Deserts

SUPERVISORS VOTE WEDNESDAY ON WITHDRAWING COUNTY AS GROUNDWATER SUSTAINABILITY AGENCY FOR BORREGO VALLEY GROUNDWATER BASIN

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo: Citrus growers and other farmers in Borrego use 75% of the area’s groundwater. A new plan proposes allowing large water users to buy or trade water use credits. 

 

October 14, 2019 (Borrego Springs) – Faced with a state mandate to reduce water use by 75 percent after years over over-pumping groundwater, major water users in Borrego Springs have submitted a stipulated agreement for reducing the desert community’s water use by an estimated 75 percent. On Wednesday, San Diego County Supervisors will vote on withdrawing as a groundwater sustainability agency for the Borrego Valley Groundwater Basin, with a goal toward transitioning into water management.

SDG&E WARNS OF POWER SHUT-OFFS IN NEXT 48 HOURS TO 28,701 CUSTOMERS IN EAST COUNTY COMMUNITIES

October 9, 2019 (San Diego's East County) -- SDG&E has issued a warning that it may shut off power to 28,701 customers in East County communities starting in the next 48 hours due to wildfire risks.  A red flag alert has been issued for Thursday afternoon and Friday by the National Weather Service.  The following communities are currently forecasted to be impacted:

  • Banner Grade
  • Boulevard
  • Descanso
  • East Alpine
  • East Ramona
  • Fallbrook
  • Julian
  • Mesa Grande
  • Mt Laguna
  • Palomar Mountain
  • Pine Valley
  • Potrero
  • Rancho Santa Fe
  • Rincon
  • Santa Ysabel
  • Valley Center
  • Viejas
  • West Valley Center
  • Wynola

FIRE WEATHER FORECAST

East County News Service
 
October 6, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service predicts moderate Santa Ana winds this week, combined with low humidity for elevated fire danger.
 
While Orange County is forecast to have the most severe conditions,  relative humidity is expected to fall into low double digits in San Diego’s mountain areas and single digits in the desert.  West to northwest winds of 15-20 miles per hour with gusts up to 40 mph are anticipated starting Tuesday. By Thursday and Friday, falling humidity is expected to create critical fire weather conditions.  

PASSAGES: BORREGO SPRINGS PHILANTHROPIST BILL WRIGHT

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Borrego wildflowers, CC by SA

October 6, 2019 (Borrego Springs) -- Since moving to Borrego Springs from Santa Barbara in 1980, Bill Wright has been a “champion of all things good in Borrego Springs,” according to the Borrego Sun.  The newspaper announced that Wright passed away on October 1 at age 88.

TWO EAST COUNTY PROJECTS WIN ORCHID AWARDS FOR ARCHITECTURE

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, top: Ilan-Lael Center; bottom: Borrego Springs Library

 

October 5, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – The annual Orchids & Onions Awards have presented coveted “Orchid” awards to two East County projects.  

 

The Ilan-Lael Center in Santa Ysabel built by Hubbell and Hubbell Architects received the award for collaborative architecture. The County’s Borrego Springs library, park and Sheriff’s office designed by RNT Architects received an Orchid architectural award.

JACUMBA'S ABLOOM WITH FALL FESTIVITIES THIS SATURDAY

By Rebecca Person

October 2, 2019 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- The weather’s perfect,  making October 5th a day for a great getaway.

Here’s what’s happening in Jacumba Hot Springs on San Diego's historic Old Highway 80.

Jacumba Hikers, a dedicated group of local hikers and walkers, leads an easy four mile round-trip Walkabout, covering the Chinese Castle, Natural Hot Springs, Jacumba Lake, Sand Wash, passing the old Railroad Station, the Border Fence and more. Hikers meet at 8 a.m. in front of the Jacumba Spa Resort (44500 Old Highway 80). The Spa’s restaurant opens at 7 a.m.

FESTIVAL OF SUNFLOWERS: POP-UP ART EXHIBIT OCT. 5 IN JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS

East County News Service
 
September 29, 2019 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- Art lovers are invited to celebrate in Jacumba at the Festival of Sunflowers Artists’ Pop-Up Exhibit on Saturday, Oct. 5th, from noon until dark. The exhibit will place at Gilliam Gallery in downtown Jacumba Hot Springs at 44555 Old Highway 80.

APPEALS COURT BLOCKS RELEASE OF “BOLDER THAN MOST” RAPIST

By Miriam Raftery
 
September 24, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – The 4th District Court of Appeals has ruled that sexually violent predator Alvin Quarles must remain locked up in a state mental hospital while appellate court judges review the case.
 

