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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  • Bartshe
    • Pfirman

      Thank you for your blessing. Game on. Shots fired.

    • Sokafriend

      And this is just until Friday.. soil moisture and saturation is way over the top right now and runoff as of yesterday was still, in context, frightfully low.

      • FolsomPrisonBlues

        My backyard cant handle anymore rain lol….and yet it comes and I am happy for it!

        • Tangocity

          Roll out the barrels.

    • CHeden

      0.9″ in Arcata??? And even less up in Weed and Alturas?
      Brutal.

      • Sokafriend

        Very stark, isn’t it?

      • Pfirman

        It’s Bartshe leaning in on a six day from the other end of the kayak posts. Either way, shots fired, and we all get to be patient. Good stuff is in the air and it just needs to hit the ground. Running.

  • Fergus Morrissey

    9 day GFS cumulative higher elevation precipitation totals are geographically widespread and ranging from about 8″ at the Oregon Border / Bakersfield endpoints, to 35″ in the Upper San Joaquin Basin.

    Snow level is high, bulk of this rain comes late Saturday onward.
    https://www.ventusky.com/?p=37.7;-120.3;5&l=rain-ac&t=20170112/03

    Maybe its too far out to be overly concerned, but its looking like Tulare Lake may be back for a spell this year and there is a potential for widespread Central Valley flooding.

    • Sokafriend

      Good call

    • Pfirman

      Any flooding will be enhanced due to subsidence. Any subsidence will be enhanced due to drought. I hate vicious circles.

  • Dan weather maniac
  • Cap’n

    I was really impressed to see this shout out in the NOAA Reno Winter Weather Warning, someone really cares.

    ADDITIONAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS THROUGH TUESDAY MORNING: 3 TO
    6 INCHES, WITH 6 TO 12 INCHES WEST OF HIGHWAY 89 TO THE
    SIERRA CREST. 4 TO 8 INCHES IN THE NORTHERN CARSON RANGE NEAR MOUNT
    ROSE.

    * SNOW ACCUMULATIONS TUESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH WEDNESDAY NIGHT:
    12 TO 24 INCHES AT LAKE LEVEL (Except at Al’s house, he’ll get 2.7 – 4.1″ of snow) WITH UP TO 2 TO 4 FEET ABOVE
    7000 FEET.

    • Osse (Redondo)

      Ahh, that’s our NWS, adding the personal touch. 😉

    • scott

      Lol

    • AlTahoe

      Lol
      Hopefully the send a Rep over to figure out what happened.
      I was able to use my leaf blower to clear the driveway so at least the dry snow is nice.

      • Cap’n

        I was just looking at cams down there, is the Ski Run cam near you? Looked like it was snowing good. Also dumpage at Meyers.

        • AlTahoe

          Ski Run is about 1.5 miles east of me. Just stepped outside and it is not snowing at all. It’s weird it has been snowing hard but it is not snowflakes. It is like frozen drizzle drops. We have only had a couple of heavy burst of actual snow today that lasted for maybe 5 minutes each time.
          My snowboard is at 2.5″

          NWS Reno forecast 5-10″ for South Lake and BA had 9-13″.
          This storm hung up just north of here, Can’t wait for the ski resort totals tomorrow. Sugar Bowl should post a good number.

          • Cap’n

            It was knee deep in the trees and that was midday. Solid foot and a half here. It will be interesting to see totals though, with all the wind I would expect conservative or lower totals than what there actually is. Really pulling for you to get some action tonight/tomorrow/night. My coworker this morning reported a couple inches down there but I think she is closer to the Y. I’m not that great with the layout down there. Hope you guys get hammered and you pull a snow day off. I made the right call cancelling work today. I heard the commute from Truckee to Tahoe City was a nightmare.

          • AlTahoe

            The Y is half way between me and the Casinos’ They get similar amounts as my area. When you start going towards Meyers from the Y or North Upper Truckee is when the totals go way up.

    • maddogokp

      Damn, I’m missing it.

      • Cap’n

        It will be interesting to see heavy 10:1 falling on top of the blower from today. Back country beware.

        • AlTahoe

          Then a possible rain layer and then more snow. Could be some very large slides at some point next weekend. Be safe out there everyone.

    • Skye H.

      Did they actually say that? That’s hilarious!

  • Sokafriend
  • Arnold Weather Fanatic

    Precip in the 3 inches of snow was 16.3 %, but that included some sleet. Absent the sleet, it was closer to 10-12%, As noted below, a leaf blower could move this stuff.

  • mosedart (SF)

    Some very cold water just showed up in the former resting spot of the blob in the latest update on Nullschool. I wonder if it’s a bug or how they update the data. Either way, there seems to be a strong correlation between warm water/dry California and vice-versa.

    https://earth.nullschool.net/#2017/01/02/0000Z/ocean/primary/waves/overlay=sea_surface_temp_anomaly/orthographic=-164.95,21.11,287/loc=-155.577,45.064

    • Thunder98 (Orcutt)

      That cooler water temps has been there for a couple months already.

      • mosedart (SF)

        They have but they’ve been trending warmer up until the latest update where they’re close to 4C below average.

  • gray whale

    in placerville at 2200′ it started snowing late last night and we had about 3″ or so this morning which was so exciting/magical. rain since then which is great too. this snowman with a now-fallen-off carrot nose that i made for my kid represents the only thing i’ve accomplished all day, other than finishing a bottle of wine that i incorrectly thought i was sharing with two other people. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/856471fcf7d567d23f1f82c7fa2fec13c627e9c440ee1528de317479a8883566.jpg

    • cabeza tormenta

      I’m at about 1800′ and saw it one and a half, maybe 2″ deep, .30″ in the guage, a bit of water makes a lot of fluff! May the snow level stay below 6000′ at least, build that snowpack.
      A nice line of yellow on radar stretching from mount tam through Fairfield, Woodland, to north of Auburn.

  • roseland67

    Will/does all of this projected snow end up in the valley or the reservoirs?

    • Fish Farmer (Fresno)

      Yes….unless water mgrs get worried and release it to the ocean

    • Fergus Morrissey

      Most major storage projects are already either flood space encroached or very close to it. The approaching storms will require accelerated preemptive releases which may not be adequate to prevent major flooding. Reservoirs (SLR excepted) are gonna all be full. The snow level will be pretty high, so much of the precipitation will go out to the ocean and / or Tulare Lake bottom.
      The extent of the system is vast and the Valley could be in for something not seen in quite some time.

      In the 1860’s, the region from the Columbia River Basin in Washington all the way down to Tiajuana was flooded.
      Not that that’s gonna happen, but that sort of thing does happen.

      Drought killer.

      • Pfirman

        Yep, 1862, just like you said, entire west coast down to Tijuana. That sort of thing did happen. Probably could happen again, but I am coming around to the dynamism of earth where what used to be, used to be, and grab your hat, because what is the new used to be is a humdinger.

      • Sokafriend

        That sort of thing does happen in other places. Thank goodness we
        have such a reliable water management system in California. Look at the Delta, for example. I wonder what the cubic feet of water the low end, say, 6 inches over few hundred square miles works out to? Not to mention the higher altitude runoff. Where’s farmer Bob?

      • roseland67

        So by Thursday, 1-12, when they publish the drought monitor, will the “Exceptional Drought” in California be gone?

        • Ferg Morriss

          Practically I would say so, but an official declaration of such might be politically influenced AND the drought will have long lasting effects on groundwater levels. That was somewhat enhanced by biological opinions / regulatory restrictions on Delta pumping and unsustainable extraction.

          The SWRCB will not want the conservation message to slip so I doubt they say the drought is over. At least the “exceptional” part will be history (to be repeated).

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt)
  • AlTahoe

    Wow the 00z shows the weekend storm much warmer and much wetter for what looks like 3 straight days. At first glance it looks like a repeat of 1997. Be interesting to see if the Euro is still cooler for that time period

    • Bartshe

      Good reminder. Despite the euphoria, there is potential for something rather ugly to happen with an AR of such scale and timing. Situation is very dynamic going forward the next weed. 00Z hints at high snow levels and don’t necessarily need lots of falling rain to push the snowpack into a rapid melt. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c6a0b8a579f0a06d63aabd9a334594a4ce0d5207dd25152fd2873b81ad5b5091.jpg

      • Cap’n

        Well said. Super excited to see all this snow stacking up in my neighborhood but it’s hard to ignore the deluge looming ahead. It will be exciting, scary, a little bit of everything I guess.

