California Drought Report #74: “The Blob” returns to the North Pacific, and La Niña is fizzling

Note:  According to Bob Tisdale writing at Watts Up With That the blob has disappeared. More details HERE.  We will have to wait to see if the La Niña will reappear. Stay tuned.

The California Weather Blog has more details:


The Blob has been associated with a strong ridge of high-pressure ridge along the West Coast of the US, blocking storms from filling CA reservoirs with rain and snow. The Ridiculously Resilient Ridge has produced past dry winters in California and could do so again this year.

It does not look like the long predicted strong La Niña predicted by Joe Bastardi is going to happen. The models show a rather neutral response to pacific surface temperatures.


In the past strong La Niña patterns have resulted in strong El Niño responses, but not this time. It will be interesting to see what Joe Bastardi at Weather Bell has to say. For the past year, he has been promoting the idea that we could have a strong La Niña winter. Not according to the models.

Declining ElNino

The CA Weather Blog concludes “that multi-month precipitation outlooks are quite challenging in California. This is partly because it only takes a small handful of powerful atmospheric river storms to “make or break” annual precipitation totals across much of the state, and it’s therefore possible to have very dry conditions (and persistent ridging) punctuated by a few brief but intense periods of heavy precipitation that heavily sway the overall average. That’s not a specific prediction for this year, but recent evidence does suggest that increasingly wide swings in California precipitation are likely as the climate warms. For the moment, we’ll just have to wait and see how the Pacific Ocean and model forecasts evolve in the coming months.”

Preserve what water we have as there is a reasonable possibility drought will continue for an another year. The troubling issue is that the Pacific Ocean is not following the past El Niño – La Niña cycle shown above and the re-appearance of “The Blob.”  Is this going to be the new normal?  Only Mother Nature knows the answer.


About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
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