The forecast for Sunday February 9 predicted northeast winds of up to 30 mph, but in the park there were gusts that felt like a good bit more. Wind stations elsewhere in the area reported blasts up to 79 mph, but there is no wind gauge in the park for comparison. It was an unusual day in that the sun shone brightly and no cloud showed in the sky while the tempest blew. Among the earliest victims was this 45-year old Monterey cypress that tumbled across Spinnaker Way on the south side of the park. It crushed the front of a parked car, unoccupied at the time. Vehicles were able to detour through the boat ramp parking lot to get to the parking circle at the end of Spinnaker Way, and back out. I did not see major new damage elsewhere in the park. The few water birds out in the North Basin cove had little trouble staying afloat. The Burrowing Owl on the north side kept its head so low that it was totally out of sight. Sea gulls and a Red-tailed Hawk surfed the raging air without apparent effort.
Those big old evergreens have taken a beating in recent years. One of the giants lost a big branch just before the 2019 Christmas holiday. A whole tree fell victim to a southeast storm in January 2017. Two of the big trees crashed down in 50+ mph northerly blasts in December 2014. Will the City’s Forestry department replace these trees?