Series of atmospheric river storms to bring risk of significant California flooding

Filed in Uncategorized by on January 3, 2017 6,260 Comments

What happened to the “Arctic Outbreak” mentioned in the last post?

Well, it happened…somewhat further north than expected. The Pacific Northwest has been shivering through another unusually extended wave of subfreezing temperatures and snow–even along the immediate coast. These very cold temperatures did in fact make it to far northern California, where snowflakes were indeed observed near sea level along the North Coast (Crescent City briefly reported “thundersnow” on January 2nd) and in the lower hills of Mendocino County and the northern Sacramento foothills.

 

However, this extremely cold airmass did not make much southward progress beyond the northern third of California. Ultimately, the numerical weather models actually handled the complex atmospheric pattern over the North Pacific very well–pegging the approximate position of the very strong Alaska blocking ridge many days in advance. Subtle differences in the west-to-east flow across the far northeastern Pacific, however, have kept California warmer and wetter than initially expected over the past week. And remember those potential “big storms” I mentioned at the end of the last post? Well, those are now materializing in a pretty eyebrow-raising manner.

Meanwhile, at higher elevations in NorCal, one of the largest sustained snowfalls in several years is currently underway. Much of the Sierra Nevada above about 6000 feet in elevation is in the process of being buried by many inches of snow–and heavy snow rates will likely continue periodically for the next several days. By late Thursday, many places will likely be reporting totals in feet rather than inches. Due to the cold airmass still in place across NorCal, some spots as low as 2500 feet will experience unusually large accumulations before warmer air moves in. These recent, large snow accumulations have already led to a high risk of avalanches in steeper terrain–and may add to the already considerable flood risk developing for the coming weekend.

 

One-two (three?) atmospheric river punch will deliver copious precipitation

A series of extremely moist Pacific storm systems will take aim at California this week. The first of these is already bringing increasingly heavy rain (and mountain snow) along with gusty winds to much of northern California. This initial system probably won’t cause too many problems outside of some notable travel headaches over mountain passes and perhaps some minor local flooding. But this first round of precipitation will set the stage for bigger problems later this week into next week by saturating the soils north of about Santa Barbara and by depositing multiple feet of fresh snow to the Sierra Nevada, even at more moderate elevations.

The overall amount of water vapor transport in a 72hr period ending late Sunday is expected to be tremendous, and squarely aimed at California. (NCEP via UCSD)

The second storm is (by far) the one of greatest concern, as it will take the form a moisture-laden and slow-moving atmospheric river. While the details with this second system are still somewhat uncertain, virtually all numerical forecast models are painting a very broad area of extremely high precipitation totals over the next 6-7 days across the entire Sierra Nevada mountain chain and also in the coastal mountains from the Oregon border south to Monterey County. It’s still too early to say exactly how much precipitation will fall, but the potential is there for some very impressive numbers–perhaps greater than 20-25 inches along favored western slope regions of the Sierra Nevada and greater than 15 inches in the coastal mountains. Even in low elevation urban areas near the Bay Area and Sacramento regions, 7-day totals exceeding 5-7 inches are entirely possible.

Since this system is expected to be slow moving, the associated atmospheric river may stall over some portion of northern or central California on Sunday or Monday–or even waver back northward temporarily. If and when this occurs (as has been suggested by recent runs of both the ECMWF and GFS), there may be a 100-200 mile wide band of even higher precipitation totals. It’s impossible to say at this time where any stalling or frontal waves might occur, but that has the potential to be a serious situation locally.

This system will also be drastically warmer than its predecessor, and while snow levels could actually start out unusually low (locally in the 2,000-2,500 foot range), they will skyrocket as very strong warm advection occurs Saturday into Sunday. It’s possible that the models are currently presently overestimating the amount of airmass warming that will occur over the weekend, but given the subtropical origins of this atmospheric river snow levels could rise above 9,000 or perhaps even 10,000 feet at the height of the event.  This is above essentially all Sierra Nevada passes, and more importantly well above the majority of the recently-fallen snowpack in the 3000-8000 foot range. In fact, 850mb temperatures could rise to around +10C at this time–would would be very bad news indeed for the snowpack. The highest elevations of the Sierra Nevada could see tremendous snowfall totals, likely over 100 inches. And it’s true that storm #1 will drop quite a lot of snow at much lower elevations over the next 24 hours. But much of this snowpack could be erased by 24 hours of warm rain later this weekend.

 

 

Risk of significant, perhaps serious, flooding in parts of California next 10 days

Very large, double-digit precipitation totals are currently expected across most of higher-elevation northern and central California. (NCEP via pivotalweather.com)

Should the #2 storm this weekend come to fruition as currently depicted by the models, there will be a high risk of fairly widespread flooding throughout smaller rivers and streams in the Sierra Nevada–including the western foothills–and also in the Coast Ranges (especially near the Bay Area). Given the duration and magnitude of the event, there will also be an increasing risk of mainstem river flooding by Sunday. This risk will be amplified by the potential for widespread melting of a rather substantial lower elevation snowpack, especially on Sunday. It’s still too early to say just how serious this likely flooding may become, as this will likely depend strongly on just how persistent the atmospheric river ultimately is on Sunday and how much snowmelt actually occurs. But it does appear that the potential is there for a potentially serious, high-impact flood event across some portion of central or northern California by this weekend, and a more general risk of flooding elsewhere throughout the northern 2/3 of the state.

Animation of GFS-derived vertically integrated water vapor transport over time. Note remarkable persistence of Sunday AR event! (NCEP via UCSD)

For better or for worse, this does not really appear to be a Southern California storm event (though that could still change if there is a modest southward shift in the atmospheric river trajectory). It’ll still be wet in Los Angeles and San Diego, and precipitation could become briefly heavy at some point (probably early on Monday). But earlier forecasts suggesting the potential for very large rainfall totals near the LA Basin are no longer looking likely, as the bulk of this moisture is aimed much further north.

Beyond this weekend: conditions will likely remain quite active across the Pacific, and the very long range forecast even hints at the potential for another (though weaker) atmospheric river by the middle of next week. An ongoing active and wet pattern would prolong the risk of flooding throughout California, so this will bear close watching in the days to come.

I’ll be following this event in real-time on Twitter, and I may have another blog post on the Sunday storm if the higher-end flood scenarios are starting to look more likely.

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  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)
  • tomocean
    • inclinejj

      Is that on the Folsom Prison part of the lake? I remember there being a “restricted area”

      • tomocean

        It’s actually the Folsom Lake crossing, not far from the dam outlet. The prison is right across the street though.

        • inclinejj

          That explains the barbed wire. Plus they don’t want people around the diversion canals.

          They also don’t want the prisoners escaping into the Folsom Lake area.

    • scott

      Thanks, its nice!

  • SoCalWXwatcher

    Looks like Mammoth did pretty well. When was the last time we saw this up there?

    https://twitter.com/EdJoyce/status/818510599311085572

    • scott

      He’s shoveling the snow yet he’s got just a puny little sedan 2 wheel drive and no clearance. LMAO. Even if he shoveled the car out, he won’t get anywhere.

      • Upslope

        Looks like a Volvo or Suby to me.

      • GusLevy

        He needs the picture for Carmax.

      • justsomeguy

        He clearly just needed to open the door to get the booze he left in the car.

      • lodule16

        Who needs a self-driving car in the Sierras?… when they invent the self-shoveling car, let me know…

        • whisperingsage

          Hahahahaha!!!!!

    • mattzweck

      I just looked at mammoth mountain web site they’ve gotten at least 8-12 feet of snow. And I heard Thier suppose to be getting at least 1-2 feet of new snow next 24 hours. Thier buried in snow it looks like.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        I believe we will be seeing dramatic improvement on the next Drought Monitor update coming this Thursday.

        • Nathan

          Usually lags a few weeks for all the numbers to come in…

      • Thunderstorm

        Howard says 18ft up on top.

  • Cap’n

    I haven’t seen a lake level forecast like this for quite awhile (technically I’m 300 feet below lake level). Here is the point forecast for the west end of Donner Lake. The low end would have me at 44″, the high end at 69″. The disclaimer would be that they’re saying tomorrow is rain/snow, so obviously this could come in way under if it rains more than snows. I’d be perfectly happy with the low end.

    This Afternoon: 5-9″
    Tonight: 10-16″
    Tuesday: 13-19″
    Tuesday Night: 12-18″
    Wednesday: 3-5″
    Wednesday Night: 1-2″

    One snippet from RENO AFD:

    “By Tuesday evening, the front pushes into the region, with heavier
    snow in the Sierra and precipitation spilling over into the
    valleys of northeast CA and western NV. By Wednesday, we could see
    up to 4 to 8 feet of snow in the high Sierra above 7000 feet, with
    2 to 5 feet around the Lake Tahoe Basin and around Mammoth Lakes.
    Blizzard conditions will occur over the passes and ridges Tuesday
    and Tuesday night. Blizzard conditions may also be widespread in
    the lower elevations for the Tahoe Basin and 395 corridor in Mono
    County Tuesday afternoon and evening.”

