After another extraordinary mid-winter dry spell, major atmospheric river to soak NorCal later this week

Filed in Uncategorized by on February 1, 2015 3,340 Comments

An exceptionally dry January…once again.

California has experienced some serious “weather whiplash” over the past several months.

California was exceptionally warm in January 2015, especially in the Sierra. (WRCC)

California was exceptionally warm in January 2015, esp. in the Sierra. (WRCC)

California's season-to-date precip is now mostly below average. (WRCC)

California’s season-to-date (Oct.-Jan.) precip is now mostly below average. (WRCC)

Extremely dry conditions heading into the early fall months gave way to a relatively brief ~2 week period of extremely heavy precipitation throughout much of coastal Northern California in early December, shattering local calendar date rainfall records in many places and even approaching all-time daily/December monthly records in a few spots around the Bay Area. These very high regional rainfall totals were caused by an influx of warm and moist air into California from the subtropics courtesy of a series of “atmospheric rivers” (the emerging technical term for narrow corridors of very high atmospheric water vapor transport, typically associated with mid-latitude storms). Despite the prodigious amounts of water that fell from the sky during the December event, most of this precipitation fell within 100 miles of the Pacific Ocean–and the precipitation that did reach the Sierra Nevada Mountains fell mostly as rain rather than snow due to ongoing record warmth.

Then…the spigot shut off. Although a couple of very odd southern-track systems approaching far southern California from the subtropics and brought some localized significant precipitation to that region over the past couple of weeks, January 2015 was an extraordinarily dry month across most of California. Across the northern 2/3 of the state, there was almost no precipitation to speak of–and in the Bay Area, no measurable rainfall whatsoever occurred at most observation sites. Numerous locations set new records for the lowest January precipitation ever recorded, and quite a few of those records are truly “all time” records–it is strictly impossible to ever receive less than 0.00 inches of precipitation. San Francisco’s precipitation record, in particular, goes back to the Gold Rush era (1850), and January 2015’s grand total of 0.00 inches broke the previous record of 0.06 inches–which was set just a year ago (2014) at the height of the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge. This is especially remarkable given that January is the climatological peak of the rainy season in the Bay Area. Further, the present mid-winter dry spell (which is almost certain to end later this week) will go down in the record books as one of the three longest in San Francisco history.

The culprit: a persistent, strong region of high pressure anchored over the northeastern Pacific/West Coast of North America has deflected Pacific storm systems to the north of California–just like last year. In fact, the similarity of the large-scale atmospheric wave pattern between January 2014 and January 2015 is extraordinary. While the longevity of the current dry spell still isn’t quite what it was last year–thanks to our December wet spell–the Warm West/Cool East atmospheric pattern that has been quite common in recent winters appears to once again be repeating itself this year.

The large-scale atmospheric wave pattern in January 2014 and January 2015 are remarkably similar. (NCEP via ESRL).

The large-scale atmospheric wave patterns in January 2014 and January 2015 are remarkably similar. (NCEP via ESRL).

 

 

Drought update: little long-term improvement to date.

At this point, it almost goes without saying that January 2015 was extremely warm throughout California. Record warmth occurred on a number of days across large portions of the state, though the Central Valley was notably cooler for much of the month as the long-missing Tule Fog made at least a temporary reappearance. Conditions were particularly warm in the Sierra Nevada, where snow coverage and depth has declined almost continuously for the past 45 days.

Sierra Nevada snowpack is once again at near record-low levels. (CA DWR)

Sierra Nevada snowpack is once again at near record-low levels. (CA DWR)

In fact, snow surveys and automated snow sensors agree that the snow water equivalent in 2014-2015 to date is among the lowest on record, and by Monday 2/2 will likely be tracking near (or even below) levels seen in 2013-2014 and 1976-1977.

While parts of central and northern California did indeed see some meaningful short-term reduction in drought intensity after early December’s intense precipitation, drought metrics in these regions have been slowly re-intensifying over the past months as extraordinarily warm and dry conditions persisted during January. The severe lack of snow across many of the Sierra’s major basins, in particular, has large implications for California’s water resource management and future reservoir storage.

California is still in the midst of an exceptional long-term drought. (CPC/UNL/USDA).

California is still in the midst of an exceptional long-term drought. (CPC/UNL/USDA).

 

Big changes on the way: major precipitation event likely in NorCal this week

As seems to have become the theme over the past few years, an intense precipitation event now appears likely to immediately follow an extraordinary dry spell across Northern California. Confidence has been growing in recent days that another extremely moist plume of subtropical moisture will take aim at NorCal during the first week in February, bringing heavy to excessive precipitation to at least the far northern part of the state.

Animation of integrated vapor transport from the newly-implemented "West WRF" model, in support of the CalWater 2015 campaign. ()

Loop (CLICK TO ANIMATE) of integrated vapor transport depicting strong atmospheric river event (obtained from the newly-implemented “West WRF” model, in support of the CalWater 2015 scientific campaign).

Recent numerical model runs have been starting to shift this atmospheric river further south along the California coast, meaning that places at least as far south as the Bay Area are likely to see significant precipitation over the next 7-10 days. While there’s still quite a bit of uncertainty regarding the details of this upcoming pattern change, it’s fair to say that someone along the West Coast is going to get a serious soaking, and the focus may well be the northern 1/3 of California. Simulated rain totals for a ~7 day precip event have been very impressive for the North Coast, actually exceeding 20-25 inches of liquid in a couple of recent GFS runs (which is about as high as I can recall having seen in a global model, though it’s possible this could be at least partly due to the recent increase in GFS horizontal resolution). Atmospheric rivers are certainly capable of delivering that kind of precipitation intensity in NorCal, but the question more than a few days out is always where exactly the associated moisture plume will come ashore–and whether it will stall out over a particular region for an extended period of time, raising flooding concerns. At this point, it’s still to early to discern the details, but given the impressively juicy airmass that next week’s storms are likely to tap into I would not be surprised if at least some portion of NorCal was dealing with some significant flood concerns within 7-10 days.

Extremely warm ocean temperature continue across the northeastern Pacific Ocean. NO

Extremely warm ocean temperatures continue across the northeastern Pacific Ocean. (NCEP)

In great contrast, the southern 1/3 of the state is likely to remain completely dry (and very warm–perhaps near 80 F!) for the duration of this storm sequence. Also, it’s worth noting that sea surface temperatures immediately offshore of California remain extremely elevated–and are locally more than 3-4 F above average for this time of year. These near-record temperatures could provide some extra moisture to the incoming storm systems, as occurred during the December storm sequence in NorCal.

Very high precipitation totals are current;y expected along the far North Coast. NCEP)

Very high precipitation totals are currently expected along the far North Coast. (NCEP)

There is further uncertainty regarding what happens after next weekend. Numerical model solutions currently disagree regarding the persistence of this wet pattern–certainly realizations suggest that this could be a “one-and-done” storm sequence over 4-5 days, and other suggest a continuing parade of moist/warm atmospheric rivers through mid-February. What is interesting, though, is that it appears quite likely that temperatures will remain very warm–perhaps extremely warm–over the next two weeks. In fact, even in rain-soaked areas, surface temperatures may well remain in the 60s F for much of California and even approach 70F as far north as the Bay Area! This would constitute an extraordinarily warm mid-winter precipitation event for NorCal, and likely lead to extremely high snow levels (certainly above 8,000 feet, and perhaps even 10,000 feet at times, since temperatures around ~5,000 feet could be as high as 50-55 F). The reason for this uncertainty appears to be the continued persistence of anomalous high pressure over the northeastern Pacific Ocean. While the high pressure center will briefly be displaced far enough to the east to allow for warm/wet conditions to occur in early Feb, a slight westward shift could easily shut off precipitation in California once again, leading to warm/dry conditions again later in the month. At this point, it’s not clear which solution will win out. In the meantime, it will be very interesting to watch the evolution of yet another extreme pattern swing in California’s weather over the coming days. Stay tuned!

 

© 2015 WEATHER WEST

Tags: , , , , , ,

  • C M

    Mark your calendars! Big storm on the way for March 2-3!

    • yenlard

      If its still there a week from today then I’ll get excited. The gfs keeps showing it in the latest runs. Let’s hope it doesn’t get squashed like every other storm

    • SFBay2

      What’s the phrase for”even beyond fantasyland”? Glad to have hope, though.

    • Nick W.

      Tomorrow, you’ll be saying March 3-4, ad nauseum.

