Saturday, January 16, 2010
Ark Building Time?
A STRONG PACIFIC JET STREAM IS DEVELOPING AT LOWER LATITUDES ACROSS A VAST EXPANSE OF THE PACIFIC OCEAN. THIS JET WILL AIM A NUMBER OF MOISTURE LADEN STORMS AT SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. LIGHTER PRECIPITATION IS POSSIBLE OVER THE WEEKEND. ONCE THE HEAVIER PRECIPITATION BEGINS MONDAY...IT WILL LIKELY CONTINUE ON THE COASTAL SLOPES UNABATED FOR MUCH OF THE WEEK DUE TO UPSLOPE FLOW. AT LOWER ELEVATIONS...BREAKS IN THE RAINFALL ARE MORE LIKELY WITH THE HEAVIER RAIN ACCOMPANYING FRONTS. TIMING OF THESE FEATURES WILL BE DIFFICULT DUE TO THE SPEED OF THE JET STREAM ALOFT.
BASED ON HISTORIC PATTERNS...THIS WEEK-LONG EVENT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO GENERATE RAINFALL OF 5 TO 8 INCHES NEAR THE COAST...TO 20 OR MORE INCHES ON THE COASTAL MOUNTAIN SLOPES. TYPICALLY WETTER LOCATIONS ON THE COASTAL MOUNTAINS SLOPES COULD RECEIVE 30 OR MORE INCHES OF RAINFALL.
"...a vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean." Whew.
This will not make up for four years of below-normal rainfall, officially classified as drought. Even a full year of normal rainfall would be far short of enough to meet the city’s needs, and recent court decisions have seriously cut our water allocations from the Colorado River and from the Northern California delta. Still, a good soaking like this is more than welcome.
On the other hand, in the unlikely event that a crew shows up Monday morning to tear up my driveway, I think I'm going to send them away.