Portal:Natural History-Weather

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Prisoners' Harbor, Santa Cruz Island, 2015
Prisoners' Harbor, Santa Cruz Island, 2015


The Santa Cruz Island Company was always on alert as to weather conditions. From too hot to too cold, too wet or too stormy, weather conditions were often noted in the weekly reports written by the island superintendent to the company office in San Francisco:


October 21, 1916 [SCICo]: “We are ordering sugar and rice ahead of time, as we are somewhat afraid of the creek between the Main Ranch and Prisoners Harbor. We believe it advisable to have some emergency provisions on the Schooner so in case they have to run for shelter on short notice, they won't go hungry.”


December 19, 1916 [SCICo]: “The weather is too cold to be conducive to legible penmanship.”


June 20, 1917 [SCICo]: “We have experienced some very hot weather. On the 15th the temperature went to 110 degrees; on the 16th to 112 degrees and on the 17th to 118 degrees. The past three days have been warm, but the thermometer hasn't reached the 100 mark. The loss to the grape crop is fully one-half in the Burgundy, Mission and North Church districts and taking the Vineyard as a whole will probably amount to one-third. The corn has been damaged 50% and the walnuts probably an equal amount. With the exception of tomatoes the garden has been set back two months. The fruit trees were badly burnt and we are not sure that they will survive.”


February 1, 1918 [SCICo]: “[Letter to Mr. Troup] “We are delaying the shipment of your bulls owing to the uncertain weather conditions which might necessitate the stock remaining on board for several days. For that same reason, unless you have an abundance of time, would suggest that you leave your trip over in abeyance for another week as present weather conditions might cause you to spend several days at Campo Chino.”


February 26, 1918 [SCICo]: “The rainfall since last report has been 5.91" with every prospect of more to follow. We believe that the rainfall was not evenly distributed as there is every evidence that the West End received much more rain than the rest of the Island. The road from Buena Vista to Embudo is blocked in several places from the landslides from above, whole on this side, little or no damage has been done to the road. The creek is carrying so much water that it will be impractical to repair the road to Prisoners' Harbor for some time. During this storm of last week the creek carried more water than any time last winter.”