Thunderstorms that developed over San Diego County early Monday delivered lightning strikes that may have contributed to several brief power outages and small fires. Between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m., 15 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes were recorded in San Diego County and its coastal waters, according to the National Weather Service. A few small fires broke out around the same time, including in Valencia Park, Logan Heights and Chula Vista, although it was not immediately confirmed that lightning strikes were the cause. A fire weather watch for areas other than the deserts is in effect through this evening.
Archive for date: September 19th, 2016
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From high-school students to high-tech companies and local breweries, Max Gomberg of the State Water Resources Control Board has been astounded by Californians’ efforts to conserve water amid the drought. “More and more people are seeing how climate change is impacting their lives, and, in the case of droughts, taking personal initiative along with demanding more government action,” he told Water Deeply. Gomberg works on water conservation and climate change management for the board.
The Olivenhain Municipal Water District (OMWD) has seen the credit rating for its revenue bonds upgraded from AA+ to AAA with a stable outlook. Fitch Ratings, a global rating agency that offers independent credit opinions, cited historically high liquidity, manageable borrowing plans, conservative financial forecasting and equitable and disciplined rate-setting in making its upgrades. AAA is the highest possible rating assigned by Fitch and OMWD is one of only a handful of Southern California water agencies that have achieved this pinnacle of financial excellence.
There’s a romance to the phrase “Pacific Coast Highway” that is for many a burned-into-the-brain vision of wide open, empty bluffs dropping down to the sandy beaches of the California coastline, and the blue Pacific Ocean dotted with surfers. Beauty, open spaces and the beach are often-cited attributes of the Golden State’s coastline. But, there is also an ugly side: dismissals, infighting, community uprisings, backroom dealing, and questions about the California Coastal Commission’s integrity.
To support our prosperity and growth, California needs to expand its investments in our physical and natural infrastructure.This is particularly apparent as climate change puts stress on our ability to provide safe, clean water. One of the bills awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s decision stands out as a common-sense measure that would help secure California’s future water needs. Assembly Bill 2480, by Assemblyman Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, would require formal recognition of the five watersheds that feed Northern California’s primary reservoirs as state infrastructure, just like the state’s dams, canals and levees.
We, the four Pima County representatives on the Central Arizona Project (CAP) Board of Directors, read with interest Tony Davis’ September 4, 2016 article “Lake Powell could dry up in as little as six years, study says” on the water resource issues facing Lake Powell and the Colorado River Upper Basin States of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.
Weather forecasters are backing off their earlier prediction that La Nina atmospheric conditions would drive weather patterns this fall and winter. That means all bets are off when it comes to how — and how many — storms will approach the West Coast, advises Michelle Mead, a National Weather Service warning coordinator. The federal Climate Prediction Center had issued a “watch” for La Nina — a mixture of atmospheric and ocean surface temperatures that tends to steer storms toward the Pacific Northwest and Northern California.
Forecasters for the National Weather Service are tracking a neutral weather pattern for this upcoming fall and winter. Neutral means sea surface temperatures (SSTs) of the equatorial pacific are below El Niño criteria but above La Niña. Last year’s El Niño tied for the strongest on record and brought a lot of rain to Northern California and put a dent in the drought but did not live up to its hype. Cheryl Rauch was in Redding Monday to visit the Sundial Bridge and like most people in the region was looking for more rain to start the fall season.
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) has come under criticism after a local TV station filmed one of the agency’s substations watering its artificial grass. The synthetic turf was installed in 2011 as part of a program to replace grass with drought-tolerant landscaping at 71 DWP facilities. “All told, this program has removed over 1.3 million square feet of grass and replaced it with California-friendly landscaping,” DWP spokesman Joe Ramallo told Reuters. “That’s enough water to (serve) 314 single-family homes in Los Angeles each year.” Nearby residents became angry after seeing the sprinkler systems running to water the synthetic turf.
The five-year drought in California may have the green lawns of Santa Barbara in its sights. In an unprecedented move, the Santa Barbara City Council on Tuesday is considering an outright ban on outdoor watering. As a conservation measure, the city already has limitations on what time of day people can water. Tom Fayram, deputy director of public works in charge of water resources for Santa Barbara County, said his department will continue to push voluntary conservation measures. “We need to conserve now, to save that water for later,” Fayram said.