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2000-2001 Highlights

ENSO/- The year of La Nada in equatorial Pacific in 2000, slowly evolving from SST near zero to slightly positive temp anomalies with slightly cooler SST along the immediate West Coast due to presence of Japan Current.

GENERIC PATTERN/RAINFALL: Continuing a trend started in 1998, the hemispheric storm track showed little change as lows generally followed Asian/Alaskan/Northwest coastlines, adopting a strong upper level, N-S component off the Cent Coast. As such, storms were consistantly moisture starved until reaching juicier air in SoCal, where 115-135% PON fell (with est. 200% in selected mountain regions) north of L.A. basin, but rapidly diminished again southward where only 85% PON in San Diego was reported. These totals compare to <60% for isolated places in the Northwest, with 75-85% PON common. San Franciso fell in between in a narrow "normal" zone. Total rain however in Pacifica was 19.76, well below our "17yr average" (my data period) of 26.96", and the 40 yr avg (est) of 23.01. Eureka PON was just 61%. The SoCal rains were significantly skewed to higher PON totals due in part to a major storm sequence in Late Feb./ early March 2001 which dropped widespread very heavy rain..for example 19.06" fell in the mountains above Santa Barabara during the week ending March 07. 12 mos. precip totals for inland areas such as Fresno and Bakersfield were virtually normal, diminishing to only 85% in Redding. Mountain areas appeared to have suffered the most with a broadbrush 60-70% of normal snowpack. A personal visit in early Sept 2001 in the Reno/Tahoe area had no visible snow anywhere, including Mt. Rose.

Temps: Mean temp Similar pattern to '99-'00 with heat early and late summer, with overall cool summer in between. Heat spells not nearly as extreme as in June 2000, but some local daily records set in Bay Area between the 13th and 22nd of June, 2001. Lack of heat in summer coupled with significantly below normal Winter temps with over 30 days frost (est) including a very rare local frost in May. Numerous heavy frosts noted at seaside at Sharp Park Golf Course in December.

Precipitation: Much below normal with only 19

Near record dry in Dec99

Near record wet in Feb 00

High rain totals for two day periods twice exceed 6" following dry periods - several pineapple connections from stalled lows off SoCal on depressed EPAC High

Continuation of above average rains inplaces and near avearge most other

No major freezes, overall cool summer

All time record heat in June00

All  time greatest TStorms in Sept99 (two times)

Repeat basic pattern of upper lows off SoCal drifting NE starting again in June00

Wet/moderate spring and heavy flora growth

High death rates of beached whales/seals/dolphins