FROM Bill Patzert
Rain is in the forecast, but SoCal still has drought problems Forecasters are predicting a good chance of rain through the weekend and later next week. Californians are hoping a March miracle could save the state from falling too far back into drought. But, according to the federal drought monitor, California is still unseasonably dry, with nearly half the state at least in moderate drought.
Climate expert says the conditions are supersized, causing apocalyptic fires Wildfires have been burning around Southern California for a week. Most are under control, but the Thomas Fire spread up the coast to Santa Barbara County over the weekend, forcing more residents to evacuate. It’s now one of the largest fires in state history. All this fire and wind is raising big questions about weather and climate.
What's up with California's crazy weather? San Francisco temperatures reached 106 degrees. There’s a so-called micro burst of cold air in Santa Barbara and LA saw its largest fire ever -- fanned by furnace-like temperatures. Can climate science explain what’s going on?
Can California’s Drought Reform Agricultural Water Use? California’s worst drought in more than 30 years is big trouble for the 9th largest agricultural economy in the world. Many farmers are getting less water than they expected; some aren’t getting any at all. Rice, grapes, citrus fruit and almonds are all being hit hard.
All this crazy, humid, stormy weather- why’s it happening? Lightning on the beaches, floods in the mountains, high temperatures and wilting humidity. That’s not normal for this season in Southern California, but it describes the weather we have been having for more than a week. How long will Southern Californians be stuck with somebody else’s weather?
A Record Water Shortage and Red Flag Warnings Governor Brown has recognized this driest winter in California history by declaring a drought emergency . The Sierra snowpack is at 15% of its annual average, and that could leave Central Valley farmers with no allocations from water districts at all. Last week's Colby Fire above Glendora is a prime example of what dry winter weather means for fire danger and, by extension, air quality.
A Dry Winter May Mean a Bad Wildfire Season It's hot and dry in much of Southern California, and officials say it's likely to stay that way. That means fire season is already with us. Bill Patzert is climatologist at the Jet Propulsion Lab in La Canada-Flintridge. A trained firefighter, Daniel Berlant is a spokesman for Cal Fire.
Could Record-breaking Rainfall End California's Drought? One of the wettest Decembers in state history has left behind about twice the amount of water considered normal for this time of year in the snow pack high up in the Sierras. So come spring, a lot of water should come down from the mountains into the reservoirs of drought-plagued Southern California. We get a progress report from Frank Gehrke, chief snow surveyor for the California Department of Water Resources, and from Bill Patzert, a climatologist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Mild Southern California's Wild 2010 Weather This summer in Southern California was unusually cool. Fall brought a heat wave featuring the hottest day ever recorded in downtown LA. Forecasters predicted a dry winter. Bill Patzert is a climatologist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada-Flintridge.
Update on Southland Storms Forecasters said the worst of this week's storms would hit between noon and 6pm, and homeowners near potential landslides were bracing for trouble. As of mid-afternoon, that hadn't happened. We hear from a climatologist and reporter, both following this week's storms.
Wildfires Blazing Through Southland Fires as large as those blazing tonight in the Southland are usually spread by Santa Ana winds blowing in from the desert. These are a different story. Among the facilities shut down for the past few days is the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in LaCanada-Flintridge. Another one of the major landmarks threatened by the Station Fire is the observatory on Mt. Wilson .
Is the Fight against Global Warming Already Lost? In his first week as President, Barack Obama called for urgent measures to combat global warming. At the same time, researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research released discouraging new findings . If carbon dioxide levels were cut back to pre-industrial levels, it would still take 1000 years to reverse the climate change that have already happened.
Is Climate Change Irreversible? Just as President Obama cracks down on climate change , scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research have issued discouraging new findings . This new “wake-up call” says that if carbon dioxide levels were cut back to pre-industrial levels, it would still take 1000 years to reverse the climate change that's already happened. Does that mean the effort is not worth the trouble, or that it's time to get serious before it's really too late? Can new, innovative technology make a difference? Is it contradictory to beef up production and consumer consumption at the same time greenhouse gases are being reduced? Is the real problem too many people?
Is There Too Much Of A Fire Danger For Fireworks? The so-called 'rainy season' that ended three days ago is the driest in Los Angeles since record keeping began 130 years ago. Rainfall was nearly a foot less than normal. We’ve already seen some major fires, and local officials are stepping up education and enforcement to deal with brush clearance - and fireworks.
Driest Winter on Record After somebody set fire to a stolen car, 1200 people were briefly evacuated from 500 homes and there was some structural damage. But the brushfire in northern Orange County is under control. What are we facing between now and the end of this calendar year? Bill Patzert is a climatologist at the Jet Propulsion Lab in La Canada-Flintridge.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
What happens when America retreats from the world? Is President Trump taking his "America First" agenda to extremes, withdrawing the country from the international stage on trade and climate change, distancing America from its traditional allies across the Atlantic and even threatening to physically isolate the country through the building of a wall along its southern border? León Krauze guest hosts.