    Sitting at 2″ on the day now with moderate to light snow falling.

    • Better have dinner ready. :))
      Forecast looks good either way

    • scott

      In a way, getting that rain to melt some of the snow this weekend might actually have helped make the roads more passable and less work clearing the driveway. If all of that rain had fallen as snow then combined with this incoming storm, that would have been a hardship getting around. The 4 to 8 feet is amazing enough, but above 7K feet? Wow! That is pretty low for 4 feet, usually reserved for higher elevations.

    • matthew

      Here is the section that caught my eye :

      There are good indications that the break from precipitation may be
      short lived. The low pressure anomaly in the Gulf of Alaska is
      forecast to remain intact allowing the jet stream to re-strengthen
      towards the west coast. This will again allow the storm track back
      into the Sierra and western Nevada mid to late next week.

    • FR44

      Groceries are restocked, so I’m ready!

    • weathergeek100

      A foot at Al’s house the whole week. Watch.

      • AlTahoe

        It really comes down to the snow levels tomorrow. I think they will be higher than they are forecast to be for a longer duration only because that has been what has happened with every storm the last few years. We are already at 2″ today so I am going with 20″ by Thursday. Hopefully I bust on the low side

        • Cap’n

          I checked the SLT point forecast on NOAA earlier, looks like 20-36″. Not bad, but noticeably less than Truckee. I agree with your thoughts above. NOAA has 20-34″ of my snow coming but it says rain/snow, meaning they don’t know; it could snow, it could rain.

  • Might be interesting to see this past weekend’s storm develop via the IVT landfall tool. This shows IVT >500 kg/m/s. The sixth to the last frame is known as the event coordinator frame. Also these are more accurate once inside the five day window.
    http://vortex.plymouth.edu/~j_cordeira/ARPortal/Current/Ensemble/LandfallTool/dProgdt_IVTprob500.html

    • CHeden

      It would appear that IVT never reached 500kg/m/s here along the coast….or am I reading this wrong?

  • Arjun

    absolutely dumping in Berkeley right now

  • Thor

    Marin had had some light rain this afternoon as advection increased but relatively out of now where just had a very heavy downpour about 8 minutes…

    • whisperingsage

      How much was it?

  • CoachBrown

    Schools just announced that they will be closed in Ukiah tomorrow due to anticipated flooding. Russian River predicted to crest near 27 feet tomorrow which is equal to December 2005. Ukiah’s eastern neighborhoods (mine) were warned by text message from Mendocino County Sheriff to expect a major flood event.

    • alanstorm

      That’s unfortunate. 2005 was really bad for alot of homes. This will come at nightfall which makes it much more difficult for those who need to evacuate/ move animals.
      I imagine 101 will close.

      • CoachBrown

        We are looking at early evening in Oak Manor and yes, or garage had 8 inches of mud in it after 2005. But we weren’t home then and I’ll be home tomorrow to guide the Russian River away from my house. Everything is up off the garage floor and I’ll just open it up and let it go through. House is higher up and shouldn’t be a flood risk. Three doors down had three feet of water in 2005 and had to be totally renovated.

        • alanstorm

          Damn, that’s such a bummer. I really hope they’re overestimating that crest.
          Do I need any help? I live in Willits

          • CoachBrown

            Thanks for the offer. In this case we just watch and let nature do it’s thing and then clean up. Our house is up on a knoll so the water goes down the sides and just a little underneath. We stick blowers underneath to dry the crawl space, squeegee the garage and then life goes on. The life of living on a 100 year flood plain.

          • alanstorm

            8 pm forecast is out, Russian at Hopland forecast to hit 25.5 at 8pm tomorrow night (26.8 was ’05) Hope they don’t underestimate it, the break in the rain today didn’t happen, so it started riding again sooner then expected. I’ll be watching. Keep us posted

  • CHeden

    Note a new low is dropping down the backside of the GoA/EPac low….and seems to have slowed it’s eastward progress.
    I wonder what kind of havoc this new and cold upper low will produce once it rounds the base of the trough?
    Lastly, radar is confirming some intense squalls moving ENE towards Crescent City and the Cal/Ore border, with a large bank of stratiform clouds south of Cape Mendocino out ahead of the main low. ATTM, not a lot of precip associated with this feature…going to need some additional forcing later tonight/tomorrow to get things going in earnest.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2e6caae9f754a696704c619a9a3a68e660b8d5180a816f2fee8e7510a139593b.jpg

    • molbiol

      NWS Portland is struggling horrifically with their forecasts due to all the upper lows in the vicinity and confusion about the details:
      http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/total_forecast/getprod.php?prod=XXXAFDPQR&wfo=PQR

      • CHeden

        Not surprising looking at the satellite! Lot’s going on out in the Pacific as well as over land.

    • Bombillo1

      I have been watching that mini me low as well. From my ignorant perch, the GOA Low has been a huge driver for our wet condition and yet we talk about AR as if that in itself explains. Might we just get a replacement GOA low with less miles on it and the party continue?

      • CHeden

        Perhaps. However, the main/quasi stationary GoA low is forecast to shift east as a low riding along 40N pushes east underneath….so the low will likely not be in the same place or intensity much longer. What we may more likely see, is a dumb-belling behavior of the two lows, with the upstream ULL being the primary energy source after it rounds the base of the main GoA low before ejecting east?
        Will be very interesting to see how these two features have interacted come morning.

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    under the 1st high wind warning of the season

  • inclinejj

    Just started raining in Pacifica. Had one stray shower about 4. Now steady rain with increasing wind.

    • whisperingsage

      How much now? Have a bucket out?

  • AlTahoe

    Wind is really kicking up and causing white out conditions on my street right now. Hopefully we get another snow day tomorrow or the drive to work will be miserable

    • Storm master (Sonora CA)

      or this call in sick

      • whisperingsage

        He could call in snowed in and wouldn’t be lying. Yesterday my husband almost got stuck in the mud on the way out to work.

    • Cap’n

      Same here. Good snow rates but I’m nervously watching the temp, it’s back n forth between 30-32F. Really hope it stays all snow tonight.

      • AlTahoe

        I just noticed that as well. I had a 1.9F rise in like 10 minutes. Went from 30.0F to 31.9F
        Hopefully it stops going up

      • Rusty Rails

        Listening to the scanner and hearing trains coming by you off the hill talking about tons of snow coming down up top. A tree just came down in front of an eastbound along Cold Creek just outside of Truckee.

  • LBurk

    Another 3″-6″ predicted in the next 36 hours. The you-know-what really hit the fan last night in Boulder Creek with the whole town being cut off for the better part of the day. It hasn’t stopped raining or drizzling since, and we’ve barely recovered here in the San Lorenzo Valley today; though Caltrans and PG&E’s work is heroic to say the least.

    .DISCUSSION…as of 03:17 PM PST Monday…The forecast remains on
    track this afternoon for our next storm system to approach the
    region late tonight and impact the entire region during the day
    Tuesday. Meanwhile, light precipitation continues over portions of
    the region this afternoon and will likely persist through the
    evening as deeper moisture advection spreads inland. Precipitation
    will then increase in coverage and intensity over the North Bay
    and along the coastal ranges late this evening and will spread
    southward during the day Tuesday. In addition, ahead of the main
    frontal boundary, 925 MB winds are forecast to approach or exceed
    50 KT and will translate to strong and gusty winds at the surface.
    A High Wind Warning is now posted for the higher elevations of the
    North Bay, East Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains and Santa Lucia
    Mountains from Tuesday afternoon through late evening where wind
    gusts in excess of 60 MPH will be possible. A wind advisory is
    then in effect for the remainder of the North Bay and down along
    the coastal areas where gust of around 45 MPH will be possible.

    Rainfall amounts from this system will like range from 1.00″-2.00″
    over the North Bay Valleys, around the San Francisco Bay Area and
    down along the coast. Meanwhile, the typical drier spots of the
    inland valleys south of San Francisco can expected between 0.25″-
    0.75″. The greatest rainfall totals will likely occur across the
    coastal ranges where 3.00″ to 6.00″ can be expected. With that said,
    a Flash Flood Watch is in effect for much of the North Bay and along
    the coastal ranges from late tonight through late Tuesday night
    given the already saturated soils and periods of locally heavy
    rainfall expected. Many areas that experienced flooding issues this
    weekend will likely have flooding impacts again on Tuesday. As the
    main mid/upper level system approaches northern California tomorrow
    afternoon, there will be a slight potential for thunderstorms across
    the region as well. The greatest threat from this would be intense
    rainfall rates, lightning and small hail.

