Unusually active October continues across California, but winter doesn’t look so promising

Filed in Uncategorized by on October 25, 2016 4,297 Comments

Wild October weather across much of California

October in California is unlike autumn virtually anywhere else in North America. It’s a calendar month during which searing heat and extremely dry Santa Ana winds can occur just as easily as powerful windstorms and driving rains. Indeed, we’ve already seen both record heat and record rainfall in October 2016! Already this month, we’ve witnessed a prolonged heatwave in Southern California give way to strong winter-like storms in Northern California–fueled in part by the extratropical remnants of a former West Pacific typhoon. More recently, over the past weekend, atmospheric moisture and instability swept up ahead of an incoming Pacific trough produced a prolific and remarkably prolonged (not to mention largely unexpected) thunderstorm outbreak across much of Southern California. To date, precipitation across NorCal is generally well above average, but well below average in the south–perpetuating the north-south divide that has persisted over the past 12 months.

 

Late-week storm to entrain copious tropical moisture from “Seymour”
And there appears to be a fair bit more to come over the next 10 days or so as an unusually active weather pattern continues across the far eastern North Pacific. Significant rainfall occurred once again across much of NorCal over the past 24 hours–just a prelude to a series of stronger systems slated to approach the coast beginning later on Thursday.

The Thursday storm has unusually southerly origins. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

The Thursday storm has unusually southerly origins. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

The most interesting of these is probably the first storm, which can currently be seen developing on satellite imagery south and west of California. This system is deepening at an unusually low latitude–far south of the typical October storm track along the West Coast–which will likely allow it a rare opportunity to directly tap the rich atmospheric tropical moisture reservoir associated with now-Hurricane Seymour. This trajectory will allow for the formation of an atmospheric river with almost due south-north orientation–rather different from the more familiar “Pineapple Express”-type event, which typically have origins closer to Hawaii.

Earlier model forecasts (particularly the ECMWF) had been indicating the potential for a very strong surface low to develop near the California coast on Thursday, which would have brought the potential for strong winds to much of Central California.

The incoming storm system has a direct moisture tap to Hurricane Seymour. (Scripps)

The incoming storm system has a direct moisture tap to Hurricane Seymour. (Scripps)

More recent model runs have backed away from the strong wind scenario, and it now appears unlikely that damaging winds will occur (though gusty winds are certainly still possible in some spots).

The Thursday system still has the potential to be rather impressive from a precipitation perspective, however. There remains a fair bit of run-to-run and inter-model disagreement regarding exactly how much precipitation will fall and where the precipitation bullseye will ultimately land, but it does look pretty likely that a broad swath of California from the Central Coast up through Mendocino will get quite wet over the next five days. In fact, given the very large amount of tropical moisture that may become entrained into the warm sector of the developing surface low, it’s possible that the models are presently underestimating the precipitation potential in this unusual setup (particularly in the coastal mountains). At the moment, it appears that the heaviest rain will stay north of southernmost California (although, fortunately, the bone-dry Central Coast should not miss out on this one). On the other hand, this is a system with real potential to “overperform” model precipitation forecasts in Southern California given its abundant moisture tap (with vertically integrated water vapor approaching record levels for October).

Strong moisture transport will bring the potential for heavy coastal precipitation. (Scripps)

Strong moisture transport will bring the potential for heavy coastal precipitation. (Scripps)

This system will also be a warm one by California standards–temperatures during rain even in NorCal could be as high as the upper 60s, and perhaps into the 70s in SoCal. Given the system’s warm, moist, and somewhat unstable tropical origins–combined with some respectable upper-level support from the offshore low–there could be a fair bit of thunderstorm activity from late Thursday into Friday from about the Bay Area southward, perhaps even in the Los Angeles and San Diego areas.

The Pacific storm track will remain active following the Thursday storm but will shift northward slightly–keeping NorCal quite wet but preventing SoCal from seeing additional much-needed precipitation.

 

Latest data regarding coming winter not encouraging for California

I’ve mentioned before that seasonal precipitation forecasts are still very difficult for a variety of reasons–and it’s easy to oversell just how much confidence we have in a specific outcome in a given year. However, there are several factors that currently don’t paint a very promising picture from a drought mitigation perspective–October’s wet conditions notwithstanding.

A cool eastern tropical Pacific and warm western tropical Pacific suggest an increased potential for northeastern Pacific ridging this winter. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

A cool eastern tropical Pacific and warm western tropical Pacific suggest an increased potential for northeastern Pacific ridging this winter. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

The monthly-updated North American Multi-Model Ensemble, as I discussed previously, has been hinting at a warm winter in general across California with the potential for a “wet north/dry south” split in precipitation. The American CFS model–which generates new publicly available seasonal forecasts each day based upon continuously updated ocean temperature and sea ice conditions–is starting to suggest that California dryness this coming winter could be even more widespread. In fact, in recent weeks the predicted atmospheric pressure pattern for mid-winter has started to look…eerily familiar.

How concerned should we be about a 2016-2017 return of the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge? Well, the tropical Pacific Ocean has been edging back toward a La Niña-like state, with relatively cool water in the eastern Pacific. Meanwhile, very warm conditions are expected to return to the tropical West Pacific over the next few months–a setup that is linked to unusually strong high pressure over the northeastern Pacific.

