Agency ex­pects ex­treme sum­mer drought

The fore­cast by fed­eral me­te­o­rol­o­gists is bad news for fire­fight­ers, who’ve had a busy win­ter and spring. No rain is likely un­til fall.

Los Angeles Times - - California - By Rong-Gong Lin II

Fed­eral me­te­o­rol­o­gists ex­pect “ex­treme” drought con­di­tions this sum­mer in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, of­fer­ing more bad news for fire­fight­ers who are al­ready deal­ing with record dry weather.

The fore­cast by the Na­tional Oceanic and At­mo­spheric Ad­min­is­tra­tion dashed the hopes of some of­fi­cials that the re­gion’s bone-dry win­ter and spring would give way to a mild sum­mer.

“We’ve gone from mod­er­ate to se­vere drought, and we’ve jumped to ex­treme,” said Bill Patzert, cli­ma­tol­o­gist at NASA’s Jet Propul­sion Lab­o­ra­tory in La Cañada Flin­tridge.

The ev­i­dence is clear: Both Lake Mead and Lake Pow­ell on the Colorado River are at half ca­pac­ity, Patzert said. Down­town L.A. has re­ceived less than 4 inches of rain this year and is set to claim a record for its dri­est sea­son.

“We can pretty much count on no rain into the fall,” said Miguel Miller, a me­te­o­rol­o­gist with the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice in San Diego.

This sea­son’s dry spell has been caused in large part by a per­sis­tent high-pres­sure ridge over the east­ern Pa­cific Ocean that has blocked many storms from hit­ting South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, Miller said. The few storms the re­gion has ex­pe­ri­enced have fiz­zled be­cause they came over land rather than over the ocean, he added.

Things won’t change this sum­mer, Patzert said, not­ing that cool­ing tem­per­a­tures on the east­ern Pa­cific Ocean are leav­ing the re­gion a weather pat­tern that brings drought con­di­tions.

“We’re po­ten­tially look­ing at La Niña light,” Patzert said, dub­bing it “the de­mon diva of drought.” Drought




Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.