New series of storms to bring renewed California flood concerns, especially in south

Filed in Uncategorized by on January 17, 2017 6,459 Comments

A remarkably wet and active January so far, especially in the north

Precipitation is well above average to date across all of California, with the Northern Sierra nearing an all-time record to date. Adapted by Daniel Swain from CNAP.

A very wet and stormy period over the past month in California has brought about a dramatic reversal in fortunes in many drought-stricken regions. A series of very moist “atmospheric river” systems brought copious precipitation–in some of the typically wet mountain regions, liquid precipitation has been measured in feet. Widespread flooding of streams and smaller rivers occurred, and the Yolo Bypass on the Sacramento River has been opened for the first time in years. Numerous highway closures took place due to flooding and mudslides, and there have been several levee breaches (although so far impacts of these breaches have thus far been relatively minor).

After a couple of bouts of very warm rains, even at very high elevations, the most recent storm systems have been associated with a much colder modified Arctic airmass. The combination of cold temperatures and and an active storm track brought a tremendous amount of snowfall to virtually all mountain areas of northern and central California (at the highest mountain peaks, as much as 10-20 feet of snow!). In some places, especially along the crest of the Sierra Nevada, the last storm in this series brought extreme and crippling blizzard conditions. Parts of the Lake Tahoe region are still digging out after many feet of snow and nearly hurricane-force winds brought widespread disruptions to the power grid and transportation infrastructure.

 

 

Rainfall–and, especially, snowfall–of this magnitude has not been seen in California since before the start of our severe multi-year drought. Unsurprisingly, this recent precipitation has brought considerable drought relief to the northern two thirds of the state. In fact: from a surface water perspective (i.e., relating to the water present in rivers, lakes, and man-made reservoirs), the drought may effectively be over across much of Northern California. Two major caveats to consider: severe to extreme drought conditions persist across much of Southern California, and even in northern California groundwater aquifers remain severely depleted after years of record warmth and dryness. Still, it has been a very long time indeed since Sierra Nevada snowpack was well above average, as it is today. And on a statewide basis, 2016-2017 is actually tracking pretty close to the wettest year on record so far (though conditions have been less anomalously wet in the south). All in all, I think it’s fair to say that there is finally some good news to be had on the California drought front.

 

Three strong storms to affect California this week

Yet more precipitation is on the way to California. A series of three strong storms are set to sweep across the state beginning Wednesday and continuing through next Monday, dropping widespread heavy precipitation and bringing strong winds to nearly the entire state. The upcoming storms will be fairly different in character from those which brought flooding to California last week. Instead of featuring very warm, moist, and slow-moving plumes of moisture associated with a “classic” atmospheric river, the storms this week will instead be fast-moving, relatively cold, and associated with a powerful Pacific jet stream.

 

Visualization of atmospheric water vapor over Pacific as viewed by satellite. Note moisture plume extending westward from near California to the West Pacific.

The main plume of moisture with storm #1 (Wednesday)–which stretches across the entire Pacific Ocean westward to the Philippines–will be directed primarily into the Pacific Northwest and north of California (bringing a nasty ice storm to Portland, Oregon). A burst of widespread rain and wind will still be likely with storm #1 across most of California, but it will not be particularly long-lived or excessive.

Widespread heavy precipitation is expected statewide over the next 5 days, including in Southern California. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

Storm #2 (Friday) looks stronger, as a surface low may try to develop at a lower latitude along the north side of the powerful Pacific jet extension. Impacts will probably be elevated especially in Southern California with storm #2, as strong jet dynamics will combine with a strong cold front to bring high rainfall rates and gusty winds. Given favorable large-scale dynamics and cold air aloft, thunderstorms may occur with this system, especially south of the Bay Area. Northern California will likely be able to handle precipitation of this magnitude with relatively minor hydrological concerns, but more significant flash flooding is possible in parts of SoCal given greater susceptibility and the possibility of convective rainfall bursts.

 

Greatest impacts likely in Southern California; uncertainty regarding storm #3

 

Late weekend storm will have ingredients in place for major SoCal storm; question is whether they all come together in right sequence. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

Storm #3 (Sunday-Monday) has consistently appeared likely to be the strongest in the series, but the location of greatest severity is still fairly uncertain. As recently as yesterday evening, all the global models were in agreement that a very strong storm would affect Southern California on Sunday, bringing widespread intense rainfall and strong winds. Today’s model runs have backed off on this possibility, though they still suggest a high likelihood of a significant SoCal storm (especially the ECMWF). The primary reason for this uncertainty: the very favorable structure of the wavy jet stream off the West Coast will allow a very deep surface low to develop offshore, potentially altering the overall flow pattern enough to redirect much of the storm’s energy across the Pacific Northwest instead of SoCal. It remains to be seen how this actually pans out, and storm #3 still has the potential to be highly consequential from a hydrological perspective given the antecedent wetness. Additional thunderstorm activity is possible statewide, as well. One additional consideration with the Sunday storm is that the new “strong surface low” solution may bring some very strong winds to the North Coast of California.

Very heavy snowfall is expected once again across all of California’s mountains, likely measured in feet. Snowfall of this magnitude will have a particularly high impact in the Southern California mountains, which have not experienced very heavy snowfall in quite some time.

 

More prolonged dry spell starting at end of January

After storm #3 moves out, it does appear that all of California will experience a fairly prolonged drying trend as a ridge builds along the West Coast for the start of February. In the short term, that’s probably good news: after a week of renewed storminess, California will need some time for rivers to recede once again.

As always, I’ll continue to provide micro-updates (particularly regarding the uncertain storm #3) on Twitter.

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  • Shane Ritter
    • Yolo Hoe

      Beautiful pics!!!!

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    talk about a major flip flop in the models this AM from a dry and warm too now wet i like it much better agreed ment on the models has well

  • Charlie B

    So, it appears that Storm master successfully hacked into the various global computers, causing them to flip. Good job.
    Meanwhile, on this date during the worst snow year of the last century (1951-52):
    “Grim road crews inch forward in icy Donner wind.” Crews from both sides of the pass are less than a mile apart, but are having to use dynamite to break up the snow so that the massive rotary plows can clear the road.
    Snowpack at Donner stands at 181″, and the forecast is for some light flurries at most as the incoming storm has petered out and gone north. Highs in the valley are in the mid 50’s, lows around 40, with widespread fog.
    In entertainment news, Humphrey Bogart is skeptical about the future of television. “I’d rather wait until they get it perfect. I’m scared if it. It swallows up scripts. It can finish off an actor in a month.” Marilyn Monroe reveals that she was “looking for a man all for herself.” [Ed. She found one shortly thereafter…retired baseball great Joe DiMaggio, whom she wed on 1-14-1954 and divorced less than a year later.]
    In Seattle, Federal authorities seized 3 slot machines from the local meeting hall of alcoholics anonymous.
    Finally, an insurance company was looking for a “Claims Girl” at a salary of $225/mo, if “properly qualified.”

