As California’s record-setting drought persists, El Niño is rapidly intensifying in the tropical Pacific

Filed in Uncategorized by on May 10, 2015 1,512 Comments

Recent weather conditions

As has been the case with much of the 2014-2015 “wet season” in California, the past month has brought a decidedly mixed arrangement of weather conditions.

A fresh blanket of snow covers the Eastern Sierra on 5/8/2015. Photo by Bartshé Miller.

A fresh blanket of snow covers the Eastern Sierra on 5/8/2015. Photo by Bartshé Miller.

The past  30 days have been substantially drier than usual nearly everywhere, though there have been a few localized, notable exceptions. Convective activity (especially over the Sierra Nevada and other mountain regions) brought thunderstorms, hail, and heavy downpours in some spots. Localized heavy snowfall occurred late last week at the highest elevations, including substantial (and photogenic) accumulations along the Eastern Sierra near Mono Lake this past week. In fact, this mid-May snow burst may constitute the biggest snow event of the entire winter in some parts of the Eastern Sierra (which is more a testament to the abject lack of snow this year than the particular strength of the recent event)! Still, on a statewide and regional basis, Sierra Nevada snow water equivalent remains at an all-time record low for the date–as it has been now for the past two consecutive months.

Recent storms have brought late-season snowfall to the Central Sierra, but have had little effect elsewhere. (DRI/WRCC)

Recent storms have brought late-season snowfall to the Central Sierra, but have had relatively little effect elsewhere. (DRI/WRCC)

Despite recent cool conditions, California continues to experience record-breaking warmth for the Water Year and calendar year to date. (WRCC/DRI)

Despite recent cool conditions, California continues to experience record-breaking warmth for the calendar year to date. (WRCC/DRI)

2015 remains California’s the warmest calendar year to date as of May 1, though conditions have been somewhat cooler recently than during the period of nearly continuous record warmth that we experienced earlier this winter. Some coastal spots have actually been cooler during late April and early May than they were during the mid-winter months of January and February! This rather incredible climatological inversion owes itself to the recent return of near-coastal upwelling, which had been conspicuously absent for much of the winter. While water temperatures remain extremely warm just 100 or so miles offshore, coastal upwelling has kept places like San Francisco under a cool, moist (dare I say summer-like?) marine influence in recent days.

 

More spring showers to come

Another system similar to the one California experienced last week will approach the coast later during the coming week. Like the last several systems, precipitation on a statewide basis will be rather low, but local areas (especially in or near the Sierra Nevada) could see some substantial precipitation. Early signs point to a pretty unstable airmass moving overhead later in the week (not hard to achieve with cold air aloft and a strong mid-May sun angle), so I would expect to see some strong thunderstorm activity once again at some point, at least in the Central Valley.

Models suggest another cool storm could bring renewed chances for showers, thunderstorms, and local mountain snow. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

Models suggest another cool storm could bring renewed chances for showers, thunderstorms, and local mountain snow. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

All in all, the current pattern is actually pretty typical for mid-late spring in this part of the world–which unfortunately means that there was no Miracle March, nor an Awesome April, and looking ahead there’s no real prospect that May will be particularly marvelous (to name a few of the alliterative names given to drought-alleviating surprises in years past). California’s average precipitation starts to decline pretty dramatically during the month of May, and the end of the climatological rainy season is nearly here. At this point in the year, there is little to no prospect of substantial drought relief before next October/November at the earliest, given California’s characteristic summer dry season.

 

Drought update: beware fire season 2015

I won’t dwell too much on this point, but just to reiterate: California’s exceptional, multi-year drought continues to intensify as long-term precipitation deficits  grow ever-larger and record seasonal and annual-scale warmth persists. Recently, California enacted its first-ever mandatory statewide urban water restrictions–and certain human and natural systems are nearing critical tipping points. An emergency barrier is currently being constructed in the San Joaquin/Sacramento Delta to prevent the anticipated summertime intrusion of salt water from San Francisco Bay due to extremely low river flows, which would contaminate potable water being pumped to Southern California. Perhaps even more alarmingly, recent surveys by the US Forest Service, CALFIRE, and other agencies have discovered large swaths of dead or dying trees across parts of California, particularly coniferous trees in the Sierra Nevada. This remarkable increase in tree mortality–even among native species–is thought to result from a combination of primary drought stress (due to extremely warm temperatures, extremely low ground snow cover, and very low precipitation) and bark beetle infestation (which, itself, has likely been worsened by California’s unprecedented winter warmth over the past several years).

CALFIRE and the US Forest Service are anticipating the potential for a particularly severe fire season over much of California and the West Coast. (NIFC)

CALFIRE and the US Forest Service are anticipating the potential for a particularly severe fire season over much of California and the West Coast. (NIFC)

All of this means that much of California may be in for one heck of a fire season. Several fires last year–particularly the King Fire in El Dorado County, which at one point reportedly consumed as many as 60,000 acres in a six hour period–demonstrated that California’s forests are capable of truly explosive rates of spread as a result of the ongoing unprecedented drought conditions. After another dry and nearly snow-less winter, plus a worsening bark beetle infestation, the coming summer and autumn months may prove to be pretty nerve-wracking in California’s most fire-prone regions. The federal government’s official risk assessment for the coming fire season is stark, suggesting well above-normal risk of large wildfires all up and down the Pacific Coast. Many in the firefighting business will be the first to reiterate that the severity of any fire season ultimately depends a certain amount on luck: if we’re spared dry lightning events, prolonged heat waves, or powerful Santa Ana wind events before the next rainy season (and, too, if Californians are particularly careful, as the vast majority of wildfires are human-caused), it’s possible California will escape a destructive fire year. What is abundantly clear, however, is that the potential exists for a particularly severe fire season ahead.

 

Big changes afoot in the Pacific: El Niño has already arrived, and is rapidly intensifying

The meteorological community is currently abuzz with discussion of what now appears to be a rapidly intensifying El Niño event in the tropical Pacific Ocean. For the past 12-14 months, the North Pacific Basin has been quite warm overall, with warmth primarily being concentrated near the equator in the West Pacific and in the extratropics in the East Pacific (including along the West Coast of North America). There was much excited discussion last winter and early spring, as well, because many of the dynamical ocean-atmosphere models run by various international scientific institutions were suggesting the potential for strong  El Niño conditions to develop by Winter 2014-2015.

A canonical East Pacific  El Niño signature has rapidly emerged in recent weeks. (Levi Cowan via tropicaltidbits.com)

A canonical East Pacific El Niño signature has rapidly emerged in recent weeks. (Levi Cowan via tropicaltidbits.com)

Well, as most of us are aware by now, that didn’t happen, and the projections from winter/spring 2014 represent a considerable forecast failure on the part of the models typically used to make long-lead ENSO forecasts. Instead, the world bore witness to an El Niño event that barely reached the threshold for a marginal event–and, for the most part, didn’t exhibit the kind of ocean-atmosphere “coupling” we might typically expect. Persistent weakening of the easterly trade winds simply didn’t happen, and the incipient event just couldn’t sustain itself through the winter.

Now, a year later, we’re facing a situation that (at least superficially) resembles last year’s: it’s May, and there are compelling signs that a significant  El Niño event is in the works. Like last year, a powerful oceanic Kelvin wave has propagated across the entire Pacific Basin, bringing very warm water and air temperatures to the coast of South America. Powerful typhoons in the tropical West Pacific are driving pulses of westerly winds near the equator, disrupting surface ocean currents and allowing warm ocean water to take the place of the typical Cold Tongue. Further, the dynamical models are once again suggesting the potential for a powerful  El Niño event later in the summer and into the autumn/winter months.

 

How is the 2015 event different from last year’s “non-event?”

Can we expect this year’s event to fall apart like last year’s did? For a variety of reasons, I’d argue that it’s quite unlikely (though, as is ever the case in the coupled ocean-atmosphere system, not impossible). Why is this year different? Strictly speaking, it would be impossible for El Niño to fall apart as quickly as last year because it’s technically already here: various agencies have officially declared the arrival of weak  El Niño conditions based on current observations.

El Niño is rapidly strengthening in 2015 at the same time it was falling apart in 2014. (CDAS/TAO via NOAA)

El Niño is rapidly strengthening in 2015 at the same time it was falling apart in 2014. (CDAS/TAO via NOAA)

The most compelling difference between 2015 and 2014, however, is that the atmosphere finally appears to be responding strongly to warm ocean temperature anomalies. Easterly trade winds have slackened across the entire Pacific Basin, and a very strong westerly wind burst–on par with those which occurred in advance of the powerful 1997-1998 event–is currently ongoing near the Dateline. Further, observed SST anomalies in the far Eastern Pacific are now higher than those in the West Pacific, which means that the East-West anomaly difference is now greater than zero. El Niño is a tale of cascading, self-reinforcing feedbacks in the physical Earth system (which I discussed in a previous blog post on that topic)–and now, in 2015, it finally appears that these feedbacks are fully in play.

A powerful westerly wind burst--the strongest and most persistent since 1997--is currently ongoing in the West Pacific. (SUNY Albany)

A powerful westerly wind burst–the strongest and most persistent since 1997–is currently ongoing in the West Pacific. (SUNY Albany)

Another indicator of increased confidence in the forecast for 2015 is the eyebrow-raising amplitude of El Niño projections being generated by a wide range of ocean-atmosphere models. Several of these–including (but not limited to) the CFS and ECMWF models–are suggesting the strong potential for Niño 3.4 region SSTs peaking more than +3 degrees C during the coming autumn/winter. For reference, the highest values ever recorded were around +2.5C, and occurred during the strongest El Niño events on record in 1982-1983 and 1997-1998. In other words: a majority of the global atmosphere ocean models are currently suggesting the potential for an event rivaling the strongest event in the historical record.

It’s very important to reiterate, at this point, that just because the models are depicting a powerful El Niño later this year does not mean that such an event will actually come to pass. We need to look no further than last year for a stark illustration of that reality.

The North American Multi-Model Ensemble is showing the potential for an extraordinarily strong El Niño event in 2015. (CPC)

The North American Multi-Model Ensemble is showing the potential for an extraordinarily strong El Niño event in 2015. (CPC)

It’s also true that model forecasts through the month of May are still being generated in the midst of the so-called Spring Predictability Barrier–the period during which long-lead ENSO forecasts remain challenging due to the chaotic nature of the ocean-atmosphere system. I will note, though, that forecasts from May are notably better than those made in March or April, and that the projected peak strength of the current El Niño event has been monotonically rising with each month’s forecast so far in 2015 (while in 2014 the opposite was occurring).

