Much-needed rains return to California (and there’s more to come), but severe long-term drought continues

Filed in Uncategorized by on December 14, 2014 1,582 Comments

Recent storm recap

A very impressive winter storm brought widespread heavy rainfall to most of California last week.

Observed accumulated precipitation during last week's impressive storm event. (WRCC)

Observed accumulated precipitation during last week’s impressive storm event. (WRCC)

A strong and moist atmospheric river–with a corridor of enhanced moisture transport extending all the way southwest to the Hawaiian Islands–occurred in conjunction with a rapidly-deepening surface low pressure area off the far NorCal coast, bringing a prolonged period of precipitation to much of the state (and the Bay Area/Central Sacramento Valley, in particular). Near the coast, the initial band of rain was extremely intense, leading to rainfall rates well over 1 inch per hour in some spots and causing widespread urban/flash flooding in the Bay Area. These very heavy rain rates–a product of shallow atmospheric instability and exceptionally warm ocean temperatures–persisted as the front slowly moved southeastward, bringing localized flash flooding and landslides to coastal areas as far south as Los Angeles County. A strong wave developed along the cold front as it passed just south of the Bay Area, which allowed a large area of moderate to heavy rain to stall out over the Bay Area. As a result, 24-hour rain totals in the southern half of the Bay Area were exceptionally high, and in a few instances approached all-time daily rainfall records. San Jose, for example, saw its third wettest day in history (and its all-time wettest December day), and San Francisco saw its 11th wettest day in history (and its wettest since 1995). While modest regional flooding did result, rain rates were (fortunately) low enough (and watersheds dry enough) to prevent major flash flooding from occurring in most instances.

Steep pressure gradients and very strong winds aloft led to locally damaging winds, as well, although powerful wind gusts did not turn out to be nearly as widespread as was initially expected with this system. In this sense, last week’s storm did “underperform” in terms of maximum wind speed at lower elevations. At higher elevations, on the other hand, maximum wind speeds were extremely impressive–including a 147 mph wind gust at Mt. Lincoln in the Sierra Nevada, 102 mph at Henninger Flats near Pasadena, CA, and 96 mph at Cooskie Mountain near Ferndale, CA. Despite the presence of very strong winds just above the surface, these powerful gusts did not mix down to sea level to the same degree as forecast, leading to a considerably less impressive wind event in most of California’s urban areas (and therefore weaker than other winter wind events in the past decade). Very strong and damaging surface winds did occur up in Oregon, however, and Portland, OR experienced its strongest wind gust (67 mph) since 1971 . In the Sierra Nevada, very strong gusts damaged buildings and brought down numerous trees in parts of the Tahoe Basin and along Highway 395. These winds generated large enough waves on Lake Tahoe itself to allow for some mile-high December surfing!

Some strong convective cells also developed near and behind the primary cold front, generating at least a handful of waterspouts over the Pacific Ocean and at least one confirmed (EF-0) tornado in Los Angeles County (very impressive home video of this damaging tornado here).

 

More rain on tap this week

More desperately-needed rain and snow is on the way for most of California this week! A series of storm systems–all fairly substantial, but much weaker than last week’s–will bring widespread soaking (and locally heavy) rainfall to nearly the entire state this week. Given the now-saturated state of California’s soils and high levels on regional streams, some flooding could occur at various points this week when precipitation rates are highest, though no severe impacts are expected. Most of the storms this week will be colder than last week’s, and will bring more snow to lower mountain areas.

Numerical models are in agreement that substantial precipitation will fall across most of California this week. (NCEP via Levi Cowan)

Numerical models are in agreement that substantial precipitation will fall across most of California this week. (NCEP via Levi Cowan)

Cold air aloft will also lead to increased instability, with period chances for convective activity and thunderstorms through Friday. Rainfall totals, while not out of the ordinary for a storm sequence in December, will nonetheless be fairly impressive by the standard of the last few years, with at least an inch or two for the urban parts of NorCal and likely at least double that in orographically favored areas. SoCal will see precipitation, too, though overall totals will be somewhat less than in the north. Gusty winds will also be possible, but will generally remain under last week’s levels. In the longer term, more stable and drier conditions are expected to develop toward the end of the calendar year a new ridge develops over the West Coast. It’s unclear at the moment whether this will dry period will be transient, or perhaps more prolonged (which would not be all that unusual for this time of year).

 

Drought update: short-term relief, but severe long-term drought continues

Recent heavy precipitation has brought substantial short-term drought relief to most of California.

Most of California has experienced at least slightly above average precipitation for this water year to date. (WRCC)

Most of California has experienced at least slightly above average precipitation for this water year to date. (WRCC)

California's 3-year precipitation deficits remain enormous, even after recent storms. (WRCC)

California’s 3-year precipitation deficits remain enormous, even after recent storms brought widespread heavy precipitation. (WRCC)

In fact, much of the state is now at least marginally above average for the water year to date (Oct 1 – present). Streams are currently flowing, seasonal grasses are greening, and fire season is over–which is a lot more than could have been said last December. Some local reservoirs were able to capture quite a bit of runoff from these storms, and even the state’s big reservoirs finally showed a noticeable inflow pulse from these storms. On the other hand, relatively little of this precipitation fell as snow: even after this recent major storm sequence, statewide snow water equivalent remains at only 40% of average to date for the water year. This is largely due to California’s record-warm temperatures in 2014 and the nearly total absence of cold air outbreaks over the state so far this fall/early winter.

2014 will almost certainly be California's warmest year on record. (NOAA/NCDC)

2014 will almost certainly be California’s warmest year on record. (NOAA/NCDC)

Huge long-term precipitation deficits remain after 3-years of extreme drought conditions in California–in fact, the magnitude of the 3-year rain shortfall in many regions still exceeds average annual precipitation, and in some spots remains closer to two year’s worth of rain. While California does not necessarily need to “make back” this entire water shortfall to mitigate many of the most acute drought impacts, we still have a very long way to go before we’ll have any assurance of long-term improvement. An added challenge is that 2014 is almost certain to become California’s warmest year in recorded history–and recent research suggests that these extremely high temperatures and very low precipitation have together created the most severe California drought in over a millenium. In the short term, though, it’s encouraging to finally see a more active Pacific pattern, with periodic precipitation in California. Enjoy the rain and snow this week!

© 2014 WEATHER WEST

 

 

 

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  • Ian Alan

    Maxed out at 33F with high winds, at the surface highest wind gust was 19 and average windchill at around 24F brrrrr what a stark difference from the rest of the year! Running Springs 6250′

    NWS added chance snow from Monday night thru Thursday ???? highs in the 30s lows in low 20’s for at least the next 8 days with some highs in the low 30’s.

    Today’s forecast was for a high of 35 but barely tapped 33. Too bad so much snow melted the last few days because what’s left is frozen solid in place with no melting even in the sun today.

    • craig matthews

      Sure beats a low of 51 up there….Is 33 close to average high temp for Running Springs this time of year?

      • Ian Alan

        It’s much more average than a low of 51! ????

        Below average for a high temp with average being closer to upper 30’s.

    • redlands

      Redlands, Ca — Southern Calif High today 58.7 Low so far 46.0 — present temp 50.5 — 27 mph high wind gust at 949am — Wind Run – so far 72.6 miles — With the wind right now it feels like it should for December/Christmas

    • Dan the Weatherman

      There should be some good snowmaking opportunities for the local ski resorts such as Mountain High, Bear Mountain, and Snow Summit, and hopefully some natural snow will fall this next week as well.

      • SlashTurn

        I just want Baldy in full op for once. Just needs a 2 ft dump.

      • Ian Alan

        They’ve all probably been blowing snow nonstop since last night.

    • redlands

      Whats been your low for Dec-25-2014 up in Running Springs

      • Ian Alan

        28 this am high of 33 currently 28. 6 hours to get colder and I think it will but not by much the wind has been relentless today.

        • redlands

          not too much of difference between hi and low — I need to move up to the mountains to get those temps — u got an anemometer to measure the wind

          • Ian Alan

            Yes but with all the trees all I can get is surface winds amongst the trees which my high wind gust was 19 today and average around 10. The large trees are swaying heavily in the winds and the house shakes occasionally – treetop wind speeds easily gale force in the 40s or higher. Peak wind gust overall in the mountains was 90mph on the backside.

          • redlands

            Wow — that’s blowin good — good for low windchill

  • craig matthews
    • redlands

      thanks for posting — real neat too see

      • craig matthews

        I think there’s a link there too for Socal Cities with snow in the past….

        • redlands

          really will have to check ou

  • Kamau40
    • craig matthews

      Great discussion. Next week sure looks interesting. Do you have the link to the new GFS T1534?

      • Kamau40

        Yes. Attached is the new GFS T1534 and it works great. It is much more accurate. Let me know how you like it as well. Merry Christmas to you and your family.
        http://weather.graphics/gsm/ygfs_region.php

        • craig matthews

          Merry Christmas to you and your family as well Kamau40. The GFS T1534 works/ great link, thanks.

  • redlands

    Anyone get any weather related stuff — thermometer , weather station or rain gauges from Santa Claus

  • Finally feels like winter here. High of 41 after hitting 27 last night (our low for the entire month!) and expect to reach 23 tonight. If it happens it will be the first night this month where the temperatures dropped below the normal low for the date.

    • redlands

      Zepp — Where u located — What city ???

      • Siskiyou County, south slope of Mount Shasta at 3300′.

  • lightning10

    If that snow level got down to 900 Feet the top of Whittier might get a chance.

  • Ian Alan

    Santa Claus came and is giving socal some hope and fun in the midst of a dreadful dry spell.