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      Drove up to look at the Lexington Reservoir status yesterday afternoon. It’s near full and the water is brown. Big time run off coming in from the SC hills. They might have to release some if this next storm really dumps.

  • CHeden

    Last-light look to my north shows a mid-level broken stratus deck, a dry layer above, and a solid alto-stratus deck above that. Lot’s of virga, but nothing making it through the dry layer ATTM. Should be seeing some light overrunning rain shortly?

    • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

      What does overrunning mean?

      • CHeden

        Warm air aloft is “overrunning” cooler air below and generating precip…usually light. Typically, overrunning occurs from the leading edge of a warm front or a moisture surge.
        Hope this helps!

        • jstrahl

          By the way, thanks for answering my question about splits within an AR, making it look like a lower tooth, with two roots. You said:”Good question. Most AR’s occur along a narrow relative trough that separates a high pressure system(s) and a low pressure system(s). Each system has it’s own flow, so within an AR, it is often that you see both the anti-cyclonic flow on the south side of the AR and cyclonic flow on the north side….hence dual flows.” Makes perfect sense.

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

    Hopefully it rains cheeseburgers tomorrow.

  • mattzweck
    • whisperingsage

      Did you get rain yet?

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)
    • Osse (Redondo)

      Geez, those look teenie weenie.

      • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

        They are very tiny

        • Osse (Redondo)

          Well, you never know…tiny clouds, tiny hands…sometimes it’s a winner.

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

    I see some virgin or rainshafts in the sky

    • CHeden

      Virgins and shafts?
      Your head’s in the gutter.
      LoFL !!!!!

      • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

        It was a dumb typo, ;D

    • MetaGhost (Berkeley)

      Find a girlfriend mate!

      • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

        It was typo, 😉

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

    Another word for rainshaft is praecipitatio

    • Crank Tango

      Is that portuguese?

      • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

        I’m not sure, maybe Latin?

      • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

        It is latin

    • rainingintheLBC

      rainshaft?

      • Nathan

        Can you dig it?

        • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

          I’m not a miner

  • Humboldt_ARk

    Arcata is officially under a flood warning! The mad, eel, and van duzen rivers are all expected to flood between tomorrow and wednesday..i will try to get some pictures before work on wednesday if i can

    • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

      Do you have sandbags?

      • Humboldt_ARk

        Nope i dont own the property and i have renters insurance so im not too concerned..i also dont live too close to the rivers that are projected to flood, but close enough to be wary

        • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

          Be careful!

    • RunningSprings6250

      Please do!

      • redlands

        how much rain did u get today ian ????? any snow or rain

    • alanstorm

      Shouldn’t be too bad at these predicted levels, but exciting nonetheless!
      The Mad generally spills into the farmlands around the Arcata Bottoms & lowlands around Blue Lake. That drive out 299 will surely be picture-worthy! Probably the worst flooding in your vicinity will be the Jacoby Cr, Freshwater, & Elk River areas, as quite a few homes get involved.
      The Eel should crest 3 ft over Flood stage around noon Wed, the parking lot of the Best River casino in Loleta is a great viewing spot.

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

    What is the PWATS levels with this storm

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)
  • Dan weather maniac

    Raining pretty good in Orinda again. This is just the pre frontal stuff.

    The official gauge nearby says I’m at six inches in the last week and 4 in the last five days. I havnt done my backyard bucket measurement yet but I’ve been filling the bucket for a week and will measure Thursday morning when it all wraps up. I’m thinking 10inches in 10 days.

    I need a break to fix the problems this last storm revealed & im taking Thursday and Friday off to do it!

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      I had 1.5″ in my gauge for the weekend storm here in west San Jose. Kind of rain shadowed here, but sweet rain, keep comin’ down!

  • fr94114

    Raining here in Sacto near UC Med Center

  • Cap’n

    Under the dark blue and it is dumping. Looks like 4-5″ or so out on the railing.

    • mbmattcor

      Same here in TD, will need snorkel by Thurs.

    • matthew

      4.5″ over on the east side. More than I expected this early into the storm.

  • Rusty Rails

    Wind is really ramping up here in Santa Cruz after teasing with puffy gusts all afternoon. Similar to yesterday alread already. The eucalyptus grove a block over is roaring. The next system is going to be interesting!

    • Thunderstorm

      This Wednesday you will have 78 inches.

  • Chris Lyon

    Dumping in Walnut Creek

    • whisperingsage

      How full is your bucket now?

  • Yolo Hoe

    Received initial precipitation from this system in Davis — 0.03″ — temperature = 52F, barometer steady at 29.99 and wind moderate 5-7 mph from SSW.

    Nice to feel a colder system coming in.

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      Makes me want to paddle out!

    • Nathan

      glassy calm in La Jolla this evening, as well.

    • BRP (Ventura)

      Flat…

  • peterh

    Any clue how february is going to shape up? Wet or is the spigot gonna go dry?

    • RunningSprings6250

      Wet wet WET & cold!

      • BigBearHiking

        Is that a hope and change thing or do any models indicate it could be the case?

    • Mike Stephenson (Riverside)

      Boy do we love February. We will have the best storms, the greatest storms. Cold, windy, wet, you name it. Nobody will have February like California, I gaurantee it

      • matthew

        It will be the greatest! Bigly great! Yuuuuge!

        • Nathan

          Very, very wet. It will be very, very good for our snowpack and water supply. California is a great place, with amazing water supplies, and I am very, very excited for these great storms, which are just the greatest.

          • Mike Stephenson (Riverside)

            Get the ridges outta here!

      • click

        Historically Feb is the wettest month for many SoCal locations. Looking forward to it!

      • redlands

        I sure hope it’s a stormy rainy February for all of California— including Southern Ca

      • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

        I think we will see a March 2012 repeat, frequent cold storms and a very dynamic airmasses.

  • NJDevil

    It appears we got approximately 1.6″ here in Tehachapi over the course of the weekend, which is pretty much what was predicted. Cache Creek flowing down into Mojave looked to have some flow on my commute to work this morning, which is nice to see. Thankfully, the site of October ’15s massive mudslide on the 58 looked to be behaving well after all of the work Caltrans put into it.

    Now, lets bring on this Thursday storm! Snow levels are forecast to hover right around the valley elevation, with those of us up the hill possibly getting a couple more inches (still nothing compared to what those farther north are seeing)

    • peterh

      Over 4 inches of rain just north of you in wofford heights.

      • NJDevil

        I’m still a bit confused how you get consistent more rain than we do at basically the same region/altitude.

        Is it the NE/SW running Tehachapi range pushing east-board storms north?

        • peterh

          I dont know…you are much higher than me…im only at 2700 feet and your at like 4000. it must be the fact that the tehachapis run east west while the southern sierra (where im located) runs north south

          • NJDevil

            Oh… I didn’t realize Isabella was so much lower than Tehachapi and Walker Basin. Interesting.

          • jstrahl

            Sounds right, if a storm is moving east then an east-west mountain chain doesn’t provide consistent lift except at its western extremity, and that would be the Grapvine (i.e. Tejon Pass).

  • Patrick from Stockton

    Started to rain here about 30 minutes ago now picking up in intensity. I see that on radar when the green stuff showed up it actually started to rain, as opposed to the last storm where it took yellow/orange on radar for any rain to fall. Maybe we will not be rain shadowed by this system, and other valley spots. Maybe it has more dynamics. Seems like a good sign so far..

  • Thunderclap

    Drove up to Lexington Reservoir (above Los Gatos along HWY 17) after work today. Last Friday it looked about three quarters full, but today it was about a foot and half below the spillway. Been several years since I’ve seen it this full. Here’s a pic.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/625ab86fdde5c98a52533eafe8aad4a4b06434f1f9b375197d078595652d48ca.jpg

    • Chris

      Thanks! I have been wondering about Lexington.
      I think Chesbro is about to overflow if not already doing so.
      That would make LlaggasCreek flow even higher late tomorrow than it did on Sunday. ??

      • Thunderclap

        Yeah, I would expect Chesbro to go over at anytime with the next round of rain. I’ll try to head up again on Thursday to see if it is pouring over the spillway. They were letting a lot out at the base of the dam via the relatively new outlet tunnel. I’ll take some video if it is flowing.

    • Rusty Rails

      I imagine Valley Water has started diverting water to the Campbell perc ponds. Friends up Beardsley Rd up behind the pond on the west side of 17 said rocks were moving in the creek this weekend which means flow into Lexington was high!

      • Thunderclap

        I usually drive home on San Tomas expressway and then jump on 17. The LG creek at San Tomas was a big muddy flow, which got me curious about Lexington. They’ve been diverting water into the percs all season.