  • Apollo

    play rainbow goes at max loop speed take noticeof retrograde anti-cyclonic off of Wash. and the noticeable cyclonic flow ” AR” heading for Ca. Bight. (Drenching). Holy cow flat!!! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4fb5abec3ccb58ae81c955fa5f00c244134843b2547f9b1c5a4f572890dfbd83.jpg

  • Old Tahoe is back mother ******s!!!
    This wasn’t there 24 hours ago, was zero snow. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/aa76c0a7476d026ebfdb62f384d95563416382c7bb4c2bba682c2237cd19f072.jpg

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      Yeeeeewwwwwww!

      • Apollo

        Just got up to SQ. V. and raingage is 6″+ for Dec., got to get away from V.C.’s Santa Ana’s. (Notorious)

        • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

          Stay safe, I expect that area to get pummeled this week for sure… Especially the next 60 hours.

          • Apollo

            We’ll stay face. Thanks,.

          • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

            Snow line will be above you by a little bit, but this is subject to change. Otherwise rain.

    • MetaGhost (Berkeley)

      July 4, 1983. Morning waterskiing on the Lake in my cousin’s boat docked in the Keys. Afternoon runs at Homewood with my high school buddies.
      I want to go there again…

    • Cap’n

      !!!! Dude it just keeps lining up over here. You’re experiencing the magic of the Donner! We’re under the deep blue. Looks I might reach 2 feet tonight, you’re well above that I imagine. This is the pocket to be in.

    • Apollo

      Man made?

    • Dan the Weatherman

      I’m hoping that Socal gets some good rain from this event. I just don’t like the wording the San Diego NWS used in their discussion regarding this coming weekend’s potential event:

      Warmer with ridging aloft into the weekend, pushing a healthy plume of subtropical moisture onto the Central Cal Coast. A chance of showers is still in the forecast this weekend over SoCal due to a possible southward
      shift of this moisture, but the trend is less favorable for heavy rain over far Southwest California.

      This is making it sound as if Socal could miss out entirely on this event or just receive light amounts if the model trends continue. I never like to hear the words “ridging aloft” when it comes to any prospect of rain in the forecast. I am afraid of that subtropical high nudging northward enough to deny us of much-needed rainfall.

      • thlnk3r

        eh it really depends on which office. NWS LA is all about the AR event. NWS SD seems hesitant still. NWS SD forecast area (I believe) includes the Inland Empire/SD vs LA/Venture County. Forecast areas are much different for each office.

        • RunningSprings6250

          LA has SLO county all the way to cambria….

      • thlnk3r

        As usual though, abc7 (Crouching Dallas) takes the weather to

        extremes. 3-6″ Flooding LOL.

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/91501751d4b859d986ad8546da3b706c5f854182d6821d017f8fe9a9000be8e4.png

        Side question for anyone…any clue as to why the PNA, NAO, WPO and EPO indices data is not updated? Link is dead:
        ftp://ftp.cdc.noaa.gov/Public/gbates/reforecast2/teleconn/4indices.png

        https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/forecasts/reforecast2/teleconn/

      • Apollo

        It’s still going come out of sub tropic., is looking to give a good ample supply of sub tropic “flow”.for fisrt week of SoCal (Jan.9day) week to receive than starts rainfall of previous years of bold forcast.

      • Phil(ontario)

        I was just going to post that it looks like socal was going to be left high and dry, but didn’t want to be the downer. I was looking at the latest model runs. The GFS 6z shows us getting blasted, but all other runs leave us with very modest amounts of rain. Similar to most of the storms from last year.

      • Mike Stephenson (Riverside)

        The opposite is also possible if everything shifts south a bit….

    • 7.7″? Oh boy.

    • AlTahoe

      I really hope that the GFS is not correct for this weekend. What is being depicted would be disastrous

      • Cap’n

        Are there still hints on the Euro of a cold air component, or at least a fighting chance? We can handle it at 7K, but 8K and above would be crap.

        • AlTahoe

          I haven’t heard about the latest Euro so I will have to wait for Brian’s update tomorrow. Newest gfs is showing snow levels at 9k and above for the entire event. That’s why the 30″ of rain being show is truly scary.

    • alanstorm

      Looks a bit overwhelming especially after a statewide snow event. Unfortunately, looks similar to New Year’s ’97.
      Water managers better get cracking

  • Post tomorrow.

  • Cap’n
    • Hike hut!

    • AlTahoe

      Any guesses where I live? The empty spot has been there all day and this is the latest radar shot. Lol https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/25170f0068a38ba69331ac643af5fc2cf9baf1dd686b81689aa77b781e953d63.png

      • Cap’n

        Ugh. Buddy in Tahoma is approaching 2 feet. I wonder if there was a radiation spill in your neighborhood fending off snow???

        • AlTahoe

          It’s getting ridiculous. I just went out and measured and we have picked up .25″ of snow since 4:30pm

          • Azmordean

            Any idea what causes this? Some kind of localized shadowing? Or just bad luck? It seems like South Lake gets the short end compared to the rest of Tahoe more often than not lately.

          • Ha, you need therapy, please go for a ride up 89.

  • alanstorm

    3″ of wet snow in Interior Mendocino Co above Willits.
    Was raining/sleet up the 101 grade at 1500ft from Ukiah, so I thought I could make the run up my dirt road to my place at 2000ft WITHOUT CHAINS in the Honda.
    Bad idea.
    Just on the last incline the snow got quickly worse. Instead of giving up, tried to make it. Did the usual slip to a stop then slide backwards like a fool, ending up sideways blockng the road.
    Walked the last mile to home, got the OTHER mini van WITH chains, drove back & chained the Honda to a safe spot to be abandoned till it melts.
    What a difference a couple hundred feet of elevation makes!

    • Pfirman

      Bummer, but I love your intransigence.

      • alanstorm

        More like foolhardy.
        Should have known better. No way u can get up that without chains. Found that out the first year I moved here when I tried the same trick with a boxtruck towing a trailer full of logs. Did the silly-slideback, then jacknifed, blocking the road for everyone.

        • Pfirman

          Hard lessons.

    • Sokafriend

      Glad you’re safe.

      • alanstorm

        Why, thanks. No big deal.
        Alittle concerned about all this statewide FLOOD setup we have. Looks a bit New Year’s ’97ish

        • Sokafriend

          Yes, at least. I’m concerned about that, too. It’s calm here, rains forecast in a day or two but offshore. And 69-75 for Friday tbrough the weekend.

    • Bombillo1

      Damn the torpedos. This kind of weather always costs me money, as in I wind up breaking something doing €hit like this.

    • Sokafriend

      Are you in or on the edge of the frozen rain forecast?

      • alanstorm

        Haven’t seen or heard anything about that now. Just snow showers turning to rain. That was when we had that silly 17° forecast

        • Sokafriend

          Oh I saw it got drawn onto the Hazardous Outlook map a
          few hours ago.

          • alanstorm

            For here??

  • Cap’n

    How the hell am I going to sleep tonight, already only running on a few hours from last night…

    .UPDATE…

    Fairly minor update to boost snow totals through 4 AM for the
    northern Sierra (Tahoe north).

    Infrared satellite imagery shows a nice fetch of moist, unstable
    air (noted by “open cell” cumulus over Pacific) off the Pacific,
    which is continuing to combine with strong upslope flow to wring
    out a powdery snow for the Sierra, northeast CA, and northwest NV.
    With snow ratios 20 to 1 or higher per some reports (makes sense
    given cold atmospheric profiles) and snow continuing at a steady
    clip through most of the night, up to another foot of powdery snow
    is possible near the crest. Snyder

    • GoPro footie is uploading! If you want to ride tomorrow, where do you want to meet at 1015 am? I’m thinking Lincoln mid mtn lodge

      • Cap’n

        I’ll know by 8 am or so if I’m working. I just went outside to do the berms and it is coming down heavy, I’ve gotta be closing in on 2 feet. So the chance is there for a day off. Mid mtn lodge would work.

        • Let me know a good time and we can rendezvous

    • Crouching Dallas

      20:1! What’s the next level up for Howard’s Platinum Powder alert?

      • Cap’n

        Krypto…

        • Krokodil powder : pow so good you’re addicted from the first carve.

  • Behold ye Tahoe of old! Apologies for the excitement, the snow rode fast, forgiving, and absolutely fantastic. Tomorrow is going to be even better. Behold a taste of what is to come! 12-1pm off Lincoln and Disney.
    https://youtu.be/mkoA1No41j4

    • Sokafriend

      Amazing and awesome and spirit lifting. Glad. too, you stopped to ponder on a few oth those turns- looked dicey here and there. Thank you!!