    • Thunderstorm

      You may be right. The stratosphere temperature forecast shows cold air movement finally towards the west coast.

  • jstrahl

    Records in the SF/Monterey Bay Area yesterday: 84 at Salinas Airport, 83 in Salinas Downtown, 82 in Santa Cruz. This morning’s weather discussion from the NAS mentions the tendency of long range models to indicate a change beyond day 10 “without that change coming to fruition.”

    • HadleyCell

      That comment is interesting. It’s as if the models are consistently misrepresenting certain forcings or missing them entirely (of course it could also be the chaotic nature of weather). It would be nice to see a retroactive sensitivity analysis to find out what aspects of the models are deficient when trying to capture the current regime in the pacific. Perhaps this would point the way to what drives the RRR?

      • jstrahl

        Yes indeed. I tend to think as others have said here before (Dan the Weatherman?) that models going up to 10 days tend to rely on climatology, meaning that past trends are taken as if still valid, which may not at all be the case. There is no history of such a persistent ridge, so the tendency for the models is to break it down, a similar concept to the “regression to the mean” in statistics.

        • There is no statistical component to the operational weather models, so there is no intrinsic regression to the mean. The mathematics for predicting tomorrow’s weather are the same as for predicting next Friday’s, and the models reflect this. The reason why pattern changes often fall apart in the long range is atmospheric ridges like the present one are intrinsically, physically stable. It’s hard to dislodge them in real life, but our existing weather models for various (physical) reasons systematically underestimate the stability of these features.

          • SlashTurn

            Yeah that makes so much sense to me considering how active the Pacific has been, a normal winter ridge would progress/regress in transitions.

          • gray whale

            Daniel, this would be a great post too. Kind of a “nuts-and-bolts” look at the forecasting systems. If you didn’t think it would be *too* far over our heads 🙂

          • jstrahl

            The question then remains why the underestimation of this stability. If i recall correctly, in the past, long-term forecasts predicted a stability in say terms or wet/dry patterns which indeed persisted. Why the big errors with this particular feature? I’m not demanding an answer,:-) just stating that this is a mystery.

            And thanks, Gray Whale, for correcting me. Indeed, i’ve seen such statements in NWS weather discussion releases, re how they are going with climatological due to unconfident models.

        • gray whale

          my understanding, FWIW, is not the models themselves rely on climatology, but that human forecasters (NOAA forecast discussion, etc) will see variability in the models and use climatology for their forecast. Kind of just like, “we didn’t know what to think, so we went with a historical mean”

  • lightning10

    The prickly pear is the only one enjoying the weather today.

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v681/packerfan10/WP_20150215_001_zps9ab9e1bb.jpg

  • politik

    Ridiculously Resilient Ridge, Ridiculously Robust Ridge, Ridiculously Redoubtable Ridge… Ridiculously Retrograding Ridge?

    • Bob G

      I don’t care what you call it. Daniel posed the question as to whether this is the same RRR as last year. At this point, you could give it another name but practically speaking, it is the same exact thing

      • yenlard

        Actually feels worse this year. It feels hotter than the same time last year. I know the nights are way more warm than last year. Haven’t used my furnace since new year’s here in the San Fernando valley. who cares about the bill…i want to use it.

        • Bob G

          I sounds like from the coastal and socal people it has been warmer this year. Not for us. We didn’t have any early freezing spells, but the dense tule fug this year kept January temp modest. I never thought I would see the day when I would be so grateful to have Tule fog

          • yenlard

            Guess that’s from all the December rains.

    • John Haet

      RRR is the only thing to talk about these days. I can’t believe I am saying this, but I am starting to lose interest in weather.

      • Nick W.

        Me, too. I’m tired of hearing my local weatherman Jason Stiff saying the same thing the whole four minutes. “No great chances of wet weather.”

    • Joseph B.

      Routinely Resilient Ridge?

  • Bob G

    Having read the comments section here for over a year, I would have to say that if the vast majority of Californians were as in tune and concerned about the drought and water situation, the politicians would have had to deal with this situation. Just my observations from people I talked to at work and in the public, while most are aware of the drought and are concerned, I just don’t see the same level of concern out there and sense of urgency. I guess that won’t happen until we start seeing severe mandatory cutbacks and the one minute showers. I say this because there really isn’t anything to discuss right now regarding our weather pattern.

    • yenlard

      People really are ignorant when it comes to our water situation. If it’s another beautiful winter day then who cares about the drought. If you asked ten random people on the street where our water comes from maybe one would actually know. The rest are clueless.

      • scott

        Right on! Ignorance is bliss.

      • dylan

        It’s true. I just don’t get how people can be so ignorant though.. How can you not know where your water comes from?

        • Flunking_retirement

          you dont? look at our political awareness, some people think Teddy Kennedy was a base ball player.

        • Bartshe

          If you never left Sacramento, LA, Orange County, the Bay Area, Fresno, etc… and there are legions of people who don’t travel beyond 20 miles of their home (for a host of socio-economic reasons)–how could you really know, or if you do know, how could you really care?

          • dylan

            Okay, you guys, I understand then. (btw I had no idea that anyone thought Ted Kennedy was a baseball player!)

        • Tuolumne

          …Oh, iduhno. I guess some reservoirs somewhere. And somewhere out there are some farms growing my food, dunno where though…

          It’s totally easy in our urban areas to default to that level of ignorance if one isn’t interested in knowing how these things work. I learned stuff because of relentless curiosity since childhood, and I’m sure that’s true of the others posting here.

    • Bartshe

      “I just don’t see the same level of concern out there and sense of urgency”

      Because there is still enough water for urban consumption. The Ag industry is in the process of convulsing and withering, as cross sections hang on and adapt. However, it’s only a small portion of the CA economy and political sphere.

      A few more massive fires, the beginning of the end (or significant contraction) of the ski industry, severe ecosystem impacts, less fishing, changes in rural populations and growth, etc–these things are more easily overlooked, and buried in the day-to-day, and don’t collectively register on the state economy or urban/political landscape.

      All that being said, I think there is a lot more going on behind the scenes than most people realize, or that the media spectrum tends to be bothered with.

  • I’ll have a new post tomorrow on the renewed persistence of our now omnipresent extremely warm, usually dry (but very occasionally very wet) regime. The version is that there’s not really indication of meaningful change for 10+ days, and that most of the state will probably fall below average to date precip-wise by the end of the coming week.

    • yenlard

      Can’t wait for the day when your post says…”Sierras buried under 12 feet of snow after barrage of winter storms.”

      • Nick W.

        Californians would rejoice to that. I hate this 21st century weather pattern we’re living in. It’s just not sustainable for us.

    • Boooo….

    • Flunking_retirement

      Maybe you should change the name of the blog to Weather New England; 7 feet of snow now in Boston.

    • craig matthews

      If this same pattern persists well into next winter, and beyond, maybe we should just call this persistent weather pattern the “North America Winter Pattern (NAWP), instead of saying the same old “west coast ridge/east coast trough”. For instance,, a forecast could sound like this: “after a pacific storm moves through the state, the NAWP pattern will take over….

  • craig matthews

    Big Sur: low last night 65F, then temp jumped to 81F at 9am this morning, and then suddenly dropped to 64F at 910am, thanks to a marine layer coming up the coast.

  • Lycanthus

    Nothing says Winter and February in the Bay Area like shorts, flip flops, ice tea and patio dining…what did I just say?

    My best guess is all the excess heat we’ve added into the atmosphere and oceans, primarily from high greenhouse gas concentrations but certainly numerous other sources as well, has first caused the melting of the Arctic via arctic amplification, leading to the loss of the temperature gradient between the equator and pole and hence a weakened jet stream, and secondly all the extra heat being absorbed by the oceans for a long time (decades) and is now finally starting to be emitted into the atmosphere and force an extreme +++PDO. This is leading to self-reinforcing feedbacks like the RRR/NA dipole pattern. Welcome to the Anthropocene. I’m absolutely not an expert however, that’s just based on reading the excellent and informative discussions, links, and especially studies on this blog with all you concerned and intelligent people.

    With endless static boring doom weather as far as the GFS can see, maybe it’s time to stop hoping and waiting for a magical “pattern change” beyond our control, and start talking about the pattern changes we need to make happen ourselves to mitigate the worst of the new climate regime we’ve forced?

    I hope that I’m wrong and we go back next winter to wet cool 20th century Holocene good ol days.

