A dry start to autumn for most of California as amplified North American pattern continues; Prospects for rain murky

Filed in Uncategorized by on November 14, 2014 1,172 Comments

Extreme atmospheric wave pattern returns to North America

A rather extraordinary sequence of atmospheric events has unfolded over the Pacific Ocean and across adjacent North America over the past week or so.

Visible satellite loop of explosively-intensifying post-tropical remnants of Supertyphoon Nuri. Animation via CIMMIS Satellite Blog.

Visible satellite loop of explosively-intensifying post-tropical remnants of Supertyphoon Nuri (CLICK IMAGE FOR ANIMATION). Via CIMSS Satellite Blog.

The current pattern is strongly reminiscent of the extremely high amplitude wave pattern that dominated most of winter 2013-2014 and the latter half of 2012-2013. While the implications are a little different for California this time around–since the subtropical jet has thus far been a bit stronger, and allowed some occasional precipitation to affect the northern part of the state–in a large-scale sense the setup is remarkably similar to that which has occurred repeatedly in recent years. The “Warm West/Cool East” pattern, which is characterized by a persistent and well-defined pressure dipole (high pressure in the West and low pressure over the Midwest/Eastern Seaboard), results in unusually dry and warm conditions in California (while bringing impressive cold and snow to areas from the Rocky Mountains eastward).

This time around, there’s a fairly obvious culprit for this recent pattern amplification: the remnants of former West Pacific Supertyphoon Nuri. Nuri’s remnants underwent a rapid deepening process known as “bombogenesis” as it traversed the North Pacific earlier this week, ultimately becoming perhaps the strongest extratropical cyclone ever recorded in the North Pacific basin (and bringing surface winds of ~100 mph to the outer Aleutian Islands, in addition to 50+ foot ocean waves).

An extremely amplified Northern Hemisphere wave pattern has resulted in a very strong West Coast/Alaska ridge and a deep/cold Central/Eastern U.S. trough. (NCEP/ESRL)

An extremely amplified Northern Hemisphere atmospheric wave pattern has resulted in a very strong West Coast/Alaska ridge and a deep/cold Central/Eastern U.S. trough. (NCEP/ESRL)

Poleward flow ahead of this powerful storm system pumped up a massive ridge along the West Coast, which extended all the way up into Alaska and even into parts of the high Arctic. This huge region of atmospheric high pressure has been centered further north than last year’s Ridiculously Resilient Ridge, which means that it (fortunately) presents a less formidable barrier to the Pacific storm track. Still, this ridge has been strong enough to substantially weaken what had initially appeared to be a series of much-needed moist storm systems for California, which have ultimately brought only limited light precipitation to parts of the state. The subtropical jet stream appears to be having a hard time undercutting a ridge of this magnitude, which appears poised to stick around for at least a few more days. While Nuri’s influence is now waning, blocking ridges are typically sustained in part by self-reinforcing feedbacks, and it’s likely that the unusually warm and stable airmass over Alaska and the West Coast (and, subsequently, the extremely cold Arctic airmass over the rest of the United States) will take a while to break down.

 

Drought update: It’s still getting worse

While it’s true that this autumn has not been quite as dry as last year’s on a statewide basis (and, indeed, the far North Coast has even seen some locally above-average precipitation), most of the state has actually seen considerably less precipitation since early September than during a typical year. These relatively modest precipitation deficits add to the truly enormous ones that have accumulated over the past three years. In fact, the last 36 months now comprise the driest 3-year period since at least the 1890s in California.

Precipitation for the past 3 months (including yesterday's rainfall) has been below average for almost all of California except for the North Coast region. (NOAA/NWS)

Precipitation for the past 3 months (including yesterday’s rainfall) has been below average for almost all of California except for the North Coast region. (NOAA/NWS)

In addition to these extremely low multi-year precipitation totals, California continues to experience its warmest year on record by a tremendous margin–shattering all previous values since at least the 1890s and almost certainly much longer than that. This combination of very low precipitation and record-high temperatures has caused various formal drought indices to crash in recent months. The year-to-date Palmer Drought Severity Index, for example, is presently far lower than any previously recorded value for California–including those associated with the major early 1990s, mid-1970s, and mid-1930s droughts.

The year-to-date PDSI for the state of California is currently greatly exceeding its previous lowest value since at least the late 1800s. (NOAA/NCDC)

The year-to-date PDSI for the state of California is currently greatly exceeding its previous lowest value since at least the late 1800s. (NOAA/NCDC)

 

Short-term update: At least some light rain soon

The extremely amplified atmospheric pattern currently occurring (partly as a result of the influence of former supertyphoon Nuri) has led to wildly varying numerical model forecasts in recent days. As recently as this past weekend, it appeared that California might finally be in line for some widespread, significant precipitation as the subtropical jet undercut the huge high-latitude ridge over the West Coast and Alaska. Since then, however, the models have greatly backed off on projected rain amounts, instead suggesting that the huge ridge will be strong enough to split and/or deflect the moist storms that would otherwise be arriving from the Central Pacific. This sort of evolution is reminiscent of what happened during the early months of the last rainy season, when the numerical models struggled to cope the massive magnitude of the anomalous ridge over the far northeastern Pacific.

The latest GFS suggests mostly dry conditions continuing for the next 7-10 days except for modest rainfall along the North Coast. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

The latest GFS suggests mostly dry conditions continuing for the next 7-10 days except for modest rainfall along the North Coast. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

In the medium term, things still look fairly dry for California considering that we’re heading into the second half of November. There will probably be some rain at times, especially in the north, but there is still no real sign of major storm activity of the sort that would be highly beneficial from a drought mitigation perspective. There is presently some model disagreement, and obviously the forecast is subject to change considerably given the recently observed volatility stemming from the highly-amplified pattern. As has consistently been the case over the past 2 months, it appears that the far North Coast will see additional soaking rains over the next 7-10 days while the rest of the state sees relatively little precipitation (and nothing at all in the south).

 

Update on seasonal projections: Still murky

Well, long-term precipitation projections for California’s winter precipitation this year remain as clear as mud. The NMME–whose ensemble members just last month were nearly unanimous in showing drier than usual conditions in DJF 2014-5–now depicts a wetter-than-usual winter season.

October 2014 NMME precipitation projection for DJF 2014-2015. (NOAA/CPC)

October 2014 NMME precipitation projection for DJF 2014-2015. (NOAA/CPC)

November 2014 NMME precipitation projection for DJF 2014-2015. (NOAA/CPC)

November 2014 NMME precipitation projection for DJF 2014-2015. (NOAA/CPC)

Since this new projection represents a complete reversal from the October runs, it would probably be unwise to read too much into this. What remains clear is that seasonal forecasts such as these–especially for precipitation in mid-latitude regions–can be pretty volatile, and remain subject to very substantial initial condition uncertainty. Also, it’s worth pointing out that at least one of the dry October or wet November forecasts must be wrong–and in the case of a near-average winter–It’s possible that both of them could be!

Pacific Ocean conditions remain rather odd, with a huge region of above-normal SSTs persisting and even intensifying along the West Coast (and the North Pacific warm “Blob” appears to be making a bit of a comeback in recent days). Since these patterns of SST anomalies are not typical of a canonical El Nino regime, it’s a little less clear how the atmosphere might respond for the remainder of winter. An educated guess might be that the subtropical jet in the Central Pacific might be stronger than usual due to the enhanced SST gradient at that longitude, though the uniformly very warm SSTs further east make it harder to say what might happen along the West Coast and in California in particular. In short: much uncertainty remains, though we can be certain that we’re had a relatively dry start to the wet season thus far.

Large positive SST anomalies persist across nearly the entire northeastern Pacific Ocean. (NOAA)

Large positive SST anomalies persist across nearly the entire northeastern Pacific Ocean. (NOAA)

 

A brief note regarding NCEP’s upcoming GFS model upgrade

The flagship American operational forecast model–the Global Forecast System (or GFS)–is scheduled to undergo a major upgrade in the coming weeks. In recent years, the forecast accuracy of the GFS relative to global numerical weather models from other international modeling centers has fallen considerably, and over the last year or so most meteorologists have considered the ECMWF–which is funded and operated by a consortium of European governments–to be the superior model. Weather models are among the most complex numerical models in the world, and are quite expensive to operate since they require the near-continuous use of supercomputers to produce real-time forecasts multiple times per day for each corner of the globe. In the United States, nearly all operational weather models are managed by the National Centers for Environmental Prediction, which is a subset of NOAA and is thus funded by taxpayer dollars. Interestingly, the funds for this particular GFS upgrade come from a federal-level disaster relief bill originally enacted as part of the emergency response to the damage caused by Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

The most significant changes in the new GFS are probably the doubling of its horizontal resolution–which is now as high as ~13 kilometers for the first 10 days of the forecast period–and the improvement of its data assimilation scheme (i.e. the model will use new satellite data to better ascertain what the initial state of the atmosphere/ocean is before it starts making a forecast). Both of these changes are quite substantial, and will hopefully lead to a noticeable improvement in forecast skill over time. These changes are scheduled to go into effect on December 17th, 2014.

 

© 2014 WEATHER WEST

 

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  • Xerophobe
    • Bob G

      I have been waiting for the update anc checking for it. Thanks for posting. It does look promising. Jamstec did forecast a dry winter last year. Hope they are right again.

      • Xerophobe

        They did their flip flop already (August?), no more mulligan’s allowed!

      • Kamau40

        It does indeed look promising. Usually, the JAMSTEC model is pretty accurate. I too remember this time last year it accurately predicted a dry weather pattern for the West Coast. With all of the changes that are starting to take place in the Northern Hemisphere, perhaps this will verify.

    • craig matthews

      Interesting how JAMSTEC develops anomalous wet conditions near the dateline, which is more common with El Nino. I suppose this model thinks El Nino will develop in the atmosphere as well. Looking good! Thanks.

      • Xerophobe

        Might be looking at the warm water north of EQ in that triangle especially along with Baja and extending CA coast. You were talking about the warm SSTA along the coast up towards AK a few months back. JAMSTEC mentioned a “California Nino” back in April..Here’s a link…worth a look.

        http://www.nature.com/srep/2014/140425/srep04801/full/srep04801.html

    • Nick W.

      Hoping it all comes true. We need a break from this endless drought.

    • Kamau40

      This is a very nice outlook. The JANSTEC model has been usually known to be one of the more accurate models in projecting a weather pattern in the long range. I remember this time last year, it accurately predicted very dry conditions for the West Coast. Hopefully, this will verify!! Thanks for posting for all of us to see.

  • alanstorm

    OK. So this Thanksgiving Weekend Monster Soaker Pineapple Express looks to be a sure thing now, dust off your rain gauges & clean your rain gutters. Even So Cal looks to get wet, (up to 1″?). Huge totals further north, and as we know, water in Ca flows SOUTH. What do we have to thank for this blessing? Subtropical jet? Warm SSTs? Sure feels like an El Nino year.

    • dylan

      Super excited. wunderground now shows 21 mm in SB for Sunday

      • Mark T.

