About Me

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Los Gatos, California, United States
Kevin is currently the certified superintendent at La Rinconada Country Club. Kevin was the Director of Maintenance at Lahontan Golf Club for over 14 years. Some of the responsibilities over the expanse of his career include the daily upkeep of multiple golf courses, natural resources, environmental compliance, and roads and streets. The wide ranging expertise has come from a combination of education and experiences. Degrees in Meteorology (1987 University of Nebraska/Lincoln), and Horticulture (1992 Colorado State), complete the formal side of this important combination of qualifications. A lifetime of experience around golf courses, and the game of golf was provided by Kevin's father.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Rain For a Week Relieving Course Drought

Enh Infrared Satellite - GOES West 12 hr Loop

GOES West image showing deep moisture training into California with more on the way

The last month has been a great stretch of weather for all of California and has done a lot to moisten the soil on the course. Over 5 inches have fallen in the last week and it is raining now with a forecast for another .5 of an inch. There have been a few wash outs and minor flooding, but overall it has been a friendly rain, soaking into areas that were bone dry prior.

The policy for play is for the course to remain open as long as it is safe and no irreparable damage will be incurred. That puts on onus on the players to have the best interest of the course in mind, relying on common sense. We are fortunate to live in a climate where golf can be played year round leaving little reason to play in heavy rain.

Flooding on the 12th Monday, December 2nd

For the golf maintenance staff, this weather gives us time to catch up on work around the shop and training. For example, today we watched some training videos, detailed out equipment, and did a little "deep cleaning". Like the players we also only go out when it is safe and we are not doing damage. Heavy equipment that creates ruts is not used on saturated ground, hence the rough can get pretty high with prolonged periods of rain. However cutting cups, hand mowing of greens, tees and approaches can be done in inclement weather without damage.

Well, lets hope that this is the start to a wet winter and puts us back in a good position with our state water reserves.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Well and Water Update

The irrigation main line contractor and well motor installation companies have been going hard the past 8 days and now we are only days away from testing out the delivery system. The project has been going very well with everyone working together to complete the field work in a very short period of time and with little disruption to members.

The connection of the new main line from the well  to the old existing system main line was made today Monday November 17th, 2014

This system will be temporary until the ponds are excavated and the new pump station installed by next spring.

The route of the new pipe through the west side of the practice area

Magiorra Bros. installing the well motor and casing last Friday

The well pump control unit and pressure tanks located at the back of the practice area Monday
By Thursday all the piping connections to the well will be made and a generator will be used to power the well motor for testing. It is expected that we will need to rely on this system until spring, which will necessitate more daytime watering.


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Water in the Forecast

Our rain has come and gone for the time being, but do not despair, we are pretty close to normal so far this fall and winter. 

If that trend continues then moisture will increase for the next 3 months. The total for the recent rain events is under .50 of an inch but it has made a dramatic difference in course conditions. If you believe in El Nino forecasts then you will be happy to know that NOAA has predicted above average sea surface temperatures mid winter into spring 2015. The full report can be found here.

Our contractor installing main line from the old irrigation well through the practice area

While we are on the topic of water I want you to know that we have moved beyond the planning stages on our water infrastructure and begun installing pipe last Monday. This pipe route is from the old well at the back of the range and will connect to the existing irrigation main line near #1 tee. There will be the option to continue the pipe to the ponds at the 11th hole should that be needed in the future. In the short term the old well will service the irrigation at the practice facility, and can also provide limited short term water directly injected into the irrigation system.

New irrigation pump station site across the pond near the fitness facility

The long term irrigation source will be a new pump station at the 11th hole. The rebuilding of the pond at the 11th hole is in the planning / permitting stages with the expectation that it will be ready for next spring.

It feels really good to be moving ahead on these projects and to have the rains return. Hopefully they continue, and even if they don't we have water in our forecast.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

High Probability of Rain

We have waited a long time for a forecast with a high probability of rain. It looks like that long wait may be coming to a close. Check out the link below to the forecast discussion released this morning. Good news.

http://forecast.weather.gov/product.php?site=NWS&issuedby=mtr&product=AFD&format=ci&version=1&glossary=1 From 1Weather for Android. http://bit.ly/1Weather

Monday, October 20, 2014

Fall is Here / Let the Healing Begin

Now that aerification is behind us and we are into the season when we get rain (in a normal year) we expect the course conditions to be very good. For the most part they are, but coming out of summer this year we have thin spots in our rye grass which is not totally surprising when you look at the weather.

