Renewed Arctic outbreak across American West; possible low elevation snow in California

Filed in Uncategorized by on December 28, 2016 3,027 Comments

Season-to-date assessment: drought relief across much of CA, but more needed

As we near the end of 2016, just how has California fared over the past several months in the midst of a deeply entrenched, multi-year drought? The answer: pretty well, especially in the Northern Sierra. Season-to-date precipitation as of late December remains well above average in far northern reaches of the state–including many of the watersheds that contribute the lion’s share of California’s water supply. Further south, conditions have not been nearly as wet. The Bay Area has seen slightly above average precipitation, and much of Southern California is still below average to date (although recent and unexpectedly significant precipitation courtesy of a cutoff low have bolstered totals near Los Angeles and San Diego).

Temperatures have so far not been quite as warm as in recent winters, although in most spots they have still been well above the long-term average. In fact, despite abundant precipitation in the northern Sierra Nevada, snow water equivalent throughout California is running considerably behind typical late December values due to these relatively warm mountain conditions. This has been especially true on the lower slopes, which are generally closer to the freezing line and are more sensitive to smaller variations in temperature.

All in all, the season-to-date perspective is one that paints a fairly optimistic picture from a short-term drought alleviation perspective. In the longer term, lingering multi-year precipitation deficits (especially in the south) and the ongoing statewide “snow drought” mean that drought conditions will still persist throughout much of California through the rest of the rainy season–although with reduced severity relative to peak conditions a couple of years ago.

 

Arctic blocking ridge precipitates Western U.S. Arctic outbreak

Animation depicting very strong blocking ridge near Alaska and Arctic outbreak over North America. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

The overall North Pacific circulation pattern over the next 1-2 weeks is highly similar to the one discussed in the last blog update in early December. Very strong high pressure both at the surface and aloft near Alaska will develop quasi-stationary “blocking” characteristics–anchoring itself at roughly the same position for an extended (>10 day) period and inducing highly anomalous wind patterns downstream over North America. Specifically, this Alaskan blocking ridge will cause the jet stream to dive southward on its eastern flank–which in this case will be right along the coast of western North American. Very cold (and relatively dry) Arctic air will become entrained in this strongly “meridional” north-south flow over the American West, bringing another outbreak of bitterly cold conditions to much of North America.

Interesting, the extremely warm Arctic temperatures and record-low sea ice conditions mentioned in the last update have persisted–and once again appear to be linked to the extreme atmospheric blocking episode near Alaska. This so called “Warm Arctic/Cold Continents” pattern has been prominent during a number of recent winters, but has been especially noticeable over the past couple of months as unprecedented warmth has pervaded high Arctic despite the onset of polar night.

 

Early hints of possible low elevation snow in California

This large-scale atmospheric setup is a near-ideal setup for bringing very cold conditions and lowland snowfall to the Pacific Northwest, even in areas that don’t often see snow near sea level. It’s also reminiscent of the atmospheric circulation regimes that have historically produced Arctic outbreaks and very low elevation snowfall across parts of California in past decades. This sort of pattern, once again, has high “boom or bust” potential–and could ultimately be characterized by 1) rather cold but otherwise inactive weather or 2) very cold but also rather active weather, with frequent bouts of showers with low snow levels. Right now, it appears there will be a pretty good chance of seeing at least 1-2 “low snow” events in NorCal over the next 10 days, and possibly further south as well.

A very cold Arctic airmass will descend upon California from the north by the middle of next week. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

While it’s tough to be specific about prospects for low elevation snowfall in specific regions, it does appear that the potential exists for a prolonged, deep freeze across much of California along with the possibility of some accumulating white stuff in unusual places. Both the ECMWF and GFS ensembles suggest that atmospheric “thicknesses”–a measure of the average temperature of the entire air column above one’s head–will approach levels rarely seen in California (perhaps below 525dm in the 1000-500mb layer). This will most likely bring the possibility of accumulating snow below 1000 feet in elevation in NorCal, and perhaps even close to sea level at some point (especially along the North Coast and across parts of the Sacramento Valley). There are a lot of things that need to come together just right to see snow near sea level anywhere in California, but this is likely to be one of those rare patterns where it may be possible.
Meanwhile, higher mountain areas (including the Sierra Nevada) will likely see quite a bit of light, powdery, low water content snow over the next 10 days or so (great for skiing; not as helpful for California’s water supply). This will be quite the change from recent winters in which significant middle-elevation snow accumulations have been few and far between.

 

Bigger storms possible out beyond day 10 as cold pattern breaks

Eventually, the blocking ridge over Alaska will break down and the Arctic outbreak over western North America will dissipate. When that happens, the jet stream will likely “undercut” the persistent North Pacific block and deliver a bout of very active weather to the West Coast. At the moment, there is some indication this may happen in the 10-12 day period. But given the complexity of the pattern expected to evolve over the coming week, it’s still too early to discuss the details.

I’ll most likely have another blog update soon if a low elevation snow event appears imminent in California; until then, feel free to follow the Weather West “micro” updates on Twitter.

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  • jstrahl

    Radar screen covered by dark greens and yellows the last couple of hours. The result: .03 inches new rain in the gauge. Is that hype i’m smelling? I know, storm not due till later in the afternoon. 🙂

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      It’s a bust. Until it gets started. 😉

    • 82/83 El Nino Baby

      I am wondering how “dynamic” this AR will be? The last AR that was hyped gave San Francisco over 2 inches and San Jose got 0.04. Which is way more of a drop off than normal, even with rain shadowing is taken into account. The only time I can recall an AR really getting to San Jose was the December 2014 AR.

  • Craig Matthews

    A relatively warm south wind has picked up here last couple of hours along the Monterey coast. Temp has risen to the mid 50s after several days of 40s. Warmer air beginning to mix into the area. Only light drizzle so far. Lookin very dark up by Santa Cruz.

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt)
  • weathergeek100

    Well, good and bad news according to NWS San Diego. SoCal expecting to not get much this weekend as of now. new AFD out: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/total_forecast/getprod.php?prod=XXXAFDSGX&wfo=SGX

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    Yikes, Truckee PD just posted this picture of traffic on 80 east of downtown Truckee. Glad I left early today, looks like another long drive down the summit.

    https://local.nixle.com/alert/5815755/

    • matthew

      I just passed over 80 on the 267 bridge. Westbound traffic was stopped as far as I could see looking both east and west. Spoke to one of my neighbors earlier today…took him 5+ hours to drive from Reno to Truckee yesterday.

      • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

        At one point last night CHP was reporting the queue of the backup ended somewhere in downtown Reno. Difference today seems to be a lot more semis in the mix.