    • Nate

      Looks great–keep the footage coming. Really enjoying the reports from the crest.

    • Scap

      Video just made me jealous I’m not at my house up there, but stuck here in the Bay Area. Glad you had fun today.

      • Tomorrow’s my day off, this was just a lunch break! So freaking excited, you will def get videos tomorrow

  • Bombillo1

    I know we are still in the first quarter but I do not believe anyone anywhere is getting any weather that is remarkable. It snowed all day in Big Bend but only left about 5 inches. I notice some of the Tahoe bros getting very dry snow which is great for skiing but I have not seen any mega storm reports. Is anyone having different results?

    • I mean if the wind wasn’t a factor the entire donner region would be buried in 5+ feet of snow already, a lot of wind is messing with measurements, we just went outside at the donner summit and there are 6-9 ft drifts behind cars and other windswept objects – it’s depositing in a funny way, and coming down relentlessly, which is kind of awe inspiring. I have faith. It is weird to see the cars mostly untouched but the area around them completely drift bermed in – from what I saw on the slopes, enough snow will fall to make the patchiness mostly irrelevant come a day or two from now. From a skiers perspective. As far as drought relief goes, this event is rather cathartic.

      • Bombillo1

        That is remarkable. How did all that weather skip all the other usual wet places ( coastal wet spots and other orograhically favored places like Sims, Big Bend etc.) and hand deliver this to the Donner lake area?

        • Wind maybe, but soon my car will be completely buried, wind be damned – it’s really a nonstop show of nature’s real power here, I could be dead in an hour if went out in the wrong clothes, the wind chill is savage right now. Flakes are sizable too.

          • Bombillo1

            That is wild. You are at the center of the universe at this moment. Enjoy the ride. I know you’ll report.

          • alanstorm

            Be sure to wear a hat

        • Sokafriend

          You must have missed the New Year’s eve rants at the gods, GFS and NWS’s customer service delivery service. They snapped to it after that. Surely at this stage you don’t believe there could be a rational explanation. No one is even certain where or why it will snow or rain lately, even while it’s snowing and raining.

    • andhravodu

      5 inches is more than what they have in lake level in Tahoe as of now

      Models seem to agree that the real deal starts tomorrow. I’ll believe it when I see it of course

      • TahoeCard

        Not true. Homewood lake level here and I have 19″ on the deck

        • andhravodu

          Oh cool. The OPs question is answered, a foot and half on day 1 with a couple more in the next few days. Sounds exciting to me

      • Cap’n

        West shore is getting buried, as are parts of the north shore, Tahoe is big, Al’s neighborhood is small.

    • Cap’n

      Snow tomorrow, assuming it comes, should be more like 10:1 and I’d bet even 8:1 as temps rise. If we get the 1-2 feet down here and 2-4 feet above 7K we’d be looking at some legit 3 day totals. Not astronomical but definitely respectable. My truck is buried under what I have to guess is two feet just from this morning, but you’re right it is certainly of the dry variety. I’m more concerned about the potential deluge afterwards.

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      That’s because it’s not there yet… Just wait for the actual stuff to come in. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b8753c3cf2f6f40dd3b3b1a727eb18917038f3c9c482e2a1887350431e47d83b.png

  • Mike Stephenson (Riverside)

    Oxnard is excited, this could get interesting…

  • Yolo Hoe

    Davis to Truckee = 4.5 hours — painful but could have been worse — per CrashingOut’s ‘tomorrow will be even better’, am working from the slopes tomorrow — snow line was 2500 – 3000 feet — fiercest squalls in and around Auburn — continuous moderate snow in Northstar indicating good push over the crest into the basin

    • Yeah if this system doesn’t have push Imodium XLT is needed, there was some serious shove at the crest – at the historic summit around 5pm I saw blue sky where the clouds classicly break at the pass, was a nice reminder of what lays beyond.

  • alanstorm

    Rather dramatic looking AR event proposed 7 days out by 0z.
    Looks sluggish & warm, with high elevation rain, stalling in a fashion that could be dire for the Central Valley.
    Add to that the nonstop barrage of storms depicted afterward as well…
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a10f6b9202c1fc1a9a470f0c89d60b0d19017c8383521ca9333e70cdc4311cb5.jpg

    • kipling

      I don’t want to panic anyone, but if you are in a flood prone area in a zone from Los Angeles to Mendocino – say in or near a100 year flood plain or any place where moisture-induced subsidence is possible, you need to start taking precautions and making plans NOW. Unlike many past episodes, these extreme model runs are sticking, not diminishing into something more routine as we begin to descend into the abyss. I will be very interested to hear Daniel’s take tomorrow, but it’s clear that the next 15 days have the potential for a disaster of historic proportions in California. For the folks in SoCal – you may all feel very fortunate to escape the brunt of what’s to come.

      • Sokafriend

        Thank you. With all the govt offices and non profit support still on holiday, I have a feeling news and local emergency planning will start kicking in tomorrow.

      • alanstorm

        I’m thinking more of a snowmelt type event & dangerously full reservoirs.
        If the frontal boundaries migrate quickly & don’t stay stalled on one spot, it shouldn’t be the 2nd coming of 1862.
        Keep in mind we’ve just experienced a plethora of flip-flopping forecasts.

        • kipling

          Agree – I sincerely hope we flop to something less extreme soon – if we got even half what is showing in some of these models, we would be in in line for absolutely plenty of rain and snow.

      • Scap

        Modesto will be spared since New Melones is empty still. At the same time people really have forgotten what storms can do around here.

      • andhravodu

        Actually, I’m now. Our area near Sac airport is in a flood zone, and we were spared last winter. This week I’m not so sure. Gonna need a bigger boat

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)
    • Sokafriend

      It looks like there’s some high numbers around you, too, right?

  • lodule16

    If you accelerate and rock Channel 15 of the Himawari back and forth, it appears as though the zonal flow extends from the Gobi Desert across the entire Pacific.

    http://www.ssec.wisc.edu/data/geo/index.php?satellite=himawari&channel=15&coverage=fd&file=jpg&imgoranim=8&anim_method=jsani

  • Rainmaker (San Jose)

    is the high pressure block over Alaska responsible for all this rain and cold air in California? Daniels mentioned this a couple times this season so is this common in the past or something to look forward to in future forecasts? Maybe influenced from climate change?

    • This has happened in the past. March 2006, a blocking high was anchored on Alaska. Snow levels did drop to 500 feet at times. It was snowing in Downtown Los Gatos. The most memorable weather event I can remember.

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)
    • Pfirman

      It’s crazy-making, ain’t it?

  • Yolo Hoe

    For the bibliophiles, an interesting read is ‘Pacific’ by Simon Winchester published last year — for the weather/climate obsessed, chapter 6 ‘echoes of distant thunder’ is all about our Pacific ocean as the world’s weather maker — highly readable historical narrative regarding Sir Gilbert Walker, his eponymous circulation, ENSO and its human impacts, etc, etc — the rest of the book is good as well for other reasons.

  • Nate

    Apologies for this being off-topic, but if anyone needs a severe weather fix, check out this live webcam in Tallahassee. I’ve seen some really nice C-G strikes in the past 15 minutes.

    http://www.wctv.tv/content/ipcams/390022291.html

  • BerryessaMan

    There has been some nice snow on Mt St Helena today in northern Napa County. These photos were taken today around 4 pm at 2500 ft elevation. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/39e9a5c55b2d61b6412c8dfa6b0c0cc63b7eab58d205d4c43b229a3ec4c1578c.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/25b84b52c8d010d3c1eca5609d8c104d049b801123ada268e026a7e8b45cb1c1.jpg

    • Sokafriend

      Thank you, that is magical, isn’t it?

    • whisperingsage

      How much now?

    • Pfirman

      Welcome. I have never been up there or to RLS State Park. A major lapse on my part.