52ND ANNUAL BORREGO DAYS DESERT FESTIVAL: BLOOM IN BORREGO OCT. 18-20

By Miriam Raftery

 

September 23, 2019 (Borrego Springs) -- The 52nd annual Borrego Days Desert Festival in Borrego Springs will be blossom Friday through Sunday, October 18- 20th. This year’s theme is “Bloom in Borrego” to pay homage to the beauty of Borrego Springs and the surrounding 600,000 Anza Borrego Desert State Park. Festivities include a parade, live music, arts and crafts, kids’ activities and much more.

ANZA BORREGO FOUNDATION HOSTS “PINTS 4 THE PARK” OCT. 19

By Miriam Raftery

Photo credit for images in banner: Rad Schmidt (left image) and Adam Gordon (star trails, right image)

September 18, 2019 (Borrego Springs) – Anza Borrego Foundation is kicking off the fall season with its fourth annual “Pints 4 the Park” as part of Borrego Days on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

HOW HOT WILL IT GET WHERE YOU LIVE?

By Miriam Raftery

 

Roger Coppock contributed to this story

 

September 8, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- Extreme heat is poised to rise steeply in frequency and severity over the coming decades, bringing unprecedented health risks for people and communities across the country. That’s the disturbing finding of the Union of Concerned Scientists in a just-issued report titled Killer Heat in the United States: Climate Choices and the Future of Dangerously Hot Days.

OWAC RECOGNIZES THE WEST'S TOP OUTDOORS/ADVENTURE MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS PROS

Source:  OWAC

Photo: Author and award winner Diana Lindsay

September 5, 2019 (Oxnard) - Outdoor Writers Association of California (OWAC) – the leading organization of professional outdoor media communicators in the western region – recently recognized nearly two-dozen recipients in their annual Excellence in Craft Awards.

GINA CHAMPION-CAIN CHARGED WITH SECURITES FRAUD, HAS EAST COUNTY TIES

By Miriam Raftery

September 3, 2019 (San Diego) – Gina Champion-Cain has long been hailed as one of San Diego’s most powerful women business leaders.  But on Thursday, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced charges against her and her company, ANI Development, calling it a “multi-year $300 million scheme” that allegedly defrauded some 50 retail investors, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

FLASH FLOOD WATCH ISSUED

September 2, 2019 (San Diego's East County) -- A flash flood watch has been issued by the National Weather Service for portions of  southern California include  San Diego County's mountain and desert areas today and tonight.

Additional thunderstorms are possible Monday and Tuesday. 

Runoff caused by very intense but brief rainfall can gather in  arroyos and small streams as well as urban surfaces. 

There is a  risk of mudslides and debris flows in steep terrain and in burn  areas.

HIGH HEAT AND THUNDERSTORMS FORECAST

East County News Service

August 28, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Hot weather is here again. The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat watch from Friday morning through Saturday in San Diego’s desert areas. Temperatures could reach 115 in the low deserts and 105 in the low deserts.

JACUMBA HIKERS HIT THE TRAIL WITH HIKES SEPT. 21-OCT. 26

By Miriam Raftery

August 26, 2019 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – As fall and cooler weather approaches, the Jacumba Hikers have released a schedule of upcoming hikes from Sept. 21 through Oct. 26. The hikes range from easy to hard to destinations that include peaks in Anza Borrego, Kitchen Creek Falls, Jacumba’s fall festival, Valley of the Moon, Devil’s Canyon and Carrizo Creek. Below is the full schedule with details, and be sure to read the group’s safety tips

HEAT RETURNS MID-WEEK, THUNDERSTORMS POSSIBLE BY WEEKEND

By Miriam Raftery
 
August 17, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Temperatures will be heating up early to mid-week, with an excessive heat watch Tuesday through Thursday in the desert areas.  Temperatures could reach 120 in some low desert locations, with high deserts reaching 97 to 108 degrees.  Foothills of inland San Diego are expected to have high temperatures of 95 to 100 degrees.
 
Over next weekend, monsoonal thunderstorms could occur in the mountains and deserts, continuing into next week.

HEAT WAVE TO BAKE REGION FRIDAY THROUGH TUESDAY

By Miriam Raftery

August 2, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – A heat wave will bring toasty temperatures in triple digits to our inland region starting Friday through at least Tuesday. The National Weather Service cautions that heat advisories, watches or warnings may be issued due to health risks posed by high heat.

