Unusually strong April storm headed for Northern California this week

Filed in Uncategorized by on April 5, 2017 2,271 Comments

Recent weather overview

A rather impressive, complex storm system will approach the California coast on Thursday and Friday. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

After a record wet winter across much of Northern California (and a less impressive but still above average winter in Southern California), March was a relatively dry month across most of the state. This was especially true across the southern third of California, where little to no significant precipitation occurred amidst warmer than average temperatures. These relatively early spring-like conditions not only mean that Sierra snowmelt season is in full swing, but also have combined with prodigious winter rains to produce spectacular wildflower displays across southern and central California.

 

Unusually strong April storm to bring high-impact weather to much of California

A deep surface low will approach the OR/CA coastline on Friday, and may approach record strength for this time of year. (NCEP)

Despite the warm and relatively dry interlude over the past few weeks, it now appears quite likely that winter-like weather conditions will return rather suddenly over the next couple of days. Northern California will be in the crosshairs of an unusually powerful late-season Pacific storm system from Thursday into the weekend. A pair of pretty deep surface lows are expected to spin up just offshore the North Coast, bringing strong and perhaps even damaging winds to a wide swath of Northern California (perhaps as far south as the Bay Area and Sacramento region). In fact, the surface low off of the Oregon coast on Friday afternoon will probably approach record strength for this time of year, since deep lows typically become uncommon in this region once April rolls around. There is still some uncertainty regarding the exact placement and strength of this relatively complex storm system, which could lead to a fairly wide range of wind and rain impacts. In general, however, I would expect this to be quite an impressive storm for this time of year, and will possibly be the strongest system to affect California since February. The upcoming weather will be remarkable primarily due to its late seasonal timing, however, and is unlikely to rival the very strong storm systems California experienced during December and January this past winter.

 

Atmospheric river to bring heavy rain and mountain snow

The Thursday/Friday storm will be associated with an impressive April atmospheric river. (NCEP via UCSD)

A rather strong atmospheric river will be associated with the Friday/Saturday storm across Northern California, and will bring the potential for heavy late-season precipitation (especially in orographically favored regions). There is still some uncertainty regarding just how warm the initial precipitation will be, and it is possible that rain may fall above pass level in the Sierra Nevada due to a warm antecedent springtime airmass. By Saturday, however, cold air will likely drop snow levels considerably, bringing at least small snow accumulations down to 4000 feet or so. Therefore, it’s possible that this storm system will be yet another that yields considerable net snowpack at the highest elevations (above 7000-8000 feet) and reduces net snowpack below that level. Thus, there will be a risk of flooding from the combination of heavy rainfall and snowmelt at lower elevations, which may continue well into next week as temperatures warm behind the storm and clear sky snowmelt accelerates. Outside of the Sierra Nevada, only minor hydrological issues are expected given relatively dry antecedent conditions.

Heavy high Sierra snow accumulations are likely this weekend, with light accumulations to relatively low elevations on Sat/Sun. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

The Central Coast could see significant precipitation from this weekend’s storm, though most of Southern California will likely only see light rainfall and little wind impact.


It’s that time of year: thunderstorms likely in Central Valley; possibly elsewhere

A cyclonically curved jet will combine with cold air aloft to bring a fairly widespread risk of NorCal thunderstorms on Fri/Sat. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

Cold air aloft and the close proximity of multiple surface lows will be conducive to convective instability across much of Northern California on Friday and Saturday. As is often the case in these sort of situations, the Central Valley will likely be an area of enhanced activity due to increased surface heating and topographical effects. A few severe thunderstorms are possible, especially if there are enough breaks in the clouds between waves of precipitation later Friday into Saturday. The air aloft will be sufficiently cold that fairly widespread showers of small hail could occur. All in all, it looks like a pretty active weather period for the northern 2/3 of the state, with some modest showers across the south.

 

Warming tropical Pacific: rumblings of a new El Niño?

Remarkably warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean has recently occurred off the coast of Peru. (tropicaltidbits.com)

Extremely warm ocean temperature along the immediate Peruvian coastline have led to devastating flooding in normal arid coastal desert regions in recent weeks. This warming has resulted from reduced cold water upwelling associated with the Humboldt Current, which has historically been linked to the early development of significant El Niño episodes. While we’re still in the midst of high predictive uncertainty associated with the “Spring Predictability Barrier,” numerical models are nearly unanimous in suggesting a trend toward renewed warming of the tropical Pacific over the summer months. It’s still too early to say much more than that, but if current trends persist I’ll eventually have a more extensive discussion of what a new El Niño event would mean for California in light of the failure of the powerful 2015-2016 event to bring heavy precipitation to the Golden State. Stay tuned!

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  • This wind is insane!

    • Tyler Price (Monterey/Seaside)

      Southerly winds are starting to pick up a bit here, but not fully here yet.. Seaside does get some pretty strong gusts ? blowing through here at times.. definitely seen some strong winds here.

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      Yep! The neighborhood wind chimes are singing quite a tune.

      But mostly they sound like throwing a fistfull of 16d bright finish framing nails into a metal bucket. Apple blossoms everywhere in back. She’s in full bloom.

  • pbug56

    Is it really over? Are ground water levels and the levels in all the rivers and lakes that feed it back to normal? Don’t forget that they get water from all over the place. In the meantime, even if they are OK for now, they still waste massive amounts of water. And then think of the midwest, which is destroying its groundwater supplies by overfarming, especially to make ethanol, a substance that does far more harm then good.

  • alanstorm

    Friggin HEAVY rain in Ukiah.?