        OMG you guys, it’s still T+108 hours out. Anything can still happen. You’re going to jinx the whole thing! 😉

    • Sublimesl

      “Water in Ca flows SOUTH”

      You need to inform the San Joaquin river of this!

      • alanstorm

        Har. I obviously mean this storm should increase the flows into Sacramento River Delta, which has quite a bit of H2O diverted southward. Flippant point being, even if the central & southern Ca dont get much rain, they will benefit from rain in the north. Also, close to home, the mighty Eel River is diverted thru a tunnel from Lake Philsbury (much to the steelhead’s angst) to the Russian River SOUTHWARD to feed the Santa Rosa metro.

        • Scott Turner

          Southern California residents might benefit, but please don’t forget that Southern California also has ecological systems that need rain like the rest of the state. It sometimes seems like people in Northern California think that the only thing down here is swimming pools, golf courses, and sun tans.

          • alanstorm

            Yep. All those reservoirs in the hills just north of LA need feeding, not to mention the wildlife that’s been suffering from no rain. I think we R in 4 relief! Amen.

          • Cliff Collipriest

            Thank you, it seems some only are thinking about the human need for rain. Watching hundreds year old trees die by the thousands and the wildlife disappearing has been painful this year.

        • Bob G

          Alan. We also desperately need Friant dam to fill in Yosemite. Will feed san joaquin river and also help Delra

      • inclinejj

        And the Truckee River!

        • Charlie B

          So does the Nile. Not much relevance, I know. Plus, what is the only large U.S. river to flow north into Canada?

          • Upslope

            Milk?

          • Charlie B

            Red River.

          • Dan the Weatherman

            St. Lawrence River

          • maddog

            St. Lawrence but it really flows ENE.

      • Tuolumne

        The San Joaquin mostly flows south thanks to being diverted then pumped into canals. Ha!

        • Sublimesl

          True, that.

    • Xerophobe

      I got a chuckle anyway.

  • craig matthews

    Here’s more info for the post I sent yesterday regarding some previous El Ninos; this time 500mb height anomalies for November of those years. No similarities to this November 2014, but it is just one month. All the same, I hope it finds some interest out there.

    • Xerophobe

      Of interest is the ridging over Europe and Norwegian Sea in 57, 68 and 97 is pretty extensive…200mb height anomaly.
      Good find again, more than just happenstance. I do take this as a pearl of knowledge. Here’s past 30 days…nice ridging, eh?

      • craig matthews

        Nice Norwegian Sea ridge. Thanks for showing. That helps connect a few dots.

        • Xerophobe

          Yeah that was a real good find…I like that kinda stuff. Keep it coming.

  • Dan the Weatherman

    It is certainly looking more promising for rain even in Socal late this weekend and early next week and it might be fairly significant as well.

  • so.cal.storm.lover

    Excerpt from Nws San Diegos AFD.
    Onshore flow will return on Friday…as the ridge of high pressure
    begins to break down. As a result…expect a cooling trend to
    develop for Friday and the weekend…with the marine clouds
    returning to the coastal areas Friday night and Saturday morning.
    That then brings US to our other main focus period of the forecast.
    The extended models continue to show a rather impressive Pacific
    storm developing and moving inland across California early next
    week. There are still some timing issues…with the GFS trending
    about 12 hours faster than the European model (ecmwf). That being said…all the
    models are showing a decent soaking across Southern California.
    Therefore…expect precipitation to spread across the region some
    time between Sunday afternoon and night…with periods of moderate
    to heavy rain developing on Monday. Snow levels will also fall to
    around 6000 feet…so some accumulating snow possible over the
    higher peaks. Except for the timing issues…this storm looks
    promising…with good run to run consistency. Therefore…increased
    the probability of precipitation to likely for Monday.
    Awesome looks like a pineapple express because it looks like something is already drawing moisture in from hawaii
    plus many other forecast call for at least 1 1/2 inches of rain across most of so cal. I think the flip flopping is over and the storm is for sure as long as the ridge breaks down which it is already forecast to do!

    • Here is your Hawaiian moisture…I took this this morning from Pahoa looking toward California. The jetstream was pink and beautiful, and what looked to be 100 miles away was massive storms…

      • so.cal.storm.lover

        Yep, this happened a week before our huge storms on feb 28-march 1 2014 that had a massive subtropical deep moisture tap you could just feel it coming that was also a pineapple express. I hope this further organizes and maybe develops some convection!

        • maddog

          YUP. I had friends from the East coast staying @ my house in Tahoe Dog sitting while I was in Kauai and saw the same exact thing. Then they got dumped on.. This time IM HERE

        • alanstorm

          AhHAA! A teleconnection! The Warmer Climate Genie may grant your wish.

    • Here is the sunrise breaking through over the pacific thisorning

  • Quagmire Cliffington

    From Reno NWS discussion this afternoon. Don’t do this to me ECMWF.

    LIGHT SHOWERS LOOK TO CONTINUE ACROSS THE SIERRA THROUGH EARLY
    SUNDAY AHEAD OF THE MAIN LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM SUNDAY INTO MONDAY.
    THIS WILL PROVIDE THE BEST POTENTIAL FOR HEAVIER PRECIPITATION TO THE
    SIERRA AND WESTERN NEVADA. TIMING STILL NOT REFINED BUT IT LOOKS
    LIKE THE BULK OF THE PRECIP SHOULD FALL MORE IN THE LATE SUNDAY INTO
    MONDAY MORNING WINDOW. THE GFS IS MOST PROGRESSIVE WITH THE SYSTEM
    WHILE THE ECMWF HAS AMPLIFIED AND SLOWED THIS SYSTEM TO MORE IN THE
    MONDAY TIMEFRAME. BEING A WEEK OUT, MODELS SHOWING POTENTIAL FOR
    1-2+ INCHES OF LIQUID ACROSS THE SIERRA WITH THIS SYSTEM. HOWEVER,
    THIS IS VERY LOW CONFIDENCE AS THE ECMWF HAS SHOWN SOME HINT OF
    AMPLIFYING THE FLOW ACROSS THE EAST PACIFIC WHICH MAY HAVE THE
    TENDENCY TO SLOW AND DIG THE LOW FURTHER SOUTH WHICH WOULD GREATLY
    REDUCE PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS. FOR NOW THE TAKE HOME MESSAGE THIS FAR
    OUT WOULD BE TO CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE FORECAST AND BE PREPARED FOR
    POTENTIAL TRAVEL IMPACTS THIS WEEKEND. FUENTES

    • so.cal.storm.lover

      If it does go further south it would largely impact socal, but I hope everybody get a good soaking and hopefully this is the first step to getting out of our drought!

      • Quagmire Cliffington

        The first of hopefully many… drought relief and powder turns are fine with me!

        • xeren

          see the karma you have reaped from talking crap about socal? do you see??! 🙂

          • so.cal.storm.lover

            lol.

          • thunderstorm98

            Ha ha

          • Quagmire Cliffington

            you may have gotten me! don’t you have some traffic to go sit in? 🙂

          • xeren

            heh, i live 1 mile from work, so i only drive about 7,000 miles a year – you’re barking up the wrong tree 🙂

    • Kelley Rogers

      key words…. “may have the tendency”

  • so.cal.storm.lover

    You can see a pineapple express hitting British Columbia I hope that shifts south over ca and brings massive amounts of rain!

  • thunderstorm98

    Feels like late september/early october today with the Santa Anas.
    Wish we have this kind of weather. 🙁

  • so.cal.storm.lover

    Does anybody know if this system could bring strong winds?

    • Canyon

      On Monday and Tuesday it doesn’t look “strong” in SB, but that is subject to change.

      • so.cal.storm.lover

        NWS San Diego’s evening AFD mentions that this system will have gusty winds as well as heavy rain.

  • kipling

    From LA NWS at 4:00 PST:

    LONG TERM (FRI-MON)…BOTH THE GFS AND ECMWF ARE IN PRETTY GOOD AGREEMENT WITH THE UPPER RIDGE FLATTENING AS A PRETTY POTENT UPPER LOW AND ASSOCIATED TROUGH BEGINS TO DIG SOUTH INTO THE EASTERN PACIFIC. EXPECT A WIDESPREAD COOLING TREND BEGINNING FRIDAY WITH THE POSSIBLE RETURN OF MARINE LAYER STRATUS BY FRIDAY NIGHT INTO SATURDAY. AT THIS TIME BOTH MODELS ARE IN GOOD AGREEMENT WITH A FAIRLY SIGNIFICANT STORM SYSTEM APPROACHING SOUTHERN AND CENTRAL CALIFORNIA. HAVE BUMPED UP POPS FOR SAT NIGHT THROUGH TUE. ALTHOUGH MODELS COULD CHANGE OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS…BOTH MODELS WERE PICKING UP ON GOOD SOUTHERN FLOW AHEAD OF THE TROUGH WHICH IS A GOOD SIGN FOR ENHANCED RAINFALL AMOUNTS…ESPECIALLY FOR THE SANTAYNEZ…VENTURA AND LA COUNTY MOUNTAINS. SNOW LEVELS START OUT AROUND 6000 TO 6500 FT…BUT LOWER TO AROUND 4500 FT AS THE FRONT MOVES

  • Guest

    GFS days 1-8. Now if only tomorrow morning still verifies the system at 4 days out, I’ll start to believe.

  • Canyon

    Recently Issued:

    Source: Office of Emergency Management

    Potential Rain Event for Southwest California Sunday Through Tuesday, Nov. 30th – Dec. 2nd

    Potential Significant Rain Event for Southwest California Sunday Through Tuesday, Nov. 30th – Dec. 2nd…

    IMPACTS AND TIMING

    • First widespread rain event since Halloween from Sunday through Tuesday, Nov. 30 – Dec. 2.

    • Potential wet travel conditions starting late this holiday weekend. (Sunday)

    • Potential heavy downpours with urban flooding, and possible mud and debris flows near recent burn areas. (Sunday night -Tuesday)

    • Potential heavy mountain snow accumulation and slippery roads. (Sunday – Tuesday) High pressure that has kept southwest California in a warm, dry, and windy pattern in recent days will slowly shift eastward this week opening the door for a storm system late this upcoming weekend. It is much too early to provide specific impacts and the track could change significantly before the storm’s arrival, however, computer models have consistently shown widespread precipitation from Sunday through Tuesday.

  • Dan the Weatherman

    Extended discussion from this afternoon’s San Diego Office AFD:

    THE EXTENDED MODELS CONTINUE TO SHOW A RATHER IMPRESSIVE PACIFIC STORM DEVELOPING AND MOVING INLAND ACROSS CALIFORNIA EARLY NEXT WEEK. THERE ARE STILL SOME TIMING ISSUES…WITH THE GFS TRENDING ABOUT 12 HOURS FASTER THAN THE ECMWF. THAT BEING SAID…ALL THE MODELS ARE SHOWING A DECENT SOAKING ACROSS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. THEREFORE…EXPECT PRECIPITATION TO SPREAD ACROSS THE REGION SOME TIME BETWEEN SUNDAY AFTERNOON AND NIGHT…WITH PERIODS OF MODERATE TO HEAVY RAIN DEVELOPING ON MONDAY. SNOW LEVELS WILL ALSO FALL TO AROUND 6000 FEET…SO SOME ACCUMULATING SNOW POSSIBLE OVER THE
    HIGHER PEAKS. EXCEPT FOR THE TIMING ISSUES…THIS STORM LOOKS
    PROMISING…WITH GOOD RUN TO RUN CONSISTENCY. THEREFORE…INCREASED THE POPS TO LIKELY FOR MONDAY.

