Powerful Friday storm in Southern California; Warm & wet atmospheric river to affect Oroville Dam watershed Monday

Filed in Uncategorized by on February 16, 2017 3,195 Comments

Quick overview of current meteorological context

Very heavy precipitation expected across Southern California on Friday and Northern California on Monday (including the Feather River watershed). NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com

California is currently experiencing one of its wettest winters on record. Precipitation has been especially remarkable across the Northern Sierra watersheds, where liquid equivalent (rain+melted snow) is presently above 200% of average. Widespread flooding has already occurred across Northern California in recent weeks, and supersaturated soils are now leading to slope failures (mudslides and landslides) across much of the state. In additional to the “typical” flooding of regional rivers and streams that one might expect with prolonged heavy precipitation, California’s vast water storage and conveyance infrastructure is starting to crack under the strain–in some cases, quite literally.

 

Ongoing situation at Oroville Dam; levees also under severe strain

Late last week, the ongoing situation at the Oroville Dam in Butte County escalated dramatically when water overtopping the “emergency spillway” started to cause major erosion on the steep hillslope directly beneath the structure. Emergency evacuation orders were issued on very short notice to hundreds of thousands of people living across a swath of the eastern Sacramento Valley from Oroville to Marysville and Yuba City due to fears that the top 30 feet of the structure might imminently collapse, causing destructive flash flooding for many miles downstream. Fortunately, it appears that potential catastrophe has been averted for the time being–dam operators were able to increase flows down the damaged primary spillway and reduce water levels sufficiently to stop overflow and halt erosion. Since that time, a frenzied repair effort has been underway to shore up the emergency spillway and minimize further erosion if it comes into use again. A major challenge remains, however: dam operations cannot release water at as high a rate as they would under normal circumstances, meaning that the Oroville Dam may once again fill to the brim if storm or snowmelt-related inflows become high enough at some point over the next few months.

Additionally, serious issues have started to arise in the vast levee system that protects much of the Central Valley and Delta region from flooding. So far, there have not been any major levee failures in California this winter. But if the current forecast holds, the levee system will be under more strain by early next week than it has been in many years–and certainly since the locally dramatic ground subsidence which has occurred as a result of groundwater losses during the multi-year California drought.

 

Strongest storm of season (and perhaps in years?) in Los Angeles region on Friday

Southern California will be located under strong upper-level diffluence due to position under favorable “left exit region” of the jet. (NCEP via tropicatidbits.com)

A powerful atmospheric river, with a moisture tap extending all the way back to Hawaii, will make landfall in Southern California on Friday. This storm will be squarely aimed at the transverse ranges of Southern California, and it is very likely that the higher elevations of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties will see extremely heavy precipitation on the order of 10+ inches on Friday/Saturday. A modest surface low is expected to develop just off the California coast on Friday, further strengthening the cold front and generating the potential for strong, locally damaging winds across all of Southern California. The combination of copious moisture and strong dynamics will mean that even areas away from the mountains will see heavy–perhaps very heavy–rainfall. Los Angeles County, in fact, could potentially see one of its wettest 24 hour periods on record (even downtown LA could exceed 4 inches, with much more in the foothills). The NWS points out this storm will likely be the strongest of the season in these regions, and perhaps in the past 10-20 years in some of the wettest spots.

There are still some significant inter-model differences regarding precipitation totals–the ECMWF is not as wet as the GFS, and some of the high-resolution models stall the front west of Los Angeles. But confidence is pretty high at the moment that very heavy rain and strong winds are likely across SoCal on Friday, especially from Los Angeles northward. Widespread urban flooding is likely, and potentially dangerous flash flooding will occur in/near the Transverse Ranges and near recent wildfire burn scars. Impacts will be amplified by storm timing–the peak rainfall is expected between 3-6 PM in Los Angeles, which should make for a nightmarish commute. A few thunderstorms are also possible along and behind the front, some of which could bring some strong winds down to the surface along with brief torrential rainfall. All in all, I do expect this will be a very high impact storm across much of California.

 

Potentially strong, warm & wet atmospheric river headed for Oroville Dam watershed

A warm, wet atmospheric rivers with subtropical origins will approach Northern California on Monday. (NCEP via UCSD)

Unfortunately, the forecast for the Feather River watershed upstream of the Oroville Dam has become somewhat more ominous over the past 24 hours. Instead of a series of moderate, cold, and relatively manageable storms as had originally been depicted by the models, a rather strong atmospheric river is now expected to develop and slowly move across Northern California on Monday. The GFS and ECMWF agree that this storm will tap into subtropical moisture, bringing a warm and moist airmass into the region. Mountain peaks in the vicinity of Oroville Dam are not as tall as those further south along the Sierra Nevada mountain chain, so it’s easier for warm storms to produce exclusively rain (as opposed to snow) in that part of the state. The Monday storm may indeed be warm enough for most/all of the precipitation in that watershed to fall as heavy rain, which is not good news for current mitigation operations at Oroville Dam. Recent forecasts show a high likelihood of greater than 10 inches of precipitation over the next 5 days, with parts of the basin expected to approach 15 inches over the next 7 days. It is unclear at this point exactly what impacts this expected heavy rainfall will have on dam operations, but it’s clear this is not the forecast that DWR officials and emergency managers were hoping for.

Long-range model forecasts are showing the potential for an active pattern to continue through late February. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

The warm/wet storm on Monday will likely cause problems elsewhere, as well. Rivers and streams all across NorCal will likely rise rapidly, and many will flood. Additional mudslides are likely; widespread and potentially prolonged road closures are possible. We have also now reached the point where levees along mainstem rivers in the Delta and Central Valley may start to experience more serious problems–something that will have to be watched carefully in the coming days.

As recently as yesterday, it appeared that Northern California might get another break from the rain during the last week of the month. Today’s model forecasts, however, show no such rest for the weary. So at the moment, it it unclear how long the current active storm pattern will persist.

I’ll continue to post real-time storm and Oroville Dam-related updates on Twitter.

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  • Aussie Joe

    Pressure dropping here in Sunnyvale, now at 29.71″.

    Optimistic that we will crack 0.5″ for the day tomorrow here in rain shadow land..