        • Rusty Rails

          Interesting. Friends posted pics of them out walking around the big percs along 17 after Christmas and they were pretty low. Lexington is so silted in there isn’t really much to it these days compared to when itbwas built. I was told by a Valley Water manager that the cost, current use, and cinnabar situation meant dredging wasn’t on the table.

  • inclinejj

    Light rain Pacifica. This storm has a very different feeling. Currently 53 degrees.

    • Dan weather maniac

      I was thinking the same re: the different feeling. I think we are going to get a major front passage with wind, cold and heavy brief rain, and more thunder too.

      • MetaGhost (Berkeley)

        Started earlier here than forecasted. Seems like it just wants to rain now. Nearly 2″ now being called for btwn now and tomorrow night.

  • matthew

    It was a dark and stormy night…

    • Cap’n

      Truckee Scales cam showing lots of snow your way. Think we’re around half a foot or so, just hoping we don’t wake up to rain.

      • matthew

        I am calling it now…overperformer.

  • Thunderstorm

    The blob has returned. This time it’s BLUE not red. Getting bigger too. A short break then right back to more of the same!

  • Chris
    • GR

      I follow this, too. FWIW, YESTERDAY Steven’s Creek was at 50.2 and overall capacity about 51%. TODAY, it’s 92 and 65, respectively.

      Wow!!

      It is noteworthy that Santa Clara never goes to 100% because of earthquake engineering considerations. The system should reach its maximum actual capacity shortly.

  • click

    A total of .51″ from this morning, about 5 times what I was expecting in my generally rainshadowed location (top of the Cajon Pass). The AR kept its tilt so had a very decent SW flow when it hit the transverse ranges. Over the last week I have been exploring alternate (i.e. dirt trails) routes up the pass, and there is a huge ecosystem and much more varied terrain than you would expect if you only ever took the freeway. I have seen creeks flowing, pockets of diverse vegetation, and wildlife that is just out of sight to most. Pretty amazing and I have a much greater appreciation for it and our unique microclimate hidden in the desert.
    Forecast for this week is decently wet, and I look forward to more adventures in the mud before we return to our default state, dry.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2cc7a38c6deb6adbd47c878b0801c5863078b889ae2cba301a5755423b9321e2.jpg
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/27c5b04e6fa9318b641754cfbfd2ecb530d617f33c688e4817d80a271caeb8d5.jpg

    • StormHiker

      What is the scale of the first photo? I could see those branches being either huge trees or small bushes…is that a burned out car at the bottom?

      • click

        Those are big trees in that wash, and yes, an old burned/rusted out bug(?). That picture is from Lone Pine Canyon, near Lost Lake right on the San Andreas fault. I tried to visit Lost Lake (which was dry this summer) but the area has been closed since the Blue Cut fire this past summer.

        • StormHiker

          Got it thank you.

        • Y. Pestis

          Hate to split hairs, but that lower part of the canyon is called Swarthout Canyon.

          Lost Lake truly was lost from the drought. I saw it about two weeks after the fire, it was a mud puddle. It is technically a “shelf lake” fed by underground springs. Paddled around it on a kayak a few times when it was 100′ wide by 400′ long. Even had some nice sized bass in it several years ago.

          • click

            I never actually saw it while it had water in it, sorry to say. And you’re right about the canyon name, it slipped my mind as I was admiring the scenery while exiting the area on Lone Pine Canyon Rd lol. Thanks. I want to explore the Lytle Creek area, I am woefully unaware on the names and interesting sites there. Any suggestions on what to check out?

          • Y. Pestis

            Middle Fork Lytle Creek is a great place to hike. Driving up 3N06 runs E-W along Lone Pine Canyon (to north) and North Fork LC (south side of ridge). It’s closed right now because of the rains and Blue Cut fire. Well worth a drive when it reopens. Be sure to have high clearance but 4-WD is not needed most of the time.

    • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

      I wonder if there is those desert flowers blooming yet?

      • click

        No flowers yet, but the seeds are germinating and sprouting thanks to the last few weeks being consistently wet. Generally they grow when it’s wet and flower out when it dries out a bit. Will be a sight to see once they start blooming. Lots of mushrooms right now, they have a very short lifecycle and when it rains they are out within days, sometimes within hours they will rise out of the mud.

    • GOLDFLAKE-SVF

      Love the rock formation and the seams.

      • click

        Crowder Canyon, the original tollroad through the pass ran through that Canyon. Also been prospecting a bit while out and about, found a bit of color over the weekend.
        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2330453dc16335a6a3d934c20fe07f72e2902c63ebf27d6efddfa53e662c0c50.jpg

        • annette johnson

          So cute! I too like to go off the beaten path and explore. I used to take my daughter on excursions starting about that age…they are never too young to learn and appreciate nature 🙂

          • inclinejj

            I starting taking mine fishing with me about that age. She caught her first fish at Donner Lake. Couldn’t wait to bring it back and show it to her Mom.

          • annette johnson

            Those were the days, right? So many good memories 🙂

          • click

            My two younger ones ask on a daily basis if we can go for a hike, lol. It’s tough when it’s already dark when we all get home from school and work, but I’m excited that they are excited.

          • annette johnson

            That is so awesome…sounds like you are doing a great job!

        • GOLDFLAKE-SVF

          I’m an amateur, but dedicated rockhound. I have quite a collection, but have never found any as colorful as that cutie. A darling girl! I have two adult daughters and they’re the best. Enjoy!

        • whisperingsage

          Yup, my single mom took us ( two girls) out for walks everywhere in Capitola along the river, in Soquel, Branciforte, the beaches, everywhere. We leashed about 5 dogs with us. I didn’t know then how much she was teaching us.

      • rainingintheLBC

        Definitely some nice veins. That center joint set is a textbook example of 45 degree fractures. Cajon Pass is one of those places that gets more than its fair share of tectonic stress…

        • Nate

          I think some developers would really start to dislike the Alquist-Priolo Act in that area…

          • rainingintheLBC

            Are there developments in that area? I thought it was basically San Bernardino and then Hesperia on the other side. That area is a double whammy with both the Southern San Andreas and San Jacinto Faults. If one doesn’t slip with a Mw 6.5+ this century, the other one will…

          • click

            There are quite a few homes through that zone mostly on the west side of the freeway, and there have been railroad depot towns along it at various times in the last century. That area was the hardest hit by the fire, a lot of homes burned.
            Devore sits in the wedge where the fault splits, beautiful but dangerous area.
            There are other faults in that area, namely the Cleghorn fault that has been recently active.

          • click

            Also, the high desert communities (Phelan, Oak Hills, Hesperia, etc) are basically built on a huge sandy alluvial fan from when the San Gabriels and San Bernardinos were raised. I’m a little concerned about the liquification potential for the whole area if/when that quake happens.

          • rainingintheLBC

            Socal never did have the greatest planning. I’ve seen a few studies on the liquefaction potential in Socal but it doesn’t make sense to me. I understand the liquefaction potential in the Bay Area due to the hydric soils and bay influence(high saline water table). But in the high desert area, soils seem rarely saturated and I would assume the depth to groundwater is pretty great? I might be wrong.

          • Nate

            Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. It’s possible, but only if the water table is shallow enough. From this report, I got that regardless of age, if the soil isn’t saturated and the water table isn’t higher that 30ft., there’s not much of a risk for liquefaction. Don’t know the exact groundwater levels are, but from this data (https://cida.usgs.gov/ngwmn/index.jsp), they’re nowhere near what is needed for significant liquefaction in that area.

            Also: “Large-scale catastrophic ground failures in sediments of the San Bernardino Valley region are unlikely given the heterogeneous nature of the layering types and sequences.”

            https://pubs.usgs.gov/bul/1898/report.pdf

          • Nate

            Exactly, it’s a question of “when” more than “where”. It’s still impressive how many houses/buildings are built up essentially on fault scarps in California (i.e. Hollywood or Berkeley). The whole Cajon Pass area is a really interesting place seismically, which I guess is what you get with a fault bend.

    • Phil(ontario)

      I know there are some good trails by silverwood lake that might be able to get you around the traffic. you can order a trail map from here http://www.fs.usda.gov

  • Yolo Hoe

    Is it a general rule that the Rockies do well with snowpack when the Sierra do well, or is it a more complex relationship?

    Being new to the west (and to weather obsession), am trying to comprehend how these systems move across the various mountain ranges into the plains and Mississippi valley.

    • Nathan

      I think it’s generally correlative since our weather is always, in bulk, W to E and we are at the same latitude, but with frequent exceptions since both areas are can be influenced by different airmasses when flow turns more meridional.

      • Yolo Hoe

        Thanks!

    • Skye H.

      Rockies have also done better in recent years because the sierras, with their proximity to the ocean, tend to be a much warmer mountain range – and in the age of climate change, with snow levels becoming a bigger problem in the sierras, snowpack there is decreasing faster than it is in the rockies.