        • matthew

          Looked like at least 50% semis when I was there.

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt)

    My new rainfall prediction for the next 7 days is going to be 2.00″ at a minimum and 4.00″ at the maximum.

  • Pacifica weather observer

    Winds are still increasing here. Just had a peak wind gust of 51 miles an hour. Really surprised we don’t have a high wind warning here.

    • Sublimesl

      There is a wind advisory in effect starting at 2pm

    • inclinejj

      How high up is your wind meter? Mine is about 8 feet above the back fence 6 foot. So 15 feet up.

      • Pacifica weather observer

        Mine is located 6 feet off the tip of my roof. The tip of the roof is about 15 feet off the ground.

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt)
    • 82/83 El Nino Baby
      • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

        I don’t live in Reno, I saw a webcam near Reno which is currently mostly cloudy with sun peaking through

        • whisperingsage

          I’m 60 north of Reno. We had 2″ last night and 2″ the night before. Cloudy now.

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        So far I am not seeing the rain shadowing here in the central valley east of San Jose like we did with the prior AR event. We are getting some yellows in radar coming over the hills unlike last time

        • Patrick from Stockton

          Same in Stockton. Been getting steady rain, hard at times, all day long. Started last night.

    • Storm master (Sonora CA)

      you mean snow shadowing

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay
  • FolsomPrisonBlues

    Its been dumping hard in Orangevale for the past few hours. I didn’t expect to get much until this evening.

    • Mark

      yep steady light rain/drizzle all last night, increasing slowly along with breezy south winds this afternoon here in Sac

  • Thor

    In Marin, its been a steady downpour for several hrs now…currently 1.75″ since last night. Over an inch since about 10am.

  • matthew

    First flakes of the next wave have started in Glenshire. Light wind. Not sticking yet due to the high-30’s temperature, but it has arrived more-or-less on time.

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    Rain has really picked up in the East Bay winds also seem to be picking up. Right about on time they said later in the afternoon/before afternoon commute we should see the storm come in.

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)
  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    winds here have really been increasing and mod to heavy rain is right at my door step

  • Admode (Susanville)
    • Crank Tango

      https://flic.kr/p/PDLbUx
      Same here in Burney! It’s pretty wet but it keeps on coming!

      • Admode (Susanville)

        It is vary wet snow.

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)
    • yenlard

      Beat me to it

    • yenlard

      Such potential only a few days ago

      • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

        Hopefully the models are wrong and I get dumped on.

    • BRP (Ventura)

      Buzzkiller…

  • yenlard

    For all of us here in So Cal here you go….. Courtesy of Oxnard. The plume then shifts a bit farther north still late Sunday in
    before a strong low pressure system off the WA/OR coast pushes the
    whole system rapidly south and east on Monday. This will drive
    the system into Ventura and LA Counties by Monday afternoon with
    potentially some moderate to briefly heavy rain through Monday
    evening but again, pretty short lived. After that it looks dry at
    least through Thursday.

    • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

      Still no major upper level ridging in sight…Things can even flip back to super wet at any run for this weekend as Daniel eluded to in a tweet earlier…

      Trust in Thursday’s NAM!

      • RunningSprings6250

        Nah, it’s been too consistent, way too consistent.

        SoCal will get the dribbles as the fire hose becomes flacid on Monday – just where the last squirt or two land will determine who sees a heavy shower.

        • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

          Northern Santa Barbara County will get definitely more rain than Southern California

          • RunningSprings6250

            Neither are in SoCal so it doesn’t apply.

            And Santa Maria is on the other side of point conception – albeit the least favorable place on the central coast for rain but hey it’s there!

          • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

            Why does Lompoc and Santa Maria are less favorable for rain? Orcutt seems to get more from storms systems than in Santa maria?

          • RunningSprings6250

            I think it’s nothing more than being in the center of the valleys. Orcutt gets a slight orographic enhancement with elevation increasing into the hills. The center of the valley like where the airport is that takes the official readings get the least. You got the nipomo mesa to the north, the orcutt hills to the south and of course the general unfortunate location of getting the tail end of storms from north/central CA or the upper reaches of storms south of point conception.

            In a ‘normal’ winter it doesn’t seem to happen more than once or twice that the point conception area bears the brunt of a storm.

          • Pfirman

            Should be called Point Exception.

          • Upslope

            The question isn’t factual. See the actual data in the map linked below. Orcutt, Lompoc and Santa Maria all get approximately the same rainfall. They actually get less than I do in the San Fernando Valley – just 14″ annually. You’re just in a bad spot for precip, at least relative to the immediately adjacent areas to your South, East and (sort of) North.

            http://cosb.countyofsb.org/uploadedImages/pwd/Water/Hydrology/Average%20Annual%20Rainfall%20-%202011.jpg?n=7146

        • BRP (Ventura)

          Glad you are on board with the notion that we again miss this great opportunity for drought relief. No surf to speak of and no rain relief.

          • PRCountyNative

            Time to move!

  • Ferg Morriss

    Good to know that SoCal is an evacuation destination, because nowhere else in the state appears to be safe…….if the models are right……

    • matthew

      Looking at the 18Z coming in…*another* AR showing up next Thursday the 12th. This one looks colder and like it is sagging further south. That is, if you believe anything 9 days out…

      • AlTahoe

        Reno NWS just mentioned the second AR as well.

        • matthew

          This is rapidly shifting from “interesting” to “disconcerting”.

          • AlTahoe

            A couple more AR’s and we will have to have the 1862 comparison

        • PRCountyNative

          This is what excess heating looks like?

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        the GFS has a bad history but fantasyland has been pretty accurate this winter so far. Much better than year’s past

        • matthew

          Yes. It has been pretty solid for the past few weeks. For my location anyway.

        • Patrick from Stockton

          I was thinking the same thing. This coming system on Saturday showed up on the Long Range

      • Pfirman

        The only thing believe nine days out is the date will be correct.

      • jstrahl

        Big IF. I tend to not believe much past 6 hours, and even that is suspect nowadays.

    • yenlard

      If the models are correct central and northern California will get hammered again on Wednesday and then the following weekend.

    • Tangocity

      Open up the spigots on your way down.