    I am looking forward to a good rain event! We are certainly overdue.

  • Utrex

    I don’t recall seeing any inside-slider lows hitting CA this fall… The ridge that was supposed to have small cut-off lows go around it quickly was undercut, and eviscerated into its death. What does this mean? Crazy wet winter?

  • Bandini

    A blog I don’t check much, and I’m skeptical of the amounts it talks about, but it brings me to the brink of arousal: http://www.tahoeweatherblog.com/

    • Crouching Dallas

      The WeatherWest thickening is upon us! Huzzah!

    • It is comforting to know I am not the only feeling a bit aroused…..

      • Bandini

        From this point on my A.D.D. is in full swing. Whatever I’m doing the next five days I’ll be only partially paying attention as I’m day dreaming about what the next model run or blog update will reveal.

        • Crouching Dallas

          And of course I have grad school exams both Monday and Tuesday of next week. If only “I NEED TO WATCH THE DOPPLER RETURNS DAMNIT!!” were a valid excuse for my professors…

          • Bandini

            Sounds like a valid excuse to me!

  • Guest

    Hello beautiful.

  • so.cal.storm.lover

    Hello Beautiful.

    • kipling

      WOW. JUST… WOW.

      • so.cal.storm.lover

        Yep, some areas in sierra getting 12 inches of rain if this comes true and shouldn’t that be snow if it is that means monster snows and so cal valleys and coast 2-3 1/2 inches of rain!! Also rain for central and northern california 3-6 inches! Please come true!

        • kipling

          honestly if we get half those amounts it would be a big deal. If we get anything near those amounts, it would be a game changer. Of course, no single storm can resolve our drought situation but this would be a great start, and would at least make a real dent in our precipitation deficits.

          • so.cal.storm.lover

            Indeed.

        • xeren

          Snow summit opens soon. A 2 foot powder day would not be a bad way to start the season…

    • Bandini

      God if the Canadian is right the Sierra is going to get hammered.

      • so.cal.storm.lover

        If I am correct isn’t the Canadian model fairly accurate?

        • kipling

          I think it’s a good model but in general the european model seems to be the most accurate, as least for Atlantic hurricanes (which I also follow living on the Gulf of Mexico). The GFS is considered next best, I think, but the NAM and Canadian are right after those two. Not sure about how these models perform for West Coast weather though. Our mod would be the person to know for sure…

          • so.cal.storm.lover

            Yea.

      • Bandini

        I know that BA mentions it tends to be aggressive, but honestly like someone mentioned, I’d be happy with half of those amounts. But…I’d much rather unbury my car on Monday morning.

    • Ben

      WOWWW! PLEASE PLEASE DON’T FAIL ON US, MODELS!

    • Crouching Dallas

      HELLO

    • thunderstorm98

      Amazing!

  • so.cal.storm.lover

    Wow a ton of energy with this storm being forecast by gfs.

    • so.cal.storm.lover

      Yep just checked water temps still around 66-69 degrees where the storm is forecast to be off of socal.

      • Ben

        That’s incredible for this time of year. They’re supposed to be down into the 50s by now. If the cold front stalls on the CA bight, could it seriously strengthen due to the warm waters? Could it add some energy for thunderstorms? This could be similar to what the Gulf Mexico does to systems back east (though no where near that extent. We’re not talking 80 degree water here).

        I’d like to check the NorCal water temps. They were in the 60s through October but I haven’t checked in a while.

        • Ben

          Ok water temps are in the upper 50s to around 60. Still above average but nearly to the extent that they were in October.

          I’ll be in LA for the holiday but will leave Sunday so I’ll miss the action before it gets to SoCal. Come to think of it, I’m leaving Sunday evening which means I could be flying over the main cold front before it gets to LA and after it leaves the Bay Area. Wow. I could completely miss witnessing the greatest action. Oh well!

          • Weatherwatcher

            Water temps 66 here

  • kipling

    that storm on the 10th might be the same one hinted at on tahoe weather blog that’s linked below. Not sure if that is a reliable blog but I certainly hope he’s right

    • yenlard

      Disappointed that a ridge builds in next week…but hopefully it doesn’t stay long. I know we’re out in fantasyland with that storm but it looks massive

  • Crouching Dallas

    Fantasyland 00Z rules.

  • Kamau40

    I do believe that forecasted ridge will be weak and only temporary.

  • kipling

    latest NWS 7 day precipitation…

    • Cliff Collipriest

      Bring it on! I hope the models are right, but I worry about the ridge being too strong and not breaking down as much as indicated. Forecast highs for Santa Maria today and tomorrow are both 82. That’s nuts for Thanksgiving.

  • yenlard

    Here’s hoping we get all the rain and snow forecast because a strong ridge builds in starting next Wednesday that looks to last into the middle of the month.

  • Kamau40

    Looking at the models this morning, the pattern change is still on track. The only thing though is that a few of the models wants to slow down or even weakens the systems just a bit, but will eventually get here and give us much needed precipitation for Ca. A lot of this is still outside of the 3-5 day window so things can still change. What I am seeing in the models now which is what I did not see a couple of days ago is that they want to rebuild the ridge off the West Coast starting around the middle of next week and lasting until about the 10th of Dec before getting back into a progressive pattern. Personally, I hate seeing any kind of ridging at this point, but for what it is worth it is not suppose to last long. BA is still optimistic about the month of Dec being a good month. Here is what he says this morning, “The climate models continue to show above average precip amounts for CA for the month of December so hopes are still high for a good month.” Let’s pray and hope that is the case.

    • yenlard

      Yeah…that dumb ridge comes back again…however out in fantasyland… A huge low approaches the coast around December 11. Here’s hoping it doesn’t change

      • Kamau40

        My thinking is that the atmosphere is very slowly trying to get into gear to eventually bring a series of significant wet storms later during the Winter months.

    • Charlie B

      I hate the models with all the pretty colors and cool graphs depicting neat things that might happen. It reminds me of standing on a beach watching in amazement as a wave forms in the distance that looks like a wall of water only to then see it crash and send a mere ripple to shore.

  • Mark T.

    I don’t understand why they call it a pattern change. To me the pattern hasn’t changed at all. We get 7-10 days of high pressure and then a 2-3 days of zonal flow with weak or moderate (at best) precip totals before ridging builds back in. And repeat.

    • Quagmire Cliffington

      If we get decent precip every 7-10 days this winter it will beat the heck out of last year.

      • Ben

        That’s a good point.

    • Ben

      Completely agree. I was actually just thinking about that this morning. Our rainy “patterns” have lasted a day or two. This storm looks pretty good and we should get some great rainfall/snowfall totals but high pressure looks to build in right after it leaves.

  • lightning10

    It could be another 1 and done for December if that ridge behind this systems comes in as strong as shown. Also 12z was a lot weaker.

    • yenlard

      Yeah…the pacific satellite loop doesn’t look that impressive.

    • Bob G

      I havent seen a prediction of a strong ridge

  • lightning10

    If we could get that true subtropical moisture to tap up with the system it would make for a much better system.

    • so.cal.storm.lover

      Here is that tap this could get interesting!

      • xeren

        loving it.

      • SFBay2

        What are we looking at here? Predictions for next Tuesday?

        • so.cal.storm.lover

          Probably for socal valleys and coasts anyhere from 1-3 inches but some areas will probably get 5 inches. For central valley 3-5 inches northern california 4-7 inches and sierra 2-4 feet of snow so cal mountains 1-2 feet of snow. As a rookie in weather that is what I believe will happen.

    • so.cal.storm.lover

      Some areas are being forecasted for strong southerly or south westerly winds with this storm.

  • so.cal.storm.lover

    http://wxweb.meteostar.com/models/noaaport_loop.php?PATH=/var/www/leads_images/satellite/EP1/IR/&NUMBLOOP=10

    There’s our beautiful storm you can see it getting stronger and more organized. You have to click on the link for the loop.

  • Remember guys, don’t get your hopes up just yet. We have been fooled too many times before.

    • Kamau40

      Very True, I’m still somewhat nervous about ridging still being around in the long range.

    • SFBay2

      I like getting my hopes up!

    • Azmordean

      I don’t know, I am out of town presently, and will be out of town next week on a business trip. That makes the forecast of rain much more believable! It never rains much when I am in California. Luckily, for this event, I’ll be FAR away — London! 🙂

      • That means we will get a lot of rain! Lol

        • Azmordean

          Yep, and the forecast for London is upper 40s, variably cloudy, and no rain. Not sure that ever happens for a whole week in London in the winter!

  • I’ll have a full update either Wednesday or Thursday to fully account for the substantial rain/storm event slated for early next week.

    • sdmike

      Looks like this could be quite a soaker for us here in SoCal. Haven’t seen anywhere near this much rain in a long, long time!

    • alanstorm

      What’s the story with El Nino and/or the warmer SSTs off Ca? These warm subtropical-like rain events so far sure feel El Ninio-like. Its nearly Dec & I haven’t had a night below 40° yet!

    • Bob G

      Just don’t tell us it is one and done :).

  • Bumgarner40

    Below is a link to a very compelling video on the use of HAARP and aerosols to suppress incoming storm systems. I encourage you to view it and would love to hear counter arguments. I hope this is not true and hope some of you can point out flaws in the assessment made by the video’s creator.

    • Utrex

      Okay.

    • maddog

      Did you actually watch this guys full video.. BC if you have the 20 minutes to watch it that is just sad. The guy in the video is bat $#iT crazy

      • Bumgarner40

        No just a few minutes, and I agree he is bat $#iT crazy haha…I am simply compelled by the evidence. I have always been somewhat of a skeptic and don’t necessarily believe these programs are in place, but also have not seen proof they are not, This combined with the very strange weather patterns and CA drought has peaked my interest. I understand all of this can probably be explained by people more educated in meteorology than myself which is why I posted it here.

        • Cliff Collipriest

          It is kind of hard sometimes to prove something is not happening. Ask those how say the Holocaust did not happen.

        • Upslope

          First you should ask yourself why the US govt would want to do this. Why would they want to completely dry out California, the most productive ag region on Earth and the source of massive amounts of value to the US economy via the tech industry. When you come up with a compelling answer, then ask yourself how they could do this in utter secrecy when the very same people can’t even build a simple website despite a $500M budget. Then ask yourself if there are any, more plausible, more fact-based potential causes for the atmospheric kinks this lunatic focused on. And why focus just on that 48 hr sequence? Was the HAARP machine not working before and after that time frame? Stop drinking the bongwater and get yourself educated.