    • alanstorm

      Well I’ve been beating the “Arctic Amplification/ Loopy Jetstream” drum like John Bonham for awhile now. Obviously its all related to record heat worldwide. A combo of many factors, esp warm Pacific ocean temps. Hard to believe human activity as of late has no effect. The growth in Asia is unfathomable unless you go see it for yourself. Its unstoppable!

    • dylan

      I think that’s the most important thing – keep this acceleration of climate change from getting worse than it already is by banding together and conserving energy / severely reducing the carbon footprint. We could do this with effective renewable energy, more gas-efficient vehicles, and simply reducing electricity use! Perhaps if everyone became a little more in touch with the earth/environment this would be do-able

      • yenlard

        The thing is….our air quality here in California with regards to smog has been way better overall thanks to strict air regulations. Go back to the 70’s and 80’s and it’s not the same. Think of all of the clean burning cars and buses on the roads today. Everyone seems to drive a Prius or know somebody who does. This has to be related to the burning of coal in China and the far east and the clear cutting of massive areas of forests around the world. We may have reached the point where there’s no going back. I just find it hard to believe that it happened that quickly. For us here in California there has to be some other mechanism affecting our weather. Nobody on this blog has been able to tell me whether the ocean temps caused our abnormally warm weather or vice versa.

        • craig matthews

          There has been no solid answer to that question re: ocean temps affecting weather or weather affecting ocean temps. I guess it is a combination of atmospheric conditions affecting ocean temps, and ocean temps affecting atmospheric conditions, where there are self reinforcing feedback loops created by different kinds of weather/ocean conditions and forcings/mechanisms in various places over continents surrounding the pacific and in the pacific itself. Maybe warmth energy is being transferred to these loops(maybe from the causes of global warming?) and circulated into and through these loops that go from ocean to atmosphere(vice-versa), and these feedback loops across the pacific are working together at the same time???. Yep, that sounds confusing eh? I don’t get that either.
          Anyway, someone here posted a satellite pic of a massive cloud of pollution being blown of China into the Northwest Pacific. Once that massive cloud of pollution reached the pacific, it formed into clouds and wrapped up into one intense cyclone. That kind of mass pollution coming from that location of the globe seams like would have to be altering the polar jet in some way.

          • Dan the Weatherman

            Do you by any chance know the longitude at which that intense storm formed? I am wondering if this is the trough around the Aleutians (~160W) that has been stuck in place this entire winter and this may be what is reinforcing it, leading to the RRR downstream, or whether this storm was much further west.

          • craig matthews

            The satellite pic was taken late January of last year, but I don’t remember the exact date. Anyway, that cyclone fully developed and became quasi-stationary around the western Aleutians. I will try n dig that one up for you, the article and the link I believe was posted by Loyal Brooks.

          • Dan the Weatherman

            Thanks for the info. If it has been posted here on this blog, you can just mention which entry it came under and the date, and then I will be able to find it. The location of the storm may be further west than I was thinking, but it would be interesting to see, anyway.

        • It occurred to me today that the “blame the Chinese” mantra (and they certainly are making a contribution) might have the positive effect of getting Americans, at least, to start taking the connection between human activity and climate change seriously. It is easier to admit that there might be a connection when you can point (initially, at least) at someone else as the cause. 😉

        • alanstorm

          Its simply the evolution of a dominant species on a particular planet. Human activity creates heat. More humans & their cities, the more heat there is. America has cleaned up its smog during a period of stagnant growth while the poorer countries have experienced staggering growth & cannot.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      I believe that all the pollution coming from China and other parts of Asia (which has really increased in recent years) could be modifying the weather patterns in the north Pacific. At the same time, soot from this pollution might be landing on the Arctic ice, darkening the surface, and contributing to the massive melting we have seen in recent years, mainly from the 2000’s to the present.

      • Weatherwatcher

        We dont even know this. Nor is there evidence to support the correlation between the two. Just because two things are increasing at the same time does not mean that that would be the cause of it. But who knows, it all reminds me of Al Gore and his invalid “scientific data”.

        • Dan the Weatherman

          That is just an opinion of mine of what might be going on.
          I could wind up being completely wrong, or I could end up being on the right track. The point is that none of us knows for sure what is causing this persistent pattern as of yet.

          • Weatherwatcher

            Yes and I respect gour opinion very much. I was just expressing my thought on the matter and I’m sorry if it came out as my trying to argue or something.

        • How about leaving the politics out of it?

          • Weatherwatcher

            Because whens you bring that up you are beinging up politics essentially. But yes you are right. The last thing I want to do is start a flame war of opinions :p .

      • StefanoR99

        The positive from the above average temps and prolonged sunshine has to be the mass switching off of heating in CA homes. (and hopefully not the mass switching on of AC). I turned mine off a few days ago.(we’re in the north bay), so have to think of all the CO2 that now isn’t being pumped into the atmosphere from our end. On top of that the rooftop solar on our modest home is more than covering our electrical usage and we’re only in the middle of February.

        Weirder still is the above average precipitation we’ve had. It doesn’t feel that way when we’re having 24 Celsius weather but a quick look at the reservoirs in the state shows that we’ve actually overcome the deficit from last yer and the graphs are pointing towards average water capacity. Absolutely bizarre.

        • Dan the Weatherman

          I haven’t had to use the heat much as of late, either, and have not used the A/C at all, thankfully. The warmth this year has been something else at all elevations in CA. Except for the Santa Ana winds, temperatures alone have felt more like mid spring than the dead of winter here in Socal.

      • alanstorm

        That’s a pretty clever comparison. Along with the coal, its the steady plume of trazillion DIESEL engines belching fumes. Its 2015 & the biggest cities aare now in Asia, everything pretty much runs on bad running diesel engines. COUGH!

        • Dan the Weatherman

          That’s a good point! I never thought about all those diesel engines, which is yet another source of pollution.

  • yenlard

    Fantasyland still showing rain at the 284 hr mark!!

  • craig matthews

    Could a “dipole like” persistent West-Ridge/East-Trough set up, similar to what is occurring over North America, be occurring over southern Europe? For instance, over the last decade, Spain/Portugal to Morocco appears to have experienced very erratic rainfall periods during their wet seasons (severe droughts, with long duration dry spells during the winter, and on occasion brief stormy periods that produce flooding rains). While Italy to Lebanon zone appears to have been under a more persistent deep cold trough, especially the last few winters, with parts of Italy to Lebanon experiencing periods of what appears to be very cold/stormy weather with low elevation snow.
    Anyway, I have just began paying attention to the weather pattern over in Europe and Asia so my obs could be off. But related to Ca weather, being that we are in that mid latitude belt that has been projected by climatologist to be more affected by global warming, is the reason why I’m asking, and wondering. If W.W or someone on this blog has links, data, or some info that might confirm or deny my limited findings would be helpful. I know I could probably find the answer on the web, but I don’t have much off time these days and this blog’s the best short cut way to find intelligent answers. Thanks.

  • Ben

    With the pattern being one that if one region (the west) is a baking oven in February and another region (east coast), is a freezer….getting ready to experience sub-zero temps in New York City (which is rare for them. They’re not as cold as, say Chicago), it is hard to believe that global warming is causing this pattern. Just thinking rationally here. This is a classic western ridge/eastern trough setup. Just saying…..

    • Ben

      However, we must try and solve the mystery as to why this pattern has been continuing for 4 years now. It’s the fact that it’s been so stagnant that in 165 years of record keeping, we have never ever ever ever EVER experienced such a POWERFUL, long lasting hot dry weather pattern in CA. It’s mind blowing!

      • Dan the Weatherman

        It is normal to have this Western ridge / Eastern trough pattern to show up off and on throughout a winter season, but it is certainly NOT normal for it to dominate our weather over 90% of the time during a period of 3 going on 4 winters!

        • They are probably ready for a break in the pattern back east. Ottawa is under a warning for extreme cold. They had a poll on the weathercentre page for Ottawa: at what temperature should schools consider keeping the kids inside for recess? The median point was around -20C (-4F). Minus thirty? No problem! Let the kids go out! (It was the same way when I was a kid, too). Blizzard warnings all over the east from the Mississippi Valley to NE.
          The models indicate stagnant and more extreme “spells”. Dry warm spells last months instead of weeks, cold wet spells likewise. The effects are thus magnified.

