Saturday, January 18, 2014

Withering Weather

It's not looking at all good for this drought to break any day soon.  We have our pet "Theory of Extreme," wherein an imaginary pendulum swings wildly from one weather extreme to another.  Well, this winter, the pendulum may well be stuck in the hot, dry, drought extreme.

So, why do we say that?  Well, just lookie at that there red spot in the Gulf of Alaska.  The darker the orange-reddish color, the high the sea surface temperature (SST) is above normal.  It's called an "anomaly."

Another view of just how big that anomaly is appears in the second graphic.  Meanwhile one of the federal weather wonks had this to say earlier this week"

Bill Patzert, a climatologist at NASA's jet propulsion laboratory said what's known as "Pacific decadal oscillation" has warmed waters in the upper Pacific. That has created a strong high pressure system pushing the jet stream north. It's so persistent meteorologists have nicknamed it "The Triple R": ridiculously resilient ridge of high pressure.  

Patzert said, "It essentially steers the jet stream which delivers our rainfall and our snow pack up into Canada, sometimes into Alaska."
Asked if there are any signs that this pattern is going to change anytime soon, Patzert said, “My forecast is for a continuing drought here in the American West. I'd love to be wrong.”


Meanwhile, take a look at the third graphic.  That shows you just had far from normal are the temps are precipitation for the last 30 and 90 day periods in the Western US.

Two things we know from many years of watching SSTs--they DO change but they DON'T change quickly.
So, as long as the weather wonks are blaming our patterns on the "warmed waters in the upper Pacific," we would expect our current pattern to continued unabated.  To mirror the weather wonk's quote "We'd LOVE to be wrong!"

(Click "Full Global" in the various January link lists.)
Source: See Page 7 in link at end of post.
Source: See Page 14 in link below.


Sue Malone said...

Hmm. just posted a google comment. Curious now, do I need to post one here or will that one show up on your blog as well....great story with lots of thought provoking stuff.

Anonymous said...

we're cooked