    NWS SD:

    ATTENTION IS TURNING TOWARDS A STRONG AND VERY COLD LOW PRESSURE
    SYSTEM EARLY NEXT WEEK THROUGH NEW YEARS. THE MODELS ARE BEGINNING
    TO HAVE SOME AGREEMENT IN THIS RELATIVELY NEW PATTERN. LOOKING AT
    THE GEFS ENSEMBLES AND THE ANALOG TOOL WHICH TAKES THE ENSEMBLE
    FORECAST AND COMPARES IT TO HISTORICAL DATASETS…FORECASTER
    CONFIDENCE IS INCREASING IN THE VERY COLD UPPER LOW RETROGRADING A
    BIT ACROSS FAR SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TUESDAY AND INTO NEW YEARS EVE.
    IF THIS PATTERN VERIFIES WE COULD SEE VERY LOW SNOW LEVELS AS LOW AS
    2000-2500 FEET AND STRONG WINDS FROM TUESDAY NIGHT INTO WEDNESDAY
    NIGHT. COLD AIRMASS WOULD CONTINUE INTO NEW YEARS DAY. FOR NOW WE
    HAVE ADJUSTED THE POPS UP A BIT FOR TUE-WED AND LOWERED SNOW LEVELS
    A BIT. ATTM THE ECM IS FURTHER EAST WITH THE COLD CORE AND THE GFS
    TRACKS THE LOW DIRECTLY OVER OUR REGION. MEANWHILE THE GEFS LENDS
    MORE CREDIBILITY TO THE GFS FORECAST. LATER FORECASTS WILL FINE TUNE
    TOWARDS FORECASTER CONFIDENCE IN THIS POTENTIALLY SIGNIFICANT
    WEATHER MAKER FOR OUR REGION.

    • Kamau40

      This could be a very nice setup for the potential for low snow levels for the San Bernadino mountains. It quite a change from the very mild weather pattern we have been experiencing during the Fall season.

    • redlands

      Hmmm — I wonder how much lower than 2-2500 feet ???

    • Dan the Weatherman

      I am wondering if there may be some convective activity with possible thunderstorms as the very cold air mass associated with the low interacts with the warmer than normal SSTs off our coast.

      • That will be interesting…

      • Ian Alan

        In the mountains we typically do in this setup with grauple/ hail piling up fast when they hit.

  • Kamau40

    The peaks of Mauna Loa on the Big Islands of Hawaii has experienced some rare snowfall. This is very interesting considering this is very close to the equator.

    • Snowfall on Mauna Loa is an annual occurrence. Formal blizzard conditions–as occurred today–are unusual, but the summits on the Big Island get snow at fairly regular intervals.

      • Sunchaser

        The term ” Blizzard” is what caught my eye in the article as snow is fairly regular up on Mauna Loa which tops out around 13,500 + ft. which is up there….but 8” of the white stuff is very unusual…especial for a volcano …and fyi Mauna Loa is considered the largest subareal volcano in the world in both mass and volume. The Mauna Loa solar observatory is located near the its peak and is used to observe earth atmosphere….

    • redlands

      did they say how many inches of snow

      • Kamau40

        No, it did not report how many inches fell. It was probably only a few inches before it quickly melted since the temperatures warmed back up to the upper 50s.

  • Dan weather maniac

    No!!!!!

    The synoptic pattern setting up by early next week…with a
    persistent high amplitude ridge just off the West Coast…is very
    much like the pattern that dominated last December when our area
    saw almost no precipitation and many cold nights.

    • Sunchaser

      I don’t believe that is going to happen…what I hope that will happen is the ridge will be undercut by the westerlies and all the storms will be channeled right towards So Cal… !!!!!

      • Pfirman

        I have the same fear as Dan weather maniac. This cold, clear, sunny weather is ominously reminiscent of the one a couple years back where the spigot just went dry for the rest of the winter and we had one beautiful sunny stupid day after another as the reservoirs dropped and dropped.
        So, go westerlies.

        • Weatherwatcher

          I had that doom thinking until i saw the rain forecast for next week. Random ridges are normal in winter for breaks in between wet weather.

  • This will be an interesting one. Doesn’t look like substantial precip will fall. It is a little too east to bring precip. Maybe it will collide with the warm SST’s for a little bit. This will be some very low snow levels if this pans out a few days from now.

    • Weatherwatcher

      Precipitation from this may be signigicant for socal and snow levels will be below 3000 ft according to NWD SD.

  • Ian Alan

    I was curious about this statement by Howard, hoping someone could shed some further light on the scenario and hopefully not sound too silly for asking! ????

    “Just in…the GFS Beta (T-1534) Shows a slower scenario to the upper low there-by actually phasing with the subtropical system closer to New Years Eve. This is a wetter scenario. This is really going to be interesting for Southern CA!!!”

    The phasing of these two features, is it random coincendence if it occurs (right place right time) or is there a bit of ‘magnetism’ going on that will actually help to pull them together? Which I guess in a sense is also a product of them being in the right place at the right time to begin with……..

    Locally temps dropped to 23F this AM with wind chill in the middle teens!

    • craig matthews

      Been waiting for that answer too….I think maybe both??? If the blocking ridge amplifies a bit further west and north into the Gulf of AK and the Bermuda High over the southeast U.S remains more amplified, perhaps that would cause the cold Canadian shortwave to drop down and retrograde further west over/off central/socal coast. Then that would allow more opportunity, or a better set up, for that cold vigorous shortwave to draw in a weaker/warmer/more moist disturbance from the southwest, which is where phasing of 2 different atmospheres would come together.. But that is going to take a lot of perfect timing and perfect alignment of these features. We had one or 2 events like what could happen next week in 1992-93 season that ended up dumping a lot of rain and snow over cen/socal.

  • thunderstorm98

    36 degrees right now. Seeing frost on the grass and on the roofs.

    • redlands

      where u at thunderstorm 98

      • thunderstorm98

        At Santa Maria/Orcutt area. Official low was 34 degrees 3 degrees cooler than forecast.

  • Mike Stephenson

    The winds made for a blistery cold christmas night in Socal!

    • redlands

      where u located

      • Mike Stephenson

        Corona/Riverside
        However I was up by lake Mathiews on christmas night. Winds seems very cold, coldest all year I would say!

    • Weatherwatcher

      Yep that frost advisory. Before I even saw it I knew it would be too cold for the plants so I warned my dad to cover the plumerias.

  • SFBay2

    Any idea why AccuWeather and other commercial apps are calling for rain in the 10-15 range? AccuWeather puts it at 65% on the 8th. I realize thats in deep fantasy land, but for that level of supposed certainty, I’m curious if there’s something big brewing out there.

    • Ian Alan

      Long range is starting to be consistent with fairly widespread rain across the state in that timeframe and possibly significant.

    • Bob G

      The CFSv2 is trending wet. Hopefully they are right

    • Bandini

      I looked at it this morning and it shows quite a bit of activity through the whole month and into February. Time will tell I guess.

    • SBMWill

      Only thing predictable out that far is weather trends and it does appear we are potentially trending big in California

    • Accuweather’s 50-day forecast is a marketing ploy, and nothing more. I once saw a forecast for 42 days ahead that specified “a few afternoon showers and a possible thundershower”. I would consider that to be pure guesswork at five days out, let alone 42. Any forecast beyond five days is blowing smoke.

      • SFBay2

        Ok, good to know.

    • Bob G

      I quit looking ar accyweather forecasts beyond 10 days which are worthless

      • CalNative

        I always imagine there is some guy in the basement at Accuweather who they pay to just sit there and make up these forecasts beyond Day 11.

        • Bob G

          Lol. I think they just roll the dice to come up with their forecast

    • Skye H.

      Past 15 day they just look at teleconnections and climatology and extrapolate based on GFS and euro data out to 15 days. There are also ensemble forecasts out to 20 days I think but past 25 it is almost pure guesswork. Not very good guesswork too.

  • craig matthews

    GFS and ECMWF have flip flopped and now ECMWF has the cold shortwave closing off right over Monterey bay….

    • Xerophobe

      you’re talking ~ the 30th?
      This is going to freeze our you know what off and be bone dry.

      • craig matthews

        Yep, I haven’t seen the 12z ECMWF yet, that might have changed back to cold/dry. But the 0z ECMWF opps and ensemble both showed a cold core closed low off Monterey bay around the 30th with showers here and more significant ran/snow for socal. Having ensembles back up is good but the GFS says cold dry for us with some snow showers over the socal mtns right now.

  • Xerophobe

    yup these have flipped (and it’s two days old)…..we’ll see. Here’s a guarantee: The sun will rise and the moon sure looks purdy in the evening right now

    • craig matthews

      Kinda resembles what it said back around Thanksgiving for December……

    • Nick W.

      Hoping it’ll be a wet January. We need to break these endless string of dry Januarys.

  • Kamau40

    This is just a thought of the potential major pattern change that maybe setting up down the road. I have indeed seen this happen in the past. A major Artic outbreak like what we are currently experiencing can sometimes proceed a significant break thru of the westerlies which I have observed in years past. Howard made a good comment in his blog yesterday that is very much in line of my thinking about the possible eventual break thru undercutting the blocking high by the second week of January. This is what he says, “It is common for an Arctic Air event to precede a major SW warm advection event. That lead to the infamous Winter of “69” in the Owens Valley and Central Sierra.”

    • What does “the infamous winter of 69 in Owens Valley and the Central Sierra” refer to? Afraid I was too young then to remember… 😉

      • Bandini

        I was wondering the same thing when I read it yesterday. Couldn’t find much on it.

      • Xerophobe

        A lot of precip / snow…January and February of 1969 in Central/SoCal. SoCal from SLO to SAN were hammered.

      • Bartshe

        many below are filling in the blanks, but to add: ’69 was a much larger than normal winter packed into January-March. The overall SWE for the Sierra is analogous to roughly 1998. It still didn’t touch 1983, but it would have if Nov and Dec were not below average statewide.

