Strong atmospheric river likely to bring widespread, perhaps severe flooding to Northern California on Monday

Filed in Uncategorized by on February 19, 2017 8,491 Comments

Potentially dangerous flood event this week across wide swath of Northern California

Models are suggesting a high likelihood that the slow-moving atmospheric river will stall somewhere near the Interstate 80 corridor on Monday.. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

On the heels of a strong, damaging, and deadly Southern California storm on Friday, a new and powerful storm is bearing down upon Northern California. A deepening low pressure system just off the California coast will drag an extremely moist plume of subtropical moisture over the northern half of the state, bringing a prolonged period of moderate to heavy precipitation with high snow levels over a 36 hour period from late Sunday to early Tuesday. This brief update will focus exclusively on the major flood risk posed by this weather setup given extremely wet antecedent conditions.

 

Slow-moving atmospheric river may stall near Bay Area, Sacramento regions

The atmospheric river associated with the Monday storm will be very impressive in its own right–the amount of atmospheric water vapor transport near the Interstate 80 corridor on Monday will be of a magnitude historically only seen every ten years or so in February. Even more problematic than the overall amount of moisture is that the atmospheric river boundary itself is expected to be very slow moving, and may in fact stall across some portion of Northern California.

Yet another well-defined atmospheric river will make landfall across Northern California. (NCEP via UCSD)

As the offshore low lifts northeastward, the moist plume associated with the warm front will make slow progress northward during the day on Monday before reversing direction and moving more rapidly southeastward as the cold front approaches. The I-80 corridor (including the Bay Area and Sacramento regions) will be near the classic “triple point” of the warm, cold, and occluded fronts–which is a recipe for major flooding, since the atmospheric river can effectively “pivot” over a relatively narrow region. It’s still hard to pinpoint exactly which region will be most severely impacted, but I expect some serious flooding later Monday in a relatively narrow region somewhere within about 100 miles of the I-80 corridor. Even outside of this band of potentially dangerous rainfall accumulation, widespread heavy precipitation will still occur and lead to considerable flooding, mudslides, and other issues.

While the warm and wet precipitation will slowly taper off on Tuesday, it now appears that an active pattern will continue thereafter (albeit a much colder one). Additional precipitation accumulations may add to already considerable flooding later in the week, although at least snow levels should be drastically lower by Wednesday, reducing overall runoff.

 

Widespread flooding likely; severe stresses on California’s water infrastructure

Integrated water vapor fluxes over Northern California will reach values rarely seen during the Monday storm. (NCEP)

California is currently in the midst of one of its wettest winters on record, and precipitation since January 1st has already led to widespread water-related impacts. Widespread inundation of agricultural lands is occurring, which has begun to spread into low-lying nearby communities in the Central Valley; innumerably many mudslides and landslides have been occurring almost continuously in Northern California, causing numerous roadway failures and affecting some heavily traveled routes; and most of California’s major and minor reservoirs are now nearing capacity, requiring large water releases. All of this water is severely taxing California’s water storage, conveyance, and flood protection systems. With the major exception of the Oroville Dam spillway crisis–a situation that appears to have stabilized for the moment–no major failures have yet occurred elsewhere.

But given the magnitude of the incoming Monday storm and the precariousness of the present situation, it’s becoming increasingly likely that problems will arise this week. As others have pointed out, the present situation is very similar to those which have historically resulted in major levee failures in the Central Valley and Delta regions. Undoubtedly, this week’s weather will be a serious stress test for California’s aging water infrastructure. Indeed, the potential exists this week for severe flood-related impacts of a magnitude not seen in many years. This is a storm to take seriously!

I’ll be following this high-impact storm and its impacts in real time on Twitter.

 

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  • Another perspective from Oroville spillway. March 17 they plan to use it again. Maybe 40-50k CFS. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/677c62aaf29074844508dd6956c6cc5042d61b1a92bca1bdc39a806de6eeaf60.jpg

  • DavidBentleyT

  • Mike Stephenson (Riverside)

    The Great Winter of 2016/17 is not done yet!

  • DavidBentleyT

    Kristen Meghan, former air force whistleblower

  • DavidBentleyT

  • Charlie B

    How is the town formerly known as Barrow, Alaska, on the shore of the Arctic ocean, faring this winter?
    NOV: Highest temp for the month, +31, lowest -21. Record is +37 in 1937 and -40 in 1948. For the month, +12.6 (above normal).
    DEC: Highest +26, lowest -23. Record is +34 in 1932 and -55 in 1924. For the month +7.9.
    JAN: Highest +36, lowest -36. Record high tied in 2017 at +36; other years were 1974 and 2006. Record low -51 in 1951 and 1975. For the month +13.1.
    FEB: Highest +26, lowest -29. Record is +36 in 1982 and -56 in 1924. +8.0 for the month.
    MAR thru 3/13: Highest 26, lowest -24. +11 for the month so far.
    While not exactly beach weather, it is less cold, a lot less cold, than ever before, it would seem.

    • AlTahoe

      That would make sense as the high pressure block has been sitting over that area almost the entire winter. I would imagine that the winters of 1948-1952 were very similar temp wise. All of the winters featured very cold and snowy weather in the Pacific northwest which would mean there had to be a block in a similar location.

      • Charlie B

        One would think so, but down in Fairbanks, 450 miles south and in the interior, has had a rather snowy winter (130% or so of average snowfall) with several notable cold spells. High pressure up there generally is when the temps plummet, especially in the lowlands because they get hyper inversions….
        I do think HP indeed plays a part in Barrow’s situation, but it is also on the ocean and despite the fact that the water is still frozen and also despite the less cold temps this year, I think proximity to the water even if frozen plays a part.
        I wish I had easy access to historic info to check the correlation between this year’s pattern and historical ones. Maybe someone who doesn’t have to earn a paycheck, pay bills, etc. could do that research….there is a key somewhere to be found.

  • PRCountyNative

    Just before 1 PM 86 degrees in the northern Santa Lucia’s.

    To march heat! Hedding too the lake! Thyme fore a swim!

  • bk2ftr (Atascadero)

    Classic southerly surge of marine stratus getting sucked into Monterey Bay. Hopefully some makes it down the Salinas Valley tonight.

  • Nate

    The MODIS image of Socal yesterday is awesome. It’s interesting how shallow and coast-hugging the marine layer is–pretty cool how Two Harbors and Avalon are just barely covered. There are some nice eddies in there as well.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3d0068f5274add65e57c710116e7805876f813f644c024aa1cf91d1c7b9b181d.png

  • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

    Cool time lapse of snow back east. Shows how it effects trees via the weight.

    https://twitter.com/NBCNews/status/841763614289727488

    • Dan the Weatherman

      Ohhhhh Nooooooooo! Mr. Bill and Gumby got buried!!

  • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

    Models now showing even a higher percentage of above average rain in the 6-10 day outlook.

    https://twitter.com/NBCNews/status/841763614289727488

    • AlTahoe

      18z is trending warmer so far with the storms as well. Snow levels look to stay above 7k which has been the theme this winter.

      • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

        Nooooo!

      • Bartshe

        Trend this winter and many more to come

      • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

        Good cement to cover/bond to the old base.

      • janky

        Nooooooo! I need low snow levels and at least 8-10″ so I can take a powder day…

  • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)
    • Rainmaker (San Jose)

      that dark green blob over central CA, so majestic

    • PRCountyNative

      Sweet! Let’s go skiing!

  • DelMarSD

    Liking the 18z so far.

    • Kayaks (Crestline)

      Last year it seemed like the GFS was underperforming, vis a vis a persistent 10 day mirage. Accepting that a lot can happen in 10 days… now that patterns have changed, do folks here feel better about the model? Reasons?

  • SoCalWXwatcher

    Winter wraps up this weekend. Goes out with a whimper.

    Spring looks to start out wet at least.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/12d863b83f8dd10040de0e6d6b3011983d9f8e1274e58545029a5658046c4b4d.png

    • Rainmaker (San Jose)

      idk, looks like temps will drop back down in the upper 50’s when the storm pattern picks up on the 21st. Winter wants to stay and i won’t object to that

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        Unfortunately some of the hillside grasses are already drying out in some areas around here in SoCal and next week’s potential storms bay be a bit too late. But I’ll gladly accept whatever rain we get.

    • rainingonmycactus

      1-2 inches in the LA area? I’ll take it.

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      Can we make a donation to your future machine? And, would it tax deductible? : ^ )

  • Bob G (Gustine)

    From the 18Z.
    http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/gfs/2017031418/gfs_apcpn_swus_52.png
    According to this map, our rainfall total is going to be higher than Monterey and San Jose? I find that very hard to believe.

    • Nathan

      a lot of that is 8+ days out. will change.

    • jstrahl

      Weird how there’s a blue bubble around the Bay Area right in the midst of the purple colors.

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        It is. I doubt that happens

        • jstrahl

          May just be the imprecision of the graphics.

      • Charlie B

        This is why I envy those who analyze models. I am colorblind and blue is purple and purple blue. I can’t remotely tell the difference. Fortunately I can spot yellow wildflowers.

    • PRCountyNative

      Agreed. Unlikely.

    • Nevada gets some decent precipitation so I’m guessing maybe some inside slider or ULL hanging out that reverses the rain shadow.

      • Nate

        Tonopah low? ‘Tis the season…

    • Henry

      Forecasts 16 days out are meaningless. I would ignore the portion of this precipitation that is beyond 10 days, and divide the forecasted amounts for days 6-10 by 2. Better to stick with 7 day total precipitation forecasts. In some cases those have been close to reality this season, in other cases not so much.

  • Charlie B

    March 11, 1952:
    Last night’s storm brought very cold and unstable air into the area. Thunderstorms brought hail across the north valley. In the mountains, there was a period of heavy snow and Norden received 12″ of new, bringing the total to 207″ on the ground. Baxter still reports a pack of 96″, Echo Summit has 210″ and Meyers 80″. The next storm, number 5 in the latest series, is 800 miles off the coast and is expected to bring back rain to the valley and snow to the mountains tomorrow. Continued cold, with snow levels hovering around 3,000′.
    For the first time in 15 years all of Nevada is expected to have adequate water this summer for all ranching and farming needs.
    The Army has announced that it has developed a missile that can find and destroy a plane from 3 miles away. Actress Rita Hayworth is going to Reno to get a divorce from husband Aly Kahn.
    March 12, 1952:
    The storms off the Pacific have been so numerous that they have had to be numbered. # 6 is right off shore and will move through tonight and tomorrow. Over last night, snow fell as low as 1,000′ with Auburn recording 1.5″ and Colfax 6″. Sacramento received .26″ of rain yesterday, and Norden’s settled snowpack sits at 209″. Forecast calls for windy and cold with showers and snow in the mountains. Snow level rising to 3,000′.
    In political news, General Eisenhower achieved a “grand slam” in the New Hampshire primary, sharply altering the presidential race. Many still question his candidacy and qualifications. Senator Joseph McCarthy (R. Wis.) was accused of having a “diseased mind.” Finally, accused “jungle killer” Lloyd Gomez received a court appointed lawyer today. Gomez stands accused of gunning down a fellow hobo after being accused of stealing 4 cans of beer. [Ed. The lawyer was unsuccessful and on October 16, 1953, after trial and appeals, Gomez was executed in San Quintin’s gas chamber, bringing a short but very violent life to an end.]

    • Rio Rat

      The more things change, the more they stay the same.

      • Charlie B

        I am finding that out.

        • Pfirman

          Except for snow at 1000′ mid-March, though it may happen yet, who knows?

    • I want to buy your diary

  • Crouching Dallas

    take note, maddow-watching weather friends – THAT is what a bust looks like.