The CFS is presently depicting persistent ridging near the West Coast for much of the coming winter season. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

The CFS is presently depicting persistent ridging near the West Coast for much of the coming winter season. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

Also noteworthy is the generally anomalous state of the Northern Hemisphere atmosphere this autumn, which we can no longer blame on last season’s powerful El Niño. Extraordinary warmth continues across many areas–especially in the Arctic, where seasonal re-freeze of the Arctic Ocean has been occurring at a record-slow rate (leading to record-low ice extent in October). The unfavorable state of the tropical Pacific Ocean, plus the high likelihood of persistent warmth yet again this winter, suggests that we’re still likely to be talking about the “ongoing California drought” well into 2017.

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  • yenlard

    Rain in So Cal on the way….I can’t believe it. An actual cold front with decent precipitation.

  • Tangocity

    Any updates on the rain predicted for SoCal on Sunday?

    • yenlard

      .75 to 1.00 for most areas

      • Tangocity

        So about quarter inch then. 🙂

        • yenlard

          I don’t know…it’s Oxnard. They usually underplay everything so maybe we get lucky.

  • William_LeGro
  • Boiio

    Glad to see the site back up! 3.05″ in the bucket today in San Rafael. Huge over-performer!

  • Robin White

    Barely damp on the Monterey Peninsula.

  • RunningSprings6250

    Well then.

  • RunningSprings6250

    WWA calls for rain switching to snow Sunday night with 1″-3″ down to 6k and 4″-8″ above 7k. 2″ rain below the snow level with….what’s that?! 100% chance heavy rain/snow?!

    #Twilightzone

  • Nathan

    testing one two testing one two is this thing on?

    WW goes offline, it rains in SoCal….coincidence?

  • RunningSprings6250

    Oh and don’t forget it’s going to be a chilly Willy December! I’m done now. LOL https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ea8d3e4512d2efcc89c24c1f40b2e2ccaa38a75ceb85e1be539bbc596fe15158.gif

  • Testing…

  • DelMarSD

    NWS is calling for half an inch in Coastal SD County, but I feel like this is going to be an over-performer. I think we’ll get closer to .75-1.25. I hope we get some thunderstorms!

    • SoSoCal

      Cannot wait! Stoked to see increasing totals every few updates! Rain barrels empty.

  • DelMarSD
    • Dan weather maniac

      So cal you guys need some action!! Bring the goods to so cal weather gods!

  • matthew

    It was a dark and stormy night, the wind was fierce, the snow was heavy, the blog disappeared, and there were cries fear and anguish throughout westworld…

    Proceed.

  • Charlie B

    Using the time I would have spent reading comments here the last couple of days, I was able to remember my kid’s names, rake the lawn, change the oil on 3 cars, volunteer some time with United Way, cook, do the laundry, read War and Peace, stack a couple cords of wood, paint the house and finish up Christmas shopping.

    • Barney

      I just kept refreshing the page to see if it was running again, similar to a dog with separation anxiety pacing the house and staring out the window.

      • Google maps confirms 80 is still a rolling catastrophe.
        I fully expect several hour delays come Birdpocalypse. The timing for these storms is almost comical.

      • Charlie B

        My life was basically on hold. I was thinking of starting a 12 step program but I didn’t have everyone’s e mail address.

  • Mike Stephenson (Riverside)
  • jstrahl

    .50 in central Berkeley so far today (6PM), matches with .54 in Westbrae jus north of me and .56 in Poet’s Corner, just south of me, as well as .46 at the Berkeley Marina. Some wild fluctuates in the area, though, e.g. .02 in one Tiburon location but .83 in another, 1.47 in a spot at the base of the Tiburon Peninsula. (south Marin).

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      Amazing and just a bit east of you in Clayton/Concord the streets were barely wet today. Watching the Big Game seemed it rained the entire time, yet looking outside here the deck was dry.

    • Dan weather maniac

      Only 0.30 in Orinda. Odd underperformer todaywurh 1+ forecast.

      I drove West thru the tunnel into rockridge and it was dumping and I figured it must be an incoming band. But when I drove back through the tunnel in was only spittle on the other side.

      The goods are staying in the immediate bay it seems and the hills are blocking the spillover, sorta like the Tahoe Sierra creast.

      My wife also reported heavy rain along the 13 inthe oakland hills, while again much lighter precip in the east bay inland hills range.

      Topography is so interesting!!

      • jstrahl

        Probably explains those two widely divergent readings in Tiburon.

    • Sublimesl

      .62 in Oakland hills, elev. 900 ft.

      • jstrahl

        Fits with Dan’s report right below yours, re what his wife was experiencing on 13 (the Warren Freeway).

  • Arnold Weather Fanatic

    .04″ today 🙁

  • AlTahoe

    Yay we’re back! Snow levels were supposed to rise to 7k tonight but the temp is dropping and we have about an inch of snow of the ground. Even sticking to the roads

    • Barney

      Right on Al. Looking at radar you’ve got nice action still filling in. Even if it switches back to rain, the mountains should do good tonight. I’m thinking everything on the west side will easily hit a foot + today/tonight, plus whatever falls tomorrow. Time to tune up the gear. I was tempted to go do some night riding at Boreal tonight until I checked the I80 cam.

      • AlTahoe

        I just picked up my new moment deathwish 190’s yesterday. Keep dumping!
        Weird thing is we had sunny skies all day today with temps near 60F. In about the last hour it started snowing but nothing before that. I bet sugar bowl or squaw comes out the big winner

        • Barney

          I don’t know, Kirkwood is under the dark blue now. Fun day, hope many more storms to come to fill it all in.

        • Pfirman

          Wow, it started raining down here in eastern Yolo about 5:00am. Friend out in Capay to the northwest said it rained all night. I did look at the radar this morning and saw I was on the southern edge and not much was going on in Tahoe as the storm moved northeast.
          Very happy the site is back. Figured Daniel had found a way to keep the post down.