  • CHeden

    The two lows I’ve monitoring off the Cent Coast do not look they have any appreciable interest in each other. Latest VIS image is showing the developing SW low continuing to track towards the coast near San Francisco, with convection still apparent which ATTM appears to be growing in areal coverage.
    Further west, the second low appears to be losing steam as HP builds in to it’s north. Not sure how much energy will be ejecting east..but still something to watch…especially for signs of reinforcement in the leading low. Regardless, it really does look like a good chance for heavier rainfall from Monterey north within the next few hours, with a couple of downpours likely in isolated locations.
    Up here in Cottonwood, 0.21″ at my house since this morning under light rain with temps in the low/mid 40’s. No wind to speak of, however the cloud deck is lowering in advance of the SW-NE tracking low now off San Francisco, so things will likely deteriorate further as the low edges closer. Still remains to be seen how much rainshadowing will be present, and will be a key observation as to how much moisture the mountains of NorCal can wring out of the juicy flow.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c4f7877b16ab9c56f308878cf7c91c35cab3b5839765391fda7798f47af333c9.jpg

    • Yolo Hoe

      What a special visual — how about that low over performing on its westward push compared to earlier prognostications? Is this a common or uncommon variable in the annals of California weather history?

      • CHeden

        LP systems off the Calif. coast historically undergo some form of alteration(s) as they near the coast. However, convection in this type of SW-sourced setup is rather unusual (at our latitude), and it may be that the models are not fully picking up on this action (as yet).
        What this means is the flow is becoming a bit more fragmented, with rainfall amounts more variable…being heavier in place and lighter in others.
        One way or the other, no sign of any weakening..just some of the “usual” morphing going on.

        • Yolo Hoe

          Thanks for that — many years ago I just barely passed graduate level physical chemistry, so I think I’m tracking at a rudimentary level on the fluid dynamics of what you’re saying — especially the fragmentation part — thanks again!

  • Yolo Hoe

    Unofficial snowfall measurement for elevation ~6375 feet in Northstar ~5 miles north of Big Blue and ~10 miles east of Sierra crest = 12.5 inches — will go snowshoeing and anxiously await system 2 — powder skiing this morning was a wonderous story until temperature rise kicked in

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

    My predictions for the Central Coast and Southern California rainfall forecast for the next 7 days as of right now is:

    Paso Robles: 2.50″-4.50″
    San Luis Obispo: 3.00″-6.00″
    Santa Maria: 2.00″-4.00″
    Santa Ynez: 2.00″-4.00″
    Lompoc: 2.00″-4.00″
    Santa Barbara: 1.50″-3.75″
    Ventura: 0.50″-2.00″
    Los Angeles (Downtown): 0.50″-1.50″
    Palmdale: 0.10″-0.50″
    San Bernardino: 0.25″-0.50″
    Temecula: 0.25″-0.50″
    Santa Ana: 0.25″-0.75″
    Oceanside: 0.25″-0.50″
    San Diego: 0.10″-0.50″
    Palm Springs: 0.10″ or less
    El Centro: Trace

    • RandomTreeInSB

      3″ or bust!

      • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

        How about 2.99″?

      • RunningSprings6250

        That’s what the cactus’ proctologist said!

    • rainingintheLBC

      Will the Santa Ynez River finally flow again?

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    I know it’s the GFS, but wow it just keeps lining up storms. Now showing another round around the weekend of the 14th (MLK Weekend). This month could have huge water #s.

    • AlTahoe

      Wunderground’s weekly report says that the Stormy period should continue in the West through the first couple weeks of February!

      • There’s some interesting height comparisons to January 1862 with few runs of the GFS NH view.

        • AlTahoe

          Yeah I had been jokingly throwing it out there, but now it’s turned into a nervous laugh

    • Patrick from Stockton

      Yeah it’s amazing. Every GFS run of late is non-stop activity throughout. It looks like NorCal gets favored again for the really juicy stuff.

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

    I just changed my avatar again to reflect on the rainy weather that is about to happen.

  • inclinejj

    1997 Feather River Canyon Flood:

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      While not a video, an interesting read about the 86 floods in the Tahoe/Truckee/Reno area. I found it interesting he notes statistically the Truckee has a major flood every 8 years or so. I remember being a youngin’ during this storm and driving back early from Truckee, it fell on “ski week” and my parents received a call that their backyard had trees down and some flooding. My Dad said after we got back he’d probably never had made the drive if he knew how bad the roads were going to be.

      http://thestormking.com/Sierra_Stories/1986_Flood_Disaster_/1986_flood_disaster_.html

  • Mike Stephenson (Riverside)

    SoCal pull it together, this will still be the great winter of 2016-17!

    • GusLevy

      I’ll take The Above-Average WInter of 2016-2017 after The Great Letdown WInter of 2015-2016.

    • Tangocity

      I’ll take average or slightly above. Sitting at 5.8 inches of rain for the season so far here in the Nard plain.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Because of the AR hype, even if we get an inch by Monday in SoCal it will be seen as a letdown. Even though an inch of rain would be a great way to finish the 1st week of the month.

      • RunningSprings6250

        God forbid it rains in Ventura…

        • SoCalWXwatcher

          Nope. It will never rain there again. Also, people will take their dune buggies to nearby Lake Cachuma Dunes.

          • RandomTreeInSB

            Sand skiing sounds fun too. Count me in! ?

          • RunningSprings6250

            That sounds like great fun!

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

    Having S winds at 15 MPH, that is a good sign

  • weather whisperer

    so supposed to go to kirkwood this weekend – sat-tues – seeing different reports on snow levels…hopefully not much higher than 8k

  • Rio Rat

    Here in Aptos .29 for yesterday,& .68 mostly after 12pm today.Steady light to moderate rain still falling,Lt SE winds & warming up into mid 50’s.Keeping the faith for more fun to come.

  • Cap’n

    My running commitment to the blog stands, I’m not shoveling that porch until Thursday. I figure that roof down the street is decent perspective on snow amounts. Snow shoed right out the door to West End beach. I’ve been lazing around all day. I’m going to need to start a GoFundMe account if these snow days keep up. Coming down pretty good again.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4cba836263629d5433b00358f922a209bdd926ffb1d090e8c6b28915804e2e08.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6a08aa1ca24979887f2e1f14719ba20d3a114b2ae900c014ecb69670ed8e90de.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b2a18a7c7c901a46ea22296c6bb671e667226fb2361ae7fdb4ed5877342b42ad.jpg

    • When was it like this last? 10-11?

      • Cap’n

        December 2013 I think. We had a good storm sequence. Last year my area got some decent snows, but they were all one and dones with the biggest being about 20″. It’s really nice to have a multiple day snow event. Currently dumping again.

        • DelMarSD

          Agreed. The last couple years there have been so many one and done events, where there was a big storm, but then it didn’t rain again for 3 weeks. Last month was different, with back to back moderate storms. I love multiple day rain/snow events.

        • Maybe Dec 2012 if not 10-11?

    • supercell1545

      I’m gonna be honest I really look forward to these pictures of the snow.

