Jan Null

There’s been a lot of talk about whether El Nino will bring a deluge of storms this winter to help alleviate California’s drought. But for meteorologist Jan Null, that’s only one of many misconceptions circulating about El Nino. The longtime forecaster has been tracking weather for more than 40 years, and he stresses that El Nino is no guarantee of rain. He joins us to talk about the drought, his weather predictions, the recent discovery of mercury in San Francisco’s fog and his research into the heatstroke deaths of children in cars. He joins us as part of our “First Person” series on the leaders and innovators who make the Bay Area unique.

Jan Null, certified consulting meteorologist, Golden Gate Weather Services; former lead forecaster, National Weather Service

  • Livegreen

    While we think of El Niño as bringing us rain, in Indonesia El Niño is bringing record heat and forest fires, compounding deforestation. Is El Niño just moving the winter rains? How does it bring rain to one area and record heat to another?

  • And

    Can you pick a region that would still have livable weather, and plenty of water, after the climate change apocalypse?

  • Ralph

    I wonder if the housing crisis in the Bay Area has ever made the guest or any of his family members contemplated leaving the region?

  • RB

    Climate scientists state that this year’s ElNino is exacerbated by Climate Change, yet meteorologist don’t mention the effects of Climate change when they report the recent weather extremes across the U.S. Why do you think this is? Doesn’t it makes sense to make the public aware that Climate Change is actually happening and effecting their weather as we speak?

  • Ralph

    Does the guest having a familiarity with the volcano under Yellowstone National Park and how it could change the climate of the world and specifically the Bay Area?
    The ground there is rising several centimeters per year.

  • RB

    There is indeed a connection with El Nino and Climate Change. Check out this link.

  • Robert Thomas

    Please, DO NOT assume that your eight-year-old will be “overwhelmed” with lay journals or other materials intended for a more advanced readership. Nothing is more attractive to young, bright, interested people than the invitation to participate in the discussion of adults and entrée into a more sophisticated conversation. Kids will absorb what they’re able and defer some understanding for when they’ve mastered the necessary tools.

    The on-line magazine Mr Null recommend, http://www.weatherwise.org/

    seems an ideal sort of publication for a third-grader to thumb through (swipe through?).

    Please don’t assume that your own queasiness about mathematical tools and scientific jargon will be shared by the second or third or fourth grader in your household.

    • Jan

      Point taken; I probably generalized too much.

      • Robert Thomas

        This subject is a little dear to me. When I was four, I got hold of a book meant for high-school kids on magnets and electromagnets. By the time I was six or so, I’d memorized it. Fifty years on, my interest has paid off handsomely.

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