      • Lol by the time you got there it wouldn’t be night skiing…

    • craig(Big Sur/Carmel Valley)

      Wondering if there’s some evaporative cooling effects up there? Dew points were fairly low for a time ahead of cold front down here. As soon as it starting raining, temp dropped from low 60’s to upper 40’s here central coast area at 900ft.

  • Barney

    Hey we’re back live! Jesus my whole social life disappeared with the blog shutting down. Lots of activity today but real tough to measure. It dumped snow for a while, maybe 2-3″, then it rained, then it snowed, now I think it’s raining again. I’d guess a solid 1-2″ of total liquid?

    Couple shots from earlier in the neighborhood. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c56f5af9119b73efc4679e7c69e0124122e21d4624cb31c0557e7be98bf10452.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fc9d03f3f0cffe5e91cd1ea4415dd9e226ea89a6107be8c9a91e15c96a1e7eac.jpg

    • Mike Stephenson (Riverside)

      I woke up in a ditch with a bottle of gin this morning, things were rough!

      • Charlie B

        That was you? Sterno is crap.

    • craig(Big Sur/Carmel Valley)

      Sizeable flakes there….This is just the beginning for you guys up there.

      • Barney

        It really snowed hard for a couple hours. We’re under the blue still but it’s really more of a rain falling at the moment.

  • craig(Big Sur/Carmel Valley)

    Welcome back. CF seams to have fizzled a bit for the time being off the central coast per radar, however as more energy digs on the backside of trough tonight containing more cold unstable air/dynamics will likely enhance the CF right over the Big Sur coast and points south. As the trough splits with the southern portion of the trough becoming more dominant, socal will be the focus of action tomorrow into early monday. Sure looks good for central and socal per models. Glad this site is back on air b/c really looking forward to the reports next few days. Here’s a couple of 18Zs (24 hour totals) showing central and socal getting in on some good precip action https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a0fc04d1e4bc90ce7eba01e8725918025b99fe9642bf162d937a7736ab707c14.gif https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/079c0b41394729d8a6d7c5c57b17462100a76df006202209d4a4a720de2890a9.gif

  • honzik

    About 1.5″ so far in the SCMtns. It just keeps raining – looks like the front has stalled as predicted!

  • mattzweck

    Let’s see if will get any precip. down here in socal. Especially here where I live in Lancaster area.

  • Bahia (Novato)

    Barney’s wife must have found where the WW servers are stored. 1.13″ from today’s storm in northern Marin county, and it’s still coming. Hiked to a local waterfall and it was raging brown and muddy.

    • Barney

      I had her go out in the cold and empty my rain gauge a couple hours ago. When she came in she saw that I was back on the blog. There was a look of absolute disgust on her face as she casually unplugged the Wifi.

      In all honesty I thought the blog was crashed due to that 18Z run a couple days ago that showed 10+ feet of snow potential for the Sierra.

      • Pfirman

        Did she know it was down, or did she think you were just being strong?

      • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

        Probably not far off, that run looked like the “I80 is closed over Donner Summmit with no estimate of reopening.” Been a few years since we had the 12-24 hour closure for snow.

  • RandomTreeInSB

    FF watch issued for burn areas.

    …FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FOR RECENT BURN AREAS FROM SUNDAY
    MORNING THROUGH SUNDAY EVENING…

    THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN LOS ANGELES/OXNARD HAS ISSUED A

    * FLASH FLOOD WATCH FOR RECENT BURN AREAS OF SANTA BARBARA COUNTY.

    * FROM SUNDAY MORNING THROUGH SUNDAY EVENING

    * HEAVY RAIN IN THUNDERSTORMS COULD LEAD TO FLASH FLASH
    FLOODING…AND THE FIRST MUD AND DEBRIS FLOWS OF THE SEASON NEAR
    RECENT BURN AREAS…INCLUDING BURN AREAS RESULTING FROM THE
    SHERPA FIRE…THE REY FIRE AND THE CANYON FIRE.

    PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

    A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT WHILE NO FLASH FLOODING IS
    OCCURING…CONDITIONS MAY DEVELOP THAT WILL LEAD TO FLASH
    FLOODING.

    FLASH FLOODING AND DEBRIS FLOWS WILL BE A PARTICULAR THREAT IN
    AND BELOW THE RECENTLY BURNED AREAS. FLASH FLOODING IS A VERY
    DANGEROUS SITUATION.

    SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA RESIDENTS…IN OR BELOW THE RECENTLY BURNED
    AREAS ARE URGED TO TAKE THE STEPS NECESSARY TO PROTECT THEIR
    PROPERTY. PERSONS IN THE WATCH AREA SHOULD REMAIN ALERT AND
    FOLLOW DIRECTIONS OF EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS OFFICIALS.

  • Pacifica weather observer

    .77 inches of rain so far for the storm and the rain is still coming down. It was a steady light rain all day. We also had some strong winds. Had a peak wind gust of 41 miles an hour this morning.

  • Rio Rat

    There really is a Santa Claus. Started out slow today, but pushing over .50 as of 7:30 tonight in Aptos.Really hope SC gets in on the action

  • ThomTissy

    2.18″ so far in Scotts Valley ScMountains.

    • Rio Rat

      2.18″? local weather watchers for Santa Cruz Sentinel show for Sat totals .18 for Santa Cruz,1.20 Scotts valley,1.25 Ben Lomond. Might have to sent rain police to check that rain gauge

      • ThomTissy

        Not a chance it was that low, it poured most of the day.