    • Pfirman

      Supposed to let up Friday. Can you hold off shoveling until then? Great shot of the dog, yikes. Sorry about the funds though, since it puts a dent in skiing, let alone eating.

    • Yolo Hoe

      Awesome dog pic — we have a black lab who loves to do the Tahoe snowplow

      • Cap’n

        This guy is a rescue from Reno and he has really taken to the snow. Today was the first day he jumped off a berm and was completely covered.

    • Skye H.

      How much snow do you think you’ll have after 5 inches of rain this weekend?

    • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

      Doggy!!!

    • srfrgrl1
      • Osse (Redondo)

        A cat in the snow is very special!

  • btw

    The rain that is moving over the SF peninsula just now looks like a large orange cat on radar.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f9fa459954afed2df3961024b4250cb106e7f6bf9b14bfe4e351d303ba0054ac.jpg

    • Valkyrie

      A frog!

      • Charlie B

        I see an angry elephant.

        Just checked into a room at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Monterey. Breezy and drizzly…occasional light rain. Some surfers out in the water. The waves look confused.

        • Valkyrie

          Rorschach’s revenge!

        • Rio Rat

          Saw the ocean this morning,gota believe those surfers are just as confused to be out there

          • inclinejj

            They are stoned. They don’t know if it’s 80 degrees or raining.

          • bd

            With a good wetsuit it doesn’t matter if it’s 40f or 80f or raining for that matter….doesn’t mean they still aren’t stoned though.

          • inclinejj

            Ever been to Pacifica and talk to the surfers?

          • bd

            I am a surfer…..Capitola…..I’m not but many around me often are. Not all of us though.

        • MetaGhost (Berkeley)

          Great place for watching a storm like this.

        • You’re probably there for work. Great time to be on the coast and enjoy that honkin’ fireplace. The AM baristas are very good, too.

          • Charlie B

            Just got back from the beach. Glorious. Raining now pretty good. The fire is roaring and we are waiting for the pool table to free up. There is a big guitar conference here…Steve Vai is headliner. We are going to crash it a bit later.

        • Steve Lutton

          Beautiful place to be!

      • RunningSprings6250

        I second the frog motion.

      • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

        Rib it!

    • Starting to look like this has potential to become major flood event for parts of northern and central CA. Second, warmer AR this weekend poses biggest threat. Blog update forthcoming.

      • Martin

        What do you think the snow level would be for the second storm? Will it approach the 1997 levels

        • alanstorm

          NWS currently saying “above pass levels”, so….

          • weather whisperer

            going to kirkwood sat-tues – will i get any fresh pow or will it be heavy snow/rain?

          • alanstorm

            My guess is travel in the Sierras by Sunday/Monday will not be possible with flooding & mudslides.
            Kirkwood is just under 8000ft. Is that considered “pass level”?
            If what’s predicted for Sat to Monday comes true, expect Hiway closures & major travel nightmares.

          • weather whisperer

            Ya we going up early sat am. Back Tuesday so hope miss it

          • alanstorm

            Geez. Good luck! If it were me, I’d stay off 80 & 50 all together considering the forecast. Check the travel warnings before you leave

  • mattzweck

    Still was just wondering what would happen if both jet streams polar and subtropical one was right on top of socal.

  • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

    To my fellow frustrated SoCal WW enthusiasts. Maybe we got ahead of ourselves after a good December in rainfall terms and high anticipation of an actual “AR” hosing us down and helping with our 6 yr drought. Just remember last year at this time. My rain gauge totaled 0.98″, compared to 6.93″ this yr (since Oct 1). Also, the temps last yr were in the 80’s during the holiday period as compared to 50’s this year. We are in a much better place atmospherically than any of the prior years. Let’s give mother nature some time to deliver us the rainfall we all deserve and our thoughts for our NoCal brethren if flooding concerns become an issue.

    • You guys were singing in it last week. Your show-time is later this month

    • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

      Amen.

    • RFinVC

      Very much agree. Showing an 80% chance of rain tomorrow here in Camarillo. Ground is still wet from last weekend.. All good in the hood.

    • alanstorm

      You guys aren’t out of the woods for a flood scenerio. It could easily slide a bit further south & stall out as they tend to do near the end. Wouldn’t take much for those SoCal soils.

      • weathergeek100

        That’s true. A 100 mile shift east and/or south will make a huge difference. Even 50 miles.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Model runs show plenty of opportunities for storms over the next couple of weeks, and no signs of anything like the RRR that dogged us during previous seasons. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if later model runs show the AR sag farther S than they are showing today.

    • SoCalWXwatcher
      • LOL I only live in hemispheres, now

      • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

        Why is the Tennessee Valley very wet while surrounding areas could be very dry? So glad we will see another wet January.

    • alanstorm

      Jet dives south, grabs subtropical flow

  • janky

    I’d like to compare the snow we’ve received in the month of January the last 5 years. Anyone know an official website to do this easily? I hope this January is going to demolish previous Januarys that had the RRR involved.

    • Cap’n

      Last January wasn’t bad we got snow, not tremendous, but it definitely broke the pattern. February was the killer last year with one 18″ dump and above average temps the rest of the month.

  • mogden

    Seagulls came in off the coast to Crystal Springs Reservoir. Always a sign of quality storm-making.

    • Thunderstorm

      Also a sign of high winds when they turn their backs to the wind.

      • inclinejj

        Don’t know if this is true or not. I have heard the falling barametric pressure bothers them so they fly inland. In Pacifica, they seem to fly inland and hang out around Park Mall.

        • Jason Jackson Willamette

          Maybe they all got Starbucks gift cards for Christmas…
          : 0 )

    • CHeden

      Great call!
      And I thought I was the only one who noticed the same thing (when I lived in San Bruno). BTW, the winds are howling according to our spotters in Pacifica…. probably what’s driving the gulls inland?

    • Osse (Redondo)

      Yeah, that’s interesting! I remember when I was growing up near LAX, if the seagulls came inland a bit and hung out on the fields at school, it meant rain was coming. Never failed!

  • Thunderstorm

    Rain started here at 3:30 .34 in one hour from the first orange blob. Second one just now showing up for another .34. Maybe 10 more come ashore for 3.34 total this time tomorrow. SF bay area by Fremont.

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      Yee haw! Bring it!

      (in a week, we’ll be saying – Please Stop!) Enough already!

      • 82/83 El Nino Baby

        I sure hope so. Sitting at 0.04 in San Jose and feeling like this will be yet another AR that hates the valleys.