It’s still too early to discuss the potential implications of a strong El Niño event for California (I already did that last year, and I’ll do it again in a month or so if conditions warrant). Strong El Niño events do tend to increase the potential for very wet winters through most of California (especially in the south)–but they certainly do not eliminate the possibility of very dry winters, even on a statewide basis. If an event as strong as is currently being depicted by some of the dynamical models does occur in 2015, it’s hard to imagine California experiencing another year of below-average precipitation. But that’s a very big “if,” and one thing is certain: we have a long, dry summer to come.

© 2015 WEATHER WEST

 

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  • Xerophobe

    Okay, so what’s up with all these little cyclones between 0 and 10 degrees north from 170W eastward across the Pacific?????????

    http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/850hPa/overlay=mean_sea_level_pressure/equirectangular=-105.00,0.00,357

    • craig matthews

      Strange how there seams to be a continuous spawning of eddies/cyclones in that location lately. Only thing I can think of off the top of my head as to perhaps the cause, is the continuation of low level gradient(from west to east) from the eq maritime to the eq dateline that runs into a weakened easterly flow east of the dateline, which causes these low level westerlies near the dateline to curve north and meet the counter current above the ITCZ(15N and above), which causes a continuous eddying effect in that location. A similar thing is now happening in the eastern eq. pacific basin, where more eddies/cyclones are developing north of the equator. Looks like the epac tropical system breeding ground is becoming more active. I think this might have to do with the developing El Nino feedback loop- influence on the Walker Circulation and the effects on the counter currents north of the tropical belt(ITCZ).

      • gray whale

        Ha! Everyone’s chasing the great Xero.

        I’ve done that before, so I still say it counts if you thought of it yourself 😉

      • Xerophobe

        Yes it’s strange…especially for late May. If you get anymore info on the upcoming forecast central Pac WWB let me know. Daniel mentioned it and I think it may be too strong too early and WAY to far east. I have my uneducated scenario of what could happen….and it’s scary BAD

        • craig matthews

          As far as “feeding the beast” from the western eq pac to the east eq pacific, lining up with the time of year, and the way canonical strong El Ninos develop within the seasons throughout the year, this does seam way east of “average”, timing-wise. Even though we have records back to just 1982, I think?? But I think IMO this is good, as long as the atmosphere continues to have a strong El Nino signature(as far as flow on the vertical plane-feedback loop-weakened Walker Cell,etc) to support further development of this Nino through the summer- fall, drawing more WWBs from around the dateline to points east. The thing that is a little worrisome to me, and I don’t understand, is how the further east WWB will affect the Walker Cell on the return flow in the upper troposphere in June, and if this might cause more suppression in the wrong place in response, which would cause the trades to revert back to easterly from 170W to the Maritime, hindering support from the west. Ok, I’ll take a breath now….

          • Xerophobe

            The zonal wind anomalies at 140W now are pretty much a bulls eye. I’m not really concerned about that, but I think it’s rare. I just tried a long explanation but it’s too rambling. I’m in the middle of my first taste of Jamaican Blue…anyway the Modoki is a wild card. A WWB of epic proportions ~140-120W is another wild card.

      • Xerophobe

        re your edit: NP…great minds think alike…haha

        • craig matthews

          Hey, check this out. I ran those El Nino years( kinda the same ones you listed from that post) on the 200mb vector anomalies, then ran those El Nino years that produced wet Jan-Mar in Ca against El Nino years that were dry in Ca. Check out the difference in the 200mb flow. I’m still working out the kinks, but still interesting. The relevance of this to now, is how the 200mb flow is lining up to the wet Ninos, although its May and Jan-Mar is sooo far away…

          • Xerophobe

            200 and 850 pretty much are opposite.
            Look 850’snow and 850’s for 1997. This year the zonals sit above the EQ in 97 they pretty much straddled the EQ. Don’t know what it means

          • craig matthews

            Off the top…Maybe the large anomalous warmth in the North Pacific and the SSTA’s associated with the current El Nino centered slightly north when compared to ’97, plus relatively cooler SSTA pool in a large area from Tahiti south, are influencing the surface gradients in the eq pacific to direct/place those zonals slightly north of the equator? In ’97, the south pacific was much warmer around Tahiti.

          • Xerophobe

            To tell you the truth I am probably over-thinking this whole thing. You have a good reason.

          • craig matthews

            Gee, I’m WAY over thinking this thing, ha. Whatever form or shape this Nino decides to take on this year, I don’t care as long as it brings back the days of ole’ double barrel Lows from the GOA/ nice AR taps – the winters we reminisce.

  • Bandini

    2.6 in the gauge here in Truckee since Friday. That puts us between 3.5-5″ for May (I’m unorganized), well above average. They’ve adde a 100% of heavy thunderstorms for today. We’ll see.

    • gray whale

      Finally snagged one here in the foothills on saturday! Hail, intense thunder, and about .4″, all in 15-20 minutes.

      I also visited all 3 forks of the American and 2 of the Cosumnes and I’m happy to report they’re all significantly higher. Especially the Cosum, which is free-flowing.

    • rob b

      Just left Truckee around 11am today, was the “nicest” day in the week + I was there. Sun was out and people were out riding bikes and walking.

      I visited some stores around town over the weekend, some said they were packed because of the “bad weather” other’s were empty because the of the weather. Memorial Day is always that way though, I remember warm days with Donner Lake busy and cold weekends with snow falling over the weekend.

      • inclinejj

        I remember one year the pools around incline opened early in May. From nice weather to 8 inches of snow!

    • inclinejj

      I told you to get a rain gauge!

  • Xerophobe
    • Canyon

      AUS is always the most radical!

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Looks like El Niño’s August and October’s needles are pegged. Hopefully the RRRR won’t be pulling him over to write him a ticket.

      • Archeron

        I doubt it. Atmosphere is a lot different this year than the past few.

        • SoCalWXwatcher

          Hopefully the RRRR will spend next Winter in the doughnut shop instead of directing storm traffic.

          • Bob G

            I say we pay for a bus ticket and send the RRR over to the Northeast of Boston. They have been complaining about their miserable winters. Let them have a warm dry DJFM

          • jstrahl

            FWIW, Boston and the Northeast have been having a drought in May, see this, mostly about the flooding in Texas/Oklahoma, but relating that to the overall picture.

            http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2997

          • Dan the Weatherman

            Last week’s Drought Monitor definitely shows some drought in the NE with D1 covering all of Massachusetts and other nearby areas with D0 in other parts of the area. I am a bit surprised how dry it has become there after having all the snow earlier this winter, but I assume it is because the trough has been stuck over the central U.S. with all the flooding rains in OK and TX.

          • Bob G

            I read somewhere that during El Nino winters, the Northeast is warmer and drier than normal while we are supposed to get above normal rainfall.

          • Ian Alan

            Assuming CA receives enhanced winter rainfall from the southern branch of the jet stream in a (strong) El Niño year is there then a particular path it takes across the rest of the U.S. or is that part more variable after storms exit CA?

          • Bob G

            Lol, asking the wrong guy. I don’t know this stuff. I read an article the other day where the quoted NOAA scientists. All they said in the article was with the El Nino strengthing, they believe the southern jet could strengthen and give us a direct hit.

          • Ian Alan

            Just throwing it out there out of curiosity in case someone does. 🙂

          • Bob G

            Paging Daniel, LOL

          • jstrahl

            In 1983, a famous El Nino episode, New York measured 80+ inches, about twice normal, but the measurements were thrown out due to a faulty gage. And while there were few snowstorms, there was a huge one on Valentine’s Day.

          • Bob G

            I saw an NOAA precip map showing projected winter precip with an El Nino and the northeast is supposed to be warmer and drier. Who knows what will come to pass. But please, not another polar vortex!

      • alanstorm

        Nice freeway analogy.

  • thunderstorm98
    • Archeron

      Sooner for some parts. Folsom is going to be upper 80s to mid 90s starting in two days. The weird thing is the gap in the highs and lows. While the highs will be in the 90s the lows are expexted to be in tue 50s. Thats almost a 40 degree difference!

      • Ian Alan

        Not too uncommon for areas like that and closer to where I grew up places like Atascadero / Paso Robles that can be in the 30’s/40’s and temps sore to the 80’s/90’s by early afternoon. Or in the summer, 50’s/60’s to 100+.

        • Yeah…We get some crazy temperature variations, especially in San Jose.

          • inclinejj

            It can be foggy and drizzling at the beach and,80 back in Linda Mar Valley. We are 4.5 Miles from the beach. Pacifica.

            Bay area micro climates.

  • Ian Alan

    This past week it was as cold or colder here in the SoCal mountains than in Barrow, AK. Interesting!

    The high temperature in the northernmost U.S. community was 46 degrees on Tuesday, smashing the previous daily record of 38 degrees set in 2009, the weather service said. It was the third consecutive day of record highs in Barrow, with Sunday’s 38-degree reading tying a 92-year-old record and Monday’s 41 degrees topping the mark of 39 degrees set for that day in 1962, according to the weather service. The lows have also been higher than normal, with Tuesday’s low of 33 degrees tying the record set in 2009, the agency noted.

    http://www.adn.com/article/20150521/unusual-weather-pattern-brings-record-highs-barrow

    • alanstorm

      Its an age of the stuck, extreme weather patterns: wavey jet, weird SST anomolies, & now an oddly cool spring. Hopefully we’ll get stuck in a wet pattern starting this fall.

      • craig matthews

        -one extreme to the next…… Next year we could be investing in houseboats for all we know.

  • Utrex

    2014 vs. 2015 comparison.
    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tao/jsdisplay/plots/gif/Dep_Sec_EQ_5d_comp.gif

    Although the warm pool in 2014 was warmer, the warm pool is much more east in 2015. The thermocline in 2015 also favors reduction in moving back westward (which was what happened in 2014).Notice the temperatures at the far right on both temperature depth maps. In 2014, cool water is near the surface at the far right, whereas in 2015, cool water is pushed deeper down.

    • Xerophobe

      Of interest to me is keeping an eye on the 28C contour. Last year it was already beginning to retreat and ‘rollback’ over itself as above. For awhile earlier this year it appeared to be at the Galapagos, but instead of rolling back it lifted back, if that makes any scene for lack of the proper scientific term or vocabulary word.

