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California Drought

Re: California Drought

Postby partofit22 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:38 pm

Carol wrote: See for example Mother of a Hubbard.


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Re: California Drought

Postby Quiet Heart on Sat Feb 08, 2014 10:54 am

:) Not to be picky, but I am right now in San Francisco, and it's raining very hard here now.
The forecast for the bay area is around 4 inches of rain in the next 24 hours.
And up in the Sierra Nevada mountains they are getting snow, which means water from the snowpack melting in Spring.
But, if you go back through history, you will see that California has suffered from recurring extended dry peiods for the last thousand years at least.
And not only California, much of the Southwest has also suffered.
In fact, drought, according to climate scientists, had a lot to do with the decline and collapse of the Anasazi (spelling?) Indian culture between 1400 and 1500 A.D.
The real problem now is that IF the cycle of dry and (relatively) wet periods goes back to a dry cycle, the current population density and the rate of food production in those farming areas of California can not be sustained at the level of today.
Water MUST come from outside California to sustain the agricultural production .... and that's going to be a big problem in a sustained dry cycle.
And, like I say, the record shows recurring wet and dry period cycles for over a thousand years in the past.
There is no reason to suppose California will always stay in the current relatively wet cycle.
Ask the Indians and listen carefully to their stories about the "hungry times" roughly 5 centuries ago.
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Re: California Drought

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:33 pm

Q H,

Please DO be picky; it's very good to hear about the rain! :)

I hope that some of the storm system gets past (over the top of) the la Sierra (which means "saw" in Spanish; so the mts. are like many teeth of a saw), and makes its way to the desert (of Arizona). Some Winter Pacific storms are able to do that if they are powerful and wet enough. Else, the Sierra receives most of the snow-load, and the desert gets no water. But that's ONE reason of two that the desert is dry, here.

Southern AZ receives about half its rainfall in Winter, say, November through March, from the Pacific storms (nice oxymoron...), and the other half comes during Summer Monsoon thunderstorms, July through September. Last year, my gauge received 7.32 inches of rain, in total. The 30-year average for the site is 12 inches. Of course, "it takes a lot of extremes to make an average". Last year was extremely dry.

I think Seattle, WA, and New York City, NY, each receives 40 inches of rain, by contrast with my site.

A Dharma friend works at the famous "Lab for Tree-Ring Studies", here, at The University of Arizona. The study of ancient climates of the SouthWest USA is well in hand. Wood samples found recently allow the assessment of rainfall amounts back to as long as 8800 years ago. Remarkable!

Thanks for the rainfall report. I fear the storm may take a northerly track, and miss southern AZ.

I'm still watering the cacti here, from time to time. Else, they get very thin as they use up their stored water, and collapse.

very best,

--Joe

Quiet Heart wrote::) Not to be picky, but I am right now in San Francisco, and it's raining very hard here now.
The forecast for the bay area is around 4 inches of rain in the next 24 hours.
"The abundance of Nature is not a matter of its 'providing' ". -- William James, c. 1901.

"Least said is soonest disavowed". -- Ambrose Bierce (c. 1900)

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Re: California Drought

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:36 pm

Carol, et al.,

Here is a copy of the monthly rainfall report issued by the project I contribute to, with homepage at "rainlog.org".

This is their report for the month of the 31 days in January, 2014. I added emphasis at two places because of info that applies to the entire West of the USA, and likely beyond. --Joe

(it's time to remove leaf-litter, pine-needles, detritus on roofs and in rain-gutters, and brush, etc., from near the house -- be safe!)
_______ _______ _______

"An extremely unusual early winter dry spell plagued much of the western U.S. for the
entire month of January, leaving deepening drought conditions in its wake. An
extraordinarily strong and persistent ridge of high pressure located right over the
western U.S. coast deflected the typical parade of winter storms far north to
Alaska, leaving all of California, Nevada, Arizona and much of New Mexico with an
extended period of above-average temperatures and below average precipitation.
Many
Rainloggers in Arizona reported no precipitation this past month except for light
amounts on the last day of the month, courtesy of a passing storm system.

