Category Archives: Sutherland Wash

A little water running in the Sutherland Wash; remembering the CDO in 2010

With no rain in sight now, and its looking more and more like a third late winter and spring in a row with precip below normal (there’s only been one other “three in a row” in our 36 years of Catalina records), I thought would pay homage to the Great 2010 13 Day Run of the CDO at East Wilds Road (farther below).

In the meantime, yesterday I came across a nice gurgling creek, making the kind of gurgle that characterizes New Age relaxation CDs.  It was coming down the Big Rock Creek wash-tributary that empties into  the Sutherland Wash at the Cottonwoods, a local name given to an area of the Sutherland Wash were illicit beer parties often take place.  There was no water in the Sutherland above this point.

3:55 PM yesterday.
3:55 PM yesterday at Big Rock Creek by the Sutherland Wash cottonwoods.  Horse Jake forages.
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2:54 PM. The Sutherland Wash downstream of the Big Rock Creek tributary.  Horse Jake;  his little mind wonders why I am taking another photo of not that much.

 

The Great CDO Run of 2010

I had forgotten that the Canada del Oro wash (river?) at East Wilds Road had run for as many as 13 consecutive days beginning on February 28th and likely ending three years ago today1.  Here are a few of those shots with the date.  That run, and the “Road Closed” sign on E. Wilds at the CDO began to feel like a permanent feature of life here in Catalina. You wondered if catfish were in there.    It was such a special time then.  And it had already run several times beginning after January 20th.

February 28, 2010.
February 28, 2010.
IMG_3834
March 1, 2010.
March 3, 2010.
March 3, 2010.
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March 4, 2010
March 8, 2010.
March 8, 2010.
March 9, 2010.
March 9, 2010.
March 10, 2010.
March 10, 2010.
March 11, 2010.
March 11, 2010.
March 12, 2010.
March 12, 2010.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What was surprising to Mr. Cloud Maven person, a cloud maven not a drought maven, was that after two consecutive bountiful months of rain and snow, the State of Arizona, and our local region of Arizona were still considered to be in drought, “abnormally dry”,  according to the Drought Monitor folks.   Here is there map for March 16, 2010.

The US Drought Monitor map for March 16, 2010.
The US Drought Monitor map for March 16, 2010.

At the end of March, and after three consecutive months of above normal rain and snow in our area (8.02 inches in Catalina, or nearly twice the normal amount), with one of the best wildflower displays in many, many years in progress, 200 inches of snow and one the best all time ski winters at Mount Lemmon, articles in the AZ Star about all the water that was flowing in the washes, we were STILL classified by the Drought Monitor folks as “abnormally dry” (see below).

I began to have the depressing thought that it was impossible to exit a drought classification after those three fabulous months.

The western US Drought Monitor map for April 6, 2010.  Go figure.
The western US Drought Monitor map for April 6, 2010. Go figure.

The End

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1The Pima County stream gage at the bridge over the CDO wash at Golder Ranch Drive wasn’t working during that time (flow data here), and I don’t have photo evidence for two days, the 5th and 6th.  Dang.  Also, the run likely continued a little beyond the 12th, but don’t have photo evidence for the 13th, either.   Dang#2.