    Also, here’s a nice lil’ forecast from Mammoth Snowman’s weather guy: http://mammothsnowman.com/mammoth-mountain-weather/2017/03/14/mammoth-mountain-weather-forecast-tuesday-march-14th-2017/

    Dude lacks Howard’s real estate chops and internet 1.0 website, but he’s a meteo and does really great work.

    • That was funny, informative and are you in my Samsung?

      • Crouching Dallas

        Dunno about the Samsung, but definitely on yer twitter! Sans alias, sadly.

    • Yolo Hoe

      Nice call out — IMHO Weather Guy is up there with BA, CHeden and 805 — he doesn’t overhype and has a great feel for distilling insights from the strengths and weaknesses of the various models regarding snow quality and overall amounts.

      • Crouching Dallas

        Totally agree – WG utilizes the various models in a super transparent, effective way. I also like the structure and consistency of his reports; nothing gets me more hyped on powder than functional snow forecasts.

    • Mike Stephenson (Riverside)

      I hope our radars get a better, return

  • HighWater
    • Craig Matthews

      Wow, that’s so much snow in the high country. Gonna be a fun backpack trip this summer with all of the snow fields lasting well into the summer on the high peaks and passes.

      • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

        Mosquito hatch should drag into mid/late August this year…one nice thing about the drought is you could plan trips to certain areas that would normally be swarming in early July…

    • Wow. Amazing!

  • Danlyle (Mariposa)

    This Spring is going to be amazing. Bees are buzzing in the Manzanita trees. Grass is growing. This is the view on tonight’s walk.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/aa9d6f7eca1a85419a1429a33475ce3f14bf00961264892a79536be2ba0fc0ff.jpg

    • thebigweasel

      Wow! What a great shot! Perfectly framed!

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      Well done! Love the sunlight halo – striking!

  • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)
  • Tyler Price (Monterey/Seaside)

    GFS has been singing quite a believable tune as of lately.. I could see the models coming to fruition with the next series of storms to a very similar extent (possibly even better and more potent storms) to what they show now.. a predict a widespread 2.5-8+ inch rainfall totals from south to north across all of California by the time the March series of storms is over.. have SoCal get 3-5 inch totals widespread when march is all said and done is certainly
    Not out of the questions with atmospheric conditions conducive for a series of disturbances to moves across California, Southland included with the nice dip in the jet.. the slower motion of the storms here and there will help to boost rainfall totals and any shortwave energy that moves through or upper-level disturbances will bring about times of convective weather as we head into spring.. while total rainfall
    Accumulations thru the period are modest in comparison to the January and February storm cycles.. the total precip. Predicted is still above average and just another drop ? or several ? In the rain bucket for the season!! Things are looking good for the rest of march starting next week ATTM! Wet Weather shall return sooner rather than later so enjoy the sunshine while it lasts! We may get very little of it through spring if the trend continues again for a wet and cloudy California in the coming weeks! 🙂 cheers ? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/04a6c87854cbf8d6348077dad2498f4034f65687f1dcb2f87e3b832ac9be8f2c.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/112b11457e6e591de7d6bdb542fddd7ef42bac9b5e5aa3ffbce3e1bc427784ee.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ee5bd68bd58ef70d7ac9eb7acae0755caf9c9487f6734278f69dbeceac4a4344.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0caeeb018848336e2842024a70f1b0e9a24d040ff303f5653c48e524418d732f.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7049eac9de5c53f044e5f44543557d6cb195937bdbeb6c3cb838b525941391ef.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/138125eb5bb2973877d47d82740eeefc314762d304f126b7d54bd778c131ea0c.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7049eac9de5c53f044e5f44543557d6cb195937bdbeb6c3cb838b525941391ef.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ee5bd68bd58ef70d7ac9eb7acae0755caf9c9487f6734278f69dbeceac4a4344.png

    • scott

      Thanks for the great post. This was a great way to wake up and get my day started. Truly exciting.

  • Crouching Dallas

    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5SuVLHuwAw&w=560&h=315%5D

    “meanwhile, in Shasta land…”

  • Crouching Dallas
    • Nathan

      haven’t heard from Capn in a few days.

      work sucks!

      • PRCountyNative

        Work now, ski later, pray for snow!

    • Arnold Weather Fanatic

      Much better Shasta views than from the Weed rest stop!

      • The Real StormMaster®

        The Real Storm Master® never takes a rest from weed.

        • Arnold Weather Fanatic

          I noticed that our motel in PDX has felt compelled to put up a sign that there is to be no pot smoking in the rooms.

  • To those who have recently reported advertisements on Weather West exhibiting unacceptable behavior (like full-page ads, pop overs/unders, browser takeovers, etc.): if you would like to help resolve the issue, please consider following these steps by replying to this pinned comment:

    1. Browser and type of device (are you viewing the “mobile” version of Weather West (streamlined design without the right sidebar) or the full version? So far, the only users reporting problems are using mobile version of the Apple OS.

    2. The ad URL causing the problem. Google Support has reached out and asked interested users to follow the instructions on the following page to copy and paste the exact ad URL (you can paste it here, rather than at the location suggested). This is important, since I can’t replicate the issue on my end.
    https://support.google.com/adsense/answer/3382225

    Thanks for you help in resolving this!

  • To those who have recently reported advertisements on Weather West exhibiting unacceptable behavior (like full-page ads, pop overs/unders, browser takeovers, etc.): if you would like to help resolve the issue, please consider following these steps by replying to this pinned comment:

    1. Browser and type of device (are you viewing the “mobile” version of Weather West (streamlined design without the right sidebar) or the full version? So far, the only users reporting problems are using mobile version of the Apple OS.

    2. The ad URL causing the problem. Google Support has reached out and asked interested users to follow the instructions on the following page to copy and paste the exact ad URL (you can paste it here, rather than at the location suggested). This is important, since I can’t replicate the issue on my end.
    https://support.google.com/

    Thanks for your help in resolving this!

    • Patrick from Stockton

      I have Samsung galaxy s5 android and I have not had that problem

      • Admode (Susanville)

        Same.

        • mattzweck

          Have an lg g4. Android And haven’t had That problem either.

    • saw1979

      Apple iPhone 6, I have no issues viewing on my phone.

      • inclinejj

        I phone 6 plus. No issues at all. In fact my I phone loads so much faster than my google chrome windows 10 lap top.

      • Jason Jackson Willamette

        Same. Does this site have an “app?” I just google Weather West Blog, and click on the resulting URL. No pop up ads encountered. I do have AdBlock+ installed on my iPhone 6 and my Windows 8.1 laptop. Highly recommended.

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      Has only happened for me on my iPad when using the desktop (with ads and Twitter updates posting). Haven’t had an issue when using the desktop version with Windows 10.

    • Daniel, for us, that link goes to a general Google Help page, so there’s nowhere to paste the ad URL. I tried searching, but couldn’t find the reporting page. Here’s the ad URL:

      “http://rightnetwork.club/show.php?c=walmart&p=a16af6d315ae95e41a8a0cc8e70da41a&subid=U12220468501489514378647655&t=1489514378”

      • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

        that’s one that has popped up for me several times as well.

    • matthew

      Just happened again. Was redirected to ganicproject.com. This happened right after I clicked on the comments link. That is, when loading up Disqus. Again, on my iPad.

    • Rand

      I just launched to your home page and the following URL is what I was presented with:

      http://ganicproject.com/mobile.php?c=walmart&p=7a77880464234115c7268d63e783e235&subid=T18082184061489812381454272&t=1489812381

      iOS 10.2.1 (14D27) on an iPad.

      Hasn’t happened before. Good luck!

  • scott

    On the east coast, I heard that the huge blizzard that was predicted back east turned out to be a ‘bust’ for NYC as us WW observers say. I saw this article from the New York Post this morning. I guess so public officials as well as the author were pissed about it missing NYC. This article claims NWS knew it was a bust before it hit, but didn’t tell the public out of fear of confusing people.

    http://nypost.com/2017/03/14/feds-knew-blizzard-would-weaken-but-didnt-want-to-confuse-us/

    This Mashable article (don’t know who they are so not sure the reliability) shows mad citizens. (the article was blocked on my work computer so not sure if this link works or not, but I googled ‘nyc blizzard bust’ and it popped up.

    http://www.mashable.com/2017/03/14/what-happened-blizzard-stella-forecast-bust-nyc/

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      Yep, the models really failed on those localized impacts I was just reading a tweet from somebody who got 32″ somewhere in NY, but IMHO the misses/hits comes with that territory of a storm. Nor’easter systems can be very complex the way they form, and many meteorologists were aware there was a highly given chance things would be dynamic by hour as they forecasted it. In comparison systems coming from the south towards SoCal they tend to be difficult and people all over LA fret including myself.

      • Charlie B

        My son lives near Rochester. He just sent me a text/photo showing 28″ of snow on the ground, with more falling.

        • scott

          So it looks like it moved more to the west than predicted. NYC is such a small area geographically that trying to pinpoint their weather must be like trying to throw a dart at a distant target.

          • With 5 million people and 2 million coming into work everyday that target is pretty loud, though. 😉 Safety is a big concern obviously and how could I forget NJ…LOL

          • Charlie B

            That is precisely why I chuckle when someone calls a given event a “bust” when they log .78″ of rain when some pre-storm chart showed a pinpoint anticipated amount of .92.

        • Crank Tango

          My mom said she got a foot in Rochester proper. My sister lives in Geneseo, I don’t know what she ended up with.

          • Charlie B

            My son is in Henrietta, more or less directly south of downtown. This wasn’t a lake effect event, because those result in far more snow in northern areas than southern ones. My brother has lived for years in Victor, just south of the I-90 Thruway. He has told me for years that the Thruway was the real dividing line between lake effect snow and no lake effect snow.

      • NYC was supposed to get dumped on back in 2015 and it was a complete “bust”, too. Here’s a public link from Ryan Mahue from WxBell discussing the 2015 forecast.
        http://models.weatherbell.com/blizzard.php

    • molbiol

      I posted on this a couple days ago and warned that the medium range high resolution models and some of the spectral ensembles were showing a more westerly track which would result in more rain the snow for the large cities. The forecasters noted this in their AFDs and began scaling back snow amounts before the event. However, the gridded forecasts did not reflect these changes until the event was underway

  • Charlie B

    There is some chatter of a colder pattern developing later this month and extending into mid-April. As we all know, spring can see some huge storms, such as those in 1958 and 1982. What is interesting (to me at least) is that the 1951-52 snow year I have been discussing was largely over by the end of March. Tahoe City received a grand total of 2.5″ that year in April. The spigot just stopped.
    Another random thought. So far this year, Tahoe city has received 210″ of snow, which is about 110% of their seasonal average of around 190″. In 1951-52 Tahoe City received……….535″………… About 532.5″ of it by the end of March! So, we only have about 325″ to go over the next 16 days to reach that lofty goal. That gives some perspective as to how incredibly snowy that year was, considering also that this year is wetter than that year was. Hummmmm.

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      2011 as we remember included measurable snowfall into June and Memorial Day 2010 included chain controls over Donner Summit leading up to the Holiday weekend. I don’t picture passing the Tahoe City record but quite possible we’ll see several more feet into May. Great news for the ski resorts able to stay open, not the best news for garden centers and boating/golf fans around Tahoe.

      Guess we’ll need to wait to see what Stormaster and John Curtis have in store for the next few months

      • Charlie B

        I have that feeling (utterly no science involved but hey, this was supposed to be a dry year according to many scientists) that there is going to be a big curveball this year. I would not at all be surprised if another 10′ or more falls up top and at least a few feet at lake level. Of course, there might only be a few more flakes so who really knows?

        • matthew

          Given that next weeks storm series is showing up to 5′ on the crest and a foot or so at lake level then you are making a pretty safe prediction. Then again, Tahoe and Truckee could see all rain if it comes in just a couple degrees warmer.