    • Darin

      Isn’t there typically a cold water upwelling prior? If so, what’s the timing on that? Did it already come and go and what we seeing is more here-to-stay stuff?

      • Utrex

        The “upwelling” refers to water pushing westward. As the water pushes west (from the coast of Africa in this case), cooler, nutrient-rich water is lifted above towards the ocean surface. This cools the ocean, and, is what caused the “El Niño” of 2014 to fizzle.

        We need westerly winds to prevent upwelling this year.

        • Darin

          West from the coast of Africa? My brain hurts.

          • Utrex

            Did I say Africa? My bad (I meant to say South America, sorry about that)!

            Take a look at the Niño 1+2 regions.
            https://fernandinaproject.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/nino-regions.jpg

            That’s the coast I spoke of. Winds at the surface must push eastward (called the westerlies because they come from the west), so that the warmer waters from the western and central Pacific along the equator can propagate eastward into the S.A. coast. This will develop into an east-based El Niño, which is what is favorable for above-average precipitation for California. 1997-98 also happened to be an east-based El Niño.

  • SlashTurn

    The remains of a TD already lurcking in the potential near future…could this be a persistent theme this summer?

    • Ian Alan

      Persistant, probably not. Would it be awesome if it was? Absolutely!

      There was a June not too long ago, 11′ or 12′ maybe, that brought a widespread thunderstorm event across socal including nocturnal thunderstorms.

      Anyone recall the origin of that notable socal event?

      • craig matthews

        We had one hellova thunderstorm event in early June ’11 at night where I live central coast area. I think it came down from the GOA and turned into a cut off low offshore, and picked up some sub tropical moisture from the south, because it was very warm and muggy right before it happened, and I remember seeing a lot of towering cumulous coming up from the southeast up the coast range.

        • Ian Alan

          That was probably it!

  • bk2ftr

    Pretty good synopsis on very wet years in California:

    http://www.cepsym.org/Sympro1994/goodridge_paper.pdf

  • Bob G

    Remember these? LOL. Not yet bullish on CA Precip for 2015.

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/long_range/lead06/off06_prcp.gif

  • inclinejj

    Ok I admit I have a weather problem. At the Warriors game, checking the weather blog!!

    • Xerophobe

      Go Dubs,

      • Ian Alan

        Dubs? Warriors? I don’t even know what those are or what sport….LOL

        • inclinejj

          Golden State Warriors Basketball.

    • I use WW when I’m on the treadmill at the Gym.

      • rob b

        Haha-do you mean WarriorsWorld or Weather West?…..

      • Darin

        WW means waiver wire to me, where fantasy football owners live and die. WWest maybe?

    • gray whale

      had to do something during all those foul stoppages!

  • Muzikman1

    My baby bobble heads and I are praying for our Texas brethren in their hour of need. Ohhhhhhhhhhhh we’ve been watching the Doppler in an absolute frenzy as the storms rage on. Who among us hasn’t drifted into dreamland as we watch the Lonestar state get pounded day after day.

    I’ve crafted fifteen pair of baby bobble head cowboy boots in honor of my soaking brethren.

    I’ve been examining the El Niño models and ensembles from the depths of my shed with grave skepticism. First I told myself to not believe, but then I got pulled into the frenzy, only to grab a hold of my emotions and collect myself. I says to myself I says with a stern voice I looked at myself in the mirror and I says to myself I says: “Be careful Muzik.”

    And I did it! I really did! I did what I thought I would never be able to do, I contained my wild El Niño frenzy!!

    Now I’m back in the shed, the only light I need is the red, green, and yellow glow of my beautiful Doppler. Most of my babies are fast asleep as I slip into fantasy land. Things are exactly the way they told me they would never be again.

  • Thunderstorm

    Just looked at the weather forecast for New Mexico. Next weekend there is a chance of a widespread rain event from the east pacific TD. Not good news for Texas.

    • Ian Alan

      This mornings gfs has it drifting aimlessly out into the Pacific dying a slow death. Still hasn’t made up its mind….

      • Canyon

        It’s great news if you live in SoCal, and you surf.

  • Bob G

    What is the latest on El Nino? Projections? Weather going to turn boring in Central CA. I am hoping for a cooler than normal summer.

  • Darin

    I went looking for Volcanic eruptions and their impact on El Ninos. Unfortunately the search results are noisy with correlation studies. I was thinking how much aerosol in necessary to blunt an El Nino. Thinking more like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Chich%C3%B3n#Climate_impacts or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Pinatubo#Climactic_eruption_buildup .

    • craig matthews

      The 1982 El Nino development came to a halt over the summer, and some believe that was because of El Chichon. Although, the 1982 El Nino still took off and became strongest on record of its time, later on that year. It seams like right after Pinatubo ’91?, we had several El Nino’s during the 1990’s, more then any other decade(on record).

      • Darin

        I think I hear “eruption aerosols reduce the amplification for the period of time that the air in the air.” El Chichon was ~3 weeks and Mt. Pinatubo was up to a year according to the wiki. I guess I’m wondering…could a single (very) large volcanic eruption dull the entire El Nino phenomenon…?

        • craig matthews

          That’s a good one. Here’s a site that talks about how volcanic eruptions may affect onset of El Ninos(scientifically). Does not mention large ones far as I can tell though…. you might find it interesting all the same…
          http://www.geography.hunter.cuny.edu/~hsalmun/pg130web/elnino.html

          • Darin

            get page cannot be found

          • weatherhead

            link worked for me. Try again?

          • Darin

            Link worked, read the article. Thanks. If I read it correctly, it said that El Nino event followed volcanic eruption in the tropics approximately 1 out of 2 eruptions.

            I was thinking about an eruption *during* an El Nino event that already exists. Could an eruption dull the amplitude of the global El Nino effect?

          • craig matthews

            IMO amplitude of the global El Nino “effects” would be enhanced, due to the temp differential between the El Nino that “already exists” in the Pacific, and the cooling effects on the atmosphere caused by large volcanic eruption. My bad for misunderstanding…

          • Darin

            That makes complete sense. Warm water evaporating into the cold atmosphere. I can totally grok that.

          • craig matthews

            Huh, maybe it was down- works now.
            Anyway, if a very large climatic eruption were to take place, it would be a question of how the oceans attempt to restore an initial equilibrium to a cooling atmosphere, in which El Nino, still, may be a way of restoring that ….? Paragraphs 3 and 4 talk more deeply about the possible process that could take place….

      • Xerophobe

        It did kinda sorta stall but but ramped right back up. Especially Nino 1+2 and 3. Dang it rained all through May that year

        • craig matthews

          I remember ’82-83 storms as being more wild and dynamic then the ’97-98 ones. That winter seamed like almost every storm produced thunderstorms in Big Sur too.
          .

      • Crank Tango

        Not to jump in all off topic, but that reminds me of how in July of 1991 (a few weeks after the start of the Pinatubo eruption) it rained every single day in Buffalo NY. (possibly elsewhere, I don’t remember). We had crops fail all over the place because of too much rain.

    • Xerophobe

      The warming may be dampened (pun), but the precipitation isn’t and can be enhanced by the particulates and sulfur dioxide that get blasted into the stratosphere. I know we all look at 97-98 but I was in S Jose in 82-83 and it was crazy.

      • craig matthews

        I wonder about 1992-93, why it was so stormy in, not only California, but just about the entire U.S that year. I spent the summer ’93 up in Montana, and it snowed 4 times that summer and temps never rose above the low 70’s. They called it the year without a summer up there, and in the Northern Plains-same thing. The Midwest had a spring-like pattern well into the summer months as well, with lots of flooding along the Missouri/Mississippi. All of this occurred right after Pinatubo.

        • Xerophobe

          Could be but 91-92 winter would have been a year for most impact. SoCal did very well but top 2/3 of CA and northwards didn’t. That year had a Modoki type WITH a BLOB.
          92-93? neutral ENSO..yeah well I dunno. 😉

          • craig matthews

            1992-93 sure had a lot of those lower latitude El Nino-esque signature storms that came through the state, especially Jan ’93. Nino 3.4 hit +0.5C a few times mid to late winter. Even had a strong WWB in Jan ’93. Never reached Nino criteria but the tele-connections sure lined up for us. Ha, one of many examples we don’t need El Nino for a bunch of Nice low latitude storms here…

          • Dan the Weatherman

            It seemed to me that 1992-93 was considered an El Nino year at the time, and it definitely acted like one with all the storms we had during the course of the season. Only later on did I find out that it was ENSO neutral. Does anyone else remember 1992-93 being called an El Nino at the time?

  • Bartshe

    LATIMES: Hopes rise for a strong El Niño to ease California drought
    (may hit the paywall, depending)
    http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-el-nino-returns-20150528-story.html

    • Ian Alan

      Looks like a good start to me!

      Side note: GFS now produces 3 TD’s through the 16 day….signs of an active start to the E. Pacific Hurricane season?

      • Archeron

        That cooling around Australia is looking really nice!

      • thebigweasel

        Is that the Blob coming back in the GOA?

        • Archeron

          The blob is not such a big deal. It has actually been present in some past El Nino’s. I think recently its more that we have had the blob without the supporting East Pac warmth to support El Nino development.

          I would be interested to see data on how often we have had droughts in years before an El Nino event.

  • Thunderstorm

    Where is the ash plume from the Japanese volcano going to go??

  • StormHiker

    Walking in South Lake outside of Bishop, CA. 5-21-2015.

    • Fifty_three

      Wish that was on the other side of the mountain range..

    • SlashTurn

      South Lake is a reservoir that gets depleted by dwp. Hike 5 miles up to long lake or any high alpine lake and there levels are full. Every Sierra high mountain lake are fed by enormous springs and would take decades of this drought to have an effect.

      • StormHiker

        You know, I did just that. I hiked up to Robinson Lake out of Onion Valley in Independence a few days after I took the South Lake pic. The lake’s waters were about 30 feet from the shoreline in spots. Definitely far from full.

        • Bartshe

          That is remarkably grim and revealing. Alpine aquatic/terrestrial ecosystems should enjoy a world of stress this year.

        • craig matthews

          I know those areas quite well. That is very disturbing to see the alpines like that.