  • Thunderstorm

    Monday AR storm may be stronger then forecast. In the visible satellite animation AR currently sucking in the cloud decks into itself in the area west of Hawaii. Lots of left over MJO water vapor.

  • Thunderstorm

    Looks to me like the low out in the pacific is going to be the bigger driver of what happens in California. Whole complex of clouds is now starting to show rotation. Looks like the southern part is moving much faster then the northern part. Guess this means higher winds to the south. Will be interesting to watch this low intensify.

  • hermit crab

    I’m so dependent on having power and we lose power in a breeze 🙂 hope I can keep following the storm tomorrow!

    • Cachuma Abedin

      I run the local chapter of the Ben Franklin Electrical Discovery Museum with my wife and strong storms are always kind of a mixed blessing for us.

      • hermit crab

        That sounds really interesting.

      • Tuolumne

        Shocking, just shocking…

        • Cachuma Abedin

          Overall, running the museum has been a source of stability in our lives and we’ve never felt more grounded.

          • Jim

            So its had a positive affect….versus a negative one

          • Tuolumne

            Watt’s that mean?

          • Jim

            Means their pretty amped on their work

          • Tuolumne

            Thanks – I like to keep up on current events.

          • Crank Tango

            You guys are some real live wires tonight!

          • Tuolumne

            Thanks for the plug!

          • Pfirman

            Great thread, though the gauge is a little thin.

          • Tuolumne

            Thanks, but that last comment Hertz.

          • Pfirman

            Try harder? If you drove a taxi, you might get one
            Faraday.

          • Tuolumne

            You’re a tough cell.

          • Tuolumne

            Personally, I feel more grounded when I sit cross-legged on the floor and go “ohhhmmmm”

          • Jim

            Whats your current position

          • Tuolumne

            Still feeling resistance.

      • Jim

        Hopefully if they ever have to rewire the place, they dont come up short

        • Tuolumne

          No problem – they’ve hired a conductor.

  • Sokafriend

    Heh we need to read this or maybe somebody can simplify it. The QPF is calling for this thing to really get stuck and drop almost as much rain on S Cal Saturday-Sunday as tonight/tomorrow from Monterey south. It really is surprising and disconcerting. It won’t exit to SE until Sunday. ?
    http://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/discussions/hpcdiscussions.php?disc=qpfpfd

  • This storm will be a bust. You heard it here first.

    • RandomTreeInSB

      BUSTBUSTBUSTBUST It stopped raining in Santa Barbara.

      • BRP (Ventura)

        Don’t take my thunder bro!!! I’ll call bust if I get less then 5 inches…

        • RunningSprings6250

          That’s what she said!

          • Pfirman

            Heh, you are relentless.

        • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

          15 foot faces along Peirpont with massive runoff will finally have some good sand bars later on…schoolhouse may get some shape back.

          • BRP (Ventura)

            I’ve been thinking about that also. If we can get 4000cfs running out at VTA River mouth, were going to be in business! I’m planning early go tomorrow morning, hopefully still clean enough for a few bombs!

          • max

            Was out at the first Ventura River break out, and almost gagged at the smell of the homeless encampment latrines, getting flushed out, for the first time in five years. Surfed for 50 years, and no matter how good it looked, would never stick my eyes, ears or throat in that sewage.

          • Pfirman

            Yoicks. And yuk.

      • hermit crab

        Here in Carp…same.

      • hermit crab

        I noticed we don’t have the Sunday on forecast for significant rain that some do. We will see what happens. I always prepare but never count on storms showing up…just leave the whole thing with a maybe yes, maybe no.

      • Jockman

        A complete and total BUST! It hasn’t rained at all in Hollywood!

    • Aussie Joe

      I depends on your expectations. If I record over 2″ through Tuesday I will be very (vary?) happy. Less than 1″ I will join you in the bust declaration!

    • Chris

      I agree. Too much south to SE wind flow. Downslope!

    • Thunderstorm

      Not at all possible, just look at the barometer in the morning. Heading way down.

  • alanstorm

    Taking a chance purchasing an outdoor booth space at the Alameda Home & Garden Show this weekend in Pleasanton.
    I figure, nice tomorrow, rains overnight into Sat morning, then good the rest of the day, then nice on Sunday.
    Inside booths were too expensive.
    Cheap Bastard might get wet.

    • Sokafriend

      Good luck!

      • alanstorm

        Thanks. Looks like the storm action is all south of the Bay Area till Monday’s AR.
        Some rain might creep northward, but it may be a dry weekend

        • Cap’n

          You’ll get rain tomorrow

          • alanstorm

            Friday’s suck for crowds anyway. Sat-Sun are money days. I have one of those crappy easy-ups I can huddle under. (until, of course, the rediculous wind picks it up & hurls it onto a spa booth, impales someone, then I get sued)

          • Charlie B

            Two things. 1) If you get sued I’ll defend you gratis. 2) If something gets hurled into a spa follow it.

          • alanstorm

            Thanks 4 #1, I may take U up on that.
            #2 – I don’t follow…

          • PRCountyNative

            Nice – Had them at the post race party at B to B years ago in GG Park, they had water in them and it got warm enough so I got in. No one said I couldn’t. They used to have free beer too. Go Spa!

          • Sokafriend

            Oh good. You’re already planning on having fun.

          • alanstorm

            Those things are flimsy pieces of CRAP

          • Sokafriend

            Yes, that too.. . I really hope it works out great for you.

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      At least you won’t be dealing with flies and bees! Nothing an EZ Up cant take care of.

  • John Curtis

    We are all delusional. I just thought I better check the blog to get reassurance that the storm isn’t a bust. And what do I find?!?!? A bunch of bust predictions!!!!!

    • VK (Sacramento)

      It’s a traditional issue. Some one has to pre-empt the storm being a real bust by calling it a bust early

    • Nate

      But it’s a WW time-honored tradition!

    • hermit crab

      We are so good at getting bust, though. We have to show off!

