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A Long Hot Summer Ahead

For those of us living in Southern California, it's going to be a long hot up summer:

California is facing the worst fire conditions in almost a century, and worried fire officials are calling on the public to help be prepared.

Lack of rain and dry fuel conditions prompted the state's firefighting agency to declare the start of fire season earlier than normal in three Southern California counties, including San Diego.

In San Diego, the fire chief held a news conference to sound a warning.

"In my 23 years of experience, I personally have never seen a fire danger this high," said Tracy Jarman, chief of the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

It's virtually stopped raining:

So far this year, San Diego's Lindbergh Field, the region's main measuring spot, has received about one-third the normal rainfall it receives for the season. As of July 1, the season total at the airport was 3.85 inches of rain. Normal annual rainfall is 10.77 inches.

Southern California's water sources, the Colorado River and the Sierra snowpack, are drying up.

The Colorado River is enduring its eighth year of drought, and the winter snow that blanketed the Sierras contains just 40 percent of the water content it typically does. The prolonged drought on the Colorado -- the worst in a century -- is not news to water agencies. But the state Department of Water Resources is now reporting that the water stored in the Sierras is at its lowest level since 1988. If next year's winter is similarly dry, water shortages could follow.

My advice: pack up the women and children and head for the hills.

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Comments (4)


Them hills are all dried out too.

Pack the chilluns and wife and head to the beach. Sand doesn't burn.

Paul Hamilton:

Larkin said:
>>My advice: pack up the women and children and head for the hills.

You should get a job with the mainstream media. You got the hysterical part down pat.

Seems like if it's not dry with fires, it's wet with mudslides. Tabloid tv has to have *something* to keep us afraid all the time.

Of course the real suggestion would be to be careful and do you part to prevent wildfires and to have a plan in place in case your home is threatened.

That's common sense, but it's not the stuff of screaming headlines.

But its not just California. Around here, it seems like every time a cloud goes over, the lead story on the local news is "red on the radar" and how "Sky Trak keeps you ahead of the storm."

And if there's no storm, it's Anna Nicole and how "Deal of No Deal" is coming to town to do tryouts. I'm serious about the latter -- they've been talking about that all freakin' week!

civil behavior:

South Florida Water Mgmt has mandated Phase III water restrictions. Lake Okkechobee is 4 feet lower than normal. We will have to get tons of rain to make up the difference. If that does not happen there will be a lot of golf courses, car washes and landscaping businesses going to a dry well and much more.

Heat is pushing a constant wind in the Gulfstream and if we don't get the high pressure this year that we got last that tore the tops off potential storms in the Atlantic likely as not this year could be more intense than ever.

The extreme patterns of weather are showing up around the globe. Firestorms, windstorms, drought, huge amounts of snowfall are all EXTREMES. Wrap your brains around it. The wolf is in the door. Everyone better get ready for a lot worse. No one is making the changes necessary and time is a wasting. The heat is on.

Paul Hamilton:

Civil: A lot of the sources for the water in the Everglades is being diverted at the source so it's not surprising that the level is falling.

And you're right about the extremes in weather. We had nutty weather all winter and spring, with a warm December and January with almost no snow and then a near-blizzard in February followed by a lot of rain. In March, we had weather in the 70s but in we had the coldest April in a decade. It's absolutely correct that global warming isn't going to be just a steady rise in temperature, but more dramatic weather of all sorts.


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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