      • MetaGhost (Berkeley)

        Higher elevation as well.

    • SBMWill

      Its tricky What do you mean by rockies they run from mexico to Canada one end can be in drought and the other drenched. Seems like you probable are asking about central rockies Colorado to Wyoming. In General when we do well It means a Zonal flow pattern is entrenched and the moisture would continue its east bound treck with litttle north south deviation. But not always the case. Typically when the northwest is getting the moisture the Jet is sagging and the moisture seems to trend north or south. If your talking pure snowpack they almost always do better expect for really big years out here not years with the most moisture but years dominated by the GOA. Definitely complex but each storm starts in the same place so if its cold its cold for everyone. If it warm its warm for California and the northwest and cools when encountering the continental air mass. Then off course storms dry out droping into the plains and the main effect is the wind then they re intensify when they cross wherever the dry line is set up.

      • Yolo Hoe

        Thank you — yes, did indeed mean central Rockies, and should have specified!

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

    It is 52F

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

    I hope we all some FUNDERSTORMS at some point.0!

  • jstrahl

    After i rode off (home is central Berkeley) around 1:15 to a friend’s place in Richmond Annex (the southern part of Richmond), 25 minutes bike ride, i noticed clouds were getting quite dark. Rain wasn’t due till tonight. So i kept going vs going back and getting a poncho. My jacket is water proof anyway. When i left there after 3:30, started getting drops, thicker to steady rain, then slowed to very light rain. Got a bit wet but of course didn’t melt. 🙂 .06 inches added. Rain trailed off, but resumed about an hour ago.

  • Nate

    Really cool video of the tornado near Lincoln today. NWS Sacramento hasn’t confirmed that it touched down, but judging from some of the photos online, EF0 winds were likely on the ground, making it an official tornado even if the condensation funnel didn’t touch the ground. This video also shows that it was associated with larger-scale cell rotation, indicating that this wasn’t a wimpy landspout–it was a real (but still wimpy) supercellular tornado.

    http://www.kcra.com/article/viewer-videos-show-funnel-cloud-near-lincoln/8579563

  • Unbiased Observer

    Holy we cows! Look at the Mammoth cams right now on Howard’s site…absolute dumpage!

    • Unbiased Observer

      The summit cam is completely buried in snow.

    • Crouching Dallas

      Yeah, I just looked at Snowman’s cam near Canyon and came to the same conclusion – dumpdumpdumpdumpdumpdump

  • Rio Rat

    Drove over Hwy 17 to pick up my dad in SJ, big mud slide north bound blocking both lanes. All along the Hwy the hillsides were oozing water,won’t take much more rain for stuff to really start moving around.

    • jstrahl

      So anyone driving from the Santa Cruz area to the Bay Area would have to take Highway 9 or take 1 and maybe 92 from Half Moon Bay eastward? Wow!

      • Rusty Rails

        San Jose Soquel stayed open but was busy. Lots of people went via 129 Chittenden Pass this morning as 9 and Hecker Pass were closed by slides.

        • jstrahl

          What a mess.

      • Rio Rat

        They split south bound into one lane south,& one north for about 2 miles,30 min delay

        • jstrahl

          Thanks, makes sense.

      • If I was going to east bay I’d drive to Watsonville then Hecker Pass to 101. PCH to HMB is a gorgeous drive though.

        • jstrahl

          Hecke closed too, per Rusty Rail below. Yeah, 1 is gorgeous, but i wonder how safe.

          • Nate

            I guess it’s still open, but it probably wouldn’t take much to close. Those cliffs by Waddell Creek come to mind.

          • Rusty Rails

            The SoCal style catch fences do a pretty good job of catching rocks, but that’s certainly the worst geologic spot between Half Moon Bay and SC. There isn’t really a slope failure closure history in that stretch compared to the Pacifica area or south of Carmel, or at least that’s what my memory tells me.

      • Nathan

        9 is closed too.

  • Cap’n

    Just took the dog outside we’ve got just over 8″ and it is currently dumping.

    • AlTahoe

      I am at 4″ right now but the Temp is exactly 32F and holding steady. I think snow levels will go up to 7k tomorrow for a bit.

    • matthew

      7″ over here and 29 degrees.

      • Cap’n

        Yoo hoo! The plow just went by and in his headlights you could really make out how hard it’s snowing. 12 + by morning seems reasonable.

  • Wrangled (Stockton/Graeagle)

    Rained moderately to heavy at times in Graeagle non stop from Friday till last night and switched to snow early this AM. Do not have a rain gauge but am curious of numbers might be there. Incredibly loud thunder boomer woke us up around 2 last night. Posting pictures of middle fork feather, first from Saturday AM when there was still ~6in of snow and then next picture was taken this AM after most snow melted away. Man are the small creeks running like hell! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a3ce59d8c3d796003efacd761fbac44a25eba01cc38814bd6d8ed2c4bee52ab9.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cedcf4cdfd4b00a065cddfed29e80904aeb514a13b128b3a76732e86a68d5888.jpg

    • Osse (Redondo)

      Great comparison photos!

    • Siernev

      Plumas Eureka State Park has a 96hr total of 13.6″, but other gauges in the vicinity typically don’t get as much.

      Did the Middle Fork Feather flood Portola?

      • Wrangled (Stockton/Graeagle)

        Not sure, drove to Reno last night and noticed only nuisance road flooding but Portola looked fine. However, according to the NWS river gauge it is at its crest around 10+ feet which would apparently be historic …. http://www.water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=rev&gage=mftc1

        • Charlie B

          Where is your place in Graeagle? I thought I was the only WWer with a place there. I have been busy and haven’t been up from Reno in a month. We are at Plumas Pines 17th fairway.

          • Wrangled (Stockton/Graeagle)

            In Graeagle meadows. Love Plumas county and most of NE Ca as there are much less people than Tahoe/truckee and it feels more remote and rugged. I get up there once a month if I’m lucky. We rent it out partially during the summer.

  • Fyerdriver (Nipomo, CA)

    2.2″ last night which puts us a tad over 9″ since December! Last season a mere 3.5″ total for El Nino 🙁

    Looks like the little girl is beating up her brother 🙂

  • 4stranger

    Yesterday that river of rain started around 1830, by midnight I had 2″ in the gauge, 2.75″ for the weekend total and 15.04″ since October. Feels like a normal winter again. Arroyo Grande

  • alanstorm

    The break in the rain for NW CA that was supposed to allow the rivers to recede DIDNT happen, & now they are on the rise again. Stages for the Eel R & others have been raised slightly.
    Any more increase & this goes from a minor flood to a more serious one

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Sounds like the break in the rain for NW CA was a “bust” then. Probably going to screw with some event planning, no doubt.

      • Crouching Dallas

        more like event damming, amirite?

  • Crank Tango
    • Nathan

      That has got to burn, immediately after 4 years of drought…

  • Bob Anderson

    1″ in Tracy over the last 48 hours. After a break for most of the day, it’s now lightly raining again.

    • Patrick from Stockton

      Same in Stockton. We were really heavily rain shadowed by that AR. I’m hopeful this one will be better for both of us.

  • Guitar_grrrl

    4.49″ for this weekend’s storm. 7.49 total since 1 January. Pescadero Creek was running >1900 CFS

    • SBMWill

      Nice! I bet this weather makes for some nice jam sessions!

    • I love seeing all of those creeks blown through the summer sandbars

  • Unbiased Observer

    GFS not backing down in the long range, would be really good for SoCal if it comes close to fruition.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Those storms depicted in the long range have dencent snow levels for the mountains. Let’s hope this verifies. So far this season it seems the GFS has a tendency to start 2nd guessing itself, and then eventually comes around to something similar to its original guess as the date draws nearer.

      • Sfedblog

        That GFS is a real kidder.

  • SoSocal (Chula Vista)

    GFS is on a roll! Hope everything verifies but all of these runs are looking very similar from short to long range, frozen and liquid gold for the whole state! Euro is looking solid as well.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/444e66d0c48b971569e78663e10165eb8e89944b9ca53d644bd0be61a8029376.gif Through Sunday:
    http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/gfs/2017011000/gfs_apcpn_swus_20.png

    Through Long Range (pretty consistant though):
    http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/gfs/2017011000/gfs_apcpn_swus_52.png

  • srfrgrl1

    A couple of pix from Genoa, NV 4800ft, eastern Sierra foothills. First shot is looking up the 2nd fairway at Genoa Lakes GC (gives a new meaning to the name 😉 and second is a blend of the 1st and 18th fairways. Road covered, couldn’t even cross the course to get to the Carson River, which runs through it. Whole lower valley is pretty much a lake, and almost all roads to Minden, Gardnerville were closed today. Will try to post a video of Carson Valley, too. Wild winds and rain last night!
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1c199d09a7d1670faefe537890660d945f93732941633ed3bdcc2dd47be970d6.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/eb8e1f338fe53ea90c5d5d40a9eb37336017e0a129df69a24eaa3978856e88ec.jpg

    • TruckeeLover

      I love Genoa and that golf course. I’m hosting a large tournament there in mid-May. The normal water hazards are difficult enough!