      • Unbiased Observer

        I like a good bust…

        • hermit crab

          I am certain that you do 🙂

    • Cachuma Abedin

      24-HOUR STORM TOTALS – PROVISIONAL DATA

      OJAI……………………………0.00
      OJAI NORTH………………..0.00
      OJAI SOUTH NR OJAI…..0.00
      SOUTH OJAI………………..0.00
      NORTH OJAI CREEK…….0.00
      WEST OJAI………………….0.00
      SOUTH NORTH OJAI…….0.00

      • Dan weather maniac

        Looks like a bust

      • rainingonmycactus

        confirmed, bust!

      • Danlyle (Mariposa)

        Love the SOUTH NORTH!

      • Crouching Dallas

        This is good

        This is very good

      • rainingonmycactus

        John Curtis will take that personally.

    • Tyler Price (Monterey/Seaside)

      Storm already looks great on radar! Some nice echoes/returns showing up around point conception and this is all just pre-frontal “bonus rain” I’d have to say when this is all said and done it will be “Curtis approved!” 😀 ???

    • GusLevy

      I’m not only predicting it but am going out for a long ride in the foothills on my unicycle with only my pink speedos on…I dare the Gods to make it rain!!

  • hermit crab

    Everyone here in real life is now saying we won’t get the storm; nothing to see here in Carpinteria; move along. I feel like I need to tell them something! At least don’t plan a picnic!

    • RandomTreeInSB

      Same with most people I know. The psychological damage from the drought still persists…
      Btw there’s a pretty big blob starting to come onshore. They’ll be proven wrong soonner than later…

      • hermit crab

        And we do miss a lot of predicted Big Water events. So it’s easy to just shrug it off.

        • RandomTreeInSB

          And I think some of us still fear of losing the limited progress made this season and slipping back to square one.
          We did miss a few whoppers this year, but generally this season has been MUCH better than the past 5 🙂

          • hermit crab

            Good point. Cachuma is still dangerously low but I remember reading about a year ago that it was one of the five disappearing lakes in the world.

  • RandomTreeInSB

    Rain has picked up for the moment. My last comment was clearly sarcasm.

    • Tangocity

      Nothing in Ventura County so far. Not going to hit our predicted 0.5″ tonight.

  • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

    Like all my fellow SoCal brethren I’m hoping for a lot of rain without the flooding and damage that comes with these intense systems. I know it will be hard to avoid with the rain amounts predicted and 30-50 mph winds but most city agencies have had plenty of time to prepare.

    Here’s one excerpt from the Phoenix AFD about the approaching storm system that I’ve never heard before:

    Profound traverse banding in the higher clouds suggests increasing jetstream winds, and models indicate it will greatly intensify before making landfall by Friday evening. In fact modeled 500 mb height falls of 240 meters by 12z Fri and again 00z Sat indicate strong airmass over-turning, with copious amounts of ocean moisture lifting into the frontal zone as it approaches the southern CA and northern Baja coast Friday night and Saturday morning.

    • Dan weather maniac

      I think that means Phoenix *might* get 0.10

      • annette johnson

        You might be right.

        • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

          Here you go….from Phoenix:

          Latest QPF estimates suggest around an inch of rain for Phoenix. Soils remain moist and there is certainly the possibility for localized flooding of washes and urban areas.

          • annette johnson

            Just watched Phoenix weather (12 News) and they are predicting up to an inch as well.

    • RunningSprings6250

      Oh boy looks like I have to go sit down!

    • hermit crab

      How far north/ west will that be on the CA coast?

    • Thunderstorm

      Finally a timeline thats accurate.

    • mogden

      I have to admit being a tiny bit jealous of the ‘red’ splotch over LA in the 5-day window. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten red that close in my Bay Area location.

  • Fairweathercactus

    Anyone hear that the NAM 4k is broke?

  • Bobby M

    In these type of winters if I was living in a rain shadow I would be pisted and would have moved out right away, so glad I live on a hill even though I live on the east side.

    • Doug Bronx

      I think the worst part is that they always end below the already low forecasted amounts. At least if it hits the forecasts, I can take some solace in it.

    • gedawei

      I’m truly happy for the rest of the state (most of it). Yeah, I’m in Santa Clara and we may be rain shadowed, but we’re still above average. A hop skip and a jump, and I’m “forest bathing” in a redwood-fern rain forest in the SC Mountains. Right now, my thoughts are with our friends in SB. They’re overdue to join the party.

  • Aussie Joe

    Speaking of ‘Busts’ is everyone else getting those ads for dating ‘beautiful Russian Ladies’? Or perhaps WW site is pulling from my browser history?

    Caught wife’s eye, and not in a good way – ‘just looking at the weather honey’…

    • PRCountyNative

      In that brief pause it takes the page to load you are auctioned off to advertisers based on your personal history including searches purchases browsing etc the Russians think they have a chance with you!

      • Aussie Joe

        Yes but my wife is applying sanctions…

      • Sokafriend

        Not necessarily from personal searches. It also feeds off jokes, keywords, and assumed gender related to blog topic.

    • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

      …………….”Busted!”

    • alanstorm

      Mine keeps popping up ads for Depends

      • Wet Line(San Diego)

        I am afraid to say what’s on mine, I better watch what I search.

      • Sokafriend

        Hajaja

    • Rio Rat

      x rated weather porn of So Cal this weeknd.

    • RunningSprings6250

      I use to get those all the time – but then I stopped searching for Russian maids on the net and they went away! ??

    • Cap’n

      Mine shows BBWs

    • Tangocity

      Yeah, you need to clear your cache after viewing those kind of sites.

    • Also clear your cookies, Joe. Don’t toss them, just clear them.

    • rainingonmycactus

      Can you send me the link to that?

    • Sokafriend

      Mine are for chicas guapas.

    • I do try pretty hard to prevent those kinds of ads from appearing. If you take a screenshot of where it occurred in the page and send it to me, I will be able to block on my end.

      • Aussie Joe

        Cleared my history (as advised) – will do so if they reappear. That’s assuming I keep my computer privileges…

        Great website overall – keep up the good work.

  • Henrik Panosyan

    I wonder how much longer it will be untill the chem-trail conspiritards start flocking in

    • Tuolumne

      Maybe it’s best to not post that word here.

      • Chris

        Agree!

    • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

      Hope not too soon………I threw away my tinfoil cap.