ANNUAL AUGUST CLOSURES COMING TO SEVERAL COUNTY PARKS

By Michelle Mowad, County of San Diego Communications Office

July 30, 2019 (San Diego) - Six San Diego County parks will be closed in August, a safety measure taken each year because of the month’s typically high temperatures.  El Capitan Preserve near Lakeside, Hellhole Canyon Preserve in Valley Center, Mt. Gower Preserve near Ramona and Wilderness Gardens in Pala will be closed Aug. 1 through Aug. 31. In addition, Agua Caliente Regional Park in Anza Borrego and Vallecito County Park near Julian are closed all summer; they reopen Labor Day weekend.

MORE STORMY WEATHER AND HIGH HEAT ON HORIZON



By Miriam Raftery

Photos: National Weather Service storm images in Campo and El Cajon, plus lightning totals.

July 25, 2019 (San Diego’s East County)  - San Diego County had 145 lightning strikes during a 24-hour period ending at 6 p.m. last night. Thunderstorms doused East County’s mountain and rural areas, producing some dramatic downpours and striking images. 

Even the usually parched desert community of Borrego Springs logged .21 inches in just 10 minutes. Borrego resident Bob Kutscher described the deluge as “BIG loud windblown drops that I thought was hail but ended up being very loud rainfall.”

FORECAST FOR THIS WEEKEND AND NEXT WEEK:

DAYTIME INTERSTATE 8 CLOSURES IN EAST COUNTY PLANNED THROUGH AUGUST

Source:  CalTrans

July 19, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- Crews will close various connectors along Interstate 8 (I-8) in the mountain areas of eastern San Diego County weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for pavement work, according to CalTrans. Full closures will take place at one intersection at a time in the coming week as follows:

MONSOONAL MOISTURE BRINGS THUNDERSTORMS, POSSIBLE FLASH FLOODING

East County News Service

 

July 18, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – A high pressure system moving into our region will bring monsoonal moisture capable of producing thunderstorms, heavy downpours, high winds and flash flooding starting Sunday through at least Wednesday. The storms are mainly expected to impact the mountain and desert regions.

SON KILLS MOTHER, THEN SELF IN BORREGO SPRINGS

Update July 19, 2019:  The Medical Examiner has completed the autopsies and identified Ann Sides and her son, Corey Sides. Ann Sides cause of death has been ruled as a gunshot wound, and the manner of death, a homicide. Corey Sides cause of death has been ruled as a gunshot wound, and the manner of death, a suicide.
 
East County News Service
 
July 17, 2019 (Borrego Springs) — A homicide investigation is underway after the bodies of a man and woman were found inside a home at 2909 Double O Road in Borrego Springs this morning. Both had trauma to their bodies, says Lt.Chad Boudreau.

MECCA IN THE HIGH DESERT: JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS

By Daniel Smiechowski

Spa exterior, restaurant and running pictures courtesy Daniel Smeichowski.  Spa water photo courtesy Miriam Raftery

July 14, 2019 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- As I drove east on Old Highway 80 about five miles to the I-east junction, I came upon a God-forsaken outpost of ramshackle homes, a trailer park, County library, elementary school, a few churches and a grocery store. What brought me here, however, was the iconic spa named after the town itself, the Jacumba Hot Springs Resort & Spa.

It seems like yesterday when my Mother and Father brought me here on a Greyhound bus from Milwaukee 54 years ago. In 1966, this spa served as a waystation for Greyhound bus lines. Interstate 8 did not exist in 1966 going through the El Centro corridor. But what was my real motivation in coming here? I came here for the sake of my beloved sport of triathlon. It was a match made in heaven. Mecca in the high desert. Blissfully sensual and healthier than 20 Spanish Pamplona bulls. Yes, I considered the extreme temperatures but common sense solved any dangers to the body and mind.

PASSAGES: HOWARD COOK, FORMER JACUMBA COMMUNITY LEADER (1930-2019)

East County News Service

July 11, 2019 (Jacumba Hot Springs) - The East County backcountry lost one of its biggest cheerleaders on June 29, when Howard W. Cook passed away peacefully after a short illness. He gave selflessly to the community, serving as Chair and later Secretary for the Jacumba Sponsor Group and as Board Member of the Jacumba-Boulevard Revitalization Committee. 

EXTREME HEAT AND THUNDERSTORMS THIS WEEKEND

By Miriam Raftery
 
July 9, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – The weather is heating up, with extreme heat forecast Friday and Saturday.  Lower desert highs of 112-117 degrees are forecast, with upper deserts reaching 100 to 107 degrees.  Mountains and valleys could reach 95 degrees.
 
Thunderstorms have been added to the forecast for Friday afternoon and Saturday.

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