      • srfrgrl1

        True!

    • Looks like a great time to play!

      • srfrgrl1

        now, if I can just land my ball on that tiny mound…

  • April hope brings May nope

    Sure seems like lots of Californians are washing their cars and planning BBQ’s this January.

    • Rusty Rails

      I have several major outdoor events planned for Tuesday afternoon.

      • VK (Sacramento)

        boy, are you in luck if you need an “Event planner”

    • WSDTLA

      I really did see a lady washing her car this morning. I was agog

  • Rusty Rails

    After all that windy excitement earlier it went dead calm in Santa Cruz. There was a light rain squall of sorts right before the calm which makes sense considering how early it was. Frogs are pleased either way!

  • srfrgrl1

    Part of the flooded Carson Valley…
    https://youtu.be/rv-w9mlm0Fk

    • Crouching Dallas

      Thanks for posting this! I don’t know much about Carson Valley wildflower displays, but this has to set the scene for a good one in the late spring, right?

      • srfrgrl1

        I’ve only been down here since Aug, so haven’t experienced all the vegetation in different seasons yet. but I would think yes with all this water. Lots of sage (desert), but this section of the valley is amazingly beautiful in all seasons, and I know that lilac and all kinds of blooming trees abound in spring. When I did Costco runs from Tahoe I would always take this route, as it’s so scenic, and Genoa is such a cool little western throwback town!

  • Crouching Dallas

    “Inyo 395 IS NOW CLOSED to all vehicles from Pearsonville to Bishop, Due to Extremely High Winds/Brown out conditions.”

    Am I the only one imagining Bartshe, tufa staff in one hand, holding up his other hand at incoming traffic, shouting: “You Shall Not Paaaaassss!”?

    • StormHiker

      Tufa staff. Yes.

    • Charlie B

      …or I shall smite you!

    • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

      Yup just drove north through that hurricane. 4 big rigs overturned in the lanes…not a good scene. Easy sustained 60mph side wind in my Tundra was a workout. I was thinking the whole time how this is open…just missed the closure.

  • StormHiker

    Lake McClure on the Merced River is rapidly approaching the highest water level recorded last year…will it fill to the top this year?

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8a78c20bc35c16d4f15de6d3cda67991576d5ddb2458eed8c5bc370c65d29f24.png

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      Today the flow into McClure was 27,000 CFS.

      • Upslope

        Oroville closing in on consecutive 180,000 acre feet days. That could fill Hetch Hetchy in 2 days. Wow.

    • Upslope

      Signs point to yes.

  • BRP (Ventura)

    Wow, over 5200 comments in less then a week here on WW Blog! Thanks Ma Nature for stoking CA out! Unfortunately for us here in VTA County, both the Ventura and Santa Clara Rivers still haven’t flowed enough to break out of their 6 year drought sand bars to reach the ocean. Hearing and seeing all these posts of rivers throughout the state raging, then seeing with my own 2 eyes our stagnant rivers makes me sad…

  • jstrahl

    Click on image to see current one. Check out between Lat 30N-40N and Long 140W-150W, secondary low spinning under the main low, moving eastward.
    http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/west/weus/rb-l.jpg

    • Storm master (Sonora CA)

      thats old it show a its on JAN 6th for me

      • malnino

        .. or you could “click on image to see current one”, like he mentions up front. Oy.

  • HighWater

    Some are saying that this solar minimum we are in is going to put us in a mini ice age.

    • I think “mini ice age” is an overstatement of the true effects of a grand solar minimum, like the Maunder Minimum. And I’ve yet to see any broad consensus that we are, in fact, entering such a period. The report below says winters could be a bit colder in the northern hemisphere, mostly northern Europe and eastern US, but the effect on global average temperature would be minimal compared to effects from AGW.

      https://www.carbonbrief.org/solar-minimum-could-bring-cold-winters-to-europe-and-us-but-would-not-hold-off-climate-change

      It doesn’t appear California weather would be significantly affected in such a scenario.

      • Storm master (Sonora CA)

        guys can we please save this AGW stuff for other day has we have a major event going on thanks whats stick too the weather thanks

        • Sorry. I dropped my guard and responded when I shouldn’t have.

          • Storm master (Sonora CA)

            thats OK i this want too keep thing too weather right now since we got a major event on its way this kind of stuff can be talked about on a dead day when there nothing going on in the weather

    • Someone else

      negative ghost rider. abort and let the blog get back to discussing the actual weather and science based discussion, not watts’ pseudoscience.

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    a lot of are small creeks did not really have a ch too go down on monday

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    man this event could have even more rain fall then sunday event been haveing mod too heavy rain fall most of the early AM hrs so far

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    talk about Blizzard conditions blizzard warnings may be needed

    http://tahoetopia.com/webcam/tahoe-city-wye-webcam

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    holy we cows

    check out the new snow fall for lake level

    URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE RENO NV
    234 AM PST TUE JAN 10 2017

    CAZ072-NVZ002-102245-
    /O.UPG.KREV.WS.W.0003.000000T0000Z-170112T1200Z/
    /O.NEW.KREV.BZ.W.0001.170110T1034Z-170111T1800Z/
    /O.NEW.KREV.WS.W.0004.170111T1800Z-170112T1200Z/
    GREATER LAKE TAHOE AREA-
    INCLUDING THE CITIES OF SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, TRUCKEE, STATELINE,
    AND INCLINE VILLAGE
    234 AM PST TUE JAN 10 2017

    …BLIZZARD WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM PST WEDNESDAY…
    …WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM WEDNESDAY TO 4 AM
    PST THURSDAY…

    THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN RENO HAS ISSUED A BLIZZARD
    WARNING, WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM PST WEDNESDAY. THE WINTER
    STORM WARNING IS NOW IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM WEDNESDAY TO 4 AM PST
    THURSDAY.

    * TIMING: DANGEROUS BLIZZARD CONDITIONS DUE TO HEAVY SNOW AND
    STRONG WINDS WILL CONTINUE TODAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY MORNING.
    PERIODS OF MODERATE TO HEAVY SNOW WILL CONTINUE THROUGH
    WEDNESDAY NIGHT.

    * SNOW ACCUMULATIONS THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING: 5 TO 10 FEET ABOVE
    7000 FEET WITH 3 TO 7 FEET AT LAKE TAHOE LEVEL.

    * WINDS: SOUTHWEST 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 60 MPH THROUGH
    WEDNESDAY MORNING. SIERRA RIDGE GUSTS OVER 100 MPH.

    * SNOW LEVELS: BELOW LAKE LEVEL…MAY BRIEFLY RISE TO 6500 FEET
    THIS AFTERNOON BEFORE FALLING AGAIN.

    * IMPACTS: DANGEROUS LIFE THREATENING BLIZZARD CONDITIONS WITH
    NEAR ZERO VISIBILITY WILL EXIST FOR TRAVEL AND OUTDOOR
    ACTIVITIES WITH HEAVY SNOW ACCUMULATION ON ALL SIERRA ROADS.

    PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

    THIS IS A LIFE THREATENING SITUATION. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TRAVEL!
    ROAD CREWS AND FIRST RESPONDERS MAY NOT BE ABLE TO RESCUE YOU.
    STAY INDOORS UNTIL THE SNOW AND WIND SUBSIDE. EVEN A SHORT WALK
    COULD BE DEADLY IF YOU BECOME DISORIENTED.

    &&THE WINTER STORM WARNING IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT

    • Storm master (Sonora CA)

      with 5 to 10ft above 7000ft we could easy see 12 too 15ft may be 18ft of snow above 8,000ft and may be 20ft above 9,000ft

    • kipling

      Wow! Hope the people of the Sierra are prepared – this is starting to sound like the mother of all storms!!!

