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Dennis’ Tidbits

By DENNIS McTIGHE

March 12, 2019

Almost spring – more daylight but no high temps 

Dennis 5Here on Sunday, our new adjusted time of sunset is at 6:57 p.m. PDT. Now that’s more like it!

The Spring Equinox is only around 10 days away. However, you wouldn’t know it as temps continue to run 10 degrees or more below normal as the deep cold low pressure trough extends all the way down to central Baja. Even places like Palm Springs are still awaiting that magical 70-degree day when it should be about 76 degrees by now. It was only 65 there on Sunday.

By now, Laguna usually has seen at least three days with 80-degree temps. Heck, we’re just trying to reach the 70 mark and that doesn’t look like that’s going to happen anytime soon. On the bright side, we’re still warmer than 85 percent of the rest of the country. 

Now it’s almost spring and here comes severe weather and tornado season. An estimated 1,200-1,300 tornadoes strike the country each year. There’s been a tornado reported in all 50 states, but the core of activity occurs east of the Continental Divide. Not one month escapes the wrath of these violent storms. 

During the winter months, the focus of activity is in the Deep South and the Gulf oast. By late March, the area known as Tornado Alley comes to life mainly in the Southern Plains. April and May are the peak times in the plains for tornadoes. Only about two to four percent of these reach EF-4 or EF-5 status. 

By June, tornado activity reaches far north into places like the Dakotas and the upper Midwest. Tornado frequency drops off dramatically in the Deep South. Their peak season is during the winter as cold fronts penetrate that far south so we get the great temp differential. Twenty-three lives were lost two Sundays ago in Alabama when an EF-4 with winds up to 175 mph tore through a populated area. More casualties are sure to happen as the season progresses.

Most tornadoes happen between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. in the afternoon but they can strike at any hour.

Even California has had tornadoes with a couple of them reaching EF-2 status. Down here we’re pretty safe but we’ve had a couple of waterspouts that reached EF-1 status like the one that made landfall just south of the Aliso Beach Pier on Thanksgiving of 1981.

Our flat spell continues. Did somebody build a huge breakwater offshore and not tell us? The ocean is in a deep coma. Time to build an artificial wave machine here in California. There’s a classic one in of all places Austin, Texas that cranks out perfect four to five foot barrels every 70 seconds. Might have to check it out if this flat spell keeps going! 

See y’all Friday, ALOHA!

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor & Writer.

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Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Lynette Brasfield, Marrie Stone, Maggi Henrikson, Samantha Washer, and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists.

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