“Cry Me An Atmospheric River” or “You Ain’t Nothin’ But a Pineapple Express”

Community Giving Trees are available at First Federal and Umpqua Bank.

Community Giving Trees are available at First Federal and Umpqua Bank.

The title of my column this week is …

a.) Songs from the early days of Rock and Roll …or b.) A change in weather terminology.

The answer is b. But why the change?

Was Pineapple Express too friendly, too fruity, too frivolous? for a weather phenom that has brought so much pain and suffering to people, animals, and property?

Were people in Hawaii tired of taking the blame for a weather pattern that does not always originate from them?

Friendly, fruity, frivolous … a Pineapple express could be a refreshing tropical drink with rum and one of those cute little cocktail umbrellas. Speaking of those cut little umbrellas I once did a tree for Festival of Trees that was themed “Pineapple Express.” It had cute hula girl novelty lights, Hawaiian lei garland, the umbrellas and I hollowed out a real pineapple for the topper.

If a drink was named Atmospheric River I don’t know how well it would go over …although there is a longtime soda pop named Green River. A bright green, a lime-flavored soft drink created by Richard C. Jones in Davenport, Iowa, sold widely by the Chicago-based Schoenhofen Edelweiss Brewing Company in 1919, subsequently sold by other vendors. Although I am not sure if it is available locally.

In the olden days, like 2020, I don’t know that many of us had heard the term Atmospheric River, now it is everywhere …so I consulted the Farmer’s Almanac and some other weather experts…

Why are we no longer calling these big dumps of rain the “Pineapple Express?” Now, this weather pattern is called an “Atmospheric River ”…..because Atmospheric River is really more appropriate because not every one of these events originates from the tropics near Hawaii. There are other source regions and other areas and mechanisms by which they happen.

“Atmospheric rivers transport large amounts of water vapor along flowing currents of air. They are generally a few thousand miles long and around a hundred miles wide. And though they consist of water vapor—water in its gaseous, rather than liquid, form—a single atmospheric river can carry more water than the Amazon River, the Earth’s largest river, making its name apropos.”

“Atmospheric rivers play a crucial part in transporting water around the planet. While they cover only about 10 percent of the Earth’s surface, they are responsible for as much as 90 percent of global water vapor transport.”

Whichever name we use it is still something that usually brings us large amounts of (warm-ish) rain ….

Update on Jerry Harmon …the man who was stuck in Forks the week before last with his dog Oliver due to the road closures caused by damage from an Atmospheric River.

Sadly the bus company in Tacoma did not hold his interview spot but …

In a Facebook message to the Forks Forum, last week, Jerry said, “I made it back to my hometown in Ohio I arrived yesterday, I truly do appreciate everything that you helped me with while I was there, I very much enjoyed the town of Forks and the people who showed me kindness when I was there. Thanks again for everything.”

In other activities, the Twinkle Light Parade will happen on Saturday, Dec. 4 at 6:30 p.m., although there is no Moonlight Madness this year, some businesses plan to be open after the parade. Hopefully, there is no rain or not much …

Mariposa House has Community Giving Trees located at First Federal and Umpqua Bank(s) stop by and “grab a hand” to help someone in need this Christmas. “Simply select a hand from the tree and bring gifts unwrapped back to the bank, all items are due Monday, Dec. 16.”

Christi Baron, Editor