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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Weather Summary Update: Summer 2015; by Dr. Phoebe Prather


Large woody debris flow on El Paso Canyon road (photo by Jesse Lewis).


California is burning up all around us, but so far Tejon has been fortunate to avoid the tragic fires burning across the west.  The summer has proved to be very dry out here on Tejon but the weekend of July 18th-19th the sky darkened and erupted in thunder, lightning and torrential downpours.   The rugged terrain of the Tehachapi’s captured the rainfall, funneling it down the steep and narrow canyons draining into the San Joaquin Valley.  As the water grew in volume and force it took out roads, trees, fences, entire hillsides and anything else in its path.  El Paso Canyon and Tunis Canyon suffered the worst damage.  Walls of water left trees coated in mud 6 to 8 feet off of the ground.  The force and evidence of the event was mind blowing.

Washout on El Paso Canyon Road (photo by Jesse Lewis).



On the Ranch, the Conservancy monitors eight weather stations spread out across the 270,000 acres that make up the Ranch. From our lowest elevation sites in the San Joaquin Valley (500 feet), up to our highest elevation in the Tehachapi Mountains (6800 feet), and over to our high desert grass and shrublands of the Antelope Valley in the extreme western Mojave Desert (3000 feet), there’s an extraordinary diversity of elevation and aspect.  For this season’s weather summary we are looking at the months of May, June and July.  I have included a map that shows the locations of the weather stations and the amount of precipitation that fell at each station during the two day storm in July.


Scoured out creek bottom (photo by Jesse Lewis).


 Locations of weather stations across Tejon Ranch and the amount of precipitation
each station recorded during the July 18-19 storm.


White Wolf
San Joaquin Valley, elevation 2,250 feet.


Average temperature (°F)
Maximum temperature (°F)
Minimum temperature (°F)
Precipitation (inches)
May
63.4
90.5
42.6
0.61
June
70.3
89.0
54.2
0.0
July
79.3
106.0
57.2
0.43


Comanche Point
San Joaquin Valley, elevation 575 feet.


Average temperature (°F)
Maximum temperature (°F)
Minimum temperature (°F)
Precipitation (inches)
May
68.6
98
47
0.73
June
82.4
106.5
50.7
0.01
July
82.8
106
61.2
0.72


Tejon Conservancy Office
Tejon Pass on the Grapevine of the I-5, elevation 3,527 feet.


Average temperature (°F)
Maximum temperature (°F)
Minimum temperature (°F)
Precipitation (inches)
May
57.6
91.3
35.7
0.48
June
71.9
100.8
39.0
0.11
July
71.3
98.5
49.4
1.43


Michener
Ridgeline of mountains north of Gorman, elevation 4,710 feet.


Average temperature (°F)
Maximum temperature (°F)
Minimum temperature (°F)
Precipitation (inches)
May
57.1
87.4
36.9
0.5
June
70
90.4
45.9
0.11
July
71.8
93.7
51.7
2.66


Martinez Ridge
Backbone mountain ridge of Tejon Ranch, elevation 6,130 feet.


Average temperature (°F)
Maximum temperature (°F)
Minimum temperature (°F)
Precipitation (inches)
May
48.1
78.1
27.2
0.88
June
64.4
87.0
41.9
0.10
July
63.6
84.3
44.6
1.78


Los Alamos
Western Antelope Valley, elevation 3,350feet.


Average temperature (°F)
Maximum temperature (°F)
Minimum temperature (°F)
Precipitation (inches)
May
59.9
91.0
38.0
0.68
June
75.7
98.7
50.0
0.08
July
74.5
99.0
55.0
1.91


Antelope Canyon
Antelope Valley, elevation 3,630 feet.


Average temperature (°F)
Maximum temperature (°F)
Minimum temperature (°F)
Precipitation (inches)
May
60.9
92
38
0.36
June
77.4
98
47
0.34
July
75.4
99
55
1.47


Little Oak
Eastern Antelope Valley, elevation 4,320 feet.


Average temperature (°F)
Maximum temperature (°F)
Minimum temperature (°F)
Precipitation (inches)
May
58.3
88.0
34.0
0.61
June
74.7
95.6
52.2
0.03
July
73.2
92.9
54.2
1.11



This wildlife camera survived.  Other cameras were not so lucky and have yet to be found (photo by Jesse Lewis).

 
Landslide on El Paso Canyon road (photo by Jesse Lewis).