Waiting for El Nino in SoCal in January 2015

Although we have had a reported 69% of normal rainfall in Los Angeles, to date in this year of an alleged El Nino has been on the dry side in Ventura County: with a modest 4.74 inches to date in Upper Ojai area. But not to worry, say the experts, speaking in this case aboutContinue reading “Waiting for El Nino in SoCal in January 2015”


Another paper published my FORECAST: GODZILLA story, which includes an amusing history of the “meme” from the weather reporter’s friend at JPL/NASA, Bill Patzert. Don’t usually repost my reporting, but I really like this story, and this paper used my headline.                         They didn’tContinue reading “FORECAST: GODZILLA (take two)”


Here’s the image that inspired scientist Bill Patzert to call a particularly epic El Niño “Godzilla.”                                   See that monster lurking off Central America? With the jagged jaws and the beady little green eye? Here’s the story that explains whyContinue reading “FORECAST: GODZILLA”

Not again! Meteorologists abuzz about El Nino in drought

Last year at this time a huge wave of heat was detected propagating as the scientists say through surface waters from east to west across the Pacific. Ultimately a series of such "Kelvin waves"  went on to warm much of the tropical Pacific, and waters along the West Coast, resulting in huge changes in sealife.Continue reading “Not again! Meteorologists abuzz about El Nino in drought”

The California drought: Will it rain this winter in SoCal?

It's a big question. Talk to anyone who works on the land in Southern California and you'll hear discussion of El Niño, rain, winter, drought, scientists who can't agree– and so on. 

I set out to get to the bottom of it last month for the Ventura County Reporter, and (dare I say) succeeded as well as could be reasonably hoped. Not that the comments on the piece reflected that: any mention of cllimate change brings out the cranks, I guess. from the chemtrail people to the climate change deniers. 

But the real news is that in the short-term, the consensus looks decent. We will have rain this winter, scientists agree

What's troubling for SoCal is the long-term prediction — increased dryness. Yikes. 

Here's the start: I'll put the kicker below the fold. 

"The last 12 months (from September 2013 to September 2014) have been hotter than any other 12 months in the 113 years that reliable temperature records have been kept in California, according to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.

The last three “water years” have also been the driest such period in the state’s history, NOAA says. The term U.S. geological Survey “water year” in reports that deal with surface-water supply is defined as the 12 month period for any given year through September 30 of the following year. As a result the entire state is in drought, and Ventura County — like all of the central coast of the state — is in category 5, or “exceptional drought,” the worst of all possibilities.

[here's an image drawn from data collected by the pair of satellites known as GRACE, which shows how California is drying out as the level of available water below ground sinks]


NASA vs. NOAA: battle of the winter forecast charts

The headline exaggerates, of course, but doesn't in fact mislead. Here's a graph of a NASA climate model, depicting a forecast of precipitation in the U.S. for the next winter. Colors tell the story.  In truth, it's a little hard to decode the anomalies chart, but this turns out to be just one of eightContinue reading “NASA vs. NOAA: battle of the winter forecast charts”

El Niño 2014 October forecast: Glass little over half full

NOAA released its October outlook for our winter, based on ocean temperatures, and continues to find a 60-65% chance of the appearance of the boychick. Here's my fave set of graphs today, from another site, and here's my fave single graph: These are tempeartures taken across a section of the equatorial Pacific, the vast belt acrossContinue reading “El Niño 2014 October forecast: Glass little over half full”

Why the experts think the boy child will come this year

We should be properly skeptical of any image I suppose, especially in these days of Photoshop, and when an image purports to describe a before and after in colors demand to know even how the the satellite data was visualized, the colors chosen…but wow, this image knocks me off my feet, and at a gutContinue reading “Why the experts think the boy child will come this year”

66% chance of an El Niño — a big one — in 2014: NOAA

Scientists now are closely watching the Pacific and will know with more certainty in two or three months what the winter should bring. For now, all the trend lines are showing a greater likelihood of a wet winter than a dry one, particularly with the massive Kelvin wave still moving.

“Don’t hyperventilate yet,” Patzert said. “It’s a little too early to say the drought will be over, but this Kelvin wave is no dud. This is a stud.”