    • rainingonmycactus

      hopefully soon, they might have some good commentary on this storm.

  • Bobby M

    Pressure has been hanging around 29.8-29.7 all day, waiting for that drop, I predict 29.4 in the morning

  • hermit crab

    Ok I just got something that I already knew about shoved in my face by a local. Yes, Carpinteria is good at storms going bust. So getting anyone to prepare is not easy, or sometimes not possible!

    And as I said below, we have a special place in the drought monitor’s heart. A red Valentine color right over our heads 🙂

    So will we get a major storm? Maybe we should be betting!

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/02/09/less-than-1-percent-of-california-now-in-extreme-drought.html

  • Bobby M

    Everyone stop calling this storm a bust it hasn’t even started yet, make your decision tomorrow night, has this whole year been a bust, not really its been a drought buster.

    • RunningSprings6250

      Bust!

    • DelMarSD

      I’d almost be worried if people didn’t start calling it a bust. It’s become almost like a good luck omen.

      • alanstorm

        It’s a Good Luck Bust

    • alanstorm

      BUST, because I don’t want it to rain for selfish reasons

      • redlands

        What bout calling it a big flop

        • alanstorm

          It’s a FLUST

    • rainingonmycactus

      This whole year has been a bust. I’m not at 500% of average.

    • Lol.

    • redlands

      depends on where your at in California — not all parts have had record amounts of rain — still not even at average where I live — Redlands, Ca– Southern – this season wont land in the top 3 wettest

  • Boromir

    Its raining hard now

    • Tangocity

      In Oregon?

      • Doug Bronx

        Near Mordor…

    • Sokafriend

      Santa Maria?

  • Rusty Rails

    After a couple hours of blue sky and sun peeking through in Santa Cruz it started clouding up and the seabreeze cranked up. A swell was rolling in and running up onto the beach while a would be mariner tested out the beached SS San Lorenzo River

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2581add9bc4b4c5c3132c91dc844407c363a041615cd11474d6aeceb23a5999e.jpg

    Someone asked yesterday about the railroad in the Feather River Canyon. It’s still closed with no estimate of opening from Oroville all the way out to Winnemucca, NV. The Fresno Subdivision between Sacto and Stockton where the tomato paste cars went into the river is also still out of service. Some detours are still running over Altamont Pass despite the parallel single track Sacramento Sub being open.

    Added to the list today was the Valley Sub between Marysville and Roseville after problems were discovered on the bridge over the Yuba River in Marysville. This is the mainline from Portland to Roseville. There is a way to switch tracks in Marysville to the same Sacramento Sub mentioned above but that puts all north-south UP trains plus BNSF detours off the FRC line into the same tracks through Sacramento where they meet other lines. Plans are in the works to reactivate a connection in Tehema to a route into Davis along I-5 that is leased to a shortline. It hasn’t seen through freights in decades but this will let a few trains take the long way looping back around to/from the big yard at Roseville. It’s basically like a huge convoluted 1:1 scale model railroad!

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b64dc9c03bdeb11154ba937e7de907aaf6b63d6c4364a0516f4d7a0476346ab9.gif

    • alanstorm

      Roseville yard is awesome.
      EDIT: I want that log

    • Sokafriend

      That’s a great deal of logistical uncertainty with all the rearranging and reactivating under terrible circumstances. Planning and engineering through all the variables at play must require vast experience and courage.

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      I noticed RR crews working west of Donner Summit around Baxter where the slide on 80 happened and also crews working on the line east of Truckee around Floriston.

      • Rusty Rails

        Westbound trains are being fleetedin gtoups of 5-6 at a time out of Utah in a 24 hour period on the old Western Pacific side (SP side closed due to flood damage) to Elko, so between that and no Amtrak there is probably lots of extra time on the Hill for maintenance.

    • D2101

      Thanks Rusty, I was asking about the FRC being open. Knew it was closed, but was wondering about the re opening.

      • Rusty Rails

        No problem. There’s more flooding potential this next week so the potential is there for more damage/hampering repairs.

  • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

    I’m at Cachuma. Drew two 8s against an Ace. Guess what happens next?

    • Tangocity

      Split and You busted?

      • rainingonmycactus

        Who doesn’t bust at the casino?

      • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

        No. I drew a 3. Now what? A against 11?

        • Tangocity

          Double down. And yell 8-10 inches baby when you do it!

          • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

            That’s right. And right now that 10 is face down and none of you know it. So stop yelling bust.

    • hermit crab

      Cachuma needs the water so badly that I think you should cheat.

      • HawaiiRes

        Hmmmm…on the way. Isn’t it in progress.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      You either hit and got a 6 to bust, while the dealer drew a face card or a 10 for blackjack, or you stayed and the dealer got a face card or a 10 and got a blackjack.

  • Bobby M (This Year Was a Bust)

    If this storm turns out to be a bust for California I will keep my name until June 30 or end of rain recorded season

    • Doug Bronx

      Or change it to Sir BUST-a-lot

  • Sokafriend

    Wow there’s a full on gale warning now through Tuesday in waters off Point Arena to Pigeon Point. Crazy high waves and winds.

  • Unbiased Observer
    • alanstorm

      Incoming to Bakersfield?
      That’s something u don’t hear alot

      • Unbiased Observer

        No, but you hear a lot of jokes about Bakersfield from people who think they know what they’re talking about….

        • Cap’n

          Like they make good bathtub crank there?

          • Unbiased Observer

            Exactly.

          • Sokafriend

            What a roll.

        • annette johnson

          I spend a few days there every month or so…mostly around campus. I have met nothing but the nicest people there. We have some favorite restaurants that have amazing service. Lately the drive has been something I look forward to…the hills are beautiful and so green!

          • Chrissy (Long Beach)

            Now I’m thinking about the Knotty Pine Inn’s Chicken Fried Steak!

          • annette johnson

            Haven’t been there…I will have to try it 🙂

    • annette johnson

      Of course the regulator went out on the rear window of my daughter’s car the other day…with the way that looks, parking under a tree on campus won’t help much 🙁

      • Unbiased Observer

        CSUB?