The drought has had little effect on rye grass turf color

Rarely if ever just one thing causes a problem when it comes to turf health. There are 3 components that have made for a  difficult summer this year. 1) Irrigation water reduction 2) heat 3) prolonged drought.

All cool season grasses struggle in our heat. Soil testing through the year has shown steadily increasing sodium and chloride levels and that leads to increased stress. Add to that temperatures that favor Bermuda grass and you can guess what is going on with the rye. We had one additional thing to deal with this year and that was a 20% irrigation water reduction.

Overall though this is a time of year to enjoy after the stress of summer has passed. Rains will come our way and grass will recover and thicken up. Every year it is very much the same cycle, it is just that this year has been more difficult with the drought. Seed has been added to the areas that are most in play and additional fertilizers added.

What is the probability of the Bay Area having a normal amount of rainfall this winter? Check out the link to the National Weather Service long range prediction center by clicking here.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Fall Maintenance Update

I am happy to report that fall maintenance is going very well after 2 days.
The following work is complete

Aerated with .5 inch tines
Aeration cores cleaned off
Gypsum and mineral package applied
Topdressing sand applied and drug in
Aerated with .25 inch tines
Aeration cores cleaned off by hand on 9 holes
Greens being aerated the second time with .25 inch tines
Remove yardage plates
Aerated with .5 inch tines
Tee tops verticut with graden
Organic material raked out of the surface
Seed applied

Tee box aeration and selective pruning of trees on #16
Aeration with .75 inch solid tines on 4 inch centers 75% complete

Aeration with .75 inch hollow tines on 6 inch centers 65% complete

What is left to do?

Hand broom finish filling any remaining aeration holes
Planet air
Verticut 2 directions
Apply lime and fertilizer

Topdress edges with sand
Apply fertilizer
Re-install yardage plates

Finish .75 inch tine aerification
Seed rye
Topdress at 25 tons / acre
Drag in topdressing
Clean topdressing sand from around sprinkler heads

Finish .75 inch tine aerification
Seed rye in select areas
Topdress at 25 tons / acre

Prep the event lawn for a wedding on Saturday
Clean the parking lot where the 1,000 tons of topdressing sand resided
Get the course ready for play Saturday morning when we re-open. Cut cups, put out signage and ropes / stakes, etc.
Selective tree pruning is also done this week while the course is closed

I really enjoy this week of work and the coordination it takes on my part. Of course none of this happens without the hard work of my staff, and I greatly appreciate the hard work and long hours. I also appreciate doing this work with the course closed and the patience that the Membership exercises during maintenance week. In the end we all benefit from giving a little to have a great conditioned course.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

What is the white stuff in the fairway? ?

You may have noticed a white material in the fairways recently. That  material is gypsum that aids water penetration into the soil. The white color helps identitiefy areas  for the water crew so they can find them easily and ensures we are watering in the right places and conserving water.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Fall Maintenance September 2nd

The annual fall maintenance is upon us and there are going to be some adjustments from years past because of the unusual weather we have experienced this year.

Aerification practices will be the same. On the greens cores .50 inch in diameter and 2 inch spacing will be pulled and then filled with sand, then we do it again with .25 inch diameter cores on that same 2 inch spacing. That is a lot of holes but it results in surfaces that drain better and are firmer and smoother playing. The hard work that it takes to do this job is worth the results. The easiest thing to do is to not do aerification but you will pay the price later.

Greens aerification

.25 inch aerification holes

Now for the different aspect of this year. Seed is usually put down prior to the sand topdress on fairways and roughs. During fall maintenance this year seed will be added to landing areas and high traffic areas but not to all areas as in the past. This year when we reduced the irrigation on the course many areas of turf were lost. Not all these areas will be regrown. Of the areas that will be regrown, some will be established to different grass species suitable to drought conditions. In order to continue to conserve resources, irrigation water will not be used to grow this seed and instead, we will wait for our rainy season and hope that it shows up this year.