    • Yolo Hoe

      Love the ‘grim road crews’ + dynamite — genuine gnarley

  • Chowpow (Arcata-ish)

    The Mount Shasta Avalanche Center posted this on their Facebook page last night. “East side, 1.29.17” https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9d9303b803e2e66945bb1720eb914447e84ca7aa5cb1a24afbfeea10fdfe673f.jpg

    • Pfirman

      Beautiful, but am I supposed to be seeing sighs of an avalanche? Funny how the mountain does not appear large in that pic..

      • Nathan

        yeah, the low resolution hides detail, belying the overall size. interesting artistic effect.

      • RunningSprings6250

        I could just walk up to the peak in about 4 hrs ?

        Maybe even bring the kiddos for a nice stroll up the mountainside…

  • weathergeek100

    Uhh, wow. Look at this perfectly structured storm. Not a major storm but text-book example of a mid-latitude cyclone. Don’t you think so, Daniel? http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/west/weus/ft.jpg

    • alanstorm

      Daniel?
      This forum seems all but abandoned at the moment, leaderless like a ship without a Captain.

      • Crouching Dallas

        We have a new Cap’n now

        • alanstorm

          I KNEW someone would say that!

          • Crouching Dallas

            Somebody had to do it! “No bad jokes left behind” are words that I live by.

          • alanstorm

            I can respect that. “No low hanging fruit shall go unplucked”

      • Charlie B

        Let’s all talk religion and politics while he’s not looking…..

        • alanstorm

          HAHAHAHA. Might lure him out of his cushy lair & be forced to comment

      • Mike Stephenson (Riverside)

        Breaking news: Tranquil weather for SoCal and modest rain for NorCal. This is a very normal situation everyone, stay tuned!

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    The GFS his dry and warm after Monday storm not sure what the European model shows. But if it all so show the same thing then we now have vary good agreement that will see a storm on Monday now and then dry after that

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      Canadian is still active into next week, we’ll have to continue to watch it. If anything the GFS has show us all models are still having a hard time dialing into the longer term forecast. As a few meteorologists have been pointing out a lot is depending on the Polar Vortex and if/when it breaks down.

      • alanstorm

        GFS looking very ElNino-like next week with 2 quick systems coming in at mid latitude Mon & Wed.

    • TahoeCard

      Sticking to my rule (and most everyone else’s) The models are ok to look at for next 5 days. Outside of that… wait until it’s inside 5 days.

      • Models have been very kind to us lately, none of that pull the rug out from underneath us Lucy and the football garbage – we had many substantial model failures over the past several years, I don’t know whether it’s the newer satellites, supercomputers, model tweaks, or the planetary conditions themselves, but performance this year is dramatically improved, do you recall early 2015? That was a nightmare.

    • Mike Stephenson (Riverside)

      I think you are hiding a big surprise the last half of February

    • itsGonnaRain

      This entire season GFS has shown ridges out beyond 200 hours and trended wetter as we get closer. Hence these next 2 systems just appeared last few runs. I have to believe that trend will continue.

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        The exact opposite of 2014 when long range fantasy storms dissapeared

        • itsGonnaRain

          Very true. It was consistently wet to dry in 14/15 and now consistently dry to wet so far this season.

    • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

      Not sure I agree as you mentioned the same for after the Thursday storm (before the Monday storm even showed up on GFS). Not holding you too any prediction as even the experts seem to be in wait and see mode.

    • alanstorm

      Well, low & behold GFS had gifted us a 3rd system for Wed, & Bullseye is……YOU!
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e7952727b67dfd6b52d4d43e4bb692881915f2229e6cb405e9215a7eaf166eba.jpg

    • tomocean

      Careful. We are going to revoke your name.

    • RunningSprings6250

      Such misrepresentation…

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      Bryan at Opensnow this morning looking at long term models said it looks like a trough could approach the west coast again mid month and leave the door open for more storms.

  • Bob G (Gustine)

    The last February run of the CFSv2 today. It followed last month’s pattern. Last month the CFSv2 was consistently very dry until about the last week of December when it flipped to a very wet forecast. It has done the same thing this month. Almost the entire month of January the CFSv2 has projected a very dry February until this past week which has now flipped to wet except for SoCal.
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/people/mchen/CFSv2FCST/monthly/images/summaryCFSv2.NaPrec.201702.gif

    • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

      Unfortunate about SoCal. Hopefully it just means late February will be wet for us.

      • Mike Stephenson (Riverside)

        I’m still not putting any faith in it for the last half of Feb. I think it’s great if it’s showing wet up north; small changes can bring rain down here I would hope

        • Dan the Weatherman

          I am still thinking the second half of Feb will be wetter for Socal.

  • Candleman (Santa Barbara)
  • Nathan

    CPC 6-10 and 8-14 day show above average temps and below average precip for most of the state.

  • Fairweathercactus

    The GFS 12z caught onto the idea of a second storm for So Cal. Looks decent as well.

    • thlnk3r

      Yep but plan on having another Santa Ana event Wed-Thurs time frame.

  • Cap’n

    A blend of the Canadian, Euro, and GFS models. Seems to just make sense to me all things considered. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e2222b32b07c7dff2b63eeab7d1fe5635e928186392186620c56778bb69f729a.jpg

    • BRP (Ventura)

      Where the hell do you find such pics!?!? Classic! Is the human being on his right in drag???

      • Pfirman

        No, she is about to take a drag.

    • matthew

      Family photo?

    • Crank Tango

      I made a t-shirt with that pic! Always got a lot of confused looks.

    • scott

      Looks like the people that live around me deep in the Sierras, lol

    • Steven Fowler

      One of my favorite poets…”Love Is Dog From Hell” is a great intro for the uninitiated…

      • Cap’n

        If you haven’t yet, dive into some Fante, another gritty LA writer and in my opinion one of the American greats.

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      That’s not you on the right is it? : ^ }

    • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

      Laughing. My. Ass. Off.

    • WSDTLA

      The models are suggesting we’re gonna party?

  • happ [Los Angeles]

    Yes, there’s positive chances for even SoCal. A wet February will take SoCal out of the drought.
    Monday: 80/ 60

    • Dan the Weatherman

      Even NWS San Diego is on board with the Monday storm potentially being stronger, so POPs have been increased from a slight chance to chance.

