August 9, 2014

"In New Mexico... [t]he high desert is normally the color of baked pie crust; now, it's emerald."

"We now have this green carpet covering all the mesas, the lowlands... And we're just not used to seeing a pistachio-green color in the landscape out here. It's very, very unusual."

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Global warming? Global Cooling?

Hagar said...

Mr. Kempter needs to get out of Santa Fe more. The desert always greens when the rains come.

And we have not gotten the "monsoon" yet - just kind of a "reverse" or "back door" one - but the weather gurus say that just this coming week - or the following week - the real one may get started.

Michael K said...

This is monsoon season in Tucson and, I assume, New Mexico. No big deal.

California's drought is no worse than 1977, as I recall. It has been aggravated by stupid environazi programs, like shutting off irrigation water to the central valley to save a bait fish.

traditionalguy said...

The warm gulf air flow are always there. The climate change is in colder cold fronts descending further and earlier from the north.

When Sun spots/solar storms shielding the earth have gone quiet, then cosmic rays can come in to seed more clouds that shade the oceans and cause global cooling.

Ice ages are not caused by cold winters. They are caused by cool summers that cannot melt last winters snow before the next winter comes along.

If the UN government could use co2 as a control knob on warming like they claim they can, then the entire world would be ordered to emit co2 as fast as possible to prevent the coming ice age. But when their goal is actually to create world government based on hot climate fear, it must be based on the 20 year in the making fraud science hoax that beneficial co2 is dirty and dangerous carbon air pollution.

Hagar said...

Or Mr. Kempter, who apparently is a resident, was not quoted accurately.

As they tell you in Journalism School: "It is not necessary to know what you are writing about; it is only necessary to know how to write!"

Kelly said...

My husband has been working in El Paso on and off for the last several years. He's there right now and said how amazing it is to see the area green up right before his eyes. He's on his way to Las Cruces to play golf right now, but it looks like he might be rained out.

jacksonjay said...

I think I see Walter and Jesse in the RV down by that lake!

K in Colorado said...

I work in Pueblo, CO, during the week, and we have the same greening there. High altitude semi-arid landscape, and instead of seeing the sand and rocks, with some cacti and other desert plants, everything is green and lush. The wild sunflowers are everywhere. Everyone is remarking about how long its been since Pueblo has been that green.

The monsoon rains don't start until September, yet this whole summer its been afternoon thunderstorms several days per week. Also, the temps have been much cooler as well.

Fernandinande said...

We're up near the red zone of their map; every time we see what looks like lush greenery in a field or hillside, it turns out to be tumbleweeds (an "invasive species" that seems to be able to grow in sand with no rainfall, and is very obnoxious).

Old Dad said...

Northern New Mexico had been very dry, and hence, quite brown. It's a semi-arid climate after all. July moisture has been pretty heavy and things have greened up nicely, but you would never mistake it for Midwest green. The near term drought is broken, but there is still a lot of long-term catch-up needed. The reservoirs are pretty low.

Hagar is right about the monsoon rains, but it's been a few years since we've had the classic monsoon pattern--beautiful clear blue skies until about 2 pm or so. Big storm build up and torrential rains until 6 pm or so then more clear blue skies. Even in a good monsoon year the rain is very hit and miss, but all of it is needed and very welcome.

Hagar said...

"Hot as Kansas in August" means a high pressure dome over Kansas which causes the classic "monsoon" pattern. Clockwise rotation around the high-pressure center drives moisture up from the Gulf, and we get the afternoon thunderstorms as the sun's heat drives the moisture up to where it is cold enough to condense, form clouds, and fall down as rain, though if it is still dry near the surface, the rain evaporates and never reach the ground. These are known as virgas.

The classic monsoons used to be fairly dependable to occur in late July through August, but when they moved the State Fair up to September to escape the rain, the Good Lord had to do something to follow after. Maybe this was the reason for the whole "Global Warming" thing?

Skeptical Voter said...

It doesn't take much water for a desert to "green up" dramatically.

I grew up in San Diego County. Much of the native plant life there is adapted to an almost constant drought condition. There's a lichen that lives on a rock---for most of its life, it's a dull grey. Pour a cup of water on it, and it turns green in less than a minute. It will stay that way for two or three days while chlorophyll is activated and the plant makes "food" for itself. It then returns to its dry state and waits for the next welcome moisture.

SteveR said...

I've lived in New Mexico most of the last 50 years and Kit's description is wrong. Most years the monsoons cause some degree of greening, obviously varies. "Ordinary" in this case means there's a wide range of possibilities. Frustrating that NPR relies on someone from Santa Fe to talk about NM. So predictable.

Hagar said...

What we have had so far, is with the high pressure over us, so that in Arizona they have the "monsoon," but our rain has come from left-over moisture from the Pacific Northwest storms brought down here from the north-east with the unusual cold-fronts from Canada.

traditionalguy said...

We went to Vegas in June once and the local news was excited over a flood from a 1.5 inch afternoon rain storm. The local newsbabe was outside standing in and pointing out a puddle of water about an inch deep and giving her best disaster performance face.

News is relative.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

It's a pity that the Canadian cold fronts never hit us in OR. Yesterday was the coldest it's been in a month -- merely mid-80s. Temperatures are going back up again for the next few days.

Fred Drinkwater said...

tradguy:
Last winter there was a bit of a storm in the SF bay area, and the evening local news had much breathless talk about threats of overflowing streams and flooded streets, but the inevitable on-the-scene video was of a maybe-10-gallons-a-minute flow down a roadside gutter. I sat and contemplated the technical and organizational marvels needed to bring me that image, and wept quietly.

Babaluigi said...

Back in the '60's, the "old-timers" in southern New Mexico talked of riding across the desert with the grasses brushing the horses' underbellies. It was hard to imagine, looking around at what was definitely desert at that time (and when a dust storm blew up across the valley? yikes!)

You knew there was rain in the mountains, though. We were always warned that those deep arroyos we liked to play in would become death-traps when the water came rushing through with no warning after a storm somewhere up there.

Of course, New Mexico wasn't even always dry. I have quite a collection of crinoid (a sea plant) stem fragments I dug up out of my backyard, and we would find fossilized seashells up in the mountains....things change....