An Enviable Forecast
Happy New Year, weather fans! Time to cloud ’em as we see ’em from the coliseum!
We’re the only ones in the contiguous 48 that are gettin’ off the hook cold-wise. We’re laughing and basking in sunshine and mid to high seventies wonderfulness, warm glassy days, breathtaking sunsets and clear, crisp moonlit nights, with fun zone waves quite consistently for the past several weeks. A prolonged and severe cold snap is gripping the rest of our country, and is expected to worsen as the week progresses.
Even South Florida is going to feel the effects of this cold snap with freezing nights even near Miami by Thursday. Anywhere north of the 40th parallel will have difficulty in breaking zero degrees even for maximum temps, while only Southern California and Southern Arizona are styling in the 70s!
Snow in Laguna? It sure did, back in January of 1949. The week of Jan. 5-11th was by far the coldest week in Southern California history. A potent cut off low was parked over the Southland while a super strong 30.90 polar continental high plunged southward from Canada. Usually reserved for regions east of the Continental Divide, this high on steroids actually jumped over the Rockies [so to speak] and spread over the entire West Coast and desert southwest, focusing on Southern California. On the morning of Jan. 8, Lagunans awoke to three inches of snow on the ground with temperatures of 19 degrees in the canyon! The high temp that day would climb to only 43 degrees so the snow remained on the ground most of that day, to the kids’ utter delight. Big Bear had a low of minus 12 degrees that same day. Still a record!
A scant .15 inches fell last week with no rain in sight for at least the next week, so it looks like here we go again. We’re now behind the curve for the fifth consecutive winter, another El Nino hoax!
January averages about 3 inches in Laguna. Our wettest Januarys: 1969, 18.81in.; 1993, 12.75; 1995, 11.47; 1978, 10.40; and 2005, 9.69.
Dennis McTighe served as a meteorologist at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, from 1969- 1972, and was a NOAA forecaster from 1979 to 1993. He earned a degree in earth sciences from UC San Diego. “I even pulled off a 3.7 GPA back when I still had an attention span.”