Wave ‘The Blob’

February 3, 2016

1371724873_Rain_brad-sharpGray the dominate color and feel this early Wednesday on California’s north coast, a mood created by a sky of rain-infested clouds, and coupled to cold-dismal air.
Apparently, temperatures didn’t fall that low this morning — mid-40s — but it just felt/feels colder.

My environment probably just the opening act for another rainstorm expected later today, supposedly to continue into Thursday, and strong enough in some places to produce maybe half-an-inch of rain. Not a big storm, though, with some sunshine predicted in the mix for the next couple of days.
Major factor today for our shoreline habitat is the shoreline — a hardcore westerly swell will create waves 20 to 24 feet, ‘erratic and unpredictable,’ and so crazy, some advise from the NWS this morning posed in their ALL-CAPS style: ‘ANYONE PLANNING TO GO TO THE BEACH SHOULD RECONSIDER AND STAY HOME.’
Fairly-simple, and straight forward…

(Illustration: ‘Rain,’ by Brad Sharp, found here).

Best suggestion — to not drown in the Pacific Ocean, stay away of the Pacific Ocean.
If you do go near, or out upon, remember the Pacific Ocean is in a weird place — especially with an El Niño event coinciding with a freak of nature that’s been termed, “The Blob.”
Apparently, this abnormally warm patch of water, first detected in 2013, is weakening ‘strangely.’
From DeSmogCanada a couple of weeks ago:

The anomalously warm water, with temperatures three degrees Centigrade above normal, was nicknamed The Blob by U.S climatologist Nick Bond.
It stretched over one million square kilometres of the Gulf of Alaska — more than the surface area of B.C. and Alberta combined — stretching down 100-metres into the ocean.
And, over the next two years that patch of water radically affected marine life from herring to whales.

“The fish out there are malnourished, the whole ecosystem is malnourished,” said Richard Dewey, associate director for science with Ocean Networks Canada, speaking at Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre in Sidney on Thursday.
A change of three degrees is an “extraordinary deviation — something you would expect to happen once in a millennium,” he said.

Key overall points:

“The Blob is not driving the weather, the weather is driving The Blob,” Dewey said.
The first group to notice that something odd was happening in 2013 were surfers off Jordan River, who experienced poor surfing conditions, he said.
Next were the skiers and operators of ski resorts, who in 2013/14 were painfully aware that conditions were not normal.
In some areas, runs or even entire resorts closed because of lack of snow.
Then there were the gardeners in areas such as Vancouver Island who were picking garden-ripened tomatoes from June until November 2014 and mowing their lawns from December until February.
So, with The Blob’s power, at least temporarily, dissipating, the question for many is what happens next and whether the last two years are a symptom of climate change.
It could be an indication of what climate change will look like, with large-scale shifts in weather patterns, said Dewey, pointing out that The Blob was not anticipated by climatologists because it did not fit into existing climate models.
“Climate change may look like a whole new model we haven’t seen before,” Dewey said.
“It could be we’re getting a glimpse into what the future might hold.”

Rain and big, crazy waves…

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