  • CHeden

    For those who’ve been kind enough to read some of my recent posts, you know that I’ve been fixating on the evolution of the NPac blocking pattern, with a key feature being where the Rex Block low that’s currently off the west coast will eventually track….which in turn will have a significant impact on the subsequent early/mid February synoptic pattern.
    ATTM, the cutoff Rex block low has started a slow, mostly eastward shift, as HP over the SW continues to erode and shift SE. The low has now set up far enough south to start tapping into subtropical moisture coming up from the ITCZ and looks to be intensifying, but it also looks like it’s approaching maturity, so I’m skeptical of how much further strengthening (core low-wise) it will undergo…although there could be some significant differences in the amount of TPW (and resulting precip rates) that get’s pulled up from the south along the low’s ESE flank.
    To get a better idea of what’s going to drive the track of the Rex-low Thurs.-Sat., we need to first look far to the west of the block. ATTM, a deep and broad cyclonic flow is developing off the Asian east coast, which is beginning to push up a sharp, meridionally-aligned ridge that’s currently nearing the Aleutians. Over the next few days as this new ridge builds and expands into the Bering Sea/north of Alaska , the stationary EPac Rex Block high will finally retrograde and shift WNW and consolidate with the Bering Sea high, with the old Rex low underneath getting shifted to the NE.
    By Saturday, the cutoff Rex low will be off the Ore/wash coast, while a new trough starts digging SW over the far NE GoA as part of a new and developing NPac/Arctic Omega block.
    As the new northern Omega Block sets up, the jet will get suppressed southward as a brief undercutting pattern develops, with a new mid-latitude low swinging in under the block and hitting the west coast around Monday. This new low will also be tapping into a rich moisture feed from the SW and have a more E-W track then the Thurs/Fri system and will likely bring some heavier (but briefer) rains to Calif…mostly from the Bay Area south….and I suspect there could even be some locally heavy downpours and/or convection in those areas nearest the LP core.
    As this mid-latitude/undercutting low ejects east, the GoA low (associated with the Omega Block) looks like it will get dragged in behind the exiting mid-latitude low..and in turn bring a sharp increase in dynamics..especially in far NorCal as the low tracks SE over the coast.
    After this time, the models are basically clueless as to what will happen next..since a strengthening SPJ, a possible eastward progression of the MJO and an easing of the ongoing SSW/PV event will all be present….so really it’s just a waiting game for at least another week before anything more specific can be realistically counted on. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7139577e8b8d3a565389328b9ac6f3478240b3e58d3bdd398f4d5aaad8d95ab1.gif

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      Thanks as always for your insight CH, we always appreciate your detailed outlooks.

      • Yolo Hoe

        Yes indeed!!

      • Pfirman

        And paragraphs…..!

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      Excellent analysis; quite hopeful

    • AlTahoe

      Nope wrong. It is going to be dry for all of February! 🙂
      Great write up.

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      This is great news. Staying hopeful that we all get really wet!

    • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

      Thorough and detailed as always CHeden. Really enjoy your perspective…

    • I almost always read your posts. I don’t understand all the details, but I get the gist of what you are saying. I enjoy reading your analysis of what is happening and how things could unfold in the near future.

    • Chris Kiely

      I love posts like this. Science and data-points first. Then potential outcomes. Then suppositions/predictions. Too often, folks jump to Step 3 first.

  • Nookx-Weather

    Headed to Tahoe area for the week. Any suggestions on where to stay for the most snow? Maybe a movie theater or spa? Truckee? Soda springs? Ski resorts?

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      When are you going? What do you want to do? Are you looking for a house/condo or more of a hotel feel? Not really much in the way of movie theaters on the Tahoe City/Truckee side.

      • Nookx-Weather

        Going up right now. A house/condo would be the best. Would rather be at peace with nature. Will stay at a hotel if necessary if I can’t find anything else.

        • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

          Last minute will be tough with snow coming in I’d imagine a lot of places will be filled. There really isn’t a big hotel on that side of the lake outside of the Hyatt in Incline. There’s a Best Western and former Holiday Inn Express in Truckee not sure what their occupancy would be. If you’re looking for more of a “do it all in one place” you’re probably looking at the village in Squaw or Northstar.

          • Pfirman

            Just read an article that called Heavenly ‘The Big Dog’.

    • matthew

      Do a search on real estate rentals in Truckee. There are a lot of agents that have cabins/houses for weekend rental. Mainly in the Tahoe-Donner area. As for snow – it is excellent everywhere. Be aware that the weather may not be great this weekend so make sure to have AWD or chains.

    • Sublimesl

      NorthStar has a movie theater, if I’m not mistaken.

      I was just up there in the area, be prepared to shovel snow, even if you rent someone’s cabin, and carry a shovel in your car, and if you arrive at midnight, have a flashlight and be ready to shovel even to get a garage open. (yes, it was my experience)

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    Great picture from the wonderful former NFL writer Nancy Gay of Lake Mead.
    https://twitter.com/nancygay/status/826523398469726208

    • inclinejj

      Former yes.

      Great writer..Umm

    • rainingintheLBC

      Lake Mead is still in really bad shape, hopefully the Colorado River has some historic flows this spring….

      • Charlie B

        It was last filled in spring 1983, I think, following the El Nino that year. I do think the headwaters of the Colorado are looking good this year, but it might take a Noah storm to fill it.

      • annette johnson

        I just read a local article on how bad Mead still is. On the bright side, Havasu is looking better than I’ve seen it in years. Usually I can walk the dog along a mile or two of shoreline in the winter, but this year the water is so high I can’t do that. Is it an indicator of some recovery due to recent rains? I’m not sure, but it feels kinda good!

  • SacWx

    80+ inches of snow on the Euro for the higher elevations in the sierra over the next 10 days. If these storms were just a tad colder, things could really get epic.

  • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

    More indicators that the second part of February could be fun: https://twitter.com/MJVentrice/status/826490367054868480

  • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

    Seems impossible (I know we are before the spring barrier), but things are looking El Ninoish for Winter 2018. Interesting how nino 1-2 looks similar to the 97/98 and 82/83 El Ninos.

    https://twitter.com/BenNollWeather/status/826512735076618240

    https://twitter.com/Mario___Ramirez/status/826481716067983360

    • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

      After the way our last “Godzilla” El Nino behaved and our current neutral/La Nina, I’m not sure if another El Nino would be to our benefit here in SoCal.

      • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

        I think if it were to be east based, like 97/98 and 82/83, things might have turned out differently. But I agree, with the arctic the way it is, probably no way of knowing what would happen.

        • I agree with the NIno 1+2 thoughts. Nino4 carried Nino3.4 into the record books in 2015-16

        • Pfirman

          I know it is in your handle, but I for one still have my shorts in a wad over that clusterfeck. I need more time.

      • Mike Stephenson (Riverside)

        Maby a moderate to strong one could be a slam dunk

    • Our buddy is back?!! Maybe this time, he will deliver than last time.

    • Sublimesl

      Can it be that Oceans have warmed enough that we need to redefine El Nino to be a higher temperature than the current definition?

      • Actually, I think El Nino is defined on the basis of a weakening or a reversal of equatorial trade winds in the Pacific, rather than warm ocean temps. The warm ocean waters off the west coast of N and S America are a consequence of this change in the trade winds.

        • CHeden

          Actually, El Nino is often first signaled by atmospheric pressure differentials…such as Darwin vs. Tahiti.
          The pressure differential is what causes the winds to shift, such as the equatorial WWB’s we routinely discuss here.

    • Dan weather maniac

      check back in in July. Spring predictability barrier. This is a crap shoot for now.

    • Well if there is one thing we should have learned from last year, El Nino means nothing to CA in terms of a possibility of a wet winter. In fact, the last 2 wet years were both La Nina events.

  • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

    After a couple days enjoying 80 degree weather, two rounds of golf and a quick bass fishing sesh at my fav lake, I think it’s time to get back into some wet weather. The models are working their magic and have added a system for us Sun nite into Monday when yesterday there was NADA. The Thurs/Friday rain totals are expected to be around a 1/4″ and Oxnard is not putting any totals for Sun/Monday but at least it’s something.