  • CHeden

    Last-light VIS shows a deformation zone just south of Cape Mendocino continuing to enhance as it shifts ENE. Some of the higher cloud tops have made it over the coast range, so maybe we’re in for some heavier rainfall shortly? Radar is starting to get active, but mostly south of me between Corning and Red Bluff (so far).
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/050cbf93e3b9dcae462911e68a759936d7e5315bf7b258a47b19fdcbcde7c764.jpg

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)
  • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)
    • That’s shows a lot less precip for us than some of the other models/predictions. Still it’s in the 1-3″ range depending where you are standing on the map.

    • jstrahl

      In addition to today’s half an inch?

  • Ensemble mean is pretty close to the control which obviously https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/39394174de74195b9f83a1004a9b949b31224160f090c652c80345f64f699f4f.png separates the waves better.

    • Craig Matthews

      That’s a good latitude 😉

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

    Dave Hovde shows that Santa Maria could see 1.15″ from the 1st AR. Much more than Santa Barbara, Paso Robles and Lompoc. That is good for me. 🙂

  • mogden
    • jstrahl

      I’ll believe it when it’s in my gauge.

  • CHeden

    Here in Cottonwood, 24 hr totals are 0.54″ with rainrates slowly/steadily increasing (~ 0.15″/hr.) Anderson is nearing 3/4″ and is the big winner so far. Local creeks are starting to flow, so we’re already at saturation despite the recent lack of appreciable rain. Still no wind at the surface.

  • Cap’n

    Back to moderate/heavy snow here with an inch or so the past hour. It’s a weird feeling to be rooting for more snow and enjoying the best 2-3 day dump in quite sometime, only to know that buckets of rain will be right behind it. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/56401cb40946a36a09ed60cf6f135043c6199284f724172213c01e214d9adc6c.png

    • RunningSprings6250

      Looking at this walking the Tedsters thinking about 40+ degree rain on Thursday and again Sunday-Tuesday here. SMH

      LOL I’ll totally take it though and I hope the snow takes it too rather than being taken away. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d861b955686bd5574fdcb49deb3c75ec5c0c3fb6b694f76da968a932b58b158e.jpg

      • Cap’n

        I’m always impressed by the amount of rain snow can absorb. Both this season and last we’ve had some rain events in the 4-7″ range here that obviously took a toll on the snow, but didn’t decimate it. But I don’t know what to expect this weekend, I might have to keep my kayaks and arm floaties at the ready.

  • molbiol
  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    railroad bridge

    snowing good in down town truckee

    http://tahoetopia.com/webcam/downtown-truckee

    by the way i noted that rail rd crossing gets a good work out but since there is so march train traffic in the area that tiles up the traffic why not take out the rail rd cross and build a rail road bridge and there you have it no more ties up

    • Cap’n

      I stay as far away as I can from that 3 way during high season.

      • Storm master (Sonora CA)

        i all so find it odd that the 3 way in that area dos not have a stop light too help out

    • TruckeeLover

      Apparently you’ve never dealt with the railroad! Plus, that’s at least a $15M project.

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      They did partially fix it years ago, 267 was pushed east of town when the large resort areas below Northstar was built. A few years before that they also put a tunnel under the RR to allow traffic to divert around downtown Truckee. Most regulars use one of those two routes unless they’re headeddirect to downtown Truckee.

      Many crazy stories from that intersection before those two alternatives were built. The three way stop would always confuse people.

    • Rusty Rails

      UP already built a bridge a 1/4 mile away at the top end town as part of ’96 SP merger concessions. They wanted to close that Bridge St crossing in exchange but were stymied. There is no stop sign coming north over the tracks so people don’t get caught on them but people still stop for no reason backing things up.

  • Steve Lutton

    Finally some light rain starting in Fresno.

  • Craig Matthews

    Just left Monterey and it was raining BIG time with very strong s winds!! NWS AFD is now mentioning the possibility of Thunderstorms tonight along the central coast, though confidence is low. Looking at the vis sat, clouds look very convective offshore. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/27465503c61be8172952628ba4671202b57b1df4da44dca55c7fd210f7aaf436.jpg

    • BeerguyOE

      yup down here in Soledad they are picking up!

      • Craig Matthews

        Cool, glad the precip is making it over to the other side of the Santa Lucias into the Salinas Valley.

    • Craig Matthews

      Ok, HUGE raindrops coming down now, like the kind i’ve seen in the high Sierra during a summertime thunderstorm.

  • jstrahl

    Rain started as if prompted by the Tuesday Berkeley Farmers’ Market’s start, first Berkeley market since before the holidays, got quite steady, picked up .27 inches in about 90 minutes. And then stopped. Lots of wind but only spray since then. This is supposed to be the storm coming in, right? 🙂 Funny how the models keep building up future events while the present one seems kind of iffy. Found out during the market that my car’s new roof leaks, or rather, the windshield calking leaks (someone besides the body shop came in to do the window reinstallation). And on the walk to the cafe after, my umbrella sustained wind damage. Well, oh well. 🙂

    • 82/83 El Nino Baby

      I see the backside of the green blob on radar and doubt we’ll even hit .10.

      Sure hope I am just being an impatient weather whiner and mote rain is coming. I expected at minimum 0.50.

    • Thor

      “iffy” ? guess its all relative…been pouring all day in Marin currently over 2″ and counting…still raining hard and now the wind is picking up.

      • jstrahl

        So it’s you guys who are bogarting it all! 🙂 Nowhere near 2 inches here, not raining all that hard if at all.

        • Thor

          not trying to hog it- never been one to double toke 🙂 …looks like it *should* be raining…lots of yellow up on top of Tilden…

          • jstrahl

            Yeah, been looking like rain all day, on radar.:-) Double t before a double t. And then two more. 🙂

  • CHeden

    Good that our reservoirs have a lot of capacity left. Will be interesting to revisit these totals early next week?
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/603b44fd02b932a23226cf1df4b961bc2ddd1a1ce9fb92fa409d73bb0528c822.jpg

  • Unbiased Observer

    Light snow in Mammoth from about noon to 3, now puking snow…can’t wait to see how much falls overnight. Prob wait till Thursday to try and ski again, tomorrow looks nasty.

    • Cap’n

      Nasty is good. Storm riding yesterday was great, free refills all day.

