Let’s face it, for most of the people living in Arizona, their best years are in the rear view mirror, as are mine which were probably about 50 years ago… Following that thought, let us not look ahead to further declines, but rather look back at the last water year for Catalina, ending this past September 30th, and see what it says, if anything, about the changing global climate we hear so much about:
Can’t say I see too much going on here in Catalina so far; things seem pretty stable in the precipitation arena for the full water year’s rainfall.
I point out again, with great redundancy since I have pointed this out before, that the Our Garden climate record started just as a monumental change in circulation patterns occurred. Most climate scientists would attribute that to a shift as due to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, discovered by important scientists I know well, like Mike Wallace1, of the University of Washington Huskies Atmospheric Sciences Department where I worked for about 30 years, but in airborne studies of clouds.
The PDO shift, if that’s what done it, was a circulation pattern change that brought astoundingly wet conditions to Catalina and the whole Southwest US, wet conditions unlikely to be seen in our remaining lifetimes, which aren’t that much longer anyway.
You may remember that bristle cone pine tree rings in California, analyzed by Haston and Michaelson in 1994, found only one period in the last 600 years (!) that was as wet as the late 1970s into the 1980s there (certainly spilling into AZ).
Remember how the Great Salt Lake was filling up to record levels back in the 1980s?
And any long term resident here, like the ones that I have spoken to, will tell you about the days of yore when the washes around here were running all year.
Well, that wasn’t the norm. sadly. They were just so lucky to have seen that era.
In weather, what goes around, comes around. Count on it happening again at some point in the future IMO. (Some climate changers might disagree with this assertion.)
How about our summer rainfall, June through September. Well, here’s that graph, updated through this past summer! Hope you like it:
Yesterday’s clouds–another day, another rainbow, of course.
Sprinkles of rain occurred off and on all day yesterday, but couldn’t muster even one hundredth of an inch of rain! With a few exceptions, the clouds producing the rain weren’t too deep, though still icy ones, and pretty high off the ground, mostly above 8,000 to 9.000 feet above us, which doesn’t help.
First, a rainbow shot:
1Well, actually we said “hi” in the halls once in awhile, I gave a talk in his class once, and, along with a bunch of Atmos Sci faculty, got to watch the 1992 New Year’s Day Rose Bowl mash down of Michigan for the Washington’s 1991 NCAA Division I fubball championship at his house. He also mediated an authorship kerfluffle between Peter Hobbs and me.