          • Bumgarner40

            Follow…the…money……..Monsanto and the movement toward GMO foods and weather futures traded via the Chicago Mercantile Exchange are both examples of this. When it comes to implementation, the US Military has successfully accomplished far more complex missions in complete secrecy. Sure, the DMV is an example of an utterly incompetent Government Agency but like any other corporation (and society itself) there are extreme variations in the competence and intelligence of employees from one level to the next. For example, I fall somewhere in the middle to upper echelon where you likely fall near the bottom, or perhaps even below the layers of rubbish thereunder. The video is pretty clear to me but you can continue to bury your head in the sand if that helps you sleep better at night.

          • xeren

            This is a weather blog, not a conspiracy theory blog, please discuss this elsewhere

          • Upslope

            Good stuff. I’m sure the current Democratic administration is falling all over itself to support a small set of corporate ag interests over its political base of farmers, lower/middle class consumers and the entire state of California.

            Ooooh wait, that’s right. It’s an even MORE secret conspiracy between the military-industrial complex and the ag-industrial complex – White House must be out of the loop!

          • Charlie Hohn

            follow the real money: the oil companies and Wall Street. Human-caused climate change is likely the cause for some or all of the weather weirdness associated with these extreme weather patterns, via feedback looks associated with thinner/absent Arctic sea ice. The oil companies and their lap dogs don’t want you to stop burning oil so they let’s say, ‘invest’ in some of the crazier dog-vomit garbage to keep people distracted. i hate Monsanto as much as anyone but they aren’t stupid and they aren’t going to kill their own crops and ruin the most fertile farmland in the world just to advance some weird political theory. However the oil companies WILL and DO hide evidence, lie, and create nonsense all the time. Sadly you are playing right into their hands.
            The REAL conspiracy theory is a lot scarier than these fake ones.

        • “…don’t necessarily believe these programs are in place, but also have not seen proof they are not…”

          You could make the same statement concerning leprechauns, Martians, and the Loch Ness monster. 😉

          • Charlie Hohn

            no, because Leprechauns, Martians, and the loch ness monster could concievably possibly exist, though the odds are tiny. This haarp garbage is much less likely than some dinosaur that is immortal or immune to inbreeding pressure, or some odd breed of Homo florensis that somehow survived in Ireland.

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        Ooops! I intended to log onto the California Weather Blog, but instead I ended up here on Infowars by accident. Sorry.
        Wait. What?

    • alanstorm

      Yes, & one only needs to Google “Arctic Amplification & Rossby Waves” to get a synopsis of why we are getting goofy stuck jetstream extreme weather. The WAY more contentious conclusion of Global Warming=Melting Arctic Sea ice = Arctic Amplification= Stuck Rossby Waves= Polar Vortex/RRR is more realistic & scary than a global conspiracy to kill off the human race. Just because something can be done in theory doesn’t mean its being done. You’re REALLY asking for a Tin Foil Hat barrage on this blog

      • Bumgarner40

        Thanks for your response, valid points indeed.

      • Bumgarner40

        On another note I am really hoping this approaching system materializes. Waxed my snowboard last night

        • alanstorm

          Was dusting off my cob-webbed rain gauge, then said “the heck with it” & decided to buy a shiney new one!

    • Bob G

      Twilight Zone theme playing now

    • lightning10

      Great stuff.

    • Nick W.

      Wow. That is just geo-engerineered evil.

  • so.cal.storm.lover

    Wow I could have mistaken our storm for a hurricane!

    • Beautiful.

      • Scott Turner

        The storm at the end of February looked kind of like that, and it turned out to be a beast.

        • so.cal.storm.lover

          Yea that is what I was thinking I hope this one turns out to be a beast too! I just checked precipitable water in this storm it was 2.35 inches!

        • so.cal.storm.lover

          Heres february storm.

        • so.cal.storm.lover

          Here is a better one of february storm.

          • SFBay2

            I remember that February storm. We had our company ski trip right as the storm hit. In Bear Valley, it seem to snow three feet. Wet, partly rain, but still awesome.

  • craig matthews

    Well its nice to see this modeled storm off CA within the 5 day period now. Seams like the one good storm a month pattern is holding true where I live; one in late September, one in late October, and now potentially one in late November. So, the question is, is this really a true weather pattern change? We are starting to get into that time of year where we see more good storms then just one per month. Like a series of storms, one every few days to a week. Still haven’t seen that change yet. But I am optimistic it is coming. Though I think later in December. In the meantime, I hope this storm will be as strong as it looks on the models now.

    • yenlard

      Gfs doesn’t show another chance of significant rain until mid December. Ridge builds in for at least a week

      • SlashTurn

        Still to early to be absolute on the potential for any pattern after this low finally makes it through this ridge…

        Im optimistic on both sides of the spectrum…could open the door for the westerlies, so maybe models haven’t picked up on it yet?

        The current technique to forecast anything past 72h is just a total crap shoot right now. blah.

      • Bandini

        I want to enjoy this one first before I guess about the future.

    • Xerophobe

      Active MJO in phase 3 (now) should point to what forecasters say is comin’.

      • craig matthews

        We hope that would cause west coast trough to stay for a while.

  • so.cal.storm.lover

    I know I keep commenting on this storm but look at how fast it organized and got an eye in one day! Check out this one day loop.
    http://wxweb.meteostar.com/models/noaaport_loop.php?PATH=/var/www/leads_images/satellite/EP1/IR/&NUMBLOOP=59

  • SFBay2

    For those of you who haven’t seen it, this is an interesting resource. It’s a quick-glance chart of Berkeley’s snow lab records, taken up at Donner Summit. It dates from 1879 to the present.

    http://www.thestormking.com/Weather/Sierra_Snowfall/sierra_snowfall.html

    A couple observations:

    (1) If I’m reading the chart right, this last year was not the worst. 1977 stands out in that category, and we’ve had several other worse years.

    (2) This seems to prove that adage that California never has an ‘average’ year. Variation is all over the board. Some years receive 4X the snowfall of other years.

    Any thoughts?

    EDIT: Actually it looks like 1881, not 1977, is the lowest snowfall on record.

    • Depends on whether you’re looking at “Water Year” totals, “Calendar Year” totals, or (my preference) all possible 12-month periods (and, also, at a specific location or over the entire state of California). If you choose to look at the state overall, 2013 was the driest calendar year on record in California, and the driest consecutive 12-month period in 100+ years also occurred during 2013-2014. Additionally, we’ve now surpassed the driest 36-month (3-year) period on record and (I believe) the driest 24-month (2-year) period on record.

      Moreover–most of the snow that fell in 2013 and 2014 melted really early due to extremely high (record) temperatures (unlike during the 1970s drought). This means that May 1st snow amounts during the current drought have been nearly nonexistent, which is a critical value for both water supply, the health of various ecological regimes, and summertime wildfire risk.

      • rob b

        To add to that, looking at the overall totals. The winters of 2010/11 and 2004/5 included many large(r) late season storms. Which included measurable snowfall up to June with cool weather in early Spring. http://squawalpine.com/skiing-riding/weather-conditions-webcams/squaw-valley-snowfall-tracker/?tab=ui-id-5

        Other point to this, early season storms are great and important, but overall we need the storms to continue into May.

        • Dan the Weatherman

          We need the storms to continue late into April or early May for a change. Some of the more recent rainy seasons have been ending earlier than normal over the past few years and that was even before this bad drought began. Both 2007-08 and 2008-09 ended earlier than average, even though rainfall amounts were pretty decent for 2007-08, but could have been even better with a wet March.

      • SFBay2

        Gotcha, thanks for the insights. I’m new to California, and this drought is basically all I’ve known here. I’m hoping for a return to median.

    • AlTahoe

      That Chart doesn’t show last winter. The Big snow bar was winter of 2010-2011, then the next two are 2011-2012, 2012-2013. Last year was much worse (Maybe 30%) worse than 2012-2013. Interesting in that nobody is posting last years totals. Even the Bear Valley site which has a good yearly running snow total from 1969 wont post last years totals.
      My house in South Lake Tahoe received a whopping 28 inches of snow for the entire year. The old locals in my neighborhood said even 76-77 was better.

      • SFBay2

        I was wondering about that, thanks.

      • AlTahoe

        I saw that Northstar had their totals listed from last winter and it was worse than I thought.

        2013-2014 had

        72″(bottom 6900′) and 200″ (top 8300′)

        2012-2013 had
        148″ (bottom 6900′) and 334″ (top 8300′)

        1976-1977 had cold storms so the snow totals were more uniform top to bottom.

        Last year had to be the worst ever for Tahoe at lake level. Interesting that most severe drought years have cold storms while last year was just warm rain.

        Tough to find a similar analog year.

        • Charlie B

          Squaw Valley’s snow tracker showed a bit under 100″ at the base and slightly under 300″ up top. I have always taken those with a grain of salt, but that is truly pathetic. By comparison, 2010-11 showed over 500″ at the base and 800″ up top. I remember that up until late March 2014 Philadelphia had received more snow than Squaw base.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        I’ll bet you have recorded more than 28″ of snow from a single storm numerous times in the past!

    • That’s just one data point. I’m on the south slope of Mount Shasta, and our annual average of snowfall is right about eight feet. The biggest year I’ve seen we had a total of 22′, and until this past winter, the lowest winter accumulation was just about 3 1/2 feet.
      Last winter? Three inches. I was amused to find cobwebs on my snow shovel this spring.

  • Mike Stephenson

    hopeing for a nice convective fall storm down here!

  • Utrex

    WeatherWest what do you think of this hodograph?

    http://www.twisterdata.com/data/tmp/scratch/models/processing/GFS_3_2014112518_F132_38.5000N_121.5000W_HODO_SM.png

    Sacramento valley 06z Monday (10 P.M. Sunday) from the GFS

  • theboreworms

    Just a little dose of reality (from the afternoon NWS discussion for the LA area):

    WHILE THIS STORM LOOKS STRONGER THAN STORMS
    WE`VE HAD IN THE RECENT PAST IT`S CERTAINLY NOT THE STORM OF THE CENTURY AND PROBABLY NOTHING MORE THAN YOUR AVERAGE WINTER STORM FOR SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. IT DOESN`T APPEAR TO BE TAPPING INTO A HUGE SOURCE OF MOISTURE AND CONVECTIVE CHANCES APPEAR LIMITED TO A BRIEF CHANCE BEHIND THE COLD FRONT LATE MONDAY INTO TUESDAY.

    I’m excited about getting some decent rain too, but I think people are maybe expecting too much. This is shaping up to be a run-of-the-mill event, the likes of which are seen multiple times in a typical rainy season. We need many of these to even make a normal season, let alone the kind that would really make a dent in the drought. Hopefully they will come, but for the time being it looks like more dry weather for the foreseeable future afterward.

    I agree with the comments below about this hardly being a “pattern change.” Until proven otherwise, it’s nothing more than a temporary break in the same old pattern that appears all-too-ready to re-emerge afterward. I can’t help but remain skeptical until we see a real succession of significant storms. Fingers crossed, of course. =)

    • Mike Stephenson

      A normal storm is fine with me!

