How does the 1977 climate event and related California drought of that period compare to the “Blob” event from 2013?

I asked Nate Mantua of NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center to comment on the 1977 California Drought event in relation to the more recent “Blob” event of 2013.

“The 1977 drought is very well known in the Pacific climate research community, and in the water resources world in CA-OR-WA because it was so extreme.

Like our recent west coast drought, the proximate cause was a remarkably persistent ridge of high pressure off the West Coast and it did cause warm [sea surface temperatures] SST anomalies [differences from the long-term mean]  in parts of the NE Pacific, but the SST and SLP anomalies weren’t nearly as extreme as those observed in 2013/14 and the patterns were much different than what happened in 2013/14 (and 2012/13 and 2014/15).”

To revisit the 1977 story, check out this short video and learn how a similar “blob” event in 1977 (though not named that) was related to a record drought in California, and how the Blob of 2013-* and corresponding drought (plus other weather extremes across the US) stands in the long-term record.

Click on the Interviews down below to see the video.

The 1977 Story was originally Published on this Blog on Jul 15, 2015

Interviews are with key scientists who are making the observations.