The National Weather Service office in Tucson reported that January 2014 was the 3rd
warmest on record and the 10th January to record no precipitation during the month.
January is an important month for precipitation to build snow pack and to recharge
local water resources. Snow pack across Arizona built from storms in late November
and December quickly declined over the past month. Drought conditions have
intensified across the state with the U.S. Drought Monitor showing almost all of
Arizona experiencing some level drought with 36% of the state at the severe level.
The situation in New Mexico, California, and Nevada is even worse.

Seasonal precipitation outlooks issued by the NOAA Climate Prediction Center
continue to indicate that below-average precipitation is expected for the remainder
of the winter season through Arizona and New Mexico. An early and difficult fire
season is looking increasingly likely
."
"The abundance of Nature is not a matter of its 'providing' ". -- William James, c. 1901.

"Least said is soonest disavowed". -- Ambrose Bierce (c. 1900)

"Politeness: noun. The most acceptable hypocrisy." -- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
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Re: California Drought

Postby Carol on Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:27 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:Carol, et al.,

Here is a copy of the monthly rainfall report issued by the project I contribute to, with homepage at "rainlog.org".

This is their report for the month of the 31 days in January, 2014. I added emphasis at two places because of info that applies to the entire West of the USA, and likely beyond. --Joe

(it's time to remove leaf-litter, pine-needles, detritus on roofs and in rain-gutters, and brush, etc., from near the house -- be safe!)
An early and difficult fire season is looking increasingly likely."


Yes. The fire season is expected to be very bad. My brother-in-law is head of the Shasta-Trinity Region of the Forest Service and he travels around the country as an "incident commander" on forest fires. (He started years ago as a smoke jumper.)

We got about 6" of rain over the weekend here in Santa Rosa. So, the immediate danger is reduced. But there is a long dry season ahead and we all need to be fire-conscious and do what we can to reduce the fuel around our homes and neighborhoods!
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Re: California Drought

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:05 pm

Carol,

Wow; when it rains it pours.

Six inches is about all the rain this desert area received in all of last YEAR. And you got it in one storm!

I note that there's snow on the Sierra, but it does not look like a lot. And there's not much on ranges in the Southwest. Have a look at the current animation from the US Weather Service satellite parked over about W 135 deg longitude at the Equator: an animation is better than a still-photo, in a way, so you can distinguish white areas that don't move (piled-up snow...) from white areas that move, or evaporate (clouds and fog -- see the low-clouds and fog, shifting shape in the CA Central Valley... ):

http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/twc/satellite/4 ... S_loop.php

I hope your bro'-in-law and crews will keep safe, doing his needed work,

--Joe

Carol wrote:
Yes. The fire season is expected to be very bad. My brother-in-law is head of the Shasta-Trinity Region of the Forest Service and he travels around the country as an "incident commander" on forest fires. (He started years ago as a smoke jumper.)

We got about 6" of rain over the weekend here in Santa Rosa. So, the immediate danger is reduced. But there is a long dry season ahead and we all need to be fire-conscious and do what we can to reduce the fuel around our homes and neighborhoods!
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Re: California Drought

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat Mar 01, 2014 6:10 pm

Carol, et al.,

The gathering storm brought rare, Winter, thunder to Tucson, today. Some bands of thundershowers must lie at the outskirts of the incoming Pacific storm.

A couple of seconds after the thunder claps, hail fell for about 15 seconds. Then all was quiet and dry again. After this, an hour later, light rain began to fall. Then, stopped.

This is not yet the center of the major storm. Just a fringed-edge, I suppose. The "suburbs".

Predictions are for 1 - 2 inches (2.5 - 5 cm) rain today in AZ valleys, and twice that on our mountains (in the form of snow).

