency number if you were the victim of a theft so police can attempt to reunite you with your property!
The former manager of a San Bruno gas station has been charged with cheating people who purchased California lottery scratchers after he figured out a way to secretly check which tickets were winners. He would then sell the losing tickets to gas station patrons. The California Lottery Commission calls the scam "pinning," a way retailers can secretly check whether tickets are winners or losers, and then keep the winners and sell only the losing tickets to customers. The California Lottery Commission sent undercover investigators to the gas station and the manager sold them four more altered tickets. Shoiab Muhammed Mustafa of Pacifica was arrested November 17. He faces five felony counts of computer fraud and a misdemeanor charge. Investigators said he stole at least $300. (Pacifica Tribune, January 21) ***** Alan Wald palindromically posts: "Mustafa stole lots -- a fat sum!"
Scott McKellar's buddy Smitty says he saw an unidentified flying object (UFO) off the coast of Pacifica on January 6, and claims that everyone else driving near him on Highway 1 also witnessed the strange apparition with purple lights flashing and zooming up and down in the western sky for about 20 minutes. If you remember seeing something similar to this, please click Comments below this post and tell us about it. Photos, videos, and drawings are welcome, too. Base, out!
The Drought Monitor has upgraded a large chunk of Northern California from “exceptional” drought (the highest of its five categories) to “extreme” drought. So that’s better, but still not good. Conditions are still so stark because this drought is historic in its proportions. According to a study published recently in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, which looked at the records of drought in California tree growth rings, this is the most severe drought in the Golden State in the past 1,200 years. The depth of the drought is due to a combination of lack of precipitation and exceptionally warm temperatures. 2013 was driest year the state has ever recorded, followed by 2014, the warmest year on record by a wide margin.