Another round of storms have arrived this week, but the rainfall is minor compared to last week's destructive atmospheric river. Another weak front drops down Wednesday afternoon with more light showers possible. As a recap, nearly 8,000 Monterey County residents were ordered to evacuate. Mudslides and flooding affected communities in the Salinas Valley and Carmel. Intense rainfall created a debris flow in the Dolan Fire burn scar that washed away a 150-foot chunk of roadway on Highway 1 in Big Sur. Due to that damage, the highway will only be open to local residents, with a traffic checkpoint staffed 24 hours a day to allow them to return home to assess any damage. There is no estimate when that section of the highway will reopen. Big Sur is still accessible from the north end of Highway 1, with the washout occurring 15 miles south of the town and 30 miles north of the Monterey-San Luis Obispo county line.
Today is Groundhog's Day, and Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow- predicting another six more weeks of winter. His forecast differs from local meteorologists as dry weather returns to the Central Coast after this storm system. Rainfall for our area is at about 66% of normal as of January 31. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/cityofmonterey for weather updates and visit quickmap.dot.ca.gov for travel alerts from CalTrans. Photo by Monterey County Sheriff's Office via Twitter.