  • alanstorm

    CNRFC optimistic about 5″-6″ of precip for the Eel R watershed starting Thurs, reflected in a WARNING STAGE forecast.
    Look how low it dropped in such a short time! A 3ft level at Fernbridge mid-winter, only weeks after it flooded at over 300,000cfs? This shows the drought effects are still with us, despite 80+” so far up there.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3ebbff37a1ce720623f8580d51cc799e41b15baa3c75694361a5342bb25026ff.png

    • RunningSprings6250

      And you bring up a good point! While some are jumping for joy proclaiming drought is over and letting out a sigh of relief, the reality is that a bad winter next year and by spring we’ll be sitting in the same boat we’ve been in the last few years….

      Not only do we need this type of heavy winter but also AT LEAST average winters for the next few years+…

      Regardless, the state of CA water is never going to be the same….

      • Nathan

        I’m actually pretty surprised at how readily the Drought Monitor has removed D1 from CA.

      • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

        So true and not brought up enough. F that color coded drought monitor. We can’t hang an emotional hat on these designations and just sit back and act like we’re out of the woods because of one good January.

      • Rio Rat

        As long as they grow water intensive crops like almonds in semi arid places like fresno,our aquifers will never recover.Here in Santa Cruz County we have big problems with salt water intrusion into our aquifers,because of over pumping for Agriculture.

        • SacWx

          Agreed. The amount of water that’s used for Agriculture in this state is absurd given the climate.

      • Too many people, including local TV weathermen, don’t understand drought. They think, oh look it rained, drought is over. Even if the reservoirs are full does not mean the aquifers are recharged. That will take years to accomplish and that assumes several good, normal rain years. If this is a one year event, and it could well be, then those dark colors on the drought monitor will return in summer of 2018.

      • Pfirman

        At least you would be able to step out of the boat and walk away.

    • matthew

      Yup. Even the shallow aquifers feeding the seasonal creeks have not yet recovered. Considering the amount of rain that you have had the past two years, and especially this year, that is a bit sobering. Our media is too eager to jump on the “drought is over” bandwagon.

      • Pfirman

        Along with most of the populace.

    • Danlyle

      Must have a little to do with snow levels dropping? High elevation rains that lead to flooding were replaced with foot hill snows. I agree that recharging aquifers is a long term proposition, but much of the dramatic flow fluctutations are changes in surface precipitation, I would guess.

      • alanstorm

        Its simply 3+ years of dried out aquifers. Normal Jan-Feb flow for the lower Eel R should about 2-3 times that. 3ft at Fernbridge is what u usually see in late spring or early summer.

    • Chris Kiely

      Groundwater groundwater groundwater.

    • Looks pretty significant. Local station is saying light rain here.

      • MetaGhost (Berkeley)

        Looks to me that the Bay Area gets nailed.

    • Charlie B

      There is something hypnotic about it.

  • Aiming to have a short blog update either this evening or tomorrow.

  • Cap’n

    Winter Storm Warnings hoisted out of Sacramento and Reno from Wednesday night until Saturday morning. Chances of more advisories Sunday – Monday. Not expecting much snow below 6,500-7,000 ft, but it looks like it might stack up nice above that. All hail the dry February. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/89af3df2ab6362456969cadd1b1deaf2b086645bff6ecea4416502d71ff43865.png

    • TahoeCard

      This was encouraging for later in weekend. “A stronger system is projected to move onshore Sunday night into Monday bringing another round of moderate to heavy snow. This system has the distinction of being colder than this week`s Thursday/Friday system with snow levels generally lower than 6000 ft, so precipitation type should be in the form of snow for the Sierra.”

      • Thunderstorm

        NWS out of Portland says the Monday storm will be a strong one.

        • matthew

          I am watching the 00Z come in right now and it is currently showing a pineapple express with heavy warm rain. I hope it is wrong for the sake of the snowpack.

    • Chris Kiely

      Just hoping that southern hook gives Cachuma and the Santa Ynez Valley a little love. Those folks have been on the short end of the rain these two seasons, to say nothing of the entire drought.

    • Nathan

      I remember the last few years when it was like “YEAH AN INCH!”

    • Pfirman

      Mother Nature’s sense of humor must be dry.

    • Yolo Hoe

      Let’s hear it for the pattern deniers

  • Bobby M
  • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

    Well thats it for the off shore gradients, about a 9-10 day dry cycle, pretty on par the course for January… Full on shore flow up here at 1380′ above Santa Barbara with RH doubling in the last 4 hours and pressure at 30.06in and dropping. Love it when you can literally feel/smell the pattern shift in the air…

    Throwback Feb coming up!

  • Valkyrie

    Beautiful evening sky in SoCal! Tell me if I’m wrong, but the Moon, Venus, and Mars are close together in a triangle formation.

    • malnino

      Correct you are! And for the next coupla weeks, Merc/Saturn/Jupiter are kinda lined up with those two in a ‘planetary parade’. Cool stuff even watchable from a basic telescope.

    • Siernev
  • Bobby M

    On Friday on driving on I-80 up to Tahoe and it’s suppose to be heavy snowing. Should I leave earlier or later? Any other suggestions would be great.

    • RunningSprings6250

      Friday? Just don’t go…

      • Pfirman

        It would be heroic though.

        • Yolo Hoe

          How do you define ‘heroic’?

          • Pfirman

            I know it is routine for you, heh.

          • Yolo Hoe

            Yup — though leaving from Little d helps to take the edge off

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      As Running Sprngs said it won’t be easy. I’d leave earlier just allow more time, 80 is solid after 2pm from 680 to Sac. It should be a long drive with chain controls only real question in the snow level….Nyack to Truckee at 30mph vs Kingvale to Truckee can be the diffence of an hour or more drive time.

      • Bobby M

        7 AM early enough

  • Thunderstorm

    With such a strong temperature contrast so close to each other in the north Pacific it won’t stay dry past next Tuesday for very long. Just plain impossible.

    • RunningSprings6250

      I like you’re thinking on the matter, and confidence!

  • happ [Los Angeles]

    January was cool and wet; just the way we like a winter month to be.

    January 2017

    Aver Max: 64.3/ Norm: 69
    Aver Min: 49.6/ Norm: 51
    Mean: 56.9

    Hi/LoMax: 80/ 54
    Hi/LoMin: 60/ 40

    Rain: 8.67
    Year [Jul-jun]: 15.23
    Days: 10

  • Tyler Price (Van Nuys)

    So its official!! Just letting ya’ll know that tomorrow is my big moving day!! I’m moving up to monterey bay joining the norcal bretheren!! Moving into my aunts house first and saving up cash.. I’ve already got my job secured and will be making more money than I am now too!! 🙂 then in march or April will be getting a really nice beautiful house in the middle of the forest in Felton with my dad and my cousin.. We are all going to chip in money together!

    • RunningSprings6250

      Awesome man! Congrats!

      I hope you realize though, you’re doing us a huge favor – now the storm track is surely going to aim straight at SoCal with little precip north of point conception! ?

    • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

      This sounds great. Congratulations and welcome to the Bay Area!

    • Dan weather maniac

      Welcome to northern country!

      Actually northern country in my book starts where the Russian river crosses the 101 near healdsburg but thats besides the point!

      Felton is definitely northern country in terms of rain, landscape and culture!

      Ain’t van nuys that’s for sure ( I lived in reseda for a while a long time ago, am familiar with the valley/la…, and love it!)

    • alanstorm

      REDWOOD trees.
      enough said…..

    • matthew

      Felton = BYOB. Bring Your Own Bong.

    • Rio Rat

      Felton, the biggest event of the year is the felton remembers parade on 4th july. Drop into Montys log cabin for a cold one & meet some real SLV folks.They even have a Bigfoot shop in town. Great place to live!

    • Yolo Hoe

      Just be sure to bring your good vibes — welcome — we’ve been in the North State 3 years — definitely grows on you — BYOB as previously noted

      • Dan weather maniac

        “Definitely grows on you”

        That is what my wife said who moved up here in 2005 or 2006 I forget now. It was the year we had 30+ days straight measurable rain here in late feb/march and she came from …… yep…. LA

        We joked it was like the moss we saw on the trees. Slowly grows in you. Lived in Oakland at the time.

        • Yolo Hoe

          Ha! My wife is saying the same this year — will borrow the ‘slowly grows in you’

    • annette johnson

      Best of luck to you on your new journey…that is so awesome!

    • CHeden

      ’bout time.

    • SantaCruz

      Get a big rain gauge cause you’ll need it 🙂

    • There’s a few of us up here that are going to crash Shadowbrook and look you up! Safe trip and moving. It all sounds great!

    • Charlie B

      Van Nuys will miss you. Somehow I doubt it will be reciprocal.

    • John Curtis

      Enjoy the rain!!

    • WSDTLA

      I’m very happy for you, but I will miss your reporting from Van Nuys. Good luck with the move!

    • Awesome. Enjoy.

    • redlands

      Good luck — You can give us weather stats at your new location

    • Tyler Price (Van Nuys)

      Wow!! Thank you guys all so much for the support and the blessings!! You guys rock! California weather brethrens for life!! ^_^

    • Craig Matthews

      Monterey Bay??!! Ohh man we’re gonna get a lot of storms now!! Cool. You’ll have no problem getting rain in Felton 😉

  • Shane Ritter

    Holy crappy what just happened! The 18z now showing intense AR aimed at Norcal/Central Sierra for Tuesday, with high snow levels and 5-10″ of rainfall. I hope it comes in colder. Just 3 days ago it looked like a one and done, and now it’s 3 storms and a huge amount of precip! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7e8777dd94867e8712316293521972791d7dd0fe393b58b7251d9862f07822ca.png

    • matthew

      00Z showing the same. Ugh.

      • Shane Ritter

        I meant the 00z, my bad. I always forget the evening run is 00z. Well, it looks bad. Hopefully we get 40″ of Snow in the first 2 storms , and the huge snowpack can absorb the rain, which would be ok. Not for skiers tho.

    • CHeden

      Not surprising.
      At all.

      • Yolo Hoe

        By coincidence I was cranking box of rain this morning

        • Chris Kiely

          Who put it there?

          • CHeden

            You did.
            It’s your box of rain, after all!

        • CHeden

          Always gives me goosebumps just to read the lyrics.

          “Just a box of rain, wind and water
          Believe it if you need it, if you don’t just pass it on
          Sun and shower, wind and rain
          In and out the window like a moth before a flame

          And it’s just a box of rain, I don’t know who put it there
          Believe it if you need it or leave it if you dare
          And it’s just a box of rain, or a ribbon for your hair
          Such a long, long time to be gone and a short time to be there”.
          Thank you, Phil.

    • Westside

      Well yesterday the GFS was dry for that period so lets not freak out yet.

  • Henrik Panosyan

    GFS 00Z showing impressive storm hitting norcal 1 week from today!

  • Charlie B

    I’d love to post my January Graeagle stats but my gage and thermometer are under 2′ of snow and ice. Sorry. Locals say six feet or so of snow with lots of rain as well. We await February and the joys and surprises that are in store for us.

  • CHeden

    A bit O.T., but Albert Zijlstra over at VolcanoCafe wrote up a nice, comprehensive article on ice age causes/effects and other pertinent data, which I’m passing on so others can get a slightly different slant on what the current state of the planetary climate should be in (i.e. cooling).
    http://www.volcanocafe.org/ice-age/
    His (and other’s) main point is that according to Milankovitch and others, the planet should be continuing to cool (as it had been for ~8,000 years) as this current interglacial period wanes…and indeed the Little Ice Age (which was not so little) was actually the start of the supposedly next Ice Age until human activity intervened and halted the cooling trend. He also posits that there are possible signs in some notable weather events even the 20th century that can be traced to residual effects from LIA…but that is way open for discussion, IMHO.
    Now, keep in mind that previous to the LIA, there was also significantly higher numbers of, and more powerful, volcanic eruptions going on which resulted in increased ice growth and subsequent planetary cooling that likely triggered the LIA.
    Plus, one must also consider that sunspots were also disappearing. While more controversial than volcanic activity, their absence has been identified as possible triggers for sustained global/hemispheric cooling periods in their own right. Of this I am a bit skeptical, but only in that the sunspot disappearance on it’s own was probably not sufficient to trigger an ice age per se, but most likely still made a significant contribution to the overall cooling pattern.
    So, if these other “natural” effects were also happening in addition to the Milankovitch cycle, what could have caused the 8,000 year long term cool-down to suddenly cease?
    Anyway, a good read while things are still boring, especially for the included data. See what you think.

    • Pfirman

      Heh, just told someone to look here for a debunking of sunspots as climate drivers. Anyone know what blog post Daniel weighed in on sunspots?

      • alanstorm

        Several

        • CHeden

          As I recall, Daniel (and others) have posted about radiated solar energy changes related to sunspots (essentially nil).
          He did not mention anything of substance (and rightly so because the data is so marginal ) what changes in the solar wind might have in the mesosphere/stratosphere as well as changes in the height of the tropopause….nor the changes in upper air ionization and nucleation which we are just now starting to measure and get some longer term data. Wayyyy too early to pass any judgement, ATTM. We’ll need many more years of data to prove anything…but at least the science is supportive that changes in the solar wind can effect the atmosphere…it’s all a matter of how much and for how long (IMHO, of course).

          • alanstorm

            Well, we might have had the chance to test the theory in July 2012 if we hadn’t narrowly dodged that huge coronal mass ejection.
            We’d probably care more about the FRIED GRID then the weather!

          • CHeden

            Good point. But even then, a direct hit would have only been a transient event. The possible solar wind effects on the upper atmosphere are cumulative, and (IMHO) need to be in place for decades (at least 2 solar cycles) to have a measurable effect.