        • honzik

          I second that. I’m looking at at least two inches. My goat’s empty feed bucket looks like it’s now filled with three inches of rain water. My guess is we’ve had 2.5″ up at around the 2000′ level. My neighbor has precise rain gauges – I’ll report later.

  • RunningSprings6250

    8%RH and -11 DP second time in a row it’s been so dry right before a storm… ? And warm too!

    • BRP (Ventura)

      52° and humidity at 86% here in VTA. I can feel the ocean getting ready to assist this cold front tomorrow! Normal VTA November is 2.2″, so we need 2.2″ tomorrow to get to average!

  • A whopping “0.01 here!!

    #droughtrelief

  • Joey B. (Lafayette)

    .32″ in Lafayette

  • Thor

    In Marin, just a nice solid rain for about 12hrs straight. Mt Tam got 3.85″…I got ~2.4″ in my backyard in San Rafael.

  • Barney

    Under the blue but all rain here now, just over half an inche the past few hours. This storm has produced about exactly as expected; lots of shadowing with the west side of the basin doing pretty good. We’ll see what tomorrow brings. Good to hear So Cal has some action coming.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3019c9e42855cef71060ecdc7dc312fbc457ec236e7d549c4d0258712c3884a3.png

  • Nate

    There were an impressive number of rotating post-frontal cells off the North Coast today. This is a screenshot of a legitimate hook echo about 25 miles off of Cape Medocino just 15 minutes ago.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f9713e867be9aa87c7667e808c022fc406ecb3bcbac896bcc70127c13d370356.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5fec8abfdbfaf0bae1e0b5949f296720809580bb755c6d6eaea4134bf3407dd1.jpg

  • Crouching Dallas

    The Wunderground automated forecast has me knees a’tremblin!
    .63! Be still my encumbered knees!

    Real talk, though, and it’s that I think that’s that I’ve reached coastal SoCal Nirvana, which is being happy with bi-monthly measurable precipitation and at least 5 opportunities a year to wear my cool new jacket.

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      Glad to have you here to celebrate the rain my friend!

      • Crouching Dallas

        Likewise, duder!

  • Thunderstorm

    Well look whats back up! I thought Daniel had shut down the blog. A whopping trace here today by Fremont. Was going to go up to South Tahoe today but people do not know how to drive in the snow. Anyone else notice the difference in the pacific this fall? Much deeper then normal plunges of the troughs to the south, deep south. Arctic is crazy warm. Warmest ever by far. The cold pool in the Pacific is growing ever larger and colder. Severe weather in the near future if this continues!!

  • Tyler Price (Van Nuys)

    Weather West blog is back up and running!!! Yay!!! ????????

  • Nate
  • Tyler Price (Van Nuys)

    I’m making a bold prediction of 2+ inches of rain to fall in Van Nuys, CA. My backyard! 2.16 inches to be exact (says the weather wizard). I predict numerous thunderstorms ? to be embedded in the strong cold front as the storm rolls through SoCal.. I predict LA will be the bullseye and the Los Angeles county valleys, foothills, and the south facing slopes of the VT/LA mountains will get hit the hardest with heavy rain and numerous thunderstorms.. the San Fernando valley and Simi Valley will get gnarly T-storm’s and impressive rainfall totals! ??? This is the really great storm I was talking about would hit SoCal this month! The rest of the storm’s will just bring mostly light rain and low snow levels to SoCal from dying cold fronts of cold storms.. the storms will get colder as we approach December. LA will end November a good bit above average as far as rainfall goes.. as does most of CA. December will bring a storm to remember, there’s gonna be some COLD storm’s come December! This is what the weather wizard told me!! ??????????????

    • SoSoCal

      You didn’t mention San Diego so I will…we’re going to get pounded down here Sunday Night/Monday Morning! I’m predicting over an inch. 😉

      • DelMarSD

        For Sure.

  • Thirsty Nick (Santa Maria)

    I’m getting a good feeling about Sunday’s storm. Any chance we’ll get more storms after Thanksgiving weekend???

  • Confirmed – Sugarbowl wins. Watched the Northstar cam, very little making through compared to the crest. Kirkwood has a dusting so far.
    Barney mentioned earlier there will be a foot up top, we can probably add another several inches to that. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/162691d5b13842e777e69f7eedd431b0758a6bf32c556a5fd52251db00ce22f4.jpg

    This stick is supposedly at 7k, right in the storms bullseye. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dbab213ca26eb2e1f89f24bba07fe31de596b25a431887f2386e5678be24225c.jpg

  • RunningSprings6250

    Went to bed and it showed “less than 1/2″ accumulation” and woke up to this! Not sure I believe it LOL! Would be nice… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0a109f2953e3c45295224e163b2be8a0dbd8417c1b544620a461bd6a19d89d96.png

    • Barney

      Snow Valley forecast?

      • RunningSprings6250

        No my point forecast here, let me check snow valley! I notice these automated point forecasts can flip flop though when you’re right at the forecasted snow level…..

        …It’s exactly the same forecast at 7k and 8k – certainly a ‘glitch’ for me at 6250′

        It is nice to see a flash flood watch, winter weather advisory, high wind warning AND 100% pops all at the same time though, it’s been awhile!

        • David Moore

          Had 3-4 hrs of snow in the forecast last night (Arrowhead 5200′) … now it’s all gone, but there’s more in the rain totals now.

          We seem to be colder right now than predicted though, I’m really at the borderline altitude wise, a couple degrees cooler is all we need, I’m betting on slush for the most part here.

          I have friends in Arrowbear that will be happy with the forecast.

