Deserts

WELCOME, DESERT DENIZENS!

Our deserts section covers the Anza Borrego Desert State Park and the communities of Borrego Springs, Ocotillo, Ocotillo Wells and Jacumba.


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HEAT WAVE FORECAST: COOL ZONES AVAILABLE

By Miriam Raftery

May 12, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service forecasts a heat wave this weekend through early next week, with temperatures 10 to 15 degrees above normal in San Diego County’s inland areas.


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EARTH DAY BOULDER FAIR PLANNED FOR APRIL 24 IN JACUMBA

 

East County News Service

April 20, 2022 (Jacumba) - Jacumba Hot Springs celebrates its vast landscape of boulders this year at the annual Earth Day event at The Desert View Tower from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.


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WARM AND WINDY WEATHER FORECAST, BUT COOL TEMPERATURES TO RETURN BY FRIDAY

East County News Service

April 16, 2022 (San Diego) – Gusty winds are forecast tonight through Friday, with temperatures heating up early this week.  Temperatures Monday could reach 95 to 100 degrees in the deserts. Tuesday through Friday, gusts as strong as 60 miles an hour are forecast in the mountains and deserts.

 

By Friday, however, rain is forecast across the region, along with cooler weather.


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BORREGO ART INSTITUTE SEEKS ART FOR “CELEBRATING THE SUMMER” SHOW

By Miriam Raftery

April 10, 2022 (Borrego Springs) – The Borrego Art Institute will begin accepting artwork submissions April 30 for its “Celebrating the Summer Art Show” slated to run May 7 through October 2.


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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: ORCHID TREE BLOOMING IN BORREGO

April 10, 2022 (Anza-Borrego Desert State Park) -- Though there wasn't enough rain for a superbloom season in the Anza Borrego Desert this year, you can still see examples flowering desert plants and trees in a demonstration garden at the Anza Borrego Desert Natural History Association center.

This orchid tree blossom was among the most striking examples during a recent visit by our editor, Miriam Raftery, who snapped this photo of the beautiful bloom resembling those found in the tropics, but thriving in the local desert.


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MAKE A SPLASH: APRIL 18 MEETING TO BRING TWO SWIMMING POOLS AND A CLUBHOUSE TO JACUMBA

By Miriam Raftery

April 9, 2022 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – Jacumba is known for its hot springs. But now the Jacumba Community Service District wants to build two swimming pools and a clubhouse at a community park for residents and guests to stay cool on those sweltering hot days.  The community is urged to attend a meeting April 18 at 6 p.m. in the Highland Senior Citizens Center to show support for this proposal.


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88 FILMS TO BE SHOWCASED AT BORREGO FILM FESTIVAL MARCH 24-28

Festival Chair share insights in interview with East County Magazine 

By Matthew Manosh

 

Photo: Borrego Springs Film Festival 2022 Poster

 

March 23, 2022 (Borrego Springs)  -- A desert town away from the city, with films by independent artists from around the globe. It sounds like the perfect setting for a film festival. That’s the backdrop for the Borrego Springs Film Festival, which normally takes place in January, but was pushed back due to the COVID pandemic to this week, starting Thursday, March 24 and continuing through Monday, March 28.

 

East County Magazine got a chance to sit down and talk with the chairman of the film festival, Fred Jee who discussed the early days of the festival and what’s yet to come.


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AUTHORS OF BOOK ON ANZA-BORREGO NATURAL HISTORY TO VISIT JULIAN LIBRARY MARCH 18

East County News Service

March 18, 2022 (Julian) – Mike Wells and Marie Simovich will speak and sign copies of their book, A Natural History of the Anza-Borrego Region, Then and Now, at the Julian branch of the San Diego County Library.

The event is slated for Friday, March 18 at 2 p.m. The Julian library is located at 1850 Highway 78 in Julian.


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STORM BLANKETS EAST COUNTY MOUNTAIN AND HIGH DESERT COMMUNITIES IN SNOW; SOME ROADWAYS ARE CLOSED

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, right: Snow in In-Ko-Pah, by Greg Curran

February 23, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) – A late winter storm brought much-needed rain across much of the county, also bringing heavy snowfall to Mt.Laguna and lesser amounts of snowfall to elevations as low as Campo, Descanso, Lake Morena and In-ko-pah. In addition, a freeze warning has been issued for valley areas tonight and a frost warning for coastal communities.

The snowstorm has caused traffic snarls on I-8, where at least 10 semi-trucks got stuck this morning, according to the California Highway Patrol. The road was cleared with snow ploughs by around 9 a.m. However, Sunrise Highway is closed due to snow between State Route 79 and mile marker 27.5 due to snow.