        • SlashTurn

          A good monsoon season like last year filled up all those dry tarns and inlets quickly. Can change overnight, i’ve seen it many times…

          • As a person who has spent a lot of time in the Sierra backcountry for, uh, “a number of decades,” it is quite rare for a monsoon season to fill dry tarns. The generally fill from meltwater, not monsoon rain.

  • David Thomas

    WSI Energy Weather %u200F@WSI_Energy 20h20 hours ago

    The atmosphere is responding strongly to the current El Nino event underway. Already stronger than 2014 observations

    hit the link too see the map

    Link

    • Bartshe

      What is the Atmospheric ENSO Index?

      • Utrex

        An index that WSI developed.

        • Bartshe

          ah. so only they know what it means?

          • Utrex

            If I recall correctly, it measures energy that is being emitted from the ENSO regions. It basically shows how the ocean and atmospheric correlations are doing. At this rate, the ocean is releasing a lot of energy. Thus, it is then measured with the WSI Atmospheric ENSO Index.

          • Bartshe

            thanks!

    • thebigweasel

      Well, if my theory is right, and it levels off between 1.8 and 2.2, we should see epic amounts of snow here this winter. We’re running a 22 foot deficit since January 2013, and in 1952, a moderate/strong el Nino year, the town got that much snow in the month of February.

      • Canyon

        My theory is 1 to 1.2…write it down.

        Rain will fall. But I have a feeling everyone will be underwhelmed when they realize CA needs 3-4 wet winters to bust up its current drought situation.

  • Kunder

    Apparently this is Oklahoma’s wettest month on record. If there’s indeed a correlation between wet springs in Texas and Oklahoma and wet El Niño winters here, that should be good news.

    • Ian Alan

      If this fall/winter is indeed a strong El Niño but we still get shafted with little rain then I’ll be setting up a WASH – Weather Anonymous Suicide Hotline – I’ll be the first caller talking to myself.

      • yenlard

        lol

      • Bob G

        LOL, I will be calling you too, Talk about a MAJOR disappointment. I gotta pray this El Nino not only develops but also stays strong tthrough the winter months.

      • redlands

        yes — please no flop storms next season

      • I am now a seasoned Californian. I scoff at reports of anything below 5.0 and don’t expect any rain prediction till it is falling on my own head.

      • Kunder

        Sadly I think your joke hotline would see a lot of use. Our state simply can’t handle another dry winter.

        • Ian Alan

          You’re exactly right. I make light of a pending very serious situation, it sure would be devastating on a number of levels to say the least!

    • thebigweasel

      Looking at this week’s national drought status map was jarring. We’re used to California, where patterns of color creep between severe drought and exceptional drought in increments of a tenth of a percent from one week to the next. This week, a fairly large chunk of Texas and Oklahoma went from exceptional drought to no drought at all.

  • Ian Alan

    Ha! How funny is this – at 10-12 days 12z GFS shows what appears to be a GOA Low sliding down or just off the coast of CA while TS remnants move up the coast from baja and the two Lows merge / collide with precip literally across the whole state.

    THAT would be interesting!

    • SlashTurn

      It’s happened many times before in June, wouldn’t surprise me considering the blocking that’s going on in western BC.

      • Ian Alan

        Awesome, I’m wondering if this was the scenario that played out in June 11.

    • Bartshe

      GFS beyond 5 days, first appearance-model run: nothing to see here, move along. 🙂

    • Guest

      No, it wouldn’t be interesting. We have a planned picnic with 150 people on June 13 in the Bay Area. It would be a disaster.

      • Ian Alan

        Oh done deal then – #rainDance Let it rain! 🙂 🙂 😉

    • inclinejj

      June 11th is my birthday.

      I will take it!

      • Ian Alan

        6z GFS this morning is back at it and even more aggressive with heavy precip!

        BUT before the Debbie downers chime in Its far from the believable 5 day window…..

        • Bartshe

          Eeyore.

  • Bartshe

    guess June will be do-or-die time for WWBs, horizon of forecast is not bullish beyond dateline

    • Xerophobe

      I wouldn’t be too worried unless it’s late August-mid Sept without a 170W-160W WWB’s
      July has a decent forecast for something west of dateline. The bulk/deepest of the 29+ is still West of dateline.

      • craig matthews

        Good to know on that July forecast. GFS showing westerlies hitting Galapagos and right up central America next week. Way east!

        • Bob G

          What is the latest CFSv2 forecasted ocean temps? Is it still above 2C?

          • craig matthews

            Last one I saw had it right around 2C peaking late this fall. Not as high as a week ago, but still forecasting a strong one.

          • Wide spread, but ens. mean is still calling for very strong event. Latest member kicks it up to +4C again…

      • craig matthews

        850 vector wind anomalies for august-October 1982 and ’97.

        • Xerophobe

          Good stuff—!!!
          Just don’t do this for hours like I do… I’m ?_?

    • Bob G

      Over at Pacific Storm and Surf, I follow their updates and they don’t seem to convinced of a major event yet and in a wait and see mode. They posted that we need alot more warm water transport

      • Xerophobe

        There continues to be a definite movement of WWV anomalies from west to east. Things need to keep on keepin’ on but it’s moving. Zonal wind anomalies have kept this process going and are critical in further development. StormSurf is right for a strong-very strong event yes there needs to be a lot more WW and week-10 day long big WWB’s are the only way to get there.

    • Darin

      I get what I’m looking at : For the band between 5S to 5N at a given longitude for a given date, there is a wind anomaly at 850hpa geopotential height that is between -12 and 12 meters per second relative to something.

      What is that something???

      • Utrex

        Blue = Easterlies or winds moving east. Red = Westerlies or winds moving west. -12 is when the Trade Winds or Easterlies are very strong, and +12 is when the Westerlies are very strong. We will need Westerlies to help push warmer water across the Nino regions.

        • Sierrajeff

          I always find the “east wind” / “easterlies”, etc. thing confusing. But I’m pretty sure that the “easterlies” blow *from* the east, i.e., move westward. Which is why a westerly wind burst is what we want, because (by coming from the west) it will push warm water to the east.

          • Xerophobe

            ….and when you start talking longitude – -East longitude is ‘West’ of the dateline and West longitude is ‘East’ of the dateline..

          • Utrex

            Thanks for clearing that up. And yes you are correct!

    • That plot actually shows a very impressive WWB east of the dateline!

      • Xerophobe

        Bartshe’s beyond must be west of the dateline! lol

      • Bartshe

        Indeed, blowing some some warm water east in those parts, but for reinforcing Kelvin Wave generation west of the dateline? Maybe this no longer matters?

  • inclinejj

    We have been picking up a tad of drizzle almost every night. From .01 to about .07. This May the fog is cool, last year it was warm and muggy.

    Pacifica..

  • craig matthews

    Is that clear area just north of the S.F bay peninsula Mt. Tam? Sticking above the fog?

    • Ian Alan

      I think so, If not then it must be where the aliens are landing.

      • craig matthews

        A good place for some vitamin D and ufo sitings.

    • Tuolumne

      Mt. Tam and adjacent areas. The mountain itself is a narrow ridge so that broad blob must include additional territory.

      • craig matthews

        Thanks. I found it on google earth too. Just curious..

  • Xerophobe

    Maybe (I must have) did this wrong but using the Hovmoller reanalysis from the ESRL plotting and analysis page and plotting 850 u wind anomalies for June-July 1997 I was surprised to see this…

    The 850 hPa zonals for the time period of June-6-9 1997 don’t seem to confirm the almost Galapagos (90w) anomalies that the 850 upper wind Hovmoller does.

    • Doesn’t look too inconsistent to me–depends largely on what the latitude band is for the Hovmoller. -7.5s to 7.5n is a bit wide–I bet +/- 5 degrees lat would be a little different.

      • Xerophobe

        Thanks Daniel. I ran +/- 5 and no perceivable difference. Using a +/-1 reduced both the high values of faster and lower values for slower m/s. I was surprised because my ranting about WWB being to far East for this time of year seems to be just another plate of crow I eat. The zonals from the TAO/Triton site must be only 5m or less(?) and obviously the 850mb is ~ 1500m.

        • craig matthews

          Xerophobe, good ones. Didn’t know that,,….

          • Xerophobe

            Yeah that is an eye opener to me . Very summer like here today with that front pushing in. Thick marine layer and measurable drizzle. What about you?

          • craig matthews

            Posted some pics above. Marine layer burned off the coast here, and its a bout 70 ish and light south wind. Its a bit muggy too. Kinda looks like some convection about 50 or so miles to our west. No mention of T-Storms though….

  • thunderstorm98

    Showers in June? Plus even cooler temperatures late next week?

    • Ian Alan

      Yesterday we were at 71 and today is now the warmest day of the year at 74. Slow cooling through the week into the low 60’s for highs and friday it shows a high of 52.

      I’ll welcome cooler weather and especially showers with open arms! 😀

    • Bandini

      it’s nino

      • lightning10

        In that last big El Nino we had weak weather systems still hitting the area into the first few weeks of June. I remember it rained out one day in June for this sporting event thing we did in grade school. They said since it had started it was only the 3rd time it had ever rained out in June. It was a heavy drizzle/light rain all day but still interesting so late in the season.

      • inclinejj

        Nino, Is pissed, we did nothing but ridicule him.

  • Kunder

    I’ve read several times that we’re wasting water that could be stored by reservoirs; is there any truth to that claim though? Certainly in a year like this, I doubt there’s any to spare.

    • Not really. I remember somewhere that only an additional 4% of demand can be met even with the most aggressive reservoir building. Plus, if the rain doesn’t fall, what are we going to use the dams for? Air?

      • Tuolumne

        As a matter of fact, yes! I plant to convert my garden to air plants so they can use all that air in the reservoirs. 😉

  • As I watch Hitchcock, this sample of doom, gloom, panic, pandemonium and other cliches surfaced..

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/apocalypse-soon-californias-snowpack-gone-233008795.html

  • Okay should I tell 0z that it is inebriated and should go back home and sleep it off, or is there something to all the wetness, even within the 7 day model it is throwing out there/

    • Ian Alan

      It’s funny because I had just read the San Diego nws discussion and it said hurricane Andres would stay well offshore & die out there and then I view the 0z and bam! That thing makes a curve and Berliners fit the socal coast and comes ashore as some pretty moist looking remnants! And in 5-6 days…

  • lightning10

    Models latching onto the idea of some sort of inverted trough moving up from the south. It would be very interesting something to keep an eye on for sure.

