El Nino Becomes El Wimpo: Bill Patzert Gets It Right Again

Here‘s an excellent front page story from the LATimes on the best forecaster in town (and an equaintance of mine) Bill Patzert. Besides being a great scientist, he’s a colorful guy, as the picture below shows. (When the Bush administration was doing everything possible  to keep Federally-funded scientists from talking about global warming, he showed up for an interview with CBS wearing a Hawaiian shirt…get it?)

Quoted below is the crux of the story. There’s more to this that I can’t yet reveal, because my paper hasn’t yet published my story on the same topic. But in the meanwhile, please enjoy a man with real  cojones and a great sense of humor, too.

Over the last five years, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Washington predicted three times that increasing sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific — the phenomenon known as El Niño — would result in wetter-than-normal winters in Southern California.

Each time Patzert disagreed.

Much to the dismay of federal scientists, he started talking about "fictional El Niños," flaccid "El Wimpos" and disappointing "El No Shows."

In July, NOAA predicted another global El Niño, expected to affect Southern California and the Southern states. The 2006-07 season, it said, would be warm and rainier than average.

Patzert’s forecast: Dry. Really dry. And he was willing to stake his reputation on it.



Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

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