Sunday, July 21, 2019

[CaliforniaDisasters] On This Date In California Weather History (July 21)

2013: Thunderstorms erupted across the mountains and deserts on this day.
Radar estimated 2"-4" of rainfall in one hour for some of the storms.
The newly vulnerable burn scar of the Mountain fire got brief heavy rain that produced a flash flood and a debris flow called an "ash flow."
One of these flowed into a pond, displaced the water, and killed the resident fish.
Several other desert roads near Sky Valley, Mecca, and Borrego Springs were rendered
impassable from the water and debris.
In Big Bear City, some of these floodwaters entered a few homes.
In remote Anza Borrego Desert State Park, three vehicles were washed downstream.

2008:
A rare widespread severe weather outbreak occurred in western Nevada.
Supercell thunderstorms caused damage across the area with reports of large hail and strong winds.

2006: Concord had a high temperature of 106° F.

2003: The high temperature at Hawthorne, NV, (western Nevada) was 105° F.

1999: Heavy thunderstorms hit the Borrego Springs area causing flash flood damage at Borrego Springs and Ocotillo Wells.
A tornado hit Shelter Valley causing property damage.

1998: Strong thunderstorms hit the Las Vegas valley producing 0.75" - 1.50" of rain.
Serious flooding occurred at Desert Inn and Durango Road and 3 people became trapped by flood water had to be rescued.

1997: A small tornado developed east of Palmdale.
The tornado was rated an F0, and caused minimal damage.

1987: A rare cold air mass for mid-summer descended on the region starting on 7.18 and ending on this day and broke numerous low temperature records.
It was 39° F in Palomar Mountain, the lowest temperature on record for July.
This also occurred three days previous on 7.18 and the previous day on 7.20.

1986: Very heavy rains and water rushing off the Dome Rock Mountains breached a retaining wall near a mobile home park in Ehrenberg, AZ.
7 mobile homes, some with residents inside, were swept into the Colorado River.
Portions of Interstate 10 were washed away as up to 3 feet of water covered the roadway.
55 vehicles were damaged.

1986: A weak tornado (F0) touched down on a sparse hillside ten miles south of Barstow.
It was on the ground for approximately three minutes and traveled about 150 yards.
No damage was reported.

1985: Bridgeport (Mono Co.) recorded 1.17" of precipitation.

1984: Thunderstorms caused very heavy rain to occur in the Greater Phoenix and Yuma, AZ, areas, as well as across Mojave county, AZ (northwest corner of state).
Major flash flooding was reported in numerous locations and the Governor of Arizona declared Mojave and Yuma Counties a disaster area.

1965: It was 32° F in Big Bear Lake, the latest freezing temperature for the season on record.

1952: A M7.3 earthquake centered along the Bear Mountain Fault occurred.
The quake caused millions of dollars in damage in Kern County, and causing the worst damage in Arvin and Tehachapi, where 9 people were killed.

1938: A major dust and rain storm affected Yuma, AZ.
Numerous trees are uprooted and city-wide curb to curb flooding is reported.

1902: A dying tropical cyclone brought two inches of rain to the mountains and deserts of Southern California during a very strong El NiƱo event of 1901-02.

Source: NWS San Francisco/Monterey, Hanford, Reno, Las Vegas, Phoenix, & San Diego

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Saturday, July 20, 2019

Re: [CaliforniaDisasters] Emergency Manager’s Weekly Report 7-19-19

Steve,

Thanks for bringing these updates over here from the old platform.

Kimmer

On Sat, Jul 20, 2019 at 5:45 PM Steve Detwiler <steveorange2011@gmail.com> wrote:

Good Evening Everyone,

 

The July 19th edition of the Emergency Manager's Weekly Report is now available on our website at: http://www.emergencymanagersweeklyreport.com/  The weekly publication will resume on August 2nd.

 

Steve Detwiler

EM Weekly Report Editor



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[CaliforniaDisasters] Emergency Manager’s Weekly Report 7-19-19

Good Evening Everyone,

 

The July 19th edition of the Emergency Manager's Weekly Report is now available on our website at: http://www.emergencymanagersweeklyreport.com/  The weekly publication will resume on August 2nd.

