Dennis’ Local Almanac

By DENNIS McTIGHE

Could Sunday’s weathermaker be the last of the season?

Well, the curse of the Northeast remains alive and well as severe weather dominates that region once again, spoiling all outdoor activities for what seems an endless run of weekend washouts with help from tornadoes, baseball-sized hail and hundreds of miles of straight-line winds up to 65 mph.

Of course, all that scary weather should be exiting the region tonight making sure that it’s nice and calm to kick off another work week for all those 9 to 5ers. This pattern has been going on for nearly two years where folks back there cannot buy a decent weekend to save their lives. There must be someone there who is packing up their stuff as we speak, having had it with that horrible climate.

Meanwhile out here in Lotusland, our season’s rain total as of Sunday at 4 p.m. was at 21.45 inches and that’s almost nine inches above normal for the date. This current weathermaker could be our last one of the season, as things are winding down as we enter the dry season – but no worries as all water stashes are full for the upcoming dry season across the entire state of California. It even rained in our deserts, so the landscape became a cavalcade of brilliant colors this spring. Local ocean temps are still scratching and clawing to reach the 60-degree threshold as water temps this season were at their coldest levels in 13 years. Looking back on April 15, 1997, the ocean temps in Laguna reached a record high of 75 degrees, thanks to the mega El Niño event that year.

The Eastern Pacific hurricane season is only a month away, but it might be a relatively quiet one as a moderate to strong shift to La Niña conditions is expected to start by early this summer. This means that the other side, the Atlantic basin and Caribbean, will be super busy. Whatever our side is like, their side is the opposite. Take 1992 for example, when a strong El Niño was going on. Here in the Pacific, we used up the entire alphabet; a very busy season indeed and the only season that the whole alphabet was used.

However, in the Atlantic, they didn’t even get their first storm until the third week of August when they got Andrew which became a Category 5 when it made landfall south of Miami. In 2005, there was a strong La Niña going on and our side saw 10 systems with only two systems even making it to hurricane status, a very quiet season indeed.

Meanwhile the Atlantic and Caribbean were on steroids as they not only ran through their alphabet but had to refer to their backup list which was all Greek names – getting all the way to the letter E. The year 2005 made history with five hurricanes making it to a Category 5. On August 29, Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast near New Orleans.

The National Hurricane Center has just released their forecast for the upcoming season which begins on June 1 and lasts until November 1. They’re calling for 23 named storms which runs through their whole alphabet. Eleven of those storms are forecast to reach hurricane status with five of those making it all the way up to major hurricane status. At least four or five of those are expected to make landfall somewhere between Texas and New England. Surface ocean temps in the Atlantic are already at July levels. Stay tuned on that one.

See y’all next week, ALOHA!


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