No news is no news for El Niño prospects

NOAA's State of the Climate report for October shows drought across 60.2% of the contiguous United States. Elsewhere, Pacific Ocean monitoring indicates that a weak El Nino system associated with wetter winters in Southern California and the Southwest has petered out into neutral conditions.

El Nino intensified in November, NASA reports

OCEAN conditions known as ‘El Nino’ and associated with wet winters in California intensified in November, reports the NASA Earth Observatory today. For a satellite photo of this week’s storm, click here.

For National Weather Service forecasts of continuing rain, click here. For preliminary rainfall amounts in greater Los Angeles from last night’s showers, here.

Elsewhere around the world and the web, the New York Times has a simple, informative interactive map showing which countries are at the United Nations Climate Conference in Copenhagen and what they seek. To access it, click here. For a Los Angeles Times update from the negotiating floor, click here. For Day 5 of the Copenhagen conferenc

“You’d better put your money on conservation”

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

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