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Compare the LA Discussion with the SD discussion:

      LA Discussion: “AT THIS POINT IT LOOKS LIKE A GOOD SOLID RAIN EVENT, AROUND A HALF INCH TO AN INCH FOR LOWER ELEVATIONS AND 1-3 IN THE MTNS”

      SD Discussion: “REGARDLESS OF THE TIMING…PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS LOOK TO BE SIGNIFICANT…WITH 1 INCH OR GREATER POSSIBLE IN THE COAST AND VALLEYS…2-3 INCHES OR MORE IN THE MOUNTAINS..”

      It seems the guys at the SD office favor the wetter ECMWF and GEM models over the GFS, and the LA guys are going with the GFS which is less bullish on the storm tapping into subtropical moisture.

      • Ian Alan

        4 to 8 years ago when the NWS forecasted 2-3″+ rain in the mountains I would expect 5″-10″ and 9/10 it would happen. In the past 3 years I’ve become accustomed to hoping for 1″ with the same forecast – hope the tides begin to turn!

        I don’t think anyone is actually thinking this storm is anything more than normal rather it’s the simple fact that ‘normal’ has been absent for SO long!

    • Kamau40

      I’ve briefly discussed earlier about that ridge for mid to late next week earlier. Still too early to be concerned. As far as I can see, the ridge looks temporary(several days, maybe up to a week), nothing sustained liked we have seen the last 3yrs. Just to remind you, it is still early in the wet season. We are still a little ways from the heart of the rainy season. Perhaps, the month of Dec will get us off to a good start. What we don’t want to see is any sustained ridging during the heart of the wet season or else we will be in trouble. I’m optimistic and hoping the ridge will be suppressed by a very strong active subtropical jet stream later during the Winter months with an emerging moderate strength El Nino weather pattern.

      • Nick W.

        Looking at the 10-14 day forecasts, the stormy days will only be Sunday-Tuesday here. Yes, we’ll get a healthy dose of rain, but we need more than just 3 days worth of this to get out of worst-case scenarios. These resilient ridges need to be destroyed.

        • Kamau40

          Eventually, I believe the ridges will be reconfigured, which I think maybe part of the developing moderate strength El Nino pattern, that will eventually work in our favor. Hang in there.

          • Nick W.

            We’ll see. My anxiety grows every single day this rainy season is wasted waiting for these storms that don’t come here.

          • Kamau40

            Why have anxiety? We haven’t even reach Winter yet!

          • Nick W.

            Yeah, but this drought is causing me anxiety. Major.

          • Canyon

            Exactly. Hopefully the El Nino says hello around late Jan / early Feb and rolls through the rest of winter/spring 2015.

          • Kamau40

            I also remember the last powerful El Nino during the ’97-’98 season and things did not start to get going until very late Dec ’97 and then the real gully washers statewide came in Jan ’98/Feb’98. It proves my point that we have a long way to go so at this time I’m not worried one bit.

          • Fingers crossed!

        • Cliff Collipriest

          Compared to the last 3 years, this storm is biblical, even if only average for an average year. I’ll take it with gratitude.

        • That ridge at long range looks pretty impressive. Hopefully only a temporary blip for the winter.

  • CalNative

    When the models suggest a ridge ten days out, we rend our garments and gnash our teeth. When the same models suggest rain ten days out, we say, “Don’t trust the models.”

    • xeren

      true, but that’s only because the models have been right about ridges 95% of the time, and wrong about troughs 95% of the time over the last couple of years

    • Bandini

      I’m not sure if you’re being serious or not?

    • Go figure….Lol

  • thunderstorm98

    Above average precip for the 6 to 10 day outlook and rain for the entire state of California.

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/610day/610prcp.new.gif
    http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/qpf/p168i.gif?1416969596

  • RSpringbok

    US Hazards Outlook
    NWS Climate Prediction Center College Park MD
    300 PM EST November 25 2014

    * Heavy snow for the Sierras of California, Sat-Mon, Nov 29-Dec 1.

    * Heavy rain for southwest Oregon and parts of northern/central California,
    Sat-Mon, Nov 29-Dec 1.

    * Heavy rain for southern California, Mon-Tue, Dec 1-2.

  • Thunderstorm

    With the warm water off the coast cold air behind the front could give a lot of heavy showers with hail on Monday.

  • David Thomas

    AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA
    954 PM PST TUE NOV 25 2014

    .SYNOPSIS…DRY WEATHER AND SEASONABLY WARM TEMPERATURES WILL
    PERSIST THROUGH THANKSGIVING DAY AS A RESULT OF HIGH PRESSURE OVER
    THE REGION. UNSETTLED WEATHER WILL RETURN TO THE NORTH BAY AS EARLY
    AS FRIDAY WITH RAIN SLOWLY SPREADING SOUTHWARD THROUGH SATURDAY.
    WIDESPREAD PRECIPITATION IS THEN EXPECTED SUNDAY INTO MONDAY AS A
    STRONGER MID/UPPER LEVEL SYSTEM PUSHES THROUGH THE REGION.

    &&

    .DISCUSSION…AS OF 8:59 PM PST TUESDAY…MILD WEATHER AND CLEAR
    SKIES WILL CONTINUE THROUGH WEDNESDAY AS HIGH PRESSURE OVERHEAD
    MAINTAINS LIGHT OFFSHORE FLOW AND ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES.
    TRAVELERS HEADED OUT OF TOWN WILL ENJOY PLEASANT DRIVING
    CONDITIONS WITH NO RAIN OR FOG EXPECTED OVER THE SAN FRANCISCO
    AND MONTEREY BAY AREA THROUGH THANKSGIVING DAY.

    THE RIDGE OF HIGH PRESSURE WILL BEGIN TO FLATTEN THURSDAY AS A LOW
    PRESSURE SYSTEM APPROACHING THE WEST COAST MOVES INTO THE PACIFIC
    NORTHWEST COAST. RAIN CHANCES ARE EXPECTED TO BEGIN OVER NORTHERN
    CALIFORNIA ON THURSDAY THEN GRADUALLY SPREAD SOUTH AS THE SYSTEM
    SAGS SOUTHWARD. LATEST MODEL RUNS BRING RAIN INTO THE NORTH BAY
    FRIDAY NIGHT. RAIN WILL SPREAD SOUTH INTO THE BAY AREA OVERNIGHT.
    THE MONTEREY BAY REGION WILL LIKELY SEE RAIN SATURDAY HOWEVER
    TIMING IS STILL UNCERTAIN AS MODELS SHOW THE FRONT STALLING OVER
    THE BAY AREA SATURDAY THEN PUSHING THROUGH SATURDAY NIGHT AS A
    SHORTWAVE RIDING IN ON THE LONGWAVE TROUGH REACHES THE CENTRAL
    COAST. WHILE THESE TWO SYSTEMS WILL BRING WELL DESERVED RAIN TO THE
    REGION MAINLY NORTH OF THE SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS…A LARGE LOW
    PRESSURE SYSTEM TAKING AIM AT NORTHERN CALIFORNIA WILL DELIVER THE
    KNOCK OUT PUNCH BRINGING SIGNIFICANT RAIN TO THE ENTIRE WARNING
    AREA ON SUNDAY NIGHT INTO MONDAY. MODELS ARE IN FAIR AGREEMENT
    WITH THE TIMING OF THIS SYSTEM AND ARE EXPECTED TO BRING WIDESPREAD
    RAIN OF MODERATE TO LOCALLY HEAVY INTENSITY TO THE REGION. ALONG
    WITH RAIN THIS SYSTEM WILL PRODUCE STRONG SOUTHERLY WINDS SUNDAY
    NIGHT INTO MONDAY AS THE FRONTAL BOUNDARY MOVES ACROSS THE REGION.

    TRAVELERS RETURNING HOME OVER THE WEEKEND NEED TO PAY CLOSE
    ATTENTION TO THE WEATHER ESPECIALLY THOSE RETURNING HOME SUNDAY
    NIGHT INTO MONDAY AS THEY MAY ENCOUNTER PERIODS OF HEAVY RAIN AS
    WELL AS DOWNED TREES AND POWER LINES AS A RESULT OF THE WINDS.

  • Mike Stephenson

    Nice defined looking storm, finally! http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/west/nepac/flash-vis.html

  • Here is a shot of the Uvas Reservoir today. Pretty pathetic!

    • SFBay2

      I want to see the “after” pic when the storms roll through.

    • Nick W.

      How sad. 🙁

  • Which model run(UTC) time is the most recent. 18?

  • Oh shoot! A significant ridge after the storm looks to continue for a while with the Arctic Amplification again. I hope this is only temporary…

    • kipling

      I would not get too worried at this point. For Heaven’s sake, we’re about to get a storm which will bring almost the entire state tons of rain and only 6 days ago some people were fretting about models showing high pressure as far as the eye could see. Remember, beyond 10 days is almost a total crap shoot.

      • Ben

        True, let’s just wait until this storm passes and see what the future holds. As brief as this window is, we’re still going to get some really beneficial rains here. Should be a solid storm. Not a major storm, but a solid one.

        • Skye H.

          With some models forecasting up to a 10 inch bullseye in Lassen (absurd, but a high end possibility), I would call this a major storm.

    • David Thomas

      why are you guys looking at the 18z and 06z they are nothing but out liners even the SFO NWS dos not uesd the 06z and 18z they olny uesd the 00z and 12z has they have the best deta in them

    • Kamau40

      I doubt it! Last night I reviewed them and that is only a couple of models. The current European doesn’t reflect it. In fact, the models this morning has changed somewhat reflecting a slowing down of the upcoming system in terms of timing and even a possible AR event setting up. All of this now complicates the extended outlook keeping precipitation into the forecast thru next Thurs or Fri for the state. Mainly the European model are showing this which is a dramatic change within just 12hrs. Also, keep in mind which I have stressed many times before any model prediction past the 3-5 day window time frame is suspect and always subject to change. The month of Dec still looks like it will be a beneficial month for us overall despite some brief break in between. As of today I do not see any hints of major ridges developing and sustaining its self for long periods of time due to the overall hemispheric pattern changes along with a developing moderate strength El Niño pattern. Heck, we haven’t even started Winter yet!!

    • Nick W.

      Let’s hope that doesn’t happen. I’m tired of Santa Anas and unusually warm days. I remembered going through that torment last Dec/Jan.

  • kipling

    Nice. Even if high pressure builds back in, it’s looking like this storm will be highly beneficial… latest 7 day precip from NWS

  • Bartshe

    and many a promised storm have fallen apart or under-performed… digging may ensue and confidence in timing and precip amounts are beginning to erode as noted in this morning’s discussions from SF to Reno.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      If the system slows down and starts digging, that allows it to entrain the slug of subtropical moisture off of Baja, which actually may juice the system up a bit for parts of Southern California.

      • Nick W.