  • Arnold Weather Fanatic

    Well! About 0.4″ snuck in last evening. We had an arborist come over and he said all of our trees are healthy (mostly cedars.) Not doing so well in the neighborhood, where pine fatalities move in a swath through the middle of our development.

  • matthew

    0.4″ in the gauge since yesterday, with a light dusting of snow on the ground (not measurable). Very light snowfall coming down now.

    6100′ in Truckee – about 12 miles east of Donner Pass so a lot of shadowing.

    • matthew

      15 minutes later…dumping BFF’s (Big Fat Flakes)!

      • Barney

        Man some of the snow has been heavy! If it just stayed snowing we’d be looking at great totals. Even central Truckee was getting good snow yesterday before the switch back to rain.

  • Patrick from Stockton

    So far .5 inches over the past 24 hours with more to come. Rained most of yesterday, although light.

  • RunningSprings6250

    Heard rain coming down and was welcomed by this – taste the Rainbow MOFOs!

    Nice downpour! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9e705cb29fc88c3fd26929473882919941491306018839a7bc69dbf256cf2af1.jpg

  • inclinejj

    .76 in Pacifica. Just started raining again. Combined total yesterday and today! 7:45 am.

  • Barney

    Miserable dog walking weather. 2-3″ of slushy unplowed soup on the roads. Switched back and forth between dumping snow and rain several times. Another .2″ in the gauge and maybe another 1″ of snow. Nearly impossible to get a truly accurate reading with all the switching. I’d guess we’ve easily got 2″ or more of liquid.

  • Barney

    Benches at the base of Sugar Bowl look like they’ve got a solid foot. Could the mountains on the west side above 8K be looking at 2 feet maybe + before this is over? Just for fun I was looking at the Donner Summit cams holy crap I wouldn’t want to be driving that stretch right now. Continues to switch from rain and snow here.

    Just got the first plow of the season down our street.

    • maddogokp

      If Sugie was open I’d be on that cam. Slushy mix in the Shire.

      • Barney

        I’m stoked. For some reason I had assumed Thanksgiving weekend was part of the black out dates for my pass, but It’s not so I’m good to go come Thursday.

      • AlTahoe

        I have been shadowed out since last night. About and inch and half of slushy snow with no rain so far. Maybe .25″ total precip so far

  • mattzweck

    raining a little bit down here in socal. Where i live Lancaster Area getting a little bit of rain. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9420d38a6aed07aa4bc63583f3a505365e355d2ab0411e17e4bc530ba51c3198.png

  • Black Cat
  • mattzweck
  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    Looking at my cam around 7k’ in Tahoe Donner I am guessing around a foot of snow. Temp holding around 32, should be a great week for those off and able to enjoy it! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d8270716bf4058a3de23927dd5b754a465ffa6a163a7047b16711b9249c5fe8b.jpg

  • RunningSprings6250
  • CHeden

    Gloomy skies, light winds and precip persist here in the North Valley. Precip totals have been quite robust as moisture has been streaming up the gut of the valley. Here in Cottonwood, i’ve received 2.43″ in the last ~48 hrs, with Redding now probably approaching 3″ as a pocket of heavier rain is now over the area. Temps are almost 6 degrees warmer than this time yesterday (and the day before), and is probably reflecting some warmer southern air moving up ahead of today’s expected CF passage. There’s been some discussion of possible convection later today as the trough’s axis moves overhead, but the timing may not be optimal relative to daytime heating….still, will be keeping a close eye to the skies this aft. just in case.
    The forecast for next week is still a challenge..especially as to the strength and southern extent of precip from a series of lows expected to move towards the coast. Still looking at Friday as the day for the better dynamics to move in, and holiday travel most likely be impacted. Then a last hurrah early in Dec Wk1 with some anomalously cold air moving into the NE portion of Calif. with 528dm thicknesses briefly nosing in. Most likely this will be a dry cold snap, so a low-elevation snow event isn’t suggested (ATTM).
    In the bigger picture, the AO and NAO are both projected to transition into negative territory with a continued weakened/split PV this week in response to the much ballyhooed pattern change. Heights will likely rise in the N. Pacific and according to the GEFS, we’ll see a significant drying period towards the end of Dec/wk1 with a Rex Block eventually dominating much of the eastern Pacific. On the flip side, the jet looks to remain strong…and should the EPac high set up a bit further west, troughiness and possible storminess along the west coast may re-emerge with possible AR’s impacting the NW coast once the block starts to erode/split. If past examples of recent AR’s are any indicator, eventually the AR will get pushed south once the mean flow turns more WNW instead of from the SW, which in turn would allow a low to form along the northern flank of the AR and drive the moisture feed (and rain) south. But this is a very iffy proposition given the expected strength and setup of the preceding Rex Block…so for now, I’ll conclude with rain continuing on/off throughout the rest of November, with drier conditions setting in by early Dec.

    • craig(Big Sur/Carmel Valley)

      IMO this is one of your most excellent discussions I have read yet. Anyway nice totals up there…Great storm for the Shasta drainage with how this trough/CF is aligned somewhat parallel to the Sac Valley…funneling that moisture “right up the gut”. Looks like we might be headed into a slight east version of a -PNA in the NE Pac with the lowering of heights near Hawaii and ridging pushed up into GOA, yet Atlantic wants to stay -NAO so we may not have the classic -PNA SEUS ridge part of the equation…meaning…. Gonna be a cold stormy start to the month across most of the country, or that the way it looks to me. Hopefully, like you said, the EPac high will set up a bit further west.

      • CHeden

        Wow, that’s really saying something, especially coming from you. Much appreciated.