      • Tuolumne

        It’s a nice hike to the summit. Just pick a clear day, like I didn’t. 🙁

  • Sokafriend

    This is going to be one for the record books:
    AT THE START OF THE PERIOD…06/1200Z…THE POSITIVELY-TILTED TROUGH SHOULD BE PEELING DOWN THE BRITISH COLUMBIA COAST WHILE STRENGTHENING AS IT
    SWINGS SOUTHWESTWARD BACK TOWARD 130W. PERSISTENT SOUTHWESTERLY
    FLOW INTO THE WEST COAST WILL BE ACCOMPANIED BY AN IMPRESSIVE ATMOSPHERIC RIVER SETUP. RECENT GFS SOLUTIONS SHOW INTEGRATED
    VAPOR TRANSPORT VALUES APPROACHING 1000 KG/M/S DURING THE EVENT WITH THE MOISTURE PLUME EXTENDING WELL BACK INTO THE SUBTROPICAL PACIFIC. COMPARED TO A 1979-2009 CLIMATOLOGY ON THE WESTERN REGION SITUATIONAL AWARENESS TABLE PAGE…THIS COULD BE 4 TO 5 STANDARDIZED ANOMALIES ABOVE AVERAGE. OVERALL…GIVEN THE
    REASONABLE LARGE-SCALE AGREEMENT…WENT WITH A THREE-WAY BLEND OF ENSEMBLE MEANS…18Z GEFS/12Z ECMWF/12Z NAEFS…MAINLY TO ACCOUNT
    FOR DIFFERENCES FARTHER DOWNSTREAM WITHIN THE AMPLIFIED CENTRAL/EASTERN U.S. FLOW.

  • Sokafriend

    Excessive Rainfall Tuesday-Wednesday Central- N Cal- check out notes burn scar areas at risk:
    THIS WILL INITIATING AN ATMOSPHERIC RIVER EVENT THIS PERIOD FOR NORTHERN TO
    CENTRAL CALIFORNIA—SUPPORTING INCREASING PRECIP TOTALS OF 1-3
    INCHES WITH ISOLATED TOTALS OF 5″ POSSIBLE FOR THE NORTHERN TO CENTRAL COASTAL RANGE OF CALIFORNIA. THIS MAY PRODUCE ISOLATED
    RUNOFF ISSUES—ESPECIALLY ACROSS THE ROCKY—JERUSALEM AND VALLEY
    BURN AREAS TO THE NORTHEAST OF SAN FRANCISCO AND THE LOMA AND
    SOBERANES BURN AREAS IN THE COAST RANGE SOUTH OF SAN FRANCISCO.

  • Sokafriend

    This is only 1 six hour period on
    Saturday and there are an endless stream leading up to this one and getting worse after. with a slight lull Thursday-Friday
    As in, shouldn’t strong warnings for public and animal safety and preps be going out? Adding it up, it looks bad.
    http://woodland.ucsd.edu/images/gfs/images/Precip_USWC_latest_F144.png

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    A good video from KCRA-more and Than a few times we’ve seen references to 1997. This video shows how similar that event was to where we are headed now.
    https://twitter.com/kcranews/status/816238952621502465

  • Storm master

    looks like by sat snow levels are forecast too go above pass level in are area and too 8,000ft at lake level area we could be looking at a disaster flooding event by sat with the 5 too 10ft of snow that fell with the 1st wave wish is today 5ft of snow is forecast for above 4500 with may be 5 too 10ft above that level so we could be looking at a dangerous situation by the weekend

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt)
  • Storm master

    hey i found some about the 1986 storms that we will be seeing a vary similar setup over the next 10 days has happen in that year

    • Thunder98 (Orcutt)

      Those glasses

  • Storm master
    • RunningSprings6250

      That’s what December 2010 looked like here and these mountains ended up receiving 33″-48″ rain in 7 days, most falling in a 3 day period where I recorded 10″, 14″, 12″ each consecutive day.

      It was awesome as I live in a great location to not be flooded out or in a mudslide but the folks down in highland bearing the brunt of the runoff weren’t so happy with several feet of mud and rocks flowing through their living rooms….

      …and all the cabins that have been built way to close or IN seasonal creek beds. SMH

      Otherwise man it was fun hiking in the forest checking out all the creeks roaring and waterfalls forming all over!

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt)
  • Thunder98 (Orcutt)
    • RunningSprings6250

      It’s been 98-99% RH here for days on end – like the good ole days before and after and in between storms.

      • BRP (Ventura)

        Oxnard NWS has a whole .10″ predicted for tomorrow’s storm. What a F’ing joke of a Storm!

        • SBMWill

          Dude your such a downer. Figure it out already the models know nothing and SoCal is not the place to live if you like active weather.

          • BRP (Ventura)

            Yeah, 6 years of drought has really made me sour. Just want an average rain year of our 150 year average for VTA of 15 inches, that’s all I’m hoping for. When the models for the past 4 days showed us getting at least 2 inches by this Monday but now show at most 1/2 an inch, it’s extremely frustrating.

          • RunningSprings6250

            So don’t look at models – right?

          • rainingintheLBC

            It’s only early January, alot of time to go still.

        • RunningSprings6250

          No it’s not a joke. It’s just not slated for your area.

        • Mike Stephenson (Riverside)

          Relax, this whole complex pattern can shift slightly and hose us!

    • I really don’t expect these storms to deliver anywhere near what some of the models are showing, at least in this area. If we get more than 2.5″ between now and Monday it will surprise me

  • TahoeCard

    Not to diminish the warnings of possible flooding but the 96/97 setup was a 8 day event of high (to 10k) snow levels. Places like Blue Canyon got 36 inches of rain. http://www.cnrfc.noaa.gov/storm_summaries/jan1997storms.php The current forecasts call for a rise Sat/Sun to around 8k and then back down on Mon. I’m not sure the comparisons are there yet.

    • AlTahoe

      They are still blending the Euro in with the temps. The GFS is depicting much higher snow levels and it was showing 29″ of rain for blue canyon. Hopefully the GFS is wrong. The 2010 AR had snow levels of 7-7500′ and that would be much preferred. In other news it actually snowed over night and I ended up with 3″

      • TahoeCard

        29″ over what period?

      • Storm master

        that this may be a very similar set up too 1986 storm event over the next 10 days ?

    • tomocean

      I agree. At this time, It looks like only a third of this event will be warmer.

      NWS Sacramento:
      Significant snow is possible for the Sierra Saturday with snow
      levels initially starting between 2000 and 3000 feet. This could
      cause travel problems during the day. Snow levels are expected to
      rise above pass levels by Saturday night with strong warm
      advection.

      This storm event is expected to become more of rain event
      Saturday night, though high peaks will see additional amounts of
      heavy snow. The heaviest precipitation is currently expected to be
      around mid day Sunday to early Monday morning. The foothills and
      mountains could see liquid precipitation totals of 4 inches,
      potentially up to 7 inches through the weekend.

    • hardcort

      I don’t recall it being an 8 day event. We drove up the hill from Folsom on a Friday afternoon and it was raining by the time we made it to Tahoe. The rain never stopped And when we returned on Sunday morning we just made it down 89 to 80 before 89 flooded and some bridges along the Truckee washed out. I believe the sun peaked out on Monday and that is when the levee broke and the Wilton area flooded. It was all rain along the crest.

      • TahoeCard

        The NOAA write up describes warm storms starting 12/26 and going to 1/3

        • Pfirman

          The big event was the melt on New Year’s eve. We were visiting up there and left the holiday morning. It was a wild ride down 80. All watercourses of any kind were crashing along, with water flowing over 80, trees down, and of course people driving like maniacs.

          • Robin White

            The big event here was when flood waters turned the Monterey Peninsula into an island, and the Carmel River bridge was swept out to sea, never to be found.

        • Tuolumne

          I remember that there was continuing rain, but it was not extreme and was not causing serious problems. One weatherman warned of the potential for catastrophic levels of rainfall ahead due to the amount of precipitable water over the ocean, but a TV weathercast pooh-poohed the possibility as if it were a ridiculous idea.

          Then the main event came through, dropping 3″ or so on the Bay Area but totally hammering the Sierra, and all hell broke loose.

          The antecedent rainfall certainly contributed by completely saturating the watersheds and filling reservoirs too full, but the bulk of the rain fell in a fairly short period, not over a week.

  • Cap’n

    Mother lode has arrived. Well over 2 feet on the deck for 36 hour snow total. I’ll be taking the tape measure out to my truck when it’s light out. District snow day. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7458cf66e040143b43f5f205663a0b13feecf4253a53363b289f7cc97462f243.png

    • Pfirman

      Figured. Now to see what Al says, heh.
      Edit to add…..He says three inches. Heck, I predicted four.

      • Cap’n

        I think he meant 3″ on top of whatever fell yesterday. Coworker reports heavy snow down there. Seems like it’s dumping everywhere.

    • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

      Yes.