      • Kamau40

        There was snow that developed in Owens Valley(valley floor) during that time period. Very rare occurence, but an event like this can occur sometimes.

  • craig matthews

    18zGFS 12-26….if this happens, could there be a potential for lake effect snow on southeast or south ends of Tahoe and Pyramid Lakes??

    • Theoretically, yeah. In practice, it wouldn’t add more than an inch or two to the total snowfalls. The lakes are too small to have the sort of effect you see with Erie or Ontario.

      • SlashTurn

        I’ve seen June Mountain in the eastern sierra receive almost a foot of lake effect entirely from Mono Lake with a single narrow band aimed right at the N and E aspects of the ski resort. Mammoth mountain 10 miles south had just a dusting…

        • I doubt it was lake effect that did that. Adiabatic uplift is the most likely culprit, combined with the wildly variable micrometeorology the mountains are famed for. There was a time a few years back when the City of Mount Shasta, eight miles from here as the crow flies and at the same altitude, got a half inch of snow, and we got three feet from the same storm.

          • AlTahoe

            Carson City had 23″ of lake effect snow from Lake Tahoe in Nov 2000. Extremely rare but it does occasionally happen.

            http://www.inscc.utah.edu/~u0758091/studies/cairns.pdf

          • I just don’t see how it’s possible. You can only have so much evaporative uptake per square mile of water.

          • AlTahoe

            Yeah I wouldn’t have believed it either. The write up listed above is very good and explains how it worked. Pyramid lake also had Lake effect during that event.

          • Bartshe

            June Mt does periodically benefit from lake-effect snow from Mono Lake when there is a cold, north to northeast flow over the lake.

          • craig matthews

            Was the flow out of the south/southeast when you got 3 feet and Mt Shasta City got 1/2 inch? I am assuming orographic enhancement occurs on one side of Mt Shasta and downsloping/precip shadowing occurs on the opposite side, and where all this happens depends on the direction of flow during precip events??

          • Exactly so. It was a wraparound low, and the winds were fetching the precipitation up against Snowman’s summit, a rise to 4,500 feet about four miles west of us. And wind direction has major impacts on the amount of precip we get.

      • craig matthews

        Makes sense….

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Would this be considered a “Tonapah Low” scenario?

      • craig matthews

        Never heard that one…..But this set up kinda resembles upslope events on the front range of the rockies, with a strong shortwave diving down outta Canada over the sierra spine, and a very cold surface high dropping in on its heels in the great basin, creating an upslope ne flow east of the crest that could enhance some light to moderate areas of snow especially in areas like Washoe or Mono pass areas.

  • Xerophobe

    Here’s some more info on the January 1969 events resulting from high latitude blocking. Almost like CA was in-between two Omega blocks?
    From NOAA http://docs.lib.noaa.gov/rescue/mwr/097/mwr-097-04-0351.pdf

    • craig matthews

      Very nice find!!! One map shows the high latitude block being situated further west over the GOA then our latest and forecast block, which allowed cold shortwaves to dive south off B.C and phase with undercutting energy from the west in Jan ’69(on the first set of maps). Some of the current models actually forecast a pattern similar to that for January ’15…

  • lightning10

    Depending on the path and timing of the storm it looks a little like the storm we had in March of 2006 where several locations had accumulating early morning sleet and hail.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      I believe we had another very similar storm in November 2004 as well, when a very cold low dropped into SoCal from Nevada, triggering thunderstorms, hail, and some very low snow levels with accumulating snow in areas above 1,000ft like Temecula and Menifee. I’d actually prefer this one to take a more Westerly track and pick up more moisture from the warm SST’s, but as long as it isn’t a dry slider I’ll be happy.

      • lightning10

        I remember that storm as well. Heck of a lightning and wind storm here in Whittier that night/morning. It was like a cold monsoon where the cell rolled off from the upper elevations into the valley.

    • That one came from the Gulf of Alaska and was over the ocean for a while. We got snow briefly in San Jose that night.

  • Bandini

    Just got back from Reno where it was 33F at 7pm. Here in Truckee it is already 18F at my place. Forecast lows for the week are:

    Tonight : 4F
    Sat: 16F
    Sun: 6F
    Mon: 10F
    Tue: 7F
    Wed: 3F
    Thur: 16F

    The single digits are what get my old Toyota acting peculiar. Last year during the December cold streak the driver side door refused to fully close for two days. If we do squeeze a little snow out of the atmosphere it is going to be Utah style 20:1 fluffiness, hopefully it happens. Stay warm!

    • inclinejj

      If it gets that cold remember to either take the battery out of your car, or cover it with a blanket.

  • Is this the cold air over Western Canada right now?

    http://www.ssec.wisc.edu/data/us_comp/image7.jpg

  • Bartshe

    More AR events are allegedly in store for CA as the climate continues to warm, but they sure have been rare the last several years…
    http://www.livescience.com/49225-atmospheric-rivers-double-climate-change.html

    • RSpringbok

      The article also mentions rising snow levels as a consequence of warming. Consider Colfax at 2400 ft elev. Since 1905 Colfax has averaged 14 in of snow per year. Per WRCC data, it has not snowed in Colfax since Feb 2011. This continuous almost 4 year period of no snow is unprecedented in the Colfax weather data.

      • Skye H.

        It snowed about two inches (give or take depending on elevation) in colfax this last march on the tail end of one of the few cold storms that season. I know, I saw the flakes flying and sticking on the webcam in colfax. It also snowed there in december 2013, an inch or two I think. So that data isn’t correct, but you’re absolutely right about rising snow levels with warming, that’s especially sad considering our desperate need for water reserves in snowpack.

        • RSpringbok

          Thanks for those observations. One possibility is the dataset omits brief or trace events in a consistent way during the period of record, which would make it “correct” for trend analysis. OTOH if the dataset is wrong and should have included the two events you mentioned, we end up with the same conclusion: the incidence of low snow is sharply down since pre-2011.

      • Dogwood

        I know in the Santa Cruz and Hamilton Ranges around San Jose the snow level has been about 3500-3800 feet for years whereas the 70’s 80’s it would routinely fall at 1800-2000 after a good storm.
        Anecdotal evidence of course, but it has markedly changed.

        • I’ve actually personally witnessed snowfall in the Santa Cruz Mountains under 2500 feet each of the past three years, albeit relatively brief! But when we integrate over all of the anecdotes, it’s pretty clear that the mean snow level is rising (especially in the Sierras), and that extremely cold/extreme low snow level events are less common today than in the past (even though they still do occur on occasion).

          • honzik

            Here’s what a bit of snow looked like in the Santa Cruz Mountains at around 2200 ft in February 2013.

          • Here’s one of mine from 2-19-2013 (elevation ~2500 feet). Believe it or not, Caltrans has snowplows stationed along Skyline Blvd, and this is why! Would be nice to see this happen later in the year…

          • I love driving up there when it snows.

      • JimmySD

        The Desert Sun just published a piece about the effects of rising snow levels in the Santa Rosa Mountains.

        http://www.desertsun.com/story/news/environment/2014/12/27/desert-palm-springs-study/20886185/

        This is not just some future event. The consequences are already being seen.

    • Kelley Rogers

      Drove down from Kirkwood yesterday…zero snow below 5,000-5,500 feet. Seems unheard, but it’s real. I feel the days of the low snow levels in Cali are gone.

  • sdmike

    About 34° overnight last night in Carlsbad, CA. Nice and quiet this morning as all the residents around here were apparently afraid to come out. 🙂

    Then it warmed up. 🙁

  • Bandini

    NOAA 8-14 day outlook looks interesting for the northern part of the state precipitation wise, but of course temps look to be on the rise during the same time frame. I’m currently en route to Alta Utah where they just received 22 inches of snow in the past few days. Winter storm watch now up with another 10-20″ tomorrow thru Monday. Hope to snap a couple shots.

    • rob b

      Getting out of the craziness that is Truckee this week? Just made my way back to Truckee. Any of ramp with snow is packed with cars and loads of people trying to enjoy the snow. Boreal off ramp is backed up with cars parked all alone ng the road.

      It will be interesting which model wins out, the Canadian looks much better for CA as a whole but would be reallly nice for Tahoe. Last New Years week as tne 1st I can remember with -0- snowfall all week.

    • Socal

      What a coincidence, I’m at snowbird right next to alta!

      • Bandini

        Nice! How are conditions? Looks like it will be great the next few days. Ruby mountains in Nevada look like they got blasted, I’m driving by them right now. The sky is already getting darker, radar shows snow starting to creep in.

        • Socal

          Very cold and powdery conditions! The snow has been great we got about 3+ feet during the trip (first storm was very potent and the whole mountain got closed for the day) , it cleared today, but like you said another storm is gonna roll in.

  • redlands

    Any info on this cold – low snow level event where suppose to have in a few days — Southern Calif

    • Thunderstorm

      check out the post from theweathercentre.com. Looks like your in the bullseye. It’s re not er for this weather site. I’m up by SF so looking for a major wind event from the NE sometime tuesday. Phoenix weather sites also looking for quite a bit of rain in their local.

  • inclinejj

    I keep watching the big disorganized blob between us and Hawaii and can’t stop wondering if this hits up with the cold air coming in from the north?

    Could this give us a really good rain/snow storm?

  • Ian Alan

    Its probably taking people 4 hours to get to snow valley from the bottom when normal is 30 minutes – silly snow bunnies!! It’s a madhouse up here right now, thank god my neighborhood is tucked away from the flat landers parking and playing in people’s yards closer to the hwy.

  • Kamau40

    Lots of cold/mostly dry air mass going into the first week of Jan. Looking at the longer range, however, the models are still hinting at an undercutting of the ridge after the Jan 5th. All of this of course is still out and fantasy land and things can change as we have seen many times before. But, one thing I have noticed though is that this has been a very consistent trend that I have been seeing for quite sometime. BA is still optimistic about the month of Jan, but with some caution. See his comments from his blog today:
    http://opensnow.com/dailysnow/tahoe

    • Bartshe

      Beyond 5 days the Majic 8ball is more accurate than the GFS.

