Meteorology: Ill Wind from Hawaii

The forecaster at the San Francisco airport was busily recording weather data from ships and planes out in the Pacific. And as the hieroglyphics of his profession spread across his maps, he recognized signs of trouble. The Pacific High, a mass of high-pressure air that normally occupies most of the area between Alaska and Hawaii, shielding California in winter from rain-bearing oceanic winds, was breaking in two before his eyes. Half of it had moved southward to the latitude of Mexico while the other half had shifted north ward to the Gulf of Alaska. Through the low-pressure gap that resulted,...

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