          • Charlie B

            Safe predictions are why I still have a bank account despite living 3.5 miles from the Peppermill and Atlantis for the past 30 years.

      • janky

        I was camping that Memorial Day weekend in 2011 in Sequoia National Forest. We woke up to graupel and then snow. Totally unprepared too for winter like conditions.

    • AlTahoe

      Here in South Lake Tahoe it has been pretty much an average snowfall winter so far. It seems more impressive because the last 5 years were so horrible. The Airport is at 148″ and 150″ is normal for a winter. The deepest snowpack was 60″ in January and 33″ in February. It is down to about 18″ now.
      In the big snow years (92-93, 2004-2005, 2010-2011) totals at the airport are 250″+ and the snow depth is between 80″ and 120″
      Rainfall wise I don’t think any year is close to this year though.

      • AlTahoe

        Just to add if the new GFS comes to fruition there is a good chance we could break 200″ here in South Lake.

      • Craig Matthews

        How did your area do in April of 1967. Curious because that was our wettest April on record in some Monterey coast areas.

    • TahoeCard

      That # for Tahoe City this year seems low. What do you use to look that up? While the base of Squaw does a little better than TC, the numbers are usually not that different and they are reporting 387 at the base 6200′.

      • AlTahoe

        The Tahoe city site is up to 210″ now with no reported missed days. This seems right since South Lake it at 148″. That’s ski resort marketing for you.
        http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?ca8758

        • Charlie B

          Damn, Al. I was just linking to that table. I spend lots of time on that wrcc site…great official stats for all kinds of things in all kinds of places.

          • AlTahoe

            Yeah I like that site a lot. It is weird that Tahoe city had the best long term records forever and then they just stopped doing them around 2010-2011. It looks like they are back to good record keeping again.

          • Charlie B

            Al, we are channeling today. I was going to mention the same exact thing. Again. Quit stealing my thunder (and get ready for march more snow in march.

          • AlTahoe

            So March more snow. The newest GFS is impressive. Still looks like a chance for some splitting storms (Good news for Southern Cal) and it looks like some upper level lows that come in right through the central valley and send waves of snow into the Sierra for a couple of days.

        • TahoeCard

          From a guy that works in TC those #’s just seem low. Not sure how they measure. But just for instance, that last storm was much closer to the 37″ that Squaw base is reporting than the 22″ that the site is reporting. Also, there is no way that Feb total was 4′ that the site is saying. We got a couple 2′ storms in single days.

          • AlTahoe

            My February total down here was 22″ at my house, and the South Lake Tahoe airport reported 30″ so the 50″ at Tahoe city seems right to me. There was a lot of rain and wet snow events that month. Even a few miles away from the waters edge or even 200′ higher the snow totals would have been much larger.

          • TahoeCard

            Not going to keep arguing about this. My office is right by golf course in TC so a pretty accurate place to represent TC. Squaw base reported 100″ in Feb and this site says 50″. The squaw base # is closer to what fell in town.

  • Oroville is testing the spillway over areas they repaired. Don’t know what the CFS is though. Here’s the link I get the photos from. If you create an account you can download some huuuge photos. https://pixel-ca-dwr.photoshelter.com/index

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/59c4813a025f85f7e0080e4329561b5113696ea13fdd354e773276460bdf2e76.jpg

    • Nathan

      I give that Tuscan stucco work about a week…

      • Jason Jackson Willamette

        LOL, yeah but they got those little PVC pipes stickin’ out of the crete, so that’ll hold it!

        • It’s a modified spillway drain. Hopefully there will be little water flowing out. A warning sign IMO was the amount of flow out of the spillway drains, not the lack of. i.e. too much water for whatever reason under the slabs, undermining the integrity of the spillway.

      • Sfedblog

        I heard the overflow unearthed an Indian burial site and that repairs have been stopped indefinitely.

        • inclinejj

          Actually that stunt has been tried in Pacifica. The “Noobees” and “Gang OF NO” said there was once an ancient Indian Burial Site in the rock quarry between Rockaway and Vallemar.

      • Slick

        Now thats funny.

    • Craig Matthews

      A little duck tape and some spackle….

      • Craig Matthews

        That’s a great link BTW

      • I’m hoping it was exterior grade. 😉

      • inclinejj

        Duct tape, bailing wire, and bubble gum!

  • mattzweck
  • Bob G (Gustine)

    The 12Z looks impressive. Juiced up the storms

    • Craig Matthews

      Wow Bob, the entire state would get just about their entire months worth if this run verifies. Monterey/Carmel area averages between 3 and 4 inches for March and a little over double of that in Big Sur.

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        It sure would. Now I am going to have to apply a bloom spray this weekend as our cherries are starting to bloom. It never fails, lol. Every year it rains when our trees start to bloom. Hopefully we will get some good days there for the bees to get out there and work

    • jstrahl

      And now, the Bay Area purple gap has been filled in. 🙂

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        The 18Z is even wetter

        • jstrahl

          Wow!

  • AlTahoe
  • SoSocal (Chula Vista)
    • Mike Stephenson (Riverside)

      Wow that second storm looks to bring some heavy rain from Pt. Conception all the way to SD!

      • SoSocal (Chula Vista)

        Looks very similar to the 3+ inch monster that hit us 2 weeks ago. Would be NUTS!

        • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

          Hope it’s better for all of us here in SoCal. Believe it or not, I only received 0.08″ from the AR that hit your SD area with widespread 3-6″ rain totals. Just couldn’t get it to nudge north a little.

    • Nathan

      Just so long as that AR stays in the southland…

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      Let’s hope reality aligns with speculation.

    • Sokafriend

      There is a major binational legal challenge occurring over the 220 million gallons of raw sewage that was released from TJ into the river (canal) that flows through farmland and the wetlands of southern San Diego. Over 20 miles of coastline were extremely contaminated , including Coronado. No reason to believe it won’t happen again with this upcoming rainfest.

      • Mike Stephenson (Riverside)

        Maybe the rain could be beneficial in diluting and washing out what already spilled?

        • Sokafriend

          Mike, there is nowhere near an appropriate, functioning sewage waste management or
          treatment system, that’s the problem, coupled with zero accountability and no reporting of the failures from the state of Baja to its counterparts in California.
          So no, the rain will only bring more of the same, maybe worse, since so much additional collapse ocurred as a result of the February rain and wind event. Serge Dedina of Wildcoast and mayor of Imperial Beach is really going after this, but I don’t see any containment or control for the coming rain.

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

    Upcoming developing wet pattern I have been watching has been getting better and better by the day for more beneficial water to the state. This cycle is still consistently showing this running until the nearly the end of the month from both models, though confidence is medium to low that it will last that long due to a few factors. When I say “low”, I mean low as in low chance since we are still a ways out even if some of the systems are already in the 10 day, it’s best to take all these systems as good bonuses, whether some of us like it or not. Hoping these systems are wet & wild for the at least down here, spring rains are a welcoming occurrence for the warming days and especially agriculture & nature lovers who love being outside rain or shine.

    & The overall pattern shift is due to a displacement of an anomalously low pressure area currently sitting at 30N, 151W just SE of Japan will propagate eastward with the extension of the EA jet very similarly to what we have seen repeat multiple times this season in the West Pacific though not entirely as a there are a few different factors at play in order for this to be as sufficient as those last cycles. Downstream of that (or to the east) the NPAC ridge is waning with it’s “kinda” rex block set up nearly ending with the jet extension. As the NPAC ridge breaks down over the Bering Sea, this jet extension will aid in displacing this area of low pressure to the east and thus creating a conveyor belt for storm formation once again to the west coast as the subtropical ridge is also suppressed to our SE. Another observation I’d like to add in is these systems all have been showing messy consistency up until the last 11 runs with handling on PWATS & now even this system in the mid-long range is looking pretty awesome now as well as beyond. BUT I will add 1 point to that as well, with these good subtropical taps especially with what the GFS is showing in the long range there will be increased volatility possible if an AR does have the chance to set up. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dc4e59f1ea28d1fda9b9382860287f18c8d7eceeb080cdb610d9f271f92beb5d.gif https://twitter.com/805Weather/status/842072350291976192

    Things we can take away from the models this morning and so far with trends.
    -The models began picking up on the pattern about a week ago showing an area of anomalously low pressure being displaced by another jet extension and have done quite well in depicting it’s development & progression.
    -The models’ ensembles were also showing this pattern to develop quickly & then dwindle just as fast. That’s not the case now, as all models seem to have an idea this pattern could last 10-12 days after the first system this weekend with modest consistency that could stick due to very long range consistency still up in the air (obviously).

    • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

      Glad to have you back.

      • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

        It’s good to be back in talks for another beneficial wet pattern. Cheers!

    • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

      Nice post 805. I was hoping to get your take on the set up.

    • Craig Matthews

      Awesome summery and update 805. Hopefully things will come together just right for the entire state to receive good precip and snow level below pass levels, especially across the southern half of the state, and also, importantly, not too much heavy rain over one region for an extended period of time(like we saw last 2 months). May be a tall order, but if you can get me some progressive GOA storms with some 2-3 day breaks in between headed from March into April, I’ll be happy 😉

      • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

        I was just at work on a shift giving word to some folks who always ask about the upcoming week of weather and that’s almost exactly how I explained it to them lol, this is gonna be a fun one Craig, especially with the higher sun angle.

        • Yolo Hoe

          Gnarley — looking forward to it — thanks for priming the anticipation pump

    • John Curtis

      Great work. Any interest in coming to work for John Curtis Weather Center?

      • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

        You’ve got competition in the area my friend. 😉

        • rainingonmycactus

          Nobody gets job offers from John Curtis. You just received the greater WW honor of all time.

          • Pfirman

            He was a little foggy on the pay though.

      • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

        Is the “Weather Center” located at/in Matilija hot springs where a soak and discussion on 2017 coastal fog trends takes place?

    • jstrahl

      GREAT update, 805!

      • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

        Thanks Jstrahl! Hope you’ve enjoying your awesome water year this month.

    • THIS! Is what I was hoping for at the later part of March. A good near end of season soaking will set up the native trees to remain strong thru summer. The number of trees we have lost on our “ranch” these past 3 years due to the drought has been painful in more ways than one (counting a shoulder injury splitting oak wood from downed branches) with this last victim being the most painful. With luck this will be the last dead tree for a while. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e08ea2c90763def54affc66a0f3ab9570a10aebaabc0b69714e8fa2e42725bad.jpg

    • After drooling at the graphics, I got around to reading. Very nice!

    • matthew

      No. No. No.

      I postholed up to my hip in my own backyard this morning. I am sick of winter. I want warm weather. Enough of this cold, wet shit. Give me warm and dry. Afternoon thunderstorm, no problem. Cold and wet for weeks…STOP IT ALREADY!!!

      There. I feel better now.

      • maddogokp

        Do you need to borrow some snow shoes? I can drop them off. 🙂
        Deep breaths, serenity now.

        • matthew

          No! No snowshoes! I got out on my road bike yesterday and I want MORE of that.

          To quote Neil Young at Woodstock “Hey, maybe if we try real hard, maybe we can stop this rain! No rain! No rain! No rain!”

          • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

            If “serenity now” doesn’t work, use “hoochie mama”!!!!

          • Yolo Hoe

            Cabin fever?

  • Dan weather maniac

    test…are people having a hard time getting the page to refresh?

    • Sokafriend

      Yes

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      Working for me –

  • If this upcoming series of storms pans out I’ll most likely end up with more than the 2010-11 season total of 22 inches.

    • thlnk3r

      Yet again the cfsv2 bombed out (assuming we receive the rain that is forecasted, still a ways out). Avg rainfall for Los Angeles in March is just shy of 3″. Let’s see if we can get close to that before EOM.

      • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

        Add in the possibility of increased springtime convective parameters and you may have yourself a fun week ahead.

      • Yolo Hoe

        Or, things performed as we would have predicted based on CFSv2 — hard to argue with consistency

  • Craig Matthews

    Love it when the coastal fog does stuff like this…(yesterday afternoon) https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/06fe3ea64782403e81f888a5529e7c56db7e4b4986efff7d1b0ae8496286a785.jpg

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      Exactly how it is over here, we’re having August/September weather here in March only difference is the temps aren’t as ridiculously strong inland and the gradient is a bit further inland longer in the mornings. If you ask me this is already a very good sign for the summer ahead.

    • FolsomPrisonBlues

      Man that is gorgeous!

  • Where are you Storm Master?

    • Jim

      Are you waiting to hear him say southern Cal won’t get any rain ? Only Sonora ? LOL

    • warm spring weather

      Been taking time off like I said I would fro the blog

      • Charlie B

        I hope you haven’t doomed us all by your name change.

        • Yolo Hoe

          Agreed — if next week fizzles, we will know why.

          As backup, I hope the coastal fog is at least behaving.

  • molbiol

    85 degrees in Lancaster, winds from the SW 16-20mph and there is even a little bit of heat related convection to east and south over the San Gabriels in the form of some puffy but shallow cumulus development. In other words, a cool ‘summer’ day.

    • mattzweck

      yeah just wait until summer here in Lancaster area really hits 75 degrees at night 105 degrees in day time.

  • Charlie B

    March 13, 1952 (first of two today):
    Since March 1, six storms have moved across the Gulf of Alaska and impacted the state. The one last night brought thunderstorms to the area, and Citrus Heights (a Sacramento suburb) received about 1″ of snow pellets and hail. Baxter received 6″ of snow and now has 108″ on the ground [at 4,000 feet]. Soda Springs received 12″ new with a total of 240″ and Echo Summit received 10″ new for a total of 218″ on the ground. The seventh storm is approaching the coast this afternoon. This storm resembles #3 that brought a period of heavy rain to the valley and heavy snow in the Sierra. The snow levels will remain low, at about 3,000′ lowering to perhaps 1,500′. The reason for these storms is that high pressure remains to the far west that has resulted in a large area of low pressure in the Gulf of Alaska which sets up the continued generation of storms that are cold and wet. These are expected to last for the next 5 days at least, with heavy snow possible at times and unusually low snow levels.
    In other news, German officials claim that American soldiers fathered at least 94,000 illegitimate “mulatoes” during the war. Finally, President Truman believes that “Young Americans will have peace..” [Ed. Many of those “young Americans” in 1952 were of perfect draft age by the time the Vietnam conflict was in full swing.]

  • DelMarSD

    If the recent runs are correct, I’ll look forward to smashing through the 20″ mark for the season (currently 18.7). My opinion is that this season isn’t over by a long shot. The latter half of February was interesting in that it featured huge storms here (2 and 3.9 inches, respectively), with dry, sunny weather in between. Perhaps that will also be true for this month. It’s the real big storms that make or break a season down here. I hadn’t realized how much I’ve missed them.

  • flyboy45

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dba9bb19702e96fc8026b7017ab2e495cd7c9446fdc3554590c1e0e36d5943be.jpg Novato Burdell Mountain from Hamilton Field, haven’t seen the Marin hills this green since the 70’s

  • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)
    • Nice to see the green still March and not late April

    • DelMarSD

      Awesome.

    • jstrahl

      Interesting, the area of extreme rainfall (darker than i’ve ever seen on such a map) in the San Luis Oblispo/Santa Barbara area.

    • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

      I can’t wait to hear what Daniel says in his new blog post about this and hopefully it includes convection and low snow levels

    • matthew

      Does anyone besides me find these CPC forecasts to be less than useless? Looks to me like they have an intern looking at the GFS and Euro fantasyland output and vomiting up charts once a week.

  • SoCalWXwatcher

    18z GFS continues to depict the 2nd storm next Friday/Saturday as quite a soaker for SoCal, with orographics helping out Santa Barbara/Ventura Counties once again. The usual script for GFS would be to start backtracking on this and then play catch-up within the 5 day window, so this should be fun to watch and see how it handles things.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7d15eb33f379a30600c9cc08a2c3a774f4d036774ba6e33d501bab46381d5174.png

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4736c423f832d9abd14eab70c0bbdae82a20a1812940f203ef32f83ef7429427.png

  • Bob G (Gustine)

    Runs showing higher rainfall accumulations/ The 18Z is wetter than the 12Z for most of CA. Central and Northern CA all purple for the week

    http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/?model=gfs&region=swus&pkg=apcpn&runtime=2017031518&fh=384&xpos=0&ypos=555

  • Rio Rat

    Can feel the energy starting to rise from all the WW bloggers from these series of lows forming out in the Eastern Pac.2016/2017 season definitely one to remember already.More fun to come.

    • DelMarSD

      Definitely more fun to come!

    • Yolo Hoe

      Good call — good vibrations

  • Charlie B

    March 14, 1952 (second installment):
    STORM LASHES AREA, FELLING TREES AND WIRES. A powerful storm slammed the north state bring wind gusts of up to 75 mph. Several people were injured by blowing debris. In Oakland, the spire of St. Anthony’s Catholic church toppled in the strong winds. Snow fell to low elevations, with Redding yet again reporting heavy snow. It was also snowing in Red Bluff, Auburn, Grass Valley and Nevada City, where a coating of snow on the streets caused many accidents. The storm is slowing and moving south, and warnings are issued in the San Diego area for heavy rain and high winds. Rain amounts are expected to be 2-4″ in the lowlands and 4-8″ in the mountains, with heavy snow at higher elevations. In other weather news, snow and cold pounded the Rockies and upper Midwest, and dust from Oklahoma and Kansas darkened the skies in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Miami’s high temperature of 86 was the highest for the date in over 40 years,
    In international news, Soviet delegate Malik accused the U.S. of waging germ warfare against his country. According to Malik, the U.S. has dropped bombs filled with germ laden insects on the Korean Peninsula. Protests, called “Indignation meetings”, are being planned in numerous major Russian cities. U.S. officials called the allegations “unwarranted and unsubstantiated.”
    Finally, the U.N. estimated world population at 2.4 billion and growing at the rate of 75,000 per day. Officials cite the use of the pesticide DDT as part of the reason for the explosive population growth rate. DDT has eliminated mosquitoes and other pests in previously disease ridden areas. Questions have been raised as to where all the food to feed these people will come from, but U.N. officials responded that their job “is to count the people, not feed them.”

    • lodule16

      Amazing that we had only 1/3 of today’s world population midway through the 20th century. Who, really, grasps all the ramifications of that statistic? No wonder ignorance is in vogue.

      • PRCountyNative

        Very very few. We’re not wired for that.

    • Yolo Hoe

      Kansas/Oklahoma dust — important recollection

  • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

    Do any of the models show possible conditions for spring thunderstorms in NorCal with these storms, I feel like I’m the only person in California who hasn’t heard thunder

    • matthew

      Having lived 80% of my life in the Bay Area (the other 20% divided between SLO and Truckee)…you are not going to hear a lot of thunder. Every 3-5 years, maybe. That is one of the reasons that housing prices are so high in the Bay…good weather with very few extremes.

      • Nate

        Completely agree. The Bay Area (especially San Jose) is just about the worst place to go to find thunderstorms in California, and I’d even go so far as to say in the lower 48. It makes you enjoy every thunderstorm here–I’ve seen 5 strikes and heard thunder ~3 times this year in the South Bay. That said, if there were to be widespread thunderstorms, this is the setup that would do it (aside from the rare summer upper level low), considering the cold pool aloft and higher sun angle.

        • matthew

          Lived most of my life in the West SJ/Campbell area and the south end of Almaden Valley. In that 50-ish years I saw one bona-fide AWESOME thunderstorm (mid-80’s) and a couple decent ones (nice tornado in Los Altos in the late-90’s). If you want thunderstorms you are living in the wrong place.

          • Nate

            Yup, best to just accept it. The best thunderstorm I’ve seen anywhere around here was in August 2015–multiple strikes per minute for over 3hrs looking out towards Big Sur from the Monterey Peninsula. Also, SFSU has a really interesting site on the 1998 tornadoes, with links to satellite and radar images of the storm at the bottom of the page. Definitely an interesting setup to get it rotating anticyclonically.
            http://tornado.sfsu.edu/geosciences/StormChasing/cases/Sunnyvale/Sunnyvale.html

          • matthew

            Yup – 1998 must have been what I was thinking of. I was driving from work (Menlo Park) to home (Almaden) and saw several inches of hail along the side of Highway 85. When I looked up there were several helicopters flying circles around the highway near Los Altos/Sunnyvale. News helo’s checking out the tornado damage.

            The one that I mentioned in the mid-80’s…I was living in Sunnyvale at the time. There were a huge number of strikes overnight. One of them that hit near me was pretty much a zero-second time lapse between “flash” and “bang”. Set off all of the car alarms in the area. Best thunderstorm that I have ever seen…and that includes my time in Truckee.

      • FolsomPrisonBlues

        Lived in Fremont over 30 years and thunderstorms were rare. Moved out to Folsom and now they are common. I actually love it!

        • Darin

          Some nice low dark cottonballs floating by today. Haven’t heard anything yet. 🙁

        • matthew

          Yup. One of the reasons that I moved to the Sierra…weather extremes and four seasons (as opposed to the two seasons – wet and dry – that you get in the Bay Area).

    • supercell1545

      The models show multiple low pressure centers right off the coast, a pattern that almost always results in valley thunderstorms (from my experience), so I would assume that there’s a good chance of thunderstorms next week.

    • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

      If the storms don’t come to you, you need to go to them. Start storm chasing when you see the radar light up (within a reasonable distance).

    • Tyler Price (Monterey/Seaside)

      Oh yeah these next set-ups
      Will surely
      Bring some thunderstorms to NorCal and the central
      Coast and probably
      Even SoCal when the storms roll in! Thunderstorms are already
      Showing up in my forecast for 2 days
      Next week so confidence must be pretty high for convective elements..

  • maddogokp

    Cornice triggered wet slide on Donner Summit. In a very popular area. Be careful out there.

    https://www.sierraavalanchecenter.org/observation/avalanche/2017/mar/15/natural-cornice-collapse-triggers-loose-wet-avalanche-donner-peak

  • SacWx
  • Tyler Price (Monterey/Seaside)

    Pretty steep dips in the jet with this next series of storms.. the storm’s to come look dynamic and the positioning of the jet with its steep N-S trajectory will make them slower moving bringing some impressive rainfall accumulations even to the southland. Both of the more significant storms consistently showing up not only
    Have good dynamics, but AR’s accosiated with them so these storm’s will be very wet! It ain’t over till it’s over WW brethren down put your kayaks up and away just yet! 😉 PWATS are pretty impressive for late march. The second stronger storm looks similar in the way it takes on a negatively tilted axis and becoming semi-cut-off, but still has good jet support with 250 mb winds blowing at around 160-180 knots on its western periphery..
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/60f2b288e11708fb5662290ad98daf79330a7b16bf0d35c864cb5f26120e3a3d.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bb1f5d8fe3c8a374ee026ea858c326ddcf2e1fee3e07ebe982b22bf4cfced09d.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f3354796247ae2969e21a78836cfca057296206c8a96cbb026080ba17a5529a1.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/21eb7e6810fda0165166dff09600e106c3e5fbeb9c2984913ad964a8723e1c38.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dd52cb3ca6ee0e3ab1bebb2e971ee748ddac6bfa52116b132a94286ff5b3d7c7.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4ef643008c332a2106b86883b3b8b981be919d1294f483e82d7074cb09da25b2.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6d7bec3472a000ae6379f19aa6ae9309a2dae30273b17bc08f09bfe69cf91568.png

    • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

      Great stuff Tyler! Hope you’re enjoying your new job and the new residence.

