Bonny Doon Rainfall Gauge

Measured at 2,200 feet AMSL, near the junction of Empire Grade and Pine Flat


Recent View looking South
The view from our upstairs deck, looking at the woods and the ocean beyond

This was the view from the porch on June 11, when the Martin Fire was just getting started.
We are very grateful to the Bonny Doon Fire Team, the CDF and CalFire for helping to stop the fire before it destroyed our mountain.

THANK YOU FIREFIGHTERS!




Bonny Doon Rainfall Figures - 2007 - 2008
Season measured from July 1st - June 30th
Last Update: June 14, 2008

July 2007


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18th:
.1"
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. . . . .

Total: .1"
August 2007
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Total:
September 2007 .
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19th:
trace
. 22nd:
.65"
.

Total: .65"
October 2007 1st:
Trace

9th:
.3"
10th:
1.5"
12th:
.9"
15th:
.3"
16th:
.55
17th:
.3"
19th:
.15"
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Total: 4.0"
November 2007
8th:
Trace
(Drizzle)
11th:
.85"
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Total: .85"
December 2007 2nd:
.05"
3rd:
.1"
4th:
.15"
7th:
1.35"
17th:
1.25"
18th:
1.15"
20th:
2.25"




28th:
.25"
29th:
.3"



Total: 6.9"
January 2008 4th:
5.25"
5th:
4.00"
6th:
1.25
7th:
.35"
9th:
1.5"
11th:
.25"

21st:
.25"
Snow
22nd:
1.85"
Snow
23rd:
.15
24th:
.5"
Snow
25th:
1.5"
26th:
7.39"
27th:
.85"
28th:
1.85"
30th:
.86"
Total: 27.8"
February 2008 1st:
1.85"
3rd:
3.85"
4th:
.3"
.




21st:
.1"
22nd:
.75"
23rd:
.3"
.




Total: 7.15"
March 2008
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15th:
.2"
16th:
.05"






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29th:
.45"


Total: .7"
April 2008 April 3rd:
.25"
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April 23rd:
.05"
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Total: .3"
May 2008
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Total:
June 2008


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Total:
Seasonal Total 48.41 Inches

          Just for comparison, you can look at a table of rainfall totals for a few previous seasons:

  • 2006/2007 season
  • 2005/2006 season
  • 2004/2005 season
  • 2003/2004 season
  • 2002/2003 season
  • 2001/2002 season
  • 2000/2001 season
  • 1999/2000 season
  • 1998/1999 season

    Highlights of the Current Season - July 1, 2007 - June 30, 2008

              By July 1st summer was already well underway with very hot temperatures and clear skies. Temperatures soared during the first week of July, with nights in the upper 80's and daytimes in the 100 to 110 range. Somewhat cooler temperatures could be found in town and at the beach below. Temperatures moderated during the second week, and continued through the next week. A rare rain event brought a little well-needed moisture on the 18th. Moderate temperatures and clear skies followed close after. The rest of the summer was fairly typical, a few hot spells moderated by normal warm temperatures. Late August was the hottest, and that lasted for a week or so.

              September came in, and it was almost like mother nature decided to go along with the calendar this year, as temperatures cooled and it really felt like summer was over. Some light rain (mist, really) fell during the week of the 19th, enough to dampen the porch, and cloudy conditions increased by late in the week, bringing a chance of rain to the mountains for the first time since the rare rain event back in July. And on the 22nd, the first signiicant rain of the season came up from the south and stayed for a night and a day, reducing the fire danger significantly.

              October began with a cool, cloudy 1st day, which gave way to sunny skies and warm daytime temperatures, and typical cool fall nights. The night of Oct. 9th brought the first winter storm to our mountain, with heavy rain and cold temperatures. The weather fronts continued through the week into the next, keeping things cool and wet. Indian summer arrived with a rush on October 23rd, with temperatures in the upper 80's. The first part of November brought more seasonal temperatures, and much needed rain on the 11th. But the rest of the month was mostly dry and pleasant. December came in with a little moisture and colder temperatures.And on the 7th, some much needed rain finally arrived. But even with the 2+ inches added in mid-December, it is still very dry. The end of December was quite cold and raw, with temperatures in the 30's and fairly damp.