    • Bob G

      the CFSv2 has been trending wetter for January.

      • Kamau40

        Yes it is. In fact, even Howard, Richard Stolee also mentions that the next storm cycle should begin during the 2nd week of Jan. All of this is consistent with what I have been saying for the past 10 days now that around Jan 10th another round of series of storms should begin for Ca. Today’s jet stream models continues to show that possibility, but even though it is 10+ days away, the consistency is still there which to me is a good sign.

      • Kamau40

        Howard mentions the possibility of an “AR” for Ca week 2 of Jan. See this evening’s post below.
        “Longer Term:
        Week two Ensemble and control of the global models are all either suggesting or hinting of an “AR” type event in CA around the 2nd week of January. The Arctic infusion ahead of the WSW Flow makes sense so will take it more seriously. This possible “AR” event in California’s future will be the talk of the town the next 6 to 10 days….. I for one will not get all that excited until its on our door step….. Remember, the split flow blues?? Yea it’s on my mind…. ”
        – See more at: http://mammothweather.com/#sthash.EYfdo390.dpuf
        At the same time though, he also mentions that we should wait until it is on our door step which I agree because like before things can flip on a dime. Nevertheless, with the chaotic weather patterns currently developing such as with this artic cold for the West, it something that bears watching going into the first week of Jan.

    • craig matthews

      The last 3 GFS runs have the pattern shift getting closer and now its within the 10 day in the future time frame. No guarantee of course, but the fact that its getting closer in the long range models is encouraging. Last year as you know, the pattern shift that never happened, stayed way out beyond hour 288. Except for late Feb.

      • Kamau40

        I have been noticing that too. I’m going to stick with the Jan 10th timeframe, although the pattern shift could be either a few days before or after. What is encouraging though is that a pattern shift seems very likely to take shape in January.

      • alanstorm

        Could be a resuming the SW flow, perhaps? I’ll take rain but no snow over no rain & no snow anyday.

  • Unbiased Observer

    Am I the only that thinks this incoming system is a lot colder than currently being touted?

    • redlands

      Why do u think that ???? Be nice if we could get some snow down to 500-1000ft

      • Unbiased Observer

        Just my intuition looking at the models (GFS, NAM)….namely the trajectory and height lines.

  • Ian Alan

    Today’s high was 34 but forecast for 42, so much for the warmup! 27 currently – running springs.

    • redlands

      what was the low Ian ???

      • Ian Alan

        24 – nothin too cold yet, next wed forecast for a 25/16 day!

        • Unbiased Observer

          I’m betting on colder.

          • Ian Alan

            Me too!

        • redlands

          Hi for Redlands, Ca — southern calif 60.7 – Low of 31.8 — but on my orchard therm got down to 29 — at 1123pm 12-27-14 – was down to 32.7 on my orchard therm — ian — u must of been breezy/windy up there

  • Bumgarner40

    Lots of chemtrails over Tahoe today. Went from beautiful blue sky until noon to a disgusting milky gray by 3pm. Watched as plane after plane flew over head leaving a trail of aluminum and barium, and the trails spread slowly to a wide layer of high cloud cover. Tragic…

  • Ian Alan

    Winds died down this afternoon finally, completely calm now!

  • Thunderstorm

    Wonder if the warm ocean temps will enhance the cold off shore winds over the coastal hills. Warm air rises. Big time winds in Santa Cruz?

    • Cold advection events like the upcoming ones are less surface-based, so thermally-induced pressure gradients due to warm SSTs are less likely to be relevant. Does look quite windy in the SCM regardless, though precip looks to be little to nil.

  • craig matthews

    Wow!!!!. This really looks interesting on the NAM model right now. The 500mb 582dm ridge is to amplify way up into the gulf of Alaska, and a 540dm low drops outta western Canada and retrogrades over central California Monday night. Talk about a HIGHLY amplified pattern! Gee, coastal central/socal might end up getting colder then parts of coastal gulf of Alaska in this set up early next week.

    • Unbiased Observer

      Yes, I think this little bugger is going to be much colder than the NWS offices are portraying it.

      • craig matthews

        If the wind stops after this bugger passes by then we’d be talking widespread hard freeze.

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        I agree. These type of systems tend to be colder than originally predicted, and they usually track differently from than expected as well. This one seems very reminiscent of the November 2004 storm.

        • thlnk3r

          SoCalWX, this photo was taken November 21 2004: http://imgur.com/9VPIMUK. I believe this is the Month/Year you are referring to? This was from South Corona looking at the Cleveland national forest. The last time we got a good amount of snow in these mountains was 2009/2010

          • SoCalWXwatcher

            Yup, great shot. I remember the Santa Ana Mountains draped in white down to 1,500ft. Another good low-snow level storm happened during March of 2006, but the 2006 storm was more of a Gulf of Alaska storm sliding down the coast. The November 2004 storm slipped down over SoCal from Western Nevada which is more similar to what is expected with this next system. Of course, December 2008 brought cold storms all month long.

    • Ian Alan

      Very interesting indeed! Can’t expect this type of setup more than once a year and still doesn’t happen every year – a cold ‘backdoor’ system. Would be nice if it pushed far enough west to pick up more moisture.

      • craig matthews

        On this model run it looks like the cold low is just far enough west so that its cyclonic flow would pull pacific air from the channel Islands(or around there) into the San Gabriel/San Bernardino Mtns, which is enough to generate bands of showers, atleast, and upslope westerly flow for a time in your area.

  • Ian Alan

    NWS SD calling for 6″+ in the San bernardino mountains tue/wed with snow levels occasionally dipping as low as 2000′ – precip convective in nature so totals could be highly variable.

    Still hoping for closer to 12″ and with what seems like such a ‘fragile’ setup I suppose totals could still swing a quite a bit in either direction, still being 3-4 days out.

    • craig matthews

      A lot hinges on timing/exact location where this cold low sets up, but right now it sure looks good for you getting some decent snow.

    • Weatherwatcher

      Yep hopefully snow amd rain.values are higher than expected. This is a very cold system though and it is focused on the snow at the moment.

  • I’ll have an update this week to capture the upcoming cold storm for Socal plus a drought update.

    • alanstorm

      Well that’s encouraging! I enjoy the big AR rains as much as anybody, but we’re whistling past the graveyard without a decent snowpack.

  • Bandini

    So they’ve named another winter storm, Frona, which is funny because last time I was in Utah was exactly two years ago and I got to feel the wrath of Gandolf. Where do they come up with this stuff. I’m calling for most of the mountains in California to do a little better than forecasted, from Big Bear to Lassen Monday – Thursday. Hope I’m right. Now back to Frona…

  • Kamau40

    The month of Jan has been trending wetter all week, according to the very latest cfvs2 models!!

    • Bartshe

      Caution that this output is far overdone. GFS is already trending the storms farther north about 6 days out and looks like we may get one storm by mid January if we’re lucky. Long term trends are hard to buck, and with 6/8 Januarys being drier than normal and current situation in the Pacific, I don’t know what the models are smoking. I want to be wrong.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        The pattern in the Pacific is different this year than it has been during the last few years as the PDO is now strongly positive. It turned positive last January, but it seems that the atmosphere takes 9-12 months to respond to an oscillation change, so we didn’t benefit from the change last winter. This winter, we have already begun to feel the effect of the change with the heavier storms we had earlier this month, and I would expect more storminess overall this winter during the next several months.

    • Xerophobe

      This is very misleading. The model takes a snapshot 4 times a day, runs the algorithm and then averages the last four runs (4 runs for 1 day to forecast one month) The model is not relevant nor designed to forecast one month with only 4 averaged runs in a 24 hr period. Each day is only 3.3%. BTW here’s the latest one day and 30 day. This model is much worse than flipping a coin when taking only one day. Trending wetter is good for ten days or so.

  • Dan the Weatherman

    I do not like what Brett Anderson of Accuweather.com is showing for CA on his latest weekly long-range update. It seems to be showing nothing but warmth or dryness for most of January, unless where he is indicating “mild” could be wetter as well. I am not sure what model run he is basing this off of, but he usually uses the Euro weeklies.
    Link: http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-blogs/anderson/arctic-air-aims-west-and-long-range-update/39674134

    • Weatherwatcher

      I take accuweathers info with a grain of salt. The fact that they think they can predict weather months in advanced is ridiculous.

      • Sunchaser

        Oh You mean “InAccu-rate-weather” lol….I don’t think I have ever seen Accuweather get it right yet this year…

      • Kamau40

        Absolutely, which is why I don’t like discussing anything about 45 day weather pattern trends that they advertise. They are inaccurate and its all about business and money.

        • Dan the Weatherman

          I never even bother reading 45 day weather forecasts or anything else specific that goes out more than a few days, because they are simply going to be inaccurate most of the time anyway. I do read the NWS 6-10 Day, 8-14 Day, 30 Day and 90 Day Outlooks, however, as they give more of a broadbrush look at the possibilities of the time periods being forecast, as opposed to what it does on a specific day.

          • Kamau40

            Exactly!

    • Kamau40

      Personally, I do not agree with his analysis and or prediction about Jan for Ca. I truly believe the total opposite will take place of his forecast. So, I take what he says with a grain of salt. Notice, he does not site specific sources for his prediction for the West Coast. He has been wrong many times before regarding his predictions. The only person who does a great job of giving sound and wise analysis on accuweather is Ken Clark.

  • lightning10

    Is that trough postitive or negitively tilted?

  • Ian Alan

    I want to say this event has good potential to over perform, but that would almost certainly be biased!

