“This evacuation is mandatory”

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

“Weather is just playing games”

By all means go on the garden tours this weekend, but take an umbrella. “In a year that has been anything but normal with huge snowfalls in the Sierra and well-above-normal rain in the lowlands, Mother Nature is just not done playing her games with us just yet,” writes Ken Clark at AccuWeather. For your forecast, which in California will involve cool temperatures and a chance of rain this weekend, click here for the National Weather Service. To improve your vocabulary about what type of rain might fall, check out this collection of “pluvial” terms in the New York Times. UPDATE: A mirthful meteorologist friend and author of the Bad Mom/Good Mom blog  just wrote, “I’ll see your pluvial and raise you virga.”

Good chance of rain










Previously tentative forecasts for rain in Los Angeles have firmed up in the last several days. Below, top to bottom, are at-a-glance probability icons from the National Weather Service as of Thursday afternoon for Los Angeles County foothills (top row), basin (middle), and beach (bottom). To check your forecast, click here to be taken to the National Weather Service, then enter your zip code.

2010: An ‘unusual’ year

Weather watchers have been waiting for climatologists, particularly Bill Patzert of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, to eat crow. Since late summer, equatorial Pacific currents have led climatologists to believe that a record La Niña weather pattern will aggravate drought in the American Southwest. Patzert led the pack with warnings. Then rain across Southern California was early and steadily mounted, with December preliminary totals so heavy that Patzert is quoted in the Los Angeles Times tonight saying, “I think we’re going to crush the record for December.”

Whether one receives this as good news, or merely weird news, depends on how one takes a year that, as the Times report sketches, has bucked every notionally normal trend in Southern California. Traditionally hot summer months have been cool, a normally cooling autumnal stretch produced record heat, treacherous Santa Ana winds have been decorous and now what experts agreed would be a dry

A shortcut around damp writing

Rain is good for most things in Southern California, except the news, where it wreaks havoc with language. For those who simply want to find out how much rain fell without being subjected to a feverish boob’s deployment of “lash,” “dump,” “slam” etc, a link to the Los Angeles/Oxnard online weather data page. According to this, as of yesterday, downtown Los Angeles has received 4.61 inches of rain in December alone, 4.29 of it in the last four days. This is a lot, roughly a quarter of what a good rain year might give us in 12 months. More is expected today and in the coming week. To check your forecast, click here.

This drenching, known among weathermen as the “Pineapple Express” because of the tropical system enticed into our Mediterranean climate zone, is rare, but not as rare as tomorrow’s lunar eclipse coinciding with winter solstice. Click here

keep looking »
  • After the lawn

  • As you were saying: Comments

  • As I was saying: Recent posts

  • Garden blogs

  • Contact

    Emily Green by e-mail at emily.green [at] mac.com
  • Categories