Posted on | July 20, 2009 | 1 Comment
THE PREDICTION this month of an El Nino weather system capable of bringing much needed rain and snowpack to California reminds Bill Patzert of another time that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecast an El Nino. That was September 13, 2006 (announcement art, left). “That was the driest winter in the historical record with 3.21 inches,” said Patzert.
As a climatologist with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Patzert is part of the team of scientists contributing to El Nino forecasting for NOAA. However he has become a well known dissenter, calling previous El Ninos forecast by the administration “El No Show” and “El Wimpo.” Nothing he sees this year encourages him to believe that we’re in for anything like the rainfall of the classic El Nino years of 1997-98 (31.01 inches in Los Angeles) or 2004-05 (37.96 inches).
“I’d love to be wrong. At this point it definitely does not have the characteristics of the big bail out,” he said. “You’d better put your money on conservation.”
Click here for the incorrect prediction for 2006.