Monday, November 08, 2010

A Wet Winter?

It certainly is starting out as one, and that is a very good thing, unless it gets too wet and then the lack of adequate flood protection reminds us of the failure of public leadership to be more concerned with public safety than esoteric environmental theories largely built on a belief that the natural environment—minus human beings—is superior to the human one, as the foundational theories of environmentalism, deep ecology, proclaim.

This article from the Sacramento Bee examines the possibility of a wet season.

An excerpt.

“Sunday's showers might be a sign of things to come: Scientists say a powerful La Niña effect could push cold storms into Northern California this winter, one after another.

"There's a good chance you're going to get a soaking," said Bill Patzert, an oceanographer with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.

“Or maybe not, he said.

“During a La Niña year, cooler-than-normal temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean push the jet stream – and Pacific storms – north.

“The Pacific Northwest stays cold and rainy; the Southwest remains warm and dry.

“Sacramento, on the dividing line, can go either way.

“Patzert said this year he'd bet on wet.

"Because the jet stream is so strong," he said, "I think there's a better-than-even chance you're going to see Northern and Central California get lots of rain."

“La Niña is the flip side of El Niño – a weather pattern associated with warmer-than-normal temperatures in the Pacific and heavy rains to the south.

"Both of these climate phenomena, which typically occur every two to five years, influence weather patterns throughout the world and often lead to extreme weather events," the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in a news release warning of potential La Niña effects.

“Last year's El Niño resulted in record-breaking precipitation in some parts of the nation and record drought in others. La Niña has the potential for equal extremes, the agency said.”