    • Tyler Price (Monterey/Seaside)

      I’m a little bit jelly! 😉 what an awesome April this has been and continues to be in California though! Hopefully SoCal gets in on some action with the next series of storms!! ^_^ rain should begin later this evening for me, but Mother Nature had her misters on this morning with misty and drizzlely weather all morning.

      • alanstorm

        Seems like it’s wasted up here at this point. Our aquifers are as full as they can be, it just flows into the ocean up here.
        Of course, we don’t know if this is a one-off wet winter followed by a revisit to previous dry ones, so I’ll dispense with the complaining for that reason.
        HOORAY FOR THE RAIN

        • mbmattcor (TD 6400′)

          hoping this is our ’81-’82 mirror and next year is ’82-’83

      • Dan the Weatherman

        I hope Socal gets in on the action! I have only recorded 0.15″ rain here in Orange since March 1, a far cry from what you all have been getting in Norcal. I really feel like we have been left out during the last 1 1/2 months.

      • RunningSprings6250

        You stole our winter when you moved north.

        Booooooo

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    I know Dave Wood (Caltrans Kingvale) has received a lot of credit on this board and been called a rock star…good news story on him.
    https://twitter.com/krnv/status/852352832741163009

  • DelMarSD

    I’d love an April cutoff low. Hopefully towards the end of the month. Things are drying out pretty fast here. But I’m jealous of that AR shown in the past few GFS runs. Lots of rain for SLO and the central coast if that plays out. Hopefully it moves south and soaks more of So Cal.

  • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)
    • mbmattcor (TD 6400′)

      I’m trying to turn up the volume on your mac….

  • Cap’n

    Starting to switch to snow just above me at the summit. Rain is very heavy right now, and/or it just sounds that way from the wind.

    • mbmattcor (TD 6400′)

      what’s your temp?

      • Cap’n

        39F, it’s dropped 5 degrees the past couple hours.

        • mbmattcor (TD 6400′)

          that heavy wave of rain has finally reached TD too

          • Cap’n

            Back up to 41F and raining hard, I’m at 1.2″ now. I’ll see if I wake up to snow, won’t be counting on it.

  • Nathan
  • Jason Jackson Willamette
  • cabeza tormenta

    Interesting pattern on wide radar right now with patchy showers rolling into the bay area from the SW and a big blob of wet rolling down the sierra from the NW.

  • janky
    • Stefan Myslicki

      Moderate rain just started below you in East Los Gatos..

  • mbmattcor (TD 6400′)

    changed over to heavy wet snow at 6400′ in TD 33° now

    • Cap’n

      It’s sticking on the summit. Still rain here. I guess I was secretly hoping it would dump tonight so I could rationalize playing hooky and scoring some empty lifts. Whenever I do this to myself it’s a dangerous game that usually ends with me sleeping horribly. If I wake up to 6-8″ here and a foot up top I ditch. Those numbers seem highly unlikely but the “chance” that they could happen kick my insomnia in to full throttle. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6e770898ab1ce413822db7c7d5bc672dae8b46b37fee8000d1242a7812ab2ddf.png

      • Looking good, guess I’ll be driving up in that mess.

        • Cap’n

          Switched here at 5,900 ft about 15 minutes ago, could be good day tomorrow, have fun.

          • I’m heading to Kirkwood for some fluffy stuff I’ll be sure to report in. I want to ride Sugie this weekend but I made a promise to some woodfolks. I plan on going back over to your neck of the woods next week, for the round coming in after this one.

  • John

    Raining here in Orinda right now. I’m still looking for a simple listing of annual rainfall totals over time. I find it hard to believe that so many places can list the average annual rainfall, but not delineate the yearly totals over the last 25 or 50 years that lies one equation behind that figure. The CDEC site doesn’t seem to list annual totals, and it’s monthly totals don’t show up when you search for them.

    Has anyone got a link? One reason I’m interested is because I can’t find the annual total for 82-83 here; or how this year compares to some of the top years in the recent past.

    Inquiring minds want to know!

    • Here’s my fave – I find my house gets more than in between Tilden and the Orinda station, it’s in a spot favored for precip, upslope jutting out :
      http://gismap.ccmap.us/FloodControl/Hydrology.html

      • John

        That’s one of my go-to pages, too. My home gets between Orinda station and St. Mary’s. Last year or the year before, I found something that listed annual rainfall amounts, year by year; but I can’t seem to locate that anymore. I just can’t believe there isn’t a way to bring that up. Where do the folks who calculate the average annual get their data, after all?

    • Also my link probably doesn’t have what you want. But it’s a page I figured you would enjoy.

  • Today is my birthday and I got what I wanted. Hint – you all wanted it too. Except maybe Mushroom man, someone check on him is he okay?

  • Bombillo1

    Steady rain (1.78 today) and dropping temp. 42 degrees. I’m thinking anyone over 5K feet is going to wake up to a lot of snow. More tomorrow, a couple of days off then it re-boots on Sunday for another 3 inches of rain over a 3 day period. If Daniel’s dry spell does not materialize I’ll be pissed. That’s how different this year is.

    • RunningSprings6250

      100% opposite on the other end of this vastly large state.

  • “0.00 here! Woohoo.

  • Tyler Price (Monterey/Seaside)

    Rains moving on in! More April showers! On and off light showers started awhile ago, but showers are picking up in intensity and frequency now becoming a more steady rain.. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d81a3a228d0a61e4a7447a5c4f720eb88ace4350ff7c3bbdd507796ebd372887.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/296de1a082d9284dba5a8230d375fcb0da83553a9758e1ce4e2427f45ae5e8d6.png

  • Cap’n

    Looks like South Lake is getting it this morning. I see about 3″ on the rail outside and it doesn’t look like it’s snowing anymore. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a72587d211f0ad22a28ba9ffe98b77b19e66cc0f4429fe146352e2234998fbd2.png

    • Disappointing, looks like Kirkwood got 8 inches according to sources I cannot reveal.
      Still gonna kill it, you going to call in sick?