    NWD SD

    THE BIG STORY FOR THE WEATHER WORLD CONTINUES TO BE A VERY
    ABNORMAL COLD CANADIAN STORM EXPECTED TO DROP DUE SOUTH THROUGH
    CENTRAL CALIFORNIA ON TUESDAY…SPREADING A COLD AIRMASS ACROSS
    SOUTHWEST CALIFORNIA WITH PRECIPITATION LIKELY BY TUESDAY EVENING
    ACROSS MUCH OF OUR AREA. THE STORM WILL RETROGRADE SLIGHTLY OVER
    THE SOCAL COAST AND BRING A SUBTLE TAP OF LOW LEVEL MOISTURE WHICH
    WILL FEED INTO THE CANADIAN COLD FRONT AND SPREAD A WIDE SWATH OF
    PRECIPITATION ACROSS THE REGION TUESDAY NIGHT INTO WEDNESDAY
    MORNING. SNOW LEVELS WILL TUMBLE AS COLD AIR WRAPS INTO THE STORM
    FROM THE NORTH. SNOW LEVELS BY EARLY WEDNESDAY MORNING ARE LIKELY
    TO FALL TO AROUND 2000 FEET IN THE WELL INLAND…AROUND 2500-3000
    FEET NEAR THE COAST. ALTHOUGH OVERALL QPF IS LOW…AROUND 1/4
    INCH FOR THE COAST…VALLEYS AND DESERTS AND AROUND 1/2 INCH FOR
    THE MOUNTAINS…MOTHER NATURE`S SNOW MACHINE WILL BE IN RARE FORM
    FOR SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. THE IDEAL SNOW GENERATION ZONE WILL BE
    TARGETED…VERY COLD AIR ALOFT WITH SUFFICIENT MOISTURE ALMOST UP
    TO 500 MB. THUS SNOW/WATER EQUIVALENT RATIOS WILL BE HIGHER THAN
    NORMAL. AT THIS TIME SNOWFALL IN THE HIGH DESERT AND SANTA ANA
    MOUNTAINS WILL PROBABLY BE BETWEEN 2-4 INCHES AND ABOVE 4000 FEET
    WE COULD SEE BETWEEN 4-8 INCHES.

    • Weatherwatcher

      Yep but not much info on rain values. Guess they’re hard to predict atm.

    • redlands

      I see for the San Berdo Valleys — This Wed — saying Snowshowers —- hopefully the snow level will go down to 500-1000 feet

      • Ian Alan

        They adjusted my wed temps to 22/10 if that verified it would make it the coldest day in at least 8 years and a close shot at the lowest min which is 7 since I’ve been here in 2008.

  • rob b

    NWS Reno talking up the strong winds. Looks like many resorts could be on wind hold.

    ON WEDNESDAY, STRONG EAST WINDS WILL CONTINUE TO THE NORTH OF THE
    UPPER LOW WITH GUSTS IN EXCESS OF 70 MPH IN THE UPPER ELEVATIONS
    AND POSSIBLY AS STRONG AS 40 MPH FOR THE TAHOE BASIN. THIS WOULD
    RESULT IN LOW WIND CHILLS GIVEN THE COLD TEMPERATURES THAT WILL BE
    IN PLACE. FOR UPPER ELEVATIONS, TEMPERATURES IN THE SINGLE DIGITS
    AND FORECAST WINDS WOULD PLACE THE WIND CHILL VALUES -15 TO -25F.
    THE MAIN IMPACT IN THE BASIN WOULD BE THE ROUGH LAKE WATERS ON
    TAHOE.”

  • thunderstorm98

    https://opensnow.com/dailysnow/tahoe

    Very cold week then possible storms return on the 6th of January.(Could Change)

    • Bob G

      According to Bryan, the models are coming into agreement that the ridge is going to weaken and storms are going to hit the west coast. Lets pray so

    • Skye H.

      Unfortunately, and I’ve seen it happen before, I’m noting the early signs of the pattern change falling apart. Let’s hope not…

      • Bob G

        What early signs of the pattern change falling apart do you see?

        • yenlard

          Yeah..it looks like the northern part of the state should see some storms…but so cal might see very little.

          • Bob G

            Where is the dividing line?

          • yenlard

            Central coast

        • Skye H.

          Just the euro returning to dry(er), also the storm on the 6th seems to be trending north on the gfs and the canadian has it missing us entirely or at least stalling to beyond its 10-day forecast window. Really rooting for the gfs but that seems like a dangerous game

          • Bob G

            Ok. I was not expecting much before the 10th of January. After that is fantasyland but that is when the real rain is projecting to come in.

          • Skye H.

            well now the 18z gfs is back showing moderate/heavy precip starting the 6th…that is far out but no longer fantasy land.

          • Weatherwatcher

            It’s still fantasy land :p

  • Weatherwatcher

    Will be cool to see the north camp pendleton mountains draped in snow this week! To bad the area is restriced I would die to live in some coastal mountains.

    • I’m stoked that the lower portion of the state seems to be getting the glory from this 🙂

    • Scott Turner

      I bet some of the peaks in the Santa Anas would make for some awesome hiking come New Year’s Day when the storm has blow through.

      • Weatherwatcher

        Ya might be headed to julian this week for some snow and apple pie with my niese :).

        • Dan the Weatherman

          That sounds good right about now! Julian apple pies are delicious!

  • lightning10

    I wish the storm was just a little colder 🙁

    • Unbiased Observer

      I know I sound like a broken record on here, but this still looks colder to me. The NAM is showing the 528 line thickness line into SoCal. I don’t recall ever seeing that in the the past 5 years or so that I’ve been following the models. Given the time of year I would think that there would be very low snow levels.

      • Ian Alan

        The nam has been trending colder and wetter – it would make sense since the current forecast is for a high temp of 22 and that’s the lowest forecast high in my 8 years here in running springs.

      • lightning10

        So if the NAM is right we could be in for surprises 😀

    • Nick W.

      I wish this cold storm came with more precipitation. Central Coast rain chances just went to 0.

  • alanstorm

    A low setting up shop off Ca about 8 days out…… is that another AR setting up?? That would be sweet. Now I can enjoy our annual January sunny weather break without worry.

    • Nick W.

      Let’s hope it happens soon.

      • thunderstorm98

        Cold then stormy again. I like this pattern.

  • sdmike

    Wunderground is forecasting 3-5″ for the mountains east of San Diego. Starts as rain on Tuesday.

    • sdmike

      This is the forecast for Julian, CA, which is about 4200′ or so.

      • I love when the storms retrograde like this. I remember there was a low a few years ago that that moved in from Arizona and dumped snow in Julian and Mt. Laguna for about three days. Meanwhile just about everywhere east of the inland valleys were in the sun.

      • Scott Turner

        I’m going hiking in Julian on Wednesday. As a snow lover, I expect I’ll be in for a hell of a day.

    • redlands

      Sdmike — Don’t u live in Carlsbad ??

      • sdmike

        Yes, I do. But I love the snow, and I don’t remember the last time there was this much. Maybe 2 years ago? I may make the drive to see it!

  • Bandini

    Off topic, or off state, but if anyone is interested; looking at the radar right now over Utah, is that lake effect hitting south east Salt Lake City? I’m in cottonwood Heights and it is dumping and it was relentless on the mountain today. The opensnow.com Utah forecaster mentioned possibility of lake effect but I am far from being savy enough to know if that might be going on.

    • xeren

      Heading to the cottonwood resorts? Sooooo much better than the park city resorts

      • Bandini

        Dude my wife and friends skied Alta today, pretty epic, refreshers each lap. They’re already reporting 12″ and I’m currently watching steady snow out the window. I was up at Kimball Junction and Park City today taking care of things and for a few hours it snowed about as hard as it can snow. I think all of the resorts should do pretty well.

  • Kunder

    Dipped below freezing last night, but it’s T-shirt weather now. It’s admittedly a gorgeous day, but if we have another warm, rainless January…

    • redlands

      Where u from ?????

      • Kunder

        Central Sierra foothills around 2500 feet.

  • Kamau40

    Models are still hinting at a “possible” pattern change with the westerlies breaking thru the ridge about a week from this Wed. While there is still consistency in the models, however, I’m still remaining cautiously optimistic and would not totally jump on board with this idea. I have noticed too that the European models as of recent are not as bullish about the break thru of the westerlies as they were earlier last week and they are usually the most accurate models with longer range pattern changes. With that said, it is best to watch and see if the models remain consistent early next week. As we all know with experience things are subject to change. In the meantime we will be dealing with the cold weather for this week.

    • Bob G

      Hey Kamau,
      Lets pray it happens. Howard seemed a bit more bullish of a breakthrough today than we was on his last update. He didn’t get into detail about it.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        We have had way too many dry Januaries in recent years and are due for a really wet January for a change! The last wet January in Socal was in 2010 and before that, 2008.

        • Nick W.

          I agree. 2008 was a nice drought breaker and 2010 was during an El Nino year. I’d sacrifice something for a rainy January.

  • SlashTurn

    The Dweeb calling for possible Mono Lake effect on Tuesday night…http://mammothweather.com/

    Maybe a few inches of “platinum powder” at June on Wednesday? Might have to make the 5hr journey to this one for sure. I trust in Howard… He has dissected every disturbance in the eastern sierra for 3 decades.

    • Bob G

      Love Howard and the Dweebs :). BA’s site is really good too. A little less weather techy than Howard can be at times.

  • Thunderstorm

    Will be interesting to see how much snow Vegas gets new years eve. Travel already not advised. This storm will remembered for its winds in central Ca. and the snow for southern Ca.

    • redlands

      Wont believe it — till I see it. When they predict low snow levels — it wont happen. When its not predicted — it happens

  • David Thomas

    i think its time for a new blog lol all most 1400 comments

    • Bob G

      Daniel stated he is working on an update. I think I’ve know what it will look like.
      We had some good rain early, but the snow pack is below 50% and January is looking dry with a big ridge. We are still in a severe drought.
      What else you can you say? Depressing.

