Noteworthy times on the night of January 9, 2018

This site is no longer updating as of May 2020

USGS is no longer producing updated thresholds for debris flow risk around the Thomas Fire. As such, this site is no longer providing live updates.

Live Rainfall & Debris Flow Risk

This map highlights areas that have received enough total rain to exceed the USGS thresholds for debris flow risk. It is based on real-time NOAA/NWS radar rain data, updated every 2min. If a burned area exceeds thresholds, anyone downhill is in danger.

Leave when authorities issue evacuation orders!

This website is for informational purposes only. Do not rely on it for your safety. By the time the map shows red in a burned area, it's probably too late to try and flee. Move to a safe location when the authorities issue evacuation notices. This tool is brand new, and very experimental.

Conditions on January 9

This tool didn't exist on January 9, 2018 when debris flows occurred in Montecito. But, you can look back at those events and view the hour between 3:20 and 4:20am.

Technical details

This visualization is based on a real-time feed of NOAA's MRMS Q3 Radar Only Rate rainfall data derived from the NEXRAD weather radar in Vandenberg, CA. The map updates whenever NOAA's systems publish new data, which is usually every 2min. Therefore, the data displayed will usually be 2-4min old, or more if there are any processing delays. The timestamp on the map reflects the timestamp in the MRMS data.

The visualization keeps track of recent rainfall totals for every 1km x 1km grid cell in the NOAA dataset, to identify cells which have already exceeded USGS thresholds. It also combines recent rainfall totals with the latest rainfall rates to extrapolate when cells may soon exceed thresholds.

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