Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New Storm Warning from NASA

Hi Friends,
Ok, maybe the photo is a little dramatic, but we are about to be hit with a big one according to my pals at NASA. Normally I wouldn't post a blog like this, but considering the content, you may understand why I am making this exception. I just got an email from a friend who works with these folks and kids, this is the real deal. They are saying most of us who live in these mountains have never see or experienced the likes of the storm that is coming our way.


Stay safe and warm. My thoughts are with you all!


I am forwarding a weather forecast from NASA regarding storms
projected to hit California and the Sierras. The NASA forecast appears
much more severe than the weather updates received from your office.
Although your information is focused on our region, I thought you
might want to take a look at this.
Edward D Atwell
Emergency Management Coordinator
University of Nevada, Reno
Police Services
1664 North Virginia St. M/S 0250
Reno, Nevada 89557-0250
(775) 682-7247
"Community First"

Get ready. This is what the emergency response community is saying:

Currently, the strong El Nino is reaching its peak in the Eastern
Pacific, and now finally appears to be exerting an influence on our
weather. The strong jet has been apparent for quite some time out over
the open water, but the persistent block had prevented it from
reaching the coast. Now that the block has dissolved completely, a
200+ kt jet is barreling towards us. Multiple large and powerful storm
systems are expected to slam into CA from the west and northwest over
the coming two weeks, all riding this extremely powerful jet stream
directly into the state. The jet will itself provide tremendous
dynamic lift, in addition to directing numerous disturbances right at
the state and supplying them with an ample oceanic moisture source.
The jet will be at quite a low latitude over much of the Pacific, so
these storms will be quite cold, at least initially. Very heavy
rainfall and strong to potentially very strong winds will impact the
lower elevations beginning late Sunday and continuing through at least
the following Sunday. This will be the case for the entire state, from
(and south of) the Mexican border all the way up to Oregon. Above
3000-4000 feet, precipitation will be all snow, and since temperatures
will be unusually cold for a precipitation event of this magnitude, a
truly prodigious amount of snowfall is likely to occur in the
mountains, possibly measured in the tens of feet in the Sierra after
it's all said and done. But there's a big and rather threatening
caveat to that (discussed below).Individual storm events are going to
be hard to time for at least few more days, since this jet is just
about as powerful as they come (on this planet, anyway). Between this
Sunday and the following Sunday, I expect categorical statewide
rainfall totals in excess of 3-4 inches. That is likely to be a huge
underestimate for most areas. Much of NorCal is likely to see 5-10
inches in the lowlands, with 10-20 inches in orographically-favored
areas. Most of SoCal will see 3-6 inches at lower elevations, with
perhaps triple that amount in favored areas.
This is where things get even more interesting, though. The models are
virtually unanimous in "reloading" the powerful jet stream and forming
an additional persistent kink 2000-3000 miles to our southwest after
next Sunday. This is a truly ominous pattern, because it implies the
potential for a strong Pineapple-type connection to develop. Indeed,
the 12z GFS now shows copious warm rains falling between days 12 and
16 across the entire state. Normally, such as scenario out beyond day
seven would be dubious at best. Since the models are in such truly
remarkable agreement, however, and because of the extremely high
potential impact of such an event, it's worth mentioning now. Since
there will be a massive volume of freshly-fallen snow (even at
relatively low elevations between 3000-5000 feet), even a moderately
warm storm event would cause very serious flooding. This situation
will have to monitored closely. Even if the tropical connection does
not develop, expected rains in the coming 7-10 days will likely be
sufficient to cause flooding in and of themselves (even in spite of
dry antecedent conditions).

In addition to very heavy precipitation, powerful winds may result
from very steep pressure gradients associated with the large and deep
low pressure centers expect ed to begin approaching the coast by early
next week. Though it's not clear at the moment just how powerful these
winds may be, there is certainly the potential for a widespread
damaging wind event at some point, and the high Sierra peaks are
likely to see gusts in the 100-200 mph range (since the 200kt jet at
200-300 mb will essentially run directly into the mountains at some
point). The details of this will have to be hashed out as the event(s)
draw closer.
In short, the next 2-3 weeks (at least) are likely to be more active
across California than any other 2-3 week period in recent memory. The
potential exists for a dangerous flood scenario to arise at some point
during this interval, especially with the possibility of a heavy
rain-on-snow event during late week 2. In some parts of Southern
California, a whole season's worth of rain could fall over the course
of 5-10 days. This is likely to be a rather memorable event. Stay tuned.

Alexandra Pitts, Assistant Regional Director External Affairs
Pacific Southwest Region
(w) 916 414 6619
(c) 916 804 4967

Monday, January 18, 2010

I Have A Dream!

As Americans, we celebrate Martin Luther King Day each year. A day to honor, not only Martin Luther King Jr., but to honor his commitment to stand for justice, to have his voice heard, to bring hope and light to a people who were in darkness. Mr. King fought his battles to the death, in a non-violent manner, to end segregation and racial discrimination. He was assassinated for standing up and doing so. This year, the day holds even more meaning for me.

This past year I've been victimized, abused, cheated, lied to, taken advantage of, and discriminated against. I've seen first hand what it is like to feel completely helpless against other people, their actions, ideals, and beliefs. I've felt the frustration and pain of feeling pressed against a wall against my will (figuratively speaking) and I've witnessed abuse at it ugliest, abuse of the soul and mind.

And what I've learned, among other things, is non-resistance is powerful. That hate can't take the heat of love.

That forgiveness brings peace to one's soul.

And that nothing lasts forever.

The old cliché' "We've Come A Long Way Baby," may be true, however in many ways we are still standing, over forty years later, in the same darkness that Martin Luther King Jr. was trying to shine a light on. He was an incredible man, an incredible change agent for social justice.

If you haven't ever read it, or if it has been awhile since you have, I recommend reading, "I Have a Dream."

I will include in this post a video of his famous speech.


You likely will recognized that the changes he was asking for then, in 1963, are still problems we face today. Yes, we've come a long way in some areas, however I've also had the opportunity to watch my oldest daughter, Rachel, teach children who have been terribly abused. She works in a special school just for children who have been so abused they can't manage in life outside this confined, controlled environment. I've also had the opportunity to know those (personally) who work in urban middle schools, where they still see great segregation and poverty.

The difficulties these kids face everyday would be haunting for most of us. Life for them is one of survival. Even here in the mountains I call home I see the children in the public school system. Some of them… lots of them come to school hungry, dirty, sleepy, and scared. Their parents drug abuse, or mental/emotional problems have driven them to live in such a way that is unimaginable to most of us. Some live in cars, some on the streets, and most are just trying to make ends meet. They're doing what they need to do to provide for their families. For some students, school is the only place they will eat or feel safe that day. The playing ground is so very, very far from being equal.

Here are some of Dr. King's words, expressed over forty-four years ago in his "I Have a Dream" speech:

"Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.

Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children."

As I watched Martin Luther King Jr. deliver his speech, "I Have A Dream" I cried, again. Though I've seen it and read it for decades now it still touches my heart. Sadly much of what Mr. King fought for and died for has yet to become reality. But the hope remains… in me.

As we celebrate Dr. Kings birthday, let us not forget what he stood for, what he asked for, and what he died for, and do our part in each of our lives to bring his dream into reality. May we all begin today.

Change begins with me!
And the world wins!

Peace and love,

© Cynthia Stewart is a literary agent, an international speaker, author, and promoter.