Irrigation reduction area where seeding will be delayed
So just a little different strategy to add seed the week of fall maintenance only where we need it in landing zones and high traffic areas and then wait on the other areas until the rainy season.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Rain in August ? What ??

What is going on with this rain? 

We should not be too surprised with all the crazy weather that has happened over the world in the last few years, but rain in the San Jose California area in August is unheard of, and it has happened a couple of times in the last few weeks.

Radar August 6th 2014 showing rain cells moving south through Northern California South Bay 

A lot of this moisture is coming from low pressure systems that are bringing moist air up from as far south as Mexico as part of the monsoonal flow. If you spend any time in the south west you know about those rain events, but for it to reach as far north as Northern California takes a very strong persistent flow.

Satellite loop August 6th 2014 showing monsoonal moisture in Mexico moving north through Arizona and then east across Northern Nevada to reach coastal California

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Some Days

Most days I enjoy the birds on the golf course. Their singing and being around the ponds and the golf course are pleasant, however this morning for some reason only the 13 screen was damaged by birds foraging for insects.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

How to Not Get The Summertime Blues

Thinking back to July one year ago when the turf conversion was just a year old, things were really good all the way until the heat and full stress of summer was upon us. Well from that experience the grass got a lot stronger and so did I, which brings us to a better condition this year. Despite the drought and irrigation cut backs.

Over 10 large branches have fallen this summer due to the hot dry conditions

There are inherit difficulties that are due to the physiology of the cool season rye grass when it is hot, combined with sodium and chloride that have built up in the soil from a lot of irrigation and very little flushing rain. I don't think there is much need to explanation why sodium chloride (table salt basically) would be bad for a growing plant. This year we started treating for this condition earlier in the summer to relieve some of the stress with our new injection tank and pumps. This has resulted in a stronger plant and less water necessary to maintain health.

Diligent sand topdressings and aggressive aerification have facilitated water penetration 

All this preparatory work will be paying off this next week when temperatures are forecast to be in the mid 90's. Both the grass on the course and I will not be feeling as much stress. Beyond this summer there is hope for a normal winter and there is talk of el nino returning. I have to say that the prediction of long range weather patterns such as el nino contains a lot of low accuracy speculation on the part of the "experts". I use a lot of caution when I hear these long range weather predictions on the news, or when talking to someone in casual conversation. But in the mean time every day that goes by that we have water and the golf course continues to do well, is a day closer to winter and that hope increases for the rain that we usually get.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Pumping Water

We are pumping water out of the old well today. We will know what the production and quality of the water is in the next couple days.

Monday, June 2, 2014

May Summary

Have you missed me?  I have been busy as always, and there have been lots of things to write about....... but I have been busy doing those things rather than writing, and I will leave it at that. So lets catch up.

The drought and our water strategy has kept the main playing surfaces in good shape while the cut backs on the periphery of the course have provided water conservation. As summer progresses and the temperatures get higher the conservation will become more evident as areas go off color. I am going to be testing different grass varieties for these edge of course areas. I am looking for good color with reduced water and fertilizer, along with reduced growth in the long term. Stay tuned for more on this as these test plots get established. The goal is to reduce our water use by 20% from 2013, and to identify areas for long term conservation after the drought has ended. The criteria for evaluating these areas is outlined in the blog posting labeled "Drought".

Turf reduction along the right hand side of the first hole.
Maggiora working on cleaning out our well at the end of the practice area

In the category of course enhancements / projects there has been progress made in the last month although a lot of that progress has taken place in strategy and planning. In my last posting I updated the Vasona Canal filling which is not complete for now. The next step is to get the plan from Bill Love and evaluate what he has planned there. It will take a while to solidify that plan, and then the determination of when to do the work would take place. This process will take months, and there has been good progress thus far. In the mean time I will continue to do projects like the clearing out the right side of the 10th hole as time, man power and budget allow. Going into the heat of summer and our tournament season takes a lot of our resources, so I don't expect to do many more projects until fall.

10th hole before brush removal

10th hole after brush removal

Overall course health and playability have been very good. There are water and soil challenges we are dealing with that I will not go into detail about, but the strategies that are being employed are producing results and that is displayed in the current course conditions. In my next posting I will get into how we produce those tournament conditions.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Vasona Canal Pipe

Quite a few years ago the idea of filling in Vasona canal at the practice areas was introduced. 