      • Cap’n

        8″ and it’s still dumping down there, not bad. From the SugarBowl cam I’d say they’ve got roughly the same. Snowing a little again here but nothing like that South Lake cam. I’m working, but it should be a fun uncrowded weekday for whoever goes.

        • I just checked again – another 1.7 inches in the past 23 minutes so we are looking to hit a foot if that keeps up, maybe more if it stalls out, fingers crossed!!!

          • Yolo Hoe

            Northstar reporting 8″, so would think SB would have a shot at a foot as radar suggests snow still falling?

    • AlTahoe

      Were at 3″ in the nose and it is still snowing hard. Should finish with 4-5″ unless this band stalls

  • RunningSprings6250

    When I click on ‘comments’, I’m more often than not getting these full size pop up ads…. ever since the recent update to fix other peoples issues with ads….

    Is this the new normal? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/91ce0075018bc3d9d219f890f5a4bc6f0cd3e0e025cfd787301ce8183916de9f.png

    • Admode (Susanville)

      I have gotten this twice in the past week on my phone. Hadn’t seen it before, and haven’t had it happen again in the past few days.

    • Wet Line(San Diego)

      I am as well.

    • matthew

      I have gotten them a couple times on my iPad. I will happily take this over the complete highjacking that was happening a couple weeks ago.

    • There is a bit of a trade-off, I’m afraid. The priority was to finally get rid of the sleazy/disruptive ads once and for all (and I think this change gets us there). The type of ad above is only supposed to show for any given site user every once in a while, and should be easy to dismiss (unlike the recent browser redirect situation).

      • RunningSprings6250

        Huh – never had any issues before – I truly despise full size pop up ads…

  • Howard Goodman

    Looks like DWR will have to open up Oroville pretty soon , lake level up to 862.56 inflow up to 38119 CFS and it’s raining hard

  • Howard Goodman

    While Oroville was about to blow out my creek crossing for my driveway was too https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f59f3fbab5584ad7e5494faefe89acd414fca9248a36ef3eaf9459295095011a.jpg

    • That was February when this was taken? Wow!!

    • Bombillo1

      Looks like the immediate area is too low, in general, to allow placement of a culvert?

      • Howard Goodman

        Yeah it is and if you dug it out and put one in and it blew out you’d really be screwed

        • Bombillo1

          The next option is to make a pond somewhere on your property, bring the spoils to your road and elevate it about 4′. Place the culvert (arched culvert) at ground level. Then again, I doubt I’m saying anything that you haven’t considered!

          • Howard Goodman

            I kinda like the drive though creek crossing , it doesn’t happen that often that it gets impassable , down below theres a place where the creek is way down in the banks and it’s not very far across was thinking about an old 40 foot flat bed trailer would make an easy bridge for an emergency creek crossing and I doubt the crossing I put in will ever blow out ,many tons of rock in there now

    • Sfedblog

      What is that piece of cloth hanging from a telephone pole in the background?

      • Howard Goodman

        Not a pole and not a piece of cloth

  • AlTahoe

    Walked down to the beach to get a better measurement and it looks like we are right at 6″. The heavy snow stopped on my walk back home. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5b616c825cd1f71801a51b2f9a4e821e0380580303f247bf6bea1dd5b6c2604b.jpg

  • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

    82 days with measurable rainfall here! 15 days with an inch or more and about 20-40 days with an half an inch or more of rainfall bringing our yearly total to 39.58! 40 inches is the goal and I think these April showers will get us there. .28 on the storm

    • Henry

      Creeping towards the 40 inch mark for the season here in the mountains near Los Gatos, 39.91″ and counting. We received about 0.5″ since yesterday, which was slightly more than predicted. In this area the annual average is 23″, so 40″ is a threshold that signifies an exceptionally rainy season.

  • Nate

    Off topic, but this is way too cool of a video not to share. It’s an underwater video of a 5.9 earthquake in the Philippines a couple of days ago. Pretty amazing that the diver caught this on tape, and also interesting how you can see how the sea floor moves during the quake.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/undefined/status/852119472274108416

    • lodule16

      My kinda OT… very cool.

      • PRCountyNative

        A friend was diving during ’89 Loma Prieta quake. He said he thought someone was pummeling him with a rock or stick. Body blows!

        Thank you for sharing!

        • Nate

          Yeah, though it would be cool to share! That’s a really interesting story about your buddy. The “pummeling” makes sense because the only seismic waves that can travel through water are pressure waves. Could totally see how that would be like a body check. I remember reading about a CG ship off of Point Reyes thinking that they were running aground in ’89. They also apparently felt it in the Goodyear Blimp. Crazy stuff for sure.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ef5186fc8e59567c4fe46c29b6bb3e9068253b7397f6eefc5c28dc23916da6a5.gif

  • Chris

    Top 5 wettest years since 1983

    1) 2016-17 50.21
    2) 1997-98 42.12
    3) 1992-93 37.32
    4) 1994-95 35.69
    5) 1985-86 33.97

    * Before my record keeping began, another observer in Morgan Hill recorded 44.38″ in 1982-83.
    The 1982-83 and 1997-98 seasons were the wettest ever for most Bay Area locations since 1900 or earlier.

    • Henry

      This is astonishing, 50″ is a truly extraordinary amount of rain in the Santa Clara Valley.

    • Bombillo1

      Raining unbelievably hard here again. This is straight out of a Ray Bradbury book. 2017 is the new benchmark here for sure. I’m seeing rain on the 10 day thru the 22nd. Where is the dry spell/heat wave? Called off due to inclimate weather?