          • dylan

            Yes I think they’re over this weather. Boston has had huge amounts of snowfall and I’d imagine Ottawa isn’t far behind. Right this moment the wind chill in Boston is -30 C! And it looks like the temperature will likely remain below freezing (likely even -3 C or lower) for the next week there

      • jstrahl

        In 165 years of record keeping, this is the first encounter with “global warming,” which true enough is better described as climate change, or climate destabilization, but does feature an overall increase in the average temperature of the world taken as a unit.

    • dylan

      That’s why the term global warming is misleading. It’s really more like climate change – with temperatures averaged globally rising but with other extreme weather patterns

  • Sunchaser

    From NWS – Oxnard :Current visible satellite, courtesy of University of WI SSEC, has
    several features of interest. First, you can clearly see the delineation
    of the high-amplitude ridge just off the West Coast with a large upper
    low over 150 W and 35 N. Second, there is a bank of stratus clouds along
    the Central Coast from Point Conception up to Monterey Bay. Finally, a
    low over Baja CA is producing some precipitation in that area. Hopefully this is setting up for a change towards the end of the month….

    • Cachagua1

      These storms really look powerful and low latitude too. Why are then not able to break down the ridge, or move underneath the ridge?

      • Dan the Weatherman

        That is a good question. Many times in the past they have been able to undercut the ridge and bring a wet pattern, but I don’t know why that can’t happen now. By the looks of that satellite, it really looks as if we are about to go into a wet pattern, and those are really healthy looking storms, too!

  • jstrahl

    High today of 72 deg F, second day in a row. 70+ on two days in February has occurred in my records (going back to the early ’90s) only in ’95, ’96 and ’11. The first was a very dry February, the driest i’ve ever recorded, followed a double-digit rainfall January, and preceded a likewise double-digit March. The second followed a very wet period in early February spilling over from a very wet second half January, the rain year ending up well above normal. The third was a month which turned exceptionally wet towards the end, and the rest of the season remained in that mode, aside from April. Which shows absolutely nothing. Probably.

    • redlands

      where u from ???? location

      • jstrahl

        Central Berkeley.

  • Nick W.

    Marine layer is back in my part of the Central Coast. Wahoo.

    • Just like June! Wait.

      • April Galanksy

        I saw it creeping in around Point Lobos from the vantage point of the Pebble Beach Pro Am. Got downright chilly. Great to see but you’re right, it ain’t the summer months… just feels like ’em.

  • Ian Alan

    This is how bad the weather has been……

    Does anyone else get this ad?!? I don’t view any fitness pages and I don’t search any sort of supplements or fitness enhancements.

    I’m really tired of seeing his moobs every time here! LOL

    • I’ll get rid of this one…

      • Larry

        Thank you very much!

        • inclinejj

          If you google ad blocker and install the Adblock you never get this. At least if you use google chrome.

    • Bandini

      Hey that’s me!

    • Kelley Rogers

      Haha.. I see ads for Russian brides LOL

    • haha!

  • C M

    What is the projection for the spring weather for the Bay Area? I’m sure the temperatures will be above normal but is there a good shot of above normal rainfall?

    • Bob G

      The CFS has been trending wet for March. The runs are getting wetter. I am not sure what that is based on. I guess you gotta hope they got it right for once this year

    • Ben

      Here’s a good way to make a prediction: if the CFS predicts below normal rainfall, expect below normal rainfall. It it predicts above normal rainfall, expect below normal rainfall. If it predicts above normal temps, expect above normal temps. If it predicts below normal temps, expect above normal temps.

  • Weatherwatcher

    Fog is so thick here in Carlabad that it’s basically drizzle.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      It is overcast here in Orange tonight which looks like a fairly low marine inversion with the hills behind me obscured, but it isn’t foggy at ground level here at my house.

      • Weatherwatcher

        Ya I know it burned off pretty early in the morning. It started to come in during the evening though.

  • Bandini

    Well today was a little cooler at least, maybe right around 50F on the east side of Lake Tahoe. We hiked from Spooner lake up to Marlette lake, which I think is around 8200ft. There was actually a little more snow than I would have thought on the trail, though again, it goes without saying, the trail should be buried. Towards the end we ran into knee to hip deep stuff in the north slopes of Marlette basin. Also, we ran into some other people and we all concurred that we are heading for a monster March. There is no evidence to support this, but all we have left are “positive vibes.”

  • Ian Alan

    Took a drive around the backside of big bear on the 38 past onyx peak (pass is at 8500′) and down through angelus oaks and detoured to the top of Forest falls before heading through Redlands and back up the mountain to home in Running Springs.

    It was quite warm the whole way and felt downright hot in Redlands. Snow valley has only the lower 2 lifts operating and in spots the snow is only ten feet wide – yes that’s right. It’s sad they’re even staying open and charging to play in the mud.

    It was nice to see real snow above 8000′ and even there it’s maybe 75% coverage on north slopes. South slopes are completely bare to at least 9500′-10000′.

    Saw some things we shouldn’t see this time of year like the south fork of the Santa ana River (near its starting point) without any ice or snow and a huge ant hill fully active. Otherwise quite beautiful!

    • Weatherwatcher

      Holy ants! We just have those annoying little argentine ants here.

    • redlands

      Ian — yes it was a warm 83 in Redlands,Ca today — looking like this feb 2015 will be the hottest – maximum wise ive recorded – records since august 1981

  • Cachagua1

    It has been a week since the last rain, and the Carmel River is still flowing quite well. I added the total rainfall here since the first storm in October and a total of 20.70″ seams above average. No one has kept records for this area, but Los Padres Dam which is 2 miles as the pigeon flies use to have a station that recorded rainfall from the 1950’s up until about 5 or so years ago, and the total for this area is estimated around 28″ give or take a little for the season that begins in July and ends at the end of June. Not too shabby.

  • Bob G
  • jstrahl

    San Francisco/Monterey Bay Area records today: 81 at Salina Airport, 80 at Oakland-Museum (i.e. downtown), 73 at San Francisco Airport. Looked like a summer weekend at the local park here in Berkeley. in fact, during summer a high of 72 is unusually warm.

    • dylan

      Wow, the heat continues. It actually was around 23/24 C (~73 F) here in Santa Barbara, so surprisingly cooler than Salinas and Oakland which is bizarre. And out 10 days still summer-like temperatures!

  • redlands

    83 in Redlands, Ca — Southern Calif 2-15-15 — another too warm Feb day

  • Ben

    Here’s how I look at long range (1-3 month outlook) predictions from NOAA: if they predict below normal precip, expect below normal precip. If they predict above normal precip, expect below normal precip. If they predict above normal temps, expect above normal temps. If they predict below normal temps, expect above normal temps.

    • Ben

      Oh one more thing, I was in Santa Cruz yesterday and it was 83 degrees. It was absolutely disgusting. That is all.

    • Bob G

      Lol. You got it right. You can do the model from now on

  • Thunderstorm

    Interesting no one talks about flooding for New England starting around March 6th. Same time we get low snow and rain. Hopefully all month and into late april. Major change. Now the stratosphere temperature forecast shows a change also.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      There is certainly going to be some major flooding for portions of the Northeast and any other areas that have received a ton of snow this winter when there is finally a change in the pattern that allows a warmup in that area. Hopefully when that change occurs, it leads to a more active pattern over the West Coast that can provide at least some drought relief for CA.

    • No one is talking about the flooding but I just saw a story on the dozens of roofs that are collapsing in NE because of the snow accumulation on the roofs ha.

  • Dan the Weatherman

    From tonight’s San Diego AFD:

    FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY…NOTICEABLY COOLER NEXT WEEKEND. ON FRIDAY THE WEST COAST RIDGE WILL REAMPLIFY AND EXTEND NORTH ALL THE WAY INTO BRITISH COLUMBIA. A SHORTWAVE CRESTING THE RIDGE WILL DIG SOUTH DOWN THE WESTERN INTERIOR AND CARVE OUT A DEEP TROUGH OVER GREAT BASIN SATURDAY AND SUNDAY. FOR SO-CAL THIS WILL BRING STRONGER ONSHORE FLOW…COOLER WEATHER AND A DEEPER MARINE LAYER. THE 00Z GFS FORECASTS SMALL QPF OVER SOCAL FROM A SIGNIFICANTLY DEEPER MARINE LAYER. BUT THERE IS TOO MUCH TRACK UNCERTAINTY TO MENTION ANY PRECIP CHANCES AT THIS TIME.