Since that time there have been a number of projects completed with the canal piping taking a back seat. This year was the last year that the permit could be extended, heighten the interest in this project getting done this year. Today the Vasona Canal project at the practice area has begun and it is going very well.

Cleaning the bottom of the trench and adding material for compacting

Sanco Pipelines is doing a great job at completing the work with minimal damage to the course. It is expected to be very close to finished by Friday with just final grade work left to be done.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Drought Management at La Rinconada

Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought on January 17th, 2014, giving water regulators the ability to take action to reduce water use in order to ensure the safety and health of the people of California. At that time the governor asked for a voluntary 20% reduction in water use and gave local and regional agencies the ability to mandate any reductions they felt were appropriate.

Credit: CBS
With this in mind I drafted an irrigation reduction plan for the golf course in collaboration with Bill Love our golf course architect, Andy Kimball golf professional, and our Greens and Grounds committee.

Irrigation Reduction Plan

In response to the ongoing drought in California the LaRinconada Country Club is adopting the following drought plan with the goal to reduce overall water use, to use water as efficiently as possible, and to prioritize areas of the course when rationing is called for.
The philosophy of water management is to only use as much as needed to produce a healthy turf grass surface that is suitable for the game of golf.
LaRinconada has been proactive in using water efficiently, by investing in the latest technology for irrigation management, and in selection of water efficient grass species. In 2013 a new Toro Lynx irrigation control system was installed as well as a Campbell Scientific weather station.  The weather station calculates the amount of moisture lost in a day and the amount of irrigation is automatically determined for each individual sprinkler head based on the information from the weather station. In addition soil moisture readings are taken by 8 permanent units buried in different locations around the course, as well as a hand held unit that is used daily. All surfaces are checked and monitored before irrigation takes place to assure that watering is necessary.
To reduce the amount of water used, LaRinconada has taken areas out of irrigation, and has also planted water efficient grass species. In 2012 and 2013 approximately 8 acres were re-landscaped from grass to mulch.  In 2012, 90 acres of the golf course were converted from predominately Poa annua to perennial rye and chewing fescue. The 2 new species require less water than the old annual bluegrass surfaces due mainly to deeper rooting. At that time LaRinconada also participated in the Santa Clara Valley Water District irrigation and Landscape conservation programs. An onsite audit was performed and a rebate of $29,000 was awarded for the changes that were made.
In severe drought conditions there may be the need to ration water and in response to that possibility the areas of the golf course have been given the following priorities. 1) greens 2) tees 3) approaches 4) fairways 5) green surrounds 6) roughs 7) perimeters 8) practice area 9) Flowers. Each of these areas is programmed separately in the irrigation control computer so that a reduction is easily made. Reductions will be made across all the individual areas as much as possible until a non recoverable loss of turf health is seen, at which time the lowest priority area will be reduced further, which may result the total loss of that grassed area.
The reduction of irrigation will be measured by the area of irrigation the previous year multiplied by the amount of evapotranspiration over the current month measured at the weather station. The amount of reduction will also be measured by the actual gallons used during the current month as compared to the average of the previous 2 years.
Continual monitoring will take place through daily pump station readings of gallons used, daily weather station evapotranspiration readings in comparison to irrigation performed, and all golf course areas monitored for efficient use of water. This document and the philosophy have the full endorsement of staff and the membership and these practices were adopted in March of 2014.

Kevin P Breen CGCS.

Mapped areas of irrigation reduction circled. Click on the picture to zoom in for better viewing.

This change that the course will go through will be difficult while we are in the midst of the golf season, however I have no doubt it will be better in the long run. It is just going to happen more quickly than we would have planned.



Friday, April 4, 2014

New Maintenance Roof Structure Complete

The transformation from parking lot to parking lot with a roof is complete. From concept to completion this project just made sense. It was more cost effective than a building with walls. The open space allows machinery to maneuver freely in all directions, it is easy to keep clean, and there is little to no maintenance. Once there is solar installed on the roof it will pay for itself over time.

The original 1950's era building

Framework in place on Thursday

Completed structure with equipment parked Friday afternoon

There is now over 3,000 square feet of roof over equipment that in the past sat out in the elements. Feel free to stop by the maintenance facility and take a look for yourself.


