Happily, we've emerged largely without damage, but with a welcome replenishing of groundwater. The one-day rainfall totals at Tablas Creek were a whopping 6.02 inches, the most we've ever measured in one day since we installed the weather station seven years ago. The damaging winds didn't develop (perhaps because we're on the eastern-facing slopes of the Santa Lucia mountains) but it was still windy, with gusts topping out at 43 miles per hour. We took a drive out to the winery to see what things looked like, and snapped some photos for everyone.
The roads were fine, although there was some dirt- and gravel-cover from washed-out driveways, and the typical California tree detritus. Below is a shot on Vineyard Drive, just south of Tablas Creek:
The day was pretty, with sun struggling to break through the clouds and the occasional lingering shower. Driving around the vineyard, the damage was limited to some minor erosion on the roads and at the bottoms of some of the steeper hills:
The cover crops have been late in sprouting this year, as we haven't had any sustained wet periods. Still, they'd gotten enough of a head start from December's rain to hold the soil in place. Two good shots of the sprouting cover crop, the first looking south through the Roussanne, and the second looking north through the old Grenache section:
The ground was very thirsty, as evidenced by how little water was running in Tablas Creek just 12 hours after having received over 6 inches of rain.
This is the clearest indication of how much more rain we need. Even with this last storm, we're at just over 11 inches for the year so far, only about 40% of our average annual total. Finally, I wanted to leave you with a photo from the top of the vineyard, looking south across the Grenache and Counoise, that gives a great feel for the morning's weather:
We're forecast to get two much smaller storms in the aftermath of this one, one coming through tomorrow and another on Tuesday. Neither is supposed to give us much more than half an inch of rain, but we'll happily take what we can get.