  • Storm master

    we could be looking at one of the most 10 ten wettest JAN on record if the models are right we could be looking at lest a year and hafe of rain fall over the next ten days on top of the rain fall we have seen all ready this season

    so my rain fall for the season is up too 17.42″ if we get 12 too 15″ of rain fall in this area we will be vary closed if not over are season rain fall for sonora CA so we could end up seeing a lot of rain fall records fall with this event my Average Annual Precipitation is 40.52″

    so for example right now i have 17.42″ for the season if we get 12 too 15″ of rain fall over the next 10 days

    the 1st example with 12″ of rain

    would bring are season rain fall too 29.42″ of rain we would need 11.1″ more rain if we end up with 12″ of rain fall for the next 10 days too bring us too normal rain fall for the season

    2nd example with 15″ of rain would bring are season rain fall too 32.42″ of rain we would only need 8.1″ more rain fall too be normal rain fall if we had that march rain

    • RunningSprings6250

      Let’s not get ahead of ourselves too march.

      • Crank Tango

        Thank you.

  • Tangocity

    Oxnard NWS discussion “currently” doesn’t think that Ventura and LA counties will get any significant rain out of the weekend AR until the last day of the event, Monday. Will ping on my sources there for more info as the event approaches.

    • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

      ugh! I hope they are wrong. I liked seeing that AR targeting Cachuma.

    • mattzweck

      i don’t really relie on oxnard nws for anything. especially here where i live high desertLancaster area. here we just see if we get anything.

  • Cap’n
    • Dan weather maniac

      Can’t wait to see you stairs in another day! You said you wouldn’t clear them until this first storm is over right?

      The first punch of heavy precip is due today and it’s already raining in the Bay Area.

    • AlTahoe

      No snow day for us so I am driving to incline in this in about 5 minutes. We finally got our 3″ and hour snow and it is nuking. It is 31F already which is concerning.

    • RunningSprings6250

      Yea buddy looks great!! Have fun!!

  • click

    A couple days late, but here is the 2016 weather summary for Hesperia. Between cooler summers and warmer winters, I’m amazed how close the temperatures came to the 15 yr average the last two years. I’ll get around to adding tables with july-june precip qtys at some point. Second wettest December since 2000 (2010 was first, big surprise).
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/95f48c4e726447eb5bcb73a1dd914873b1270ebbe640de5a2439300b37c9fe40.jpg

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt)
  • Valkyrie

    Tomorrow’s forecast chart looks great for Lakes Naciemiento and San Antonio! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a18904a229ee5c8c35a1086709e0e8d8e31b9948dafbd4aea8c966155c805bd3.gif

  • Dan weather maniac
    • Cap’n

      I was just checking that. Snow totals are misleading. Crashing Out and my photos down here at 5,900 ft can confirm that SugarBowl has well over 23″. Either way, it’s getting deep everywhere.

  • CHeden

    This morning’s WV is showing Calif under both cyclonic (north) and anti-cyclonic (south) flows. There is a developing LP/wave about 350 miles SW of San Francisco which is evidenced by signs of some instability/convection firing up in the last few hours. At the same time, another (small but apparently quite potent ATTM) low around 37N is ejecting out of the Rex Block low and is rapidly advancing nearly due east, just to the NW of the southern low.
    As the southern low anti-cyclonically tracks to the NE towards Pt. Arena later today, the two lows will possibly (but not a certainty) undergo some form of interaction. Now, whether that interaction turns out destructive or constructive remains to be seen.
    One possibility I can see is the developing southern low tracks more NNE than NE, with the western low getting flung down towards SoCal with the majority of Cent. Calif seeing reduced precip rates.
    Another possibility is that the two systems phase (and perhaps briefly) stall with the mean jet providing extra forcing to the merged (and more dynamic) system before it eventually migrates to the coast with a more robust and wider precipitation field.
    The third possibility is that the two systems will stay isolated and follow individual tracks with the southern low hitting NorCal, and the trailing western low moving towards San Francisco.
    Looking in the MR, the pattern is best revealed at around 850mb. Here is the well-advertised setup forecasted for later this weekend after the GoA low and old Rex Block lows phase then settle into a massive Omega blocking pattern. Since the old Rex Block low will be bringing up/tapping moisture from the ITCZ, and the GoA high bringing down much colder air from the continental northeast, it’s easy to understand why the models are predicting such a significant event.
    Will try to post more after we see how the twin lows out in the east Pacific evolve later today.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/28cd62fecedef3f278aa09e599f647e62ab182a67d842f6b1d2004494e569ec2.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/47835e34887286217a374a87fd07fa22d737363b163af0985e35ea6d16323490.gif

    • click

      not to be greedy, but i’ll take option 1 please 🙂

      • Pfirman

        You deserve it Click, not greedy at all, and I hope you get it.
        Thanks for the paragraphing. I know it is against the grain for you, CHeden.

        • click

          I’d like to see the Mojave River flowing, really flowing, just once. The report that was posted a few days ago about the 1993 floods had some fascinating details about the river up here, it usually doesn’t garner that much attention.

          If that happened, i would attempt to kayak it all the way to Baker lol.

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt)
    • Thunder98 (Orcutt)
      • matthew

        When I look at these I see “water problems” but not “historic flooding”. Am I missing something?

        • tomocean

          I think it all depends upon how high the rain goes. If we get a major washout of the snow pack for an extended period, then we’d be looking at serious down stream flooding. Not sure about historic, but significant.

          • matthew

            Reno seems to think the snow line will be around 8000′. Not good, but not in the same category as 96/97.

          • tomocean

            I tend to agree with them. It also looks like the rain level will fluctuate, with the highest rain being Saturday to Sunday, though the heaviest precipitation looks like it may be Sunday to Monday (going back down to lower snow levels).

          • CHeden

            Depends. If you want max water, than 8,000′ for a while is not that bad?

        • RunningSprings6250

          The hype man – you’re missing the hype!

          • inclinejj

            The horror, the horror!

          • Cap’n

            We need words like biblical and catostrophic to boost it up.

          • matthew

            Epic! It will be EPIC!!!

          • maddogokp

            Bigly Epic!

        • Sublimesl

          yeah, I think you need about a foot of rain in the Russian River watershed to get flooding, this doesn’t quite reach it, but if we get more after this (a week from Thursday a big storm is projected), then maybe.

        • AlTahoe

          A foot of rain in the Tahoe basin is 50% of our yearly average. We are already at 250% of normal precip (most which was rain) so the ground is saturated. The west slope is is showing over 20″ of rain on top of a snow pack. This falls under the top flood scenarios

          • matthew

            I get that – I am sure that there will be flooding and would not want to minimize that for those affected. But I was thinking more of the “Sacramento under water for a week” type of event that has been thrown around here the past few days.

            We will all know in a week…

          • AlTahoe

            Yeah that doesn’t seem as likely as the water storage there still has room. Now Reno on the other hand.

          • inclinejj

            At last check the reservoirs and lakes around Reno were all pretty low.

          • matthew

            Boca, Stampede and Prosser all have room. But I think the danger to Reno is if the Tahoe basin “melts” in a short time and drains into the Truckee River. There is no flood control from Tahoe City down to Reno.

        • Bartshe

          Depends on weekend snow levels and timing. Warm, saturated air radically melts snowpack.

          • Westside

            I have seen snowpack absorb lots of rain too. I have also seen snow at 37° f. Thank the heavens we aren’t talking about 11k’ snow levels.

      • I sure would like to see us get the 3.5″ to 4″ the models are indicating for our area. The creeks and streams would be flowing again.

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt)

    Here is the Candian precip forecast through Wednesday. Wetter for the Central Coast

    https://files.opensnow.com/Tahoe/2017/january/cmc_total_precip_norcal_33.png

    • Thunder98 (Orcutt)

      The Canadian seems more likely in my opinion.

    • AlTahoe

      Jesus 9.5″ of rain in South Lake Tahoe will flood the entire Truckee river area.

      • Westside

        Hopefully some will fall as snow. Well probably not at your house.

    • jstrahl

      So far, not much in Berkeley.

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    Left Truckee around 5:30 at least another 12″ overnight 28-30″ storm total I’d guess. Took two hours to get to Auburn, chains were between Colfax and Alta, looked like they were just setting up in Colfax.

    • maddogokp

      Took me 3 hrs to get to Gold Run yesterday. You made the right call.

  • matthew

    Another 10″ since yesterday in the shire. Brings the two-day total to around 15″ and the heart of the storm is not even supposed to arrive until later this afternoon. Currently 27F, snowing lightly, calm winds.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3ad345596062eb04c6a02d8089b2285441288259d55adf1b89f4f9ecabd0f288.jpg

  • norcal

    It is difficult to compare the unfolding precipitation event to any previous events until it actually occurs. There are so many variables that could drive the event to something less than or exceeding the 86, or 97 events. Flooding is not always just a function of direct precipitation but has a lot to do with reservoir storage. Each of the dams is only allowed to maintain a certain level until April to accommodate flood control. Once releases begin, they are each allowed to release certain CFS so as to not overload the system. The forecast does look similar to previous flood events, with all the ingredients in place; low elevation snow event, heavy snow, warm storms, with multiple days of heavy rain. Things could certainly get interesting by this coming weekend..