      • Tyler Price (Monterey/Seaside)

        Thanks man! I sure am!

    • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

      Cachuma to 70!

      • BRP (Ventura)

        Casitas to 50%!!! Let’s hope!

    • Craig Matthews

      This is great. That jet alignment to the southern half of CA is ideal. Hopefully at some point we will get into some cold core cut offs that bring out the storm chaser in all of us.

  • BigBearHiking

    Paging Dr. Swain for an update

    • Yanet Garcia (NYC, USA)

      Viva Mr. Daniel!

  • Nathan

    Sorry but that linked tweet about “large sections of the GBR” being totally dead is really being ginned up by the NYT. Coral _death_ has been widely overblown.

    http://www.alertdiver.com/coral_bleaching_coral_mortality

    • DelMarSD

      Interesting. Not that I’d trust NYT anyway.

      • Sokafriend

        Oh, please.
        “We didn’t expect to see this level of destruction to the Great Barrier Reef for another 30 years,” said Terry P. Hughes, director of a government-funded center for coral reef studies at James Cook University in Australia and the lead author of a paper on the reef that is being published Thursday as the cover article of the journal Nature. “In the north, I saw hundreds of reefs — literally two-thirds of the reefs were dying and are now dead.”
        https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/03/15/science/great-barrier-reef-coral-climate-change-dieoff.html

        • DelMarSD

          Yeah, I saw Daniel’s post above and deleted mine.

          • Sokafriend

            I have ‘t seen what Daniel posted, seems to be a refresh issue. Nice of you to eliminate the ideological knee jerk, though.

        • whisperingsage

          Fukushima???

    • The new NYT piece is actually correct–mass bleaching has persisted right up through early 2017 as ocean temperatures remained extremely warm, and has now progressed to actual mortality across wide swaths of the reef in that part of the Pacific. The scientific basis for the NYT article is a brand new piece that came out yesterday in Nature:
      http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v543/n7645/full/nature21707.html

      • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

        When’s your new blog?

      • FolsomPrisonBlues

        With another El Nino predicted for this year, I can only imagine it will get worse. Not sure what the implications are for climate and just the environment in general, but it is a very scary thought.

      • Nathan

        I’m fairly certain we think virtually the same thing, but with different attitudes. I’m not suggesting that global warming isn’t responsible for coral death or that global warming doesn’t exist, merely that the NYT and other news outlet have greatly exaggerated the degree to which the GBR was damaged, which is backed up by data collected in two (not one) surveys last year.

        The Nature paper published yesterday used data collected in March and April of 2016, exactly the same time as the initial survey in the Alert Diver article. I’m assuming you did not read the Alert Diver article, as it references a followup survey conducted by the Coral CoE at Cook University in late 2016 (after this paper was accepted) that specifically contradicts your statement that “bleaching persisted through early 2017.” Mortality rates in Oct/Nov 2016, though significant, were nevertheless far _lower_ than bleaching rates in early 2016, which is really important to note. In fact it seems pretty odd that they _only_ used data from Mar/April, which was very demonstrably the worst time period of bleaching (guess they wanted that front pager ASAP….)

        So in summation, no, the GBR is not dying or dead, and it has severely bleached before, followed by recoveries. Yes, this bleaching event was the worst yet recorded, but mortality rates were only really significant on approximately 40-70% of one of the quarter sections of the GBR; for those doing the math at home, that’s about 11-16%.

        I stand by my statement (and the dive professionals who live and dive there daily) that the NYT and other media outlets are grossly exaggerating the on-the-ground reality of the bleaching event.

        • Osse (Redondo)

          Thank you for delving into multiple studies and providing details.

          • Nathan

            The knee-jerk FREAK OUTism really irritates me.

      • whisperingsage

        How about Fukushima meltdown? Think that might be having any influence?

    • Sokafriend

      The NYT simply referred to the esteemed author of the study. Did you read the article?

      • Nathan

        …yes? I read the study, too… Did you read _my_ article?

        • Sokafriend

          Yes, I did.

    • I went to the Seychelles last fall and the snorkeling was crap, reefs were bleached and algae covered. Isla Mujeres in December was at best “damaged.” Going to the Philippines next week and hope its better snorkeling conditions, but not holding my breath. It’s sad, but certainly not overblown, worldwide st least. Last great snorkel for me was Aitutaki in 2012.

      • Nathan

        I was in Guam and Saipan last summer and the diving was splendid…

      • PRCountyNative

        I saw it in the Maldives, and our own local version – marine algae die-off eco system collapse – is underway on the west of coast of NA.

        There is a thing called shifting baselines, where folks show up and say “the diving is splendid!”, not knowing the pale shadow of what used to be is all they are seeing. It’s sad really.

        • Nathan

          Ah, I see, your personal anecdote counts, and mine doesn’t…

      • I went to Isla in September…Similar disappointment, the Whale Sharks and Manta Rays were incredible though, so was swimming in clouds of krill. I’m going to learn how to dive before 2019 and get some time in at the few remaining pristing reefs left, I have heard good things about Indonesia, and I am going there this year before things are destroyed by the wanton retardation of the human race.

    • Bartshe

      Read both articles and they agree on basics. This is only the beginning and coral reefs will be largely gone by end of this century.

    • PRCountyNative

      I don’t know why you would minimize the massive global coral reef die-off? The science is good – did you read the linked article?

      I saw it in ’98 – it was really sad. A lot of fish swimming around, waiting to die.

      First it bleaches, then maybe it dies. A lot of it is dying. The conditions persist. It is unprecedented.

      The outlook? Much much worse. The reality is exceeding the gloomy forecast. What is your point??

      • Nathan

        Not only did I read the article, I read the study as my university has a subscription to Nature.

        It’s overblown.

    • gray whale

      You don’t even catch the slightest whiff of advocating for / protecting the interests of the diving industry from a piece in a diving industry magazine?

      • Nathan

        Of course they’re advocating for and protecting the interests of divers. I’m guessing you did not read the Nature paper because subscription is expensive. I have access and I read it. The Nature paper uses data collected in Mar/Apr. The Alert Diver article references studies with data collected in Mar/Apr AND Oct/Nov. More data, and more _recent_ data.

        Again, I’m not trying to push some anti-global warming garbage agenda. I simply do not agree with the notion that the GBR is “dying” or “dead” and disagree with the tone of the coverage by major media outlets, based on additional recent data collected by academic research institutions on the GBR.

        Why that is so offensive to some people is actually fairly disturbing in and of itself.

  • alanstorm

    What the…..??
    It’s safe to say the Good Guys Car Show will be RAINED OUT next weekend.
    Scratch that one off the list…..
    Looks like I’ll be ok this weekend at the St Patrick’s Day Fair in Dublin.
    (Dublin CA, not Ireland)
    I’m bringing an EZ up just to be safe
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/29f527cb5d1e2fd2408e138b15650c91d0b3c2f98a3c43d36438c13061045900.jpg

    • Craig Matthews

      Wow, this is amazing. Looks very similar to the latter January and mid-latter February storms. Seams very likely at this point that at least one storm in the next forecasted storm cycle will produce a high impact event for a large portion of the state. What worries me is that the ground is still very saturated along the coast here. It wont take long for rivers n creeks to rise. Hopefully storms and associated ARs will be progressive and snow levels will stay below pass levels. Tis’ the season that just keeps on giving.

      • alanstorm

        Big & slow.
        It just hangs out.
        Plenty of t-storms for sure!
        Better get the TIV fueled up.
        I hear you- I’ve had it with the crazy mud & muck up here, but the recent warm/dry spell was a wake up call: this could be the last good rain event ’till fall.
        Jet forecast for next Fri- kinked out with the sweet-spot of the kink flowing into Ca.
        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7c276f9b2ddcbc84447950f9e09653e34e2d0fa2a4a6c1433be90797bbdc464d.jpg

        • Craig Matthews

          That is ideal jet alignment. And with that strong jet-energy digging on backside of the trough, that forcing would likely cause the cold front to pivot from positive tilt to neutral-negative tilt along the coast, which tends to slow/stall the cold front over an area for several hours. Looks like there could be a decent amount of cold air accompanying this one as well…..get that tornado valley up n running

          • Yolo Hoe

            Thanks alanstorm and Craig — great 1 – 2 punch on the analysis

  • Eben

    While everybody is waiting for a change in the weather next week, I got a hold of some historical data. The Santa Clara Valley Water District website lists a variety of rain gauges throughout the area. There’s one about 4 miles from my house, by Stevens Creek Reservoir, though 600′ lower in elevation, which has been recording daily rainfall since December 1936! I filled out a request on their website and they send me a spreadsheet with 80 years of daily rainfall records. Very cool! I loaded the data into a database for analysis, and found that the site gets about 2/3 of the rainfall I do, though the difference can vary quite a bit (probably depending on which way the storm is coming from, etc.). Anyway, here is what I found:

    1) Of the 962 months of data, January of this year was #6, and February was #23. Pretty wet all right!

    2) There’s a long tail on the bell curve. The wettest month, December 1955, had 50% *more* rain than January of this year. Yikes!

    3) The wettest rainfall year, by a long shot, was 1982-83, with 62.1″ at the reservoir (which gets on 2/3 what I usually do, so my house probably would have gotten 90″ that year, but I didn’t live up here then). Second place, 1997-98, only got 48.9″.

    Overall lesson: it’s been very wet, but it could be *much* wetter!

    • Thunderstorm

      Maybe April this year will be No.1. The active phase of the MJO that will jump start the next el-nino is due mid April. Should be a big boy. Hopefully cold not warm!

      • Eben

        Given the 1 foot of mud I had to clear from my driveway from the last storm, I’d be just as happy if April *weren’t* #1. One of my neighbors remembers December of 1955 and describes it as really scary. His grandparents lived up in Stevens Canyon then and he remembers, as a little kid, helping his parents hike supplies in to the canyon since the road was completely gone in places, and he remembers being pushed over enormous trees that had fallen down. I could probably handle the slow-and-steady of March or April 2005, though… 🙂

        • Danlyle (Mariposa)

          December 1955 floods in Yosemite Valley resulted in relocating Yosemite Village to higher ground. Classic warm deluge on snow type of heavy flooding. Was probably the highest recent flow for the Merced river, although 1997 is reported as higher.

    • Yolo Hoe

      Very cool and great historical record perspective — thanks for posting

    • 82-83 was amazing. No rain shadow in San Jose.

    • CHeden

      Nice work.

  • ben

    The mt biking has been great with huge sections totally dry the past few days! Thats all over for now, picked up .31″ today

  • Fairweathercactus

    April can be an extremely exciting month for So Cal. It has not been in a long time but it sure can be a fun on like in 2002. A very active April.

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      I remember that April, first April I spent here in Camarillo.

    • Rainmaker (San Jose)

      just saw it on the 0z! so incredible. still 9 days out, pretty sure it will be scaled back eventually. But glad to see the pattern changing.

      • Nathan

        …or scaled up.

    • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

      What, can’t comprehend that, is that an ivt value of 1267

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      I mentioned the possibility of a big AR developing in this cycle, and it appears one just might.

      • AlTahoe

        Is there even a precedence for a big warm AR in late March? They usually happen late Dec, Jan, and early February.

        • Charlie B

          Al, I quickly checked historic Truckee River floods. In the period 1900-1999 there were 10 100 year floods (according to what I read….) Of those, 2 (1907 and 1928) were in March. The one in 1907 was a rain on snow event (that was a wet year). I think the 1928 one was similar. But most often the big ones were earlier as you note.

          • AlTahoe

            Very interesting. Thanks for the lookup.