    • scott

      I heard they predicted about a foot in town. They might have some lifts on ‘hold’ tomorrow which is risk but by Thursday I bet its clear

  • Pacifica weather observer

    Alert: Flood Warning issued January 03 at 5:31PM PST by NWS Monterey

    The National Weather Service in The San Francisco Bay Area has issued
    a
    * Flood Warning for Urban Areas and Small Streams in…
    Napa County in northern California…
    Sonoma County in northern California…
    Santa Clara County in northern California…
    Santa Cruz County in northern California…
    Alameda County in northern California…
    San Benito County in central California…
    San Francisco County in northern California…
    Monterey County in central California…
    Marin County in northern California…
    Contra Costa County in northern California…
    San Mateo County in northern California…
    * Until 1130 PM PST Tuesday
    * At 528 PM PST, Doppler radar indicated heavy rain that will cause
    flooding. 0.25 to 1.5 inches of rain have fallen with more rain
    expected through the night.

    Instructions:
    Turn around, don`t drown when encountering flooded roads. Most flood
    deaths occur in vehicles.
    Excessive runoff from heavy rainfall will cause flooding of small
    creeks and streams, urban areas, highways, streets and underpasses as
    well as other drainage areas and low lying spots.
    Move away from recently burned areas. Life threatening flooding of
    creeks, roads and normally dry arroyos is likely. The heavy rains
    will likely trigger rockslides, mudslides and debris flows in steep
    terrain, especially in and around these areas.
    Please report flooding to your local law enforcement agency when you
    can do so safely.

    Counties:
    Alameda; Contra Costa; Marin; Monterey; Napa; San Benito; San Francisco; San Mateo; Santa Clara; Santa Cruz; Sonoma

    NWS Alert Record

    • jstrahl

      EH! Radar is not showing anything like heavy rain, except a few isolated pockets. We haven’t had anything since about 3:30. Where is this coming from?

      • Pacifica weather observer

        I was thinking the same. Looking at Satellite and radar I don’t see much more happening after this batch of moisture moves through. As for flood warning I have no idea where the NWS comes up with this. I’ve only had.88 inches in the last 24 hours.

  • jstrahl

    Hmm: At 4:48PM (just over an hour ago), NWS SF said:
    “Synopsis…precipitation will begin to increase in coverage and
    intensity over the North Bay and then down the coastline through
    tonight as a weather system moves through the region. Rainfall
    will be heavy at times along with breezy to locally gusty winds as
    a frontal boundary pushes through from midday today through early
    Wednesday. Rain chances then diminish for Thursday and into early
    Friday. A more potent atmospheric river event will then bring the
    potential for significant rainfall across much of northern and
    central California this weekend.”

    Radar meanwhile is showing the back end of the rain is right off-shore. So if it can’t get the next few hours right, what does that say about the NWS’s ability to predict the weekend?

    • Crispy

      They predicted it right- but did not take into account the dry air at lower levels which absorbed the storm

      • jstrahl

        Which is what i said yesterday or the day before, i was laughed at because supposedly the air was saturated.

        • Crispy

          I am not laughing at you- there is plenty of dry arctic air to go around

          • jstrahl

            It wasn’t you who laughed at me. 🙂

        • Crispy

          storm total closest to me in daly city- is 0.18 inches- they were over 1 inch off-

    • CHeden

      You just beat me to it. Noticing the same thing. Rain is ending all along the coast north of the Bay Area and is progressing ENE The south Bay and Monterey are getting pummelled, though.

    • Sublimesl

      If you look on satellite there is more out there, but a few hours away and yeah, a pronounced dry slot in the meantime.

      • 82/83 El Nino Baby

        Hanging my hat on your post.

    • Cap’n

      As always, probably wise to assess it in the morning and give it some time.

      • Kramer said this to George in aSeinfeld episode. I can’t remember which one. It wasn’t about donuts though

      • AlTahoe

        I just got home and had about 3″ of wet snow in my driveway since I used the blower at 6:30am. It snowed heavy on the drive home and then lightened up as the band passed. It then switched to rain and has been going between rain and sleet for the last 30 minutes. Hopefully more heavy bands move in to lower the snow levels. It is 35.6F right now

        • Cap’n

          I’m worried the same is happening here, the rain switch. So your storm total is in the 5-10″ range? A guy on opensnow reported 8-10″ earlier. Radar looks amazing but the blue as we know can be misleading. The way it “looks” I’d think another foot + would be easy tonight. It was snowing good right before dark but I think it’s a rain combo here now too.

          • inclinejj

            What’s your temperature?

          • AlTahoe

            I just measured in the middle of my neighbors lawn and it is 8″ on the nose. Just got back in from playing with the dog and we are soaked. I think BA’s call this morning for 30-36″ at lake level by Thursday morning is going to bust hard. 3-6″ seems realistic here unless those heavy bands tonight can keep the levels down.

          • Cap’n

            Lets just see what we wake up to.

      • jstrahl

        “Take two and call me in the morning.” 🙂

    • alanstorm

      Again, drive an hour south on 880/17 to Santa Cruz & you’ll see.
      (3 hrs with BS traffic)
      Over 2″ for them so far

      • jstrahl

        Yeah, a few spots did OK, nothing like the area-wide storm predicted, at least not so far.

    • Nate

      .90″ here in the (western) SC Valley. NWS Bay Area just posted totals, and while I may not make it to the forecasted total, this storm is delivering in some areas. Definitely not calling it yet.

      http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/total_forecast/getprod.php?wfo=mtr&pil=PNS&sid=MTR&version=0

      • Cap’n

        I don’t mean this in a bad way, but every storm that ever comes he calls a bust way before it’s over, yet I believe his seasonal totals are at, or maybe above average. Oh well, we all have our own forms of OCD, I know I do.

        • 82/83 El Nino Baby

          I think its the buildup for these ARs. When you hear about an extremely wet period that could be record breaking, you expect more than a quarter of an inch of rain.

          • Cap’n

            Is it done?

          • 82/83 El Nino Baby

            Most of the heavy stuff is too our west. Unless another chunk of even heavier moisture is due later tonight, its been disappointing rain wise. However, winds have gotten up to 35 mph, which is high for this area.

        • jstrahl

          I didn’t call the storm of Dec 15 a bust, and it sure delivered.

      • jstrahl

        To quote Chevy Chase,” calling it what?” 🙂

    • Dan weather maniac

      I think the goods move in later tonight into Wednesday am.

      • jstrahl

        Or so “they” say, the same people who posted flood warnings about the time the rain was petering out.

    • Patrick from Stockton

      In Stockton wind is really picking up. Rain is blowing sideways now. Winds about 26 mph according to news right now. We are on the northern edge of the heaviest rain right now that’s just south of us, but it has been going all day long since over night

  • Boiio

    Just passed 2.5″ here in San Rafael. Had several gusts over 30mph (strong for my protected location). Also seeing gusts to 60mph up on mount Tam above Muir Woods.

