Monday, November 5, 2012

California Weather Predictions: Extreme Storms on the West Coast

Tornados and other Severe Weather Phenomena becoming more common over Southern California ? The above photo was taken back in February 22, 2005, of a funnel cloud which hovered over the Pacific Ocean just off Venice Beach in the Los Angeles area.
More and more extreme weather events are becoming the new norm across the entire globe. No area on Earth appears to be able to escape such freakish weather anomalies which many experts say are the results of Climate Change. No doubt this is true, though the true understanding of climate Change doesn't appear to be an open and honest report as to the true causes. Symptoms are argued and debated by ideologues on both sides looking to score points with popular votes. Nature couldn't care less about either side. It merely responds to the irresponsible ways in which it's resources have been mismanaged, ripped off and manipulated in the interest of global consumerism which is what keeps our various global economies afloat. If you think all these climate conventions have actually been about weather and climate change, then think again. It always has had to do with this materialistic obsession with creating and/or acquiring wealth and jealously hanging onto or guarding it.

But it's in this political ideological climate that has some honest researchers worrying about the very real eventuality of Super Storm potential on the west coast who hasn't exactly had any major events lately, with the exception of several of the notorious Mega-Fires which in themselves are the result of extreme weather anomalies. Even now there appears to be an unusual High Pressure System which hovers over the western states. This usually results in what is called a Santa Ana Wind event which at times can be extreme and make a bad fire situation worse. What this High Pressure System will bring is anyone's guess as to potential for Mega Fires again before this year is out. Even if there is a normal rainfall pattern, potential for flooding disaster after terrible fire extremes are increased greatly. Over the past couple of decades, California's natural vegetation ecosystem infrastructure has been broken down and in some cases outright destroyed, incapable at times of handling even normal weather storm systems off the Pacific Ocean without the potential for flooding as opposed to slowing any water down and allowing it to percolate as a normal healthful vegetative infrastructure would have allowed. Hence, flooding dangers are increased every where people actually reside and that's where the problem persists.

photo credit - NOAA / NASA Image of Hurricane Sandy on Tuesday October 30, 2012.
 California Also Worries About Extreme Storms After Sandy
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, researchers in California as grappling with their own questions about increasing extreme weather. 
The Pacific Ocean isn't warm enough to produce a Super Storm like Sandy off the West Coast, researchers say, but climate change could give rise to more frequent severe storms in the region. 
"We can see very big storms, and there are a couple of issues related to climate change to think about," said Roger Bales, director of the Sierra Nevada Research Institute (SNRI) at the University of California, Merced. Winterstorms, for example, help build up snowpack in the mountains, which the state depends on for it's year-round water supply." 
"But if you warm the climate, those storms become rain events - there's an immediate runoff, less water storage, and the rain will actually melt some of the existing snowpack," Bales said. The state already sees a handful of major snowstorms over California's mountains each winter. A series of such storms, however, could unleash destructive flooding and landslides in the state. 
It's not uncommon during the winter, at least once, that we will see storms coming off the Pacific and drop more than 100 inches of snow in the mountains over short durations," Robert Rice, a researcher with (SNRI), said in a statement Thursday (Nov 1) 
"That could translate into 10 inches of precipitable water - numbers similar to what they are measuring in Hurricane Sandy." Scientists are also concerned with "Atmospheric Rivers" like the so-called Pineapple Express, which drives moisture across from Hawaii to the west coast and can produce severe, localized damage. 
"We have very large storms that cross into California and effect our region - not with the same widespread damage as Hurricane Sandy, but with water and wind that are comparable to hurricanes and tornados, Rice said. 
The SNRI researchers have advocated for a monitoring system to observe snowpack statewide, which they say would help control California's water resources more efficiently.
Hurricane Sandy is already being called the new norm for New York and other east coastal area's new future. While Southern California again doesn't possess the same weather characteristics for such destructive potential as the east coast, it is no stranger to being disaster prone under it's own historical patterns. The worry is that these patterns could intensify and become worse, just as the east coast has apparently become. Looking over the potential for high temps yesterday around southern California, I could only wish for temps in the high 80s or low 90s. Of course most of my fellow Swedish residents would disagree with that, but there was no real summer here this year 2012 and that they can and will admit to that. Swedes have a tendency to melt when temps hit 28+ Celsius - *smile* - Constant cold and wet appears to be the norm here for now.
Southern California Weather Authority
Abnormal Ridge Of High Pressure Over California This Week
Here is another image from the Los Angeles Weather News establishing the same current weather alert of an unusually strong High Pressure System anomaly over the western states creating a strong Santa Ana Winds condition with the potential for Brushfire dangers.


  1. Great images, especially the first one. Though, these severe weather conditions are not very fun to deal with of course. So I certainly hope that the predictions of more extreme weather in the future (now) will not come true. But I guess we will just have to wait and see about that...

    Thanks for a very interesting post.

    1. I actually believe this increase in severe weather is going to continue to get worse. The solutions governments and scientists are coming up with are a total joke as they in no way address human behavioral changes, but rather focusing on eliminating the consequences of that behavior while allowing unbridled consumption to continue to keep various economies running. The world economic machine folds if consumerism stops or slows down, then you have protest and anarchy. Apparently violent freakish destructive weather is intellectually considered the lesser of the two evils.

  2. Timeless, I did not know all the info you left on my blog about Garner Valley. Do you have any old photos of it? I'd love to see them. We owned 5 acres there in 1978, but sold it when our daughter was born because I stayed home and didn't work for 5 years...sigh...Now I'm going to read this post of yours. Interesting timing...we are having our first winter storm here this weekend!

    1. Much of what I learned is from older generations long since dead, but maybe there is an archive somewhere. When I first moved up there in 1981, you could still see visible signs from the old dead burnt snags or logs which stuck up out of the chaparral everywhere. They may be overgrown and completely rotted by now, but some should still be there.

      I'm going to document some things when I come out next summer.



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