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Construction Work in the Maintenance Yard

If you have played the course this week you have probably noticed the work being done on the back of the acquaintance facility. The old wooden shed structure dating back over 50 years was torn down in preparation for a new structure.

The 1950's era green shed 

The area where the old shed stood

New concrete poured around the perimeter of the old building in preparation for the new building.

On March 31st construction on the shade structure will begin. It will provide over 3,000 square feet of roof that will protect the clubs maintenance equipment and prolong its life. It is a very worth while project that will pay dividends in repair and maintenance of equipment that otherwise would site out in the sun and rain.


Friday, March 14, 2014

Spring Aerification

This week was the 5th aerification that I have performed at LaRinconada and somewhere around  the 25th for my career. It is always a lot of labor, and generally involves a few drops of blood and tears to go along with the sweat. 

The amount of aerification we perform at LaRinconada is based on laboratory testing of the amount of organic matter present in the green. Based on that test result, both the USGA and the testing lab make a recommendation on the amount of aerification to perform to maintain the health of the greens.

This years aerification was aggressive, but went very smoothly and we will see quicker than normal recovery due to our above average temperatures and the quality of the work.

Aerified and topdressed green prior to rolling 
There is a lot of sand that is purposely left on the greens to aid in recovery and it will enhance ball roll by smoothing out imperfections.

Topdressing sand in the rough and fairways 
The entire course received topdressing including the rough and fairways. This is a big undertaking that went very well. 1,000 tons of sand was applied in 2 days, and these topdressings are making a positive impact in the firmness of these playing surfaces.

Rolling of the greens
The final touches on the greens are multiple rollings and waterings. Mowing will be kept to a minimum to allow the sand to stay in place and not damage the mowing equipment, and in the place of mowing, rolling will be performed.

These maintenance practices are critical to the long term health and playability of the course. The fact that this spring's course maintenance went so well is reassuring in the face of the recent drought and the challenges that we will face this coming summer.


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Storm Update

Last week when the weather forecast included the possibility of rain, I was very slow to get excited because you have to have had patience over the last 14 months of forecasts that did not full fill their promise of rain. Well this time mother nature came through with close to 4 inches of rain, and it has not stopped yet.

There are a few reasons I am happy about the rain. The first is that we are in a drought and we have been asked to reduce our water use by 20%. That is not a big number right now, however if we need to reduce by that amount in summer, it will impact a lot of the course. The next reason is that without rain, any salts found in our irrigation water build up in the, soil and impact the quality of the grass. We were reaching levels of salts that if we got to spring without some flushing rains, combined with the reduced irrigation,  the turf would be impacted.

This rain has fallen slowly and soaked into the ground with limited run off and damage to the course, with just a couple of exceptions.

Blocked drainage in the front of #2 green

Blocked drainage in the front of #14 green
In both of these drainage problems the existing drain lines had been compromised by tree roots and repaired.

Elsewhere, the trees did very well. There was only minor damage with small limbs that came down.

So what can we expect now that the rain has come. Well, I think that we can expect more rain, because of the change in the position of the jet stream to a normal pattern. I don't think that we can say that we will not have water restrictions this summer, because of how far below normal we are at this time. When summer comes we are in a very good position to handle any challenges that come our way, and for now I am giving  a sigh of relief that the forecast was accurate and the rain did come as predicted.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Golf Industry Show and GCSAA Conference Wrap Up

Last week I was in Orlando Florida for the Golf Industry Show and Golf Course Superintendents of America annual conference. For the golf industry this is the biggest and best offering of continuing education, networking, and showing of products and equipment in the world. This marked my 18th consecutive conference and I continue to learn and get better at my craft through participating in this event. For the last 2 years I have co-taught a weather seminar for superintendents and I have found that to be very gratifying, and it keeps my meteorology skills sharp. I have shared below some of the products and ideas that I have brought back with me.

Some of the products and interesting things found at the show.

Remote control slope mower

Remote control and robotic mowers with gps are getting more and more popular every year. I think they are a few years away from being relevant for most golf courses, however some day I think they will be commonly used, especially in hazardous areas like steep slopes. For now I use pgs and gis for fertilizer and irrigation programs, but not mowing.

