Overcast skies submerged into a deep, gray environment this Tuesday evening on California’s north coast, and although there’s only been a sprinkle of rain every-now-and-then, a fairly-big storm is due tonight.
According to the NWS, we could get more than half-an-inch in this latest patch, with the next one due the middle of next week.
“Although we are still not to the typical rainy season around the Bay Area, it is worth noting that we are already off to a drier than normal start,” Bay Area NWS officials wrote on their local Facebook account.
(Illustration found here).
Again, the ‘normal‘ — supposedly, San Francisco has seen only 26 percent of its normal rainfall since June, with Oakland just at 14 percent of normal.
And the upcoming rainy season should be weird, and abnormal — double-whipped with a warming climate, supercharged by an enlarged El Niño event.
Indications already on a whacked-out winter — from National Geographic last Sunday:
This year has seen eight tropical storms big enough to earn names, double the previous record.
On a scale scientists use to add up the energy in storms, this season has also been a whopper, at more than six times higher than usual.
But most storms attract little notice, because the action happens far from land.
“Hawaii’s had some close calls this year,” Klotzbach said. “But fortunately no hits.”
The historic California drought could make matters worse.
A downpour could trigger flash floods if rain falls on ground baked so hard it can’t readily absorb the water, said Lisa Goddard, director of Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society, and a climate scientist whose work focuses on El Niño.
“The fact that it’s coming on top of this multi-year drought—yeah, it’s going to be bad,” she said.
Forecasts for El Niño are still off-the-charts (NBC Los Angeles yesterday):
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is forecasting a very strong El Nino — a 2.5 on the strength scale.
That’s 2.5 degrees Celsius, a sea surface temperature anomaly.
The current forecast is that it will last into the winter and possibly through the spring.
Snow not rain, the drought cutter, especially up in my neck of the woods:
The wet weather forecast comes after consecutive years with below normal snowpack.
In 2013, we finished the season with 47 percent of the normal snowpack.
In 2014, the figure was down to 333, and last year saw only 5 percent — one of the smallest snowpacks on record.
It’s critical we build up the snow in Northern California.
Snow forecasts are dependent on the strength and track of winter storms, which are generally not predictable more than a week in advance.
A way-quick year so far, 2015, and the winter rapidly-approaches…