        • jstrahl

          Not sure it was an AR, but there was a continuous train of storms in late March into early April ’82, the storm which led to the fatal avalanche at Squaw Valley.

        • ben

          Was the merical march of 2011 an AR? I remember 9 feet in as many days at tahoe city, with a pause right in the middle. One of those days had 2ft in town, 4′ on the upper mt at squaw. Cant imagine anything but an AR producing numbers like that. I was on about the hundreth chair up kt22 that big day, everyone looked like flies stuck to flypaper below me. When it was my turn, i straight-lined a double black diamond at 5mph until i too became a stuck fly.

        • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

          Good question, and I’m sure we’re going to find out. I’m looking things over this morning.

  • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

    Jaw dropping, SoCal totals https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/361d189ad71787054f2a6b3b9902e89faba7fd987519285e0ba92a8d73c14ac4.png have dropped and now bullseye is north Bay Area and humbuldt and Medicino County

    • Nathan

      Well shit.

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      Trajectory & timing are going to be a problem if this begins to wobble on when & where.

      • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

        It needs to wobble South like yesterday’s runs were showing!

    • lodule16

      That’s lit up right on Oroville… which has currently seen its e-spillway margin reduced to 37 feet.

      http://rdcfeeds.redding.com/lakelevels/oro.cfm

  • whisperingsage

    I have a slightly different problem. On my phone I get the comments fine but on my laptop (PC) I don’t get a hint of the comments and no buttons to push to bring them up.

  • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

    In 15/16, a western displaced super El Niño resulted in an avg rain year. In 16/17, a western displaced weak La Nina resulted in deluges. What could El Nina bring in 17/18? Lol

    https://twitter.com/PaulRoundy1/status/842146039511564288

    • nunbub

      Seriously, though. I find myself dreading another El Nino :/ Welcome to the climate regime of the 2010’s!

      • lodule16

        The coral clearly can’t take it.

        • FolsomPrisonBlues

          Doesnt the water off the coast of Australia generally cool down during El Nino? The western Pac cools down and the eastern warms. That could mean cooler water for the coral. The last El Nino was so western placed that I think it caused all the harm.

          • The bleaching happened in GBR area after decay in 1998. There can be a lowering of sea levels in western Pacific during major El Niño which exposes coral to more sunlight at low tides. West Pacific SSTA’s were still anomalously warm for 15-16 and have been some time before.

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      SST gradienT off of west coast is looking pretty good if you ask me as long as the GOA further cools. I expect the east & central pacific to continue to see a rise in SST’s. I wonder how our temps just offshore will be this year compared to ’15 & ’16. Going to miss all the great stuff the warmer water brought these last couple years since the first try in ’14.

      • Pfirman

        Temps are important, but I also wonder what Storm Master’s new handle will be and if JC’s fog theory confirms.

    • FolsomPrisonBlues

      The good thing about what appears to be a developing El Nino is that it is a lot more eastern placed than the previous. That water along South America looks comfortably warm 🙂

  • Rusty Rails

    Interesting for our MJO watchers here.

    https://twitter.com/ericblake12/status/842351589557997569

  • nunbub
  • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

    Get ready California, Words of NWS Monterey/ Bay Area 9 AM discussion Forecast models are showing a generally unsettled weather pattern for next week, with up to three wet storm systems moving through our area. The timing, strength, and trajectory are showing significant changes each model run, however, the general trend of wet, unsettled weather remains the same. Forecast models show the first of the wetter storm systems arriving late Monday into Tuesday. The trajectory on this system is strictly west to east, indicating it may move through our area quicker, and models show this system being at most, moderately wet. Quick on the heels of this system, forecast models show a wetter, slower moving, better organized storm system digging into the region from the northwest. Thursday system will be the main storm system to watch for next week as it currently has the potential to bring inches of rain, localized flooding, mudslides, delayed travel, and gusty winds. Again, the models will change in the coming days as the system comes into focus. Another system, of similar or strength to the Tuesday system, will arrive next weekend. The forecast challenge of today is to better identify the characteristics of these storm systems.

    • Charlie B

      In years past this would have resulted in joy through the halls. Now not a single reply and one upvote

      • You might not have noticed, but there has been a fair amount of precip these last few months . . .

        • Charlie B

          Righteo to that. Battle fatigue.

      • Niteheron

        Cheer up, I think the weather has been so nice the past couple weeks people are enjoying the outdoors. Once the rain starts back next week folks will be back on the board.

        • Dan the Weatherman

          I definitely have been outdoors off and on the last several days, getting some gardening / yard work done.

      • Pfirman

        March madness?

    • I am ready.

  • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)
  • Fairweathercactus

    GFS that has done a great job this winter is trending much weaker for So Cal.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Could just be the usual backtracking that the GFS has been doing with the medium range all winter, only to play catch-up later. Although this late in the season who knows.

      • RandomTreeInSB

        For some reason the GFS wants to drives the low straight North and leave behind limited moisture for California, the more consistent and accurate European model isn’t quite on board with that.

  • matthew

    Afternoon bike ride to Boca. Reservoir looking pretty full and pretty frozen. No doubt it will be in good shape once the melt fully kicks into gear.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/69884872a9a6c4256ba41ff4ed3d5cfedfa68c8bac8e80121773c162140d9d80.jpg

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      I just made it back to Truckee this afternoon, still lots of snow fore sure but being mid March we shouldn’t be surprised when South facing slopes are showing some brown. Will be interesting to see when the real melt kicks in, will this be a Memorial Day where many areas still have quite a bit of snow at lower elevations around Truckee and Tahoe. We know Al won’t have snow and will probably be working on his lawn, but other areas should be interesting.

      • matthew

        Depending on how next week’s storms play out, I could be mainly snow-free at my place in about 3 weeks. From what I have seen of TD you are going to have snow on the ground for months.

        • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

          in the upper parts the snow is still above the snow poles. Granted if we get a week or two of 60-70 degree temps this could go pretty quick.

      • AlTahoe

        My back yard has melted out completely (west facing). My front yard has about 18″ of pure ice left (east facing). The north side of my yard against the house still has 36″ on the ground as the sun doesn’t get high enough to reach that area for another month.

  • Charlie B

    The excitement on this blog over the prospect of early spring storms is almost palpable. So, I thought I would do a little quick research of the subject. I came across a book entitled “A synoptic climatology of heavy snowfall in the Sierra Nevada USA.” (O’Hara 2007). Not the catchiest title for those grocery store folks who consume romance novels, but it caught my wandering eye. (I also like to look up baseball stats from the 1930 MLB season, but hey, that’s me.)
    O’Hara defines a “major snowstorm” as one that drops at least 30″ in a day or 60″ in consecutive days, and that must occur at at least 2 recognized reporting stations. Ski areas don’t count. We are talking about locations such as the Snow Lab at Donner Summit. He counted 39 such events between 1950 and 2005. Of those 39, exactly two (2) occurred in late March and early April. Those were March 27-April 1, 1958 and March 28-April 1 (and even later) 1982.
    1952 STORM. This was at the tail end of an El Nino year that was very wet. Some called the storm the worst in 50 years, others likened it to the legendary 1952 storms. It resulted in widespread totals of 8-10 feet, with snow levels down to 1,000′. The conditions brought a halt to Squaw Valley’s Olympic games prep and avalanches near River Ranch closed highway 89 for almost a week. An avalanche at Sugar Bowl took out the chairlift and closed the area down for the season.
    1982 STORM CYCLE. This multi day event resulted in the Alpine Meadows avalanche that killed several people and made national news both when it happened and several days later when employee Anna Conrad was rescued under the debris of the destroyed lift terminal/locker room. Many areas received well over 10′ during that cycle, and I read that the Donner Snow Lab received 186″ between March 28 and April 8. That was at the tail end of another very active year, although not an El Nino year. In early January 1982 there was a mega storm that caused havoc in the Santa Cruz mountains with lots of damage and some fatalities (I think).
    So, we can see gargantuan storms this late in the year. Will we this year? Based on straight odds, probably not, since they have occurred very rarely in the past. However, this is a big year, and this has occurred only in big years (at least in the study by O’Hare…through about 10 years ago). Thus, it is certainly possible and more likely than usual this year. Let’s keep this in mind as we monitor the models, and if it doesn’t happen let’s not be (too) disappointed.

    • Rio Rat

      That mega storm in Jan 82 started on Jan 3, sometime during a NFC championship game between 49ers & NY Giants.10 people died in a mudslide in Santa Cruz Mts called love ck mudslide, another 12 died around Santa Cruz county from storm related disasters. I was living in Aptos south of SC, & got over12 inches in 2 days,SC Mts got at least twice that. Definitely to much of a good thing.

    • Charlie B

      I see I made an error but I am at a different computer and can’t edit. The first big storm was 1958, not 1952. QC failure. Sorry for those following at home.

      • Pfirman

        Just saw this after my post just above. Oh well.

    • Yolo Hoe

      Great stuff — thanks these very cool archives and insights

    • Pfirman

      Heh, I see you noted the typo above but did not fix it here. 1952 is pretty early to be prepping for the Olympics at Squaw, not to happen for the better part of a decade.

      • Charlie B

        yup. Just fixed it. It is funny how you can write something, edit it and then post, and only then see an obvious error.

        • Pfirman

          Yup. Heh.

  • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

    Drought monitor as of today, only one small section of California in severe drought, we’ve come so far as a state in the last 2 years https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4ced689c3b014ea2129d80f7bb6b3ee7095a4ddd079561d416ad65485d1887f2.jpg

  • Stereolab

    18z rips the heart out of the storm… could it be an… outliner?

  • Charlie B

    March 15, 1952:
    [Note that my earlier post today discussing big late season storms had a typo…1952 did not have the big late one, 1958 did.]
    WIND DAMAGE CLEANUP STARTS. CITY RETURNS TO NORMAL. Wind gusts up to 76 mph with sustained winds of 50 mph pounded the city overnight and this morning. This felled trees, broke windows, damaged buildings, littered parks with debris and disrupted power and telephone service. In the Sierra, one of the heaviest storms of the season blasted the area, closing roads and delaying trains. Snow fell up to 46″ in 24 hours, with depths now reaching 25′ in places. The snow line was as low as 1,000′. Reno was marooned by over 13″ of snow. In the southland, rain slashed through the area, giving rise to major flooding concerns. Santa Barbara received 3.4″ of rain. In Long Beach, light snow flurries were reported. Highway 99 across the Tehapapis was closed down by heavy wet snow, as was Skyline Blvd. south of San Francisco. A huge snow slide at the Pine Creek mine near Bishop stranded workers, and Marines were trapped at Pickle Meadows near Bridgeport by 5′ of snow. Depths include Baxter at 118″, Soda springs 270″, Echo Summit at 248″ (with 46″ new) and Meyers at 90″. Mt. Shasta City reported 21″ new and Susanville 16″. Forecast calls for clearing conditions in the valley but continued heavy snow in the mountains. Continued cold.

    • inclinejj

      118 inches in Baxter, crazy! Do you remember when the canal burst above Highway 80? I remember being turned around at Baxter. There was about 4 feet of snow on the ground then.

  • AlTahoe
    • Nathan

      …did that one guy just hoard it or something?

  • Huff (Anaheim Hills)

    The warm weather has had the NE Orange County hills blow up with vegetation. A look from my backyard shows the hills that do sometimes green up this time of year – now totally blow up with mustard. It https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/80453acfacde94f1e0a64d6715afdf96e7bcb752e61629aa20536987e27a1077.jpg ‘s quite beautiful. Enjoying it while I can and hoping for another shot of storms for So Cal at some point. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f4ab0210a458a9515ccdcce6bcf1d52a13d09c5b40bb6099005e8055c9c7e61b.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/615eb59f1301d9c202e7231e686193fd4c5e081aefa95b04bec15ca84bed89a0.jpg

    • Dan the Weatherman

      The hills around here in Orange and vicinity haven’t been this green in years! This reminds me of the wet years of the 1990’s.

