Has El Nino turned into El Wimpo?

ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9July 27, 2014

Apparently it has, according to the latest reports from meteorologists tracking the storm system. The amount of rain expected is now thought to be far below what is needed to end the drought in the American West, especially California. I was hyped a little too early about how incredible El Nino would be for everyone, including of course my part of the state and my little garden in particular. I suppose there will be enough rain to rejuvenate our gardens to some extent, in the short term, but in the long run it's pretty meaningless. It will be interesting to see whether the government and big business care enough to address the problem before it's even later than too late.


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I've been hearing rumors of this as well. The thought is now that it will be a weak El Nino.

This is very discouraging news.


Here is a link that might be useful: NWS El Nino analysis

This post was edited by rosefolly on Sun, Jul 27, 14 at 20:42

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 8:39PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

In fact, according to my reading, a "weak" El Nino is likely to be continued drought.


Discouraging is putting it mildly.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 8:49PM
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Mendocino_Rose(z8 N CA.)

I was really hoping for the El Nino. I guess there might be a tiny chance that it is different farther north. I'm just barely maintaining my garden this summer. If it goes on I will definitely have to make changes. I can't spend every summer dragging hoses around this huge garden hand watering.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 8:55AM
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Don't give up the ship. The weather does whatever it feels like at a moment's notice, flying in the face of predictions. Just this morning, we here along the coast in OC had some (slight) precipitation, which is extremely rare for July or August. The best thing to do with long-range predictions is to read them, roll your eyes, say "M'm-h'm, we'll see," and then turn to the comics page for more accurate information.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 11:37AM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

So true, odinthor. When I see predictions of rain I always say I'll believe it when I can feel the raindrops on my head. There was a rare summer storm locally which neatly bypassed us and rained on surrounding communities. I was glad than anyone at all had rain this time of the year; every drop is precious.


    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 11:54AM
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vmr423(Zone 8b, SC)

I sure wish I could send you some of the rain we've been getting, but that wouldn't exactly be cost-effective...

I hope that at least your dry summers mean that you don't have a problem with mosquitos? They got a late start this year after our colder-than-usual winter, but are now making up for lost time with a vengeance.

And I completely agree with y'all about weather predictions. And forecasts that are more than 2 days out are extremely suspect.

I hope you get some relief soon (without the mosquitos),

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 8:05PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

Thank you for reminding us about the downside of rain Virginia, probably skeeters and having to mow the lawn more than once every few weeks.

I wish a water pipe line was in the works instead.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 8:59PM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

No mosquitoes, I'm happy to say, but that's because there's no water for them to breed in. Almost no flies either, except very small ones that hang around for a few months in the summer when it cools off in the evening. That is the silver lining of the non-existent gray cloud which would in theory hold rainwater.


    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 12:36AM
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vmr423(Zone 8b, SC)

Well, hey- you've got the silver lining, can the clouds be far behind?

I hope they aren't (far behind, that is), and if this El Nino doesn't bring as much rain as you need for long-term relief, I hope it at least ends the drought temporarily. And maybe the next El Nino will do more for your long-term prospects if this one doesn't...

Fingers crossed,

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 1:29AM
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Campanula UK Z8

mmmm, we are getting lots of little dribbles which, to my mind, are worse than no rain at all. The skies briefly darken and a few drops are squeezed out (east anglia is semi-arid and gets the least rainfall of anywhere in the UK). The very top millimetre of the soil is briefly dampened while the poor stressed roots are torn between exploring deeper or being lured to the surface, only to cruelly fry. Having the sandiest soil in England, while I can leave potatoes in all year (the only crop which ever sees a hose in my garden), it is a trial of nerves.... I simply ignore the wilting drooping tomatoes, imagining the tiny crop (and chewy skins) but thermo-nuclear explosions on my tongue of concentrated essence of sunlight.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 8:38AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Is worrying about it now going to do any good?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 10:49AM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

hoovb! Exactly! Eternal optimist here. I know we are in a drought, and many have it worse than us. We and our neighbors contracted to have our pot hole ridden private road paved, and guess what? It rained, and they couldn't pave. Project got delayed twice because of rain!

And of course, rain a week ago and yesterday. But, only enough to turn the dust on the cars into a spotted mess. I worry because our soil is decomposed granite, and it drains so well, it does not stay wet. We are committed to 4" mulch, but we have so many grapevines and fruit trees, it's tough to keep the ground damp.


I should change my screen name to raindance! We should ALL change it to RainDance1 or 2 or 7001... Everyone in CA should!


    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 11:00AM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

hoov is right, why worry about it now? Good advice to someone like me who is a constant worrier, which just brings down the people around me and doesn't change a darn thing. I'm working on it, work in progress.....


    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 11:54AM
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I was hoping for a strong El Nino to give us in Saskatchewan a relatively mild winter. The last two winters were brutal, starting around Halloween and lasting into early May.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 11:56AM
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Mendocino_Rose(z8 N CA.)

Thank you optimists for the good words. As a gardener I spend far too much time worrying about the future and not enough enjoying the present.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 8:58AM
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In our part of the world, we normally get no rain whatsoever in the summer, so it does not feel so much like a "drought" now, just a normal summer. Come October, I will start worrying about it again - I hope a "weak El Nino" will at least bring a normal amount of rain between Oct and April, that is all I want at this point. Anything more will be a bonus. What I don't want is the bright sun and all blue rainless skies we had last winter Oct through the end of Jan!


    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 12:57PM
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Slimy Okra, the reason that Canada and eastern United States had so much snow last year is that you folks were getting all our rain. The storms were coming in all right, they they hit a year-long persistent strong high pressure ridge off the coast of California. They could not get through and took a detour up your way, dumping that water as snow. I truly sorry you got our water, and I'm even sorrier we did not.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 11:03AM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Well, WE are thinking about it now -- not WORRYING, but considering it, when making plans -- because it does affect what we do, and where and what we can plant, or must remove.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 8:34PM
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