      • Chris

        You are in Morgan Hill too? We have a lot of “Morgan Hillbillies” on this page ?
        A new benchmark has been made indeed!
        We have shattered the old records.
        Who needs El Niño or MJO???

        • Bombillo1

          I’m 50 mi N of Redding 2450′. Just shows what a wide swath is in record turf, not just one isolated anomaly.

          • Tuolumne

            Your area south to at least Tahoe, plus Santa Rosa, Morgan Hill, and some others, but not some extensive areas in between.

    • AlTahoe

      I lived in Morgan Hill during the 1997 El Nino and the seasonal creek by my house ran for the entire summer as the springs up stream ran the entire year. 50″ is unbelievable. I would imagine Uvas canyon park would have to be at 125″ or even more if Morgan Hill received 50″

      • Chris

        I’m guessing that too regarding Uvas canyon park.
        I’m also on the wetter west/central part of Morgan Hill. About 1.5 miles west of Monterey Road!

        • AlTahoe

          I grew up near Paradise Valley school on the west side as well.

          • Chris

            An observer there had 21″ for January and 14″ for February.
            Mine was 19.87″and 13″ respectively

      • If it had over 100″ Gilroy might be the new Venezia. But I’m a noob to MH.

        • AlTahoe

          Uvas Canyon park would normally get like a 6 -10″ to 1″ rain rations with Morgan Hill even though it is only like 6 miles away. I remember many storms where they would get 10″ and Morgan Hill would be in the 1-2″ range.

    • weathergeek100

      The differences from one place to the next is interesting. While all of the bay area is well above average, all of the urban airports are reporting seasonal totals still well below 1997-98.

      • Chris

        One thing lacking in these otherwise big storms this winter is dynamics.
        The heaviest rain rate we had (other than a short lived shower) was .55″/hour.
        During the Oct 2009 storm, we had four consecutive hours of 1″ or better.
        Less dynamics- less post mountain spillover.

  • Tazmanian
    • Nate
    • matthew

      Cool! After the winter we just endured I am glad that we ended up with the record.

      Note to Mother Nature – you can stop now!

    • Nathan

      WE DID IT!!!

      I want to thank the academy….

      • Bombillo1

        What about your parents?

  • Howard Goodman

    And just look at the differance between wettest and one of the driest https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d6c8967e0b6d11b80e0f05bb4088cb83868edc83271304f8d13af50df84ecdd5.png

    • In the interactive version 1997-1998 isn’t an option for Northern Sierra. Looks like the value in your post is 82.4″.
      2005-2006 year was 78.3″
      Thanks for the update, just adding my 2 cents

  • AlTahoe

    Well that was probably the scariest drive I have had coming into work this entire winter. In South shore we had 6″ on highway 50 that was not plowed at all and it was that deep all the way to the top of spooner. Spun out cars and wrecks everywhere as the tourons were out in their summer cars with summer tires. I saw a corvette Z06 spun out that Highway patrol was trying to get out of a ditch. The top of SPooner had 12-14″ of snow and the road was sketchy. Get to sand harbor and there is no snow at all and here at the college campus we have half an inch.

    • Danlyle (Mariposa)

      Chains not required after April1, right!

      • AlTahoe

        They had the chain signs on but nobody paid attention apparently. I don’t what would make you think your Corvette Z06 could make it through 6″ though.

        • Cap’n

          Dumping hard at Dollar point, solid half a foot over here. I’m driving towards you.

          • AlTahoe

            Looks like Incline to Sand Harbor totally missed out on this storm. I am sure upper Incline scored.

    • alanstorm

      A Corvette in the snow?
      HAHAHA ?

      • Howard Goodman

        What’s the matter with a Corvette in the snow , I did it back in 1973 with my 66 big block (my economy car I bought when I came back from VietNam ) https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9b8c5c1f42fc24bf018e3d50e8e28843941e9968b65e088e948e1115af5617f0.jpg

        • AlTahoe

          Haha at least those old 60 series tires had some sort of traction. The newer corvettes come with 35 series rubber bands.

        • alanstorm

          I think clearance would be an issue. Maybe some TALL tires with chains.
          Old heavy cars are another thing entirely!
          A big block would be good for traction.

          • Thor

            great for donuts in the snow!

          • mbmattcor (TD 6400′)

            more stupid pedal always works

        • David

          Had a 1969 with a 427. Never drove it in the snow though 🙂

          • Yolo Hoe

            My brother found one of those in 1980 and restored to exacting detail — still has it — amazing, raw power.

      • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

        I have found many people around the Tahoe area tend to break out their “summer cars” around April 1st and with that also tend to not check the weather reports nearly as often.

      • Rusty Rails

        I’ve taken my Camaro SS out in a couple inches and even done snow donuts in the Sugie lots. Lots of fun as long as you’re careful on curves.

  • honzik

    SCMths micro-update. 4.5″ for the week, over 100″ for the year. Next milestone: the 112″ 82/83 record.

    • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

      elevation and location?

      • honzik

        Around 2000 feet, Summit road area

  • Tazmanian

    i got .98″ of rain from this event so far whats see what i get this PM with t-storms if any

  • Eastsider (Mammoth Lakes)

    Snow got here about an hour and a half ago. Coming down moderately sideways right now.

  • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

    0.23 in San Jose overnight. Another nice little storm for SJ.

  • Howard Goodman

    Just started to snow

  • JT (San Jose, CA)

    San Jose (aka donut hole 2017) just heard our first thunder of the month! Dumping rain for about 10 minutes and now just normal drizzling.