        • annette johnson

          Yes

  • hermit crab

    Am I reading the radar right? That it could skim just to the south of us?

    • Tangocity

      Depends who us is.

      • hermit crab

        Santa Barbara/Carpinteria

        • Tangocity

          There is a giant orange blob out there. Think it is going to skirt the coast and miss everyone?

          • hermit crab

            Lol no it’s just that sometimes, somehow, it misses this tiny coastal area still managing to be in significant drought. It’s some kind of black magic that we don’t understand!

    • CanyonKid

      Lol, no, you are not reading it right.

      • hermit crab

        Good 🙂

        • GR

          Nice to see you back.

          I’d still take you to the prom.

          • hermit crab

            I would buy a new dress ?

  • alanstorm

    FLOOD STAGE projected for Ventura River tomorrow night around midnight.
    Looks like flooding will peak in the dark of night.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a1f056c8188f3070cb3921f35043553722b6d1fbca10fd67d52bf07000dc7576.png

    • Tangocity

      Can you tell what part of the Ventura River? Near Oak View or Ventura?

      • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

        Usually the highest CFS and flooding concern is near Casitas Springs area

        • Tangocity

          Just up from Foster Park, no? I remember the softball field getting washed away one year. Or at least most of right field.

          • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

            Yep exactly.

        • max

          The narrows are in this loction.. I would rather have it measured at the Santa Ana bridge. The measuring stick is located there…

      • alanstorm

        Ventura R at Foster Park. Here’s the site. Click on your stream & u get the projected stages
        http://www.cnrfc.noaa.gov/rfc_guidance.php

    • max

      Where is the peak measured? Long river…

      • alanstorm

        About 10 mi up from the mouth. The guage says “Ventura R at Foster Park”. Likely the guage is located at the bridge that crosses the river there.(my guess)

        • max

          Stopped by yesterday, see the structure (if that is the correct one), but most of the flow is across on the other side of the river and the mess of undergrowth, trees, reeds, grass, limbs etc, IMHO , would obfuscate any accurate readings.

  • Nathan

    00z GFS tones down the Monday storm just a smidge for the Feather River basin; also colder. So that’s good.

    • Sokafriend

      How does this relate to that- it says the 00 GFS seemed too amplified. Model Diagnostics
      …AMPLIFYING UPPER TROUGH/SURFACE LOW OFFSHORE THE WEST COAST ON MON…
      PREFERENCE: BLEND OF THE 18Z GEFS MEAN AND 12Z ECENS MEAN
      CONFIDENCE: BELOW AVERAGE

  • Sokafriend

    …SHARPENING UPPER TROUGH MOVING INTO CALIFORNIA AND THE
    SOUTHWEST THROUGH SUN…
    …ENERGY EJECTING OUT ACROSS THE HIGH PLAINS ON MON…

    PREFERENCE: BLEND OF THE 12Z ECMWF AND 12Z CMC
    CONFIDENCE: AVERAGE

    THE MODELS ARE IN PRETTY GOOD AGREEMENT ON THE LARGER SCALE WITH
    AMPLIFYING UPPER TROUGH OFFSHORE CA THAT WILL BE MOVING INLAND ON
    FRI AND THEN SEPARATING FROM THE WESTERLIES AND DIGGING SOUTHEAST
    ACROSS THE SOUTHWEST U.S. THROUGH THE WEEKEND

  • SoSocal (Chula Vista)

    New GFS brings a nice cold system down for the whole state especially socal next weekend. Trending toward the Euro. Something to watch 😉
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b40da90bf1c3b807be16aafa73a1e780a76ce1fdf307086eea0b6ae7933fca30.gif

  • Bobby M (This Year Was a Bust)

    Who thinks traveling on 80 over Donner Summit tomorrow will be a great idea, me.

  • Sokafriend

    Getting first hint of SSE 2 mph wind, gusts at 4 mph. Pressure at 29.96, 57 degrees, back to 88 humidity. Partly clear, low clouds.

  • Sokafriend
  • Nate

    Mesoscale models are now starting to trend towards bringing the surface low (with an eye-popping central pressure!) closer and closer to the Bay Area, with the HRRR and NAM-3km having the center of circulation move directly over the Santa Cruz Mountains. The record lowest pressure in San Francisco is currently 28.85″ (976mb) from 1916, so they certainly have a shot at challenging both that and the 1/21/2010 pressure (~980mb??). That was an intense storm in 2010–I remember thinking the gusts sounded like cars racing along the sides of the building I was in at the time. Also, check out the HRRR 10m wind–is that a sting jet?!?https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a3f16b58a9b306ed542aa50594de87ed9fcda6ce6acb11fedd9d1a82ad3d7e33.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5d407ab1e3e781e29ee05241de325ca0ea77824ff173fc4776ed47827b9d17af.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/05127b95742ef65364f30f26983e23e6f29c7a04d075dbe860d36c3d1ba44512.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e5e3ae46299ca009326ec51e5f1475c5ee463c7d7d933b002da9ef939a2181bf.png

    • Sokafriend

      Wow. Thank you

    • Rusty Rails

      NWS Monterey now has a high wind warning hoisted for Santa Cruz County and the HRRR run they just posted on Facebook is showing much heavier rain for us than previously thought. This will be interesting to watch develop.

  • Sokafriend
  • Bobby M (This Year Was a Bust)

    What are the chances for thunderstorms/severe thunderstorms, to many incorrect thunderstorm forecasts to count this year, it’s all I want in the Bay! See it in the forecast next week, don’t do it to me again bro!!!

  • GusLevy

    Light raindrops just started in La Canada…

  • alanstorm

    Minor FLOOD STAGES tomorrow night for these Ventura County streams.
    I have a feeling these will go higher. It looks like a rare event tomorrow
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9d14d1becbf8a2b59c2586b14fb5c79ce8c42ac566aeabd1c2bbdef12fd97c6f.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/734c6fdcf0112cca38995bfa8acd02b2efeef14925da14bd8931b3f3d8b65a3d.png

  • Tyler Price (Monterey/Seaside)

    Already some really heavy rain moving towards the Paso Robles and Lake Naciemento area right now! This storm is looking very impressive on satellite and radar! I have a high wind warning ?? posted for my area and also thunderstorms ? now in my forecast for tomorrow! Here comes the Super Storm!

