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Joshua Tree Park Prepares for Strong El Niño Forecast

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avatar Joshua Tree Park Prepares for Strong El Niño Forecast
November 18, 2015 12:34PM
Joshua Tree National Park, Twentynine Palms, CA—Park management is taking a pro-active approach to what scientists say could be the strongest El Niño on record. Staff preparations include a variety of planning scenarios ranging from dam safety, to extreme weather rescues, to road and transportation issues. Superintendent David Smith will also consider preemptive closures if a forecast seems to warrant it in order to ensure visitor safety.

El Niño is a weather phenomenon involving a section of the Pacific Ocean west of Peru that warms up, causing atmospheric alterations which can have a dramatic effect on global weather patterns.What that means for California is a significantly higher chance of heavy rainfall and the challenges it creates. Meteorologists are predicting an El Niño effect that could exceed the 1997 event. NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is encouraging people to consider the phrase "Turn Around, Don't Drown" as a mantra for this year's flood season. It can take only 6 inches of swiftly moving water to knock over an adult, 12 inches to carry off a small car, and 2 feet to carry away most other passenger vehicles.

The public is reminded to monitor up-to-date weather forecasts when visiting the park. Never drive through moving water on flooded roadways. When hiking, avoid washes and arroyos. Be alert and stay safe!
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