“A landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at every moment; but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life – the light and the air which vary continually. For me, it is only the surrounding atmosphere which gives subjects their true value.”
~ Claude Monet
The above quotation seems apropos for either an artist or meteorologist. Sunday, as I drove north on the 2 Freeway, it was evident the first storm had settled in. Dark clouds blanketed the entire Crescenta Valley. Not a single landmark was visible, for the appearance of the landscape had changed – or at least transformed for the time being. In spite of “surrounding atmosphere,” I was assured my home was there, somewhere amongst the clouds.
With slightly more than a half-inch measured here, the coastal areas totaled well over an inch. A lull between storms provided just enough time for a brisk Abby-mandated dog walk. Tuesday and into Wednesday the second storm doused our “neck of the woods” with 1.80 inches of rain. A few more drops were expected.
El Niño has yet to be officially declared by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. At the start of November, there was a 58% chance of development; soon an update will be released. The recent rain pattern and weather maps hint of a hopeful outcome. Recent atmospheric patterns over the Pacific waters and North America are beginning resemble those of an El Niño year.
One pattern seen in the most recent storm supports an El Niño condition. To the northwest, a low-pressure center swirled counter-clockwise, causing a sub-tropical band of moisture to be transported into Southern California. The delivery system is known as the “Pineapple Express.” Sounds more like a train traveling through the Hawaiian Islands than a term used by meteorologists and weather reporters. The descriptive name comes with scientific implications as well. Pineapple Express events are often renowned for bringing significant multi-inch rainfall totals to Southern California in El Niño winters. As mentioned, more information is forthcoming. Until then …
“Santa Claus is coming to town …” for The Montrose Christmas Parade. A precautionary umbrella and cozy jacket are advised along the route; temperatures expected around 50 degrees with a few lingering clouds are in the forecast. Into next week, mild days in the 70s are expected. Come Friday, the rains return once again.
Sue Kilpatrick is a
Crescenta Valley resident and
Official Skywarn Spotter for the
National Weather Service. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.