See the 5-day movie from the geostationary satellite over the east Pacific?:

http://www.nnvl.noaa.gov/satimg/GOES-West-web.mp4

--Joe
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Re: California Drought

Postby Carol on Sat Mar 01, 2014 11:04 pm

Hi Joe -- Yes, we (San Francisco Bay Area) got rain on Wednesday and again yesterday. Not much today. Yesterday the sky opened up for a few minutes while I was out driving on the freeway -- reduced visibility to zero and was pretty scary.

Now they're worried about mud slides in Southern California.

http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20 ... 989#page=1

Downtown San Francisco received 7.92 inches of rain by Saturday morning, bringing the city to 44 percent of its normal rainfall but avoiding the city's driest-ever "rain year" record by just half an inch, NWS meteorologist Matt Mehle said The driest year was in 1851, with just 7.42 inches. The rain year begins July 1.

"All this rain has been really helpful but we are still behind the curve in terms of the drought," Mehle said.

Downtown Los Angeles tallied 2.24 inches Friday, raising its total to 4.55 inches since July 1, still 6.69 inches below normal.
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Re: California Drought

Postby desert_woodworker on Sun Mar 02, 2014 3:29 pm

Reported our rainfall this morning for the past 24 hours, which includes the entirety of the storm.

In the gauge fell only 0.40 inch of rain, about 2 - 5 times less than the NWS predicted for the storm here.

I suppose southern California received the majority of the precipitation, and the mountains kept most of the rain on the West side of them, as is typical. ONE reason we have a desert in AZ is because of this "rain-shadow" effect. The other is that we are in the "desertic zone" of latitude, centered on about 30 degrees lat. N or S of the Equator, and a few degrees thick. --Joe :daisy:
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Re: California Drought

Postby Carol on Sat May 17, 2014 6:54 pm

100 Percent of California Now in Highest Stages of Drought

CalifDroughtMonitor-May 2014.jpg


US drought May 13 2014.jpg
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Re: California Drought

Postby Carol on Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:41 pm

California Officially Enters 4th Year Of Drought With Worst Water Situation In History
by Brandon Mercer September 30, 2014 1:33 PM

oroville.jpg

Lake Oroville, California — 2011 on the left, and September, 2014 on the right (Credit Paul Hames and Kelly Grow, California Dept. of Water Resources)
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Re: California Drought

Postby partofit22 on Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:52 pm

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Re: California Drought

Postby fukasetsu on Thu Oct 02, 2014 2:28 pm

On another note, 70% of China's and 55% of America's water (lakes) is polluted (impaired by pollution)
so get your vegetables wisely, not my issue since vegetables are still quit an alien food to me.
But for the "health-freaks" something to consider.

And North-American corporations tell the people to embrace the "Chinese model" as if you don't have enough issues as it is.
The perks of "economic gain" I guess.
Everyone for President!
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Re: California Drought

Postby partofit22 on Fri Oct 03, 2014 2:03 pm

I was reading that one area of California is completely out of water and has been for months- Hundreds of households with no water .. so it has to be hauled in- They're free to move, of course, but at a loss because who would buy their homes? Lack of water has altered their eating habits, the way they bathe -- their way of life-

Google EAST PORTERVILLE, CALIFORNIA for stories-
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Re: California Drought

Postby Carol on Wed May 13, 2015 12:51 am

Look out, Arizona! California isn’t the only state getting hit by drought

Two weeks ago, Lake Mead, which sits on the border of Nevada and Arizona, set a new record low — the first time since the construction of the Hoover Dam in the 1930s that the lake’s surface has dipped below 1,080 feet above sea level. The West’s drought is so bad that official plans for water rationing have now begun — with Arizona’s farmers first on the chopping block. Yes, despite the drought’s epicenter in California, it’s Arizona that will bear the brunt of the West’s epic dry spell.

Continued here
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Re: California Drought

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:07 pm

"A fire burning near Big Bear in the San Bernardino National Forest continues to swell, forcing evacuations and confounding firefighters' efforts to contain it.

