“This evacuation is mandatory”

Map of New York's evacuation zone in advance of Hurricane Sandy

‘Dry’ or ‘wild’ winter for Southern California

“For the second winter in a row, La Niña will influence weather patterns across the country,” reports the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,  “but as usual, it’s not the only climate factor at play. The ‘wild card’ is the lesser-known and less predictable Arctic Oscillation …”

Click here to keep reading NOAA’s winter outlook published today.

By way of spoiler, the predictions are dry for the already fried Southwest, wet for the already soaked Northwest and Northeast, and vague for Southern California, leaning towards dry. If it’s dry the way last year was dry in Los Angeles, we could get near record rainfall.

‘Irene has a long reach’

August 26, 2011 image of 'Irene.' Click on the image to be taken to the National Weather Service.

Six years to the week of Hurricane Katrina, “Irene has a long reach,” reports NASA’s Earth Observatory. “The storm is large, spanning nearly 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) from east to west in this image (below). It could intensify slightly in the next day or two. The storm’s currently forecasted track takes it over the Outer Banks and along the U.S. East Coast before going ashore over New England.” Click here to be taken to NASA, here for NOAA’s National Hurricane Center. UPDATE: Click here for the Washington Post’s live hurricane tracker.

The Dry Garden: Gambling on a cool summer

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

And May brings… rain

Late spring rain forecast for Los Angeles, CA for May 17-18, 2011
keep looking »
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    Emily Green by e-mail at emily.green [at] mac.com
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