      • redlands

        Yes — don’t look good — no rain for 6 days

      • David Thomas

        may be for you boys down in S CA seem like you may have a dry JAN but we boys up here in N CA looks like are next ch of rain will be the 2nd week of JAN has the model runs been hiting at so will see

        • Bob G

          I am from Central Ca, not Southern CA. I hope you are right about the second week of January. I have read that also.

          • David Thomas

            yep cant wait too see how JAN turns out DEC was vary wet whats see how wet JAN is we need colder storms how ever not warm storms with snow above 7,000 to 8,000ft

      • kipling

        I think you are being too pessimistic. Moisture so far this year has already improved drought conditions by 1 category in vast areas of the state. The snowpack is not good but rain has definitely made a big impact on some water storage capacities (for example Marin County’s storage is significantly above average already this year). We are just a week or two into winter and most long-term models are still calling for above average precipitation the rest of the rainy season. If you want to be glum that’s your choice, but don’t expect everyone to sit around and mope about our current conditions or prospects for the rest of this rainy season.

        • Kamau40

          No one knows what the future holds, but we still have time to build the snowpack. Let’s hope it starts in Jan.

      • Kamau40

        Bob-
        You are right about one thing and that is the snow pack is way below avg for this time of yr. Yes, most places in the state of Ca had way above avg rainfall, but my concern is indeed the snowpack and yes we are still in a severe drought. It been eased somewhat from extreme to severe. I seriously doubt the drought will end this year, but we need more storms from Jan-Mar that produces heavy snowfall for the mountains to help us somewhat to get us thru next Summer. We are now already about 1/3 of the way thru the wet season. I will say this though that when the snow survey measurements are taken by the early part of the first week in Jan, it most certainly will reveal a below avg snowpack for the month of Dec. We really don’t know what Jan will bring, I’m hoping and praying though that the break thru of the westerlies will occur by Jan 10th.

      • We’ve got tons of water. Just ask the smelt….

    • Nick W.

      Yeah, the current story: Cold wave followed by a warm pattern with a dominant ridge until who knows when the next rain will fall. Drought worries linger.

  • Ian Alan

    SD NWS

    THE SYSTEM SHOULD HAVE ALL THE MOISTURE IT NEEDS TO GENERATE DECENT
    RAINS ACROSS OUR REGION. ABOVE ABOUT 2000 FEET MSL…INCLUDING THE
    HIGHER PORTIONS OF THE INLAND VALLEY AREAS…MOST AREAS SHOULD SEE
    SOME SNOW. BELOW SOME PASSES THE SNOW LEVEL SHOULD BE LOCALLY LOWER
    THAN THAT…WITH SNOW PELLETS FALLING BELOW 2000 FEET WHERE
    CONVECTION OCCURS. ACCUMULATING SMALL HAIL OR GRAUPEL COULD OCCUR
    WITH THE SLOW STEERING CURRENTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE LOW BEING NEARLY
    OVERHEAD… EVEN WEST OF THE MOUNTAINS. ESPECIALLY UNDER THE NEARLY
    STATIONARY CONVECTIVE CELLS. WE MAY EVEN NEED A SNOW ADVISORY FOR
    SOME OF THE HIGHER INLAND VALLEY LOCATIONS DURING THE PEAK OF THE
    STORM.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      I just wish the POPs were raised in the Orange County Coastal zones for Tuesday night and Wednesday. Everywhere else west of the mountains, the chances or rain are 70-80%, while Orange County is at only 50% for some strange reason.

  • I will have a blog update some time tomorrow. Definitely looks like there will some snowfall in interesting locations in the SoCal mountains and deserts. Las Vegas might even get more than a dusting…

  • Unbiased Observer

    I need to be talked down off the ledge after seeing the 00Z run of the GFS.

    • Yay……..Another Ridge.

      • Kelley Rogers

        The 06 is even better……LOL……

    • Kelley Rogers

      Wait til ya see the 06….LOL

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        The 06 does show an impressive ridge next week, but it also shows it breaking down with a wet system hitting CA 11 days out. Both the ridge and the rain only exist in GFS “Fantasyland” at this point. Let’s do the rain dance and conjure up the storms…

        • Kelley Rogers

          I am in…where’s the drum circle gonna be?

  • Thunderstorm

    .The low is right over Seattle right now picking up moisture. Big snow for Vegas? Maybe!

  • Snow in So. Cal. should be fun. No offense, but people there are quite stymied by the slightest bit. Driving up to Tehachapi around Christmas 2008, I comically observed cars and cops just standing around CA 58, not knowing what to do – cars were slipping on the ice and snow…I had all seasons on, so, of course I showed off a bit..

    Just came back from Death Valley. Temperatures rarely got into the upper 50s and the rest of the time it was cold, cold, cold..I have made trips around this time of the year, and it usually gets to be warmer. It also looks like there was some rain in the recent past, that the cold has allowed to trap and stagnate…

    • I go to Death Valley a lot, including in the mid-winter. Lots of people who think of it as a hot place are shocked to find that in the middle of winter it can actually be a frigid place, especially if you get into outlying areas or up to higher elevations.

  • Dan the Weatherman

    The low temperature here in Orange this morning was 40.6, making this the coldest morning of the season so far.

    • Sunchaser

      34.3 here in SE Glendale this morning as well..

    • Nick W.

      It reached 34 twice in my weather computer in Santa Maria.

  • Bob G

    BA had long post this AM. Lot of inconsistency in models. Cant trust long range. Backing off on significant precip. CFSv2 flipped again for January ro drier

    • Sunchaser

      I was looking at the GFS model animation just now and it would seem that BA is correct…but then again were are talking about the GFS,,,,so cal appears to be have a small storm around the 9th and from then on it looks bone dry….not good…..grrrrrr

    • sdmike

      So is this year essentially going to be like last year, where precip basically shut down after December? Yeah, I know it’s still early, but gimme some thread of hope here.

      • The fact that things are flipping back and forth is a “thread of hope.” It doesn’t make a lot of sense to hang your hopes (or your distress) on the latest fantasy predictions when they are having such a hard time.

        • Dan the Weatherman

          If the models are flip-flopping more than usual, that often means there is some sort of a pattern change on the horizon.

          • Ian Alan

            And maybe it’s such a massively wet pattern that the models won’t latch on to the idea until Bam! It’s right upon us!

          • Dan the Weatherman

            I would expect at some point this winter that the pattern that produced all our rain earlier this month would repeat again at some point, as certain patterns during certain seasons tend to recur under the right circumstances.

      • Bob G

        I wouldn’t go that far. The current pattern is not a good one but beyond 10 days there is alot of uncertainty. Still could rain and there is still the second half of January, February, and March. Hate to have a dry january being the state of drought we are in.

        • Dan the Weatherman

          I really can’t imagine having another bone-dry January like the last few years especially that the PDO has been trending strongly positive over the last several months. +PDO is usually more favorable for rainfall in CA, although it doesn’t mean that we won’t have a dry month every now and then, but hopefully this January delivers at some point!

      • Archeron

        There was no real precipitation to shutdown after december of last year.

        • Bob G

          Actually it started raining in Feb but was too little too late

        • Dan the Weatherman

          It was basically dry in Socal with a few small storms every now and then with the exception of the big storm that occurred in late February or the beginning of March. Last year IMO was one of the worst winter seasons I have ever seen as a whole for the entire state of CA and is a pattern that I don’t want to see again for a very long time if ever again!

          • Nick W.

            Agreed again. I don’t want to see another RRR in my life. That is just trauma to some Californians who have to endure a worsening drought.

    • Bartshe

      yep, last couple of runs of GFS are looking grim through mid-January.

      we may yet see something before winter is over, but I’m betting on another very lean year. going on historical performance and odds, it’s almost a guarantee.

      • Bob G

        Hopefully not. I wasnt expecting much before mid January but hopefully a pattern change will develop after that.

    • Kamau40

      Excellent blog this morning by BA. The models are flipping back and forth again as usual. At this point I have decided to remain silent on long range outlooks.

  • sdmike

    From the San Diego NWS Discussion from 4:01AM:

    FURTHER SOUTH…THE
    RIVERSIDE AND SAN DIEGO MOUNTAINS WILL BE MORE UNDER THE GUN FOR
    HEAVIER ACCUMULATIONS OF SNOW DUE TO MORE FAVORABLE TRANSPORT OF
    LOW LEVEL MOISTURE…PERHAPS 6-10 INCHES THERE IN THE HIGHER
    PEAKS. IN ADDITION…THE HIGHER PEAKS OF THE COASTAL VALLEYS AND
    SANTA ANA MOUNTAINS COULD SEE A FEW INCHES OF SNOW TOO…THEREFORE
    WE HAVE ADDED THOSE AREAS ABOVE 2000 FEET IN THE WINTER STORM
    WATCH.

    • I think I’ll be headed up to Julian to enjoy some snow and apple cider.

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        My kids definitely want to get some snow play in, so right now it’s a toss-up between Julian, or going up on the Palm Springs Tram on New Years Day.

  • lightning10

    Well well well me and my dad might get to live out are dream of building a snowman here in Whittier. As noted by the other weather services and NWS a light dusting could fall for some of the South East areas of LA County.

    • Sunchaser

      It appears the storm is moving more to the east and I think we will get a big ”NADA” unfortunately…just cold windy weather and a big gas bill….lol

      • lightning10

        Like that the dream is over V_V

        • Sunchaser

          What’s even funnier is that ” In” Accu -rate- Weather is showing over a .21 ” of rain tomorrow and .04 on the last day of 2014 in Glendale…take that to the bank…lmao

          • Xerophobe

            Both ECMWF and GFS for 12Z runs would verify. Not for tomorrow but totals mid-afternoon New Years Eve. maybe pushing .5 inch. Do you have a later forecast than 12Z?