  • mattzweck

    it’s raining here in the high desert/ Lancaster area. and the barometric pressure.falling rapidly most be a powerful storm coming

  • hermit crab

    Carpinteria… yawn. I think I’ll dry my clothes outside.

  • Tyler Price (Monterey/Seaside)

    Raining pretty hard outside with even heavier rain incoming! I’m going to sleep now though ? Goodnight! I’ll get to wake up to the super storm! Yay ^_^ https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/184310da2ec169efd1ceecd30857bc4803611a1b357b8ad195e76b37358f8776.png

  • Sokafriend

    2:00 SSE Winds picking up to 12/18 gusts, 29.88 falling, 54 degrees. Rain forecast at 7:00.

  • Chris Kiely

    Rain started about 2:00, just south of SFO. Not as heavy as last night.

  • Fairweathercactus

    Already things look off with this storm.

    • Boromir (Orcutt, CA)

      You are wrong

  • Sokafriend
    • Sokafriend

      It also covers inland and mts

  • RandomTreeInSB

    Wind is cranking up in Santa Barbara with a light to moderate rain. The heaviest stuff should be here soon.

    • Sokafriend

      Hi how you doin? Look at the Mesoscale warning below-

    • Sokafriend

      Not until later this morning.

      • RandomTreeInSB

        Currently 4am. Looks like it’s almost here.

  • RunningSprings6250

    Radar looking healthy!

    • Sokafriend

      Really looking good for you!

  • Storm Master (Sonora CA)

    good luck too all today from N CAL too So CAL make the best one win

  • Sokafriend

    AR extending well beyond Hawaii into subtropical western Pacific with PWs 2-3+ above standard coming in for late breakfast or brunch. Embedded vorts! Snowathon in Southern mountains and beyond.
    QPF Forecast discussion:
    http://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/discussions/hpcdiscussions.php?disc=qpfpfd

  • Storm Master (Sonora CA)

    winds picking up here

  • RandomTreeInSB

    Heavy rain ? plus strong winds!

  • osc3_el cerrito

    Pressure fell 0.10 inches in the past hour in El Cerrito. It’s down to 29.50.

    • osc3_el cerrito

      Down to 29.40 at 0500. The low must be headed straight to the central coast. How low will she go?

  • RunningSprings6250

    Just started snowing and the wind is howling! 37F ?

  • RunningSprings6250
    • RandomTreeInSB

      Snow?
      Edit: Nevermind, saw your comment below.

      • RunningSprings6250

        Yes! Temp dropped to 35..

        • RandomTreeInSB

          Nice! ? hope it stays this way. Another 2 feet maybe?

          • RunningSprings6250

            Would be nice and easily so if it stays all snow, but sometimes it’s that drier colder surface air making it snow initially and once that moist lower level (subtropical) air moves it it switches to rain…and eventually switching back to snow at some point…we’ll see!

            29.72 and falling.

            Big fat flakes falling and sticking…

    • redlands

      Nothing in Redlands, Ca Pressure is falling

  • Storm Master (Sonora CA)

    rain has this started here has well

  • John

    Rain here coming down pretty good in East Bay hills for last 20-30 minutes. I’m hoping for patterns like yesterday’s here, and not like a few weeks ago! Our soils can’t absorb much more . . . this is not the groundswell I had hoped for!

  • PRCountyNative

    Storming like crazy, blowing’ a hurricane. Northern Santa Lucia’s. 5 AM. Woke me up, cats Not Pleased.

    Coffee and computer and … well, the 3 C’s before my power goes out!

    Craig – how windy will it get???? I have open SE exposure… S and SW a little more protected.

  • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

    Decent wind here with moderate rain. Underperforming so far in terms of rain. Winds are heavier than I expected at this point.

    • Boromir (Orcutt, CA)

      The heaviest has not arrived yet.

      • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

        Yes, I’m aware of that. Thus my “so far.”

  • Boromir
  • RunningSprings6250
    • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

      I’m jealous of cayucas. They keep getting man handled.

  • Boromir

    Barometric pressure is now 29.59″

  • Boromir (Orcutt, CA)

    Already got a 0.50″ since 9pm

  • Henrik Panosyan

    At what time can we expect the “bombogenesis” of the low to occur?

  • Storm Master (Sonora CA)

    Pressure is down too 29.62″ here

    • Allen Dodson

      29.5 here (3400 ft on Hwy 4); raining now….

  • PRCountyNative

    Oxnerd MARINE AFD:

    High confidence in widespread strong Gale Force SE Winds on
    Friday, with a 40 percent chance of exceeding Storm Force (48 KT).
    Channels and passages between islands will likely see locally
    enhanced winds. High confidence in a moderately large west to
    northwest long period swell building in Saturday and Sunday as
    well, which will create dangerous breaking waves near shore. Good
    confidence of thunderstorms forming over the coastal waters
    through early Saturday, but confidence is low in terms of timing,
    severity and exact location.

  • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

    Pressure plummeting in San Jose. 29.31. Unfortunately looks like we are between rain to our North and to our south. Just light stuff now.https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e420be1d54355715d4523528825e95e55e643a02b34e829cc8de3daa48cde06c.png

    • Henry

      Not much rain so far here on the north slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains either. I think there is a big down sloping effect from Mt Umunhum into San Jose. It also appears that the main rain band is still offshore.

  • Storm Master (Sonora CA)

    this set up is all most like a monsoon or monsoon trough with rain comeing up from the S in too N CAL wish is kind of rare for this time of year

  • Boromir (Orcutt, CA)

    Its unusually quiet here

    • BigBearHiking

      It is 6 am man and I only had one cup of coffee so far. No real rain here yet.

      • RunningSprings6250

        Did you head up per the dogs request?

        • BigBearHiking

          Not yet, my son has school till 2 pm, so I have to closely watch it. Unfortunately that is when it is supposed to get really bad.

          • RunningSprings6250

            Oh boy! Good luck and safe driving!