    • rainingintheLBC

      I don’t dispute the details that it’s currently warming and at least partially anthropologically related. And yes, we should theoretically be going into an Ice Age now based on Milankovitch curves. But there are some definite questions still remaining regarding the Milankovitch cycles that folks rely on so much. Why did Milankovitch cycles randomly switch from 100 ka cycles based on eccentricity to 41 ka cycles based on obliquity? Do we really understand such a complicated system, or are we just shifting through random noise(as of now)?

      I think the Mander Minimum(sunspots)-LIA relationship has been basically debunked, not leaving a whole lot of other options. LIA definitely wasn’t Milankovitch forcing caused. What was it then that caused rapid cooling?

      • CHeden

        Debunked only by those that claimed the Maunder Minimum did not cause the LIA.
        That does not mean it did not contribute to it, though. A very, very key difference if you ask me…especially when one is looking for stand-alone or supportive effects.

      • CHeden

        The Milankovitch curve describes a very real physical attribute of the earths orbit that is unchangeable. It is not some made-up algorithm.
        The relationship between this cycle and long-term climate changes such as ice ages is very well correlated (see the article I linked to).
        And, based on this phyical fact, we should be cooling just as we were up until the mid-late 19th century.

        • rainingonmycactus

          The problem is that it has changed over time,drastically. Right now we might be in the tight 41 ka cycles, but how do orbital parameters suddenly change in the Quaternary(see the transition at 1 Ma)?

          • CHeden

            There are other “random” triggers for glaciation and/or warming other than the Milankovitch cycle….most notably periods of increased volcanic activity. Remember, both global warming and global cooling trends are closed loop…meaning they reinforce themselves once they get established. It is perfectly reasonable that a strong enough closed system could be strong enough to overwhelm the Milankovitch effect….hence top level temp data would be inconclusive about any single cause/effect scenario that may have been going on.

          • CHeden

            And lastly, don’t forget the possible effects of ancient incoming comet/asteroids that go undetected/unseen (Earth is 70% water after all), nearby gamma-ray bursts, changes in the biosphere that affects the atmospheric carbon cycle/concentration and planetary albido, etc. etc.

      • Nathan

        So, since the word “bunk” is a synonym for nonsense, why don’t we use the phrase “bunked”, instead of “debunked”? Wouldn’t it follow that something that is de-bunked is determined to be _not_ nonsense, ie, a totally valid hypothesis?

        Food for thought.

        • Yolo Hoe

          Where’s Pfirmin?

        • Pfirman

          From Merriam-Webster:

          “If you guessed that “debunk” has something to do with bunk,
          meaning “nonsense,” you’re correct. We started using “bunk” at the
          beginning of the 20th century. (It derives from a remark made by a
          Buncombe county, N.C., congressman.) A little less than 25 years later,
          “debunk” was first used in print for the act of taking the “bunk” out of
          something. There are plenty of synonyms for “debunk,” including
          “disprove,” “rebut,” “refute,” and the somewhat rarer “confute.” Even
          “falsify” can mean “prove something false,” in addition to “make
          something false.” “Debunk” itself often suggests that something is not
          merely untrue, but also a sham; one can simply disprove a myth, but if
          it is “debunked,” the implication is that it was a grossly exaggerated
          or foolish claim.”

    • AlTahoe

      I have posted this before but the sunspot effect is much larger than people are willing to give credit. https://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2013/08jan_sunclimate

      • CHeden

        Thanks for reminding!

      • gray whale

        Thanks Howard! 😉

      • Pfirman

        That was a cool read and not too jargon laden.

    • Mike Stephenson (Riverside)

      CHeden I love the topic of the ice ages and recent epochs, thanks for the post and article. Very interesting to me. I cant help myself to point out though that there are 2 major paleogeologic events absent from the article. (Im not necessarily contradicting anything)
      1. The separation of Antarctica and the formation of the Antarctic circumpolar current, ~33 Ma (Million years ago) This is thought to be a major player in why Antarctica had major cooling after it broke away from the tip of South America.
      2. The formation of the Isthmus of Panama ~3 Ma. This little piece of land connecting North and South America drastically changed ocean currents around the world and set the stage for our periodic ice ages.

      This article is a nice read also! http://www.whoi.edu/oceanus/feature/how-the-isthmus-of-panama-put-ice-in-the-arctic

      • Yolo Hoe

        Great read — thanks!

  • Bobby M

    On Friday on driving on I-80 up to Tahoe and it’s suppose to be heavy snowing. Should I leave earlier or later? Any other suggestions would be great.

    • AlTahoe

      Snow levels will be close to the top of the pass till Friday night so you should be fine. Maybe 5-10 miles of chain controls

  • AlTahoe

    So that 24 hour super warm AR next Monday and Tuesday better disappear on the next few GFS runs. I cant even imagine the flooding and the roof collapses that will happen up here if that verifies.

    • SacWx

      Euro unfortunately has it too.

  • Cap’n

    January totals west end of Donner Lake elevation 5,900 ft:

    Rain: 8.2″
    Snow: 179″ (15 ft)

    • AlTahoe

      179″ of snow is incredible. South lake airport recorded 99″ for the month. I recorded 78″ but only measure my snow board once a day. March 2011 I recorded 130″. My neighbor claims that one of the months in either January or February 1969 was over 200″ down here and the snow pack was up to his chimney.

  • gray whale

    American hero Jim Jarmusch wrote this poem for a young character in his new film (she is the author of the poem in the film) and recited it today on fresh air. It’s not totally off topic and maybe someone else here will appreciate it too:

    Water falls.
    Water falls from bright air.
    It falls like hair, falling across a young girl’s shoulders.
    Water falls making pools in the asphalt, dirty mirrors with clouds and buildings inside. It falls on the roof of my house. It falls on my mother and on my hair.
    Most people call it rain.

  • Dan the Weatherman

    January 2017 was very wet here in Orange as well with 9.50″ for the month and a season to date total (since July 1) of 16.34″.

    • redlands

      Hmmm !!!!! Looks like Redlands, Ca did do as well as Orange !!!!! Redlands, Ca at my station only got 5.79 for January 2017 — For the 2016-2017 rain season — Start date July 2016 – the correct and the one NOAAA and others should be using — stands at 12.22

      • redlands

        Wish we would of gotten 9.50 — would of been close to my record for January

        • Dan the Weatherman

          I just noticed that Phil in Ontario (posted above) has received 15.03″ for the season so far and that you only received 12.22″ and his January total was nearly 3 inches greater than yours. I took a look at the map and realized the higher peaks of the Santa Ana Mountains lie SW of your area, while the lower peaks of the Chino Hills lie to the SW of Phil’s area. Because there has been a lot of SW flow in these storms this season, you are likely getting rain shadowed somewhat by Saddleback (whose southern peak Santiago Peak lies 5,689′ above sea level), whereas Phil is not getting as much in the way of rain shadowing due to the lower elevations of the Chino Hills.

          • happ [Los Angeles]

            That’s an excellent analysis, Dan
            Can I post it on Weather Forum?

      • alanstorm

        That’s the most exclamation points I’ve ever seen you use!!
        Must be serious

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      I’m 35 miles NNW of Orange and can see the Santa Ana mts most days. The San Gabriel Mts help ring out extra moisture during SW flow just like you describe below.