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        The models handle cut off systems very poorly. That epic cold storm of November 21, 2004 was expected to follow an even more inland track than this one, and did not impress the models at all. It wasn’t supposed to bring much precip to SoCal. Instead, stuff like this happened above 1,000ft that day. You just never know with cut off lows.

        • craig matthews

          Where is that?

          • SoCalWXwatcher

            The first shot is Yucaipa, the other 2 were in the Temecula area.

          • Dan the Weatherman

            Those are all impressive shots showing the snow at low elevations! Is that snow or ice in the vineyards and the neighborhoods on the third shot?

          • SoCalWXwatcher

            That was all snow, most of which fell overnight. My brother lives in Temecula and woke up to about 1″ of snow on the ground with large wet flakes falling. Other outlying areas around town which were above 1200′ received more than that. It was the first time in a long time that Ortega Highway between San Juan Capistrano and Lake Elsinore was closed due to snow.

            I remember reading the NWS Discussion the night before – the Low was expected to trek down the Colorado River valley and then move East. Instead, it dropped right down into Socal, triggering thunderstorms & hail in the coastal areas and accumulating snow above 1000′.

          • redlands

            I remember that day — pics in Yucaipa, Ca —- Redlands, Ca didn’t get any snow — Redlands, Ca – Southern California – ranges from 1200 -2000feet. Was impressive the snow Yucaipa got — was real pretty – Snow level didn’t get to 1,000 foot level — was more like 2-2500 feet . Got difficult to drive in — little bit more snow they would of closed the roads

          • SoCalWXwatcher

            Here are some of the places below 1500′ that got snow that day:

            Wildomar – 1374 ft, Temecula – 1030 ft, Murrieta – 1197 ft

          • Weatherwatcher

            Wow snow in temecula :o. Its pretty much a high desert.

          • SoCalWXwatcher

            Apparently, snow happens in Temecula about every 25 years. If these amplified/blocking patterns that facilitate this are becoming the “new normal”, then it may be a more frequent occurrence out there – in between droughts. That area isn’t a high desert, but could become a less favorable place for vineyards if we don’t start seeing more frequent rainfall.

        • redlands

          Yucaipa, Ca ranges from bout 2,000 to close to 3,000 feet

    • Nick W.

      Storm will be a big miss in the Central Coast. It’s a shame since I want to see the snow in Figueroa Mtn.

    • Dogwood

      Take pictures from Friendly Hills if it happens.
      My wife’s home town.

    • redlands

      Isnt Whitter, Ca at 800-900 feet ???? Chances aren’t good

      • Weatherwatcher

        Ya the lowest elevation Nws SD predicts is 1000 ft. And that would be a very light dusting.

  • honzik

    I noticed this morning that the GFS is getting a lot less bullish on rain forecasted for the second week of January. Is this just a flip/flop or is anyone seeing a pattern of persistent ridging?

    • Xerophobe

      The ensembles look better. Wouldn’t abandon hope, yet. This would be more of a PAC NW storm, yet all of CA could see rain

      • craig matthews

        Here’s the GEFS long range at the end of the first week of January.

        • What am I looking at here? Looks like a nice painting.

          • yenlard

            Looks like zonal flow

          • Dan the Weatherman

            That looks like a zonal flow into the West Coast undercutting an Omega block to the north. That could be a wet pattern if it verifies.

          • Bob G

            LMAO, that is just what I was thinking.

        • Xerophobe

          those lines look like an omega block and we’re in the wrong place….

    • Nick W.

      Ugh, I don’t like to see high pressure dominating most of January. We’re still in a severe drought here. Hello, this is winter.

    • Bob G

      Just went thru 8 to 14 day cfs outlook. They are predicting above normal precip for northern ca. Normal precip for central ca, and below normal for southern ca for what its worth.

  • craig matthews

    Maybe 2015-16 will end up being an El Nino winter…….

    • Xerophobe

      Craig!, wake up!! 😉 ….or ask the NCEP Environmental Modeling Center what they’ve been smoking lately. My guess is green crack.

      • Lol.

      • Weatherwatcher

        Naw man gotta be that blue dream.

        • Xerophobe

          You are probably right. I have no personal comparison.

    • Nick W.

      Let’s hope it happens, for the sake of California’s water supply.

  • Sunchaser

    The latest GFSLR model animation is very disappointing for SO Cal if its to be believed .its been flip flopping ..though…we will see if it changes again in the next 24 hrs
    http://ready.arl.noaa.gov/ready2-bin/animation.pl?id=GFS&mdl=grads/gfslr/panel2&file=anim

    • craig matthews

      If this January ends up dry again, and they update our average monthly precip reset to 2014, then January will no longer be our wettest month on average around where I live.

    • Xerophobe

      Flip flopping… the heights are bouncing up and down more, rather than traversing west to east, or Nw/Se at least that’s what I see in this early Jan flip-flop. ‘normal’ seems to be later half of January. I’m still looking at the ensembles for now. It helps with my anxiety level.

  • Dan the Weatherman

    The problem is when we get a colder than average pattern like this around this time of year or early January, it seems to lead to an extended dry spell or occurs in a very dry winter. Examples are the cold blast in early January 2013 and the cold snap in mid January 2007.

    • Dan weather maniac

      Ya dan the weatherman, I think I agree. This has been the pattern over the last several years. I am afraid it’s setting up again.

      After such s promising December the pacific ridge is back and once again the only rain seems to be in the perpetual 10 day out range… That keeps staying 10 days out, each new day! Fantasyland breakdown of the ridge… Never happens but like 6 weeks later when it’s almost spring!

      Then these cold inside sliders bring negligible precip (ok a bit for you on so cal this time) freezing nights and chilly to warm sunny days but the nightly frost wrecks havoc on tender plants!

      I hate it.

      We need some mister westerlies from the pacific with a tropical tap. Or a cold GOA low sliding down from the birth and sucking up the warm pacific water the slamming into the coast and the Sierra!!

      • Dan the Weatherman

        It would surprise me if this point onward is as dry as last year since the PDO is now in the opposite phase than it has been recently. I know it turned positive last January, but it seems as if it takes the atmosphere 9-12 months to respond. We may have an extended dry spell coming for a while, but I don’t think the whole month of January will be this dry, unlike last winter.

        I don’t particularly care for these really cold snaps because of the dryness that usually follows afterward. If a wet pattern started just after the cold snap, then I wouldn’t mind them at all, and would consider it as more variety in the weather pattern.

    • Weatherwatcher

      This generally seems to be during a la nina or similar occurence. An example of this would. Be to winter of 2011. Frost most days in the morning even near the san diego coast.

  • Bandini

    Forecast lows for Truckee the next three nights: 0F, -5F, 3F. Wear your mittens! Doesn’t look like a whole lot of snow, maybe a few inches on the east side of the basin. Looks like Big Bear could do well. Maybe Bear will get Geronimo open.

    I’m steaming through Nevada, heading west, just passed Elko, 17F. We’ve been getting good snow showers for parts of the drive. Woke up to 5 inches on the car this morning in Salt Lake, mountains there really got hammered. Drive on the I80 leaving Salt Lake this morning had some of the heaviest snow I’ve driven in for a few years. I’m going to make a video, it was nuts. God I hope the best storm I experience this year isn’t in another state…

    • We don’t seem to be getting much of the cold. We’re looking at 20, 13, 18, and 22 for lows. As cold snaps go, that’s pretty mild. Last year we hit -1 one night. We did get a trace of snow, but at this point it looks like we’ll end this calendar year with no measurable snowfall. Our last measurable snow was December 5th, 2013, and it was three inches.

      • Weatherwatcher

        Wow shows how mild weather is in california. Even in the mountains. The high tomorrow in Fort Collins Co, is 4 and a low of -17 from a cold snap. Brrrr

        • I lived in the North, and I don’t miss the deep cold. Our winters are mild (it gets below zero perhaps once a decade) and our summers, with their cool nights, are splendid.

  • SoCalWXwatcher

    NWS San Diego:

    —-
    Winter Storm Warning

    URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE…UPDATED
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN DIEGO CA
    530 PM PST MON DEC 29 2014

    UPDATED IMPACTS SECTION

    …LOW ELEVATION SNOW TUESDAY NIGHT AND WEDNESDAY…

    ..A VERY COLD STORM ORIGINATING FROM CANADA WILL BRING LOW ELEVATION SNOW TO SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA LATE TUESDAY THROUGH
    WEDNESDAY. SNOW LEVELS WILL FALL RAPIDLY TUESDAY NIGHT TO AROUND 2000 FEET…AND MAY FALL AS LOW AS 1000 FEET IS SOME AREAS. HEAVY SNOW IS LIKELY IN THE MOUNTAINS. SEVERAL INCHES OF SNOW ARE LIKELY IN THE LOWER ELEVATIONS INCLUDING THE APPLE AND LUCERNE VALLEYS. SNOW IS ALSO POSSIBLE IN YUCAIPA AND BEAUMONT IN THE INLAND EMPIRE…AND NEAR ALPINE IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY. SNOW SHOWERS WILL TAPER OFF WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON FROM NORTH TO SOUTH.

    • redlands

      Will – have to check that out — stated down to 1500 feet — now its 1000 feet — that’s even better— hope it pans out — Would be neat to get snow in Redlands, Ca — Southern Calif

      • Woohoo!

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        It will be hit or miss. If the system tracks 50 to 100 miles West or East of where the models predict, it would make a big difference to a lot of areas. Fingers crossed for an interesting outcome.

      • My guess is that snow levels will be low enough! But the big question is whether there will be any precipitation in that area, and that’s a big if at this point.