  • This comment died.

  • mbmattcor (TD 6400′)

    Since we broke the 82-83 8-station record, I’m curious what percentage of the Sierra runoff do we actually capture? ~10%

    • Bombillo1

      Since we generally fill all the reservoirs on an “average year”, this year we are 2 X average in most of the critical drainages. Thumbnail calculation, less than half of what was available.

    • I guess what stays behind the reservoirs at a certain point in time as a % of estimated runoff?

      • Pfirman

        Hoping the stuff sitting in the Sutter and Yolo bypasses, all of which of course ‘got past’ the reservoirs, is now percolating into the aquifers below. You want this. You also want the Delta to have a nice flush, so to speak.

  • happ [Los Angeles]

    Building cloudiness but dry in Los Angeles this morning. Even drizzle looks iffy. Oh well.

  • ThomTissy

    Is anybody else here unusually excited for some sun and temps in the mid 80s?

    • PRCountyNative

      Yes

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      No. Clouds could provide a max below 70F for the first time since March 22. There haven’t been many days in the 80’s but it has been relentlessly sunny forever

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      I am sure many Cabana clubs (pools), boat dealers, marinas among others are very excited for temps at 80 or above..

    • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

      Guess it all depends on what part of the state you’re referencing this to. Here in SoCal I can give you an absolute……..NO!

    • Bombillo1

      Are you kidding, my wife has had to hide the razor blades from me.

      • ThomTissy

        I’m in the Bay Area, Scotts Valley, and if it approaches 65 I throw on shorts and stand in the sun bc I have rarely seen it since last September.

        • Jim

          I’m in Scotts Valley as well…

      • Cap’n

        I almost lost my marbles in January, that was one helluvah month. Since then I’ve stabilized to some degree.

    • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

      No

      • BRP (Ventura)

        Nor Cal folks have no idea just how dire it is in VTA and SB counties currently. The drought has not left us, and her effects are still everywhere, from super low water reservoirs to large swaths of our back country pines and oaks dead. So no, not excited for 80’s and sun…

      • John

        I’m ready. I’m looking at the hill in my back yard that has receded about 6″ already. Give me 2 weeks of sunshine, then come back.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      No. I am not ready for mid 80s+ weather, yet. We’ll have plenty of that this summer, and possibly later this month and into May if it doesn’t rain down here again!

    • cthenn

      I’m ready for alternating warm/sunny and more rain. This is gonna be a mother of an allergy season, so as much of it we can wash away once in a while, the better.

  • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

    Front just came in screaming and left me with 0.02″. I can accept the rest of April and early May with this pattern…still a good chance of a dynamic closed low to creep down the coast or retrograde from the east when the jet retracts north…

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      If troughiness persists along the West Coast we could get some respectful storm totals right into May.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        We just need these storms to dig a bit further south. The San Diego NWS discussion last night / early this morning was mentioning how zonal the flow has been as of late with no real troughs or ridges. I believe these storms have barely been missing us and if this zonal flow were just a bit further south or if there was a bit more of a trough, then we would have been in on the action.

  • Cap’n

    Definitely a crest hugger, snowing good back in west Truckee, accumulation is tough battling that sun angle.

  • happ [Los Angeles]

    Graph shows interesting diversity across California and extreme heat in Midwest
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/37989eef4d0a5fdb85f448477776d8ebd07640713d01ce6c2551baf7e3c2870b.jpg

    • Dan the Weatherman

      March 2012 was very warm to hot in the Midwest, while we had a series of late season storms bring rain even to Socal.

      • Bombillo1

        The Old Forecaster ( N. Cal Weather Blog) had an interesting discussion about this a year ago. The width of Continental United States is about one wavelength, consequently the trough in the west and ridge in the East and vice versa is not just a curiosity.

  • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

    Rainfall for my location since August 2014, Average Rainfall 20 Inches
    Central Peninsula, 141 feet
    2014-2015: 15 inches
    2015-2016: 25 inches
    2016-2017: 39.58 inches ( wettest winter ever, 2 x average rainfall)
    3 Year total: 79.58 inches, average of 60 inches
    2 Year total: 64.58 inches, average of 40 inches
    Weather Station Comparison: Station 1 mi to the south at 52 ft, 29.86 inches on the year, mine at 141 feet, 39.58 inches. Elevation makes all the difference in the Bay

  • inclinejj

    A nice cell just moved over Pacifica. Only about 5-6 miles wide but heavy rainfall for about 10 minutes.

  • cthenn

    The action is everywhere except where I live in WC. As opposed to last weekend, when I was in right in the path of the narrow, but intense fire hose, we only got about a quarter inch out of this storm, and nothing at all today.

  • Thunderstorm

    Atmosphere becoming more unstable with cells developing on the coastal mountains around bay area.

  • jstrahl

    Total of .54 inches yesterday, 4/12/17, in central Berkeley. And the large majority, .39 inches, came in the form of light rain and spray from Midnight to around 10AM. Last night’s front brought brief steady rain 11:30PM to midnight, and dropped .15 inches, i.e. the rest of the .54 inches. Around 6:30 AM today we got an intense through short downpour, another .15 inches. 2.82 inches total for the month so far, 39.60 inches for the season so far.
    PS: i don’t drink beer (or alcohol in general) very often, but wish i could see more of that “cold beer” ad adjoining the top of the comments section. 🙂

    • cthenn

      Your totals generally are similar to mine in Walnut Creek, but you definitely got more than I did with this storm.

      Cold beer you say? I see nothing, AdBlock is my friend!

      • jstrahl

        Well, that was one ad i didn’t mind.:-)

    • davdorr

      Only 0.36 in South San Jose, but everyone of these storms delays turning the drip irrigation back on a bit longer and the rain barrels stay full. Over 22 inches now for the season and average is only 15.

