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Tuesday Travel Ticker: This is Capt. Obama speaking . . .

November 06, 2012|By Chris Erskine
  • Will storms like this hit Northern California this year? The verdict is on hold.
Will storms like this hit Northern California this year? The verdict is… (Associated Press file photo )

A wavering El Niño makes this year’s winter outlook less certain than previous years, NOAA forecasters say. The phenomenon has not shown up as expected, making this one of the most challenging winters ever for forecasters. Typically, El Niño means warmer ocean water that can influence the strength and position of the jetstream and storms over the Pacific.  An El Niño watch remains in effect because there’s still a window for it to emerge . . . . Speaking of outlooks, a lighthearted survey of 1,062 people by Cheapflights.com finds that nearly equal numbers would choose President Obama to “fly their plane” as they would to “throw him off.” From a list of 19 past and current candidates, he was selected most often as the choice to pilot the plane as well as to be bumped from the flight. He was also top choice for a seatmate on a long fight . . . . . Explore the mystery of life along San Diego’s coastline during tidepooling excursions this month through the  Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego. The cost: $15. To register, (858) 534-7336 . . . . To honor the 150th anniversary of the Yosemite Grant in 2014, the park is seeking short stories from amateur and professional writers  that describe their memories and experiences.  Short stories may range from haikus to up to 1,000 words and must be received by Feb. 1, to Kassandra_Hardy@nps.gov . . . . . Santa Monica’s oceanfront Shore Hotel is offering a Cyber Monday incentive for guests to book on the biggest online shopping day of the year, Nov. 26, with 30% off a partial ocean view room . . . . Outlets at Anthem, an outlet mall in north Phoenix, is touting what it says is the nation’s tallest Christmas tree. The 11th annual event will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 17 and feature a white fir from Northern California that tops out at 110 feet . . . . Idaho ski resort Sun Valley welcomes families to experience the holidays through 13 international art displays planned for its Winter Wonderland Festival starting Nov. 23. The event is free and open to public . . . . Travel quote of the day:  “It always rains on tents. Rainstorms will travel thousands of miles, against prevailing winds for the opportunity to rain on a tent.” (Dave Barry)

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chris.erskine@latimes.com

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