‘Dust Rain’ — What, Me Worry?

April 2, 2014

tumblr_lkxgry1Ui11qi10cko1_500Clear-as-a-bell and chilly this early Wednesday on California’s north coast with rain apparently gone for awhile — warmer temperatures and sunny skies are forecast for the next week or so.

Although we had some strong winds and ugly, dark clouds yesterday, not much in bad weather action — not so for the Bay Area, where a weather system pounded them with heavy rain while ‘peppering houses with pea-size hail,’ and unleashing lightning strikes.
And along with some trees, 31-year-old Emily Davis was popped while walking in Berkeley: “It was absolutely terrifying,” she said Monday evening. “My heart was racing. I am just thankful that my shoes had no metal in them.”
Davis survived nearly-intact, less a metallic taste in her mouth.

(Illustration found here).

Also yesterday, our 6.8 earthquake earlier this month was knocked-off the top of the earthquake-size chart when a 8.1 struck off the coast of Chile, killing five people, causing landslides and triggering a tsunami warning, and although no danger to North America, warnings were issued for Hawaii.
And there’s been a shitload of aftershocks, too, with a 5.4 shaking the same region about 30 minutes ago — a shitload of that shitload of aftershocks registered 5.0 or better.
Queasy place to be right now, huh?

Beyond the ground moving, all the rain California has been experiencing the last few weeks is still a spit in a big bucket.
Fire season is expected to be hot — from Climate Central:

Up to 8 inches of rain fell in parts of Southern California in late February, with more rain in March, including up to an inch in some places over the last several days.
But the rain just hasn’t been enough to sully the upcoming wildfire season, said U.S. Forest Service meteorologist Tom Rolinski, who works for the National Interagency Coordination Center Predictive Services in Riverside, Calif.
“Things are going to dry out fast,” he said.
“So, the fuels are going to dry out pretty quickly once we get into a little warmer, drier pattern. I think we’re pretty much on target for seeing increased wildfire activity across the region through July.”

Even up here:

Northern California won’t see catastrophic wildfire conditions for the next few weeks, either, but with many areas of the Sierra Nevada mountain range still seeing a fraction of the normal snowpack, above-normal wildfire conditions are expected there come summertime, too.

And more odd environmental stuff happening — desert dust drowning London.
Via the Guardian:

Millions of vulnerable people in southern England and Wales were advised to stay indoors as unusually high levels of air pollution smothered London and other cities, just weeks after heavy pollution led to restricted car use and free public transport in Brussels and Paris.
“That most important advice is for those people who are vulnerable, if you’re in a high-pollution area, to reduce the amount of strenuous exercise outdoors over the next few days,” Dr Paul Cosford, of Public Health England, told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
“Carry on life as normal – be aware you may need to use your inhalers more frequently – but carry on your life as normal.
“We do have problems with air pollution in our cities. The main sources we have are vehicle transport and the industrial process, when you put that alongside the unusual weather consequences like the Saharan dust … then that’s when you get these few days of unusually high pollution.”

The unusually high levels of air pollution are a result of inland smog and powerful dust storms swept in from the Sahara by strong gales.
“We usually see this happen several times a year when big dust storms in the Sahara coincide with southerly winds to bring that dust here,” said Paul Hutcheon at the Met Office.
“More dust rain is possible during showers expected later this week.”

On Monday, the UN’s IPCC released its latest report on the environment, and the future looks like shit, but business as usual: The two biggest greenhouse gas emitters, China and the United States, remain particularly stubborn on serious cuts to greenhouse gas emissions that could mitigate climate change. And the U.N. framework for a comprehensive approach to the problem remains mired in seemingly endless negotiations, despite increasingly urgent calls to action from the scientific community.
Also on Monday, Exxon Mobil proclaimed more fossil fuels: On the same day the world’s scientists issued their latest report on climate change and the risks it poses to society, the nation’s biggest oil and gas company said the world’s climate policies are ‘‘highly unlikely’’ to stop it from selling fossil fuels far into the future.

And on that IPCC report, Juan Cole concludes: And people say the IPCC reports are too cautious. This is a freaking catastrophe!

Whoa! In defense of stupid, I plead an idiomatic interrogatory, indicative of a nonchalant attitude towards potential criticism, not caring about what other people think, confident and self-possessed.
So there…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.