First I wanted to be a baseball player, then a meteorologist.  When those two failed (torn rotator cuff and horrible math skills) I returned to the sage words of my High School counselor. “Your test scores,” she said, “favor you in the English teaching field, or journalism.”  Wow, a choice!  Since I had a camera, journalism seemed to be the way to go.  Writing stories while shooting photographs seemed to pull me in those two different directions.  Photography was easy; writing just got in the way of making pictures.  Naturally, I left the writing to my scribe brethren who make the world a better place through their undying and unfathomable love of the written word.  You all are great!

That left me to ABSORB photography.  Absolutely dive in, stay under and  metaphorically drown in the infinite possibilities in which to photographically tell a story.  How I’ve managed to actually stay alive while photographing disasters and riots is beyond me.

Now, with the age of the WWW.EVERYTHING, photos, videos, words and graphics are but a click away.  This has opened up a world of interesting weather graphics.  What used to be almost non-existent for the public to see and learn about is now easy to find. Exciting only to a weathergeek (isn’t there some of that in all of us?) the graphics being produced now are storytelling in their own right.  California is teetering on the edge of a rather large baked earth precipice and about to fall in.  Take for instance the latest graphic from the United States Drought Monitor:

The latest U.S.drought monitor graphic, Thursday Jan 16, 2013.

The S, L, stuck in the middle of that ugly swath of red in California and Nevada, means both short and long term impacts from the lack of precipitation.  According to the graphic, a portion of the north coast is mired in an extreme drought, the other severe.

Extreme.

Let’s say you were in the hospital. “Doctor, how bad is it?” Pause, then worried look.  “Your condition is extreme.  We are going to put you in to ICU.” Fearful response, ” I want a second opinion!” Okay….

World Drought Tracker from the Western Regional Regional Climate Center.

Yes, of course we could have a Fabulous February or a Miracle March or an Awesome April or even a Momentous May.  And hopefully it happens.  The out look is though is grim.

6-10 day precip forecast.

8-14 day forecast.

Looking at this historically:

From NOAA.

From NOAA.

From NOAA

If you were to read this correctly, California as a whole is in worse shape than the 1976-77 drought. Only time will tell. After all it’s only January.

-Kent Porter