          • BigBearHiking

            thanks, I will reevaluate it before leaving, definitely keeping safety in mind

    • roseland67

      Watch out for an Orc sneak attack

  • Chris

    Winds to 69mph at Salinas airport at 5:45am!!!!!

    • Boromir (Orcutt, CA)

      Is that gusts or sustained winds?

      • Chris

        58 G 69

        • Henry

          Holy cow. That is quite a remarkable wind speed for a low elevation valley location in central California. I have not even seen sustained winds that strong at Los Gatos RAWS which is one of the windiest spots in the Bay Area. I’d guess that you might see sustained winds in that range on the summit of Mt Diablo or Mt Hamilton once a year or so.

          • Jim

            According to KSBW, 20k without power in Salinas alone…combined in Monterey County over 30k

    • Robin White

      We’ve got 29.30 here on the MRY peninsula, with winds at 22 knots, gusts to 31. No rain.

  • RunningSprings6250

    Big drop to 29.60″

    Temp at 36 with on/off swirling snow showers…

    …won’t be getting much work done today! LOL

    • Boromir (Orcutt, CA)

      Winds blowing at 21 mph

  • Yolo Hoe

    Here in Davis, barometer at 29.45 and falling rapidly — temperature 52F and light breeze from the east

    • Henry

      Interesting situation, barometer is falling rapidly, down to 29.38″ in San Jose, but there isn’t much severe or unusual weather going on in the south bay, at least not yet.

      • No wind?

        • Henry

          Only a little bit of wind by local standards, 18 G42 at Los Gatos RAWS in the past hour (compared to 40 G63 early yesterday morning). I think this pattern with winds from the southeast is actually more favorable for strong winds in the valleys (Salinas and Santa Clara) than in the Santa Cruz Mountains. If this surface low were to shift about 100 miles to the northwest, and the winds were from due south, I think we would be getting blasted with 80 mph gusts through the passes here.

  • Rusty Rails

    Winds just showed up in Santa Cruz. 30mph gusts so far to violent effect on a fence gate by my bedroom. 29.40 and falling.

    • Morgan Hill is very windy now. Rain spotty. This morning’s AFD is a novel.

  • Bobby M (This Year Was a Bust)

    Holy moly 29.2 pressure and rapidly decreasing in San Carlos

    • Arnold Weather Fanatic

      29.28 in Arnold

      • Bobby M (This Year Was a Bust)

        We are definitely dipping below 29 today

        • Arnold Weather Fanatic

          29.16 now

    • 29.39 Morgan Hill via WxChannel

  • Arnold Weather Fanatic

    We face the real prospect of no snow at our elevation (3,800-4,000) during February, the snowiest month on average. This is odd in a wet year, but speaks to the warm source of most of the storms. This has only happened once in 14 years–during the drought in 2014-15.

    • Cap’n

      It seems hard to get a good cold storm. Hopefully you’ll have a chance Tuesday-Thursday as snow levels fall, though you might be right on the cut off line. Sacramento AFD yesterday was saying possibly 4K next week, but like always, as we get closer it will come in warmer.

      • RunningSprings6250

        Says mr. 230″ ?

        LOL I know what you mean though, 50%+++ of our snow has been damn near sheer luck, on the verge of rain…

        • Cap’n

          I know right. And it is completely dumping snow right now.

  • Bobby M (This Year Was a Bust)

    Just woke up seeing yellow and orange to my west thinking oh yeah and that’s going to hit me and then I remembered, this is like a monsoon, rain is moving from south to north. never seen anything like it

  • Cap’n

    Light snow falling but everything is sticking over here on the road. Looking at radar it sure looks like Central California is in for the first real pummeling of the day.

    • gedawei

      Hit me with your best shot. Fire away!

    • AlTahoe

      Snowing here and sticking as well. Should be a fun drive to work again

    • Danlyle (Mariposa)

      0.5″ since midnight, but picking up now. Off to a good start

  • Bobby M (This Year Was a Bust)

    Rapid strengething or bombogenesis (explosive cyclogenesis) is likely happening off shore of the Bay Area. Per hour the barometric pressure currently is dropping .189 and the change in 24 hours is .51. At this rate the requirements for bombogenesis will be met in an hour and half.

    • CHeden

      29.64″ here in Cottonwood with on/off light rain. Zero wind…curious for such low pressure?

    • Henrik Panosyan

      So ur telling me we are seeing a 6mb/hour drop in pressure right now in the center of the low? I find that a little hard hard to believe. Can u post proof?

      • Bobby M (This Year Was a Bust)

        Sorry I left my house and can’t look at my Davis vantage vue weather station. When I lasted checked pressure was 29.15 and was an hour and a half ago. Along with that it said bar is rapidly decreasing at .197.

        • Henrik Panosyan

          It’s alright I believe u haha. It’s just absolutely insane to hear something like that happening right off our coast!

  • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

    Just cracked our first inch in DT Santa Barbara. Pressure at 29.63 and falling quickly with some gusts up to 20MPH.

    4 inches to go.

    • RandomTreeInSB

      Was about to mention that!

    • Cap’n

      Right on right on right on

    • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

      I’m at 1.53″. Windy, with 20mph from the south sustained and had one gust at 54mph.

      • CanyonKid

        downtown has already started to flood in the regular spots.

    • jakobdrafter

      This has been the loudest non- thunderstorm of the year for us (near Goleta/More Mesa) and the good stuff is still to come. Lots of wind and rain hitting the windows because of our southern exposure. Kept waking me up. Lights just starting to flicker occasionally here.

    • mrzz

      Rain rates have really picked up – 1/3″ hour and rising. La Cumbre peak has sustained SSE winds at 30-35 and rising.

  • Mr Montana

    nothing yet in Malibu. I was wondering if this is slow to arrive. Huge south winds but hardly any rain. What’s the timetable on the storm of the decade?

    • Andrew Hires

      Time to get on the road and drive to work before the bust becomes the storm.

    • Tangocity

      Malibu gets slammed by 0830

      • Mr Montana

        starting to happen but waiting for the slamming!

        • Are you on the west side? Light rain but steady….

          • Mr Montana

            yes west side. and light and steady, feels like it could start coming down hard soon

    • Agree…we have light sprinkles but not much more yet…

  • PRCountyNative

    Rapidly expanding yellow/orange blob approaching! Expanding color all over the SF area radar. Is that divergence? Difluence? Dispandence?