        Looks like early week storms will be a dud, but Wednesday and Thursday looks promising. We only need to get adjusted to this endless dry pattern we’ve been having without these “semi-resilient” ridges coming out of nowhere drying us up for weeks.

    • RSpringbok

      Yup… STO (Sacto) discussion is hedging: “Mid range models have been showing several inches of rain from Saturday through Monday; however, the amounts/timing could be in jeopardy as the models have shown signs of diverging. While a multi-day precip event for NorCal exists, model differences in timing could result in greater, lesser, or delayed results/impacts.”

      • Quagmire Cliffington

        Charlie brown phenomenon.

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        While it may be somewhat to the detriment of rainfall totals in the North, the latest shift in the models may prove beneficial for the South.

        SD Discussion:

        “THE SLOWER AND MORE AMPLIFIED MODEL SOLUTIONS ALLOW FOR TROPICAL MOISTURE TO BE TAPPED WITH THE 06Z GFS INCREASING PRECIPITABLE WATER VALUES EARLY TUESDAY MORNING TO NEARLY 1.5 INCHES AS FAR NORTH AS SAN DIEGO…AROUND 200 PERCENT OF NORMAL. THE SLOWER ECMWF TIMING WOULD DELAY THE ARRIVAL OF MORE SIGNIFICANT PRECIPITATION UNTIL TUESDAY INTO WEDNESDAY.”

        • Quagmire Cliffington

          12z gfs today showed that sup tropical moisture getting in on the fun in so cal.

          • SoCalWXwatcher

            High snow levels with that stuff, but I’ll take it!

          • SlashTurn

            Mt Gorgonio will get impressive snow totals as always with these systems…

    • Bob G

      For Central Ca, they basically said yhe same thing but were questioning timing. Still expecting substantial precip. You guys are eternal pessimists

      • Kamau40

        The only issue is timing, but not much change in overall precipitation totals between now and middle of next week which is still substantial.

        • Bob G

          I wish these typhoons would end. I hope it does not help build another super ridge.

          • yenlard

            Yeah…when do these typhoons end?

  • Dan weather maniac

    Longtime follower here….I love this blog.

    Not sure why you all are so pessimistic. We are getting very close now, and here is the latest from the Monterey office….
    Sure yes it may change, but this looks like a pretty big storm, I wouldnt call this typical for late NOV.

    ..substantial rainfall event slated for Friday into Wednesday…

    ..Hydro concerns likely by next work week…

    All attention is focused starting Friday evening as the next round
    of rain starts to make its way through the County Warning Area. Not a lot to add
    to the previous discussions, however wanted to highlight that quantitative precipitation forecast
    values from wpc are quite impressive. Confidence is high for the
    rain through the weekend and that another impulse will work its
    way across, although the timing of the second remains problematic
    (ecmwf shows a 36-48 hour break between systems while the GFS/Gem
    show more of a continual event). If the GFS verifies Hydro
    concerns would be much more elevated by Monday and Tuesday.
    However, even if there is a break, the amount being forecast (2-4″
    for urban spots with well over 1/2 a foot in the hills) will
    produce some Hydro problems. Also of note are the very impressive
    isentropic values off the GFS (up to 60 knots from the sw) combined
    with precipitable water values up to 1.3″. Other item of concern will be the
    winds. Models remain in good agreement for windy conditions
    Saturday night/Sunday morning. Much less agreement for Monday into
    Tuesday.

  • Kamau40

    Delay of storm, but precipitation still looks really good closing out Nov going first week of Dec. Also, the ridge that is slated to rebuild starting late next week is once again related to another Western Typhoon expected to develop which has happened quite a bit this Fall. Here is Howard’s take on everything:
    http://mammothweather.com/2014/11/23/waiting-watching-the-transition-in-the-meantime-over-running-over-northerncentral-ca-will-end-today-as-upper-ridge-builds-into-the-pacific-nw-fair-and-dry-with-a-warming-trend-for-the-high/

    • Utrex

      The latest EMCWF is trending with the GFS now, being more progressive than its last weaker and slower run.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Figures. Those Western Pacific Typhoons have been a thorn in our side. When does the Western Pacific Typhoon season end? LOL.

      • Kamau40

        I’m not exactly sure which is a good question. If I find the time later, I will find out for you unless someone else finds out before me.

      • Xerophobe

        It doesn’t. January1 to Dec 31st, honest

        • SoCalWXwatcher

          Thanks for the info. 2013’s last Western Pacific Typhoon dissipated on December 4th. Hopefully we won’t see any more of these amplifying the West Coast ridge after this next one.

          • cabeza tormenta

            they don’t always amplify the ridge though, in late october a few years ago a good one punched through and dropped a lot of rain in norcal… don’t remember the details. it does seem to be somewhat rare..? I was hoping for that to happen this year and instead Buffalo got seven feet of snow!

        • Dan the Weatherman

          I wonder if the strongest typhoons form in the fall months before they are either weaker or infrequent during the winter months? It seems that the summer and fall is when I hear about these typhoons the most whenever they threaten areas such as the Philippines, Japan, Taiwan, and China. I don’t recall hearing much about typhoons in the past during the winter when winter storms affect Asia.

  • Charlie B

    Sugar Bowl just cancelled its opening day. Resorts picking Thanksgiving as “opening day” during summer or early fall is a marketing tool, in my opinion. It gets people excited and helps with season ticket sales. Most years have rather scant snow coverage in late November. So, let’s eat turkey, enjoy friends and family and watch the 49ers dismantle the Seahawks (rather than waiting breathlessly for the next model run to come out). The snow is hopefully on the way, and soon.

  • Ian Alan

    I love a good 5″-10″ rain event before the snow comes!

  • lightning10

    GFS shows a true subtropical tap. Something that has not took place in years and years.

    • Stephen Lizcano

      Can you elaborate on this and what it means? Unfamiliar what to expect with this..thanks!

      • It looks to be tapping in moisture from the tropics which would greatly enhance rainfall.

  • Upcoming storm looks really good at this moment. Will be working on a full update today!

    • Mark T.

      Looking forward it, as I, a lay weather fan, do not know what to make of the 12Z ECMWF.

    • Xerophobe

      Thanks..looking forward to it. Will this be on a tilted axis and the dynamics that create it would occur(?) and….can you explain what conditions create good orographics for increased precip? IE direction front is progressing, or height temps?? or just answer here. I know what happens…just what are the dynamics for ‘good’ orographic precip.

      • Dogwood

        Bingo.
        Yesterday someone posted a sat view and I thought that long skinny thing will pass thru in about 4 hours. It would need to tilt and train in sideways to give some areas a good bullseye drenching.
        We’ll see.

    • Bandini

      I’m glad to hear you say that because I’ll I’m seeing/hearing is down grading, back pedaling, low confidence etc… But I know very little, I just want it to snow!!

      • SFBay2

        Don’t harsh my buzz, Bandini.

        • Bandini

          Ugh I know. I’m heading into So Cal late tonight, then driving back up Sunday. It would probably help my sanity to just turn off all electronic devices and not check a forecast for a few days and just let the storm happen. I think like many of us I am warped after the past few winters. BA updated and is still talking about 1-2 feet at lake level and more up top. Fingers crossed!

          • SlashTurn

            Tried shutting down everything (models, blogs, NWS) cold turkey one time last year as some stupid jinx/anti jinx feeble attempt, but just could’t put down the pipe…

            Drama is just to good!

          • Bandini

            That made me laugh, great analogy: “Hard to put down the pipe.”

    • Any strong winds with this?

      • Utrex

        I think there will be. We might have a strong low-level jet at 850mb, and usually what happens during rain events within intense low-level jets is very strong downward gusts of wind can get pushed down to the surface from the rain falling. Gfs has been trending with a 50-70mph+ low-level jet, and if wind gusts of that strength were to hit the surface, we would get severe wind classification (high wind advisory).

    • SlashTurn

      WW, I can’t recall you having this positive of a post since I started following last year… Just the simple words “really good” coming from you is reassuring.

  • Kamau40

    Ok, models are more agreement for a couple of substantial precipitation events over the next week. There are some timing issues with the second wave for early next week, but the screaming message is that both of the strong short waves will get here to give thirst Ca much needed rainfall in the valleys and heavy snowfall in the Sierra’s which is indeed excellent news.

  • Bandini

    Updated at noon, eyyyyy ohhhhhh

    • kipling

      If we even get 75% of those totals it will be a very good storm. If this forecast is accurate, we will start the rainy season with much to celebrate.

    • Crouching Dallas

      TO THE FACE

      In related news, I am extremely excited.

  • lightning10

    Look at that strong jet picking up on all that moisture…

    • so.cal.storm.lover

      That could end up making waterspouts and tornadoes in so cal. Espicially with those warm waters!

      • Weatherwatcher

        Waterspouts maybe. Tornadoes? Never heard of those here It’s not flat enough.

        • SoCalWXwatcher

          Our SoCal version of tornadoes are nothing compared to what they get in the Midwest, but they do occur from time to time:

          http://articles.latimes.com/1991-03-01/news/mn-2155_1_irvine-tornado

        • Mike Stephenson

          January 2010, during a week of a violent El Niño type pattern the stage was set. A low top super cell with a small tornado came ashore flipping over a few cars in LA and caused some other damage. It does happen every once and a while. That thing made it all the way to Phoenix with tornado warnings

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      LA office discussion indicates that the subtropical tap may generate higher rain totals than are currently forecast for Southern California. Snow levels will be above resort levels during most of the storm however.

  • HadleyCell

    Slightly off topic. An interesting article published in Science in September reconstructs the wintertime strength of upwelling along the CA coast. Over the past 600 years (up to 2006), there has been no change in the mean strength. However, there is an increase in its variability during the latter half of this century. The increased variance is caused by increased negative anomalies in upwelling strength. There is no significant increase in positive anomalies.

    Strong upwelling is ultimately driven by offshore high-pressure systems, while negative anomalies occur in their absence. So, this record gives a nice perspective on CA wintertime climate over the past 600 years.

    Article behind paywall, unfortunately: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/345/6203/1498.abstract

  • thunderstorm98
    • Xerophobe

      That would be great. Hoping precip is that good south of Pt Conception

    • Nick W.

      That’s hopeful news. Sadly, I won’t be surprised if we’d get half of what we’re expecting, like many other storms have done to us in the past few years. :/

  • StormHiker

    NWS SF Bay Area just issued a hydrologic outlook…these past few years had me thinking I would never see one of those again!

  • kipling

    How concerned should we be about the 12Z GFS and EMCF runs? The latest discussion out of Reno NWS seems to suggest that if these verify, that forecast area (a good bit of the Sierras) would see little or no rain or snow?? This would be a major disappointment. Not sure if they are being alarmist but would like an expert to weigh in…

    • mycoholic

      I’m not the expert you’re asking for, but I’ll give you my take anyway. Yes, the models are fine tuning the forecast as this system moves in, but as I look at the 12Z of both models (and the 18z of the GFS) I still see a huge amount of rain relative to anything we’ve seen in the past 2 years. What you (and the Reno NWS) may be reacting to is the slowing down of the system. The 120hr QPF doesn’t look as impressive because the models now are showing rain spreading across 5-7 days rather than 2-4 days. The total precip amounts have not changed much to my eyes. In many ways, 3 inches spread across 7 days will do a lot more good than 3 inches in 48 hours. There will be a bit less runoff, but also fewer mudslides and roadway flooding, and greater infiltration into the soil and groundwater.