Chains are required to access the following roadways:


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SNOWSTORMS TO IMPACT I-8, CREATE WHITE-OUT CONDITIONS IN MOUNTAINS

By Miriam Raftery

File photo: Snow on Sunrise Highway, Mt. Laguna

February 21, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) – A severe storm moving into our area is forecast to bring heavy rains across most of the county, along with high winds and substantial snow in mountain areas today through Wednesday.  Snowfall is forecast to dip below 4,000 feet, including portions of Interstate 8 east of Alpine.

Mount Laguna could get up to a foot and a half of snow, with six to eight inches forecast for Julian.  The blizzard could create white-out conditions in snowy areas, so avoid travel if possible. Frost is forecast for some valley areas including Ramona and Escondido.

Gusts of up to 70 miles per hour are forecast in mountains and in desert areas such as Borrego and Ocotillo Wells.


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DROUGHT WORRIES RETURN AFTER DRIEST JANUARY AND FEBRUARY IN CALIFORNIA HISTORY

By Rachel Becker, CalMatters

CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters

Photo:  Lake Mendocino in Northern California in late October. Courtesy Department of Natural Resources

February 20, 2022 (San Diego) - The first two months of 2022 are shaping up to be the driest January and February in California history, prompting state officials to warn of dire water conditions ahead. 


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WINTER IN ANZA-BORREGO DESERT STATE PARK

Anza Borrego Foundation

February 3, 2022 (Borrego Springs) -- When you think of the weather in February in the desert, you may think of frigid cold temperatures, wind strong enough to create sandstorms and raging flash floods. While all of this is possible, it is not common. According to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric), Borrego Spring's average temperature in February is in the low 50's at night and low/mid 70's in the day; hardly frigid! Winds are generally mellow, averaging just over five mph, and rain, we can always use more rain, averages just around 0.5". 

Near perfect winter weather! 


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JACUMBA BATHHOUSE BAZAAR FEB. 5TH AND EVERY FIRST SATURDAY

East County News Service 

February 3, 2022 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – You’re invited to a Bathhouse Bazaar at 44450 Old Highway Highway 80 in Jacumba Hot Springs. This Saturday, February 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. there will be a Taco Love food truck on site, along with Pine Valley Honey.


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CRASH SHUTS DOWN HIGHWAY 78

 

January 31, 2022 -- A septic truck has overturned on Highway 78 at Yaqui Wells.

The injury accident has shut down the highway in both directions this morning.


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: VALLEY OF THE MOON

East County News Service

January 29, 2022 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- Jacumba Hikers recently trekked to the rugged, rock-strewn Valley of the Moon in the Jacumba Mountains. Angela Somera sent these photos from the hike, which was led by Mike Rood and Bill Paper.

“I was the `sweep,' the last person on the hike to make sure no one gets off trail,” she says.


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USGS PLANE TO MAKE LOW-LEVEL FLIGHTS OVER SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA DESERTS NEXT 15 MONTHS

East County News Service

January 14, 2022 (San Diego) – The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) today announced that residents and visitors may notice a low-flying aircraft over the Imperial Valley, Salton Sea and surrounding areas in southern California starting as early as mid-January 2022 and continuing into Spring 2023.


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ROCK FALL CLOSES BUTTES PASS SLOT CANYON IN ANZA-BORREGO

By Miriam Raftery 

December 23, 2021 (Anza-Borrego) – Anza-Borrego Desert State Park today posted an alert on social media warning that the Buttes Pass Slot Canyon is closed until further notice due to a “difficult rockfall blocking the path.” 


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WET AND WILD HOLIDAY WEATHER

By Miriam Raftery

December 21, 2021 (San Diego) – If you’re traveling this week, be sure to allow extra time and drive with caution. Heavy rain is forecast for Thursday night and Friday, Christmas Eve, the National Weather Service predicts. Cool weather and lighter showers are expected to continue through the holiday weekend into next week.


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WARNINGS, WATCHES IN EFFECT ACROSS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AS STORM HITS REGION

By Miriam Raftery

December 14, 2021 (San Diego) – A powerful storm moving down from Orange and San Bernadino Counties into the San Diego region has prompted the National Weather Service to issue a high wind warning for San Diego County’s mountain and desert aeras, with gusts up to 70 miles per hour. A wind advisory is in effect for inland valleys. Along the coast, a gale warning and high surf advisory have been issued locally.

Snow is forecast late today and tonight down to 3,500 feet which could include areas such as Pine Valley and Descanso in addition to places at higher elevations such as Julian, Cuyamaca, Mount Laguna, and Palomar Mountain. If you must travel in the mountains, carry chains and be aware of hazardous conditions.

Flash floods are also possible late today and tomorrow as heavy rains pelt our region. Cleveland National Forest reminds drivers to turn around and don’t drive across flooded roadways, since even shallow swift-moving water can quickly sweep a vehicle downstream to deeper waters.


