Tag Archives: flood control

Weekend Weather in the Forest

Hi All,

Mike McIntyre, the District Ranger for the Los Angeles River Ranger District, asked me to pass the following along.

The Forest Service will be evaluating the weather tomorrow and will make a decision about possible permit suspensions in relation to the upcoming rain events.

Mike specifically asked, “Please let everyone know that they should be watching the weather and listening to what the road agencies are doing in case if and when we pull the trigger, we don’t contact everyone…..”

In other words, Mike and his people will do what they can to alert residents, but it is best if those who are still in the Forest left well in advance of the coming storms. We’ve already seen how communications can fail in an emergency. Don’t take the risk. Get packed and get out sooner rather than later.

For those of you who don’t watch weather reports closely, the Weather Service issued the following advisory earlier today:

… Potential for wet period of weather to return to southern and central
California next week…

A series of Pacific storms is expected to move into California
next week… bringing periods of rain and mountain snow to the state.

On Sunday… a very cold upper level low pressure system is
expected to develop across Oregon and northern California. This will
result in increased onshore flow and low level moisture across
southern and central California on Sunday… leading to the possibility
of drizzle and light rain… especially in the foothills and
coastal slopes. As the cold low pressure system drops south and
east… there will be an increased chance of rain and mountain snow
Sunday night across our region… with precipitation becoming
likely on Monday.

This first storm system is generally expected to bring one quarter
to one half inch of rain Sunday night into Monday… with amounts locally
over one inch possible in the foothills and coastal slopes of the
San Gabriel Mountains. The greatest threat of precipitation for the
station fire burn area will be late Monday morning through Monday
afternoon… when there will be the potential for moderate to brief
heavy showers. Snow levels will likely begin around 4000 to 5000
feet on Sunday night… then could lower to between 3000 and 4000
feet by Monday afternoon. By Monday night… the flow is expected to
turn more northerly… which will bring the threat of continued
showers across north facing slopes… with snow levels as low as 2500
feet possible as very cold air is projected to move into the area
from the San Joaquin Valley. Snowfall amounts in the mountains are
generally expected to range between 4 to 7 inches with this first
storm. The low snow levels will likely impact the Interstate 5
corridor near the Grapevine… and could bring some light snowfall to
portions of the Antelope Valley and Cuyama Valley.

Later in the week… a second storm will likely impact California
Wednesday into Thursday. This system is expected to be stronger
and warmer than mondays system… but there is still some
uncertainty in the exact placement of heavier rainfall across our
forecast area. Since this storm will likely have a greater
precipitation duration and intensity… residents and emergency
officials are urged to stay tuned to the latest National Weather
Service forecasts for updates on this developing weather
situation. In addition to the potential for heavy rain… there
will likely be large swell and high surf conditions for the coastal

A third system could bring another threat of precipitation to
California later in the weekend.

So, it looks like the rainy season is about to begin. Be safe, and be ready!

For additional updates, you can visit your favorite online weather report, or use the link below for warnings for Los Angeles County and the San Fernando Valley.



National Weather Service Issues Winter Warning

Bad news on the weather front this weekend. The National Weather service has issued an Urgent Weather Advisory for our neck of the woods… literally.  The alert issued just before 6 p.m. this evening calls for snow at high elevations and possible thunder storms in “Los Angeles County mountains excluding the Santa Monica Range – including the cities of…Lockwood Valley…Mount Pinos…Acton…Mount Wilson…Sandberg“.

FWIW, my grandmother and I always paid more attention to the weather forecasts for Mt. Wilson than for LA. They had a lot more relevance.

For all the gory details, go to:  http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/total_forecast/getprod.php?wfo=lox&sid=LOX&pil=SPS


Request from USGS

This came through from Sue Perry of the USGS. Given her involvement in advising local folks about debris flows, I’m inclined to assist her in any way possible. Thanks Sue!  ~B~

Please forward this to any who may be able to help —-

Throughout the next few winters, those of us near the Station Fire burn area can provide a service to scientists studying the debris flow risk after wildfires.

Scientists at the USGS use data from storm seasons to calibrate their debris flow understanding (and thus their warning systems). The more they know about actual flows, the better. Citizen reports can substantially improve the dataset, and thus the USGS is requesting your help. If at any time you witness earth moving (landslide, debris flow, mudflow, mudslide), please send an email to scperry@usgs.gov, with as much of the following information as you are able to provide:
(* MUST HAVE items are asterisked)

  • * Date of event
  • * Location of event (street address or intersection, lat-long coordinates from phone/handheld GPS, or description with distinguishing features)
  • * Description of event (is it moving or sitting? what sizes and kinds of materials can you see? how thick is it? anything else that is noteworthy?)
  • * Time of witnessing
  • Time of event, or estimate of when the event occurred
  • Description of any damage
  • Is clean-up underway?
  • Can you provide photos, sketches, video? (please don’t send them until requested)
  • Witness’ name and contact info

*** IMPORTANT: Do not put yourself at risk in ANY way to obtain this information.
If the event is recent, more may be on the way. ***

Sue Perry
Staff Scientist
Multi-Hazard Demonstration Project for Southern California
United States Geological Survey
525 So. Wilson Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91106
office: 626.583.6748
mobile: 818.285.9350

BAER Report Approved

Many of us have been waiting with baited breath for the Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) report and recommendations to be approved. The reason is that until the report was vetted, reviewed and approved no work by BAER teams could begin. So far only the general report is available, but it mentions several specifics that are heartening.

To download the report and read it yourself, go to:


Thanks, again, to Mike McIntyre for forwarding this information.

For more about BAER, check out Wikipedia,


Today in the Canyon

The following report was sent via e-mail by Duncan Baird. Thanks Duncan, for everything!  ~B~

Sand Bagging Supplies40 cubic yards of “material” was delivered by the Public Works Dept. to the overflow parking area of the Vogel Flats Picnic Area. The “material” came from the PW yard in La Crescenta.

3000 empty white plastic sand bags were also delivered by the County FD at the same location. (Art Vander Vis sent photos to all of you of the dirt and empty dirtbags).

I met this morning with Chris Stone in the Canyon. (Stone is Bill Saunder’s boss). He looked over our situation and was non-committal regarding “K” rail placement along your side (the river side) of Stonyvale. He did commit to email back to you (Adi) and I regarding the placement of sand bags and/or “K” rails. I explained to him our timeline as it relates to the work that the Baptists are going to begin next week. Mike Studebaker told me that his goal was to finish their work by Thanksgiving.

I briefly got involved in cat trap placement by my cement mixer.

Trent Sanders showed up in the canyon. (He is the former owner and builder of Bert and Catherine’s home). He had not been in the Canyon since he left 15 years ago. He lives in La Canada now.

I got some bad news from Verizon. They are NOT putting in fiber optic. The info about fiber optic that I had been given a couple of weeks ago was grossly erroneous. So, we’re back to HughsNet or dial-up, Oh, poop! And my dish MELTED!

It got very windy and therefore way too dusty to do much work.


Photo provided by Arthur Vander Vis, PE
Area Engineer
Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, Flood Maintenance, West Area