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A Press Democrat Blog

One Stop Under

Weather and photography, the perfect marriage

“It’s November, Right?”

Three words “It’s November, right?” Have been thrown around quite a bit by some firefighter friends of mine, people on the street, one lady in Safeway and a guy pumping gas in a faded Jeep Wagoneer, Friday afternoon. It feels more like winter in Florida here (even though it’s not officially winter yet), tossing aside the paltry rainstorm last week, California is on pace to have the driest calendar year in recorded history. By now, Sonoma County’s hills should well… Read More »

Red Flag Warning

Rain schmain. Everyone knows that when the calendar tips in to fall around here, fire season enters a critical frame.  Even with last weeks rain, a little bit of wind, heat and a few days of sun negates the effect of the moisture.  So as the offshore flow ramps up, so does the fire danger. For that reason, the National Weather Service has posted a red flag warnings from Wednesday evening Sept. 25 to Friday afternoon Sept. 27, above 1,000 feet… Read More »

Nocturnal lightning

I’ve been watching the weather (well I always do that) for almost a week now. By reading forecasts, studying weather models and in general watching the sky a little more closely.  First the heat wave that was not really a barn burner -not in Santa Rosa anyway- which then left everyone freezing by Saturday night as a colossal push of marine air filtered through the coastal gap.  Then the fire weather watches that were posted by the National Weather Service… Read More »

Red Flag Warning

Yeah, the calendar says April, but looks a lot like June around here. It’s not rocket science to look at the surrounding vegetation to understand that we haven’t had much rainfall this calendar year. Thus, north winds coupled with low humidity and high temperatures has prompted the National Weather Service to raise a red flag warning for the North Bay hills starting 6pm Tuesday lasting through 6pm Wednesday. Here is the link to that warning. I covered a small control burn… Read More »

Fire Light

It’s a given.  Our job as news photographers is to cover news both good and bad.  It’s what we do; what we are good at.  I would stink at selling real estate, building furniture  (the wood bowl I made in high school wood shop didn’t look anything like a bowl) or anything that takes more than a few minutes to master.  This is not to say I don’t have other talents. Does fishing count? It’s been a busy fire season.… Read More »

Red Flag Warning

Ready for this?  The moisture laden remnants of  an Eastern Pacific tropical system is being funneled north and will interact with a low pressure trough off the West Coast.  According to a National Weather Service advisory, some of the storms will include dry lightning strikes which elevates the fire danger to critical levels.  Sonoma County is not included in the fire weather warnings, but an advisory is in place for our area.  Lake County and portions of Napa County are… Read More »

North Pass Fire

Beside Little League Baseball, I’ve been shooting other assignments, including an all-day trek to Covelo to cover the North Pass fire in the Mendocino National Forest.  I would’ve liked to have stayed longer, but my tank was running on empty due to 10 days of work. The fire, which was started by lightning nearly three weeks ago is 60 percent contained at 42,144 acres. In the forecast starting Wednesday is a threat of thunderstorms with possible elevated convection (which can translate… Read More »

Brush Fire

Just south of  Sebastopol, Volkerts Road was a little smoky on Wednesday as a brush fire came close to several homes in the area.  Firefighters and homeowners combined to stop the fire before it reached any structures.   -Kent Porter

Fire Weather Watch

As has been the case most of the 2012 spring, the wind is back with warm temperatures and low relative humidity.  After last weeks wind event, everything is pretty much dried out.  Coupled with the warm temperatures and winds for this weekend the National Weather Service has issued a fire weather watch.  That link is here.  Obviously fire officials are urging caution in the wake of the latest weather.  Don’t be surprised if these watches turn in to red flag… Read More »

Red Flag Warning

The firefighting community knew it was inevitable.  With several days of wind, dry brush and a scant amount of rain The National Weather Service has posted a red flag warning for the North and East Bay hills tonight through Sunday morning June 10, 2012.  That means the winds will be out of the east, temperatures will be on the rise and humidities will drop to less than 10 percent, early Sunday above 1,000 feet.  Of course we all feel the… Read More »