        • craig(Big Sur/Carmel Valley)

          Thanks. That analysis was very professional IMO. Much more interesting then the average AFD. Anyway, hope you have your camera ready. With these cold/ unstable conditions overhead making the atmosphere ripe for convection, should be in for an interesting afternoon if enough sunlight pokes through to the surface. Down here the sun poked through about an hour ago and already observing convection over the north Santa Lucias.

          • CHeden

            Camera(s) ready and Jeep is gassed up. Still cloudy, but skies are starting to break up and I can see some broken blue skies to my west and moving my way.. Assuming we get some decent surface heating with cool air aloft all we need is some sheer to really get things going.

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)
    • DelMarSD

      I have a feeling the post frontal cells/thunderstorms are going to be pretty intense, especially in SD county.

      • William_LeGro

        North of LA, south of LA, east of LA – god forbid it should ever hit LA. 4 million people would think they’re delusional and start gobbling down the Abilify. Well, I’m more mentally stable than that – if it should start to rain, I’d immediately recognize that it’s actually “rain,” not, y’know, rain.

      • CHeden

        HRRR agrees.

  • CHeden

    BTW, here’s another detailed climate forecast discussion, this time form Dr. Judah Cohen from AER. A definite geek-read for those in the know.
    https://www.aer.com/science-research/climate-weather/arctic-oscillation
    Also, WU’s blog post on the Arctic, et al is another must read. Some really disturbing data is shown, so I suggest a Valium for the more sensitive types before checking it out.
    https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/crazy-cryosphere-record-low-sea-ice-an-overheated-arctic-and-a-snow

    • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

      No way we have ANOTHER “dipole” pattern this year. I’m calling BS.

    • yenlard

      What I get out of this is that the cold over Siberia has enhanced the Pacific jet and might drop it further south than what was expected. Maybe some good news this winter ?

      • CHeden

        Good call, and pretty much what’s been happening the last few weeks. Let’s see what the pattern looks like after the early Dec. Rex Block starts to run it’s course. Methinks the early Winter pattern will be fully revealed by then….and a continued strong jet down our way would be a really good sign.

    • lodule16

      Many tx for the lead to Dr. Cohen… helluva read. This was the kicker for me, and is starting to prevail in my view of conventional readings of model reliability —

      “I have tried to emphasize in my scientific research the inability of current global climate models (GCMs) to simulate the large scale climate impacts of snow cover variability and this November is a great illustration of the models’ shortcomings. The GCMs are on track to experience a profound forecast miss this November with their Eurasian and North Pacific temperature forecast, even at the shortest lead time. I do believe that this miss will propagate further in time and impact the accuracy of the winter forecast.”

  • Pacifica weather observer

    1.04 inches of rain so far since yesterday here in Pacifica. 58 degrees with light southerly winds.

    • inclinejj

      I have the same. 1.04 at 11 am. Pacifica.

  • Arnold Weather Fanatic

    A long cell moving South to North passing over us. We are now at 0.9″

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

    All you southern folk like me are about to enjoy this tweet from the NWS in Ox. https://twitter.com/NWSLosAngeles/status/800396928836112384

    • RunningSprings6250

      Do they have that backwards or did I read that backwards?!

      Something’s funny in the water this morning and it’s not the fluoride.

      Our downpour this AM and scattered showers since definitely has that “the sky is oozing moisture” feel to it.

      • William_LeGro

        You’re in Camarillo and you had a downpour? That’s just not fair! (insert whine here) What about L.A.?

        • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

          Not yet here…

          • William_LeGro

            Oh – duh – replied to the wrong guy – I’m glad you haven’t had a downpour yet, makes me feel much better…

          • Cactusman

            lol

    • CHeden

      With all due respect to the professionals at the NWS-Oxnard, yesterday all they mentioned was the incoming NW trough dropping into the area, while at the same time there were scattered showers over the southland with sub-tropical origins that were clearly not related to the northern trough. No matter how you cut, a totally blown AFD on their part (IMHO). Too bad WW was down, or we would have corrected them with a proper analysis.

  • honzik

    Lots of rain up in the SCMtns. At least 3″ up at the 2000′ level.

    Here’s a picture of the rain in my goat’s feedbucket. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7d033f80f3f9f51f071c8d82d6536d478958d32eaf14cd23c14904a9e65eeb54.jpg

    • William_LeGro

      Why am I constantly messing around and being frustrated with AcuRite digital rain gages when all I really need is a goat feedbucket and a tape measure? While the digital age has a lot of positives, common sense isn’t one of them.

      So – my next question is: do they make digital feedbuckets? If not, where could I pay an outrageous price for an artisan feedbucket? Artisan tape measures?

    • Bombillo1

      Does that goat bucket come in a metric addition?

  • AlTahoe

    It is snowing very hard now and starting to stick.

    • Barney

      Radar has red and oranges turning to dark blue for you. It’s like an acid trip.

      • AlTahoe

        We are getting gusty winds as well, which is causing almost whiteout conditions when the trees let go of the snow on them. Last time we had this was the big Christmas eve storm last winter

        • Barney

          If that band continues to train on you guys you’re in for some fun. I like that this storm is spreading the wealth now. Even the Northstar cam is showing another 4″ since this morning.

  • CHeden

    Heads up for the SJV as a band of heavy rain is currently training NE towards Tahoe with some reds showing up earlier on radar between Merced and Modesto. The main SW-NE oriented precip band remains quasi-stationary ATTM, and is now draped over the coast over SLO…so we should see some impressive numbers from the Cent. Sierra’s west slopes by later this evening. Also, low pressure is starting to wrap up west of Pt. Conception and is driving east right towards the coast. HRRR sure is on board for some serious rainfall along all of the SoCal coast beginning around 4 p.m. According to the lastest run, the heaviest rain will be south of P.C. with San Diego in particular getting a good shot of heavy rain around midnight. Lot’s of early convection signs ATTM out ahead of the low, so some even heavier showers are possible. As others have posted, NWS-Oxnard is also being bullish…and IMHO may even be underplaying the convection potential. It would not surprise me if some of the SW facing hills get as much as 3″ of rain, but these totals will likely be isolated due to orographic effects.