    Just what we need is another inside slider that likely will not bring any rain to my area here in Orange, which will probably be followed by yet another Santa Ana wind event and more warm and dry weather.

    • Ben

      A lot of times those inside sliders can bring heavy marine layer drizzle/light rain to SoCal while NorCal stays completely dry. On rare occasions, they retrograde to Southern CA bringing low elevation snow (like in January). Let’s see what happens.

    • Darin

      Why do some forecasts use all caps? Always bothered me.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        I don’t know why, but I have noticed that many NWS offices use all caps in their AFDs and other products and have been doing so since the Internet age.

  • Nice Santa Cruz sunset. The water was pretty warm considering I was able to stand it for over an hour. I have never seen that before.

  • FansasyLand showing a very cold storm hitting in early March. I got trigger happy to post this.

    • Ian Alan

      Trending better with the 6z!

    • yenlard

      And there’s another one right on its heels. Let’s hope it stays that way!!! Good vibes

    • Weatherwatcher

      Hopefully that thing picks up some moisture, or we just get a december dry cold low.

    • C M

      We need a pineapple express or some warm air to meet with that cold system to wring out the moisture in the form of thunderstorms. March has much longer daylight hours and a higher sun angle than December so it would increase the chances of some very interesting weather by Bay Area standards.

      • Bob G

        That would make some incredible weather. I can recall years ago when the Polar and Souther Jet merged and cold storms merged with subtropical moisture. Those were huge events. One can only dream

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Howard Sheckter claiming the 1st system will be more of an inside slider, but would be followed by a full latitude trough near the West Coast after that, which would be a wet setup for California. Something to keep an eye on.

      • jstrahl

        What would make the ridge pull-back happen? Re March thunderstorms: i have indeed seen some very intense ones during March and April, even May and June.

        • Bob G

          I don’t think anyone could tell you with certainty. Changes in the atmosphere due to Spring? Changes to the weather in the Northeast? If this does happen, I would guess it has something to do with changes caused by Springtime events. We can’t wait for Spring every year to get our rain and snow

          • SoCalWXwatcher

            It definitely seems that whatever influence it is that builds and sustains the RRR kicks in full strength in late December, through January and into February. Once the days get longer and the sun’s influence is stronger, the RRR starts to wane into Spring.

            As you point out, we can’t afford to write-off January and February every year. We need our Winter back.

          • Bob G

            That is what happened last year although there weren’t any gangbuster storms to hit us last year when the chance came

          • SoCalWXwatcher

            The February 28-March 1 storm was pretty significant last year, but the few storms that followed into March – April were pretty weak.

          • jstrahl

            We had a major storm in early February last year, and a string of somewhat strong events in late March into April. If it takes the advent of Spring to make the RRR pull back, game’s over, by the time the RRR pulls back the storms stop coming anyway.

          • Dan the Weatherman

            I totally agree with you that we need our winter back. Constantly having to write off January and February like this is only going to lead to worse precipitation deficits from one year to the next.

      • Bob G

        Bryan at OpenSnow says the models show the ridge completely backing off the west coast. The first time he has seen that instead of the usual pushing through or undercutting of the ridge this year. Of course, he prefaces this by saying this is in the long range models so it is a wait and see proposition by now

    • Ben

      Not happening

  • click

    This is my first winter in the high desert, and i know its been an unusual, warm, dry… I have some almond trees and they are already in full bloom. I am wondering if anyone knows when these trees should typically start flowering. The picture is from just before yesterdays sunrise over the San Bernardino Mountains. The photo didnt really capture it, but the almond trees were almost glowing white.

  • inclinejj

    Another 80+ degree day in Pacifica yesterday. I doubt we get this many 70 and 80 degree days this summer.

    Temp hit 81.1

  • Weatherwatcher

    The rain is back and on my birthday. Please don’t let me down again. This would be a great birthday present :).

    • Weatherwatcher

      And gone again.

  • politik

    TORID — Totally Radical Indestructible Ridge, at least for now. All things will end, in time. The study of meteorology — eddy, upon eddy, upon eddy, upon eddy…

  • yenlard

    Some weird stuff happening on the 12z

  • lightning10

    That is a classic low precip late winter thunderstorm even for So Cal.

  • Darin

    Finally got around to catching up my Economist subscription. Recent article regarding GFS. I didn’t know much about GFS vis a vis ECMWF. Interesting read (don’t think subscription is needed as I am not logged in). http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21642127-europeans-do-not-just-talk-about-weather-more-americans-do-they-are

  • Dan weather maniac

    Warning***
    Warning***

    ****special weather statement****

    Those buying too much into anything post 7 days…. Cardinal sin.

    Criteria
    5 days or less out
    Consistency in run each day
    Precip odds 50% or more and chance of rain for consecutive days.

    Otherwise it’s simpky not credible. let’s see if this moves foward in time… By Friday this week then maybe something to talk about.

    Persons with vested interest are advised to spare themselves emotional roller coasters.

    Meanwhile how about some more dry warm April weather here today in walnut creek! Enjoy!!!

  • Dan weather maniac

    Our lovely friend today. Make sure to click on the 250 (jet) if the wind defaults to 70.

    Eye of sauron?

    http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/250hPa/orthographic=-122.45,5.53,236

    • Darin

      It does have a creepy similarity.

  • Obsessed

    From NWS Sacramento:

    “Southern extensions of the Polar Vortex with reinforcing deep lows
    over Hudson Bay result in the persistent block over along the W
    coast. Forecast of the Arctic Oscillation (AO) becoming
    increasingly more positive does not bode well for much change in
    the upper air pattern either. In fact…many of the ensemble
    members are more positive than in January 2015…in many cases the
    driest Jan on record in our area.”

    Just when you thought things can only get better, they get worse. This is The Winter that Never Existed. It’s over for good.

  • Canada’s weather network is holding some faint hope for a change in the weather along about the first week of March:
    http://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/will-februarys-frigid-temperatures-continue-into-march/45521/

    They even suggest slightly below normal temperatures for the Sierra, although they caution that the models are seldom accurate that far out. The trend does indicate a lessening of the severity of the warmth in the west and the cold in the east.

    It doesn’t discuss precipitation.

    • Bob G

      That seems to be what is being talked about. I don’t follow all the models, but from what I’ve read the models seem to be in agreement with this pattern change. As we all know too well, these long range models continually dry up so we are just going to have to wait and see

  • tomocean

    Drought and freakishly warm temperatures be damned, I will take what he have right now in California over what is happening on the east coast any day of the week. I lived in that growing up, zero desire to live in that again.

    • Bob G

      Really? I hope you are not serious. I want the east coast weather here right now.

      • tomocean

        I am 100% serious. High of 16F low of -1F? Are you kidding? I moved to California to get away from that kind of stuff. I like the seasonal changes, but California is desirable because it doesn’t usually have that extreme cold garbage. If you want that weather, I would recommend that you move there.

        • Kunder

          It would be pretty bad if we had the exact same temperatures as the Northeast does right now. But more likely it would be relatively cold and wet for California, and that’s exactly what we need, right?

          • C M

            I’ll take the atmospheric rivers we had in December and last week. I, personally like warm and wet over cold and wet but I know the Sierra needs the snowpack.

          • tomocean

            Yeah, but I guess my point is that we can all fret and worry about something we can’t control (the warm, dry weather) or we can be thankful that at least we aren’t stuck in the opposite rut (endless, extreme cold and piles of ice and snow).

          • Bob G

            Right now I would take the 20 feet of snow. If this was first dry spring of 2012, when the reservoirs were still full, I would agree with you. I would take the dry weather. But with empty reservoirs looming and drastic drought measures coming, I will endure the nasty weather for a time

        • April Galanksy

          I think most of us are just looking for balance and want the “extremes” to abate no matter where we are.

        • Bob G

          I’ll take the extreme weather for a month or so just to build the snowpack for the summer. Beats sitting in a desert with no water

        • gray whale

          Just ask the Donners, CA weather is pretty extreme at times. And that’s how most like it.

        • Tuolumne

          I think a better analogy would be the degree to which it’s colder and wetter than normal. I don’t want temperatures approaching zero F. and seven feet of snow at sea level in California, but I would eagerly take a record freeze and record low-elevation snowfall (by our standards) over this pleasant but damaging-in-the-long-term weather.

          • Dan the Weatherman

            I would gladly take a long series of Gulf of Alaska storms that would bring moderate rainfall along with ample lower elevation snow in the Sierra to help build up the snowpack.

