Rain and Cat 5

October 23, 2015

jpeg-26Overcast with some faded sunshine this Friday morning on California’s north coast, and a sense of a chill to the air — more than a sense, though, more like a reminder of October.
Rain expected this weekend, but not much wetness predicted.

And even though right now the ‘most intense hurricane ever recorded‘ in the Western Hemisphere, Hurricane Patricia, is getting ready to collide with the central Mexico coast — Kevin Trenberth, a senior climate researcher at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado: ‘“The moisture flowing into the storm, that provides its primary fuel, must be higher than it has ever been before. It still requires the right setup to convert that into an intense storm, but the environment is surely ripe. That consists, of course, of a substantial El Niño-related component, but also the background global warming that has a memory through the ocean heat content.”

(Illustration found here).

Up here in the cool of the north coast, however, our water’s too cold — Lost Coast Outpost has an audio interview with Brian Garcia, a forecaster at the local NOAA office on Patricia’s impact: ‘Short answer: not at all.’
Weather-related shit is way-unpredictable nowadays, even from the experts.

And despite the flurry of rain (showers) fronts moving through our area, the grip of drought continues to plague California and surrounding states in an awesome dry — Capital Public Radio and yesterday’s release of the latest figures:

“A period of record-setting Western warmth preceded the arrival of a slow-moving storm system,” the report noted.
“Showers overspread California by October 15 and over the next several days reached into the Great Basin, Southwest, and Intermountain West.
The Western precipitation caused local flooding, but replenished topsoil moisture, benefited rangeland and pastures, and provided limited relief from long-term drought.”
The report also says the “extremely dry conditions” are having negative effects on topsoil and subsoil moisture, and rangeland and pasture conditions in California, Oregon and Washington, and the conditions are “hampering winter crop establishment” in Oregon and Washington.
“By October 18, winter wheat emergence was at least 10 percentage points behind the 5-year average pace in Oregon (18 percent emerged) and Washington (62 percent).
California led the nation with both topsoil and subsoil moisture rated 90 [ercent very short to short.
Approximately two-thirds of the rangeland and pastures were rated very poor to poor in Oregon (67 percent) and California (65 percent).”

Dry appears the norm for the future, with patches of wet.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Patricia is a horror — five points on the giant this morning from The Weather Channel:

— Maximum sustained winds had reached 200 mph as of Friday’s 4 a.m. PDT advisory from the National Hurricane Center.
This makes Patricia the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere, which includes the Atlantic and eastern/central Pacific ocean basins.
According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), this is just 15 mph shy of tying the all-time record strongest tropical cyclone for the globe based on maximum sustained winds.
Typhoon Nancy holds that record with maximum sustained winds of 215 mph on Sept. 12, 1961.
— On Oct. 19, 2005, Hurricane Wilma went through an astonishing rapid intensification in the western Caribbean that set a record lowest atmospheric pressure for the Western Hemisphere at 882 millibars.
Patricia’s pressure had bottomed out at 880 millibars as of Friday morning, breaking Wilma’s record nearly 10 years to the date of when it was set in 2005.
In addition, Patricia may be in the running for the largest pressure drop ever observed in a tropical cyclone.
The current record is a pressure fall of 100 millibars in just under 24 hours set by Typhoon Forrest Sept. 22-23, 1983.
Patricia had a pressure drop of 100 millibars from 980 millibars at the 4 a.m. CDT advisory on Thursday to 880 millibars at the 4 a.m. CDT advisory on Friday, according to the National Hurricane Center.
— Given its extreme winds of 200 mph as of 4 a.m. CDT Friday, Hurricane Patricia has the potential to produce “potentially catastrophic” destruction near where the center moves inland later Friday, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
This potentially catastrophic destruction would occur in a small area of Mexico’s Jalisco State, between Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta, according to the NHC’s projected path on Friday morning.
— Patricia’s 200 mph winds are nearly equal to the damage produced by an EF5-rated tornado on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.
Tornadoes that produce damage that is rated EF5 are estimated to have winds of 201 mph or greater.
According to Dr. Jeff Masters of Wunderground.com, the 2011 Joplin, Missouri, tornado produced a few small spots of EF5 damage where winds were estimated to be 201 mph or greater.
— Moisture and energy from Hurricane Patricia will add more fuel to a flood threat in south-central states.
Computer forecast models show that after Patricia makes landfall in Mexico, the mid-level remnants will get pulled northeastward into south Texas by an upper-level system moving through the southern Plains this weekend.
Patricia’s remnants won’t be the sole contributor to the heavy rains this weekend.
An upper-level system and a frontal boundary would contribute to rainfall in the region whether Patricia was involved or not.
Patricia is just enhancing mid-level moisture and energy.

We ought to feel something up here, even…

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