  • weathergeek100

    Some wonderful rainfall continuing here in the bay area. Rain band currently nearly stalled over Berkeley and SF. I’m rooting for plenty of snow in the Sierra. I’m rooting for some REAL rain (finally!!!) in southern CA!!! I’m rooting for thunderstorms down there. Widespread rain in a very thirsty region. C’mon how much can we get?! Let’s get this show on the road folks!!!

  • CHeden
  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

    Things are actually getting going early and we have virga lowering heavy from clouds, radar confirms isolated scattered showers & possibly thundershowers later? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/095e229349431739c1166eed83d3f57c97c1acf8dd9a7a31c63b86c0ec5373cf.jpg

  • WSDTLA

    we had a brief rain shower appetizer in the hood this morning. Great! Hopefully this means the lower air levels aren’t so dry and all the precipitation from the main event makes it to the ground.

    • RunningSprings6250

      Pac is smiling in the rain.

    • We got about a 2 min teaser here. The threats are present but so far nothing more.

  • bk2ftr (Atascadero)

    Hoping there is a big second round to this storm. First band was a bit of a dud with 0.02″ A long way to go to that 1″ projection here.

  • Thirstier Nick (Santa Maria)

    Thin line of moisture coming towards Santa Maria. Not really beneficial for our endangered Lake Cachuma. #anotherbust

  • Apollo

    Starting to see a little spin WSW off of Pt. Conception on the WV and IR. Humm!

  • William_LeGro

    just started sprinkling here! I’m not delusional! I…I…oh, it stopped.

  • WSDTLA

    burst of heavy rain in la now. long may this storm overperform and prosper.

  • RandomTreeInSB

    Can we wait for the storm to pass first before calling it a bust? 🙂

    • AlTahoe

      That’s the staple of weatherwest don’t you know? Get some prefrontal rain that wasn’t forecast and then say the storm was a bust a full 12 hours before it is supposed to rain. 🙂

      • Barney

        So true. I was just watching radar wondering if the guy form Fremont calling it a bust yesterday would come back on and report. There is a cluster of yellow going over there.

        • 82/83 El Nino Baby

          I have yet to post results, but unless we get some more rain today, I think the storm may have missed expectations, even in rain shadowed San Jose. 0.12 thus far.

          • AlTahoe

            There appears to be a strong band headed through San Jose now or shortly. San Jose itself was only supposed to get around a .25″ so it should verify. Remember whenever they show a general 1″ for the bay area during a storm San Jose will never get that amount.

          • 82/83 El Nino Baby

            Very true. I try to waait until the “numerous showers” portion of the forecast has passed before declaring a bust as I find we get the most rain at these time. That and storms that do not have SW flow.

          • 82/83 El Nino Baby

            Your post made me think. San Jose is the biggest city in the Bay Area by population and square mileage. And yet when forecasters give a precipitation forecast they seem to focus on cities like San Francisco and Oakland. I understand San Francisco is the “name” City, but if San Jose weather is so drastically different I think we deserve our own forecast beyond that we will be rain shadowed.

        • AlTahoe

          Ya or the people that said Southern Cal would be rain-less for November back on Oct 31st. 🙂

  • AlTahoe

    Reagan beach had 5.5″ of snow on the lawn and still dumping. We beat the forecast of 1″ !!!

  • molbiol

    Just noticed that SST anomalies INVOF of the Maritime Continent have decreased quite a bit. Not sure if this is the beginning of a trend but it could be good news for California if the trend continues..

    • Bombillo1

      Read Daniel’s latest post and heed Dante’s advice, abandon all hope ye who enter here.

  • alanstorm

    2.2″ total for this storm for Willits, Mendocino Co.
    That makes 16.7″ for Oct/Nov so far.
    Fairly warm again, not the usual Nov chill

    • Pfirman

      Amazing. What’s normal for the year there?

  • Thirstier Nick (Santa Maria)

    Looking at the radar, the thin blue line is now thickened up with more greens and yellows. Should be raining any minute now.

  • Osse (Redondo)

    Just started pouring in Redondo Beach.

    • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

      Good for you. Hopefully, you purchased that rain gauge so you can measure it for us.

      • Osse (Redondo)

        Noooo. Being a lazy ass I didn’t get my gauge yet. But I did put an old fashioned goat bucket out.

        Oh! Thunder!

        • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

          Too bad. I saw that heavy rain cell heading your way from PV. Great to know it’s packing thunder….woohoo!

    • William_LeGro

      Arrgghhhh! (Silver Lake)

      • Osse (Redondo)

        Heh! I know the feeling!

    • Osse (Redondo)

      Still raining slightly but my goat bucket gauge shows about 0.25 inches for the pretty intense cell that moved over for the last 20 minutes.

  • CHeden

    Just in the last hour, a line of convection is firing up just to my west. VIS loop is confirming a lot of chaotic wind flow mostly NW of Redding which is confirming what I’m seeing here on the ground. ATTM, still getting some breaks in the clouds, with winds picking up from the south.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/419e47041f01c3c32bfa806d7a4b3f2724ff162bcd7e18055b5437f7e27aa4e9.jpg

    • Dan weather maniac

      Nice image. I’m eyeing that clear area west of the bay … that should move inland in the next couple hours…. hopefully some intestate cells behind it.