  • Craig Matthews
  • Charlie B

    I was outside looking at Orion. As I gazed on him a shooting star blazed across his belt. How insignificant we are to let petty differences divide us. Go outside and think about whatever bothers you. They will disappear.

    • Arnold Weather Fanatic

      Amen, Charlie B

    • lodule16

      I have no doubt our washed out city starscapes sap us of wonder, reflection and humility.

      • Charlie B

        It does. You have to fight it.

        • Yolo Hoe

          Fight we must, fight we will; let’s make it the good fight. And agree regarding the stargazing.

      • Pfirman

        Decades ago, standing on the beach in Long Beach, I remember counting about seven stars. I hope it’s better now.

        • Tuolumne

          They’re down to negative numbers now, or maybe imaginary ones.

        • Danlyle (Mariposa)

          The lights near there are extreme, due to the busiest port. My brother lives on the PV Peninsula and there are few stars to be seen due to the harbor lights. When it is foggy the sky glows orange all night.

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        There was a story going around after that big Northridge Quake back in ’94, as power went out across the San Fernando Valley and much of the LA Area, calls were coming into Police Departments from rattled citizens who were awakened in the dead of night by the quake, and upon running outside, saw a mysterious “Glowing streak” in the sky.

        Apparently it was the first time many people in LA had actually seen the Milky Way in the night sky.

        Yeah, light pollution has robbed many city-dwellers of the beauty of the night sky. Even adjacent desert areas suffer from light pollution.

  • molbiol

    Following up on Charlie B’s post, here is an interesting tidbit for Lancaster CA during March of 1952 showing daily data. Note the snowstorm that occurred on the 7th of the month. For those that cannot read, the scribbled notes on the right read:
    “Many roads blocked due to snow and water..this storm caused [sic] lot of damage to trees due to snow loading- also telephone co and edison lines fell over due to loading of snow.”

    Snow events in the Antelope valley tend to be underestimated so I am sure that more than six inches fell and that Palmdale and surrounding areas likely received way more snow. Very rare for March and in today’s climate, highly unlikely to occur again… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9735ef938b4e7fbabaabfdc258b27237ca6df56c7e5b3476a101e2df520e6212.jpg

    • Charlie B

      Where can you access those daily notes? I remember seeing a similar one depicting a freak snowstorm in Alaska that some think set the daily world record (despite being north of Thompson Pass in an area that is usually rsinshadowed.)

      • molbiol

        ncdc.noaa.gov
        data for original individual observation station

  • Arnold Weather Fanatic

    Things are aslidin’ in Portland. Check it out at http://www.oregonlive.com . Lotta rain.

  • jstrahl

    Four hours ago, Stereolab wrote “18z rips the heart out of the storm… could it be an… outliner?” Well, the 00Z has it right back in. 🙂

    • Stereolab

      The outliner has been washed off, apparently.

    • I’m not looking at model runs until Monday. I don’t want to be disappointed.

  • Nathan

    00z….Yamahama….

  • Nathan

    I love this dude, he does the best analysis. Plane flyover of the dam:

    • Slick

      That was awesome, thanks for posting.

    • Yolo Hoe

      What a great piece of film — thanks — as a NorCal newbie, I learned a lot about a lot!!

      • Pfirman

        Love the aviator shades.
        Finally found out where all that washed out material was going. Turns out not very far. If that emergency, I mean auxiliary, heh, spillway goes again doesn’t all that just wash back in?

        • Tuolumne

          Depends on how much water goes over the emergency spillway. If it’s similar to the amount in February, then it’ll funnel down into the small canyon carved during that event and run past (not over) the dump areas. A much larger flow might mobilize the material that’s been dumped.

          • Pfirman

            Another calculated risk/guess/hope on their part that a large flow never happens.
            If I were them I would take out the parking lot and make a new service spillway there, if that is financially feasible, and fix the old service spillway as the new auxiliary spillway.
            Screw emergencies, heh.

          • If any water goes over the e-spillway that pile will be least of everyone’s concerns. The e spillways was designed for one thing only: to prevent the dam itself from overtopping.

  • Tyler Price (Monterey/Seaside)
    • PRCountyNative

      Pace that fogthusiasm!

      You know about the next 6 months – right? You will have the pleasure of a lot of fog to enjoy. You can always venture a few miles east to see how the rest of the folks are getting by.

      • LOL he could be in PG

        • Pfirman

          Palm Gardens? California has a lot, I mean a lot, of cities.

        • Robin White

          We depend on fog in Pacific Grove. In a typical year, it adds up to almost half our annual “rainfall”.
          Robin

    • osc3_el cerrito

      That sunset looks thermonuclear.

  • ECMWF dries things out the Monday after this upcoming one. Let us all enjoy what could be the grand finale early this next week through next weekend.

    • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

      Go GFS!

      • warm spring weather

        If the ECMWF dry things out and if the GFS still shows storms that means one or the other model is a outliner so we have no agreement what so ever after next week what’s get this week over with be for we talk about the following one

    • Shane Ritter

      Yes, but the GFS ensembles still show a trough down from the GOA into early April. I think after next week, we see 1-3 storms come from the north, cold, snowy, but not super strong. Maybe a few feet in total

    • “Geomagnetic_Storm(San Jose)
      9 hours ago
      I’m not looking at model runs until Monday. I don’t want to be disappointed.”

    • Nathan

      What about cold?

    • jstrahl

      Things dried out in late March ’95 (the wettest March i’ve ever measured), in time for Spring break (i.e. for those people who wanted a dry one.:-) ) Rain was back by around April 8, did not fully stop till mid June. Things dried out in March ’00 after around the 10th. Rain came back around April 8th, last rain was June 8th.

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      My cherry trees are almost at 50% bloom. Dry sunny days gets the bees working so I won’t complain 🙂

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        I have a plum tree that is exploding with blossoms, but strangely, my Apricot tree has less blossoms than last year.

        • Bob G (Gustine)

          Could be a number of reasons for lack of bloom

          • SoCalWXwatcher

            It’s only 4 years old, and has been quite healthy. Last year we had a warm February. I think we got more chill hours this year, but I would have expected more blossoms. I understand Apricot trees can vary quite a bit from season to season.

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            We used to grow Apricots commercially. Used to get good blooms overall but fruit set can very. We would see weird things when there was a lack of chill. Same with Cherries we experienced large bloom but low fruit set with lack of chill. We noticed unusual things during bloom with a lack of chill

      • honzik

        Just planted my first plum/cherry hybrid yesterday. My plum/apricot is in full bloom. We have a ton of wild plums up here in the SCMtns, left over, presumably, from the orchards that used to be up here, so hopefully there are plenty of opportunities from pollenization (as you know, the hybrids are sterile).

        I can’t wait to see how it does! I’m hoping for somewhat regular rain through April to keep the ground wet. The drought has been hard on my trees.

        • Bob G (Gustine)

          I will be spraying tmw morning to prevent Brown for because of the upcoming rains. Our irrigation water has been awful the past three years. The water this year will be excellent and the best in years. Ground is still wet

        • Pfirman

          Can always graft on Burgundy or Santa Rosa plum, or both, if local stuff isn’t working.
          I just planted a Pluerry too. Love the pluots, apriums, and even have the peacotum. Thanks be to Floyd Zaiger.
          Cherries are becoming hit and miss around here because of a new bug.. I forget what it is.

          • Tuolumne

            Memory-eating bug. That’s the one!

  • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

    I predict these next storms will not be the grand finale, I have an ambitious goal of Doubling my annual average rainfall and I need 5 more inches!

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      I actually think we’ll see some more storms during April. Probably not big ones though. I wouldn’t mind it all being wrapped up by the end of April though.
      IIRC, we actually had some unsettled weather during May last year.
      I’m hoping we have nice BBQ weather by Memorial Weekend, but I think the Marine Layer will be pretty persistent during May/June.

  • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

    I predict the 18Z will look similar to the Wednesday 18Z for SoCal. *fingers crossed*

  • Bob G (Gustine)

    The latest 12Z shows good rain totals by the end of next week. I am starting to wonder if the models are overhyping these storms in Fantasyland. Tuesday’s storm isn’t particularly strong for the lower half of the state. In Central CA the GFS shows less than .25. The stronger storm is forecasted for next Friday/Saturday. Have to wonder if the models will backtrack on that storm’s strength as we get later into next week.

  • I know it has been a while, but I will have a full blog update by later Saturday.

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      Look forward to it as always. I know it’s early but it would be interesting to hear your ideas on what next year is looking like (ENSO Neutral, El Nino, etc.). I know it is still early but still interesting

      • Once we get past “weather spotting season” there’s a good chance.

        • Bob G (Gustine)

          Spring barrier? I am hearing some chatter about a possible return of El Nino

          • That’s a great definition of Spring Barrier 🙂 Once we get past spring and our weather settles down.

    • thebigweasel

      Who are you, and did you kidnap Daniel Swain?

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Looking forward to it! In the mean time, we still have a chance to get this one up to 8,000 comments before then. 🙂

      • Someone else

        We must get it over 9000!

  • thebigweasel

    Is the Weather Service lying to you?
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/mar/17/national-weather-service-forecasting-temperatures-storms

    No, not a conspiracy theory, even though Alex Jones and HAARP do get mentioned. Actually a good overview of accuracy rates for the best known metrics.

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      Meh, the universe is analog, infinitely variable and subject to non-predictability. Man wants to know the future, even if it’s based on what’s happened in the past, which as the first sentence states, can’t be recreated as it occurred. I come from the “go with what’s before me” mindset. It’s great to know it’s supposed to rain NEXT weekend, but I’ll wait till the radar is dark green and yellow/orange in my part of the world, AND at the moment observations before I’ll call things a fact.

      Just my humble opinion.

      • Danlyle (Mariposa)

        It’s difficult to make predictions, especially about the future

        • SoCalWXwatcher

          Always in motion, the Future is.

    • Thor

      Most people dont really pay THAT much attention to the weather and forecasts. A lot of folks dont really have the situational awareness of their specific surroundings and how it relates to the forecasts (esp in CA with our “micro climates”. Most get their forecasts in the most generic/watered down way possible TV/phone app etc…They tend to really only notice the forecast when it is wrong…and then its “wrong” if they only got 7inches instead of 18 inches despite forecasting the entire storm 10days out. Or in the Bay Area if they forecast 4-8 inches of rain in some places and they are in a shadow and only get .50″ and call it a “bust”

      …And they (we/I) fall prey to mediahype and when an El Nino doesnt produce cataclysm pronounce weather forecasters to be full of BS despite the 1-5day forecast being very accurate most of the time.

    • Nathan

      What an insultingly stupid headline.

      • thebigweasel

        Well, the Guardian does have a weakness for clickbait headlines. Most media outlets do these days, I suppose.

    • Headlines are catchy, eh?

  • DroughtMonitor

    Way too March back pedaling on socal rain totals. It must revert to 18z total’s from 3 days ago immidiately

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Remember, the GFS has been notorious for back pedaling 5 days before the onset of a storm (which it frequently saw before the EC), with EC running with the ball and GFS playing catch-up during the short range.

      Could be the same here. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

      • DroughtMonitor

        Yes you are right. Especially this season that scenario has happened frequently.

        • SoCalWXwatcher

          Both models seem to have their unique quirks. Still think GFS has been better (for our region) during the 180-300hr window, with the EC being better during time frames prior to that, and EC Weeklies being better than anything NOAA has for the very long range.

          • DroughtMonitor

            Any idea what the EC is saying about the upcoming 2 systems?