    • Ian Alan

      If I’m not mistaken it would be remnant hurricane Andres (or moisture from) getting pulled up by the long wave trough setting up along the west coast.

    • Yeah. I am noticing this as well. Fingers crossed for interesting weather coming up.

  • Xerophobe

    An update from The Dweeber regarding SOI, Walker Circulation shift, even some MJO tossed in. He mentions the White Mountains and precip.. For any of you day-trippers like me who spend a few days In Mammoth area – a must see is Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest.

    http://tinyurl.com/howardmay29

  • SoCalWXwatcher

    2nd tropical system developing in the Eastern Pacific near Mexico, will be named TS Blanca. It is expected to take a much more Northerly track compared to Andres. It seems early in the season for this kind of a track, which is more typical in late Summer. SST’s near Baja aren’t nearly warm enough this early in the season, so it would likely weaken rapidly if it heads North.
    Stil, perhaps some remnant moisture may make things interesting in the Southwest US?

    • craig matthews

      El Nino wind patterns in the tropical pacific, and some anomalous warmer SSTAs aiding in these more northward tracks this early? Could get real interesting if incoming troughs synch up with the pulsing tropical activity in the eastern pacific off Mexico. If one of these TS move nnw ahead of an incoming trough, instead of at the same time(like now), things could get real fun, being that remnants would be drawn up over the state.

  • Bartshe

    Steep drop, new trend or just temporary?

    • tomocean
    • Utrex

      The Niño regions are in the upwelling process at the moment. We’ll need the warm pool to keep on pushing east and warm up the Niño regions.

    • There is some weak upwelling right now in the far East Pac as the old Kelvin wave weakens. I would expect the Nino 1.2 region to continue to cool while 3.4 heats up in the coming weeks as strong westerly wind forcing continues and the new Kelvin wave propagates eastward.

      • C M

        Does that mean Modoki or do you expect 1+2 too heat back up again?

        • jstrahl

          I believe 3.4 is the more crucial re not getting Modoki, but i may be wrong.

          • Utrex

            Niño 4 is the most important for Modoki El Niños.

          • C M

            stormsurf.com is saying that this “El Nino” is looking more and more similar to last year’s “El No-no” because of the upcoming upwelling and unfavorable conditions for another Kelvin Wave this summer What do you guys think of this one?

            http://www.stormsurf.com/page2/forecast/forecast/current.shtml 🙁

            I hope they are wrong and that the Super El Nino materalizes

          • Utrex

            The upwelling is already occurring. Earth.nullschool.net has been showing oceanic currents pulling warm water away from the Galapagos:

            http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/ocean/surface/currents/orthographic=-98.88,-1.17,331

            As a result, cooler water is replacing the warmer water, a process called upwelling.

            However… the EMCWF has an MJO impulse developing in June… Major El Niños always have these moderate MJO impulses developing in June… The 1997 El Niño dramatically improved during June due to the MJO impulse during June. The 2002 and 2009 El Niños also had these June MJO impulses that kicked the El Niño into gear:

            http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/MJO/CLIVAR/ECMF_phase_51m_full.gif

            This looks to bring an active MJO impulse towards the Dateline… Seeing that this is June, expect the MJO to persist ..

            El Niño is still coming.

          • jstrahl

            How does that fit this?:”I would expect the Nino 1.2 region to continue to cool while 3.4 heats up in the coming weeks as strong westerly wind forcing continues and the new Kelvin wave propagates eastward.”

      • David Thomas

        that map is giveing you guys false readings and if you dont turst me here are this week # from the CPC

        Niño 4 1.1ºC

        Niño 3.4 1.3ºC

        Niño 3 1.4ºC

        Niño 1+2 2.6ºC

        has you can see there is no cooling whats so ever going on at nino 1 and 2 all so nino 3.4 is now up too 1.3

        the CDMA maps are giveing you guys fales readings and i would olny uesd the # that the CPC gives out each weeks wish are the the ture readings

  • AlTahoe

    This day in weather history:
    “North Texas (1982)

    Wettest May on record for parts of Northern
    Texas and Oklahoma. Wichita Falls: 13.22″ (old
    record set in 1891), Oklahoma City: 12.07″ (old
    record set in 1902).”

    Interesting that the last time this happened was the May before California’s wettest year and strongest El Nino.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      Hopefully that is a sign that next winter will be very wet in CA!

  • C M

    The GFS calls for WIDESPREAD RAIN in the Bay Area on Friday and Saturday. With so many outdoor graduation ceremonies and summer kick off outdoor festivities planned at this time of the year, this is bound to come true!

    • Dan the Weatherman

      That would be unusual, but it isn’t totally unheard of. There have even been a few storms with significant rain in Socal in years past during the first week or so of June (including one during a La Nina year), but it is pretty rare.

      • C M

        Looks like you will get in on the action too. It’s a cut off low with the remains of hurricane Andres entrained.

        • Dan the Weatherman

          There is currently a slight chance of showers for Thursday night through Friday night for Orange County. It will certainly be interesting to see if we do get any action this far south, and it would be nice to see something!

          • Ian Alan

            I hope so!

    • jstrahl

      In 2011, there were two major rain events in the Bay Area in June, on the 4th and the 28th, central Berkeley picked up over an inch for each. There was one on the 29th in ’92, after a generally dry season except for FebruaryMarch drenching. ’91-2 was the last of the drought which started with ’86-7.

  • craig matthews

    Up at some friends house, above the marine layer, some interesting high clouds with some florescents

    • craig matthews

      Also, from my viewpoint west over the top of the marine layer, looks like some alto cumulus, and thunderstorm “shaped” clouds out about 50+ miles. Radar picking up any of that?

      • There are a few showers over the ocean–might be virga by the time they make it onshore, but worth keeping an eye on.

    • Dogwood

      I was gonna save my pics of today’s alto cumulus for my vast personal collection but since you brought it up….
      Over North San Jose, very summer heat wave looking, without the heat.

      • craig matthews

        Nice. Yeah I have made many cloud/weather folders myself over the years….

  • Bandini

    The late season precipitation the past several weeks has sure contributed to the eco systems in the high country. Page Meadows above Tahoe City was gorgeous today.

    • Ian Alan

      If the recent model runs are any real clue it looks like June will be starting off with a bang as well.

      • Bandini

        Yeah I saw rain in the forecast for Thur-Tue. Could make my first backpack trip of the year pretty interesting next weekend.

        • SFBay2

          I like you, Bandini. But I hope your backpacking trip is extremely “interesting”. 🙂

          • Bandini

            I’m a lightweight, if it really does rain I’ll probably cancel and stay dry! I’m ok with that, the moisture would be great.

    • rob b

      BA from Open Snow just posted on his FB page that the Tahoe/Truckee area was 200% of avg rainfall for May. With more rain (hopefully) on the way for the end of this week into next week. All good news, delay the start to fire season plus adding water to Donner Lake and Lake Tahoe.

  • Bob G

    A lot of high clouds in the Central Valley now. Very muggy,

  • Sunchaser

    3 Tropical storms in a matter of days ….One (Andres) is at hurricane incredible !!!

    • Can’t wait for that surf to start hitting So Cal 🙂

      • SlashTurn

        Pretty steep angle for this first one but a south this early from a TS is pretty rare and exciting prospects for rest of summer…

      • gray whale

        I just loaded up the cam and mind-surfed the ‘Bu for a little while. Waist-chest and glassy peelers, it was an excellent session.

  • lightning10

    NOUS46 KLOX 010343
    PNSLOX
    CAZ034>041-044>046-051>054-059-087-088-547>550-011945-

    PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LOS ANGELES/OXNARD CA
    843 PM PDT SUN MAY 31 2015

    …A “REVERSE” METEOROLOGICAL SPRING OF SORTS IN DOWNTOWN LOS
    ANGELES…

    METEOROLOGICAL SPRING…DEFINED AS THE MONTHS OF MARCH…APRIL AND
    MAY…WAS WARMER AND DRIER THAN NORMAL IN DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES…AND
    ACROSS SOUTHWESTERN CALIFORNIA IN GENERAL.

    WHAT WAS UNUSUAL ABOUT METEOROLOGICAL SPRING 2015 IN DOWNTOWN
    LOS ANGELES IS THAT THE WARMEST MONTH WAS MARCH AND THE COOLEST
    MONTH WAS MAY…A REVERSE OF THE CLIMATOLOGICAL NORM. THIS HAS
    NOT OCCURRED IN NEARLY 100 YEARS…SINCE 1921…AND IS ONLY THE 3RD
    TIME IT HAS HAPPENED SINCE RECORDS BEGAN IN 1877. THE OTHER TWO
    YEARS IN WHICH THIS OCCURRED WERE 1914 AND 1921.

    THE AVERAGE MONTHLY TEMPERATURES IN DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES
    FOR MARCH…APRIL AND MAY 2015 WERE 68.2 DEGREES…65.8 DEGREES…
    AND 64.2 DEGREES RESPECTIVELY. NORMAL AVERAGE MONTHLY TEMPERATURES
    IN DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES FOR THE 1981-2010 30-YEAR PERIOD ARE
    60.6 DEGREES…63.1 DEGREES AND 65.8 DEGREES RESPECTIVELY.

    AT MANY OTHER LOCATIONS IN SOUTHWESTERN CALIFORNIA…MARCH WAS THE
    WARMEST MONTH OF METEOROLOGICAL SPRING AND MAY WAS THE COOLEST.

    THE CLIMATE SUMMARY FOR MAY AND FOR METEOROLOGICAL SPRING WILL BE
    ISSUED ON JUNE 2ND.

    $$

    BRUNO

  • First morning in while with no overcast in Santa Maria.

    • Canyon

      Socked in here in SB. We can finally call it June Gloom.

  • Ian Alan

    The pollen from the oaks is done and over and now the pines are bursting open with a vengeance – this is the worst it’s been that I’ve seen. I’m wondering if the 4 weeks of cold we had kind of stalled them out and now they’re all opening up at the exact same time. I mean it’s always bad but wow this is a little much!

    • craig matthews

      I’ve notice similar things with the pines and oaks on the higher ridge tops of the Santa Lucia mtns up near 4k. Also, lupins and poppies and some other yellow(bulb) wildflowers, that normally bloom in April, are having a second bloom in many areas near the coast and some coastal valleys here, blooming right through the cured grass too.