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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: SURREAL DESERT DAWN

East County News Service

December 9, 2021 (Anza Borrego Desert) – The Anza Borrego Foundation and Sicca Rood provided this stunning image taken December 7 in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. No, that’s not the mother ship touching down for a landing. The ABF posted the image on Facebook, with this note: “And who ever said the desert was boring? Gorgeous lenticular cloud captured by Sicco Rood yesterday morning! at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park."


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ALL WIND TURBINES AT OCOTILLO REMAIN SHUT DOWN SINCE SEPTEMBER TURBINE COLLAPSE

By Miriam Raftery

December 9, 2021 (Ocotillo, Calif.) – All turbines at the Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility have been offline in a since September 20, when a massive wind turbine collapsed, as ECM reported. The California ISO’s Dec. 8  Curtailed and Non-Operational Generator report, the shutdown of more than three months is listed as “forced.”


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ANZA BORREGO FOUNDATION’S HIKES RETURN: FIRST HIKE DEC. 14

By Miriam Raftery

December 5, 2021 (Borrego Springs) – The Anza Borrego Foundation’s member hikes are back starting Tuesday, December 14 from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. The first hike of the season will explore Sentenac Canyon and Cienega, including the Pacific Crest Trail and views of Earthquake Valley, Whale Peak, Volcan Mountain, Granite Mountain and Sentenac Canyon as well as Cienega, a rare desert wetland where habitat restoration is underway.


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BORREGO ART INSTITUTE SEEKS WORKS BY LATINO ARTISTS FOR JANUARY SHOW

East County News Service

December 5, 2021 (Borrego Springs) – The Borrego Art Instituted has issued a call for artworks by artists of Latino heritage or art strongly influenced by Latino culture.


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TIPS FOR COPING WITH THANKSGIVING IF THE POWER GOES OUT

By Miriam Raftery

November 22, 2021 (San Diego) – With SDG&E warning over 28,000 customers in 38 communities of possible power outages Thursday through Saturday due to high fire danger, how can you salvage Thanksgiving dinner plans with your family?  Here are a few ideas:

1. Cook your turkey and side dishes on Wednesday. You can serve sliced turkey and sides cold, or cook or reheat on a covered  camp stove on your patio outdoors, but keep a water bucket handy if you cook on any open flame.

2. Barbecue the bird!  If you have a rotisserie or smoker, you can cook the whole turkey outdoors. Or carve it into slices and cook the [pieces on your gas-powered or charcoal-fired barbecue.

3.. Plan a picnic outside with side dishes that can be served cold. How about a yam potato salad instead of baked yams?  Or a balsamic green bean salad instead of green bean casserole?  Opt for smoked turkey slices with pre-chilled cranberry-orange sauce or other embellishments.

4. Consider ditching traditional turkey for smoked salmon or a gourmet charcuterie board instead.


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SDG&E WARNS OF POWER SHUTOFFS OVER THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY DUE TO FIRE DANGER: OUTAGES COULD LAST DAYS

Update November 24, 2021:  SDG&E has widened its list of possible outage areas to include more than 53,000 customers. See the updated list of impacted communities here:  https://www.sdge.com/psps-dashboard

By Miriam Raftery

November 22, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) -- Before you stock up on turkey and other groceries for a feast, be aware that San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is asking customers in 38 local communities to prepare for potential Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) over the Thanksgiving holiday.


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HOLIDAY POP-UP GIFT SHOW DEC. 4 IN JACUMBA

East County News Service

November 18, 2021 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – If you’re ready for some holiday shopping, the Gilliam Gallery is hosting a holiday pop-up gift show on December 4 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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HEALING IN JACUMBA NOV. 21 AT THE DESERT VIEW TOWER

By Miriam Raftery

November 18, 2021 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – The Desert View Tower in Jacumba Hot Springs will host “Healing Jacumba” this Sunday, November 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

 

 

The event includes energy healing, massage, yoga, meditation, acupuncture, Reiki, herbcraftersAnushi healing salves, cystal bracelets and more.


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SANDAG APPROVES MILEAGE TAX OVER OBJECTIONS OF UNFAIRNESS TO EAST COUNTY

By Henri Migala and Miriam Raftery

Photo, left, by Henri Migala:  around 200 residents attended a forum in La Mesa organized by Carl DeMaio of Reform California, which opposes the mileage tax

November 4, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) -- The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) on Friday approved a controversial road usage tax, also known as a mileage tax. The measure drew strong opposition from East County residents and political leaders, who argue that its unfair to charge hefty taxes to inland residents who won’t benefit from ambitious transit projects planned in coastal areas.


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ANZA-BORREGO PHOTO CONTEST NOW OPEN

East County News Service

Nov. 2, 2021 (Borrego Springs) – You’re invited to submit your best photos of the unique and natural beauty of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park by December 7. There are six categories to enter your photos – and the Best of Show winner will receive a 2.5 hour private tour for two with California Overland Desert Excursions.

The contest is presented by the Anza Borrego Foundation in partnership with the Borrego Art Institute and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.


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