    • lodule16

      Thanks for restating this explicitly. We have probably the mostly infrastucturally intricate and litigated water system in the history of man. In 1862, not so much.

      • Here is some information on how an 1862 like event might impact CA when another ARkStorm hits.
        http://cnap.ucsd.edu/arkstorm.html

        • Bob G (Gustine)

          I hope we don’t get rain shadowing here in the valley again like last time although we have received .10 so far so it does seem like it wants to rain this time

          • Fresno might get six inches. You might be able to extrapolate or interpolate for your area. ECMWF less bullish with half that amount for now.

      • Pfirman

        Guerneville is the canary in the coalmine for flooding. Long way to go there.
        http://water.weather.gov/resources/hydrographs/guec1_hg.png

        • jstrahl

          I got friends there. On high ground. But they need to traverse downtown and over the Russian River to get anywhere south and out of town. Only other route is north to country roads.

  • Storm master

    the GFS new 12z is showing that we may have a major flood disaster with the weekend event wow snow levels will be at lest 8,000ft or above so snow run off is going too be be major high

    • Quagmire Cliffington

      Thank you storm master.

  • CHeden

    BTW, our 48 hr rain totals here in the north Valley averaged less than 0.10″ (Redding was the winner with 0.13″). I suspect that unless we get a shoot/flow going up the gut of the Valley, we’re going to stay rain-shadowed for much of these upcoming events as the bulk of the precip will stay both west and south of us.

    • Pfirman

      Underwhelming so far down here in Yolo County also. Was wondering about you.

    • Craig Matthews

      Was hoping that the track of the incoming surface Low might initially pull a little cold air down the Pit and make for very low snow level initially up by you , but doesn’t look to be the case. I just checked the radar and it looks like there is a slightly deeper “up the gut” flow developing at this time, as the radar shows returns filling and backing up toward the nw side of the valley underneath the sw flow aloft??.

      • CHeden

        Same thing I’m seeing. No dynamics to speak of, though. Just a kind’a puking action so far.

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt)
    • Aloha12

      Ok I’m going to say what everyone else is thinking: this blog is for West Coast and specifically CA weather; Not thinking many are interested in mid West precip anomalies. ?

      • Thunder98 (Orcutt)

        The West Coast has the most boring weather in the Country. 😉

        • Aloha12

          Usually yes, but things are pretty interesting at present.

          • redlands

            Yes if your in Central or Northern California — Looks like Southern California is basically gonna be left high number dry this week

          • Mike Stephenson (Riverside)

            Things can still change later!

          • Say it isn’t so…playing catch up.

        • happ [Los Angeles]

          PacificNW does not have boring weather; just look back over the past 30 days of sea level snowfall and frigid temps

    • Sublimesl

      We have a lot of exciting weather here this week. Why clutter the board with statistics on Minnesota?

      • Thunder98 (Orcutt)

        Ok Ok I deleted

  • Arnold Weather Fanatic

    Another 3″ of snow overnight, but storm lifting north and east above us. Will be able to shovel driveway, yet again. Snow is wetter today, but not yet “Sierra Cement.”

  • Forecast of probability greater than 90% with >500 IVT for first small(er) AR between Pt Reyes south to Pt Sur.
    Martin tells Jack he wants three shots inside the bullseye.

  • Sublimesl

    Fascinating satellite pic of the giant high pressure from Alaska to Oregon with cyclonic flow and a low pressure below it with opposite circulation, with the convergence zone right at the Bay Area. I know cheden described it in more precise detail, but very interesting to look at.

    http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/west/nepac/h5-loop-ft.html

  • hardcort

    I have 15″ for a storm total in Sierra Meadows. As usual, about half of what they get on the west end of Donner Lake or Tahoe Donner

  • Thor

    Rain was off and on over night in Marin. Moderate at times with .65″ in the bucket and still light rain.

  • weathergeek100

    Combo of very heavy, wet snow plus heavy rain this weekend around 8,000′, then snow again I’m sure will increase the avalanche risk in the Sierras. I wonder if the NWS will issue an avalanche warning for the sierras.

    Also, I’m kind of bummed out that the AR now seems to be focused north of LA. This could change as we still have time. Overall, I’m very excited about all of this weather. Not easy to concentrate while at work in my office. I wish my winter break was longer so I can continue to have fun on this blog, the NWS (their discussions and putting their radars on auto-update), BA from OpenSnow, and Howard from mammothweather.

    • Westside

      Avy warning already hoisted for this afternoon and tomorrow. Upside down snowpack.

      • weathergeek100

        Ha! Just noticed that. Thanks!!!

    • yenlard

      I hear ya….los angels maybe gets .75 of an inch ?

  • jstrahl

    In central Berkeley, .11 inches by midnight, .24 since then (9:45AM now), very light rain/mist/spray. A big storm is coming, eh? 🙂 Memories of 20 years ago (almost to the day) of a headline in the SF Chronicle “The Mother of All… Drizzles.” Of course, a big storm did come in afterwards.

    • Thor

      Well, they have already dialed back the precip totals a bit on my local forecast…from 2.12″ to 1.45″ today…but the big surge is supposed to be this afternoon.

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      Just a start. Main rain not coming in coming in till later. The weekend storm is even better. Better yet, I’ve seen reports of 1 to 2 feet of snow in the Sierras reported over this past weekend with more feet to come. That is where it matters most.

      • jstrahl

        Indeed, Sierra snowpack is the most important item. I was just commenting on the accuracy of forecasts.

    • Sokafriend

      I remember your mention of a diary last year. How long have you journaled weather there? I enjoy your records.

      • jstrahl

        Thanks. Rainfall measures since April ’91, temps and pressure since September ’91, max/min temps since September ’94. I moved from the lower Berkeley Hills in June ’94 to my present location, a half mile west of downtown Berkeley.

        • Sokafriend

          Thanks! Will be interesting to see comparison- temp
          and pressure, with previous AR events.

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      I haven’t followed the forecasts too much. The models are showing the bulk of rain later this afternoon through Wednesday. I checked NWS for our area. Our rain comes in a bit later than the Bay Area but they are showing the rain starting afternoon although we picked up alittle this morning like you did

  • weathergeek100

    Nice morning update from Howard. How often do we look towards the ‘end’ of storm cycles??? BUT WHAT IF WE DON’T WANT THE STORM CYCLE TO END??? (honestly though, if there’s anything like an 86′ or 97′ flood scenario this weekend, we may want to). http://mammothweather.com/

  • weathergeek100

    Avalanche warning in the Sierras!!! I called it without even noticing the NWS hoisted it already lol.
    http://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=mtr&wwa=avalanche%20warning

  • inclinejj

    Pacifica 10:55 am. 53.2 degrees. 29.79 winds from 5 to 10 mph. .50 in the rain bucket.

    • maddogokp

      We need Muzik1 to verify this Bigly, Epic forecast!

      • AlTahoe

        He twirled his poles into such a frenzy he had to go to SaveMart and get some Gatorade

    • Thunder98 (Orcutt)

      5 inches of rain sound right to me in my area

    • Sokafriend

      Thank you! New blog today still?

    • Thunder98 (Orcutt)

      Rain shadow in Southern California are with the desert areas

    • yenlard

      As usual

      • RandomTreeInSB

        I’ve watched this movie too many times. Although flooding is bad, this trend is present more often than not…

        • yenlard

          Actually looks a little better for you up in SB

          • RandomTreeInSB

            Yeah, I’d be happy with 2-3″ but the GFS is trending dryer with every run. I’ll hold back my excitement for now ?

          • Thunder98 (Orcutt)

            Remember that the GFS has been crap this season

          • I don’t think anyone believed those early models showing 4-7″ in SB county. I will be happy if we get the 2.5″ to 3″ currently being forecast.

          • Thunder98 (Orcutt)

            Why are you spectical of the rain amount forecast?

          • You mean the 4-7″ forecast? Because I have not seen that kind of rain here in at least 15 years. In fact, I can’t recall the last time we received 3″ in a week.

        • matthew

          If I remember my geography correctly, it looks like SB and Cachuma are going to get 2-3 inches. Not a drought buster, but the winter is still young.

          • RandomTreeInSB

            Ok, ok. I was overreacting a bit. But as Daniel said things could still change for the better or the worse. 🙂

          • matthew

            The magic 8 ball says…for the better.