"The blaze in the area of Jenks Lake in the Barton Flats was approximately 10,000 acres in size as of 8:15 p.m. on Thursday (June 18). It was burning timber and grass and prompted more than 150 people to be evacuated."


That 10000 acre wildfire continues to send smoke over most of the state of Arizona. It colors our sunrises and sunsets, and besmirches our daytime blue sky, too, with streaks and washes of high-altitude light-blue smoke, like cigarette effluent.

Still. no one will miss the crescent moon tonight, near Venus, and Jupiter. If you have clear skies and are looking, that is, in evening twilight.

--Joe
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Re: California Drought

Postby partofit22 on Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:32 am

Fires followed by floods: California faces dramatic climate year with El Nino, drought

A swath of eastern California offered a dramatic view in recent days of the powerful climate forces buffeting the state.

On Friday, an out-of-control brush fire — fueled by four years of drought — destroyed 20 vehicles on Interstate 15 in the Cajon Pass. Hours later, the area was pounded by historic rainstorms that eventually washed out Interstate 10 here.

The heavy rain is the most concrete evidence yet of powerful El Niño conditions that scientists are becoming increasingly convinced will lead to a wet winter for Southern California.

This weekend's rains came from a former hurricane, Dolores. Experts say warm ocean water, influenced by El Niño, allowed the remnants of the unusually wet hurricane to go much farther north than such storms typically go.

They also see El Niño in other unusual weather events of recent months: A dusting of snow blanketed parts of the southern Sierra Nevada in early July, and the so-called Miracle May of rain and snow in the Rocky Mountains helped forestall water reductions from reservoirs that feed California, Nevada and Arizona.

These all appear to be preludes of what could come in winter — for better and worse.

"It's a sweet promising start," said Bill Patzert, climatologist for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge, but then added: "Except for all the damage it does.... Be careful for what you wish for. Great droughts usually end in great floods."

El Niño is a warming of the ocean along the equator west of Peru, which triggers changes in the atmosphere that can dramatically alter weather patterns across the world.

Although there is still some debate about how strong an effect this year's El Niño will have on California, flood control officials are beginning to plan for the worst.

Officials say they'll have tens of thousands of catch basins cleaned out to hold mud, rocks and other debris that might spill out from saturated hillsides.

In California, the last time a very strong El Niño arrived, the heavens opened up in an unrelenting series of storms in the winter of 1997-98. Those storms left 17 dead and caused more than half a billion dollars in damage. Rivers and flood-control channels flooded neighborhoods, homes slid off soggy hillsides and winds blew off roofs.

"Look at all the damage a couple of inches of rain caused in Southern California in the last couple of days. Can you imagine 30 inches?" Patzert asked.

The flash flooding was severe enough Sunday to collapse an eastbound 10 bridge in the low desert into a roaring wash. The freeway, which connects Palm Springs to Arizona, carries 27,000 vehicles per day.

The fast-moving water undercut the dirt bank supporting the bridge, leading to its failure. The adjacent westbound bridge did not collapse but its support columns were damaged when dirt underneath it was swept away, officials said. Both directions remained closed Monday.

Motorists were being directed on lengthy detours through narrow desert highways.

When the bridge collapsed Sunday afternoon, a pickup truck was swallowed up and the driver, Bryon Castor, was stranded inside for 45 minutes while the waters roiled below. Police and motorists tied rope to the truck to keep it from washing away before he was rescued.

Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit called the chaotic flood a "500-year event."

"This is the worst damage I've ever seen from rain," he said as he looked over the twisted metal rebar from the collapsed bridge. "You build for the 100-year event. But sometimes nature tells you, 'Hey, we are still in charge.' "

Bridges over two other washes had also been damaged, he said.

Caltrans spokesman Philip Havins said the plan is to run both directions of the freeway on the westbound bridge.

