“Hottest month on record for the nation”

July 2012 was “3.3°F above the 20th century average, marking the hottest July and the hottest month on record for the nation,” reports the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Click here for the report or on the image to enlarge it.

La Niña watch begins

After 16.36* inches of rain recorded for downtown Los Angeles from June 2009-June 2010, ocean conditions indicate a transition from the mildly wet El Niño system that gave Southern California a slightly better than average rainfall year to a dry La Niña one, according to the National Weather Service. An experimental and unofficial outlook map set issued by its Climate Prediction Center lays out a hot and dry 2010/11. Jet Propulsion Laboratory oceanographer Bill Patzert is already betting on a dry La Niña 2010/11 season. “Two years of El Niño are just such a low probability,” he said. “Six out of ten years are dry. I wish I had those odds in Vegas.” For those who think in terms of “normal” rainfall for Los Angeles, he added, “Normal is a cycle on a washing machine.”

*From the NWS California Nevada Forecast Center. NWS Los Angeles / Oxnard records …