 

Steve Detwiler

EM Weekly Report Editor

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[CaliforniaDisasters] Study bolsters case that climate change is driving many California wildfires

Study bolsters case that climate change is driving many California wildfires

15 July 2019
Joint Release

AGU press contact:
Nanci Bompey
+1 (202) 777-7524 (GMT-4)
nbompey@agu.org

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Press Contact:
Kevin Krajick (GMT-4)
+1 (212) 854-9729
kkrajick@ei.columbia.edu

Contact information for the researchers:
Park Williams, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (GMT-4)
+1 (845) 365-8193 (office)
williams@ldeo.columbia.edu


Washington– Against a backdrop of long-term rises in temperature in recent decades, California has seen ever higher spikes in seasonal wildfires, and, in the last two years, a string of disastrous, record-setting blazes. This has led scientists, politicians and media to ponder: what role might warming climate be playing here? A new study in AGU's journal Earth's Future combs through the many factors that can promote wildfire, and concludes that in many, though not all, cases, warming climate is the decisive driver. The study finds in particular that the huge summer forest fires that have raked the North Coast and Sierra Nevada regions recently have a strong connection to arid ground conditions brought on by increasing heat. It suggests that wildfires could grow exponentially in the next 40 years, as temperatures continue to rise.

The study notes that average summer temperatures in the state have risen 1.80 degrees Celsius (3.25 degrees Fahrenheit) since 1896, with three-quarters of that increase occurring since the early 1970s. From 1972 to 2018, the area burned annually has shot up fivefold, fueled mainly by a more than eightfold spike in summer forest fires. The researchers say the summer forest-fire increases are driven by a simple mechanism: when air heats up even modestly, it causes more moisture to evaporate from soils and vegetation. The result: fires start more easily, and can spread faster and farther. During the fall, and in non-forested areas, different dynamics may be at work and the results are less clear; but the researchers project that climate-driven aridity is likely to play a growing role there as well.

"It's not a surprise to see that climate has this effect in forests, but California is so big and so variable, there is no one-size-fits-all explanation for how climate might affect wildfires across the board," said the study's lead author, Park Williams, a bioclimatologist at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. "We have tried to provide one-stop shopping to show people how climate has or, in some cases, hasn't affected fire activity."

Williams and his colleagues have already shown in a 2016 study that heightened temperatures and resulting aridity on the ground has doubled the area burned in forest fires over wider areas of the U.S. West in past decades. The premise that warmer air draws moisture from the ground level — a phenomenon known as vapor pressure deficit — is already well established. However, many confounding factors can shift fire risk up or down, and so it is not always possible to measure the effects of vapor pressure deficit. In California, human infrastructure is sprawling into forests, introducing more chances for people to both cause fires and suffer from them. And a century of efforts to suppress virtually all fires has led to a buildup of flammable materials in many forests. On the other hand, fragmentation of forest landscapes by human intrusion may in some cases limit the spread of fires. Rainfall and snow can vary year to year, sometimes adding to fire risk, sometimes subtracting. And areas dominated by shrubs or grasses instead of trees may not react the same way.

The researchers combined data from many sources, some of it going back more than 100 years. They found that growing temperature-induced vapor pressure deficit accounted for nearly all the growth in forest fires from 1972-2018. In 2017, a modern state record was set for the largest individual wildfire (more than 285,000 acres) and the most destructive (5,636 structures burned, 22 people killed). 2018 saw a new record for total annual area burned (almost 1.7 million acres), and the 2017 records were broken for the biggest individual fire (the Mendocino Complex fire, which took out 464,500 acres) and the most destructive: the Camp Fire, which burned 18,804 structures and killed 85 people. The Camp Fire leveled almost the entire forest community of Paradise.

A satellite image, August 6, 2018, shows smoke from multiple large California wildfires. The fires themselves, detected by thermal imagery, are in red. Credit: NASA.

A satellite image, August 6, 2018, shows smoke from multiple large California wildfires. The fires themselves, detected by thermal imagery, are in red.
Credit: NASA.

"The ability of dry fuels to promote large fires is non-linear, which has allowed warming to become increasingly impactful," says the study. "Human-caused warming has already significantly enhanced wildfire activity in California, particularly in the forests of the Sierra Nevada and the North Coast, and will likely continue to do so in the coming decades."