  • Well Daniel, you have job cut out for you, in case you were also going to go for sensationalism with your next blog post… https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2017/01/03/atmospheric-river-will-blast-california-with-heavy-rain-and-snow-measured-in-feet/?utm_term=.4fe1ac508cf1

  • CHeden

    Interesting to hear all the wind reports…however local barometric readings don’t indicate that kind of pressure differential. I think the winds are more due to a low level jet. But eeeyow, 60 mph?

    • Boiio

      I believe it because I installed the station! It’s a gap that funnels the wind and blows like crazy. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/91c4a7c7c66265d373ec9eebe5edf20811cb30d823e5f10c924ddb79ee57358d.jpg

      • CHeden

        Barometer at only 30.03″? Hardly a pressure I’d associate with 60mph gusts. Quite unusual.

    • Pacifica weather observer

      Have sustained winds at about 20 miles an hour and occasionally gusting over 40. Wasn’t expecting this kind of wind.

      • CHeden

        Direction? Is it variable or very steady from one direction?

        • Pacifica weather observer

          South Southeast I’ve also noticed the temperature has been slowly Rising throughout the day and our high temperature is actually occurring right now. 55.1 degrees cat

          • CHeden

            And barometeric pressure? Sorry forgot to ask first time.

          • Pacifica weather observer

            29.91 and slowly dropping.

      • inclinejj

        You had higher winds than I did. Highest wind gust was 39.

        I have a hand held wind meter going to check if my weather station is reading wind speed correctly.

        It’s 8 feet above the back fence with no obstructions.

        It could be the Montara Mountian effect.

      • jstrahl

        I thought today was more a wind event than a rain one, at least in Berkeley.

  • Dan weather maniac

    See all these clouds out yonder in the ocean. This be the next wave for tonight.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/517c2ac2d6e575cdf911b0d91ad3c58a3296f515c660d6912341acc53deecc86.jpg

  • Crouching Dallas

    you guys it’s like they turned the NFL Primetime Soundtrack into the QPF forecast

    • Crouching Dallas

      on a related note, pretty sure that these GFS runs are going to kill me

  • Thunderstorm

    NWS just in with hydrologic outlook for Big Sur area. They indeed made a big mistake in letting the fire burn for 2 months. They had at least 2 opportunities to put it down much earlier. Big Sur Kate and her followers may very well be isolated by next week for an extended period of time!

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    slow moveing band of 1″ pluse per hr rain fall is head this way this band may all so lower snow levels a little more in this area

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    all so from down town trukee it looks like if it was raining it has swich back over too snow from what i can tell from the web cam

    • AlTahoe

      Yeah it is raining here and somebody else just posted on open snow that is is raining by the South Lake Tahoe airport. My storm total is 8″ so far and doesn’t like I will be adding much to it

      • Storm master (Sonora CA)

        looks like snow levels have really gone up tonight

        • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

          You may get flooded

      • Cap’n

        Hope it switches back for you. It is snowing heavily now here but it is wet snow for sure.

        • AlTahoe

          Hopefully this Sierra cement tonight doesn’t take down power lines. If you get 3′ of it like BA posted that could cause some damage

      • Yolo Hoe

        Snowing at elevation 6375 — acutely as am trying to finish off burgers on green egg grill before heavy stuff hits

  • Osse (Redondo)

    Oh my lord. They just used the phrase “atmospheric river” on my radio station. Now everyone and his brother is going to start using it to explain all sorts of weather situations. I remember back in the early 90’s when John Public had never heard of “El Nino”. Then after the TV weathermen started mentioning it in ’92 suddenly “El Nino” was blamed for everything…

    • Dan the Weatherman

      Atmospheric rivers in the past used to be called “Pineapple expresses”.

      • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

        I like Pineapple expresses instead

      • alanstorm

        I think “Atmospheric River” term is used for any conveyor-belt type of onshore stream of moisture flow, whereas a “Pineapple Express” is a term reserved for subtropical flows of Hawaiian Island area origin, hence the Pineapples.

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    this atmospheric river may be the wettest and strongest atmospheric river event since 1986 and 97 flood event and too add too this we will see major snow run off from this from heavy rains a atmospheric river event this wet only happens every few 20 to 50 years or so

    • Osse (Redondo)

      Damn you and your atmospheric rivers!

    • jstrahl

      The same people who couldn’t forecast a few hours ahead of time are forecasting for the weekend. Charming.

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

    Looks like the models have backed off even more in my area. Reducing the rain for tomorrow and thursday according to KEYT chief Meteorologist Alan Rose.

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    we have been seeing a lot of atmospheric rivers this winter and less cold storms it all started back in OCT got a break in nov but more in DEC and now the same in JAN but the one for this weekend takes top prize

  • Brendan

    http://www.powder.com/stories/hydrological-hammer-of-the-gods-or-hot-air/?sm_id=organic_fb_social_PWDR_170103_sf49286241%23sf49286241#A8cSl0Ehhs6lgICg.97

    “with snow levels rising at times to as high as 9,000 feet, or exactly high enough to properly infuriate Tahoe skiers.” LOL

    • Yolo Hoe

      Yep — hitting the nail on the head

  • BigBearHiking

    I am starting to really feeling left out here in SoCal

    • Storm master (Sonora CA)

      if you want the real fun sell your house and move N in too N CA

      • BigBearHiking

        if I move it will be out of California

        • Valkyrie

          Same here!

    • annette johnson

      Maybe the Storm Gods will smile down on SoCal next summer with some good monsoons. Btw, wonder where Tyler has been…his posts usually summon some action 😉

      • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

        You get some good monsoonal t’storms in summer at your area

  • Pacifica weather observer
    • inclinejj

      Is that by Pilarcitos?

      • Pacifica weather observer

        Yes.

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

    Will San Jose get the Lemon express instead

  • Osse (Redondo)

    N California currently being hit by the Salmon Express from GOA.

    • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

      And San Diego will get hit by the Tuna express

  • Fairweathercactus

    Looks like the ghost of cactus got into the models today.

    • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

      Well maybe you might get a little Santa Ana soon someday

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    .64″ of rain today from this wave

  • Thor

    While it looks like it might be ending soon, its as nasty here in Marin right now as its been all day. Heavy rain and gusty winds….has the the 3yr old a little too wound up up right before bedtime.

  • Nathan

    Major bummers for me lo these past 2 weeks. Headed up to NorCal and missed most of the fun rain in SD, now back in SoCal only to miss the action as it hits NorCal. Bah!

    • Mike Stephenson (Riverside)

      For now….dun dun dun (scary music)

    • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

      You are cursed

    • Fairweathercactus

      Reminds me if when I went to Vegas and the beaches and valley got the monsoon. Vegas only got a few clouds.