  • Tyler Price (Van Nuys)

    Driving around the valley in my area d https://uplo https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5e1360ade5055adc8992108a3a4eb647136b5f60a447cd97ebc0b0beb7bd0bc5.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1009dccb0cd2f10489f75d241cd5a24c0a442acedd735daeb5a85568d5598326.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/19997922eaeff29b8b5f62bf30f41663d90ee588e230caf8e5f85627cad2745d.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4838a3d3c8733403b08aa75fdd43480b875d8cbc41aca2afe37458f2230ad831.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0f3bd04c357d905e980d4647c1746490c23f88d2325ff021efd75270ff4ab6a6.jpg ads.disquscdn.com/images/18a1585eaeb46ec4d732278a90e38c4403768ddcac982f070027e6e230d9411d.jpg oing a little storm chasin before work later!! Ran into a great storm cell with very heavy rain around the Balboa recreational center! Sat in the park for about 5 minutes as the storm cell passed over then drove back home and ran into several random downpours!! Very convective atmosphere today!! No less than 2 inches will fall in Van Nuys, CA thru Monday!! Cheers to a great SoCal storm! ?????

    • Wow, glad you guys are seeing rain in the valley. It has been threatening here on and off but that’s about it.

  • Dan weather maniac

    Picked up another 0.60 or so today, more than yesterday… 2 day total close to 1 inch now in Orinda….. hoping the sun comes out for a bit as this last band moves along, and helps setup some downpours and maybe thunder later this afternoon as the cold core comes ashore. Fingers crossed.

  • Jockman

    There’s weird moist stuff coming out of the sky! Lots of it. What the hell is going on? (Hollywood Hills)

  • GR

    Didn’t the server crash yesterday?

  • Thirstier Nick (Santa Maria)

    It”s pouring in Santa Maria. Halleujah!

  • Surprised we are not seeing any rain yet– looks like it’s all around us, though.

  • jstrahl

    .56 inches yesterday (to midnight), .41 inches today, got quite heavy around 10-10:30, heaviest off the weekend so far. Sort of quiet right now. Raining on the 49ers-Pats at Levi Stadium right now.

    • So this time the 49ers will have a nearly believable excuse!

      • jstrahl

        Hey, they are actually hanging in there.

  • J Tang

    Now we are getting some real action! San José/Milpitas is getting dumped on!!!

    • Not enough fiber in the rain’s diet. I was able to work through for about 3 hours.

  • JMS

    Finally started raining in NE Fresno about 20 minutes ago. Looks like we’ll continue for a while.

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

    Great news, as Craig and I were talking about this system yesterday is moving much slower than initially expected in the area coming into SoCal, that being said I believe precipitation totals may need a little boost… We are looking at our first real storm here in a long time. Just snapped a shot of the wall of dark clouds on the horizon. Let me add this. 🙂 This evening I have a front row seat after work as I am house sitting on a steep south facing slope of Camarillo Heights facing the ocean with that in view. Any lightning I should warrant will and should be captured. Cheers!

    Area forecast discussion
    National Weather Service Los Angeles/Oxnard California
    208 PM PST sun Nov 20 2016

    “Short term…(tdy-tue)

    The cold frontal system moving through the region is progressing
    eastward more slowly than initially thought as the low has
    continued digging to the south. However a moist band ahead of the
    front has lined up with Catalina Island and Los Angeles County and
    has already brought quite a bit of precipitation to the area.
    Flash flood watches for the burn areas were moved up in time to
    begin immediately and an Urban and Small Stream Flood Advisory was
    issued for much of the County.

    This slower movement of the frontal band brings a possibility of
    greater precipitation amounts and the forecast was updated to
    account for these higher amounts… both in rainfall and in snow.
    The system will also likely linger later into Monday particularly
    in the mountains. All locations in the service area have at least
    a slight chance of thunderstorms this afternoon and evening and
    precipitation amounts can be greatly enhanced under thunderstorms.

    Rain amounts north of Point Conception continue to look to be up
    to an inch in general for the event with another half inch to an
    inch in heavier locations. Rainfall totals south of Point
    Conception may be up to two inches in some locations and
    potentially more in the heaviest locations.”

    Check this baby out on VIS satellite. Can’t wait for the GOES R to be out doing what it was made for. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6e64c66d3cbbcd1341f119a63d2ce839919c3af9f67c927fc3f779a0158cb142.gif https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/588d0b88bd2c5940f892001a4bb7af0ece4819c3d9aa3f9a7c4b6d44b7f9acc2.jpg

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      Also words for the first time in a LONNNNNNNG time from them…

      “Snowfall amounts above 7000 feet will be three to eight feet in
      the Ventura and Los Angeles County mountains. Snowfall amounts may
      be up to twelve inches in the San Gabriel Mountains of eastern Los
      Angeles County especially with the lingering weather.”

      • Phil(ontario)

        I’m sorry, 8 feet? Can’t be right. Not is so cal. not possible

        • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

          It used to be that way so…

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

    Looks like I will be in the one of the best spots for this one. Time to grab some Ben & Jerry’s.

    • Farmer47

      I’m really hoping your right !!

  • Powerful winter storms of 2016

    wow what a bust from this event sac had forecast 1 too 2″ of rain for sonora

    we ended up getting .66″

  • Powerful winter storms of 2016

    i wish this storm would have been a bet more colder with today light too mod rain event we could have easy have seen snow levels down too 1500 too 2,000ft with this kind of showery set up