If you hadn’t noticed… this summer so far has included some pretty unusual weather, lots of lightning, cloud cover, tropical storms, remnants of hurricanes, the most Flood Watches we have ever seen in the Sierra and three days of the hardest rain SoCal has ever seen in July. In one three day period in July San Diego received more rain than in all the hundred July’s preceding it all put together. So, yes, we can unequivocally say that this summer has presented some really strange weather for us Westerners used to a 3 to 5 month summer drought.
The culprits are most notably extreme record setting ocean temps in the Eastern Pacific off the coasts of the US and Mexico. As Heat equals Energy, meteorologically speaking, this record setting heat has helped Low Pressure systems move North after forming near Mexico or in SoCal bringing us more cloud cover, rain and lightning than normal.
Record setting ocean temps off the entire West Coast of North America are leading to some unusual summer weather
As these ocean temps seem to continue to build into record highs meteorologists like Daniel Swain from Stanford believe these conditions will continue to siphon up tropical monsoonal moisture into our area for the remainder of the summer and early fall. Dry NW and wet South is typical of large El Nino years as well and as lawns die in Portland due to lack of rain and no sprinkler systems I believe we are probably already seeing the effects of El Nino this summer.
As El Nino continues to strengthen the odds of a wetter than normal winter grow daily.
The one caveat to all this… how the incredibly warm temps off our coast will interact with El Nino. At this point, since we are in tabula rasa, no one can really say. As David Swain said so eloquently a few weeks ago… we might be in for a very wild ride this winter!
To check out Daniel’s latest post go to: http://www.weatherwest.com/archives/3323