Thursday, August 7, 2014

mountains to desert: 2014 warmest on record

Below San Bernardino Peak: May 28 2014

The first seven months of 2014 were the warmest on record based on mean average temperatures in locations including Big Bear Lake, Palm Springs and Santa Ana, the National Weather Service announced this week.

The records date back to 1960 for Big Bear, 1917 for Palm Springs and 1916 for Santa Ana, NWS San Diego meteorologist Steve Harrison said in a phone interview Aug. 7.

The January to July period this year was also the second-warmest on record for Riverside, where records have been kept since 1893, Harrison said.

The maximum 7-month mean average temp from January to July 2014 was 49.8 for Big Bear, 77.3 for Palm Springs, 68.4 for Riverside and 68.0 for Santa Ana, according to stats published by the Weather Service. View the full stats table at this link.

Above Forest Falls: May 28 2014

Meanwhile scientists at the U.S. Drought Monitor this week continued clocking how dry 2014 has been so far across California. Intense thunderstorms that unleashed boulder-laden flash floods Sunday in Forest Falls and Mount Baldy did little to ease severe, extreme and exceptional drought conditions statewide, monitor officials said in a report.

"A strange thing happened on the path to California's historic drought: it rained," the Aug. 5 report states. "Although the rain's overall effect on the drought were inconsequential, there were some short-term benefits such as reduced irrigation demands and evaporation rates; lower temperatures in the wake of record-setting heat; and temporary relief for drought-stressed rangeland and pastures.

"Reasons that California's rain did not provide substantial drought relief included: 1) a lack of widespread coverage of the heaviest showers, 2) the fact that heavy showers mostly fell outside California's key watershed areas in the Colorado River basin and the Sierra Nevada, and 3) the fact that the high runoff rate of the heaviest rain did not allow for significant percolation into drought-parched soils," the report states.

View the latest California drought map here, and the Aug. 5 report here.

San Jacinto Mountains and Coachella Valley: June 3 2014

The Aug. 3 flash floods in Forest Falls and Mount Baldy damaged numerous homes and camps, temporarily blocked the only roads in and out of the canyon communities, and prompted county officials to issue an emergency proclamation seeking help to recoup millions of dollars in response and cleanup costs.

Photos by Guy McCarthy


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