      • kipling

        thanks mycoholic, that sounds plausible. I hope your assessment is correct and that the precipitation forecasts stay aggressive for tahoe.

    • Ben

      Be concerned. Look at their discussion this morning. ECMWF coming in slower and a lot weaker. All discussions pointing now at the possibility of less rain overall.

  • Kamau40

    The models are in good agreement showing precipitation stretching all the way thru Wed or possibly Thurs of next week with two strong short waves coming into Ca bringing significant precipitation. Assessing all of the current models this afternoon and also reviewing Richard Stolee’s blog, it looks like the ridge that is projected to rebuild will probably be short lived lasting for about 5-7 days before the jet stream sags further south again by the 10th or 11th of Dec. Hopefully that will be the case so we can see more storms throughout the month of Dec to keep the momentum going. See Stolee’s comments from today.
    http://weatherpro.wordpress.com/2008/04/02/wednesday-morning-weather-summary/

    • kipling

      Good news. That information would be consistent with what i have heard elsewhere. I know some have seen hints in models of very large storm impacting California around the 10th. I know it’s hard to speculate that far out – but do you see anything along those lines in the current model runs?

      • Kamau40

        I do see going out to about the 10th of Dec, another progressive pattern setting up which includes a very strong zonal flow suppressing the ridge further. To far out to say whether or not that will happen, but the good news is that I do not see any sustained strong ridging anywhere in our future taking storms way up into Canada and Alaska like last yr. The overall pattern to me is much different than the last 3yrs which makes me very optimistic about this upcoming Winter.

        • craig matthews

          Most of the long range models show a very powerful zonal jet extending from Asia across the North Pacific in the week 2 period. Which lines up with what you are saying. Check out the GFS ensemble for the first week of December if you haven’t already. Hopefully this jet energy will push into Ca.

        • Bob G

          Thanks for the updates Kamau. Lets hope so. I don’t care if I cannot get a thing done outside. I would rather have alot of wet weather.Lets pray it happens

        • kipling

          thanks Kamau, i appreciate your insights. Hopefully we have the makings of a blockbuster December on our hands

    • Xerophobe

      I’d like to see that too….the accumulated precip for December that CFSv2 is forecasting is pretty amazing-in a wet way. I can’t post cuz it’s from a subscribed website. 🙁 So far this model has been fairly accurate with timing and amounts.

  • craig matthews

    A Rather complex flow pattern forecast 72 hours from 18zGFS. To me it looks like there will be 2 branches of the jet affecting the west coast on Saturday: a cold shortwave in the northern branch diving into the pacific northwest, and a potent shortwave in the westerlies digging into the eastern North Pacific with a moist sw flow aimed at central Ca. After Saturday, it could be do or die, as the devil will be in the details on exactly where/when, how far west that potent low cuts off from the westerlies, which is detrimental to where and how much precip falls across the state. I just pray that storm doesn’t cut off too far west. But then again, we might get some help from the ITCZ too. So many possibilities!

    • Xerophobe

      I think this one is okay for NorCal but south of Big Sur, seems to really dry out, unless if .75-1 inch is good for LAX this time of year. It seems that the long range forecasts have been in line with the amount of precip, yet who would’a thunk it would be this way? I’m guessing (hoping) when ridging breaks down the frequency will stay the same.

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        .75″ – 1″ is a very respectable total for LAX any time of the year, considering 1/4″ of rain in a single afternoon is often enough cause mayhem on the local freeways around here. I fully expect the local news stations to go into full “Storm Watch 2014!” mode with an army of raincoat-clad reporters on location with extended coverage of the storm.

        • Xerophobe

          Thanks didn’t know. You guys will most likely get slammed a few times later this season. You know the joke…LA’s seasons are fire, earthquake, mudslides and smog. Still a great area….really!

      • craig matthews

        I think we are going to see quite an impressive precip gradient line up somewhere between Monterey and the north bay from the first system Friday and Saturday. Looks like the front could stall out over central ca as the next well advertised storm deepens far to our west out in the pacific. There is a lot of potential for very significant precip between now and this time next week, but the “lining up” needs to be just right. Keeping our fingers crossed!

        • Xerophobe

          Yes, there is quite the line of demarcation just south of you. There was a lot of trepidation before the Halloween storm finally arrived. We’d see the forecast maps flip then flop then flip back, flop again, flip-flop. Turned out it was as advertised although precip was not as significant beyond the coast. Precip forecasting is always difficult when the storm moves across pacific before landfall.

  • C M

    Looks like the low is drawing in tropical moisture. Is the core of the low cold enough to create thunderstorms from the mixture of the cold air and warm air? If so I hope it heads straight over the Bay Area, particularly the South Bay :).

    • alanstorm

      Its all a question of where the fronts stall-out at. Those areas could get some big rain totals & localised flooding. These warm, slow-movers can be the “gift that keeps on giving”!

  • Bartshe

    more sobriety and uncertainty from Reno:

    .LONG TERM…SUNDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY…

    THE 00Z ECMWF HAS BACKED OFF FURTHER WITH LOW NEXT WEEK AND NOW PAINTS A MORE DISMAL PICTURE FOR A BIG STORM HITTING THE REGION. IT NOW HAS A SHORTWAVE RIDGE OVER THE AREA ON TUESDAY FOLLOWED BY MUCH WEAKER PRECIPITATION SIGNALS MID-LATE NEXT WEEK AS JET ENERGY IS WEAKER AND FURTHER SOUTH. THE GFS STILL HAS THE UPPER LOW MOVING INLAND BUT HAS SLOWED AS WELL WITH JET ENERGY COMING IN FURTHER SOUTH TUE-WED. ITS QPF SIGNAL IS NOT AS IMPRESSIVE COMPARED TO PREVIOUS DAYS. IN ADDITION, SNOW LEVELS ARE A BIT HIGHER AS A RESULT WITH 700MB TEMPS GETTING NO COLDER THAN ABOUT -4C OR -5C. THESE TRENDS ARE NOT SURPRISING BASED ON THE DECREASING MODEL HEIGHT FORECASTS TO THE SOUTHWEST OF PARENT UPPER LOW IN THE PACIFIC OVER THE PAST WEEK IN THE GFS WHICH IS TOWARD
    THE MORE DRAMATIC SHIFT WEST IN THE ECMWF OF THE PAST COUPLE DAYS.

    http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/total_forecast/getprod.php?prod=RNOAFDREV&wfo=mtr&version=0

    • Quagmire Cliffington

      Gut wrenching to read that. The words do not exist to explain how these past few winters have made me feel. Mother Nature has no mercy.

      On a side note – happy thanksgiving to all of you. I enjoy discussing the weather with you all and I look forward to doing so for the rest of the winter.

    • Kelley Rogers

      The models change everyday it seems…they say one thing, then another…the weather is gonna do what it’s gonna do. I think these guys just need stuff to type.

  • Quagmire Cliffington

    If this doesn’t materialize I will not trust any models anymore. What else needed to be right for this storm to be a whopper? PNA is negative. MJO is strong in phase 3. The ridge shifts east. Are the stars aligned?What is mother nature’s horoscope sign? Maybe that’s what’s throwing this off.

    • Bandini

      It’s cool, we can just start talking about the next one that’s 10+ days out.

      • maddogokp

        No Not cool! I skied the white ribbon of death @ Squaw yesterday. Fun once, but can’t take another big storm bust! I blame myself, I actually spoke the words “big snow on the way” out loud, on the lift, bad Karma. Cone of silence required going forward. My bad.

      • Lol. No thanks.

  • RSpringbok

    For the Monday/Tuesday “big storm” GFS collapses… again. To illustrate, here’s a table of GFS runs for Nyack on I-80 at 5,000 ft (roughly 30 miles NW of Tahoe). The newest run is on the left, oldest on the right.

    RUN 27 00Z 26 12Z 26 00Z 25 12Z 25 00Z
    QPF
    Mon 12/01 00Z 0.05 0.11 0.12 0.11 0.16
    Mon 12/01 03Z 0.03 0.05 0.09 0.19 0.23
    Mon 12/01 06Z 0.00 0.02 0.09 0.48 0.3
    Mon 12/01 09Z 0.01 0.01 0.19 0.85 0.39
    Mon 12/01 12Z 0.01 0.00 0.38 0.67 0.72
    Mon 12/01 15Z 0.00 0.00 0.71 0.11 0.37
    Mon 12/01 18Z 0.01 0.00 0.58 0.19 0.33
    Mon 12/01 21Z 0.00 0.00 0.18 0.63 0.22
    Tue 12/02 00Z 0.00 0.00 0.17 0.50 0.24
    Tue 12/02 03Z 0.00 0.00 0.15 0.15 0.19
    Tue 12/02 06Z 0.00 0.00 0.16 0.14 0.22
    Tue 12/02 09Z 0.00 0.00 0.15 0.22 0.09
    Tue 12/02 12Z 0.00 0.00 0.11 0.15 0.02
    Tue 12/02 15Z 0.01 0.02 0.11 0.04 0
    Tue 12/02 18Z 0.08 0.10 0.08 0.02 0
    Tue 12/02 21Z 0.44 0.33 0.05 0 0
    Wed 12/03 00Z 0.25 0.19 0.04 0 0

    TOTAL 0.89 0.83 3.36 4.45 3.48

    • Kelley Rogers

      Is that liquid measurements at the bottom?

      • RSpringbok

        Those are the forecasted precip totals for each GFS run. I think it’s liquid equivalent.

        • Kelley Rogers

          Another weak and crappy storm then?

          • RSpringbok

            Models are downsizing the predicted monster multi-incher to just so-so

          • Kelley Rogers

            I don’t trust the computers at all

          • Nick W.

            We’ll see what happens. I’m getting more pessimistic about these storms the closer they get.

  • Kamau40

    Just took a peak at the long range forecast from the European mean(240hrs out) shows a very deep trough being carved out right off the West Coast setting a nice long stretch of subtropical moisture from Hawaii. If this verifies, we maybe looking at an AR that could produce heavy rains for the state a week from this weekend. This is a dramatic change from the last few days which showed a ridge developing off the Ca coast. It also maybe a sign that the subtropical jet stream we have been waiting for is finally starting to show signs of emerging. In the meantime, enjoy the heavy precipitation that will be taking shape over the next week which is great news for us. Happy Thanksgiving!!

    • RSpringbok

      Heavy?

      • Kamau40

        I did not realize how quickly the model changed!! Very strange indeed. It is something I have never witnessed before. Models are usually very accurate within 3-5 days out of predicting the outcome of a storm.

    • kipling

      Kamau have you been reading the recent discussions? It sounds like all bets are off concerning heavy precipitation early next week. I am not even ready to get my hopes up for some far out storm since it looks like this hyped storm is rapidly washing out offshore.

