The Blob is back: Will the RRR return? What about drought in CA?

This decade, the worst drought in California’s recorded history happened in large part due to a formidable ridge of high pressure off the shores of the Pacific Northwest in 2012 that persisted for years in the winter months. This bumped the winter jetstream that brings us low pressure systems and precipitation to the north and awayContinue reading “The Blob is back: Will the RRR return? What about drought in CA?”

SoCal is losing its cool (the clouds)

On the eve of a hellacious heat wave — up to 110 this weekend they say — here’s a new fact to contemplate about life in Southern California. We’re losing our cool. Physically, that is. We’re losing clouds and fog in summer over our heads, according to scientific studies and meteorological observations. Here’s the lead from aContinue reading “SoCal is losing its cool (the clouds)”

ON THE BRINK: SoCal faces dire, drier future

Here’s a story I spent a month or so reporting over the summer for the Ventura County Reporter: What the science is saying about the prospects for drought this century in Southern California ON THE BRINK: Southern California faces dire, drier future I’d like to dedicate this story to the late great climatologist Kelly Redmond,Continue reading “ON THE BRINK: SoCal faces dire, drier future”

“The forks in the road”: Park Williams

Happy to say I found a way to profile the adventurous young forest ecologist Park Williams for the Santa Barbara Independent. The on-line version is the complete version of what I wrote; the print version is somewhat shorter. But let me add a couple of images and notes, because this story has a lot ofContinue reading ““The forks in the road”: Park Williams”


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)”

Rain reaches Southern California: December 2014

Awoke to the sound of dripping. The liquid murmur of the rain. So missed! Images too — of precipitable water, for instance — offer beauty.  (Motion displays best if clicked to embiggen.)  That gif doesn't necessarily display well, but this depiction of the swirling moisture from an atmospheric river gives an idea — it's notContinue reading “Rain reaches Southern California: December 2014”

Snow disappearing from Southern California mountains

Don't expect to see pictures below much in the future. From the LA Times:  A UCLA study released Friday projects a significant decline in snowfall on the ranges that provide a dramatic backdrop to urban Southern California. By mid-century, the amount of snow draping the mountains could decrease 30% to 40%, researchers say. If greenhouseContinue reading “Snow disappearing from Southern California mountains”

Rain comes to the desert: Chris Clarke

The ecologists never fail to describe coastal Southern California as a semi-arid region, which all too many residents transmute into "desert." It's not! Big difference between a land of some rain and a land of no rain. Trees, for one. As Chris Clarke, who has an interesting gig writing for KCET points out, rain oftenContinue reading “Rain comes to the desert: Chris Clarke”

No El Nino or La Nina this year, just La Nada

Like the headline the Star put on my story from Saturday: No El Nino or La Nina this year, just La Nada.  The crucial quote couple of graphs from the story, featuring media star and friend Bill Patzert: Veteran forecaster Bill Patzert, who works with the NASA-affiliated Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena on long-range forecastsContinue reading “No El Nino or La Nina this year, just La Nada”