Much Needed Rain Seen In California, Impacts Plains Too
It’s been in the news lately for bringing much needed rain to the west, especially to parts of California where most of the state is suffering some form of a drought. It’s called the Pineapple Express but you won’t see Seth Rogen or James Franco in it. So what is the Pineapple Express and how does it affect us in the Northern Plains?The Pineapple Express is actually part of the polar jet, it’s a southern branch of it. A high pressure system that is located in the Gulf of Alaska blocks the polar jet but during the winter it weakens. As a result, the polar jet sometimes forms a southerly branch, which is better known as the Pineapple Express. This southerly branch typically is located just north of the Hawaiian Islands and brings moisture westward from as far as Asia. Much like how low pressure systems move across land, low pressure systems ride along the jet and bring heavy rain to the west coast. These heavy rains occur, typically, over the course of days but, sometimes, it can last for longer than a week.