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How the Atmosphere and Ocean Influence Our Weather

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Date: February 8, 2007
Contact: Yvonne Menard, 805-658-5725

Meteorologist David Sweet, with the NOAA National Weather Service in Oxnard, California, will be the February speaker for the “From Shore to Sea” lecture series. His presentation will highlight how different weather patterns, like El Niño, affect ocean conditions of the Channel Islands and surrounding waters.

Sweet’s talk will provide insight into what forces are behind an El Niño and how major weather patterns are predicted. He will give an update on the current status of the El Niño condition and a forecast of our local weather for 2007. Our local Mediterranean climate is created by the unique geography of Point Conception and the east-west facing Channel Islands, which affects the weather patterns and prevailing currents. He will explain seasonal wind patterns and summer marine layers, along with discussing the influences of ocean currents and water temperatures on weather.

Sweet has worked for the NOAA National Weather Service for 14 years. He is now a general forecaster in the Oxnard, California office. In the past, he has been an agricultural forecaster for the California Fruit-Frost Program in Riverside, California, an aviation forecaster for the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Aerostat (Tethered Balloon-Radar Surveillance) Program in Arizona, and a tornado chaser for the NOAA Environmental Research Laboratories in Boulder, Colorado.

The “From Shore to Sea” lecture series is jointly sponsored by Channel Islands National Park, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, and Santa Barbara Maritime Museum in an effort to further the understanding of research on the Channel Islands and surrounding waters. The lectures occur at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 13, 2007, at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum at 113 Harbor Way in Santa Barbara Harbor and Wednesday, February 14, 2007, at the Channel Islands National Park Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center located at 1901 Spinnaker Drive in the Ventura Harbor. The programs are free and open to the public.

Did You Know?

Island fox                                                  timhaufphotography.com

Island foxes are the smallest North American canids and occur only on the Channel Islands. The average weight for an adult male is 5-6 pounds, about the size of a house cat.