That said, the authors note that the effects of climate are highly seasonal, and can vary depending on vegetation type, topography and human settlement patterns across California's highly diverse landscape. In summer, they found that summer fires did not increase in many non-forested areas dominated by grasses or shrubs. This, they say, was probably due to a combination of intense firefighting and prevention efforts, and reduced vegetation due to drought. In fall, destructive fires have grown, but because the dynamics of this season are complex, the effects of warming climate are not as obvious — at least not yet. The researchers say fall fires are driven in large part by powerful winds sweeping from the highland interior, as well as the amount and timing of precipitation, which tends to pick up around this time of year. These factors wax and wane from year to year, perhaps masking the effect of overall warming. But that effect is indeed just starting to show up in fall, and is likely to become more evident in the future, says Williams.


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[CaliforniaDisasters] [airtankers] CAL FIRE Aircraft Status (7/20/2019)


Bill Truscott over on Air Tankers group just shared this update:

 

10:05 local
CAL FIRE aircraft status report from Camino ECC Dispatch:

Grass Valley
Tanker 88
Tanker 89

Columbia
Tanker 82
Tanker 83
Helicopter 404

McClellan
Tanker 131
Tanker 134

McBill




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[CaliforniaDisasters] On This Date In California Weather History (July 20)

2014: Strong thunderstorms produced flash flooding in Yosemite National Park over
the burn scar from the large Rim Fire that occurred during the summer of 2013.
Debris flows were reported along Granite Creek with around 2" of rain falling in a period of two hours; in fact, over 1.5" fell during the first hour!

2008: Outflow from intense monsoon activity over Arizona ignited strong early morning thunderstorms over the Coachella Valley and desert slopes over the San Jacinto and San Bernardino Mountains.
Rain rates with the most intense storms exceeded 1.25 inches in 30 minutes. Intense runoff resulted in a flash flood that raced down Eagle Canyon, across Highway 111 and into Cathedral City.
Debris consisting of rocks, a fence, mud, and tree limbs caused the closure of Highway 111 and damaged 20 homes.

2006: A thunderstorm tracked across the southwestern portion of Yosemite National Park during the afternoon hours knocking down trees and power lines at El Portal and as well as downing trees along the Wawona Highway.
In the Kern County desert, a thunderstorm trekked through in the late afternoon hours causing trees and power lines to fall and even blowing out car windows.

1998: An easterly wave moving over Southern California helped to initiate rare thunderstorms along the San Diego County coast.
The storms developed near Vista and moved south to La Jolla and Point Loma.
Urban flooding was reported at Mission Beach and Pacific Beach.
In addition, lightning strikes set several trees ablaze, struck a Clairemont home and knocked out power to 21,000 homes and businesses in Clairemont and Point Loma.

1998: Severe thunderstorms moved into the Las Vegas Valley and nearby Lake Mead bringing wind gusts in excess of 60 mph and heavy showers which dumped between 1.50" and 2.25" of rain overnight.
Several marinas on Lake Mead suffered extensive wind damage and numerous roads were washed out.
In the Las Vegas Valley, heavy rain and flooding produced the majority of damage.
Major flooding began in the early morning of July 20 and kept washes filled for several hours with numerous swift water rescues performed during the period.
One man apparently died of a heart attack while rescue personnel were trying to remove him from his car.
Rapidly accumulating water and a clogged drainage system caused the roof of the Palace Station Hotel and Casino to collapse, causing millions of dollars in damage.
A few hours later, the same hotel and casino caught fire when it was struck by lightning.

1996: Ben Lomond had a high temperature of 107
° F.

1988: A severe thunderstorm developed along the Elsinore Convergence Zone in the Inland Empire.
The storm produced a microburst in Perris that damaged or destroyed 3 sailplanes and 31 ultralights.
Total damages exceeded $500,000.

1987: A rare cold air mass for mid-summer descended on the region starting on 7.18 and ending on 7.21 and broke numerous low temperature records.
It was 39° F in Palomar Mountain, the lowest temperature on record for July.
This also occurred two days previous on 7.18 and on the next day 7.21.