    • admode1

      They may also be producing more pollen due to drought stress. Similar to how they’ll cone stress.

  • Bob G

    Love it here, Instead of constant 90 degree temps, we are getting constant 80 degree temps. Still haven’t turned on the AC yet.

  • SoCalWXwatcher

    Now that we’re escaping the fog of the “Spring Predictability Barrier” we should be getting a clearer picture regarding El Niño development. CFSv2 has come down to reality a little, but even at +2.4 or so, this would be one of the strongest on record. So much depends on continued Westerly wind anomalies though.

    • Canyon

      corrected…

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        I’m not sure I put much stock in these climatological “adjustments” to the CFSv2 plots. I don’t see many of the experts invoking this. The development of the current El Nino is actually ahead of ’97 at this point, although June is when ’97 really got some legs. This month will be key, and it will be interesting to see if the MJO delivers a shot of adrenaline to this thing later in the month. It will be fun to watch.

        • Canyon

          Sorry for the buzz kill.

          • SoCalWXwatcher

            LOL, no worries, no buzz kill unless Niño fails to deliver, and we won’t know that until next season. 😛

          • Xerophobe

            There is still a l-o-n-g way to go. It won’t be until early Oct that anybody will have a fairly accurate forecast of how high 3.4 is or more importantly how much precip and snow.

          • Xerophobe

            I do hope you are at least saddled up. It’s okay if you haven’t left the barn yet.

        • Bob G

          So, at this point we are still in play for a strong El Nino? But it sounds like there still needs to be much reinforcement dutring the summer to get there?

          • SoCalWXwatcher

            Yep, that seems to be where we’re at. It’s in play, but we need continued WWB’s and Kelvin waves to (as Xerophobe would say) “FEED THE BEAST”.

      • Xerophobe

        I wish these things were archived like the rest.. The PDF+spread corrected version is more conservative. I’ve been trying to find archives of these but only until 2012.

      • Utrex

        Like Daniel stated earlier, PDF-corrected ensembles are statistical and dynamical. Statistical models are terrible. Basically, they try to re-forecast other El Niños, though no El Niño is the same.

        • Xerophobe

          I thought these PDF corrected CFSv2 runs were dynamical only but had a PDF and or/ spread applied to the the dynamical output??

          • Utrex

            According to the site:
            The probability density function (PDF) correction is done by mapping CFS forecast PDF to observed PDF. The observed PDF is defined using OIv2 analysis for 1981-2006. The CFS PDF is defined using individual members (15 for each initial month) from the hindcast for 1981-2006. The PDF mapping is a function of initial time and target time, and is done for monthly mean and for individual members.

            So, yes, it is partially dynamical, but it also includes statistical forecasts based from El Niños during the 1981-2006 period.

            Here is the spread-corrected forecast (different from Canyon’s image):

            http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/people/wwang/cfsv2fcst/images3/nino34MonadjPDFSPRDC.gif

            It’s near 2.0 C above normal. That’s about what I’m expecting out of this El Niño.

            I’m still up for this El Niño being similar to the 1957-58 El Niño, which produced lovely conditions for California:
            http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/tmp/climdiv/cd140.172.12.70.151.13.11.54.prcp.png

          • Xerophobe

            Yeah you got it. My comprehension isnt all that great so I’m glad you wrote it out rather than copy/paste

          • Xerophobe

            Forgot to mention my friend Joe Bastardi is on to the 57-58 regime. I still think wetter for SoCal but what do I know?

    • gray whale

      Doesn’t look good for the short term — easterly anomalies to set up for the next week or so, the first time that’s happened this year. Not a big deal at this point but it takes a little fun out of checking everyday!

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        It would appear that by mid-July Westerly anomalies encompass most of the Western Pacific and as far East as about 110°W, but there seems to be a lack of Eastern Pacific WWB’s after June.

      • Xerophobe

        The near surface wind speeds and zonal wind anomalies are pretty impressive now, and near surface air temps along Eq Pac are warm for obvious reasons. I think what this event will lack in ocean heat content (volume) will be made up by the atmosphere. OLR has been great so what should be there (lots of clouds and convection) for strong El Nino is there. Not necessarily by huge WWB’s this year. Operative word is think, meaning I don’t know but it’s where my hope is going by looking at statistical stuff.

        82-83 had real good heat content but atmosphere hook-up was late. 97-98 had it’s stall period in mid-June-early July and then just blew up huge October thru early December.

        • gray whale

          that’s an interesting way to think about it. I’d also take it to mean that the warmer NPAC waters we’ve experienced (and have taken some blame for the ridge) could ultimately wind up helping the situation.

      • Xerophobe

        a quickie I see maybe some circulation developing at 154E on the EQ..if it grows I’ll update. 150-160
        25 degrees west of the dateline is not too far west…for now.

  • gray whale

    Really interesting kernel dropped in the stormsurf video forecast at about 21:40. Mark says that the fact that we’ve had two western NPAC tropical storms recurve (to the N/NE) and go extra-tropical into the northern NPAC “suggests that the atmosphere is turning more towards El Nino”. He doesn’t elaborate though.

    My guess is that’s because the jet is consolidated and strengthened enough to guide the storms to the east once they make it north enough out of the tropics. What do the experts think?

    Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnjPsWMERqo&feature=youtu.be&hd=1

  • Lycanthus

    It’s raining in June in Novato! Tiniest drizzle.

    • weatherhead

      Teeny misty drizzle (mizzle?) around noon on the Mendo coast, too, but only for about 15 minutes. Just enough to wet the surfaces and then gone without even a puddle.

      • Darin

        We always called it pizzle

  • SoCalWXwatcher

    Reinforcing Kelvin Wave at about 120°W on the move – should reinforce the warm waters off of South America in July, according to Eric Blake at the National Hurricane Center:

    • craig matthews

      Looks like the new kelvin is downwelling deeper(+1C anomaly nearing 200m depth) near 160W. That could really turn red as it moves east on the anomalies. I think ’97 anomalies were up as high as +11C at one point later on in the year. Here an early Nov. ’97 one (30day mean)…

      • craig matthews

        …Looks like a green fish with blue eyes in the wpac in the ’97 chart….weird….

        • Ian Alan

          You forgot to finish your statement….

          “…..on acid.”

          • SoCalWXwatcher

            “Finding Niño”

          • Ian Alan

            That’s a good one! LoL

          • Utrex

            Haha

          • craig matthews

            El Nino Lava Lamps.

        • Xerophobe

          On the right of Nemo…. I won’t elaborate…hehehe
          Since were posting fishy things here’s May 1997 to compare with May 2015

          • craig matthews

            Fishy things goings on, comparing actual temps to the anomalies/ seams like current one should be higher, but maybe kelvins pushed down deeper in ’97? Is that a 32C blob near the dateline now? Nino 4 warming up again?

    • Xerophobe

      I was freaked but then I saw 200 meter depth…. !! 🙂

  • David Thomas

    that map is giveing you guys false readings and if you dont turst me here are this week # from the CPC

    Niño 4 1.1ºC

    Niño 3.4 1.3ºC

    Niño 3 1.4ºC

    Niño 1+2 2.6ºC

    has you can see there is no cooling whats so ever going on at nino 1 and 2 all so nino 3.4 is now up too 1.3

    the CDMA maps are giveing you guys fales readings and i would olny uesd the # that the CPC gives out each weeks wish are the the ture readings!

    • There does appear to be some real cooling in the 1.2 region, since the CPC values are weekly averages. Still, robust warming continues in the 3.4 region, which is what really matters. Plus, there’s a new, strong Kelvin wave currently underway which will crank up the 1.2 values again in about 30 days.

      • jstrahl

        Some posters yesterday were stating that warming in 3.4 means Modoki without warming in 1.2, You seem to be saying otherwise, no?

        • gray whale

          I’ve started to think of 1.2 as a bank for which 3.4 get their warm water from as it drifts west. So if it goes cold there’s nothing left to feed 3.4 and keep the loop going. A KW is like a big money-laundering bank deposit of warm water.

        • David Thomas

          can we please drop the Modoki crap all ready we are not going too see a Modoki EL nino

          • jstrahl

            FWIW, i’m not pitching the Modoki meme, i was responding to what some were saying a couple of days ago. I hope YOU are right.

  • I have a mostly-finished post that will go up within 48 hours on recent conditions in California and thoughts on what a strong El Nino might mean for California’s ongoing drought. Depending on how things look tonight, might also discuss the extraordinarily early-season tropical remnant potential slated for later this week.

    • Bob G

      Thanks Daniel. I look forward to it. I know drought conditions are horrible right now. There are some firsts that are poised to happen. Senior Rights Holders on some of the major rivers are looking at state curtailments for the first time in history. Mother Nature would do us a favor if she could provide us with a cooler than normal summer. So far, it has been great.

      • Archeron

        Howard in his latest post said that a cooldown is projected for mid-June, but that he is expecting it to come a bit sooner. Let’s hope for this. As far as cool goes, it was projected to be in the 90s this past week in Folsom and only hit low to mi 80s maybe, which I have no problem with whatsoever!

        • Bob G

          Me neither! I think our weather Folsom vs Modesto area is fairly similar. I think Sunday it was 91 or 92 then an instant cooldown. Supposed to be in the 80’s all week which is great for June. We are usually experiencing 90s by now

          • Archeron

            Yea totally! I just moved here from the Bay area. Its nice to know at least part of this June will be cooler than I was expecting 🙂

            It helps too that we get an awesome breeze that seems to creep through every evening to cool things down.

          • darrenking

            Yes, Folsom gets the delta breeze. Modesto doesn’t. Big difference in felt experience.

          • Bob G

            I work in Modesto, but live on the Westside near Newman. We can get a Detla Breeze in the afternoon or evening depending on the weather. We have been getting nice breezes from Pacheco Pass lately to cool us down

          • Bob G

            What part of the Bay Area did you come from? Last year wasn’t too bad either didn’t have a lot of 100 degree days. A few years back we had one stretch of 15 consecutive days over 100 degrees. No delta breezes during heat waves

    • Xerophobe

      “extraordinarily early-season tropical remnant potential”

      There must be an acronym you can come up for that?! :-J

    • David Thomas

      in the mean time TX and OK have all ready been feeling the mod too strong EL NINO with hvy rains that tells you we are in a ture EL nino and not a Modoki

  • Still looks on track. 5 days away! This might come to be true. Lol

    • Bob G

      That one looks like it is going to hit NorCal

    • mosedart

      Is that the remnets of a tropical system? In the GFS it almost looks like an AR hits socal and a low moves up the entire state in the 5-7 day range.