      • thlnk3r

        Sorry but I really don’t want a 7 day total of 10″+. Floods/Mudslides…..no Thanks. You know how So Cal is. It’ll be Winter Storm watch 8000 with Dallas Raines on Crouch alert. The commute on Monday would also be brutal.

    • Thanks for update! As forecast here continues to be downgraded, good to know we will still see some wet stuff in SoCal

      • SoSocal (Chula Vista)

        I would be stoked if we ended up with 2 inches down here through the 10 day. Runs look variable enough to nudge the river south, even if just momentarily for a good soaking!

    • alanstorm

      Looks like 7-8000ft snowlevels= major flood situation, esp on the heels of Wed’s AR

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt)

    Time for new update tonight Weather West

  • happ [Los Angeles]

    If today’s maximum is under 60° it will be the 4th consecutive day in the 50’s since January 2013 when there were 5 days straight below 60°.

  • Pacifica weather observer

    currently we have light rain and South to Southeast winds occasionally gusting to 20 miles an hour temperature 52.8 degrees. Rainfall since last night .56 inches.

  • alanstorm

    Unbelievable 7 day precip totals.
    23″-25″?
    How much of that will be snow?

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ac467997c29575721140b343f764155e41612a1f5e9ab224a90074430225fe42.jpg

    • Mike(Mill Valley)

      Found this on Open snow.

      “The white spots in the Sierra Nevada are for areas of 120″ or greater! In fact, there’s a chance that 10-day totals in the Sierra could exceed 15-20 FEET in a few select places!”

      Cant seem to be able to upload image.
      It is at the bottom of this link:
      https://opensnow.com/dailysnow/utah

      • alanstorm

        How much of it will be erased by Sunday’s monster AR with “above pass level” snowlevels?

    • honzik

      I looked up the Barney Chart (6 day precipitation at California Nevada River Forecast Center), and it shows over 9″ in my area in the SCMtns. Right now it’s raining steadily, and the goats are warm and dry in the barn happily munching alfalfa.

      • alanstorm

        I bet 10″-12″ for SC Mtns & San Lorenzo R flooding by Sunday. They always underestimate totals there, & this one is an orographic monster. By the time Sundays storm arrives, u will already be saturated. Mudslides everywhere!

        • honzik

          I think you’re right. It could even be 15″ before we’re done. I’ll update from time to time with totals.

          With the saturated soil, we might see Lexington really start to fill up, which will be nice.

          On the down side, one of the big problems we have with saturated soil is the trees start to tip over in the wind, knocking down power lines and blocking roads. I’m pretty sure my generator will get lots of use in the next week.

          • alanstorm

            Lived in Felton from ’89 to ’99 & was in the middle of the ’95 & ’97 deluges. Was in the Zayante/Lompico area. Flood/mudslide/tree fall capital of the Universe!
            I was the crazy guy cruising around in a 4×4 during storms looking for free redwood logs

    • Storm master

      well there saying that are mts snow levels will be above pass level and well above lake level so any snow out of this will be 9500 too 10,000ft any thing be low that will be heavy rain

      • alanstorm

        Placerville NWS saying 5’+ snow above 4500ft with tomorrow’s storm, then, as u say, snow levels ABOVE pass levels.
        Perfect recepie for a major flood scenerio.
        Right now, Sonora looks like the Sat-Sun Bullseye

        • Craig Matthews

          Sounds like the same recipe for the 1861-62, 1955-56, 1964-65, 1996-97 floods. Huge snow accums down to the mid-lower slope of the Sierra followed by very warm wet ARs.

          • alanstorm

            From the more central CA bullseye, I’m thinking more New Year’s ’97.
            That’s what I get time to time when u have mountain ranges like we do in CA, set a right angles to a Pacific onshore flow.
            Bad news- short term catastrophy time to time
            Good news- kills droughts!

          • Craig Matthews

            If this latest forecast of 2-3 feet of liquid falling on west slopes of sierra(and a lot of that falling as warmer rains on top of a lot of snow on the mid slopes) verifies..whoa!!!.

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt)

    Lots of cirrusstratus and some altostratus clouds with a hint of low clouds here and there.

  • SBMWill

    This thing is going to sag south! Ian’s right.

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt)

    The hills are very green out here

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      If they don’t slide away first 🙂

    • Mike Stephenson (Riverside)

      Getting very green here also! It’s been a long time since we have had some consistent rains like this to get the grasses really growing.

    • SBMWill

      Greenest in SoCal since May-June 2011. First time since then that storms haven’t been split up by 2-4 week dry spells with temps in 70-80s.

      • click

        Are you back in SoCal? Waterman Canyon IIRC?

        • SBMWill

          Hi click you desert rat. Ya I’m in SoCal currently I’m working on a few projects in Arcadia. Living some of the time in Waterman. Mostly in Anaheim Hills easier commute. Be relocating to Tacoma in Spring. Glad I’m catching this winter before I leave. Crazy how active the blog is these days!

      • Mike Stephenson (Riverside)

        Exactly, the grasses would start growing but then get fried….

  • GEFS model plumes are pretty tight through late Sunday afternoon

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt)

    I guess there is not a chance of thunderstorms because of the warm air aloft

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    One thing to keep an eye on before the real warm storms roll in-with 80 opening and closing so much the last 24 hours and probably more going forward. You could see some shelves at your local stores or restaurants out of products as their deliveries are stuck at Boomtown.

  • Storm master

    i cant wait too see what this map will show on 19th or so

    http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?CA

    • Thunder98 (Orcutt)

      What if all the storms miss your area and you get 0″ of rain

      • Storm master (Sonora CA)

        whats not even go there lol

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)
    • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

      Is that low pressure still looking like a monster?

      • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

        It sure is, however the main energy or cores of other lows are making things look pretty spaced out, I believe the second main AR and it’s associated low will be much more defined when it happens than the upcoming system inbound for NorCal in a few hours or so. If people are surprised right now, boy is it going to be a long week for them soon enough.

  • Yesterday afternoon the clouds were pushed tight against the San Bernardino on the back side of the LA Basin. They broke open just long enough for me to get a great view of fresh snow on the highest peaks. This view is looking east. I think this might be Galena Peak or Little San Gorgonio Peak (I’m not super familiar with this area so feel free to help).
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1cd6823f0866fd4b66dc2d7c5c5830ff419782c7655fe1a62b421076d85abab5.jpg

    • RunningSprings6250

      Beautiful! Yes the clouds lifted this AM and in our walk I could see the north slopes of this here and San G. hasn’t looked this beautiful since….2011. LoL

      As usual, thanks for sharing!

    • Thunder98 (Orcutt)

      Lovely!

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt)

    The last time it reached 80F or higher here in Orcutt was back on November 13th

  • SoCalWXwatcher

    A word of caution regarding making too many assumptions regarding rain totals and “bullseye” location for the upcoming AR Event(s). As Daniel and others have mentioned, models struggle with the high blocking pattern over the N Pacific, which is one reason why they have been more inconsistent than usual so far this season. NWS Oxnard brought up another important issue regarding model solutions for this upcoming event:

    “The correct computer forecast solution depends on getting the initial conditions over the sparsely sensored pacific ocean correct which is really not going to happen. As a result the forecast changes from run to run so exact details are not possible at this time.”

    We’re just gonna have to wait till it happens. Hopefully we’ll get a better idea once it’s fully within view of the High Res models, but even then, there could be some big surprises.

    • RunningSprings6250

      That reminds me – in the days prior to the dec 2010 event they deployed aircraft into the Pacific to get a better handle on it.

      I haven’t heard that happening with this event – yes, no, anyone?

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        Have not heard that either. You’d think given the potential problems posed by what the models have been showing, they’d be making a similar effort.

        • RunningSprings6250

          Maybe they just trust THAT much in the new and improved GFS.

          ???

          Glorious Forecasting System FTW!

      • Osse (Redondo)

        I haven’t heard either. But in general, although you can get some insight from aircraft obsv, the NWP initial conditions come primarily from satellite data. The polar satellitell sounding data – atmospheric temp and moisture profiles – is particularly important.

    • Mike Stephenson (Riverside)

      I remember in DEC 2010 the AR was blasting the sierras and there wasn’t much rain forecasted for Socal. Everything shifted south and we were hosed on for about a week! A lot of people were caught off guard and unprepared.

      • Thunder98 (Orcutt)

        That might exactly happen again

      • RunningSprings6250

        No, the models were showing a San Bernardino mountains bullseye all the way through the long range with the 20″++ yellows. I remember this clearly and not only did no one believe it would happen but it well over performed.