1979: Thunderstorms hit Southern California, especially hard in the Coachella Valley and surrounding mountains.
1.92" of rain fell in Idyllwild and 1.29" fell in Borrego Springs, each the greatest daily amount on record for July.
2.5" of rain fell in Palm Springs, 1.1" fell in Palomar Mountain and 1.09" fell in Big Bear Lake.
Around Palm Desert and Rancho Mirage a debris flow killed one and caused $7 million damage.
Flash flooding hit hundreds of homes in Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert and La Quinta.
Some residents were swept out of their homes during the night.

1974: A tornado slammed into the southwest side of Hemet.
Winds were estimated at over 100 mph.
Three small planes and five gliders were destroyed. Several hangars sustained damage.
One person was injured by flying glass from a shattered window.
This same storm dropped 2.39" of rain on Hemet in one hour. .

1960: Paso Robles ties its all-time high of 115° F.

1956: A flash flood in northwest Reno, NV, destroyed homes and flooded businesses.

1931: Both Reno, NV, and Carson City, NV, recorded high temperatures of 106° F.
Tahoe City registered its all-time record high temperature for the month of July with a reading of 93° F.

1915: An all-time high temperature of 115° F was recorded at Yosemite Valley at the National Park Headquarters (around 4,000 feet in elevation).
This was the warmest day in a streak of 7 consecutive days of 110° F or better at Yosemite Valley that extended from July 19th through the 25th.

Source: NWS San Francisco/Monterey, Hanford, Reno, Las Vegas, & San Diego

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Re: [CaliforniaDisasters] Homeowner's insurance rates in wildfire-prone areas on rise



In San Diego AARP Homeowners went up 900.00!  Plus, other insurance companies won't take the house due to the TREES!


Homeowner's insurance rates in wildfire-prone areas on rise

"Insurance is risk-based priced, and so rates have to reflect the risk of loss," Ganley explained.

Ganley said because of the wildfires over the last two years, insurers have paid out about $26 billion in insurance claims for California homeowners.

"Some insurance paid out $2.50 for every dollar they took in," Ganley said. "If you were a business, you wouldn't stay in business for very long if you paid out more than what you took in -- sell insurance or balancing their book of business. There are some areas where insurers (are) not renewing, but 98.1% of the market is still covered by admitted insurers. Insurers are still committed to California."

Chris and Hannah Robbins quickly found out how much more expensive homeowners insurance rates are in wildfire-prone areas.

"Our insurance rates went from about $600 in Woodland to about $3,000 in the Foothills," Chris Robbins said.

The couple gets the keys to their new home in Meadow Vista on Friday. Although their insurance rate is much higher in the Placer County town than what they're used to paying, it's still much cheaper than their first choice.

"The costs did actually influence our home shopping," Chris Robbins said. "We were considering moving as high up as Colfax, but insurance was probably about $5,000 a year up there."

According to an April report released by the Gov. Gavin Newsom's wildfire strike team, homeowners in wildfire-prone areas saw a double-digit rate increase.

Consumers complaints about policies not being renewed doubled in the last two years, the report found.

"After two consecutive years of massive homeowners insurance loss ratios of insurers – 201% in 2017 and 170% in 2018 -- there is a sense of urgency about the decreasing availability and affordability in 2019, especially for regions with high wildfire risk," the report said.

Ganley said insurance rates can only be changed with state approval.

"Insurance rates in California are regulated by the California Department of Insurance, and insurers cannot just charge what they want," she said. "Rates have to be approved before they're charged. So, these rates have been approved and thoroughly vetted, but they reflect the risk of loss."

The report, citing the California Department of Insurance, said many regions of the state face insurance availability and affordability constraints.

"This is evidenced by increasing non-renewals and significant insurance premium increases in the areas of the state affected by wildfires," the report said.

Real estate broker Fred Eichenhofer said a client's policy was canceled, but it ended up being a positive thing.

"He was paying $2,200 a year with AAA, and he got a quote for $1,500 a year with a new company," Eichenhofer said. "So he got canceled, but he was able to replace it at a reduced rate."

Ganley said homeowners should periodically update their policy and shop around for better deals because like Eichenhofer's client, they may be pleasantly surprised.

"Talk to a local agent, talk to multiple carriers, because while one company had really bad losses, another might not have," Ganley said.

To get lower insurance rates, Ganley also recommends that homeowners increase their deductibles or bundle their homeowner's insurance with their auto insurance.