Entries by Adam Prell

Areas of San Jose Flood After Nearby Dam Overflows

Low-lying areas of San Jose have flooded due to increased runoff from Anderson Lake after a weekend of multiple rain storms.  The lake, which is 15 miles southeast of San Jose, had been slowly filling to capacity.  Water levels eventually spilled over Anderson Dam into Coyote Creek which flows northwest, directly into the heart of San Jose. […]

Heavy Rain Event Underway for Southern California

The West Coast is bracing for yet another heavy rain event. Luckily, each storm this winter has slowly helped the previously dire drought situation, which covered most of the State of California. This storm, however, will bring sustained rain from Southern Oregon all the way south through San Diego. The worst of it, though, has its […]

Lake Oroville Dam Verges on Collapse

Officials released water from an emergency spillway at Lake Oroville that has not been used since the dam was built in 1968. Oroville Dam is the highest dam in the nation and stores water in California’s second largest reservoir. Crews have been closely monitoring the water flow during this historic winter that has filled up […]

Fire Weather Concern Hits Southern Plains

Early this week the National Weather Service (NWS) indicated that conditions in the Southern Plains may evolve into a significant fire weather event.  Specifically, The National Weather Service issued a Red Flag Warning on Monday (2/6) for an area encompassing the Southeastern Colorado Plains through Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Texas. A fire weather watch is also in effect […]

Chile Wildfire Outbreak “Worst in Country’s History”

Chile Wildfires Displace Thousands For the past three weeks, wildfires have ravaged Central Chile in an event President Michele Bachelet called the “greatest forest disaster in our history”. Strong winds, hot temperatures and a prolonged drought have created chaos in seven separate regions with over a hundred wildfires burning this month.  The fires have scorched hundreds of thousands of […]

Atmospheric River Brings Heavy Snow and Rain to California

California started 2017 off with an extremely active weather pattern. Since January 3rd, an “atmospheric river” has brought heavy rain and snow to much of the state. Ski areas within the Sierra Nevada mountain range are reporting close to record snow totals (Mammoth Mountain 101″ of snowfall, Heavenly 114″ and Squaw Valley 94″). The lower […]

2016 Fire Season in Review

Fire Season in 2016 saw no shortage of headline-filling wildfires across the US and North America.  However, 2016’s final numbers for both total starts and total acres burned actually came in below averages from the last ten years in both categories.  Data reported by the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) for the 2016 calendar year showed 62,864 fire […]

Wildfire 101: Dead Fuel Moisture

What is Dead Fuel Moisture? A recent lack of significant rainfall has kept Southern California in extreme drought, which means there is increased potential for significant wildfire due to dangerous levels of dead fuel moisture. As explained by NOAA, fuel moisture is a measure of the amount of water in a potential fuel, and is expressed as a […]

Social Media and Wildfire

Good communication is a key in any emergency situation. The ultimate goal is always to protect lives and property. Part of achieving that goal is keeping all audiences informed during an incident. FEMA’s Basic Guidance for Public Information Officers states that “During an incident or planned event, coordinated and timely communication is critical to effectively […]

Gatlinburg Disaster: 700 Structures Lost, 13 Fatalities

Chimney Tops 2 Fire Update Tough questions were abundant at this morning’s press conference as word fell that a thirteenth victim has been identified in the aftermath of this week’s Chimney Tops 2 fire. Fire and Emergency managers tried to dodge the press’s questions regarding whether they waited too long to evacuate residents in the […]