    • lodule16

      That 4/10ths of spray (which wasn’t showing up on radar) was a real curiosity. Any ideas on what was actionable there? Major-league marine push? Convective evaporation off all the soaked foliage? Tears of sun worshippers?

      • jstrahl

        I surmise it was clouds which were too low to create radar echoes. I’ve seen this happen before, but this was an unusually high amount of rain from such a process.

  • matthew

    Absofreakinglutely dumping snow in the shire right now. Visibility is down to maybe 50 yards. April? Hah!

    • maddogokp

      Yep just nuking. Crazy!

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      I just checked out the cameras and noticed that, also looks like they’re holding traffic over the summit. Guess those Easter egg hunts won’t be too easy in all the snow.

    • Cap’n

      Quick almost 2″ the past hour at our office by the airport here and still dumping.

      • matthew

        Looks like about an inch in the past 20 minutes and still dumping.

  • cthenn

    They’ve got 37′ to spare, with some impressive inflows and a lot of storm action in the area right now. MOAR SHOTCRETE, STAT! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5a28062351621858b8a21a534798d2c9a10e0e9fd6a52b9320d4086beaa62f92.jpg

  • jstrahl

    63.15 inches so far this season in Bald Peak in Tilden Regional Park in the Berkeley Hills.

  • Nate
  • cthenn

    Has anyone compiled a list of roads damaged, or washed out due to this winter’s storms in NorCal? The ones I know about are:

    Morgan Territory
    Alhambra Valley Rd
    Mt. Hamilton Rd
    Redwood Rd (Castro Valley)
    Palomares Rd
    Calaveras Rd

    I know there’s a lot in the SC mountains, so if anyone wants to add to this list, I’d be interested to see how many roads have been adversely affected.

    • inclinejj

      One bridge in Colfax washed out.

    • K?ros

      In the Monterey Area:

      Palo Colorado Rd
      Cachagua Rd
      Robinson Canyon Rd
      Highway 1 at multiple points between Carmel and Cambria, including Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge ( had to be demolished, the new bridge will be completed anywhere between 6-12 months)

      Best source of info for both roads and everything else in Southern Monterey County and Big Sur is https://bigsurkate.wordpress.com/

    • Jim
      • cthenn

        Wow that’s a long list.

        • Jim

          Yes it is…lots of damage for the county to deal with once things dry out !!!

    • John

      I recognize those roads. Basically, about 2/3’s of them are in the middle of nice long bike ride loops.I fear this will be an out-and-back year in the saddle.

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    looks like the action is picking up in the great Sacramento valley from the Sac area to Redding.
    https://twitter.com/NWSSacramento/status/852634271399497732

    • Bombillo1

      So where is that, Maui?

  • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

    The one disappointing thing this year has been convection, not one thunder clap or lightning at my location all year, every other place has got there share

    • inclinejj

      We have only had a couple flashes of lightning and a couple rumbles of thunder in Pacifica.

  • TheNothing

    Some of the loudest booming thunder I’ve heard in a long time up here in Penryn at the moment

  • Tazmanian

    that was fun we this had a T storm here we all so had a lot of small hail and are rain fall is now up too 1.37″ of rain for this event

  • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

    Boom boom boom, once this svr tstorm reaches Tahoe that’s gonna be some HEAVY SNOWFALL! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b91ce2129c7dbb788bc933940955e457f6ed97c81f8fe17328843e7822f4254e.png

    • I’m kinda concerned about a tornado warning right now. Days like today you should take the day off work and head out to the valley

  • Thunderstorm

    Another 2 hours of heating for more thunderstorms.

    • Glad it’s PDT so we get an extra hour…. #TT

    • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

      Nothin for the Bay though

  • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)
  • David

    Thunderstorm here in Paradise. Brief downpour hit a rate of 5.15″/hour. Already at 4.3 inches for the month….

  • Hardcort

    This just came out from Sac AFD

    Showers and thunderstorms fired late this morning – early
    afternoon behind cold front as brief periods of sunshine allowed
    for some heating and instability. Latest hi-res guidance indicates
    this activity will continue through this evening. Strongest storms
    will contain small hail and gusty winds, though still cannot rule
    out a rotating cell or two in the Valley. This convection also
    causing pockets of heavier snow across the Sierra with chain
    controls from time to time. Have bumped up snow accumulations a
    bit with another 4-8 inches possible above 4000-4500 feet.

    With forecasted temps at 16 tomorrow morning this is what I like about late season storms.

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      CHP Grass Valley just posted for drivers to be prepared for snow and hail on roads at low elevations.

  • Did we just go serif? ??

    • honzik

      I saw the serif. (But I did not see the density).

      • lodule16

        There is so much choice geek on this website…

    • Admode (Susanville)

      Change is so hard!:)

  • Slick

    Lots and lots of thunder and hail in Chico. Especially at Chico St.

    • Howard Goodman

      Yeah it just came up here holly shit

    • Pretty good chance of an actual tornado on the ground with that much rotation…

  • Chowpow (Arcata-ish)
    • Fairweathercactus

      Looks friendly

      • Howard Goodman

        I saw one that looked like that above Chico about 1/2 hour ago

      • Tuolumne

        Those things just suck…

    • Craig Matthews

      Wow!!!

  • cthenn

    Font change on the site? Is that the comment below re: serif?

  • Cap’n

    Just got home to another 3″ of snow since this morning which is impressive as it was midday snow with the high sun angle of April. Storm total since yesterday now of 1.2″ rain and 6″ of snow. Looks like cells still have the potential to fire up. April total of 2.9″ rain and 19″ snow. SugarBowl will be well over a foot from this storm alone.