    • Bandini

      240 hours is absolute dog crap to me. Happy thanksgiving.

      • Kamau40

        I agree. Happy Thanksgiving!

        • Bandini

          You too! At this point we all just need to think positive and “will” storms I think…

  • kipling

    Hugely disappointed by the recent commentary out of Reno. This is shaping up to be a monumental disappointment for the state. I am a bit confused by the seeming inconsistency from NWS office to NWS office. The Reno discussion was issued at around 3:30 a.m. but the SF office issued an update to their discussion almost 5 hours later – and they don’t mention this storm washing out and remain pretty consistent with what they foresee as impacts (still talking about large rainfall totals in the Bay Area). I cannot remember a storm where there has been this much confusion and a seeming total inability to grasp. It seems we have completely turned over our forecasting to the model suites and they are only good for a few days ahead of time, at best.

    • Kelley Rogers

      That’s what I am saying too… there is zero consistency day to day… I honestly feel it’s too much info and over analyzing things.

    • Bartshe

      possibly because how the storm affects the coast contrasts with how it affects the Sierra–many instances of where a storm will produce decent rainfall in coast range-Bay Area, but do little or nothing for the Sierra and beyond.

  • RSpringbok

    Generic computer model forecast for Calif storms more than 5 days out

    http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view/75233/charlie-brown-o.gif

    • Nick W.

      I won’t be surprised we’ll still be waiting for rain Wednesday. This evil ridge refuses to budge and the projected storms are getting messed up. 🙁

  • Dan, have you thought about renaming your blog “Waiting for Godot”?
    Since that would probably get you in legal trouble with Beckett’s estate, how about “Waiting for Good Low”?

    • kipling

      I have rarely seen such a huge miss on forecasts – usually the 5-7 day precipitation forecasts issued by the NWS are reasonably accurate. That large areas may end up “high and dry” after previously projected to receive 6-8″ of rain is almost unprecedented from my admittedly casual observations. Considering the almost apocalyptic drought situation, it’s just incredibly disheartening.

    • Guest

      E: Oh yes, let’s go far away from here.

      V: We can’t.

      E: Why not?

      V: We have to come back tomorrow.

      E: What for?

      V: To wait for Godot.

      E: Ah! (Silence.) He didn’t come?

      V: No.

      E: And now it’s too late.

      V: Yes, now it’s night.

      E: And if we dropped him? (Pause.) If we dropped him?

      V: He’d punish us. (Silence. He looks at the tree.) Everything’s dead but the tree.

  • Kamau40

    Here is the very latest discussion from the Bay Area NWS just within the last hr. I have not seen where the models are collapsing the precipitation totals that everyone is seeing, the only difference is timing of the incoming short waves: Review latest discussion below.
    http://www.wunderground.com/DisplayDisc.asp?DiscussionCode=MTR&StateCode=CA&SafeCityName=Napa&MR=1

  • Weatherwatcher

    Latest discussion from NWS san diego. No talk of precipitation, only uncertainty between models. What a dissapointment.

    FROM PREVIOUS DISCUSSION…

    SUNDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY…
    THE GLOBAL MODELS CONTINUE TO DIVERGE FROM SUNDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY
    IN TWO KEY AREAS…THE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM OVER THE EASTERN
    PACIFIC…AND A DOWNSTREAM TROUGH OF LOW PRESSURE EAST FOR THE
    ROCKIES. THE ECMWF IS MORE AMPLIFIED WITH A TROUGH OF LOW PRESSURE
    OVER THE CENTRAL AND EASTERN STATES NEXT TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY…AND
    IN TURN SLOWER AND MORE CLOSED WITH THE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM OVER THE
    EASTERN PACIFIC. THE OPERATIONAL ECMWF HAS BEEN CONSISTENT WITH
    ITSELF FOR THE PAST 24 HOURS AND THE ECMWF ENSEMBLE MEAN HAS TRENDED
    SLOWER AND MORE CLOSED OVER THE PAST 24 HOURS AND IS NOW
    ALMOST…BUT NOT QUITE…AS SLOW AND CLOSED AS THE OPERATIONAL
    ECWMF. THE GEM HAS ALSO TRENDED MUCH CLOSER TO THE ECMWF FOR THE
    EARLY TO MIDDLE PART OF NEXT WEEK…BOTH OVER THE CENTRAL AND
    EASTERN STATES…AND OVER THE EASTERN PACIFIC. THE GFS…BOTH THE
    OPERATIONAL RUN AND THE 13-KM PARALLEL RUN…AND THE GFS ENSEMBLE
    MEAN HAVE BEEN CONSISTENT WITH THEMSELVES THE PAST PAST 24 HOURS.
    THE GFS IS LESS AMPLIFIED OVER THE CENTRAL AND EASTERN STATES AND IN
    TURN NOT AS SLOW…BUT WITH A CLOSED LOW TO MOVE INLAND ALONG THE
    CALIFORNIA COAST THE EARLY TO MIDDLE PART OF NEXT WEEK. THE GFS
    SOLUTIONS WOULD BRING SIGNIFICANT PRECIPITATION TO SOUTHERN
    CALIFORNIA…MAINLY TUESDAY INTO TUESDAY NIGHT. THE ECMWF WOULD NOT
    ONLY BE SLOWER WITH PRECIPITATION ARRIVAL INTO SOUTHERN
    CALIFORNIA…BUT WOULD BRING LESS AS WELL AS THE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM
    WOULD WEAKEN AND MOVE INLAND TO THE NORTH AS IT APPROACHES THE
    CALIFORNIA COAST. THE CURRENT FORECAST CONTINUES TO LEAN TOWARDS THE
    GFS…BUT POPS CONTINUE TO REMAIN LOWER THAN A PURELY GFS SOLUTION
    WOULD IMPLY GIVEN THE CONTINUING UNCERTAINTY.

  • Kamau40

    Ok, even BA is frustrated with the latest model trends regarding the slated systems. It is amazing to me how quickly the models changed in less than 12hrs on the strength of these systems. It is very frustrating and disappointing, especially during a very critical time as now regarding heavy precipitation. He made a great point, he does not get excited about model trends more than 5 days out. It makes me now think that maybe we should stop trusting model trends even within a 24hr period!
    http://www.wunderground.com/DisplayDisc.asp?DiscussionCode=MTR&StateCode=CA&SafeCityName=Napa&MR=1

    • Bartshe

      Models are never to be fully trusted, especially on the west coast. They are also consistently bullish on precip more than 24 hours out. “All the models are wrong, some are just more useful than others” famous quote/paraphrase applies.

      • Kamau40

        You are right. In years past though models were almost always consistent and in an agreement with storm systems within 3-5 days out and sometimes even 2 weeks out. I think for now on we should withhold our excitement about storms even within 2-3 days out until it actually happens.

        • Bartshe

          Happy Thanksgiving! Stuff the models!

        • Xerophobe

          I was looking at some archives for QPF for the beginning of this month and the 72 hr was underestimating anywhere from 2-3 multiples. it’s been awhile, but I kinda felt the models became somewhat consistent in their forecasting; either too dry or too wet depending on what the major influences were for that year and how each model would weigh a particular dynamic. IOW the models don’t self correct. (I may be totally wrong, though and wouldn’t be the first time…LOL)

  • Xerophobe

    Daniel, you must really be working hard on that update!

  • alanstorm

    Could it be that stubborn, monster High Pressure ridge over Ca last few days
    that broke our storm apart?? Where are the powerful, cold GOA lows??
    Hoping for a normal storm lately is like hoping the Niners make the playoffs

    • Nick W.

      *coughHAARPcough*

      • Bumgarner40

        Bingo

  • Lycanthus

    Pretty extreme divergence between the Canadian and the GFS six days out:

    http://meteocentre.com/models/compar_models.php?map=na&lang=en&size=large&run=12&stn=PNMPR&&range=glb&hh=144

    • Xerophobe

      There’s a hiccup in the GEM throughout that loop.

  • I guess this one also shows dramatic weakening from what it showed last night. Bummer….

    http://weather.unisys.com/gfs/gfs.php?inv=0&plot=pres&region=us&t=l

    • Kamau40

      Don’t know what to think. This is indeed crazy and very disappointing. In all of the years I have observed weather, I have never witnessed anything like it.

  • Part of the problem with the upcoming update is that the narrative has changed considerably since yesterday. Will be posted this afternoon.

  • Nick W.

    I’m sick of this heat. 82 degrees and Thanksgiving should never mix, no matter what part of California you’re in.

    • CalNative

      Try 88 degrees. In L.A., you can just put the turkey on the sidewalk and roast it there.

  • Bumgarner40

    Please check out the two radar loops below. The aerosols being dispersed off the coast of Baja and over the Sacramento/Central Valleys are clear as day. I am so sick and tired of watching these promising storms get completely snuffed out by geoengineering.

    http://www.ssec.wisc.edu/data/geo/index.php?satellite=west&channel=wv&coverage=nh&file=gif&imgoranim=8&anim_method=jsani

    You can also see the subtropical moisture tap completely cut off/dry up on the visible 0.65… This is characteristic of a HAARP downburst.

    http://www.ssec.wisc.edu/data/geo/index.php?satellite=west&channel=wv&coverage=nh&file=gif&imgoranim=8&anim_method=jsani

    • Nick W.

      Disturbing. These terrorists should be punished for manipulating California’s weather. We need rain, no more heat waves!!!

  • russ

    Stupid forecast models. They should stop computers and go back to old days of predicting weather by looking at the sky.

  • Bumgarner40

    http://www.ssec.wisc.edu/data/geo/index.php?satellite=west&channel=wv&coverage=nh&file=gif&imgoranim=8&anim_method=jsani

    This link clearly shows the aerosols being dispersed off the coast of Baja and over the Sacramento and Central Valleys…..no way these are contrails they are way too big. Likely several planes flying side by side laying aerosols.

    • As much as I prefer to promote discussion in the comments section of this blog, I really do require claims to be supported be real-world evidence. The satellite loops show exactly what I would expect to see in the current weather pattern–lots of cirrus, with expanding artificial ice contrails due to favorable environmental conditions. Please keep the discussion on-topic, since I really would prefer not to use the heavy hand of the moderator. Thanks!

      • Uriel

        research HAARP.

  • kipling

    latest 7 day issued this afternoon from the NWS shows less precipitation, but still a good storm – have the latest model runs just not filtered into this projection yet? From everything I am reading on the model runs, the storm next week is a complete washout and we should expect little if any precipitation from it…

  • thunderstorm98

    The forecast models are so useless these days! 🙁

  • lightning10

    Forecast was showing near 2 inches a few days ago. Currently its showing 0.19. Also happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  • lightning10

    Also Today there was a ton of X in the sky. The powers that be don’t want anything to do with this storm.

  • xeren

    Awww, I was going to reply to that spammer that Hans moleman cured my HIV as well!

    The Best of Hans Moleman: http://youtu.be/aO2t6LO9oLI