    • jstrahl

      LOL indeed.

  • alanstorm

    Warming Arctic is making the jetstream all sluggish & wavey, resulting in stuck extreme patterns. Stuck RRR, stuck wierdly stuck cool spring, & now record Texas rains being blamed on this. As Samual L. Jackson said to Tim Roth at the coffee table, gunpoint stand-off, “This seems to be the situation….”

    • Bob G

      I read a story that quoted scientists that said the Texas floods are due to developing El Nino and the resulting changes in the atmosphere. Isn’t more the strengthening of the Southern jet rather than wavey & sluggish jet?

    • alanstorm

      Quite a few articles out yesterday referring to a “sluggish jetstream” & “stuck jetstream” in relation to the Texas floods. US News & World report quotes Nat Center for Atmospheric saying the jet is stuck. Jeff Masters as well. A brewing El Nino & that split over the lower plains are mentioned as additional factors for that flood event like you say. My point is that this has been the scenerio since the RRR came about: we’ve been lacking a zonal jet. There are scientists coming to the idea that a warming Arctic/sea-ice retreat is decreasing the global temp gradient & giving us the wavey, stuck jetstream, therefore stalling extreme weather patterns. Yesterday’s Minneapolis Star Tribune had a good one. Just google “Texas Floods Stuck Jetstream”

      • Kirk McAllister

        The idea of the warming arctic and consequent weakening jet stream leading to severely altered weather patterns goes back (at least) to the Sewall/Sloan 2004 UCSC paper: “Disappearing Arctic sea ice reduces available water in the American west.” Last year, Professor Lisa Sloan was quoted with regard to the article: “Yes, in this case I hate that we (Sewall & Sloan) might be correct. And in fact, I think the actual situation in the next few decades could be even more dire that our study suggested.” (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/03/07/3370481/california-drought).

        Each strong El Nino seems to have at least nuance differences; I do wonder what the implications of a “very strong” El Nino would be, if coupled with a reemergent NE Pac. Ridge (RRR(R^2)). Instead of leading to strong storms from the Pacific Northwest, could such a scenario instead entail very strong (and potentially quite warm) systems from the central Pacific (atmospheric rivers)?

        From a public policy standpoint and instead of just focussing on the drought, I wonder whether there’s any attention being given to an (albeit still pretty unlikely) early-winter event in which an extended series of AR’s completely fill the reservoirs, but then the AR’s continue…

        • alanstorm

          I’m thinking whether El Nino or El Nada, all will depend on what part of the stuck wave we are on this winter. With the wave shifting west, we could get a southward flowing jet bringing cold lows from the GOA, like we unfortunately got too late this spring. If it moves east, we get a northward flow, & with an El Nino, could bring MAJOR sustained AR flood events. The spot it was stuck in most of this winter was the worst case scenerio- jet flowed north into Alaska & south into the Midwest. My question to anyone on this blog who might know: what causes the wave pattern to shift one way or the other?

          • Bob G

            I read somewhere what happened last with the jets can happen with a Modoki El Nino.

          • Xerophobe
          • gray whale

            That paper is great, I feel like I’ve seen it before (maybe you posted it?) but have a much better grasp on it now.

            Although I did just go down a 45 min rabbit hole on Jim Steele’s (one of the commenters) website. I wish I could have that time back.

          • Xerophobe

            I could spend all day on that ENSO blog site as well as other topics.

        • craig matthews

          I wonder what the drought has done as far as weakening both natural and man made barricades that protect areas, especially parts of the central valley from flooding?? As I understand, the central valley has experienced some depressions of the earth/collapsing underground aquifers, and I wonder, as well, what that does as far a infrastructures in the short term and in the long run?? … Also..Considering the amount of dead/dying vegetation across the state, that in itself is a recipe for disaster. Yeah, if those dams fill fast, were talking epic/ catastrophic situation..

          • Xerophobe
          • Kirk McAllister

            I remember driving through the Central Valley in January 1997 on the way to Strawberry (on 108, not on 50). Most of the Manteca/Stockton section was underwater; thankfully most of the highways are at an elevation sufficiently above average to have made the trip navigable. Supposedly this was a relatively common event before the dam network was established.

            I’m also concerned about the potential for forest fires this summer followed by a severe atmospheric river event. I think I remember several cases where erosion and slides in such cases become far more severe.

            I really do think that the policy issues for either too much or too little water are very clearly non-trivial (to say the least). At least in the case of a severe drought, the disaster lacks the immediacy if the state doesn’t move expeditiously (uhhh, I really don’t think they did). Eventually, the state moved reactively, probably once it was clear that rank and file population was adequately informed and prepared. As a result, the policy choices just might have become much closer to the draconian realm than if something had been done (say) in February of 2014.

            The events in Texas, to me at least, serve as a potent reminder that, with floods, you don’t get the luxury of time to address problems reactively in the middle of the ongoing disaster.

            If we do live in an era of greater weather extremes, who knows, maybe the old “100 year flood” might become closer to a 20-year flood. And the new 100-year flood: “How long can you tread water?”

          • Bob G

            I remember 97 driving accross Highway 120 outside of Tracy. My best memory was this small ranch house that was sitting pretty high on a mound of dirt. The house was surrounded by a lake on all sides. The resident of that place needed a boat in the driveway to get anywhere outside of his house.

          • craig matthews

            I find it interesting, that recorded “weather” history indicates our states most catastrophic flooding has occurred during La Nada, and La Nina winters, and not as much during El Nino winters. It is hypothesized that this because El Nino events(esp strong events), as they strengthen the gradient between the central epac tropics and the arctic( increasing strength of mid latitude westeries), influence the flow across the pacific to be more zonal and the wave-height pattern to be more progressive in nature, with storms progressing across the pacific through Ca. Any flooding that has occurred during recorded strong El Nino events has been caused by a cumulative effect of series of storms, sometimes very powerful, yet progressive in nature, with heavy precip occurring, but not too long in one place. During our most catastrophic flooding events, which have occurred during weak/neutral ENSO and La Nina events, it is hypothesized the weather pattern tended to be less progressive across the pacific and the height/flow pattern more amplified, where the catastrophic flooding was caused by a lining up of tele connections that continuously aligned a trough that aligned ARs, or pineapple expresses to stall, or move slowly over the state producing heavy precip over one large area for extended periods of time. Some years 1861-62, 1955-56, 1964-65, 1985-86 and 1995-96 are examples of these potential stalling alignments that lasted for weeks to even months. Anyway, I wonder how future El Nino events, particularly the strong ones, will translate their effects through the mid latitudes of the North pacific with increased warming at the poles, like many others are wondering… with potentially El Nino effects being more erratic and extreme. Regardless of ENSO, though, potential for more catastrophic flooding events may increase just by the fact that the overall flow pattern appears to be slowed, or even stuck… Excellent posts from you BTW…

    • Bob G
  • Thunderstorm

    I think the el-nino is in for a pit stop for new tires. Hopefully it has enough fuel to finish the race. La-nina is still under repairs miles and months behind.

    • Xerophobe

      It’s okay…things still looking good..

  • Ian Alan

    Buzz-kill! Chances of rain removed from forecast….

    FOR THE WEEKEND THROUGH EARLY NEXT WEEK…LOW PRESSURE AND ONSHORE
    FLOW WILL WEAKEN OVER SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA WITH AN INLAND WARMING
    TREND AND GRADUALLY SHALLOWER MARINE LAYER. FOR EARLY NEXT
    WEEK…THERE IS A SMALL CHANCE OF MOISTURE FROM THE REMNANTS OF
    TROPICAL CYCLONE BLANCA TO BE DRAWN NORTHWARD INTO PORTIONS OF
    SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA WITH THE MORE SIGNIFICANT MOISTURE MORE LIKELY
    HEADED INTO ARIZONA.

    • click

      Darn!

      On the flip side, we may have many more opportunities this summer to catch some of these storms!

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        Exactly! The fact that it’s only June 2nd and we’re already talking about the possible impacts of remnant tropical moisture from Eastern Pacific hurricanes off Baja is really amazing. This is something you’d expect to see in late Summer.

        This could be an interesting summer indeed.

      • Ian Alan

        Indeed, and they couldn’t come soon enough to wash all this darn pollen away! LOL

    • craig matthews

      .. Still could see that TS remnants move in our favor, but pretty rare for early June. Was noticing that trend on yesterday’s GFS tracking the low more toward land, shunting the TS remnants to our se. This could be another one of those situations(like May) where we have a lifted marine layer for days and days on the coast, with Sierra/Socal mtn-desert showers and thunderstorms….not a bad deal at all, considering the dire situations. Does someone/anyone still have Tropical System overall(mean) tracks over the last few summer-falls? Curious. Because(living on the central coast) it seams like the overall tendency, when TS have tracked north the last few years(summer-early falls), their remnants have consistently ended up tracking nne over Baja and over the desert sw, rather then nw up over all of Ca. Although extreme socal has been clipped by a few? Strengthening El Nino-effects on atmospheric circulations this summer could change all that in our favor, hopefully.

      • gray whale

        I think the warm “blob” — which is still very present 100 miles off the coast — helps out in this scenario as well.

        • craig matthews

          I think so too. Last summer the “blob” may have influenced the desert sw monsoon by pulling it to the nw. This summer, the blob + El Nino effects….who knows, don’t want to jinx it..

          • Xerophobe

            Them bouys are back up in temps.

          • craig matthews

            Monterey Bay 42 went from 56 4 days ago to 60 yesterday. That didn’t take long….

      • Ian Alan

        Yea I guess can’t get too upset about not getting in on it this early LOL – I recall last summer areas of the desert SW (CA into AZ) had something like 800% of normal for precip because of the track of these TS remnants repeatedly going in the direction you mentioned.

        Well last summer is the summer to beat for my location at 4.2″ rain which started off with a bang on July 4th. Being that it was a holiday and I was about to fire up the grill when the skies opened up makes it more memorable, I can still smell the delightful aromas of a freshly rained on Forest when the sun peaks out after and the trees and rocks are ‘steaming.’

        • craig matthews

          I’m waiting for Howard’s update….but looks convective for the sierra and socal mtns. GFS takes the Low to Las Vegas and gambles with it huh huh huh. Then to Tonopah?