    January came in with a roar, bringing high winds and heavy rain, over 10 inches in three days. Power was knocked out, and many trees came down in the winds, which were in excess of 60 mph for at least 15 hours. Rain, along with lightning and thunder, continued through Sundy the 6th with very cool temperatures. Rainy and unsettled conditions lingered on after that. On the 21st, more moisture and light snow fell. And overnight on the 22nd, we had about 6 inches of snow on the ground, power outages, and trees down everywhere. More snow and cold rain fell on the 24th. The 25th brought a huge storm, not as cold, but very wet, and the biggest of the season (so far). Cool, wet and windy conditions continued into early February. A break in the winter weather rolled in around the 6th, and sunny skies with mild temperatures lingered until the 20th, when temps cooled off, and a little rain arrived on the 21st, with wet weather the norm for now. A dry spell was broken on March 15, with much cooler temperatures. It was dry until the 29th, when a brief but welcome shower passed by overnight. April was cool, and downright winter-like during the week of the 15th, with highs only in the mid-30's. Temperatures recovered and spring returned the next week. A brief shower passed by on the night of the 23rd.

    Not another drop of rain since April, and Bonny Doon is dry, as is much of California. We hope for the best this year, as one fire anywhere here is too many.

    Season total (to 8:00 AM, June 14, 2008): 48.41 Inches


    The Rain Gauge

              I keep these unofficial readings as a personal interest. I have seen our reading exceed other gauges that are located at lower elevations nearby, so I figured this might be of interest to others. For rainfall amounts up to 5 inches, I use a retail rain gauge. When amounts overnight are higher than 5 inches, I use, as a backup, a simple vertical wall bucket capable of holding up to 14 inches. I have to use the bucket at least a few times every winter. In years past, I was distrustful about the unusually high rainfall readings, changing gauges and trying various methods and locations to improve accuracy. However, after much experimentation, and then checking with our neighbors, I think we are simply in a micro-climate with more rain than other places. This is the Santa Cruz Mountains, after all. As the Weather Service says, we are in an "Orographically Favored Location." I think that means we get soggy when others simply get wet.

              During the 2005-2006 season, I added an electronic gauge. It sits next to the "analog" gauge. So far, it tracks very close to the old fashioned method of walking out in the rain and checking throughout the day and night. The electronic gauge reads hundredths better than the old gauge, so it is useful for that at least. I use both of them at the moment, and will likely use them both for the foreseeable future. You never know when the batteries might fail, after all.

              There is one official California Department of Water Resources weather monitoring site located nearby, at a slightly higher elevation. They match my readings here at 2200' fairly well. You can compare for yourself, at Ben Lomond Mountain (2630', three miles up the road from here). Their measured rainfall tends to be slightly less, but the temperature tracks pretty close to our location.

              There are also a couple of other nearby, lower elevation locations where rainfall is measured. One long-time measurement created by Ted Cantrall is here, and another very informative site, run by the folks at Anometal.com can be found here.

              As with most places in this region, we are in a "micro-climate". Ours happens to be very wet during the rainy season, due to our location, elevation and southern exposure to incoming storms. During large storms, average winds of 40 to 60 mph are typical here. In December of 1995, we had winds approaching 100 mph, and during February, 1998, peak winds approached 85 mph. The season is officially measured from July 1 to June 30, although rain usually only falls between September and May, a typical "dry and wet" seasonal pattern. Snow does fall here, but it is usually not more than a few inches at a time. The temperature range is not too extreme, and only falls below 25 degrees a few weeks every winter. 1991 was the exception, with lows in the teens for over a week. The winters of 1973, 1975, 1982, 1986, 1995, 1998, 2001, 2002 and 2006 brought significant snowfall.


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