    • BigBearHiking

      In that case, can you travel to NorCal this weekend, so SoCal has better rain/snow chances?

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    Not sure if this has been posted but the NWS Bay Area office issued this

    …POTENTIALLY PROLIFIC RAIN EXPECTED THIS WEEKEND.

    http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/total_forecast/getprod.php?wfo=mtr&pil=ESF&sid=MTR&version=0

    • Dan weather maniac

      HAvnt seen anything like this in many years. Time to prep if you havnt already and are in a flood or debris flow area…

      Thanks for posting I hadn’t seen this.

      • Crouching Dallas

        BUY BREAD
        BUY ALL THE BREAD

        • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

          And beer

        • matthew

          Beer = liquid bread.

          • Mike Stephenson (Riverside)

            liquor doesn’t freeze though if things get bad….

  • MetaGhost (Berkeley)
    • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

      Snowshadow alert!

    • Dan weather maniac

      SLT = San Jose?

      • Pfirman

        South Lake Tahoe if you have not figured it out already.

    • Cap’n

      Just read three reports on opensnow FB page of 1-2 feet at the lake from Tahoe City and West shore area. BA should start a localized report specifically for Al.

    • AlTahoe

      Its amazing that we used to average 140″ a season. 2010-2011 had a little over 300″ and since then we average about 50″ a season. We are only at 26″ so far this year.

      • Cap’n

        What was your total last year?

        • AlTahoe

          Finished last year with 92″
          Haven’t hit triple digits since 2011

          • Cap’n

            I could swore you posted last season that you were over a hundred

    • Dan weather maniac

      Great post.

      I used to hate omega blocks, as I became more familiar with them during the dark drought days over the past five years where they would set up near the west coast…, the high being in cahoots or possibly one in the same as with the RRR. Effectively squishing the low and moisture feed off.

      Only in the last few weeks, with this current setup evolving, have I learned how the great omega block can become a conductor ( the high ) of a relentless moisture feed in an upside down conveyor belt pattern. That is my term for this pattern ” the great upside down conveyer”

      If these omega blocks setup 1000 or so miles further west, maybe 2000 miles that what we saw in the last 5 years …. basically out in the middle of the pacific vs near the west coast….. then you see how they can suck in the pineapple connection.

      I have learned much about jet stream patterns this year!

      This pattern is unseen in last years El Niño’s and also unseen in many many years before.

      • Pfirman

        Cyclonic, but upside down works. Mesmerizing.

  • Anyone know the wind forecast for Saturday’s storm?

  • Mike Stephenson (Riverside)

    I understand what an omega block is, but can anyone share any graphics or point me to the right model output to help understand the current evolving setup?

  • AlTahoe

    If you haven’t checked out the Infrared loop recently it is pretty fascinating. Cold air that went around the block is sliding West away from the West Coast while the subtropical moisture is going East towards the coast. I dont know if I have ever seen that before.
    http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/west/weus/h5-loop-ft.html

    • Cap’n

      Ski run cam showing cement.

      • AlTahoe

        just peaked out the Window and actual snow flakes are falling. Temp fell 1 degree as well to 34F so that’s promising.

    • Cap’n

      You’ve peaked my OCD quite a bit Al. I see a new character forming.

    • Nathan

      blocking highs are a helluva drug

  • Sokafriend

    It’s easy and stunning to see, might want to fiddle around a few
    minutes, scroll down, check out these constantly refreshing 6 hour AR forecast model updates starting now and through 1/17, GFS and NAM, potentially impacting the whole state and Ensenada . Stick supplies, make a Go Bag, make evacuation plans, warn friends, and family, arrange for animals.
    I hope authorities start getting loud and clear about the multiple impending risks of life threatening hazards indicated throughout vast and difficult terrains over the next 10-14 days.
    http://woodland.ucsd.edu/?page_id=491

  • jstrahl
  • Cap’n

    Dumping heavy wet cement here at DL. I never discuss the models or future stuff but OhZebra…

  • jstrahl

    Quite suddenly, got hit by an intense squall, rain didn’t last long, wasn’t real heavy, but the wind was i’d guess 40mph, rain was falling horizontally, wind directly from the south

    • 82/83 El Nino Baby

      Must be in the same line, but south. Gust to 33 and rain pounding against the window. Oddly, my weather station reports the gust is from the NNW.

      • 82/83 El Nino Baby

        And its over. I guess we look to this weekend?

        • jstrahl

          Yeah, right! 🙂

  • AlTahoe

    00z keeps upping the insanity. Keeps getting warmer with the Weekend storm and then has colder air crash in behind it than what was being shown in earlier runs. Looks like 9k snow levels all day Saturday and Sunday and then very cold Temps Monday with Heavy snow. My god then like 3 other Mega storms come right in behind that with some high snow levels and then snow to sea level near redding. How is this not an 1862 repeat?

    • Nathan

      I keep looking for a glimmer of hope in comparing the GFS and EC, hoping one model is colder, altered trough axis, different latitude for a “direct hit” (further south would mean more snowpack since more of the range is >9k feet south of Tahoe), but nothing, nada. They’re both in lockstep. Sunday is gonna be brutal.

      • DelMarSD

        Yep.

      • Sokafriend

        Righto.

      • jstrahl

        Sunday is five days away. A LOT can change in five days.

    • Ferg Morriss

      Perish the thought. I think I read that precip totals in the Tuolomne / Stanislaus River Basin were on the order of 100 inches over a 30 day period in 1862. It would take back to back to back events like this Orr a repeat.
      The Alaska blocker would have to become rediculously resilient…….uh ohhhh!

      • DelMarSD

        The RRAB.

    • Sokafriend

      Did you get a chance to look at the AR models I posted? Seems clear that potential exists for a few rounds through the 17th, at least.

  • DelMarSD

    I like how the latest GFS shows more rain for So Cal. It’s an encouraging trend.

  • DelMarSD

    The 10 day total precipitation looks pretty good for So Cal in the latest GFS. It isn’t crazy wet, but it still shows substantial percipitation.

    • Mike Stephenson (Riverside)

      Everyone wins this time

      • Sokafriend

        Yes, we do We flood, get mud flow, roads collapsing, with 2 inches.

        • Mike Stephenson (Riverside)

          Don’t forget the apocalyptic freeway chaos!

          • Sokafriend

            Oh, you drive the 805 through Chula Vista, too? ? A liitle bit of rain makes it clear how many overly medicated drivers are out there.

          • Mike Stephenson (Riverside)

            Its just as bad over here 😉

  • janky

    New blog post, comments now on the other post from Daniel