      • C M

        No thanks on the endless blizzards, constant snow shoveling, and dangerous windchills.

        I just want more rain and rain year round with thunderstorms.

      • Martin Pettet

        Absolutely. Any day of the week for at least a month (obviously not forever). I was brought up in a cold climate too.

      • Forty below and seven feet of snow on the ground? Really?

    • C M

      I hate extreme cold too! I’d prefer a subtropical climate like the Gulf Coast where it stays warm most of the year (albeit they get some cold during these cold snaps but far milder than the northeast) and they get plenty of rain year round. Spectacular thunderstorms too!

      • tomocean

        That kind of goes along with my point. We each have preferences as far as weather goes. If a person really hates generally temperate, boring weather, then California is probably not the place for you.

        • C M

          I’d like to move to Austin, TX (warm most of the year, lots of rain with thunderstorms, lower COL too!) but my wife is attached to the Bay Area and has her whole extended family here.

          • tomocean

            I can’t abide the humidity back East, makes everything moldy and suffocating. Lived in south Florida for a few years and was so glad to leave. Best of luck on returning to where you’d like to be though.

          • C M

            I like the humidity and balmy nights along with the warm rain as long as I have AC available. Spent one summer interning in Virginia and loved the thunderstorms there!

          • tomocean

            Yes, that’s where I grew up – Virginia. Miss the excitement of the summer thunderstorms. I like to go backpacking in the Sierra in the summer just to recapture that experience. 🙂

          • Emerald

            Went up to the Sierra and stayed at one of the high country camps last summer. We climbed 10800 foot Mount Hoffman and got stuck in a hailstorm on the way down. Good times.

          • SoCalWXwatcher

            I agree with you. If not for the fact that I have a good job at a good company here in SoCal, I think I’d move to Austin. It’s not quite as humid as Houston, and has some nice things to offer.

        • Flunking_retirement

          Where I grew up, in Ohio near Lake Erie , they say if you dont like the weather, wait 20 minutes.

      • jstrahl

        And cockroaches the size of mice.

        • dylan

          Yuck! That’s why I don’t want to live in a tropical climate. I would much prefer New England

    • The two unhappy conditions are related and may share a common cause.

    • Azmordean

      Not me… I’m visiting DC now.. it’s in the teens, and snowing. I love snow and miss it so much. I moved to California in 2012, and used to be able to head to Tahoe for snow the first winter I was there. Not anymore. I’m happy to see this snow!

      I guess I might be tired of it if I lived here again (though I enjoy cold and snow). I really miss winter living in CA, especially in the current drought. But I don’t miss east coast summers, that’s for sure!

      This pattern needs to flip. I know my east coast friends would like a reprieve from 25 below average, and we’d like a reprieve from 25 above.

  • megaranation

    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper.

    • Bandini

      The horror! The horror!

  • Ian Alan

    Yenlard said it below – 12z kinda strange. Brings precip to socal in as little as 5 days and some form of L seems to generally hang around through the entire long range in a showery type of nature. Nothing mind blowing but some dark greens and blues light up the run here and there.

    It’s been a positive trend for a few good days now.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      If we could get that low to track just 150 miles farther West it would be a really nice soaker for CA. But it does sit over CA and spin for a couple days as it is, so that’s encouraging.

      • Weatherwatcher

        Yes probably the most it will do is provide some onshore flow. Which i
        is a relief.

    • Weatherwatcher

      It shows more widespread precip. 23rd and beyond. Although it would be light.

  • Boiio

    Looks more like June than February.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Coworker: “How about that weather this weekend?!!! It sure was awesome, wasn’t it?.”

      Me: “I guess it was awesome if you don’t mind water rationing this summer”

      Coworker: (walks away, shaking head )

      • wxbeagle

        You know, this whole lashing out against people who like comfortable weather has become a theme here and, I’m sorry but, come on.

        So, what, if everyone was mad about sunny mild days, the weather would change?

        Sure, if the guy said he was inviting the neighborhood to his free personal slip n slide all weekend, that would be shortsighted. But people can enjoy nice weather independent of the state’s larger water issues. I mean, people have been moving to SoCal for generations for this kind of weather in winter. The place is literally famous for it.

        • SoCalWXwatcher

          Reminding someone that there are consequences to an extraordinary, historic drought (which we are in the 3rd year of) is hardly “lashing out”. I’ve encountered many who don’t even begin to understand how dire the situation is, and won’t realize it until they get hit over the head with the ramifications of it this summer.

          Yes, having warm pleasant days in SoCal during winter is common. Not having winter is not.

          And yes, if I have to pick between our particular situation and what they are facing on the East Coast, I’d pick ours.

          • Bob G

            That is correct SoCal. One thing to question a comment, another thing to make personal attacks on a poster. An acquaintance of mine from the Bay Area posted on Facebook page yesterday how beautiful the beach in SF was, how awesome February is, and then told his East Coast buddies how jealous they should be. In a nice way, I told him at least they won’t have to worry about where their water is going to come from this summer and just wait for those one minute showers. If this persists, everyone in this state is going to learn how bad things really are when much stricter measures hit home

          • redlands

            I agree with u —

        • Aloha12

          Good post. No matter how much hand wringing over the drought and warmer than normal temps it will not bring a change. Myself, I thoroughly enjoyed the last 4 days, surf was good and beach was warm….like summer. Do I want cold winter storms? Yes (my mammoth season pass has yet to be used and I fear won’t be)! But being cranky about it does nothing (being positive has no effect either). I come here for hope/lies; let me know that 10 days out there’s going to be a pattern change. If more of the same, don’t tell us about how winter is over and we’re doomed.

          • darrenking

            Amen, brother. Negativity helps no one. And ultimately, negativity actually only contributes to problems. I’m not asking for a pulling of wool over eyes, but rather a positive, constructive attitude and tone towards the opportunities/challenges of our time.

          • darrenking

            And speaking of positivity, Folsom Lake, where I am, is now at 103% of the historical average for this date. And the Sacramento Valley in general is at something like 105% of the to-date rainfall average.

          • SlashTurn

            Haven’t used mammoth pass? I live in Santa Barbara and have 15 days racked so far and everyone of them have been legit fun days, for me at least… I don’t need 2ft of powder to get up the 395. Just gas $…and just being in the Sierras itself is my therapy.

            The last 3-4 years has really reinvented my stoke for riding the mountains and has taught me patience and acceptance…

          • Aloha12

            Good lessons for sure. I’ve been waiting for a pattern change that hasn’t happened yet…all hopes now on a March miracle. If not, I’ll still make 1 trip at least (gotta use the $100 credit). See you there….

        • Angel Rocket

          It’s annoying that people are so ignorant

      • Boiio

        Full disclosure: I went to the beach yesterday and got a sunburn. It was about as beautiful a beach day as we ever get in the Bay Area. But I hated every minute of it….. 😉

      • Scott Turner

        If we really want to do something about the drought, we can take fewer and shorter showers, hand wash our dishes, flush only when it’s getting out of hand, stop watering our lawn, plant a native garden – essentially being as efficient as modern life will allow us to be. Beyond that, we can stop eating animal products, stop driving a car, cut down on what we consume in general, recycle, find a way to get clean renewable energy, and buy local in an effort to reduce our carbon footprints in an effort to lighten our contribution to climate chance.

        Talking like this to our co-workers is just going to turn us into “that guy.” People like following a positive example much more that being lectured.

        • SoCalWXwatcher

          You’re inferring too much from my original post.
          There was no “Lecture”. I’ve known this guy for a while and we were bantering back and forth as we always do when we cross paths. Usually tongue-in-cheek.
          He admits he hadn’t even thought about the water situation in a while, although he’s been reminded of it today.

          Unlike your post, my discussion with him was not a “lecture”. I think we can do our part occasionally to raise awareness among those who aren’t as focused on this as we. I wouldn’t expect anyone with the kind of commutes both he and I have to abandon driving an auto for a bicycle, or avoid animal products, but there are practical things which normal meat-enjoying motorists like he and I can do to help mitigate the problem, some of which you did mention.

        • gharlane

          First one-sentence lecture I’ve ever seen, heard or heard of.

          If only my college lectures had been this short. And to the point.

          Bringing an uncomfortable truth to someone’s attention hardly qualifies as a lecture. Sorry.