Fairway roller
Fairway rolling is becoming very popular quickly across the country for a couple of reasons. It has proven to lessen disease, it enhances the firm fast playing conditions desired on most golf courses, and it can reduce the number of days of mowing. For now I am keeping the rolling to the greens, where we roll on average 3 times a week.

Azospirillum bacteria
There are new biological / sustainability products coming out every day. This is a trend and some times trends come and go, however there are a lot of products that are proving in university studies to be contributing to better soil and ultimately better turf and playing conditions. TerraMax is a company that produces nitrogen fixing bacteria that we will be trying at La Rinconada this year. If the product lives up to the claims and research results, it will allow us to apply less fertilizer and pesticides and have deeper rooted grass.

I am always on the lookout for new products and have tried 3 or 4 new ones on the course this past year. Most of them fall short of there claims, but trying new things is how you get better and frankly it keeps me stimulated.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Maximizing Water Use and New Cart Path

Trees compete with grass for sunlight, water and nutrients, and the trees need to be maintained so that the turf is as good as it can be.

One of the things we are doing on the course is pruning tree roots.

One of the other projects in process is the change out of sprinkler heads on the range that will help conserve water.

New sprinkler head installation at the range
Another project this week that is unrelated to water but I am sure will smooth out many of the bumps in your round of golf is the installation of the new cart path at the 5th hole.

Excavation of old path 

Freshly poured new path

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Where is the Rain??

While we are all enjoying nice golfing weather, the prognosis for summer gets more dire with each passing day without rainfall. 

When I set up this blog I included a lot of weather links, and planned to talk about weather occurrences. The San Francisco Bay area weather lulls you to sleep with mild predictable temperatures, and unless there is rain in the forecast there really is not much to talk about. But rain has not been in the forecast for some time and that is getting to be dramatic.

Tue Jan 14Wed Jan 15Thu Jan 16Fri Jan 17Sat Jan 18Sun Jan 19Mon Jan 20
Daily-TempHigh 73
Low 40
High 74
Low 41
High 74
Low 40
High 72
Low 40
High 69
Low 40
High 69
Low 40
High 71
Low 41
Chance of Precip0%0%0%0%0%0%0%0%0%0%0%0%0%0%0%0%0%0%0%0%0%0%0%0%0%0%0%0%

12-hr Snow Total0"0"0"0"0"0"0"0"

The subtleties of the weather in Northern California are dependent upon sea surface temperatures, and those don’t change quickly. The 71% of the earth surface that is water moderates temperatures and wind patterns so that generally changes are seasonal and patterns stay in place rather predictably. This year the sea surface temperatures are not normal,  and that has affected the entire United States winter weather pattern and there is no sign that it is going to change back to normal quickly.

Right now things are stuck in an upper air pattern of a ridge over the west coast and a trough over the east part of the country. In the east they have adopted the phrase "Polar Vortex"  to describe their weather and in the west we are calling it the "Ridiculous Resistant Ridge". Don’t expect things to bounce back next week because sea surface temperatures don’t work that way.

California just had its driest year on record, and maybe you noticed, and if you did possibly you are thinking that things could get bad. For me things got bad last winter. We have been dealing with salts in the soil all summer and now into winter. The point is, the weather is dramatic right now, you just may not have noticed because it has not been a hardship yet.

So when is this weather going to change? That is a big question, and frankly most people who make a living answering that question agree that climate change has happened and the resulting short term weather patterns are still adjusting to what we might call normal or average. We might be in the new weather normal for our lifetimes. Don’t expect an apocalyptic Hollywood ending to life as we know it, but do expect that your life will change because of the weather.

There will be changes that we need to consider for the golf course in the coming months should there not be any more rain. In my next posting I will review planning that we will have in place should we have our irrigation water restricted.

For more information follow the links below:

The San Jose Mercury ran a recent article about the weather and drought conditions.

California drought: What's causing it? - San Jose Mercury News

Governor Jerry Brown about to declare drought.

To keep up on the current sea surface temperature anomalies go to; http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/ocean/sst/anomaly/

For national long and short range forecasts and discussion (including sea surface temperatures) go to: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/forecasts/

For current California reservoir water levels go to: http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cdecapp/resapp/getResGraphsMain.action

For current California snow pack moisture go to: