Double Roar! The Monsoon with Attitude Clobbers California

January 29, 2016
Hurricane Dolores

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Last week I blogged about the Southwestern Monsoon. It started early and was running strong.

The desert was blossoming and it was reaching out and watering the Southern Plain States. I also warned that sometimes, when this monsoon was strong it sucked up hurricanes. When it does it dumps a ridiculous amount of rain.

Last week’s blog warned that strong monsoons frequently suck up Pacific hurricanes. NOAA

Guess what happened.

Hurricane Dolores was minding her own business, enjoying a cruise up the Mexican Riviera. After rounding the sunny Baja Peninsula, she suddenly got sucked up by the monsoon. The next thing she knew, she was California bound.

Poor Hurricane Dolores was enjoying a Mexican Riviera cruise when the monsoon caught her. NASA

Bang! California was hit with (according to the headlines) “SUPER HISTORIC” rainfall.  Los Angeles, San Diego and over a dozen other California cities set all-time rainfall records for the month of July. Interstate Highway 10 from Phoenix to Los Angeles was washed out “completely and indefinitely” according to officials. The 20,000 trucks and cars that use it daily will be forced to go hundreds of miles out of their way to find another road.

The effort wiped Dolores out, so her rains vacationed in Las Vegas the next day.

Hurricane Dolores + the monsoon = Rainfall in sunny California.

Overall, California is grateful for any rain. This is not enough to end or even “dampen” the current drought. It does, however, raise hope in the Golden State that the El Niño will bring more rain in the future.

About This Blog

Are you a weather watcher? Welcome to “Weather Whispers” by James Garriss and until recently, Evelyn Browning Garriss. With expertise and humor, this column covers everything weather—from weather forecasts to WHY extreme weather happens to ways that weather affects your life from farming to your grocery bill. Enjoy weather facts, folklore, and fun!

With heavy hearts, we share the news that historical climatologist and immensely entertaining Almanac contributor Evelyn Browning Garriss passed away in late June 2017. Evelyn shared her lifetime of weather knowledge with Almanac editors and readers, explaining weather phenomena in conversation and expounding on topics in articles for the print edition of The Old Farmer’s Almanac as well as in these articles. We were honored to know and work with her as her time allowed, which is to say when she was not giving lectures to, writing articles for, and consulting with scientists, academia, investors, and government agencies around the world. She will be greatly missed by the Almanac staff and readers.