  • Phil(ontario)

    January rain: 8.72
    15-16 year rain: 8.63
    Season to date: 14.99
    Yearly average: 15.03
    We’ve been quite lucky here in socal so far. As for February, keep in mind we only average 3-4 days with rain for the entire month. So a pattern change in the second half of the month and we can hit our February average precip.

    • click

      Where I’m at (high desert) February is usually the wettest month of the season. But like you said, only comes in a few days.

  • RunningSprings6250

    AFD quote of the day:

    “But, wow have models been flip-flopping!”

    Sums it up right there! Thanks NWS SD! ?

    • Craig Matthews

      Wow someone else up early for work?? lol Will have to read that discussion.

      • RunningSprings6250

        LOL yes my day starts at 4, but first, coffee and weather!

    • click

      It’s 45F out right now, way above average for this time of year. Still a bit of snow in RS?

  • Craig Matthews

    I’m still a bit skeptical of storm number 2 hitting the central coast…The NAM model retrogrades the Polar low further to the west off SW Canada, which could cause the undercutting Low from the west( a big part of storm #2) to be entrained into that Polar Lows cyclonic eddy field too soon, which could ultimately cause storm #2 to be drawn further north and make land further north up near Cape Mendocino to the Oregon border rather then straight into central CA as the other models show. Even though this model, the NAM is the outlier IMHO I can see this potential. Hopefully ECMWF and GFS will keep the faith. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/059ffbc05fb09a04fdd8aa6f2ef0314c185838f9b118b7aa480873cd069159a2.gif

    • Don’t jinx our storm!

    • jstrahl

      Just to make sure we’re all on the same page, “northern half” means from about Big Sur north, right?

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    FXUS66 KSTO 011130
    AFDSTO

    Area Forecast Discussion
    National Weather Service Sacramento CA
    330 AM PST Wed Feb 1 2017

    .Synopsis…
    Dry with patchy morning valley fog TOday. Wet pattern returns
    tonight with heavier rain and mountain snow Thursday and Friday.
    The wet pattern may continue into next week.

    Earlier model runs were advertising colder air spilling in behind
    trough on Tuesday. However, as mentioned above, 00z runs have come
    in wetter and warmer with another system following quickly in the
    wake of Monday`s system. This would lead to additional widespread
    precipitation across the area Tuesday into early Wednesday. If
    current solutions pan out, snow levels would be rising throughout
    the event and may be above pass levels by late Tuesday. Lower
    confidence in this system right now as it`s still a ways out but
    have nudged precipitation chances, temperatures, and snow levels
    upwards to match latest trends. Something to keep an eye on going
    forward. CEO

    SFO down casting

    Area Forecast Discussion
    National Weather Service San Francisco Bay Area
    436 AM PST Wed Feb 1 2017

    One final possible shot of rain on Tuesday before the storm track
    lifts back to the north as a ridge of high pressure begins to
    rebuild for the remainder of next week.

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      I like Sacramento NWS discussion!

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    looks like that AR event next week is for N of I 80 i wounder what the EUR model shows i hop it comes more S i all so hop the EUR is more S then what the GFS is showing

    all so too note the 06z droped it but the 12z brings it back

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      Looks great; hope ECMWF verifies?

      • Storm master (Sonora CA)

        It depends what DOS the European show

  • Charlie B

    On this day in 1952:
    “NORTH STATE PELTED BY HEAVY RAIN.” Chico receives 1.5″ and Paradise 3″. High snow levels cause snowpack to become unstable, and hopes dwindle for the reopening of the passes. Ski areas report bases of up to 300″ and Norden has 177″ on the ground. Forecast calls for some light rain with high snow levels.
    Elsewhere, Trader Dan the Used Car Man offers a 1950 Chrysler sedan for $1,795.
    [Ed. note: I am simply tracking this 1951-52 year because it was the most extreme and well documented winter statewide since the 1800’s. Since most of us were not alive back then, or at least were too young to pay attention, the history of that year is becoming lost. The articles I am reading are from microfilm and the photos, many of which are extraordinary, do not copy well. And, as of February 1, the Pacific was recharging. I have always wondered what a similar winter would be like in modern times. Maybe this is the year? If so, we need an 8′ snowpack at 4,000 feet in the central Sierra…extremely doubtful in these here times. Also, I am largely ignoring weather stories from elsewhere, but this was a very severe winter from coast to coast.]

    • Craig Matthews

      I like these..keep em’ going

      • CHeden

        On Dec. 1, the Golden Gate Bridge closed for the first time due to extreme weather. (I think only one other time since then?)
        I have a copy of the Chronicle somewhere.
        My mother saved it as a momento of my grand entrance into this world.
        She always said me and the weather were born together.
        I tend to think she was right.

        • Craig Matthews

          She was right! Part of that story was up on your Pacifica Wx site.

          • CHeden

            Yup!!
            As we chatted about recently, you and I (and I’m sure there others here as well), cannot fully explain where our fascination with the weather comes from….and indeed in my case, I am convinced that I was indeed born with an innate sense of the weather and my environment in general.
            I like to tell The Bridge story because it lovingly reminds me of my parents (both deceased). Neither were in any way “scientific”, but they were always supportive and interested when I’d bring up some weather trivia, or when one my wilder forecasts would come to fruition….such as predicting T’storms in the Bay Area on my Father’s birthday two months in advance. I was so sure it was going to happen that we wrote it on the calendar.
            And lastly, during the birth of my son in 1978, a powerful T’storm with hail and high winds in February pummeled the very same hospital that I was born in. My exhausted wife had been in prodromal labor for nearly 40hrs, and had about 2 hrs to go before they were going to have to do a C-section. Then, a bolt hit a building about two blocks away, with the thunder loudly rattling the hospital windows as hail started covering the street below. Merely a minute after the storm had lit up the hospital room, wifey went into hard labor and I was a Dad less than a half-hour later.
            Surely not scientific, but I love to tell this story when my Son is around…much like my Dad did with me.
            And….not surprisingly, my Son is fascinated with the weather as well..been on dozens of chases with me over the years.

        • Charlie B

          What do you bring such things up? It causes me to check the headlines….and waste even more precious time. That said, the bridge was closed for 3 hours due to 69 mph winds. Instruments recorded a lateral sway of 24″, which was far under design standards of 27 FEET. Deflection was measured at 42″. Not quite the Tacoma Narrows (Galloping Gertie) situation, but still impressive.

          • CHeden

            Thanks for the additional details!
            My Dad had a good friend who worked as a bridge maintenance mechanic, and he claimed the bridge was swaying over three feet prior to being shut down…but Dad was “busy” at the time so he didn’t see it swaying first hand.

        • Thor

          Dec 1st B-day? me too. A fine day 🙂

          • CHeden

            Hey now, Sag!

        • OldSnwSrvyr (Paradise)

          On December 23, 1982 we were making our semi annual trek from Eureka to LA (flying out of SFO), and soon after crossing the Golden Gate Bridge it was closed due to high winds. While crossing the bridge it was raining very hard and extremely difficult to stay in my own lane. I later heard the estimated side to side sway of the bridge was 7 feet while we were crossing it. It was certainly one of those white knuckle weather driving experiences you never forget!