          BTW, hand washing dishes is by no means a slam dunk in terms of water and energy efficiency… likely the opposite, in fact.

          http://www.treehugger.com/kitchen-design/built-in-dishwashers-vs-hand-washing-which-is-greener.html

    • thunderstorm98

      Santa Maria still has marine layer at 12.40 pm

  • thunderstorm98
  • tomocean

    What is truly amazing is that we are still ahead of normal for the water year in many areas of northern California.

    http://www.cnrfc.noaa.gov/awipsProducts/RNOWRKCLI.php

    I went out to some wetlands in the northern central valley this weekend and was glad to see that there was far more water for the migratory birds than last year at this time. I highly recommend a visit to these one of a kind parts of the world if you ever have the opportunity.

    • Bob G

      Which refuge was this? I actually live by them. I’ve hunted most of them that permit it. I know some of the DFG people who manage them. Some were better off than others. They’ve had severe water cutbacks this past year and have fallowed a good deal of wetlands. There was a big concern of migratory birds dying off this year due to a lack of water. Some of the refuges have decent wells, and were able to flood some fields. The BOR is set to announce their water allocations sometime this month. We will know what some of the refuges are going to get this coming year

      • tomocean

        This was at the Colusa wildlife refuge. It was in pretty good shape by appearances. A wide variety of waterfowl out there. They seemed to be well spaced and not all crammed in together. Some of the nearby fields were still flooded from last weekend’s rains and there were Snow Geese and some swans out there.

        • alanstorm

          Love that area. They got alot of rain from both ARs. I travel though that area on hiway 20 from Lake County alot. Sutter Buttes are awesome. Great tornado spotting area.

  • Sierrajeff

    Fog coming through the Gate – summer is indeed apparently here.

  • inclinejj

    Temp only hit 70 and then the breeze started. Fog already at the beach!

    • yenlard

      Seabreeze here in the sf valley…feels nice. At least there is some air movement and moisture. Although the weather has an April smell and feel to it….and were only halfway through February.

  • Ian Alan

    These bulbs should be popping their heads let alone blooming until May / early June…geeze!

    • Weatherwatcher

      You mean shouldn’t? And yes nature thinks is spring already.

      • Ian Alan

        You mean “it’s”? LoL Oh the joys of iPhone typing!! 😉

        • Weatherwatcher

          Haha or any phone for that matter.. I don’t even use the auto correct because it is so annoying.

  • Weatherwatcher

    In San diego we are still about 2.7in under year to date average. And although I hope for a feburaury with at least a little rain, it looks like it might be a 0.0 feburaury.

  • Bartshe
    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Some would point out that the residents of Sao Paulo have been enjoying their spectacular awesomely sunny weather though.

      • Weatherwatcher

        The only difference is it is the Brazilian government’s own fault for it. The same thing is happening in India too. I forget the name of the place but it held the place for most average precip. Now deforestation has been decreasing their rainfall amounts.

  • Kelley Rogers

    Went to Sierra today with my son. All I can say is this…. WTF.. no offense but that’s all I’ve got. I have never seen it like this. Zero snow on Lover’s Leap..WTF

    • Bandini

      I saw Homewood today, depressing.

  • lightning10

    Has Los Angeles and San Diego been shut out of a rainless February? I remember 2-3 very dry ones in the 90’s but I still think they had 1-2 rain events.

    • Scott Turner

      Yes we have.

    • Weatherwatcher

      To answer your question yes. It doesn’t show the date but this is NWS data for Camp Pendleton which boarders Orange county and San Diego.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      I think the February preceding the “March Miracle” of ’91 was rainless for many areas in SoCal.

      • Tom N

        I had something like 2 inches total (from July 1) when March 91 began. I think 16-18 inches fell at my house in Trabuco during that March.

        • SoCalWXwatcher

          That was an extraordinary month, and the snow level was routinely down to about 3500 feet as these storms were originating in the GOA.

  • Arnold Weather Fanatic

    The perennials up here are starting to bloom. I will have to look up what researchers are doing in this area. I do know that some of the migrators are showing up off cycle from their normal Spring food supply, which is emerging a few weeks early.

    • Pfirman

      What migrators? Please elucidate.

      • Arnold Weather Fanatic

        I did find a short item on caribou. Apparently their forage is maturing, from a protein-availability standpoint, two weeks earlier in the Spring. The herd shows up at their normal time. The calves are taking on enough weight, and the sustainability of the herd may be impacted.

      • Pfirman

        Ok, thanks. I thought you meant in Arnold.

    • Pfirman

      Oops, I replied to myself and not you. Anyway, I thought at first you meant migrators in Arnold, heh.

      • Arnold Weather Fanatic

        Actually, there is an Arnold example. A chipmunk, which does not hibernate, but moves around under the snow in a burrowing mode in the winter, has been steadily moving up the hill as the snow levels get hirer. It does need to be below tree line. It is starting to run out of real estate.

  • Mike Stephenson

    Everyone saying they want the east coast’s weather is like saying I want Vietnam’s weather; which we will never have neither of. What you should want is normal California’s weather back with powerful GOA lows and nice convective cutoff lows this spring along with a healthy monsoon this summer!

    • alanstorm

      Coincidentally, silly GFS is showing a low developing in the Great Basin sucking up some monsoonal moisture for So Cal on 22nd & a GOA low sliding down the coast on the 1st!

      • Dan the Weatherman

        I don’t really want to see these lows that take an inside track over the Great Basin. They hardly ever bring rain here to my area in Orange and they tend to lead to more offshore flow afterward. I’d rather see storms come in from off the ocean that are loaded with moisture and bring widespread rains as opposed to isolated to scattered showers that are representative of inside sliders.

        • Mike Stephenson

          Yea those suck! If they are followed by nice rains its ok but otherwise they suck the moisture right out of the ground!!!

    • Dan the Weatherman

      That is exactly what I want to see, too. For some reason the GOA storm track has been completely shut down over the last 3 years, and it seems that our climate changed at the flick of a switch.

  • Dogwood

    On the West Coast we are quite used to a rainless 4/15 thru 10/15. GOA troughs cease to make it down and that’s our seasonal normal. Not outside thinking to believe that rain from the north is an exception to the rule- allowed by occasional movement in winter and spring jet stream activity and little else. Our “endless summer” pattern may be dominant. Rain in winter may be exceptional.
    320 days of sunny weather is in the brochure and in our range of normalcy. That 45 days of rain is a precarious thing. Cut that in half and we’re in trouble. But….. the Mediterranean seasonal drought is more normal than it isn’t. A 10% budge in some formerly active pattern could easily spell a 50% change in our weather.
    Some things you take for granted.
    Sorry, just thinking out loud.

    • Tuolumne

      Annual clear days at representative weather stations in California range from 78 (Eureka, of course) to 208 (Sandberg in Antelope Valley). See http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/htmlfiles/westcomp.clr.html. If they included more desert locations like Death Valley or Brawley they’d probably get a higher number, but Sacramento came in at 188 and LA at 186.

      • Dogwood

        There were clouds in the sky today in San Jose. I’m more or less referring to the kind of systems that bring far greater than a 0% chance of precipitation for the sake of the broad brush-stokes of my overall thought.
        But I shall cheerfully stand corrected in the face of documents.

        • Tuolumne

          In other words, you meant dry days rather than sunny days. Understood.

    • Dan weather maniac

      Time to move to Portland or Seattle? Heck maybe Eureka? Or Vancouver? The big Island by Vancouver? The new west coast rainy part of the US Med climate? Can you imagine Bay area coastal weather in Seattle? Holy wacko.

      I always said Oakland would become like LA if global warning verifies. Weill this winter it is for sure.

      I have no desire for the dry 320 days, 80F days. I would have moved to so cal if so (not knocking so cal, I actually love that weather and lots about so cal, I just couldn’t handle it year round).

      That’s a good way you put it though.

      • alanstorm

        If you like cold & damp, Eureka’s your spot. Only you don’t see the sun for weeks at a time there. North Coast is the friggin summer-fog capital. Cold & foggy 24/7 in August & drive inland to 90°s! Humboldt Bay is fog magnet. A lot of grey days

      • Tuolumne

        Lived in LA twice, lots of good stuff there, and neat mountains and deserts to explore (San Jacintos, anyone?). But I never felt at home, and I missed the rain and winter coolness up north as well as the coastal redwood/Doug fir forests. That’s why I’m not there anymore.

    • Pfirman

      This winter it was 4 to 5 days of rain. And I am sorry too. This is a sorry situation.

