Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The social construction of probability* and 2009 Joshua Tree Wildflowers

VIRTUALLY CERTAIN - 95-100%
VERY LIKELY - 80-95%
LIKELY - 60-80%
CHANCE - 30-60%
VERY UNLIKELY - 20% OR LESS
From the NWS KLOX area weather discussion page.
NWS = National Weather Service
KLOX = Los Angeles-Oxnard
I like it when people explain exactly what they know and don't know.

The weather does not look good for the 2009 wildflower season. The only thing worse than cool, drying wind is...
hot, dessicating wind.

Winds have an even more detrimental effect upon blooms than a slight lack of rain. They can parch and kill a budding plant in hours. (They can also turn a forest into tinder; high winds are an even better predictor of wildfire than high temperatures.) The high winds we experienced Sunday through this morning, and predicted to recur this Friday, means very, very dry plants.

On Desertusa's Joshua Tree wildflower reports page, I was impressed with the methodology of two bloom hunters.
Mar. 6, 2009 John reports: A look at rainfall data from the past six months (see http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/anomimage.pl?cal6mPpct.gif) shows an anomaly of high rainfall near Desert Center, so on Wednesday I went off to explore this zone.

Mar. 13, 2009 Jared reports: WOW JIM!! What a trip I just got back from!!PEAK BLOOMS spotted in the Southeast Joshua Tree Park border, Desert Center, Corn Springs, and the Chuckwalla Mountains!! I used the NOAA map that John (below) provided showing desert rainfall totals, printed it out, and with my GPS spent three days in the areas on the map that had received between 110% and 150% of Normal Rainfall to see what was around,
Perhaps we should also be looking for places sheltered from the winds.

I will just have to repost pictures of Death Valley in March 2005, the record rainfall year.

Iris walking through a patch of desert gold in Death Valley NP March 2009. Bad Dad outdid himself when composing this picture.


Iris standing on the shores of the ancient dry lake Manly. Yes, that is a kayaker in the distance, and there were 30 more out there that day along with a windsurfer and several canoers.

* The title is a bad pun on the title of this book.

1 comment:

  1. Terrific Mom to give your girl(s) such adventures and to teach them about the flowering desert and all it contains.

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