          • SoCalWXwatcher

            I’ll have to differ that question to those here who have subscriptions to the Euro and can provide better specifics.

          • 10day ECMWF precip is free from at least one website

          • Charlie B

            I wouldn’t visit website.

          • Okay but I do

    • Mike Stephenson (Riverside)

      I’m starting to get sacred!

      • Charlie B

        march vary sacred

  • Nathan

    Releases from Thermalito have been upped by 10000cfs…ramping up downstream releases in preparation for spillway opening?

    • And for flood control in the Forebay 😉

    • Nathan

      and thar she blows!!!!

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        The new spillway is impressive. Much more natural looking than the old concrete one. 😉

  • Craig Matthews

    I lI like what the GFS shows between next week and the following….If the Npac ridge sits around, or wnw of Hawaii like what the 12Z GFS shows…we’ll continue to have opportunities for GOA storms/Lows from next week into the next, and likely into the next month. So if this next storm cycle doesn’t quite pan out, esp in socal, there will be more opportunities for storms in the coming weeks…as long as the NPac Ridge sits where the 12ZGFS shows in both the mid and long range. Fingers crossed. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/06b293e6e2e9384120e686b1a4b2b4722212e5c2c3ee44ca6b304093fbb47eed.gif https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f851fc1b565581c50ad5a19b99ce502997947aab2eb4a0df3bd669abca4975c5.gif

    • Mike Stephenson (Riverside)

      Figures crossed!

    • Yolo Hoe

      Put a wedge in and keep that door open — I think I recall the GFS skill improving in March/April last year? Maybe it’s better tuned for Spring scenarios?

  • Behold, a bevy of beautiful birds! White Headed Woodpeckers spotted at Northstar at around 8,000 feet, the Flicker and Acorn in the East Bay hills at 700 feet. Many other species flourishing with all the insects, Cedar Waxwings, Warblers…
    http://i.imgur.com/W1k04yy.jpg

    • Yolo Hoe

      Awesome dude, great shots

    • Bartshe

      bird geek on board! +1

      • CHeden

        +2

  • Charlie B

    March 17, 1952:
    LAST OF STORMS EXPECTED FOR TOMORROW. Road crews in the Sierra have been battling continuous heavy snow around the clock. Storm #8 in the series that started on March 1 will reinforce heavy snow and rain in the valley. There will be little change in snow levels of 2,000′. High pressure is now building in the Gulf of Alaska, which has been the North Pacific storm factory for the last 2 weeks. This break might be short lived as a new series of storms might form in a few days.
    The latest storm caused 4 deaths in the southland, and caused widespread major damage. A freak tornado swept through Santa Monica, destroying chimney, knocking a garage onto several cars and swamping numerous boats. Blizzards and floods blocked many area highways during the height of the storm. Los Angeles received 2.28″ over the weekend, bringing the yearly total to 24.41″.
    In other developments, a leading psychologist said that it is perfectly fine to fling your golf clubs when you flub a shot or miss a short putt. In that way you might not spend too much time in the 19th hole (bar) and then go home and “black a wife’s eye.” The doctor, extensively quoted, is not named in the article, perhaps for good reason.

    • janky

      Consistent snow levels at 2000 feet back then….

      • Charlie B

        That year, yes. It was an outlier.

        • Yolo Hoe

          Key point regarding outlier — too easy to let the mists of time obscure that fact and reminisce about the good ole days — I look forward to more 3000′ snow levels in coming years when the Storm King pattern is more favored.

          • Charlie B

            So am I, but if it is like 1951-52 I might want to be at 2900′ after awhile.

      • AlTahoe

        I feel like 2010-2011 will be as close to a 1952 that we will see for a while. Most of the Storms in March of 2011 had 3k snow levels. There was about 60″ on the ground at 4k that season.

        • Charlie B

          I think you are right. Plus 1992-93 had lots of snow at relatively low elevations.

        • Hardcort

          I remember postholing on trail, on the western slope, just shy of 4,000 feet in early to mid April 2006

    • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

      There must have been an immense amount of water locked up in the sierras. Was there crazy flooding in the spring/summer of 1952? Or was the water content of the snow significantly lower than this year?

      • Charlie B

        I don’t think they had extensive flooding during the spring. The water content of the pack I am sure was less than this year, just more extensive and lower elevation. There were not nearly as many reservoirs to capture runoff as Folsom, Oroville and I think Shasta and Trinity had not yet been built. That is something I will look at.

        • Pfirman

          Shasta was finished in 1945, twenty-six months ahead of schedule. The other three, not so much.

    • Yolo Hoe

      From Storm Factory to Storm King.

    • Danlyle (Mariposa)

      Been following these ’52 recaps closely and have enjoyed. I saw this pic on FB today that is attributed to Jan ’53. Having worked at Badger Pass for 10 years, I can estimate this photo shows nearly 25 feet of snow (the snow bank on the left is on ground at least 10 feet below the deck). This is at 7,200 feet. Only saw this much snow during Miracle March ’92. Long story short, it used to snow more, more often. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/201ae73024ac858edf9d4b06f360fb45ce0ae3f510ab3055dace4147c253c7b3.jpg

  • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

    3-4 week CPC favors below average rainfall and ridging, I beg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b118fa4692a6b0167523fb43a96959750c8702549966343899922d4f134b1d74.png to differ

    • mosedart (SF)

      Awesome, it’s going to pour!

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      Forget trying to predict 3 to 4 weeks into April. We are in a transition period. I doubt the weather nationally pans out the way the model projects

    • Tyler Price (Monterey/Seaside)

      It’s an outliner 😉

      • Craig Matthews

        Expect the opposite to occur 😉

    • Rusty Rails

      Good

  • Rio Rat
    • Yolo Hoe

      Verdant

  • Craig Matthews

    It is interesting how much more orographic/terrain effects came into play this winter compared to last winter. This winter, there has been much greater precip ratios between orographically favored and rain shadowed areas along the central coast. For example, last winter at this time, Big Sur had a total of 40.02″(37.56″ ave) and Carmel Valley had a total of 20.32″(15.89″ ave.). While this winter at this time, Big Sur has a total of 71.98″, while Carmel Valley has a total of 19.42″. So basically, for every 2 inches of rain that fell in Big Sur last winter, 1 inch of rain fell in Carmel Valley(which is a close to the average ratio). While this winter, for every 3.25 to 3.5 inches that fell in Big Sur, Carmel Valley received 1 inch of rain. And when looking at some RAWS reports in the Santa Lucias, even greater ratios can be found….ie Three Peaks over 100 inches, compared to King City 20mi away at 14.25″…..

    • Rio Rat

      Do you think that might be due to all the low latitude AR we had this season. Just by looking at the Carmel Valley, & the slow rise in elevation, looks like a banana belt for precept.

      • PRCountyNative

        On the south side, between the ocean and the valley, yes. AKA Big Sur. By the time the south wind carried air reaches the valley it’s wrung out, descending a bit even, heading for Salinas Valley. Yes this year lots of low level S and SE flow, great for S facing slopes, not great for rain shadowed E-W valleys. Compare the upslope north coast totals by you to similarly shadowed areas (Santa Clara Valley?) same thing I bet.

        • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

          Nate posted the attached that kind of shows the shadow power. Also shows how much rain can vary in a shadowed area itself. I live in Evergreen and have received 7 more inches than downtown San Jose.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9766c2928424855851d4191eee90abea27a56b68faef69e727a9ecb3d3d9f920.jpg

          • PRCountyNative

            “Annual orographically influenced rainfall variance can be characterized by that season’s general trend, as in AR vs. GOA low dominant regimes.”

          • Craig Matthews

            This winters trend in regard to storms, was that storm”s Low centers tended to veer ne ward from off the Norcal Coast(Cape Mendocino area) up toward PNW (with the exception of a couple of Lows that came inland further south). This tendency in movement of storms/Lows kept the best dynamics and forcing to our north over Norcal, which minimized carry-over precip in our areas. With better dynamics and stronger forcing with storms moving further south across the state, I think we would have seen greater totals this winter in our rain shadowed valleys, IMHO.

        • Craig Matthews

          That, and the best dynamics remained a little too far north for good carry-over precip this winter, as both surface and upper level Lows tracked ne ward from Norcal up to PNW keeping taking best dynamics and strongest cyclonic flow north of our areas, up across Norcal.

    • Charlie B

      Carmel Valley is behind last year in a real and percentage sense? I abmit I had a matini (shaken not stirred) before reading that , but….

      • Tuolumne

        No too surprising since any one spot can get shortchanged during one winter. Happens all the time.

      • Craig Matthews

        Yep Carmel Valley is behind last year while many other areas, esp orographically favored areas are way ahead of last year. Interesting….

    • PRCountyNative

      Good observations.

      I lived not so far in the valley as I do now a while back. Then, i noticed south winds just blow right over the top, having dumped their moisture on the upslope. You never really feel the south wind because the valley is lined up the wrong way, east west where it matters, at either end. When we did get good rain, and most of the annual total, it seemed, was the convective spring type storms with great big towering clouds coming in from the west and northwest, off the ocean.

      • Craig Matthews

        Yeah, Carmel Valley does really well in those convective storms from the NW.

    • Chris

      I’ve noticed the same thing. But some valleys like Santa Rosa and Morgan Hill (where I live) are exceptionally above normal.
      We are 3″ over the total that fell in the entire 1997-98 season (45 and 42″ respectively)

      • Craig Matthews

        That is real interesting how some areas in the valleys have done very well this winter, while 10 miles down the road, in the same valley you will find much less totals. Must have to do with the trajectory of the storms, and their wind patterns this winter, or something.

    • El Toro

      Yeah, Im trying to see if I should buy a water tank for collection. Im inclined but I want to make sure Im not just getting deceived by this year. Whats your favorite source for annual rainfall totals?

      • Pfirman

        See if there is a UC Extension office in your area.

      • El Toro

        Ain’t no UC Morgan Hill! In a pinch Ive used wunderground custom reports. Ok, but clunky, years gaps, sort of unreliable. I know there is something better out there. Like CSV files too.

      • Craig Matthews

        MESONET, which is on NWS San Francisco’s website under “observations”, will take you to numerous weather stations, many remote(RAWS) stations as well. NCDC is also one I go to many times for weather/climate data for areas across the west coast. …..
        Water collection devices/cisterns/watertanks are all good investments these days. I’ve been using garbage cans to collect for watering the garden in summertime, myself, until I can save enough $ for a cistern and tank.

    • redlands

      very interesting —

  • Jason Jackson Willamette

    AR spotted! I think it’s that line of weather stretching back toward the Philippines https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ca76e2df6739515a101e5ee6d5491d58b79dd976229dc85e1f537ad4a5b3d87e.png

    • CHeden

      With all due respects, this AR has been pummelling the Pac NW area all week, so it’s not new.
      However, it will be helping fuel the expected lows that will be dropping down from the WNW later next week.

  • WalkmanJG

    I must have missed something as the rain totals seem to be wayyy down for the Bay Area now?

    • jstrahl

      You’re probably looking at the 18Z, since the 00Z is just starting to come in. You know what happened yesterday with the 18Z. 🙂

  • Crouching Dallas

    00Z like whoaaaaaa

    • DelMarSD

      Look what it shows for SD county. Only 5 days out. Wow.

      • Nathan

        Given that that seemingly came out of nowhere on the runs I’d be pretty surprised if it sticks. But that would be cool…

    • ben

      …like a bu bye’rain or a o’shit here it comes?

    • SoSocal (Chula Vista)

      Looks like pattern of gfs backing off right before hitting the throttle again continues. Great run!

      • “before hitting the BOTTLE again”
        Ftfy.

    • alanstorm

      GFS is on Bath Salts.

    • Stereolab

      A bunch of rain got moved from NorCal to SoCal. No complaints, it’s needed there.