Sunday, June 6, 2010


Regular readers (If there's any left) know that I've been whining about the lingering "Rainy Season" for a couple of months now. Forgive me.

I have proof however that said whining wasn't just puffery. There's genuine data out there!

The USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service issued their June
Snow-Precipitation Update, listing the snowpack measurements from June 1st. No real surprises, given the robust El Niño that's been holding sway over our weather this past Winter.

Average Snowpack numbers are over 100% in most Western states:

California: 176%
Idaho: 129%
Montana: 114%
Nevada: 186%
Oregon: 154%
Utah: 107%
Washington: 112%
Wyoming: 116%

The Desert Southwest underperformed:

Arizona: 9%
New Mexico: 36%

Colorado is the Outlier at 54%

We're looking at the Textbook Fingerprint of El Niño, though I haven't the foggiest idea of what happened in Colorado.

Interestingly, Alaska's snowpack was only 79% of normal, while the Arctic Sea Ice Pack continued it's four year increase, both in total area and thickness. Polar Bears can all smile and sell Coca-Cola on TV again.

While I was looking into the recent past, I chanced upon NOAA's Atlantic Hurricane Season Prediction from last week. They're predicting another Active Hurricane Season. They also said the Eastern Pacific should be quieter than average due to cooling Sea Surface Temps across the Equatorial Pacific. At the time of their announcement, NOAA was predicting ENSO neutral conditions, however a LaNiña Event looks more likely every day to this observer.

If, as seems likely, we do have a LaNiña year, the Pacific Northwest will be especially soggy. Already above average this year, a LaNiña-fueled winter usually means torrential rains in Oregon and Washington, drier than normal weather for Northern and Central California, and heavy precipitation for SoCal and the Southwest. God help us...

Back in the Western Atlantic, SSTs are falling quickly now too..This is where Atlantic Hurricanes are born. Usually, when we have a LaNiña Event, hurricane activity over the Atlantic increases. I have my doubts that the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season will live up to NOAA's prediction this time around exactly because of the SSTs speedy decline in the Equatorial Atlantic. It's hard to birth a hurricane over cool water.

Oops, there I went and made another Weather Prediction! Damn! You can't just ignore these things once they're in print...even if it's only on your computer screen.

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