28 January 2010

Post-Storm Views from Carbon Canyon

We had quite a week of rain a week back followed by a lighter storm on Tuesday. Consequently, the San Gabriel Mountains have had significant snow fall reaching to uncommonly low elevations.

In mid-December, there was a post here showing a small dusting of snow on Mount San Antonio (Baldy) after a couple days of precipitation. That can be compared to the heavier snowpack from the shots taken this morning from the S-curve on Carbon Canyon Road.

To date, rainfall totals have been around ten inches, four inches more than a "normal" year. After three bone-dry years, the wet weather is welcome, though the drought is far from over and we'll have to see how the rest of the rainy season fares.

So far, there has been some mudslide activity in the Canyon, particularly those steeper sections west of Olinda, but CalTrans has been staying on top of it and was running plows during the storms to keep debris off the road.

As for our hills, we will have a nice green carpet on the Chino Hills side and will have to see what pops up on the Brea portion that was charred by the fire of November 2008.

One of the cool aspects of heavy rain in the Canyon is the flow of water in Carbon [Canyon] Creek and when the precipitation was heaviest and traffic light, the roar of the creek was great to hear. It is still amazing that the creek is one of the few natural watercourses left in our region, with flood control having converted so many seasonal strams into concrete channels.

Incidentally, this morning on the way to school, my five-year old asked if that was a volcano in the distance, because he saw the cloud over Cucamonga Peak at the far right of the photos and thought it looked like one.

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