    • AlTahoe

      A storm report from NWS Reno showed South Lake at 1.2″ of rain along with 5.5″ of snow as of 10:30am this morning. Along with the extreme winds beforehand this was actually more impressive than the bigger storm last week.

  • AlTahoe

    Friend just texted me from South Lake and said it was a whiteout down there rigth now.

    • Cap’n

      Radar showing dark blue down there and more firing up for almost everyone up here. Fun little spring storm.

  • Tazmanian

    looks like i may get some more t-storms or heavy rain cells with more hail after that every thing will start too taper off

  • Admode (Susanville)
    • David

      Nice!

    • Pfirman

      Where in Chico was that?

      • Admode (Susanville)

        He works at the college, so I’m thinking there. I asked him, waiting for an answer. I’ll let you know.

      • Admode (Susanville)

        It was indeed chico state.

  • mattzweck

    Here in Lancaster area where I live just windy and cloudy.

  • alanstorm
    • Yolo Hoe

      Understatement

  • Howard Goodman

    Dam what a drive home , down in Chico coming up the mountain started off wind lighting pouring rain ,then more wind rain and hail , then a blizzard ,I think I saw a funnel cloud above Chico

  • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

    I REALLY like this new addition by NWS Reno AFD…the details im not buying… Long live the trough!

    Week 2 Outlook…April 20-26th. – Issued 3pm 4/13.

    “By the end of next week model simulations begin to develop a strange feature. it appears to be a reverse, or upside down trough (known in previous winters as a ridge). this will likely bring a warming and drying trend to the region next weekend. for those of you ready for a sunny warm spring weekend this may finally be your chance.

    The ridge building in the eastern Pacific and far southwest U.S.
    will likely bring above average temperatures to the region, at least
    for a while. Confidence is only moderate at this time, but
    considering the hydrologic implications (snowmelt flooding) of any
    period of above average temperatures, it is worth mentioning. -Zach

    * The Week 2 Outlook discussion is an experimental part of the Area
    Forecast Discussion. This product is designed to highlight the
    potential for significant pattern changes beyond day 7 and will
    not be issued on a daily basis.”

    • PRCountyNative

      I like their AFD’s fun reading, and extra informative.

  • Tazmanian

    we did it we did it we made it too 1.90″ of rain from today event WOW rain will be coming too a end soon and that looks like a wrap up for this event after the rains end tonight

  • Craig Matthews
    • Thor

      My in-laws are the Grass Valley area and reported the same thing with significant thunder and lightening.

      • Craig Matthews

        Both my parents are up there and said the thunder was earth shattering. I think that picture was taken off HWY 70 facing east toward Grass Valley. Sure looking stormy up thattaway.

    • CHeden

      About the same size hail as here in Cottonwood. Fortunately, my wife saved some in the freezer so I could check it out. Pretty impressive stuff…about blueberry size.

      • Craig Matthews

        Looks sizable enough to see the growth rings in those hailstones. Some serious updraft happening in those T-Storms up there….

        • CHeden

          Fer sure. See the pics I just posted.

          • Craig Matthews

            Nice shots….classic towering cu/ thunderstorm clouds. Love it.

    • inclinejj

      Woah, those look like ice cubes.

      • matthew

        If they were followed by a good downpour of single malt it would be a perfect storm.

        • Tuolumne

          I really, really wish I could give this more than one upvote!

          • Pfirman

            So you didn’t do any?

          • Tuolumne

            I gave all I could.

    • Tuolumne

      Oh hail!

    • Pfirman

      Your dad has your number, heh.

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      I’d love to pour a pepsi into a glass 3/4 full of that pure ice!

  • Nate

    Picked up .46″ from this storm in Saratoga, pretty good considering the NWS forecast of .15″. This brings the April total up to 2.60″ for a season total of 38.48″ (~170% of annual avg). It would be nice to get 1.52″ to hit 40 inches, but then again, that’s all up in the air.

  • CHeden

    What a ride coming up I-5 from the Bay Area. Here’s a few backroad snapshots of a few of the many cells including a convergence line over Willows (which eventually moved over the Oroville area) popping up over most of the north Valley. While I was nooddlin’ down south, my wife got hailed on big time here at home. Mucho lightning on the radio, and some rolling thunder, but only caught around a half-dozen bolts underneath the cloud deck. Great day for cloud watchers, fer sure.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3fdd2cfdca843a80c47a6b43b0cf6b2bb2b24c614b194f0467476a8110de3e6e.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2d733189f5ecf2db95039fb23d66418d827795b3ab6cca62dd1e55292971b132.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1e06931c934588db9b5e624762da1a6fa270a010055c53de985f0e9ee11285d2.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b5db0621026a3e95a8bd73590c96f39623c3336e68bfa70aea83f1f491d1d3b7.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dbba6e2b6aa6a44072f3a79da984702529e42e7ac2d05f164c5e77d634eb1d93.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a4cdb0c7cb0d50fa5798546f18687c6a0ee45a78e4fe0b9a04dbbd480591a81c.jpg

    • PRCountyNative

      Nice! Thank you. It’s the year of green green grass and dark dark clouds. Makes for good photos.

    • Craig Matthews

      Those are awesome. What altitude do you think those towering cu’s reached?

      • CHeden

        iow topped….mostly near 20,000k’. Most were relatively high based as well.

    • Pfirman

      Palm tree gives a sense of the wind, and the fact it is NOT Kansas.

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      So cool! My favorite, the farm buildings with threatening skies lurking in the background.

    • alanstorm

      Nice anvils!