          • Xerophobe

            Here’s the latest

            http://tinyurl.com/howard-june2

          • craig matthews

            Those are some healthy precip estimates for the Sierra east side, again. 1/2 to 1 inch for mammoth and more north. That sound nice. His second paragraph sound like the beast is beginning to feed itself.

  • Charlie B

    I’m not sure anyone mentioned it, but the May rains resulted in sufficient inflow into Lake Tahoe that is started to trickle into the Truckee River after falling below its natural rim a few weeks prior. It will be short lived of course, but interesting nevertheless, and has never happened before in my recollection. It just kind of puts an exclamation point on a moist May. THAT”S IT: “Moist May.” Not as good as a “Fabulous February,” Miracle March,” or “Awesome April” but beggars can’t be choosers.

    • Ian Alan

      I’ll take moist!

    • rob b

      I had posted the same thing over the weekend. Hopefully with the rain in the upcoming forecast for this weekend into next week we’ll see another rise in the lake level. Donner Lake was also way down this spring, I was told the Water Master didn’t close the gate at Donner until May 1st. Hopefully the water continues to rise back up some so more of the lake(s) are usable. Both lakes are having major issues with various launch ramps…….no longer being in the water.

      • Charlie B

        Have you seen what’s happening at Prosser, Stampede and Boca?
        26%, 17% and 12% respectively.

        • rob b

          I have been told Boca and Stampede are basically history for boating this year. Both are well below their launch ramps and if you do launch you’re risking having to get a tow truck to pull your vehicle out.

          • Bandini

            Stampede and Prosser are both ugly, haven’t seen Boca lately.

          • rob b

            I was reading on one of the boating blogs about issues in TX, they went from ramps being out of the water like we’ve had to the other extreme. Most ramps are closed because they’re under water and the lakes are covered in logs and other items that had been along the shore and now in the lakes. They’re boating seasons could be delayed until August before the ramps are usable, if at all with so much infrastructure destroyed in the floods.

          • Bandini

            I’ve got a friend in Fischer Texas and the pictures he was posting were unreal. They got an amazing amount of rain.

    • Bandini

      BA has a pretty good write up on it as well, informative water info: http://opensnow.com/dailysnow/tahoe

    • I still say it is a Mayracle…

  • supercell1545

    I’m going to South Lake Tahoe on Friday! I’ve seen the forecast but I’m still unsure if we will be getting in on any action. Would you guys say that it’s a safe bet to assume there will be some action up there? Or is it all just completely up in the air (haha-literally).

    • Ian Alan

      Literally & figuratively yes.

      Seems Saturday has better chances than Friday -?

    • Utrex

      Yes, there are going to be storms up there on Friday…

    • Bandini

      Thunderstorm and rain chances basically from Thursday-Monday. I’m still planning on camping Saturday. I put off my backpacking trip, I’ve spent enough nights in tents in the backcountry with thunder and lightning overhead! But yes, it’s probably going to rain at some point.

  • Sunchaser
    • Ian Alan

      You know what that means right? Winter 15/16 will either be worst ever or best ever, there’s no way around it!

  • Hey! This forecast model is predicting above average rain for Nov-Jan. Will this happen? LMAO!!!!

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      That’s a classic El Nino regime the CFS is betting on. Sure would be nice, wouldn’t it? Maybe not great for the Pacific NW, but…

      • Ian Alan

        …..but they get theirs every year so I won’t feel bad! 😀

      • Bob G

        Sure is

      • craig matthews

        On the T2m temps, looks a lot different then last years CFSv2 forecasts. This forecast temp anomaly looks more classic El Nino, and maybe those influence on height anomalies are more supportive of storms undercutting into Ca, I think??….CFS has been doing well with the T2ms too…

        • Bob G

          Hi Craig,
          Uggghh. I just hate the word undercutting. It implies the existence of a high pressure ridge in the North Pacific. That term was used alot this past winter but undercutting didn’t happen. I am hoping for a strong jet and open storm doors.

          • craig matthews

            Yes it does. But some of our best drought busters have come from an undercutting jet with low latitude storms containing ARs like what occurred in the late 1970’s, early 1990’s. It sure would be a lot better though to have a nice deep longwave trough extending from the GOA down off the west coast like 2010-11, but stay there for a few years. Better for snow.

          • Bob G

            I know you are right. But after three years of drought, people are going to get panicked if they see a persistent High Pressure ridge out in the Pacific

          • craig matthews

            I really don’t know if I am totally correct though, basing it of what I have observed….Just to clarify about what I said ‘some of our drought busters have come from an undercutting jet with low latitude storms containing ARs”—–the undercutting of the pacific jet was the initial force that then eventually broke down the persistent ridges in the NEPacific/ off the west coast during those those times I mentioned, I believe. Once that ridge broke down or busted loose, storms moved more freely into the west coast, and that is what actually/eventually busted the droughts of those times. Sometimes it took more then one year, like the early 1990’s. It may not play out that way this winter. That ridge may simply just vanish and like you said, we could see the storm door open up and slam the entire west coast….

        • Ian Alan

          Good to see all that heat over the great lakes/ NE at least…. death of the Polar Vortex! LOL

          • craig matthews

            That’s quite a flip to what we’ve been seeing…Hopefully we see more blues show up further west and north too..

          • Xerophobe

            Maybe a CALPAC one will set up instead.

    • Bob G

      LMAO,
      I posted one of these earlier as a joke. It didn’t look as good as this one. I have to shake my head at this cause of last year. Definitely looks like the model is basing prediction on El Nino, Bring it on, lol

      • Ian Alan

        Last year and all through winter it showed the same above/well above average precip for Mexico, even when they switched CA to dry, Mexico remained wet.

        Does anyone know if it verified for South of the border? I have a feeling it did.

        • Bob G

          Did they ever show dry for CA? The monthly CFSv2 models that are issued daily would turn dry as the projected month drew nearer. But I don’t remember seeing any dry predictions on the three month long lead climate forecasts. There are so many prediction maps on that site it is hard to keep track of what is what

          • Ian Alan

            I think you’re right. It was likely the monthly projections. I just remember seeing it occasionaly (I guess on monthlies vs. 3 month) flip to dry for San diego North while remaining wet in Mexico…..darn those Baja Bombers..

          • Bob G

            Yep, it was the cruel monthly bait and switch pulled by the CFSv2 model. The models would start the month looking great and progressively look worse as the month went on. I think January was the only month that showed consistently dry. Both February and March started wet and then trended dry. Just like a desert mirage

    • jstrahl

      Well-above-average in California.

    • Ian Alan

      Kinda funny it cuts off exactly at the CA/OR border.

  • Thunderstorm

    Convection on the equator looks nil. East trade surface winds are picking up speed under Hawaii. All has changed in this past few days. Sub tropical jet nowhere to be found. Texas is happy. Maybe things change later? Maybe not. Colder water then normal in mid part of Atlantic continues westward movement towards Caribean. Wonder how Bermuda high will react this summer? Is the red blob starting to increase in the gulf of Alaska? Very dry and warm conditions in Alaska very early this year.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      We do have trade winds blowing in the Western Pacific, but we’ve still got Westerlies blowing in the Eastern Pacific with a strong WWB about to kick in around 90°W, and another strong Kelvin Wave to surface in July, so things are still moving along.

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        Wind anomalies:

  • Hmmm…..Not even a Summer Ridge forming in 16 days out. This gets weirder and weirder everyday. This is about 16 days out in Fantasyland. I wonder when Summer will get here so the fishing starts picking up.

    • Bob G

      There isn’t a blocking ridge because it isn’t Nov – April

      • alanstorm

        Not funny

        • Bob G

          Not funny but sadly true the past couple of winters

    • craig matthews

      Far out there…..that’s one bad arse ridge nne of Hawaii.

    • alanstorm

      But it does look like next week will be the first near 90° of the year for interior Mendocino County. No one around here has seen any rattlesnakes yet cause its been so cool at every night.

  • lightning10

    These hurricanes are not messing around this year in the E-Pac. Already 2 major hurricanes.

  • Bob G

    BA at OpenSnow just had an update for the upcoming winter.

    https://opensnow.com/dailysnow/tahoe

  • Utrex

    Obviously Levi Cowan’s SST maps are a little inaccurate (as they are satellite-based maps). His Niño 1+2 maps show very low anomalies. However, buoy-based maps such as this one show high anomalies still despite the cooling:

    http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/vs/map.php

    • Darin

      I could be totally wrong, but I vaguely remember that this was the old way of predicting El Ninos, right? It got “thrown out” for SST, right? Either way, beautiful maps, especially with Virtual Stations turned off (upper left).

      • Utrex

        I believe buoys were the older methods of measuring ocean temperatures.

  • Utrex

    The Niño 1+2 regions were cooling, but recently it has started to warm again. It seems the recent emerging Kelvin Wave will heat it back up. Another thing to note is the 30 Celsius water pocket on the bottom of the warm pool. It almost looks like that pocket is a sign that the warm pool is shifting eastward.

    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tao/jsdisplay/plots/gif/Dep_Sec_EQ_5d_comp.gif

    • Xerophobe

      That’s very impressive! Seeing that 28C line in 2014 folding back on itself says a lot right there. The 29C pool is huge and surface temps if you believe earth.nullschool.net (their SST(A) data as of June 1st shows a large surface area of 30C water from New Guinea to 160W. I think the surface wind anomalies have helped to move this along but I’d be ecstatic to see a big WWB on top of that warm pool to drive it deep.

  • Big upward shift in recent CFS projections with new Kelvin wave. I’ll have a full update later today.

    • mosedart

      wow, crazy how much agreement there is in the latest runs as well.

    • Ian Alan

      That one on top really wants to go for it! 😀 With almost all peaking above 2 and a cluster above 3….boy wouldn’t that be something!

      This winter will be remembered by one thing…. The Ark Storm of 2015…. LOL hey who knows……

    • thebigweasel

      Interesting. 7 of the eight most recent runs project to within .01C of 3.25. It’s gonna be a big one.

      Better stock up on wood, then.

  • Xerophobe

    Upper Ocean heat anomalies 180-100W on the rise after peaking in April and dropping some through May.

  • Flunking_retirement

    Remnants of tropical storm are overhead today, but as usual, San Diego scores the short end of the stick again with 20% POPs. If its from the north it dissipates before it gets here, if its from the south, goes north of us. “persistant high pressure aloft”