        • Dan the Weatherman

          The lack of moisture almost always seems to be the issue with these cold systems from Canada that take an inside track. They pack quite a punch as far as cold air is concerned, but lack the moisture to produce impressive low elevation snows west of the mountains. If the storm retrogrades over the ocean a bit, then it brings more precip, but with somewhat higher snow levels due to the moderating effects of the wamer Pacific waters.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        If you are lucky enough to get snow, be sure to post a pic or two if it is light enough!

        • redlands

          Dan — not putting all my eggs in the same basket — don’t think it will happen — but it would be real neat — need to charge up my battery to my camera

    • Weatherwatcher

      Unfortunately no rainfall amount totals yet for the lowe elevation. Focus seems to be on snow. The only information currently is that its a convective storm and ligytning is possible near the coast. Hopefully amounts will be updated tomorrow.

  • Is there still an update coming today?

    • Yes, and here it is: They still haven’t found the plane.

      Thank you, and good night.

      • Will you be signing autographs?

        • No, but I’ll be here through Thursday. Be sure to bring friends for the buffet supper.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        I am wondering if the plane may have gone down due to strong thunderstorm downdrafts. Apparently the cloud tops of these thunderstorms in the vicinity of the aircraft were nearly 50,000 ft.

        • Pilot requested clearance to rise to 38. And that was it. I can’t imagine anything meteorological that could have just shut them down instantly. Apparently it wasn’t until ten minutes later that ATC noticed they were no longer on the radar.

      • Boiio

        CNN is in full plane crash mode

  • Still an update coming later this evening. Looks like a cold/dry system for the most part except for the far southern bit of California. This could prove to be a big exception, though, as measurable snowfall could occur on New Year’s down to 1000 feet AMSL and perhaps even a bit lower!! Unfortunately, precipitation with this system will be almost entirely confined to spots south of Los Angeles. Very cold/windy with even lower windchills in the north later this week. Again…expect an update in a couple of hours.

    • “Except for the southern bit of California.”. Love it. It’s not often us in So Cal get to enjoy this. Nice to see the south as opposed to the northern portion for a change.

      • Bob G

        Unfortunately, most of the state’s water is stored in the Northern half of the state so those storms missing us have a much bigger effect

        • I’m speaking from strictly a storm enjoyment perspective. More water could be stored if it wasn’t being released to save smelt.

          • Bob G

            That is true too

          • cabeza tormenta

            do you mean the northern California river waters that flows through the delta and bay to keep them healthy instead of being ‘released’ to pumps that pipe them to rich cotton farmers and other speculators? oversimplification I know but this is a weather discussion, that discussion is for somewhere else. but we like our smelt and salmon. and bass and etc…

          • CalNative

            Don’t you know that only people and their lawns matter?

          • Well then ya can’t complain when those decisions cause people to have less water….

        • Weatherwatcher

          Yep. But it doesnt go to waiste in socal. (Except near the ocean)

    • redlands

      looking forward to the update

  • Thunderstorm

    Just read where la nina holds all the cards for january2014.

  • Kelley Rogers

    18z gfs you breaka ma heart

  • Crouching Dallas

    GO WEST YOUNG STORM, GO WEST!

    This thing’s trajectory is just killing me.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Trying to nudge it West by leaning, like I do when I bowl. We need a “strike”. Definitely don’t want a gutter ball in the Mojave 😉

      • Nick W.

        I wish this storm would move further west enough to bring the Central Coast showers/mountain snow. I missed seeing snowcapped mountains.

  • Ian Alan

    Back up to 6″-12″ for mountains above 3000′ and 1″-5″ between 2000′-3000′ – this is the first time I’ve seen accumulating snowfall forecast for areas below 3000′ other than a “dusting-1 inch”

    The roads will be a mess wed/thurs with a billion people trying to go to big bear.

    • Crouching Dallas

      Big Bear will be an absolute zoo for sure. I personally will bypass that mass of humanity and do some snow hiking with the dogs on Baldy, weather permitting. Love looking up at the Bowl when it’s all socked in.

    • so.cal.storm.lover

      I’m going to pinecove on new years day looking forward to some snow!

  • lightning10

    Never seen a hard freeze warning for my area for tonight.

    We have a lot to think about with this next storm I want to highlight a few things that I notice.

    – No one is talking about the Euro its slightly warmer but it has a lot of moisture
    – The NAM is very cold with almost no moisture to work with it would be a mostly wind event
    – Speaking of winds need to watch out as I have seen the storm trajectory bring in dry winds before the storm and kills off moisture
    – For people who want to see low snow levels the time of the storm comes in will be quite important. If the sun comes out it could be just enough for showers to become more heavy. The trade will be that it could raise temps to much. The different layers of the atmosphere will likely be to cold for real convection.
    -While its a slight chance will the warm SST’s could prevent or cause the storm or have odd behavior. Most of the time when we have had storms like this its been in La Nina year when ocean water is cold.

    • Ian Alan

      NAM has been consistently and impressively colder. I thought it often showed more precip than the GFS.

  • David Thomas

    weather W i have noted a area of showers moveing S from the N on the rader and with cold temper all ready in place in many parts of the valley we could be looking at valley snow tonight in most parts of the valley so snow levels right now are down too the valley floors right now or vary close so i think this about any one in the valley has a ch of seeing some snow showers tonight

  • alanstorm

    Our “Dont panic, we have normal January
    breaks in the rain” looks to be going past 2 weeks. That’s where I draw the line. Its really starting to tick me off. My creek is once again down to a trickle.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      I am absolutely fed up with January being dry, and I hope this coming January has a good deal of storminess at some point during the month even if it starts out dry. It is normal to have a dry spell that lasts a little while (2-4 weeks) after the series of storms we had earlier this month, but I don’t want a 5-6+ week dry spell.

      • alanstorm

        Yep. The jetstream is doing the “wave” again: shooting storms up to Alaska & Arctic air down in the Midwest. That strong zonal flow a mere memory now, lovely AR deluge only serving to irritate me with “the drought must be over, right?” comments. Is this a Rossby Wave scenerio same as last January? (Now known as Januscary)

        • Dan the Weatherman

          I hope this extremely meriodonal flow pattern doesn’t become the norm every January. It does seem that this pattern should be able to be undercut with a stronger subtropical jet, though, especially in an El Nino year.

          • yenlard

            But are we officially in one? Only the Japanese seem to think so

          • Dan the Weatherman

            We are experiencing El Nino conditions, but the Oceanic Nino Index (ONI) (measure of SST in Nino 3.4) has to be +0.5 or greater for five consecutive overlapping seasons to be considered a full-fledged El Nino episode.

      • Nick W.

        With climate change in the making, looks like this might be our new normal: Polar vortexes to our east and month-plus long winter dry spells to California. It’s crazy to see this happening every year and it’s not good for sustainable water supplies statewide. This is worrying me sickly. :S

  • yenlard

    Imagine if we didn’t get that rain earlier this month…talk about a scary situation. I guess we have to hope something happens past mid January.

    • Nick W.

      With the drought and stuff, this will be a disaster. Statewide water rationing anyone? Nope.

  • Thunderstorm

    There will be inversions in Nevada and Oregon trapping cold air. I think California will too. Night temps will be much colder then forecast. Central valley close to the teens, other areas low twenties. Still think winds stronger on the coast then forecast.

  • Metis

    so far it looks like repeat of 2012 – the rain spigot turned off in January and we got hardly a drop the rest of the year. High pressure is back and it’s yet another spare the air day. Do we now have one month long rainy seasons?

  • darrenking

    Generally I’ve really enjoyed the discussion on this blog. However, as of late there has been far too much pessimism and negativity and “this is a catastrophe!” and “this is the new NORMAL!” for me to stomach. We had a really wet December. We are not even a week into January. And yet the sentiment is beginning to spiral out of control. I’ll probably check back in March or so, see if things have calmed down at all. Peace all.

    • tomocean

      Couldn’t agree more. There even seems to be reluctance to accept any piece of data that doesn’t contribute to the pessimism. Even the blog posts are full of gloom and doom. I come here looking for reasonable, scientific discussions and explanations for our weather events. Perhaps I will look for other sources of this information/discussion.

      • Pfirman

        My, my, you two. So snippy. We are now ten days into Januscary and no sign of significant wetness. Though we may still have rain in the long term, one look at the current state of our two largest reservoirs, Shasta and Oroville, and how much rain it will take to even get them both to half full, should cause you some concern. It does me.

  • David Thomas
  • Arnold Weather Fanatic

    Darren’s frustration points out the difficulty of coming up with “average” precipitation. In Arnold, every month from November to April has served as a “rainiest” or “snowiest” month over the years. We’ve had “miracle March” after a dry winter, and a December dump with nothing after it, and both were “average.”
    In fact, the average, in my data, has three exceptionally wet years and nine “below average years. My hope is that the latest water bond will improve storage capacity to be able to cope with this seesaw rain pattern. And prepare for a future that is drier.

  • Canyon

    Light rain / mist pretty much all day in Santa Barbara. Still raining now. 24 hour totals will probably come close to .5 inch, just enough to keep the ground wet all day.

    • Guest

      Nice. Did you mean 0.05″?

  • We broke 70, first time ever in January that’s happened. 70.8. I’m back in my den now, and I’ve got the window open. We’ve seen upper 60s in January before, but usually there’s big piles of snow outside, and by 3:30 it’s back down in the 50s and damp. No snow, it’s 67, and dry. Hence the open window.

    I’ve been joking about how we’re having a Santa Barbara winter up here, but it sounds like it was actually nicer here today than in SB.

    Well, the cats like it. One’s 17, the other nearly 16, and they’re basking in the back yard.

    • redlands

      where u from

    • alanstorm

      Working in Pleasanton this weekend (Bay Area I interior) INCREDIBLY WARM. Mid 80’s sweating like crazy.