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Author Topic: January 2021 Atmospheric River event  (Read 1047 times)

skluth

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January 2021 Atmospheric River event
« on: January 28, 2021, 11:26:29 PM »

The latest atmospheric river is wrecking havoc on California, concentrated on the Big Sur area. I decided to create a thread to track events from this after seeing the storm has already washed away part of CA 1 north of Big Sur.  (Not the same station, but same pic was shown on KCAL.)
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: January 2021 Atmospheric River event
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2021, 11:38:21 PM »

99 had blowing sand covering parts of it near Wheeler Ridge of all things.  That's something different that I've ever seen down that way.
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TJS23

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Re: January 2021 Atmospheric River event
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2021, 02:08:03 AM »

CA 198 closed from CA 25 to Coalinga due to a Rockslide. Chains still required on CA 175

80 has been closed since the afternoon along with 88. 395 has been closed from Mammoth to the State Line for at least 36 hours
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: January 2021 Atmospheric River event
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2021, 08:22:12 AM »

CA 198 closed from CA 25 to Coalinga due to a Rockslide. Chains still required on CA 175

80 has been closed since the afternoon along with 88. 395 has been closed from Mammoth to the State Line for at least 36 hours

25 was even closed from 198 north to G13/Bitterwater Road due to flooding when I looked last night.
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gonealookin

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Re: January 2021 Atmospheric River event
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2021, 02:30:38 PM »

395 has been closed from Mammoth to the State Line for at least 36 hours

NV 360 is usually a very lightly traveled road (it was even listed in one of those clickbait "Loneliest Road in Each State" articles as the loneliest in Nevada which isn't true), but when US 395 is being hammered with snow or is completely closed as here, it becomes a key part of the viable detour:  from Bishop, US 6 just over Montgomery Pass to NV 360 to US 95, and then on to the final destination (often Reno or Carson City) from US 95.  Montgomery Pass is a bit over 7000 feet but being quite some distance from the Sierra it's more of a desert environment except for thin forest right at the top, and it doesn't get nearly as much snow as that long stretch of US 395.

However, in this storm even US 6 was apparently closed for a while.  The Caltrans District 9 Twitter feed has some nice storm photos from Mono County.
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ClassicHasClass

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Re: January 2021 Atmospheric River event
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2021, 01:06:59 AM »

It was hailing at my place in not so sunny So Cal.
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skluth

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Re: January 2021 Atmospheric River event
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2021, 05:31:39 PM »

Fortunately, it seems most of the road closures for this event were short-lived. I-5 closed for a short time in Oregon. As stated above, US 395 was closed near Mammoth. There were some rock slides in Santa Barbara County. The main problem (unsurprisingly) is CA 1 along Big Sur which is closed until Feb 6.

At least this was a quick hit. A longer event could have been really bad after last year's fires left huge burn scars all over the state.
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Alps

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Re: January 2021 Atmospheric River event
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2021, 05:44:01 PM »

Fortunately, it seems most of the road closures for this event were short-lived. I-5 closed for a short time in Oregon. As stated above, US 395 was closed near Mammoth. There were some rock slides in Santa Barbara County. The main problem (unsurprisingly) is CA 1 along Big Sur which is closed until Feb 6.

At least this was a quick hit. A longer event could have been really bad after last year's fires left huge burn scars all over the state.
Don't trust Google Maps. CA 1 is gonna be closed a lot longer than a week.

skluth

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Re: January 2021 Atmospheric River event
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2021, 06:06:15 PM »

Fortunately, it seems most of the road closures for this event were short-lived. I-5 closed for a short time in Oregon. As stated above, US 395 was closed near Mammoth. There were some rock slides in Santa Barbara County. The main problem (unsurprisingly) is CA 1 along Big Sur which is closed until Feb 6.

At least this was a quick hit. A longer event could have been really bad after last year's fires left huge burn scars all over the state.
Don't trust Google Maps. CA 1 is gonna be closed a lot longer than a week.

You're right. I should have said until at least Feb 6 and I agree it will likely be much longer.
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gonealookin

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Re: January 2021 Atmospheric River event
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2021, 02:20:26 PM »

Several days later, US 395 remains closed between the town of Walker and CA 108. 
That would be especially inconvenient for the Marines.  The Mountain Warfare Training Center is a few miles west of US 395 on CA 108, just before the winter closure point where CA 108 starts climbing Sonora Pass from the east.  However, most of the base housing is about 25 miles away in Coleville, CA, which is north of Walker.  So their commute must be the long away around through Wellington, NV on NV 208, NV 338 and CA 182...85 miles one way rather than 25 miles.

Edit: US 395 was fully reopened this afternoon.  The closure lasted about 6 days.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2021, 07:50:58 PM by gonealookin »
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jpm

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Re: January 2021 Atmospheric River event
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2021, 07:55:29 PM »

Difficult to get info on US 395 along the Walker River other than the small tidbit published by Caltrans on Facebook - it wasn't clear if the road was closed simply due to a ton of snow or if there were other problems such as erosion of the road. 

I was living in Tahoe when the section along the Walker River was washed out in 1997.  Took six months for the road to get repaired, which meant six months of detouring on NV 208/NV 829/NV 338/CA 182 along the East Walker River.

-jpm
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ClassicHasClass

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Re: January 2021 Atmospheric River event
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2021, 08:35:18 PM »

Looks like just a crapton of snow.
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sparker

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Re: January 2021 Atmospheric River event
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2021, 05:23:38 PM »

Looks like just a crapton of snow.

As long as (a) it has high water content, and (b) originates upslope from the chain of reservoirs designed to hold the runoff.  Precipitation at the lower altitudes (the Valley floor or much of the populated sections of the Bay area) tends to translate into direct-to-ocean runoff, which is largely wasted except for short-term crop relief (cf. the 1997 flooding that inundated much of CA 99 in Tulare County).   
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