  • Utrex
  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    [IN THE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA AREA & SIERRA NEVADA]
    IS CLOSED FROM COLFAX (PLACER CO) TO THE NEVADA STATE LINE – DUE TO REDUCED VISIBILITY – MOTORISTS ARE ADVISED TO USE AN ALTERNATE ROUTE

    [IN THE CENTRAL CALIFORNIA & SIERRA NEVADA]
    IS CLOSED FROM 3.5 MI EAST OF SILVER LAKE TO KIRKWOOD /CARSON SPUR/ (AMADOR CO) – DUE TO SNOW – MOTORISTS ARE ADVISED TO USE AN ALTERNATE ROUTE

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    in other words if you have plans too go to the mts for skiing today i would say just stay home most of the ski area up there could be closed today due too high winds and whit out same thing for the high ways has well

    • Fork that it’s my day off and the lifts are a 20 minute walk from home!!! I’ll keep an eye out for downed power lines 😉

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    cant wait too here reports from the truckee area i think some of are bloger are going too be shocked this Am

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SACRAMENTO CA
    335 AM PST TUE JAN 10 2017

    …PERIODS OF HEAVY SNOW INTO THURSDAY…

    .ANOTHER STORM WILL IMPACT THE MOUNTAINS OF INTERIOR NORTHERN
    CALIFORNIA INTO THURSDAY. HEAVY SNOW WILL CONTINUE ACROSS THE
    NORTHERN SIERRA NEVADA AND MOUNTAINS OF WESTERN PLUMAS INTO MIDDAY
    WEDNESDAY. PERIODS OF LIGHT TO MODERATE SNOW ARE THEN LIKELY TO
    CONTINUE INTO THURSDAY. SEVERAL FEET OF NEW SNOW LIKELY ABOVE 5000
    FEET DURING THIS PERIOD WHICH COMBINED WITH STRONG WIND WILL MAKE
    MOUNTAIN TRAVEL EXTREMELY HAZARDOUS.

    CAZ069-110000-
    /O.UPG.KSTO.WS.W.0002.000000T0000Z-170112T1800Z/
    /O.NEW.KSTO.BZ.W.0001.170110T1135Z-170111T2000Z/
    /O.NEW.KSTO.WS.W.0003.170111T2000Z-170112T1800Z/
    WEST SLOPE NORTHERN SIERRA NEVADA-
    INCLUDING THE CITY OF BLUE CANYON
    335 AM PST TUE JAN 10 2017

    …BLIZZARD WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON PST WEDNESDAY…
    …WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM NOON WEDNESDAY TO 10 AM
    PST THURSDAY…

    THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SACRAMENTO HAS ISSUED A BLIZZARD
    WARNING, WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON PST WEDNESDAY. A WINTER
    STORM WARNING HAS ALSO BEEN ISSUED. THIS WINTER STORM WARNING FOR
    HEAVY SNOW AND STRONG WINDS IS IN EFFECT FROM NOON WEDNESDAY TO
    10 AM PST THURSDAY.

    * MAIN IMPACTS: HAZARDOUS TRAVEL IS EXPECTED WITH SLICK ROADS,
    STRONG GUSTY WIND, AND LOW VISIBILITIES. LONG TRAVEL DELAYS ARE
    POSSIBLE DUE TO TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS AND SNOW REMOVAL. ROAD
    CLOSURES ARE LIKELY.

    * CONFIDENCE…HIGH.

    * TIMING…SNOW LEVELS 4000 TO 5000 FEET. HEAVY SNOW NOW THROUGH
    EARLY WEDNESDAY WITH SNOWFALL RATES OF 2 INCHES OR MORE PER HOUR
    AT TIMES.

    * LOCATIONS…INTERSTATE 80 OVER DONNER PASS, HIGHWAY 50 OVER ECHO
    SUMMIT, HIGHWAY 88 OVER CARSON PASS.

    * WINDS/VISIBILITY…ZERO VISIBILITY WITH HEAVY SNOW AND BLOWING
    SNOW. GUSTY SOUTHWEST WINDS 20 TO 40 MPH. GUSTS OF 60 MPH OR
    HIGHER POSSIBLE THROUGH THE PASSES.

    * SNOW ACCUMULATIONS…AN ADDITIONAL 2 TO 3 FEET DOWN TO 4500 FOOT
    ELEVATION BY EARLY THURSDAY WITH 3 TO 6 FEET OVER HIGHER
    TERRAIN.

    PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

    A BLIZZARD WARNING MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE OCCURRING.
    FALLING AND BLOWING SNOW WITH STRONG WINDS AND POOR VISIBILITIES
    ARE LIKELY. THIS WILL LEAD TO WHITEOUT CONDITIONS, MAKING TRAVEL
    EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. DO NOT TRAVEL. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL, HAVE A
    WINTER SURVIVAL KIT WITH YOU. IF YOU GET STRANDED, STAY WITH YOUR
    VEHICLE.

    winter storm warning got upgraded has well too a BLIZZARD WARNING

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    i cant re call the last time the valley and foot hills had a area wide high wind warning and BLIZZARD WARNING for the mts

  • RunningSprings6250

    Totals down south have been beefed up through the week and it’ll get cold – AFD says total 6″-12″ for my elevation and the always optimistic point forecast shows 12″-23″.

  • Bartshe

    Sections of Hwy 80,88,395 closed due to wind & snow. Let’s see if we can get 50 and shoot the moon.

    • Bombillo1

      5 north of Redding has also been shut down. A couple more east west connectors go and it will be Donner Party 2.0, except the numbers will be more impressive.

    • Siernev

      US 50 is currently being held for avi control. Sorta counts.

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

    Its 52F outside! More like a typical June morning

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    i have picked up .63″ of rain since mind night and we still have a long way too go

    this rain is moveing march march slower then with sunday event with the rain last moveing a little faster

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)

    I got .11″ of rain overnight

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    cant wait too here snow reports from are truckee and tahoe blogers this AM looks like about a foot too 15″ or more has fall since it started

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    starting too get windy

  • AlTahoe

    We have about 9-10″ of extremely heavy Sierra cement outside that is stuck to everything. The temp is now up to 33.5F so I imagine it will change to rain at some point. They have bumped totals up to 3-7′ for lake level

    • Storm master (Sonora CA)

      if it dos change too rain it wont last long in fact it may stay all snow for you

      • AlTahoe

        There’s going to be a lot of tree and power line damage if we get 3 more feet of this heavy stuff.

        • Storm master (Sonora CA)

          this think what would happen if you got 7 feet of snow from this if this stays all snow and not turn too rain for a short time well you guys in tahoe wanted a snowstorm well be care full what you wish for

    • Storm master (Sonora CA)

      if you do not have too go any where today dont the web cams are showing whit out

      • RunningSprings6250

        I’m pretty sure he can just open his door and figure out what’s best for Al – I don’t know, just a wild guess.

        Come march though Al might be buried in 20 feet…

        • AlTahoe

          Luckily my work has snow days. I keep looking at the storm cycle being depicted after this one on the Gfs and it looks like the second half of January could be snowier and colder then this storm cycle. We will be at our seasonal average for precip by this Friday so I don’t see how we finish the season with anything less than 150% of normal. The only years that followed similar progressions were closer to 200% of normal. I would expect our dry period to kick in sometime during February with a return to stormy weather in march

  • Bombillo1

    Our benefactor, the GOA/BC low, has cleaned itself up and retro graded to its comfy spot further west again. Looks like the band only knows one song. Hope no one is getting tired of this.

    • There will be a drying out period then more rain later this month. The North Pacific is following directions on a shampoo bottle quite nicely this season.

      • 4stranger

        Nice one!

      • Pfirman

        “Keep out of eyes”?

    • Yolo Hoe

      Funny and thanks for this version — my wife and I have been humming this tune since Saturday — driving the kids crazy.

      • Thor

        “take a long holiday….let your children play…”

        • Yolo Hoe

          Ha!!

  • TrailRover

    Brian Hickey/kcra is reporting from downtown Truckee this morning and he might be there a while with 80 closed

  • TahoeCard

    Homewood – At 25 inches so far. 31 degrees. NOAA issued the rare blizzard warning. Up to 7 ft forecast. Guess my wife and I aren’t going anywhere.

    • Storm master (Sonora CA)

      and we still got a long long ways too go

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    well i was hoping i would hit 1″ of rain be for sunrise but looks am at .80″ of rain so far wish is not bad at all for the over night hrs this rain that over me right now is this stalled

  • Yolo Hoe

    HWC — just got Northstar overnight report: 36″ (I prefer 3 feet or 1 yard).

    Given usual discount being 10 ish miles east of crest, I assume Sugie got 4+ feet — is CrashingOut still out there? Seriously, hope our snowpack leaders are safe up there — us Valley folk will come up Friday when it’s safe so that we can gawk and take pictures in the sun.

    • AlTahoe

      My co worker just texted me from the top of kingsbury grade and said he is at 48″ already!
      For people that don’t know that is the Nevada side of Heavenly ski resort at about 7600′

      • Storm master (Sonora CA)

        all most 5 feet all ready? man the NWS may have too dump up the snow fall to 10 too 20 feet if this keeps up and we are no where near done with this storm yet

        • weathergeek100

          48/12= 4′ of snow. 4′, not 5.

        • Yolo Hoe

          ‘Dump up the snowfall’ — love it!!!!

    • AlTahoe

      Since we haven’t heard from crashing or capn I think they might not have power or cell service

      • Yolo Hoe

        Yep — bog is eerily quiet without them — though Storm master is on his game and providing some good adrenaline rushes

        • Charlie B

          Personally, I’m anxious to hear what is happening in Orcutt.