    • RunningSprings6250

      I think it’s rain.

    • Shane Ritter

      Dystopia!

    • PRCountyNative

      Wow! It’s definitely rain and wind, that hit fast!

      Even the big oak trees are dancing, their whole (hole?) trunks moving – like a failing bridge pylon except a little faster – neat to see.

  • Storm Master (Sonora CA)

    its windy here this AM

  • Storm Master (Sonora CA)
  • mattzweck

    Here in the high desert/Lancaster area been light rain most of the morning I figure this afternoon is when will get hit with the heavier precip. Barometer is at 29.59 slow falling.

  • Storm Master (Sonora CA)

    Pressure 29.52″ and falling and its windy too vary windy here right now .17″ of rain today so far

    • RunningSprings6250

      Variable winds eh?

  • RunningSprings6250

    SLO/SB/VT getting hammered!? LA coast about to?!?

    Dry in the Sonoran desert?

    • sectionmaker

      Santa Barbara rained all night, solid steady…1 inch and street flooding etc…heavy south winds always a good sign!!

    • Was expecting to get hit harder than we have so far but this storm seems to be moving quite fast. Hmmm….

      • RunningSprings6250

        Because the forecasted stalling hasn’t happened yet? Literally just the beginning here…

  • Ice-nine (Suisun City)

    lol – hang onto your hats, Southern California

  • inclinejj

    Pacifica 7:45 am. 53.8 degrees, Barometer 29.30. Rainfall .54.

  • William_LeGro

    I am waiting, I am waiting (oh yeah, oh yeah)
    I am waiting, I am waiting (oh yeah, oh yeah)
    Waiting for some rain to come out of somewhere
    Waiting for some rain to come out of somewhere…

    Who knew Jaggers and Richards were so into weather?

    Anyway, rain was supposed to start by midnight (we get the downtown LA forecast). It didn’t. Woke up at 6am, still no rain. By 7:30 we had 0.01″ and the wind is so strong I can see the huge mass of dark cloud over the ocean moving fast from south to north (it’s rare when I can see storm clouds in LA actually moving – usually they just seem to ooze slo-o-o-w-w-w-l-l-ly, amoeba-like, enveloping you).

    I’m wondering – is this gonna be another bust? I look at a radar map and think, well, maybe not – maybe I just have to wait. And hope all that yellow and red moves eastward toward the city instead of northward.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5b76fd13d8fc1f4279ca9eed6bdb432e5912da5ba980d26fe4321260584550c8.png

    • RunningSprings6250

      Sounds someone’s getting donked today!

      • William_LeGro

        Oh yeah! Donked! Almost forgot that was my plan – to get donked. Thanks for the reminder!

        Speaking of getting donked – I love to look at Running Springs on the terrain map. Extraordinary place, and so close to yet so different from a gigantic flat Alpha city.

        • RunningSprings6250

          A good donking always comes as a surprise!

          I trip out every time I come up the hill, never gets old…20 minutes to climb 5200′ from San berdoo and a world a difference….

    • sectionmaker

      Hold on its coming!!!

  • Rio Rat

    Crazy wind gusts to 40 plus mph mostly from southeast, report from Salinas of tree down on a couple of cars, two people taken to hospital & two still trapped.On the outskirts of this storm,but still really eerie outside here in Aptos.

  • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

    Pressure down to 29.21 (989 MB) and wind gust to 35mph. 0.14 of rain thus far. Interesting setup for Bay Area as I am not sure anyone knows what we should expect. Where as down south, we know it will be a deluge.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4c4170fd88fda516c89147aa05fce68bfd3ad3cb783543d37456c6ddd4921e5c.png

  • Valkyrie

    Check out the waves in the clouds approaching SoCal in the visible 1km sat pic! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fee2f0b3529f96f23218af771de2a229e9437b7ad9adf336d59f614555b76f67.jpg

  • OddMan

    San Luis Obispo, 29.40″Hg, .7 inches of rain since 8PM last night. Wind gusts to about 15mph from the SSE.
    I drained half of my 750 gallon rainwater storage tank to flush it last week. Checked this AM and it is full again.

    • Ha, we beat SLO down here for a change! (maybe) 1.03″ in the past 24 hours. Winds not too bad here, just breezy. We are above the monthly normal precip for February and it’s only the 17th. Good steady moderate rain for hours.

      • OddMan

        I just checked and we picked up an inch of rain in the last couple of hours, the wind is a Strong Breeze to Near Gale (25 – 38 mph) and the pressure dropped to 29.29″Hg. Yellow areas all over the radar maps.
        Glad I had those French drains dug last year.

        • Well, now you passed us. We picked up .75″ since 8:00 this morning. And yes, the winds have picked up here too. Downed trees in AG have cut power there. Going to be an interesting day.

  • Cap’n

    Dumping snow over here on the west side of the Basin.

  • GusLevy

    The wind, rain and temp started coming down about 5 min ago here in La Canada. Hopefully the show has really begun.

  • cthenn

    0.2″ so far in Walnut Creek, winds haven’t arrived yet.

    Looking back over the comments, the storm hasn’t done much yet over SoCal? Is it supposed to arrive later this morning, or is it a (word which shall not be mentioned)?

    • RDLA

      Everything I’ve read so far has said it’s going to come down here in LA County late morning and pour heavily till rush hour (great), and continue raining through the evening.

    • weathergeek100

      A complete and utter BUST! Last I checked, not a drop on radar and nothing headed your way. Sorry!

    • Jim

      Looking at the HRRR, it doesnt look too impressive for the Monterey Bay area and up your way……

  • mbmattcor (TD 6400′)

    wall to wall coverage on WC, shocking.

    • Sublimesl

      But no Cantore?

  • Ventura Highway

    Raining hard here in Ventura. Just had a very brief period of very heavy rain.

  • jstrahl

    .35 inches so far (since midnight) in central Berkeley, heaviest rain so far today (i.e. right now, 8AM), pressure way down to 29.56 inches, lots of yellow echoes.

  • Storm Master (Sonora CA)