The Dry Garden: Gambling on a cool summer

Posted on | May 18, 2011 | No Comments

This week’s Dry Garden posts early because of May rain. After brief chivvying of So Cal gardeners to weed and sow, I get to the dark art of forecasting. For help assessing the odds of a cool summer as opposed to a hot one, and an early summer as opposed to late one, I contacted Jet Propulsion Laboratory oceanographer Bill Patzert. Some of you may remember that in September he put 80% to 90% odds on a strong cooling of equatorial waters in the Pacific, a system known as La Niña, producing winter drought for Southern California.

After nearly record rains in December, and a Christmas dinner of crow instead of turkey, he knew that Southern California ended up on the lucky side of La Niña’s traditional cutoff somewhere between San Diego and the Oregon border. This system tends to drive rain north and keep the south dry, but we were doused and poor Texas was parched.

Bloodied but unbowed, Patzert is again willing to read ocean currents and hazard some odds for our summer.

Click here to see what Patzert predicts in the Dry Garden in the Los Angeles Times.


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