          • CHeden

            I remember that storm. As I recall, Angel Island had gusts over 100mph!
            I think there may have been one other storm in the 1990’s that closed the bridge as well, but I don’t remember exactly when.

        • gray whale

          “She always said me and the weather were born together. ”

          If you ever go solo as a hip-hop act CHeden that would be a great lyric

        • inclinejj

          AS THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE EVER BEEN CLOSED?

          Full Closures due to Weather: The Golden Gate Bridge has been closed due to high winds three times:

          December 1, 1951: As gusting winds reached 69 miles per hour, the Bridge was closed for about three hours.
          December 23, 1982: High winds of up to 70 miles per hour closed the Bridge for almost two hours.
          December 3, 1983: Once again high winds closed the Bridge for the longest period in its history—3 hours and 27 minutes. Wind gusts reached 75 miles per hour, but again the Bridge suffered no structural damage.

          Full Closure due to Construction: On July 13, 1975 the entire Bridge roadway was closed from 3 am to 4:20 am to move the cable traveler being used for the Suspender Rope Replacement Project.

          Full Closure for 50th Anniversary: On May 24, 1987, the Bridge was closed to traffic from 5 am to 11 am for the 50th Anniversary Pedestrian Walk.

          Full Closure for 75th Anniversary: On May 27, 2012, the Bridge was closed to traffic from 9 pm to 10:01 pm for the 75th Anniversary fireworks display.

          Brief Closures for Dignitaries: The Bridge was closed very briefly on two separate occasions for visiting dignitaries President Franklin D. Roosevelt and President Charles de Gaulle of France.

          • CHeden

            Thanks fer the great add!
            Yup, there I am. Top of the list.

    • Pfirman

      This was year before I came overland to California from Ohio. An indelible scene from that trip was a roller coaster and amusement park somewhere along the Great Salt Lake totally flooded.

    • Craig Matthews

      Here’s what the 500mb pattern looked like around that time. Looks like we were stuck between a large east-central NPac trough and a SWUS ridge, which probably funneled in a lot of warm moist air from the sw. Some of the latest long range models are showing a similar pattern for the second week of Feb though it looks transient. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/309238aa762dd1bcea82b4fb08dd893a89cd58ea0356188d8e841509d0c6bf3a.gif

  • Craig Matthews
    • gedawei

      Chased from the gates of the city where no one had touched me
      I am away
      I am alone
      I am a child in these hills
      And looking for water
      And looking for life

      – Jackson Browne

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      Great photo; is that south of San Lucas?

    • “I have spoken of the rich years when the rainfall was plentiful. But there were dry years too, and they put a terror on the valley. The water came in a thirty-year cycle. There would be five or six wet and wonderful years when there might be nineteen to twenty-five inches of rain, and the land would shout with grass.”

      Steinbeck “East of Eden”

    • BeerguyOE

      I live in the North Side of Soledad and Gabilan mountains are nice and green

    • whisperingsage

      Oooooooooh, beautiful!

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    I am still finding the GFS to be vary unstable right now the way it keeps flip flopping DOS any no one how stable the European model is from one run too the next?

    • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

      Good question as each run of the GFS is really changing the second storm and associated AR.

    • Cap’n

      GFS isn’t the only unstable one around here.

    • RunningSprings6250

      I dated one once – the most unstable without a doubt….

  • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

    Not sure what this means for our weather….

    https://twitter.com/MJVentrice/status/826849618080198660

  • Bartshe
    • Pfirman

      Heh, duration and elevation, the two parameters maybe most discussed here, are last.

    • Chris

      Thanks for sharing. I’ve bookmarked that page.

    • I see one of Tyler’s kayaks.

  • Looks like it’s dumping in Walnut Creek…..at 3000 feet above ground level https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/85667a2e77e443fa5fa28a27bd568b8e4dd6bb3d70fc3904332d719b14df54ac.jpg

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      made it out of the summit? Going to catch something at the Lesher Center or just grabbing a burger at The Counter?

      • Ha, had to get a new laptop and fix 5 others, humidify, Katy’s Kreek Belgian waffles, on my way back to the summit for February Round #1.
        New lappy is a video editing powerhouse to replace my 2010 i5 toughbook, should be able to get you guys more videos, my backlog was getting immense, my old laptop couldn’t playback my edited videos it was so slow, flying blind!

        • RunningSprings6250

          Maybe some right side up pictures too?!?

  • mattzweck
    • RunningSprings6250

      …Or lack thereof.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      Weather looks very boring. zzzzzz

  • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

    For us SoCal folks, the GFS only really had one good run for us in the last 48 hours, the 06Z from Tuesday. The rest keep us very dry (with some light showers every couple days possible) through the end of the run for the 12Z (Friday, Feb 17th). Hopefully someone with some Euro access can make me feel a bit better.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4a67765b7201a447e802be178f1835c0d8e4a54a14d93e42fcc5fdcc4db75349.png

    • Freddy66

      Hopefully mid month we see some serious action. Jet looks like it starts screaming across the Pacific at that time.

  • Chris

    There is talk of an El Niño next year. Look how warm the ocean is off the SA coast!
    The ocean never reached those values during last year’s El Niño.
    Maybe next year we will have that needed tongue of warm water extending down the SA coast for El Niño to make CA wet!! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a5d02d6a72c7a3bd889351d0a3270565ba403c27704e6d3712240eb05b624261.jpg

    • The new normal – Coldmageddon and Floodpocalypse, alternating year after year. I say we build a mountain with the funds for a dumb wall using 10,000 dump trucks we take a whole chunk of desert out of Nevada, put it all just Northwest of Castle peak, make it 13,000 feet tall, and call it the Pineapple Peaks, a ski resort for the 2072 crowd, when the snow level never goes below 10k. It will be visible from the bay, space, Reno, and Janet Reno. Champagne smoke pow most of the year and then when the ARs come in, perfect fluffy stuff up top…does Kickstarter allow 2 billion dollar projects?

    • RunningSprings6250

      After last years, someone needs to make a meme and it’s going to say:

      F*ck El Niño!

      • Storm master (Sonora CA)

        watch what you say please

        • RunningSprings6250

          Oh come on get over it already, jesus holy we cows!

        • cabeza tormenta

          What did he say, I blocked him after he was very rude to me for no reason.

    • It’s going to be a topic discussed late spring and summer. There is some El Nino hints already and the Pacific SST pattern and upper wind anomalies. The Pacific looks very different from 2015.

      • Chris

        Wouldn’t it be great to have an El Niño with a “cold blob” in the Gulf of Alaska???

    • jstrahl

      But what makes you think an El Nino *necessarily* means a wet CA?

    • AlTahoe

      Hmm maybe a 1981-1982 (this winter) 1982-1983 (next winter) repeat?

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)

    It’s windy out here am surprised

  • Storm master (Sonora CA)
  • happ [Los Angeles]

    Currently light showers in Santa Rosa, Red Bluff, Watsonville and Merced; not much elsewhere.