Tuesday, December 26, 2006


California Winter Storm Warning

Rain and snow will cover most of the West tomorrow. Snow should fall down to 3,000 feet in the Sierras. Good snowpack on the summit for skiers and snowboarders should keep holiday vacationers happy at their favorite resorts though the weather may hamper some.

Currently, freezing rain is falling at Sugar Bowl. A winter storm warning for the pass is in affect as 5 to 8 inches of snow is predicted to fall tonight. An 80% chance that an additional 3 to 5 inches of snow will fall on Wednesday. By tomorrow night, very cold weather will hit the summit with predictions of 13 degrees farenheight.

All this build-up will be helpful for California's water content. A few more months to go until the rafting season starts. Start calling your California rafting outfitter for trips and excursions!

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006


North Fork American NOAA Project

Temporary weather stations were installed on the North Fork American as part of a greater project on the American River. The research project is headed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration. Tim Schneider, manager of the project said, "There's really nowhere else in the U.S. that has this collection of instrumentation." The American River flows will be the proving ground for the Sacramento area since flooding is a major concern.

More than 30 stations were set up along the North Fork American River. The stations will measure a slew of data including a portable Doppler radar that will help to track storms throughout the watershed. Rob Hartman, hydrologist for the National Weather Service River Forecast Center in Sacramento says, "We can pin down which portion of the watershed that's being rained on v.s. snowed on, which has a big impact on flow conditions."

NOAA placed these gauges in an attempt to provide analysis for predicting "Pineapple Express" path of storms that regularly hit the Sacramento Region. These warm storms that hit large snowpacks in the varying watersheds of the Sierras causes a torrent of water to flow from these rivers and towards the metropolitan areas of Sacramento. The warnings could provide better response for dam releases based on these predictions.

Though the stations are temporary, they will eventually replace the current standards as funding is made available.
Thanks to Matt Weiser of the Sacramento Bee

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Santa Surfing!

Rumors of Santa Claus surfing the waves at Hermosa Beach were partially true. When asked if he was the real Santa, he answered, "No, just a relative!" as he once again dove back into the surf. Santa, aka Vince Ray of L.A.'s Original Surfing Lessons, at 6 feet 4 inches, loomed large on his board as he paddled through the waves. In his custom Santa suit made of neoprene, his wetsuit, beard and hat stayed put as he surfed and paddled. Ray made quite a stir with the kids as they all were amused at this surfing Santa.

You better watch out! Santa Claus (the real deal) is coming to town... maybe down the chimney or paddling on the river or surfing in the ocean... but I guarantee you, he'll be there soon.

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Saturday, December 09, 2006


James Kim

James Kim, a 35 year old internet journalist was found dead near the Rogue River on Wednesday. An editor for CNET, he was desperately searching for help for his wife and children who stayed lost in their car. A US Forest Service road that had been gated and locked in November had been vandalized and opened. This deceptive opening was the beginning of a series of tragic errors when the Kim family became lost in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. That road allowed them access in a place where access is limited by snow and unsafe driving conditions. They were stopped in their tracks as they realized that they were lost on an impassable road. After waiting it out for a week, burning through their gas and tires to keep warm and eating the only food they had, James finally left his wife and children to look for help. His goal was to save his family and yet, he tragically lost his life to hypothermia.

The rest of the family was found when helicopters traced footsteps in the snow back to the car. The terrible ironies are many as the story unfolds. The road that they were on was diverted to a vandalized, unlocked gate, then the detour road ended at a hunting and fishing lodge with firewood and provisions that they never reached, and James died just a mile from the car after looping around helplessly.

The tragedy did not need to happen. Whoever vandalized that gate allowed an unknowing victim to drive through and tragically die. Gates and locks are vandalized throughout the Forest Service and State Park systems and now this proves what consequences can happen when an access is illegally opened. We hope full prosecution occurs if and when they find the vandals. Their actions caused the death of James Kim and we hope that a district attorney will prosecute them fully.

Monday, December 04, 2006


River, Rafting News - California

Lots of rafting news starting with California's South Fork American River.
More news and blogs can be found on our California rafting news at our website at RAFTWET.com.

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