Mining Ridge: Rainiest Spot in Central California


Clearing storm: Summit of Cone Peak; just south of Mining Ridge

Storms generally weaken as they move south, dropping more rain north of the Golden Gate and in the Santa Cruz Mountains than in Monterey County. But Big Sur’s Coast Ridge is an exception. Rising directly from the ocean to over 5,000 feet at Cone Peak, the Coast Ridge forms a high wall, lifting clouds and wringing an incredible amount of moisture out of passing storms.

Just north of Cone Peak, the Mining Ridge rain gauge frequently receives more rain than any gauge in the San Francisco Bay Area. Over the past five days, for example, Mining Ridge recorded 18.27 inches, higher than any total in Sonoma, Marin, Napa, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, or San Benito Counties.

The back side of the Coast Ridge in the Mining Ridge area drains into the Arroyo Seco River, and the river responded to the heavy rain by climbing from from a flow of just 9 cubic feet per second (cfs) before the rain began, to about 14,000 cfs as the weather finally cleared yesterday afternoon.

See five-day rain totals from around the Bay Area here.


4 Responses to Mining Ridge: Rainiest Spot in Central California

  1. Lois says:

    Thanks again for the interesting info. The link to 5-day rain totals doesn’t seem to be working, at least for me. FYI

  2. xasauan says:

    If, for whatever inscrutable Internet reason, the link won’t work, try cutting and pasting:

  3. joshuacanyon says:

    … NICE DOG!…

  4. dave n says:

    I watch Mining Ridge and Anderson because they affect my water systems so much. The incredible total of about 21 inches for 24 hours during the Oct 14 2010 storm apparently was discredited due to a loose mount that allowed the gage to tilt into the wind. Wonder if it’s fixed? Three Peaks also gets high amounts and most years trades peak honors with Mining from storm to storm.

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