National Weather Forecast
As we roll into Saturday, we will continue to see an active pattern out west with rain and snow chances due to an area of low pressure in the Southwest and a new system pushing into the Pacific Northwest. A stalled-out boundary in the southern United States will help spark off showers and thunderstorms. A trough of low pressure in the Northeast will bring snow chances and maybe some icing in the Appalachians in the morning hours.
The western United States will continue to be slammed with heavy precipitation over the next few days. At least five feet of snow could fall across portions of the Sierra, with 3”+ rainfall tallies at lower elevations in southern California, including Los Angeles.
Bright planets Venus and Jupiter
More from EarthSky: “Venus and Jupiter are the two brightest planets visible from Earth. And – throughout February 2023 – they’ve been easy to spot in the sunset direction during evening twilight. Indeed, dazzling Venus and bold Jupiter have crept closer together all month, with Venus shining as the brighter world. This week, around the evenings of February 21 and 22, we saw a spectacular scene in the evening twilight, as the young moon – a waxing crescent – joined the show. Now we’re looking ahead toward the Venus-Jupiter conjunction – when they’ll be closest on our sky’s dome – on March 1, 2023. At conjunction, Venus will pass 0.5 degrees (the width of a full moon) from Jupiter. It’ll be a stunning sight. By March 1, Venus and Jupiter will fit inside a single binocular field of view. Don’t miss them!”
A looming El Niño could give us a preview of life at 1.5C of warming
More from Grist: “The last three years were objectively hot, numbering among the warmest since records began in 1880. But the scorch factor of recent years was actually tempered by a climate pattern that slightly cools the globe, “La Niña.” This year and next, La Niña might give way to its hotter counterpart, El Niño. Distinguished by warm surface waters in the tropical Pacific Ocean, the weather pattern has consequences for temperatures, drought, and rainfall around the world. The planet hasn’t seen a strong El Niño since 2016 — the hottest year ever recorded — and the next El Niño will occur on top of all the warming that’s occurred since then. El Niño’s return could further strain sensitive ecosystems, like the Great Barrier Reef and the Amazon rainforest, and nudge the planet closer to worrisome tipping points. It might also push the world past a threshold that scientists have been warning about, giving people a temporary glimpse of what it’s like to live on a planet that’s 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) than preindustrial times — a level that could begin to unleash some of the more drastic consequences of climate change.”
State bills spur debate over who should build transmission: incumbent utilities or independent companies
More from Utility Drive: “Lawmakers in at least five states are considering bills to give incumbent utilities a right-of-first-refusal to build transmission lines that grid operators put out to bid, excluding independent transmission companies from the business. The legislation comes ahead of an expected transmission buildout that is viewed as needed to improve grid reliability and provide access to areas rich in wind and solar resources. The bills could determine who builds and profits on parts of that buildout: incumbent utilities or independent transmission companies.”
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– D.J. Kayser