The severed link was already stranding motorists. One driver making the journey from Arizona to Redondo Beach in an electric car became marooned after exhausting the 270 miles of charge on his Tesla. He was unaware of the freeway closure and lengthy detour.

"It's my fault, not Tesla's fault," said the driver, Neil Pyne, as he waited Monday afternoon for a Tesla technician to bring him a new battery.

Many have been hoping for an El Niño winter, seeing it as a potential drought buster if it causes a subtropical jet stream to bring storms to the southern United States. But experts said even huge downpours may not significantly ease the water shortage.

Some forecasts say El Niño will mostly affect Southern California, where much of the rain flows into storm drains and the ocean.

California gets much of its water from the north, through winter rain runoff and snow slowly melting through the spring and summer, which is collected in reservoirs and then distributed across the state.

Based on current observations, Patzert said he believes El Niño is only strong enough to affect Southern California. But Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at Stanford University, said he believes heavier precipitation will also hit Northern California, as it did in 1998.

Swain said current computer models forecast ocean temperatures in the Pacific to be actually hotter than they were in the 1997-98 El Niño.

"The warming that is currently suggested by the models would be unprecedented in the observed record," Swain said. "It's certainly a situation that we haven't seen before."

One concern is how warm the winter storms will be, if they materialize. If too-warm storms dump mostly rain instead of snow, California will be forced to flush out some of that precipitation to the ocean to ensure dams don't overflow.

The California Department of Water Resources is far less bullish on the El Niño forecast.

"We can't gain too much confidence," Jeanine Jones, the department's deputy drought manager, said. "We always need to be prepared for a possibility of a flood response. But particularly since we're in a fourth year of drought, we need to be prepared for the possibility of a fifth year of drought."

One thing is clear: A lot is riding on the skies in the coming months.

"What happens this winter is definitely going to be interesting," Swain said. "And it's not entirely clear whether California wins or loses."

http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-el-nino-preview-20150721-story.html#page=1
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Re: California Drought

Postby Michaeljc on Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:13 am

201401-201412.gif


This source is my first port of call each month to follow climate trends

The above image emphasis temperature variability throughout 2014 that is recorded as being the warmest year on record

There is most certainly an El Nino event underway. NZ and SE Australia will probably record temperatures throughout July significantly lower than average, just as the Central-Eastern US did in 2014

El Nino is not necessarily driven by Global warming. It relates to deep marine cold-water currents that migrate northwards from Antarctica - sometimes surfacing off Western Sth America and sometimes not. The strongest one I can remember in NZ was in around 1981. It carried on right through our summer: Dec-April

The heavy rains in California underlines why we have to be very careful making long-term predictions on a regional basis

The wonderful thing about this system (our climate) is that no one can manipulate it. How refreshing after all the other things they do manipulate

I keep saying: In terms of a full understanding of climate on a century time-scale, we have only just scratched the surface

Sooner or later one camp or the other will end up eating humble pie. There is no way that we will reduce CO2 emmission significantly over the next 30 years

Enjoy the ride :heya:
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Re: California Drought

Postby desert_woodworker on Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:55 pm

People of Earth:

The American Meteorological Society last week released its 2014 State of the Climate survey and assessment.

I'd like to get a hard-copy of the 288-page document to study, but so far their office has not returned my call. They must be "swamped" with requests.

Meanwhile, this AMS document is available for free download as a PDF file, just 19.2 MB in size.

http://www.ametsoc.org/

(the front cover of the doc is shown near the bottom of the AMS homepage, and there's a button to click to start a download)

...or, click the direct link below:

http://www.ametsoc.org/SOC-2014.pdf

I reference this report without commentary for the moment. We can discuss anything that may be of interest.

w/ best rgds,

--Joe

AMS_state-of-climate_2014.jpg
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Re: California Drought

Postby partofit22 on Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:56 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:People of Earth:


:lol2: Thank you for that! :lol2:
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