Waiting for El Nino

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Last fall, Californians were warned by “the experts” to prepare for El Nino. We were told where to get our sandbags, how to prepare an emergency kit – which most Californians have anyway, and to make sure we had alternate escape routes planned – just in case. Time to build an ark!

Well, the rain finally came.

The reservoirs are full, the Sierras have snow, surfs been up, and the hills are green. Everybody’s happy even though the rain stopped several weeks ago.

The other day, while watching the weather report, the presenter told us “Even though it looks like a storm front is headed our way, don’t expect rain because it was a “dry storm.” Huh?

Who knew a storm could be dry?

Anyway, the “dry storms” have brought us daytime temperatures in the high 80’s, Santana winds are beginning to blow and I’m getting shocked by static electricity every time I touch metal.

It looks like El Nino has left town and the “experts” have just told us to get ready for “La Nina.”

In the meantime, enjoy Sting singing Heavy Clouds No Rain:


Summer Down Under


The Global Warming Party Ship Stuck in Antarctic Ice
Australia’s media-loving climate scientist, Professor Chris Turney, along with 73 others including the crew, 4 journalists, 36 members of the science team and 26 tourists, are sitting on the Russian vessel, the MS Akademik Shokalskiy, stuck in the ice near the South Pole.

Professor Turney’s plan was to re-create the 3 year exploration led by Sir Douglas Mawson in 1911 and to measure changes in ice and climate since that time.

Unfortunately, someone didn’t check the weather reports. The Akademik Shokalskiy is now in a dangerous situation and the attempts by 3 ice breakers and a helicopter to rescue the people on board the vessel have failed. If another helicopter rescue attempt cannot be made because of the high wind and low visibility, the US Coast Guard Polar-class icebreaker, Polar Star, will we directed to the area.

So why was this underfunded and poorly planned expedition attempted anyway? Well, it seems the 38-year-old entrepeneur/scientist wanted to prove global warming is melting the Antarctic ice. It would tie in perfectly with a new book and could be used to promote his carbon business.

News reports failed to mention Turney is a founding Director of Carbonscape, a New Zealand carbon refining company that offers a global solution for mitigating the effects of human-caused climate change.

According to Carbonscape co-founder Nick Gerritsen, the company has the patent on the one-step microwave charcoal technology that turns biomass waste such as sawdust into what is known as activated carbon (AC). Sawdust or corn or sugar cane can be turned into bio oils, which become biochemicals and fuels. There is plenty of money from governments and private corporations looking to fund alternatives to fossil fuels.

If the good professor had checked any of NASA’s weather and climate data he would have known that for the second year in a row the ice surrounding Antarctica reached its annual winter maximum at the end of September and set a new record. Oops.

Update: Chinese helicopter successfully rescues passengers from the Akademik Shokalskiy. Video.

Enjoy Foreigner performing Cold As Ice:

Winter Weather


Baby It’s Cold Outside
For the past few months we’ve had some pretty extreme weather all over the planet. Europe has been getting slammed with wind, rain and snow, India is getting hit with one cyclone after another, the U.S. has had its share of freezing weather and Brazil is preparing for more mudslides.

NASA recently released studies explaining the sun as the driving force of climates on the earth and the other planets in our solar system. The current solar cycle, with few sunspots and a reduced magnetic field, is the weakest in 100 years. Low solar activity has a profound effect on the Earth’s atmosphere.

NASA scientists have also discovered large breaches in the earth’s magnetosphere that have allowed solar wind particles to enter the earth’s atmosphere so we should expect more dramatic swings in our weather patterns.

According to Dr. Neil Hutton, director of Friends of Science:
“The geomagnetic activity of earth and that of the sun are interrelated and their interplay also affects climate. Theoretically, a weaker solar magnetic field could allow the penetration of more cosmic rays which directly affect cloud cover and climate. This has been demonstrated by the recently completed CLOUD experiment at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.”

In other words, we are going into a “little ice age.”

The Little Ice Age from about 1500 to 1850, was also preceded by low sunspot activity. During that time, cooler temperatures, more clouds and more rain caused massive crop failures all across Europe, which led to famines and wars.

Anyway, winters are getting colder and summers are getting warmer. The earth’s climate is always changing and it makes more sense for us to adjust to the changes rather than listen to the global warming wackos in tin foil hats that want to change the universe to accommodate Earth. I’m sure the alarmists can figure out ways to make money from a new ice age.

In the meantime enjoy Lady Gaga and Joseph Gordon-Levitt with their interesting version of – Baby It’s Cold Outside:

Road Trip


Driving Through Flyover Country
Watching the weather reports of the cold front moving down from Canada into Texas brings thoughts of the great weather we had on our road trip to Austin a couple of months ago.

It’s always nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of the coast and head into the wide open spaces of the southwestern desert. Some places are exactly as they were 20 years ago and some places belie what travel will be like in the future. In California and Arizona we have security check points now. Cars and truck funnel through a gauntlet of cameras aimed at every angle possible to scan the front, back and side of each vehicle and the passengers inside. It might be fun to wear one of those fake noses with a mustache just to mess with the facial recognition cameras.

The only problem we had on the road was getting a flat tire just outside of Lordsburg, New Mexico. A nice fellow on a motorcycle on his way to Waco stopped to help Floyd change the tire. Other than that, we had a great time at the lake, the Tommy Bahama outlet store, Cabela’s sporting goods store and the new barbecue joint we found. Life is good.

Time to start planning our next road trip.

Enjoy some southern rock by JJ Grey & Mofro – Brighter Days:

The beautiful photo of Guadalupe River State Park is by Laura Vu.


June Gloom in July
“Late night and early morning low clouds and fog along the coast, clearing by noon.” The weatherman hasn’t changed the forecast for this time of year in Southern California since I was a kid.

We start with May gray, move into June gloom and, even though the foggy conditions continue into July, we still don’t have a catchy term for it.  Any suggestions?

Anyway, we took dad to the beach yesterday and the only people not wearing beach cover-ups or sweatshirts were the tourists. I just checked the current ocean temp off the San Diego coast and it’s a teeth chattering 64°F (18C).

While we wait for the sun to appear, enjoy Katy Perry singing about California Gurls:

Photo by Scott Randall

Winter Weather


Freeze Warning for Coastal San Diego
Although it’s not unusual for temps to get down into the low 30’s at night in San Diego, daytime temps are usually, at least, in the 60’s. Not today. It made it to 50°F (10°C) with the sun shining.

Tonight we have to cover our little orange trees with burlap so they don’t freeze. All day I kept thinking about tropical beaches with warm sand and warm water. Ahhh.

Enjoy Buster Poindexter Hot, Hot, Hot:


Winter Road through the Forest

Hitting the Road for the Holidays
The AAA projects 93.3 million Americans (29.5 percent of the population) will travel 50 miles or more from home during the holidays.

Those who choose to travel by air will find the planes a bit more full and prices slightly higher than last year. Oh, and the joy of either being zapped by an x-ray machine or having a total stranger put his hands in your pants.

That said, we don’t have to drive anywhere this year because we are having the family here for Christmas. I checked the long-range weather forecast and we might have rain, but the weather service, that used to be quite accurate, is now wrong most of the time. Go figure.

Anyway, I won’t plan on having dinner on the patio just yet.

Enjoy Chris Rea – Driving Home for Christmas: