California Drought Report #83: California Drought History

In seeking more information on the potential for more drought following the current floods, I ran across some additional drought information in this study:

Klamath/San Joaquin/Sacramento Hydroclimatic Reconstructions from Tree Rings, February 7, 2014, David M. Meko, Connie A. Woodhouse, and Ramzi Touchan

The reconstructed flows in the Klamath, Sacramento, and San Joaquin basins allow an assessment of the instrumental period of record, in terms of drought duration and severity, in a long-term context, The longest run of below median flow years extends to 21 consecutive years in the Klamath River reconstruction, 10 years in the Sacramento and 13 years in the San Joaquin Two intervals of 10 years are indicated in the Sacramento: late 1200s and in the 1920s-1930s. In the San Joaquin, the 13-yr run occurs in the late 1400s. The 21-yr run in the Klamath occurs in the mid- to late 1600s. Numerous periods of low flows of four years and more are evident in all three series.


Reconstructions for the Sacramento and San Joaquin flag 1580 an exceptionally dry single year – far drier than any experienced in the instrumental period. On the Sacramento, the reconstructed flow for 1580 is only 45% of that of the reconstructed flow in 1924, the second driest year of the reconstruction. The relative severity of low flow in 1580 is almost as great on the San Joaquin, where flow in 1580 is reconstructed at 54% of the flow in 1924. The single-year intensity of tree-ring reconstructed drought in 1580 has been noted previously (Meko et al. 2001). Our results suggest that the drought beginning in the 1570s and including 1580 was of shorter duration in the San Joaquin Basin than in the Sacramento Basin. The 1470s are also a key period of low flow in both basins. At decadal and longer time scales, pre-20th century low flow extremes are dominated by periods in the mid- to late-1100s in the Sacramento basin, while the second half of the 15th century appears to have been more severe in the San Joaquin basin (however, prolonged drought is evident for both of these periods in both basins).


While you are here, look at the period between 1100 and 1200 and note the extensive number of closely spaced drought periods from about 1125 to 1165 This is the period when the Arizona Cliff Dwellers abandoned their historic homes and went in search of a more agreeable climate, a place with water and weather that would allow them to plant and harvest grains, corn, and squash.

Posted in Analysis, Climate, Drought, Weather

California Drought Report #82: More Drought Coming?

Yes, I know Northern California has more water than it can store and the potential for flooding vast areas are of concern to all who live near river flood plains. Climate is cyclical, what happened in past will happen again in the future. Following the Megaflood of 1861-62 was a severe drought. Here is a historical account from 1890 by J. M. Guinn; in an excerpt from Exceptional Years: A History of California Floods and Drought.

“The great flood of 1861-62 was the Noachain deluge of California floods. During the months of December, 1861, and January, according to a record kept at San Francisco, 35 inches of rain fell, the fall for the season footed up nearly 50 inches {average is 24 inches/year}. As in Noah’s the windows of heaven were opened, and the waters prevailed exceedingly on the face of the earth.

“The valley of the Sacramento vast inland sea; the city of Sacramento was submerged and almost ruined. Relief boats on their errands of mercy, leaving the channels of the rivers, sailed over inundated ranches, past floating houses, wrecks of barns, through vast flotsams, made up of farm products farming implements, and the carcasses of horses, sheep and cattle, drifting out to sea.

“…To the affrighted vaqueros, who had sought safety on the hills, it did seem as if the fountains of the great deep really been broken up, and that the freshet had filled the Pacific to overflowing. The Arroyo Seco, swollen to a mighty river, brought down from the mountains and canons great rafts of drift-wood …{that} furnished fuel to poor people of the city for several years.

“It began raining on December 24, 1861, and continued for thirty days, with but two slight interruptions. The Star published the following local: ‘A Phenomenon – Tuesday last the sun made its appearance. The phenomenon lasted several minutes and was witnessed by a great number of persons.’

“…After the deluge, what? The drought. It began in the fall of 1862, and lasted to the winter of 1864-65. The rainfall for the season of 1862-63 did not exceed four inches, and in the fall of 1863 a few showers fell, but not enough to start the grass. No more fell until March. The cattle were of gaunt, skeleton-like forms, moved slowly of food. Here and there, singly or in small weak to move on, stood motionless with of starvation. It was a pitiful sight. …

“The loss of cattle was fearful. The plains were strewn with their carcasses. In marshy places …the ground was covered with their skeletons, and the traveler for years afterward was often startled by coming suddenly on a veritable Golgotha — a place of skulls — the long horns standing out in defiant attitude, as if protecting the fleshless bones. …The great drought of 1863-64 put an end to cattle raising as the distinctive industry of Southern California.”

While we have enough water now, it will be prudent to save all we can, as it will be needed once the current the flood has soaked into the ground or flowed out to the sea.

More on the MegaFlood and Future Floods can be found at the Fabius Maximus webpage.

Posted in California, Climate, Drought, Weather

California Drought Report #81: End to Permanent Drought?

Larry Kummer at Fabius Maximus website:

Summary: The “permanent drought” in California, like the now ended “permanent drought” in Texas, is ending. But like the panic about Texas, it is rich in lessons about our difficulty clearly seeing the world — and the futility of activists exaggerating and lying about the science. Of course, they should have learned this after 29 years of trying (starting from James Hansen’s 1988 Senate testimony).


Warnings of a permanent drought in California

Remember all those predictions of a “permanent drought” in California? Those were examples of why three decades of climate alarmism has not convinced the American people to take severe measures to fight anthropogenic climate change: alarmists exaggerate the science, and are proven wrong — repeatedly. When will the Left learn that doomster lies do not work?

Read the whole post HERE

I do not think the drought is over, the current dampness is just a short break before we return to drought conditions for a few more years. That is what happened in the 1862 mega-flood. Long term we are set up for dry conditions.


Posted in California | 1 Comment

California May Be Long Overdue For A Mega Flood(Updated 02-11-17)

A story in the San Francisco Chronicle compares the current weather related flooding to the flooding of 1862  Paul Deanno writes:

. . . ] Over 100 years ago California was in the same boat, literally. The rain started to fall just before Christmas, and it didn’t let up for over 40 days. The Central Valley became a lake.

It was 1862. Leland Stanford was sworn in as California’s 8th governor. But he wouldn’t start his term in Sacramento because California’s capitol city, along with much of the state, was ten feet under water.

Geography Professor and Berkeley Researcher Dr. Lynn Ingram described the flood as ‘a major catastrophe.”

“You couldn’t walk around the streets. It was just people scrambling with row boats and little houses floating away and furniture and cows,” explained Ingram. “[Atmospheric rivers] can carry up to ten Mississippi rivers worth of water vapor from the tropics. It’s like a fire hose.”

So the question is, could it happen again? The answer: yes.

Geographic data indicates California has a mega flood about every 100 to 200 years. So the Golden State is overdue, long overdue for a big storm.

I have written about the great flood before HERE and HERE after reading The West Without Water, a book by Professor Lynn Ingram. According to Ingram, the  megafloods occur  every 100 to 120 years (page 147) not as reported in the Chronicle every 100-200 years. Also from Ingram’s book:

Before the [1862] floods, California state geologist Josiah Whitney had hired an assistant, William Brewer, to help survey the young state’s natural resources. In 1862, Brewer sent a series of letters to his brother on the East Coast describing the surreal scenes of tragedy that he witnessed during his travels in California that winter and spring. Brewer’s letters documented the unprecedented snowfall in November and early December 1861 that blanketed the Sierra Nevada range. The snow did not last long, however, because the same series of warm storms that wreaked havoc along the West Coast also melted the snow and drenched the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada with 60–102 inches of rain. Nevada City, fifty miles northeast of Sacramento, received a total of more than nine feet of rain for the season (whereas the normal rainfall there is fifty-five inches, or just under five feet).

Ingram, B. Lynn; Malamud-Roam, Frances (2013-08-01). The West without Water: What Past Floods, Droughts, and Other Climatic Clues Tell Us about Tomorrow (p. 29). University of California Press.

Does this sound familiar? The Sierra Snow Pack is almost 175% of normal. Halfway through the rainy season, Nevada County rainfall is above normal at 56.08″ The Normal Average Rainfall by end of February is 44.61″ Two to three inches is forecast for the next two days in Nevada City, with five to six in the high Sierra, most falling as rain on the established snowpack, resulting in excessive flooding. We could be on the cusp of the next megaflood!

Update 02-11-17: More from the SF Chronicle:

Is California overdue for biblical, catastrophic flooding? History says it could be

Settlers realized the homes that survived had something in common: They were built in the spots where Native Americans originally put down settlements. Native stories spoke of the Sacramento Valley as an inland sea. For centuries, they’d seen the valley fill with water, and the Nevada City Democrat reported that “Indians living in the vicinity of Marysville left their abodes a week or more ago for the foothills predicting an unprecedented overflow. “

More HERE.

Posted in California, Drought, Weather | 4 Comments

NOAA Fraud, Where is the Press?

While NOAA’s fraudulent adjustment of the global temperature data has not reached the main stream press or they choose to ignore it, here are some examples that you can present should the subject come up at the water cooler, the coffee bar or down at the pub. This is best done by comparing the before and after data.

NOAA’s US Historical Climate Networks stations are used to create the US portion of Global Historical Climate Network. They are also used to create state-by-state temperature histories accessible on the NOAA website. A 2011 paper announced that NOAA would be transitioning to updated and improved CONUS software around the end of 2013. The program used until the upgrade was called Drd964x. The upgrade was launched from late 2013 into 2014 in two tranches. Late in 2013 came the new graphical interfaces, which are an improvement. Then about February 2014 came the new data output, which includes revised station selection, homogenization, and gridding. The new version is called nClimDiv.

Here are three states. First is Maine, with the before/after data both shown in the new graphical format.


Second is Michigan, showing the graphical difference from old to new software.


And finally, California.


In each state, zero or very slight warming was converted to pronounced warming.
These three examples clear demonstrate there is anthropogenic temperature change. Humans changed the data, lowering the historical data to show increasing warming when there was none of very little to a lot, which fits the warmers message.

This is the message that Governor Brown is using to rob every citizen in the state, collecting climate change slush funds that can be spent on his favorite projects, like his high-speed rail to nowhere.

Posted in Climate Change

Realality Check


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Green Screen Review #22: Can GSI Survive the Long Game?

Top-tier video game developers, your so-called Triple-A shops, aren’t wasting their time on creating the next GTA V or Mass Effect for Oculus Rift, the virtual reality headset start-up owned by Facebook. The customer pool isn’t deep enough to make such ambitious projects profitable yet, even though the technology exists. There’s no doubt that Oculus is impressive, but not enough people have it because there aren’t enough games. For there to be high-quality video games, there first needs to be widespread adoption of the technology — but it won’t be widely adopted until there’s high-quality content.

It’s a “chicken and egg” problem, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg says.

On Wednesday, Zuckerberg told investment analysts during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call that he doesn’t see Oculus Rift hitting iPhone-levels of adoption for at least a decade.

“I just think it’s going to be a ten-year thing,” he said on the call, noting it took “ten years to get to 1 billion units” for smartphones, after they were introduced in 2003. “I don’t think that there is really a strategy to pull this in from ten years to five,” he said of creating a VR content ecosystem.

More HERE.

Facebook has the resources to survive the long game, but does the Green Screen Institute? A decade is a long time to survive on government grants, although the climate change scare industry has survived on government grants for over a decade by avoiding or twisting the facts. I doubt the same will be true for the GSI.

Posted in Analysis, Green Screen, Uncategorized