  • AlTahoe

    Skied Heavenly today and have never felt warmth like today in February. At the base of sky chair at 9k+ feet it was in the low 60’s. All of the cat tracks were about 3″ of snow and mud. Hopefully they can keep farming the snow over to the cat tracks or they are going to have a very hard time staying open until the next snow cycle. I would say that the upper mountain had about an 8″-14″ natural snow pack and it was melting fast.

    • AlTahoe

      I then went and played Frisbee Golf at Bijou with about 100 other people. Everyone was wearing shorts and t shirts. The bike rental companies in South Lake Tahoe were bustling. Felt and looked like an early summer day.

  • C M

    Mark your calendars! Big storm coming March 3-4!

    • Nick W.

      Face it. It’s not gonna happen until December.

      • Kunder

        …of 2024.

    • alanstorm

      Likely it will rain again before summer. Usually does every year.

    • thunderstorm98

      Doubt it.

    • Ian Alan

      What happened to March 2/3? 😉

      • Tuolumne

        You’ve heard of rain delays? Well, this is a sun delay. 😉

      • Thunderstorm

        March 6th. It doesn’t rain then were all in big trouble.

  • Nick W.

    Enjoying average high temperatures in Santa Maria today. Too bad that won’t last, above average temps and no rain the entire seven days. KCOY weatherman Jason Stiff continues to say “no great chances of wet stuff” for another week or so. The more he says it, the more I wanted to switch to Dave Hovde permanently again.

    • thunderstorm98

      Or Alan Rose.

    • Ian Alan

      He’s no Jack Church! 😀

      • Nick W.

        Yeah, Jack was great. I still have those weather almanacs.

  • Bandini

    20 miles of bike riding, both on and off trail on the west shore today. Enjoying the late spring weather, though it was actually chilly today. 3 days in a row of activities that should be off limits in February. As has been said before: “Who knew that the end of times would come with suck beautiful weather.” Coming off my bike ride I was reminded of the gravity of our situation and lack of snow. Homewood was frightening at the bottom and tremendously sad, I couldn’t bare to even take a photo of it.

    • Quagmire Cliffington

      I rode at Heavenly this weekend in a t-shirt. It’s really depressing. Winter will return.. maybe March, maybe next year, maybe the year after. Who knows.

    • April Galanksy

      Bandini: Did you say the dogwoods have bloomed? Any sight of morel mushrooms?

    • Pfirman

      No less than the state water guy used the phrase, “Another tragically beautiful day in California.” My wife and I use a rather more forceful term not so socially acceptable as his, but your ‘suck’ should be in the mix, whoever said it.
      And I guess it is. Back east it is just suck, which rhymes with something.

  • alanstorm

    Is that a GOA storm climbing down the coast around the 1st on GFS???
    (Goofy Fantasy Simulator)

    • Socal

      Gfs also says santas coming to town around the 8th.

      • alanstorm

        Guaranteed Flaccid Sprinkles.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      It’s got to be right sooner or later.

  • SoCalWXwatcher

    Cliff Mass again on the subject of the RRR/Drought/East Coast weather and possible linkage to Climate Change, where he elaborates more on his position that these are attributable to natural variability. In this instance, he mentions Daniel’s paper as well.

    http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2015/02/the-origin-of-this-winters-weather.html

    • Thunderstorm

      Cliffmass reads like 2nd grader material. Like saying the sky is blue but not explaining why.

    • alanstorm

      That’s how you make bold assertions stick – you just say it enough times & it becomes truth, right or wrong. Doubtful the average reader will take the time to fact check everything he’s getting at. Easier to just take his word for it.
      Sounds to me like lawyer-speak to prop up a biased point of view.

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        I’m not sure Cliff Mass is “biased” with regard to the RRR/Climate Change linkage, it seems to me he is more on the cautious side, not wanting to attribute the cause of the RRR & drought before a much more solid scientific case can be made. His conclusion pretty much echoes NOAA’s in that regard.

        The scientific community will hash this out, we’ve got some very sharp people like Cliff Mass and Daniel Swain on the case, and they’ll get it figured out.

  • thunderstorm98

    Feels exactly like a typical May Gray day except for the low sun angle and days. Also it was really hazy too.

  • ShawnaB

    My husband just swapped out his tractor mounted snow blower for the front end loader. Needs to get manure to the pastures that are already starting ot wake up. That should guarantee us a blizzard for March. Either way, win win.

    • Coldspot

      I haven’t pushed any snow for two years with the front end loader either, just manure in the pastures as well. Also graded the road which should normally be frozen. Sad state of affairs hope for so snow in the mountains so we can irrigate this summer.

  • Utrex

    The GFS is hinting of a possible high-based, dry thunderstorm event on this upcoming weekend… Something to keep my eyes on!

    • alanstorm

      Low forms in da Great Basin. Is that monsoonal moisture getting sucked in?

      • Utrex

        It actually looks like a dry and cold low… Combine dry, high surface temperatures and very cold upper air, and one can expect dry thunderstorms to form… Dry microbursts may even occur, but at this point, the chances are 15-20% of actually happening, especially since these cutoff lows are difficult to forecast.

  • Thunderstorm

    Does anyone have any information on the ocean california current. As of this moment it gets a failing grade (f-)of bringing down cold water from the north. Latest weekly enso report still shows water off the coast warming and expanding westward. Wheres this heat coming from? Tremendous amount of accumulating energy being stored !! An invisible warm underwater current hitting the pacific shelf?

    • Dan the Weatherman

      I keep wondering if it some sort of volcanism that is occurring underwater on a large scale. However, whenever I have mentioned this before, people have said that it is not possible because there isn’t enough volcanic activity going on to heat the water like this.

      • Bartshe

        Correct, not enough heat from submarine vents to make a temp difference.

    • jstrahl

      The heat is coming from generalized global warming, with the oceans storing the bulk of it over the past several years.

    • Bob G

      I posted this last week. Not sure if this is what you were interested in. Michael Venatrice posted this on WSI.conm blog last week

      http://www.wsi.com/blog/energy/the-eastern-pacific-ocean-is-now-in-cooling-state-that-should-last-roughly-a-month-or-so-shades-of-winter-2013-2014/

  • jstrahl

    Records today in San Francisco/Monterey Bay area: 75 in Oakland-Museum, 75 in Richmond. I measured a high of 70. This is the first time in my records of 3 days in a row of 70 or above in February, first time of 4 such days in February (had a 70+ day last week, plus the last three). For what it’s worth, by 1:45 it was already down to 66, down to 61 at 3:15, 58 at 4:15, with summer-type low clouds over the ocean beaches.

    • April Galanksy

      Monday was odd. It was substantially cooler near the beach (Monterey Bay). We spent the holiday under a light blanket watching movies.

  • redlands

    83 in Redlands, Ca — Southern Calif 2-16-15 another warm day

    • Dan the Weatherman

      It was quite a bit cooler here in Orange than it was yesterday, as it was near 70 or very low 70’s, compared to the upper 70’s and low and mid 80’s that have occurred over the last several days.

      The difference is that the flow has finally turned onshore and is currently overcast here right now. Last night the overcast came in for the first time in a while, much later than tonight, around 1 a.m. or so.

  • Janet Johnson

    The Arctic Methane Monster’s Rapid Rise

  • Abigail Quart

    We need a federal project to move the excess water in the NE to the dry SW. If we don’t want to see our nation destroyed by climate change, we need to get off our asses and fight. Israel can move water in deserts. Japan has been working on the distance hydraulics. We have world famous engineering schools. We need to move and purify massive amounts of water from one end of our country to the other. We can run the pipes alongside our federal highway and rail systems putting in the pipes while we repair our decayed infrastructure. This is a MASSIVE jobs project that will end up saving everybody’s bacon and tomatoes and lettuce and string beans and avocado…

    WHY WASTE THE WATER OUR NORTHEAST DOESN’T WANT?

    This will be an excellent way for our ultra rich to prove their patriotism isn’t as non-existent as it looks.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      It seems to me Desalination would be a lot cheaper than piping water across an entire continent, up, over, and across mountain ranges and continental divide. But at least you found a way to take a swipe against the rich on a Weather Blog. Seems there are more suitable places on the interwebs to peddle that stuff.

    • I’ll just note that California excels at moving water, and it’s much larger than Israel.
      However, neither are 3,000 miles wide and have several large mountain ranges in the way.