          • Yolo Hoe

            Indeed — I haven’t even bothered with Davis reporting — definitely having a weather inferiority complex

      • Filming time lapses of snowfall, not dead, all batteries charged, will update soon

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      Looks like 2+’ of snow at 7k’ in TD. 80s closed due to blizzard conditions. Tahoe Donner announced their ski hill is closed today, hoping to open tomorrow. If you’re familiar with the Sierra the snow is now above the metal garbage huts.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/31782bf9b662d5392fe472986e9842d331db6ea9b26a7cde545d4ab68c4530f7.jpg

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/64bd499fe0b74df7497e7b2bb3aa2740d303c0251b1a31f00e14e676b40ad62d.jpg

    • Siernev

      BA just updated, along with resort totals as usual. Three places already topping 5 feet! (Heavenly, Kirkwood, Rose)

    • Making time lapses and digging and filming, not dead yet

  • Arnold Weather Fanatic

    Rained all night. Total Jan 2 to now is 13.7″. It is soggy out there.

  • Thunder98 (Orcutt, CA)
    • Upslope

      Llamas in the fog.
      Llamas in the fog.
      Into the barn they jog.
      For that human they slog.
      Like a bog without it’s moss
      A warm fire out of logs
      Llamas in the fog…yeaahhhhhhh

  • Sierra2410

    Nearly 2 feet here at Sierra House in South Lake. Hoping for at least another 3 feet! Looks like highway 50 at echo is now closed.. too bad I really wanted to shred Sierra today!

  • Henry

    The incoming storm seems to be over performing so far here in the mountains above Los Gatos. NWS is predicting that this storm will track further to the north than the last one, and radar has been showing little or no precipitation south of year since last night. Yet we have received almost one inch of rain since yesterday afternoon and it is coming down hard. I think the orographics with the recent pattern must be very favorable on both sides of the Santa Cruz mountains. Los Gatos has received almost double the amount of precipitation compared to San Francisco over the past week.

    • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

      Similar here. Radar not super impressive but got 0.50 since midnight. Better dynamicS?

  • Nate

    This system is looking pretty concective, so it could be a nice one for NorCal t-storm lovers.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/RobMayeda/status/818706382673195008

    • CHeden

      Hope so.
      Nothing but intermittent wind gusts here in Cottonwood…..same thing for 24 hrs now.
      Still no rain to speak of.

  • Add another 0.10″ to the bank.

  • lodule16

    Already .9″ in the boot in the North Berkeley flats from this latest round…

  • weathergeek100

    I’ve been using the NWS since the middle of high school- around 15 years ago. Never have I ever….seen a blizzard warning hoisted for the Sierras. For me, this is a first.

    • Storm master (Sonora CA)

      there was one issued back in 2009 or early 2010 when we had that super storm we all so had area wide high wind warnings in the valley and foot hills with that storm

    • RunningSprings6250

      We’ve had 2 or 3 issued here and all between 08-11 and they all ended up with 3′-6′ snow plus the winds of course, it’s the wild winds plus heavy snow that lead to the blizzard warning.

      I’ll never forget my first time trying to shovel snow in it and literally filling back in immediately and then comes the disorientation because all you see is white and a mass of snow blowing in every direction and the sound of the wind and wait, which way back to the house again?

      Incredible power of MOnature. That and powerful thunderstorms are so energizing like you just get enveloped in it.

    • AlTahoe

      Jan 2008 was the last one I remember seeing

      • Cap’n

        My wife’s boss is giving her crap for not being able to make it down to Reno. The 80 is closed, I guess she could ski down? Just talked to coworker down there she has 17″ on her deck, how’d you make it out? I wonder if our fear of rain is going to pan out? As of now it’s still dumping heavy wet snow. I almost had a heart attack shoveling, I’m not even done yet.

        • TahoeCard

          My wife works in Reno too. We sent the link to the blizzard warning to her manager. She replied immediately “life threatening conditions?? Hell, stay home”.

          • Cap’n

            Yeah I’m pretty pissed. She is a trooper and drives to and from work in conditions that would scare me. Also never takes sick days, not to mention she has the ability to work remotely. I told her he better be ready cause tomorrow might be the same.

        • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

          I was staying in Truckee one time and had an argument with someone that wanted me at a meeting in Reno. Said “the road is closed”…his response “I know, but you can try Mt Rose.” At that I said no thanks and waited it out, if 80s closed for bad conditions no way would I touch Mt Rose…

        • Yolo Hoe

          Tell her boss that (s)he’s fired based on citizens arrest principle — what a moron — please tell us this isn’t related to controversy over canceling an event today……

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    Wind Advisory and winter storm warnings get issued a lot so that is not so rare

    what is rare too have is high wind warning area wide and Blizzard Warning issued has we normal dont see them a lot here in CA

  • Still alive, cell and power working, going to be completely honest I have had zero desire to go outside the past 24 hours it’s so incredibly nasty and windy, I’m taking a break and using this storm as a much needed rest and relaxation period. The winds and snow last night were awe inspiring. Getting good video of the burial of the landscape, going to time lapse the whole systems snowfall. Cars are pretty buried now, so 5-6 feet? Going out as soon as I finish waterproofing my boots.

    • MetaGhost (Berkeley)

      Sounds way more interesting than my jury duty today.

    • TruckeeLover

      Can’t hardly wait to see the video. Stay safe, thanks for all you do for the WW brethren!

    • Yolo Hoe

      Awesome!! And great to hear from you.

    • Osse (Redondo)

      Was wondering what your situation was; thanks for the update!

  • Dan weather maniac

    1.16 overnight, dumping, windy, 50f in Orinda. On track for 10inches in 10days.

  • matthew

    Snow shovel aerobics this morning in Truckee. Had to shovel a path just so the dogs could take a dump. 16″-19″, depending on where I measure. Remember, I am on the “dry” side of town 12 miles east of Donner Pass. Cap’n Barndini probably has a foot more. Lots more to come…

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/403d7c38763b70b5d76d0bdfbc09d4cca6ded3af937aa726a8dbc4e02e128d79.jpg

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e04ded02fa6ba6797a6c3b73a7789f755979c56c9ef9c838726330136c36ea05.jpg

  • CHeden

    A pretty interesting (and very complicated) setup over the EPac is unfolding. Complicating the matter is the GFS did not initialize well at all, and I’m now very dubious of even short term forecasts.
    If you’ll remember, last night, we were monitoring a new (developing) low starting to drop down the backside of our quasi-stationary low off the NW coast. Overnight, this new SW tracking low bombed and has pushed all the way out to -145W which essentially killed the old low nearer the coast..and took along with it most of the W-E forcing. As a result, nothing is making it over the coast range. Underneath the low, a mid-latitude storm had been chugging towards the west coast around 40N, but has now been pushed SW by the advancing GoA. In response to this southern dip in the low’s track, a weak ridge over far NorCal/southern Ore has been pumped up, but it is transient…with the axis moving east and over the coast this afternoon.
    So what’s going to happen next is a real crapshoot since I’m not making much sense of the models vs. the satellite imagery. ATTM, satellite pics shows the mid latitude storm axis is now east of the GoA low, with the GoA low starting to show signs of digging into the backside of the mid-latitude low as it progresses ENE. However, the models are not resolving these two lows…and even the last run of the GFS showed the mid-latitude storm should be still west of the GoA low, and together they would migrate to the coast bringing a strong surge of moisture and CF.
    If I were to hazard a guess, I think the twin lows offshore are going to phase and briefly stall before plowing the coast with a more powerful frontal passage than earlier forecast. For NorCal anyway, this would will also temporarily choke off some of the onshore flow as winds strengthen and briefly turn more meridional off the coast as the consolidated low approaches. Also, as the low starts to wrap up, I’d suspect the flow over N/Cent Cal (especially over the North Bay) will also stall, so the rains they’re currently getting will likely persist for the foreseeable future.
    Will try to post another update once the VIS satellite and new model runs are in.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/31bc7631f110f230cde78d969168c9734ec6d98ea79b491687b349c97bbfaa0c.jpg
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/562930fca1c0268f10eaa1e8623b88aee019e78090398f1f8fae92880a837a7c.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cba16d757e19ef0e6bcb4b1a8b64c30672eaf054fea3da78ca92581df43c2f07.jpg

    • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

      Thank you as always for the expertise and detail!

      • CHeden

        Yer welcome.
        Glad you’re finding it interesting, as am I.

    • tomocean

      This sounds like the recipe for some pretty intense flooding if this stuff continues to dump over an area that was already slammed this weekend. Are you seeing this lasting longer than is currently being forecast?

      • CHeden

        Yes, I do see a good chance the mean flows we’re seeing now will remain as is for quite a while…perhaps as long as 24hrs?