The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on March 30, 1998 · Page 8
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March 30, 1998

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 8

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West Palm Beach, Florida
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Monday, March 30, 1998
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Page 8
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8A THE PALM BEACH POST ' MONDAY, MARCH 30, 1998 El Nino, fading fast, finally meets something that will tame it: Spring The Dipt And The BestaiForYou! Rains, floods, mudslides engulf weary Peruvians pww w-iiu4.i. itmmm km lip m mil . j nil a nM . ' " ! St.. 1 u The Associated Press ON THE PAN AMERICAN HIGHWAY, Peru The self-styled preacher storms down the aisle of the moving bus, haranguing passengers to prepare for the fury of El Nino. He tells dozing passengers he knows why the El Nino weather phenomenon has pounded Peru harder than any other country the wrath of God. "He may be right. I'm waiting for the earth to open up and swallow Peru. It's the only thing that hasn't happened," says a fellow passenger, Javier Chavez, who lost most of his farm to El Nino-driven floods. A drama of Biblical dimensions is unfolding in Peru, where floods and mudslides caused by El Nino deluges have killed 300 people, driven hundreds of thousands from their homes, washed away vast swaths of farmland and paralyzed highways. Torrential rains that began in December have turned dozens of normally bone-dry river beds in Peru's northern desert into raging rivers that have swept away villages and bridges and cut highways into ribbons. Traveling the Pan American Highway, the lifeline of Peruvian commerce running along its Pacific coast, has become an odyssey across a ravaged landscape. The highway has been destroyed in more than 30 places and travelers must ford five rivers with luggage held overhead. But the damage is not limited to the ground. On Sunday, a Peruvian air force plane evacuating those stranded by floods crashed into a shantytown in Piura, killing 28, officials said. The plane was preparing to land . when one engine broke down, authorities said. shire. . - The New York Times El Nino has led the United States on a not-always-merry weather chase this year. But scientists say that the peak of its influence has passed and that its effects on North America are being progressively weakened by an even more powerful climatic force, the seasonal change known as spring. The high sea-surface temperatures in the eastern Pacific Ocean that define El Nino are still there, and they are still affecting weather by altering atmospheric circulation patterns. But as spring warms the Northern Hemisphere, the experts say, normal seasonal forces are superseding El Nino and reordering the atmosphere again. Government forecasters got it right when they predicted last year that El Nino would bring a warm, wet winter to much of the United States and that California and the Gulf Coast were in for unusually heavy rainstorms. The winter turned out to be the second warmest and seventh wettest on record for the country. California was battered, as predicted, and the Southeast had the most rain in 103 years of record keeping. The climax may have been in the last week of February, when the strongest Pacific rainstorm of the winter, generated by El Nino, pounded California while lethal tornadoes spun off from an extra strong subtropical jet stream linked to El Nino ripped Central Florida. A few days later, some sort of climatic switch flipped. The pattern changed. California's weather improved, and the regime of uniform warmth in the East disappeared. T If Itjitir fltliji ,v- Vs- v Sinmnt - Rl Ulh Ww.; Li mH We are Luminette ; , 1 r i nnesi ! r ? its billing as a weather maker. well-aDove-normal rains tell in a broad swath from San Francisco tamer i L 3 - " "1 r We deliver master workmanship on time and on budget! above-normal temperatures for the West Coast and Northwestern quadrant of the country, below-normal temperatures in most of the South and Texas and normal readings elsewhere. That three-month forecast calls for above-normal rainfall in the West and Southwest, below-normal rainfall around the Great Lakes and in Northern New England and normal rainfall everywhere else. Longer-range forecasts, for July, August and September, necessarily extremely tentative, call for above-normal temperatures on the East and West Coasts,. It is too soon to know whether the 1997-98 edition of El Nino will end up eclipsing the 1982-83 edition as the strongest on record, Kousky said. But it did live up to and Los Angeles to New Orleans to Tampa. Los Angeles had more than 13 inches of precipitation in February, a record for the month. More generally, Kousky added, El Nino's effects have been mixed. Australia was spared a feared drought, although an Indonesian drought fed forest fires. The Indian monsoon, which is essential for agriculture in South Asia, was not aborted, as had been feared. But Peru and eastern equatorial Africa were drenched. Closer to home, strong westerly winds spawned by El Nino last summer sheared apart most Atlantic hurricanes before they developed. F u Now, said Vernon Kousky of the Climate Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Camp Springs, Md., it is clear that "as far as the impacts on the United States are concerned, El Nino is past its peak." For the period from April through June, the National "Veather Service, relying largely a its reading of El Nino, predicts The Hunter Douglas Priority Dealer West Palm Beach 2532 Old Okeechobee Road West Palm Beach 686-7259 Palm Beach Gardens North Palm Beach Jupiter 12100 US Hwy 1 N. Palm Beach Coconut Cay Shoppes 624-8180 WellingtonRPB 793-9180 BocaDelray 243-0009 ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT FPL Residential Rebates Up To $749.00 Homeowners Are Acting Now. Before Florida Heat Arrives t i r n cm n rn A UXJ rPFi Ji WINTER "SERVICE IN HOURS - NOT DAYS" 1998 Power Company Continues To Help Homeowners In Replacing or Adding New Central Air Conditioning Systems X ' . I J J t j-- mm Service Experts is Contractor Of The Year as voted by Contractors Success Group more efficient unit will "pay for itself through lower electric bills. In addition, the new system will provide the added advantage of greater reliability and warranty protection. 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If you're presently cooling your home with a window unit or central air conditioner over 8 years old, you are paying over twice as much on your electric bill as you should be. There have been technological breakthroughs in central air conditioning design, which when installed properly in your home, will reduce the amount you pay the electric company by $40 to $50 or more per month! Here is the surprising part! Your payments on one of these super high efficient systems will usually be $50 to $65 per month, with no down payment required! This means the money you're not paying the electric company is paying for new central air system! All you have to do to get in on this amazing deal is call one of our Energy Savings Estimators and set up a time to survey your home. If you qualify, he can make all the arrangements right there in your home. Do Not Wait! Call Us Any Time to See if You Qualify For One of Those Systems That Pav for Itself. Ends! 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