When one first encounters this title with its unexpected play on words, we wonder what the author had in mind. Of course, most of us know that at Christmastime, we are often regaled by a Christmas tune called, “Frosty the Snowman1“. But here, we are surprised as we continue reading the title that instead of encountering the word, “snowman,” we encounter the word “Lemmon!” Hah!
What is meant here? What is author trying to tell us? Perhaps the word, “lemon”, has been misspelled. But if so, why would a “lemon” be frosty? Perhaps there was a cold spell in Florida and the author is harkening the reader to a long ago memory. Or, perhaps misspelling “lemon” was a literary device to emphasize that word in an eccentric way.
Yet, upon further investigation, we find that the issue is more complexed than first imagined. We find that there was an art teacher, nurse, and eventually, a self-educated botanist from New England, Sara Plummer Lemmon, who, with her husband and another worker, hiked to the top of the Catalina Mountains right here next to us, and while doing so, they logged the vegetation that was unique to the area. In their excitement when reaching the top, they named that highest peak after Mrs. Lemmon.
So, what does this piece of history add to our literary dilemma encapsulated in the title?
Perhaps Mrs. Lemmon did some work in the field of glaciology as well, hence, the word “frosty” as a possible hint of that work. Yet, upon investigation, we find no mention of work on ice crystals, hoar frost, nor glaciology not only in the work of Mrs. Lemmon, but neither in the work of any the team that mounted what is now known as Mt. Ms. Lemmon. We add that the note that the Lemmons, J. G. and Sara, were on their honeymoon at this time, historians tell us. Perhaps there is another avenue we can explore due to that latter element.
Could it be, too, that we are missing a characterization of Ms. Lemmon by our author? Perhaps she was shy, seen inadvertentlhy as “cold” by some, or was not particularly interested in the physical advances of her husband, J. G. The word “frosty” alert may be alerting us those possibilities.
Ultimately, we remain perplexed by this title; it forms an enigma that may never be confidently resolved.
But then good titles, and good books, are supposed to make us think, try to imagine what the author is telling us through his/her use of metaphor and other literary devices, and this title has done that.
We, of course, reject the most plausible, superficial explanation, that the author’s play on words was merely describing a local, snow and rimed-tree mountain named after Ms. Mt. Lemmon, as in the photo below. No, Occam’s Razor, the idea that the simplest explanation is usually the best one, will not do.
———End of Literary Criticism Parody Module———-
There was a rousing 0.24 inches of rain yesterday! Our storm total has topped out at 0.89 inches!
In other photos from yesterday:
Possibility raised in mods for giant southern Cal floods, maybe some flooding in AZ floods, too
Something in the spaghetti plots has been tantalizing as far as West Coast weather goes. They have been consistently showing a stream of flow from the tropics and sub-tropics, blasting into the West Coast. Recall that yesterday, that tropical flow was so strong and so far south, that at least one major gully washed was shown to pass across central and southern California on New Year’s Day, but weaken and shift to the north of southern AZ after that.
Well, my jaw dropped when this model run from yesterday at 11 AM AST came out, re-enforcing, even raising the bar on flooding, in central and southern California, and with those stronger storms, the possibility of flooding and major winter rains here in Arizona was raised. The severity of the pattern shown aloft is not one I have seen before, and for that reason alone, might be considered somewhat of an outlier prediction, one really not likely to occur.
Now, while there is some support in this model flooding “solution” in the spaghetti plots, the main reason I am going to present a series of what a disastrous Cal flood looks like is just FYI and how it develops. The closest analog to this situation was in January 1969 when a blocking high in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA), forced the major jet stream far south across the central and eastern Pacific on several occasions producing disastrous floods in southern California in particular, where one mountain station received more than 25 inches of rain in ONE DAY!
Also that blocking high in the GOA in Jan 1969 also forced unusually cold air into the Pac NW, where Seattle (SEA-TAC AP) accumulated 21 inches of snow over the month, still a record.
Here we go, in prog maps of our WRF-GFS rendered by IPS MeteoStar:
24 h later:
The situation continues to strengthen, and leads to this Coup de Gras, 11 PM AST January 1st. A system this strong barging into southern Cal is mind-boggling, and this panel is what brought this part of the blog, to show you what a devastating flood in that area would look like:
Now for AZ. Here’s the prog for 12 h later, 11 AM AST January 2nd, Cactus Bowl Day in Tempe, AZ between the Washington Huskies and the Oklahoma A&M Aggies, to continue with sport’s notes here. Rain would be expected for that game should this pattern persist:
Now for a gee-whiz, scary analog….one from WAY back in the winter of 1861-62 when the situation decribed above was likely very similar to what it was in that terrible flood; severe cold in progress in the Pac NW, as it would be in the upcoming situation; a tropical torrent raging in from the Pacific. This 1861-62 flood episode is still remembered. However, it went on for 30-40 days (!) with recurring episodes turning much of California’s central valley into a lake, Los Angeles area, too, where there was a report of 35 inches of rain in 30 days.
What’s ahead, really?
Well the models are going to fluctuate on the strength of this breakthrough flow “underneath” the blocking high in the Gulf of Alaska. But almost certainly one major rain event will break through as that this happens. Its kind of a fragile flow regime, so it usually doesn’t last long.
Whether it will be stupefyingly historic, or just another ordinary southern Cal gully washer, can’t be pinned down. But, if you lived down there, you’d want to be looking around and seeing what you could do to divert water, fix a roof, etc.
There would be strong, damaging winds with one of these “coming-in-underneath”, too, and, for surfers, giant waves!
Interesting times ahead! “Floodmagedon”, as we like to say these days?
No real weather here for awhile, except around Christmas when a mild cold snap, and a little chance of precip occurs as a cold front goes by.
The End, for awhile.
1The most intellectually satisfying version of “Frosty the Snowman” was, of course, has been rendered by Bob Dylan.