        • AlTahoe

          Pretty crazy that you doubled a 20″ forecast

        • scott

          Except you who kept pushing it to happen when others thought you were nuts. Nice work. I appreciate those willing to take a stance that seems out of the norm of acceptance. That’s how the best scientists were. We can appreciate guys like Tesla who were considered weird with strange ideas (though Edison was an unlikable prick who ruined him).

      • AlTahoe

        Yep they warned us in the Bay Area that we would get hammered and nothing happened as it all slid south faster than forecast

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      This has to be tough on the various NWS offices, if they warn of imminent danger and the storms move north or south of their area then they look bad. Same thing that often happens with hurricanes as the course changes, many people don’t listen to the “if this than that” they just hear “10 FEET OF RAIN” then it drizzles and they get mad.

      • Osse (Redondo)

        Yes, they are constantly facing this communication dilemna. Plus various non-NOAA forecasters put out info and the public seems to not know who to listen to. NOAA/NWS often seems to get “blamed” no matter how they try to convey things. A tough, little-understood job performed by devoted people!

    • Tangocity

      What kind of sensors do they have in the pacific ocean? Are they over reliant on sattelite imagery? Do they have any floating or tethered instrumentation at sea? What kind of coverage are they missing and why? Too expensive? Too much real estate?

      • Osse (Redondo)

        There are a few in situ ocean surface measurements, but for weather forecast models the observations that are most important are of the atmosphere, not the ocean, which changes more slowly. Lack of having more observations, or higher resolution, or more accurate observations, is a function of both cost, technical capability, … And just the difficulty of measuring geophysical parameters.

        • Tangocity

          Thanks, that makes sense. I suppose the west coast will always be the weather guinea pig for the continental US.

  • BigBearHiking

    I really want precipitation here in SoCal, but I hope it won’t just be rain in the mountains. I got my season pass for Big Bear and I want to ski into March!!

    • RunningSprings6250

      Make that May!!

      Feb and March are our months and if this is a clue we could be getting some great mid/late winter storms….

    • SBMWill

      Most likely if this thing hits us it will be all rain. But we are in a nice pattern and can look forward to some colder storms to come.

  • Pacifica weather observer
    • RunningSprings6250

      From that view you’d think SoCal would get hammered!

      • MetaGhost (Berkeley)

        chemtrails!

        • RunningSprings6250

          My hat! Where’s my HAT?!?!

          • Thunder98 (Orcutt)

            Do you want Gandalfs hat?

      • SoSocal (Chula Vista)

        KEEP THE FAITH!

      • Tangocity

        We will all be getting hammered. Just at a bar.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        The moisture over Socal is all high and midlevel right now, at least of what I can see here in Orange.

    • alanstorm

      Collision course

    • AlTahoe

      Jesus is that a tropical storm at the bottom? Lol

      • Dan the Weatherman

        It almost looks like one, however the NHC doesn’t indicate any tropical storms right now.

  • Pacifica weather observer

    Quite a complex set up in the Pacific. Can’t recall ever seeing this much moisture coming from such an extreme angle from the south. Usually we get this more from the direction of Hawaii. Either way it’s going to be interesting when the cold air from the north and this moisture from the south collide.

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt)

    I wonder how much snow will MT Whitney will get?

    • RunningSprings6250

      30 feet, but it’ll all blow away…

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt)

    Does the angle of the sun matter/time of year when it comes to convection?

    • Tom

      Yes, and longer days with more heating.

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    wow sat to sunday has 5 too 7.50″ of rain for me all so check out the rain fall for lake level

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ac6e01a0f6b467067d4d5d9ca4aeaf5cde48eea50904e8efba97a263b631f000.png

    • VK (Sacramento)

      awesome. I’m checking for hotels in Grass Valley on Saturday 🙂

      • Pfirman

        It’s Grass Valley, that’s why those values are high.

    • alanstorm

      Odd to see the orographics in your area wringing out more moisture then areas along the Coast.
      Talk of the 1-2 punch of heavy snows then an all rain deluge creating a massive flood looks to be starting

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt)
    • alanstorm

      Oh, right, that forecast- welcome to the party, carpetbaggers!
      They’re famous for their 3 month below normal precip forecast

      • Thunder98 (Orcutt)

        How is that working out for them

  • AlTahoe

    Temp is up to 38F already here in Incline village. All the nice dry powder lasted about 2 hours and now it is a soggy mess

    • TahoeCard

      Think you need to move to west shore.

      • AlTahoe

        I just find it funny that two days ago we were supposed to stay in the 20’s today and not have to worry about snow levels for once. Yet here we are with Temps pushing 40F already.

        • RunningSprings6250

          It’s only 35 here.

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)
  • Pacifica weather observer

    Getting some pretty strong wind gusts. Just had a gust of 43 miles an hour. NWS just issued a wind advisory for my areaAlert: Wind Advisory issued January 03 at 12:17PM PST until January 04 at 1:00AM PST by NWS Monterey

    …GUSTY SOUTHERLY WINDS EXPECTED ACROSS OUR REGION STARTING THIS
    AFTERNOON…
    …WIND ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 1 AM PST WEDNESDAY…
    THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SAN FRANCISCO HAS ISSUED A WIND
    ADVISORY…WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1 AM PST WEDNESDAY.
    * TIMING…THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH 1 AM TONIGHT.
    * LOCATION…FOR THE ENTIRE SAN FRANCISCO AND MONTEREY BAY REGION.
    * WINDS…SOUTH TO SOUTHEAST WINDS OF 20 TO 30 MPH WITH LOCAL
    GUSTS TO 45 CAN BE EXPECTED IN LOWER ELEVATION LOCATIONS.
    ELEVATIONS ABOVE 2000 FEET COULD SEE LOCAL GUSTS OVER 55 MPH.
    * IMPACTS…WINDS COULD TOPPLE POWER LINES AND TREES ESPECIALLY IN
    PLACES WITH WET SOILS.

    Instructions:
    A WIND ADVISORY MEANS THAT WINDS OF 35 MPH ARE EXPECTED. WINDS
    THIS STRONG CAN MAKE DRIVING DIFFICULT…ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH
    PROFILE VEHICLES. USE EXTRA CAUTION.

    Counties:
    Coastal North Bay Including Point Reyes National Seashore; East Bay Hills and the Diablo Range; East Bay Interior Valleys; Mountains Of San Benito County And Interior Monterey County Including Pinnacles National Monument; North Bay Interior Valleys; North Bay Mountains; Northern Monterey Bay; Northern Salinas Valley, Hollister Valley and Carmel Valley; San Francisco; San Francisco Bay Shoreline; San Fransisco Peninsula Coast; Santa Clara Valley Including San Jose; Santa Cruz Mountains; Santa Lucia Mountains and Los Padres National Forest; Southern Monterey Bay and Big Sur Coast; Southern Salinas Valley, Arroyo Seco and Lake San Antonio

    NWS Alert Record

  • SantaCruz

    Dumping big drops in Scotts Valley. over 2″ since yesterday. Weather service just issued a flash flood warning for tonight…excess of 3/4 inch per hour. Shaping up to be a good week!

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)
    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      I’ll take the coldest one with the lowest snow levels please!

    • Pfirman

      I have some darts.

  • Fairweathercactus

    Models keep trending a little more north with each run. Showing a lot less for So Cal if you trust in the GFS.

    • SoSocal (Chula Vista)
      • BRP (Ventura)

        F You Senior Ridge! Take your shitty high pressure back to Cabo!

    • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

      Yup. The high pressure ridge over Baja is raising its ugly head again and diverting everything to the north. It’s a “flat” ridge at this point but still strong enough to cut our rain amounts from what was previously forecasted.

      • BRP (Ventura)

        Yeah, and the death of Lake Cachuma and Casitas continues at our normal winter rate, thanks for nothing WInter of 2017. Dont you find it frustrating that just 100 miles north of SB they are receiving 4+ inches of rain!?! It’s maddening.

        • SoCalWXwatcher

          Thanks for nothing winter of 2017? Lol, we’re 2 1/2 days into it. Just declare it a “Bust” and get it over with. Lol.

        • Rio Rat

          Is winter of 2017 somebody we should know.

        • RandomTreeInSB

          1, Models are not perfect.
          2, Still 12 weeks of reliable rain season left. A lot can happen.

    • hardcort

      I’m all in favor of putting the bullseye on Mammoth or south thereof. They can handle the high elevation snow. Let Tahoe poach some moisture and keep snow levels down

  • mattzweck

    wondering if socal will get anything. especially the high desert areas Lancaster palmdale. all we’ve been getting clouds all day.