  • Cap’n

    Very impressive snow rates the past 30 minutes under what might be the final band of the day. The dark blue is definitely representing the heavy snow correctly.

    • mbmattcor (TD 6400′)

      it’s training right over you and us in TD.

    • maddogokp

      Dumping downtown Truckee and in the Shire.

    • matthew

      Had a couple inches this morning. It melted. Got a coupe more inches this afternoon. That melted. Now we are up to 3″ in what looks to be the biggest blast of the day. Add them up and we are at 7″ with what looks like several more coming. Could easily top 10″ or more before this is done.

  • Danlyle (Mariposa)

    Inch of rain in the gauge today, but several hail storms may have diminished that total. More than I expected, for sure. Clear and gorgeous now.

  • RunningSprings6250

    Picked up some fog today and cool temps.

    Now that’s a SoCal SCORE!

    • Dan the Weatherman

      I feel like the weather has done everything that would accompany a storm today except for the fact it didn’t rain. As a matter of fact the lows have been in the 40’s here in Orange for the past week and it has even felt like March at times lately. I just don’t know why one of these storms can’t bring us some rain for a change.

      I feel like we are being left out of the action when I have been reading about rain and snow in Norcal what seems like the entire season, when the season abruptly ended down here just before the beginning of March. Normally in an active year like this, even Socal would continue getting some occasional storms going into March and April, and even May at times.

  • Craig Matthews

    Can definitely see that line of cells training over Cap’n house from this angle. Must be some very impressive snowfall rates along the lower west slopes underneath that training line of cells. The trough axis and associated cyclonic flow over the Sacramento Valley could keep convection forming and rotating from the east side of the Central Valley up into the Northern Sierra for at least a few more hours. Looks like another patch of convection just north of Sutter Buttes is further developing and will rotate right up into the foothills and the west slopes of the Sierra in Plumas and Sierra Counties this evening. Given such cold air – dynamics in the atmosphere and heavy precip underneath these training cells, seams like there could be some snow accumulations down to lower elevations then predicted in some isolated areas of the foothills . https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2e10f8e2830e564101c4ef15e4872666324526f225e3077ffe61054e2c9111f2.jpg

  • Arnold Weather Fanatic

    89.25″ precip for year; 2.45 last 24 hours. About 3/4″ of wet snow/hail. Was down in Pleasanton all day and crept back into carport with the Altima and no chains. Subaru at body shop being repaired due to indiscretion (slid very slowly into our host’s car) with surprise icy driveway in Portland.

    • lodule16

      Speaking of Portland… I looked up Portland’s average annual precipitation (rain and snow) at NWS the other day and found it to be 42.85″.

      http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/pqr/pdxclimate/pg75.pdf

      Wanted to know because Berkeley is within a few tenths of 40″ for the precipitation year. It would be notable to have a wetter than average year for Portland… in Berkeley. Almost there.

      • Pfirman

        Be happy you did not get the snow and ice that accompanied that metric.

      • Henry

        Here in the mountains 2 miles from Los Gatos we have received 39.91″ for the season thus far, exceeding the annual average for the famously rainy city of Seattle (36.15″). Except that our nearly 40″ of rain fell in only 6 months.

      • Arnold Weather Fanatic

        I think this is in their normal range, but it has been colder, with snow that has stuck around for a few days. Usually it snows and melts quickly as the next storm usually is rain. They had some big winds the other day, which are once-in-a-great-while events.

  • Yolo Hoe

    0.37″ rainfall in far southwest Davis today with peak rate of 3.49″ per hour at 0934 this morning. Barometer currently 30.10 and rising rapidly with light breeze from west and 50F.

    April rainfall total currently a very respectable (for Yolo) 2.23″.

  • Tyler Price (Monterey/Seaside)

    I got 2 hail showers today.. one this morning around 10 AM
    And another around 3 pm.

  • TheNothing

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0a9c09660710b9813caf868b5f36d79eaea51a8fdaf27aee68bf5296d41ce4ec.jpg
    The line of clouds that stuck around most of this evening made for a brief but beautiful sunset.

    • CHeden

      Beautiful end to a glorious day.

  • Sat in avalanche controls for 10 hours. Carson Spur. 5 miles from my destination, while my buddies killed it and missed my friends only day off before Kwood closes. On the other hand, OMG ______________________________ AND ____________(CENSORED)
    I’ll send pictures tomorrow. Maybe one tonight.

    • Pfirman

      86ed on 88, eh?

    • Henry

      I found myself in a similar situation on the way to Kirkwood the day after a big powder dump in April 2006, another snowy winter that went into overtime. Another skier and I had left the Bay Area in the predawn hours for a one day ski trip. Carson Spur was closed at the time, but he had observed that often it would reopen after sunrise if it had stopped snowing. So when we reached Jackson he decided to take 88 instead of 49. When we reached Carson Spur it was closed. A Caltrans employee said it would be closed for another 8 hours. So my skiing partner turned his jeep around and drove back down 88, then on 49 to Placerville, then up 50, then over Carson Pass. We reached Kirkwood around lunchtime. The powder and the lack of people on the slopes was good, but it was a long drive for half a day of skiing.

  • Jason Jackson Willamette

    Can we have the old font back? This is like reading a book by Marie Corelli.

    • Nathan

      yeah it’s a little ye olde for my tastes as well.

  • Cap’n

    I really don’t even know why I’m surprised anymore in this Great winter of 2016-2017. Just drove home in an almost complete whiteout at times from the Rec Center in town. I’ve got 7″ on my deck since I shoveled it at 5:30 tonight and it is still nuking. Nothing is plowed over here it looks like January again. Storm total since yesterday is now 1.2″ of rain and 13″ of snow. Might have to play hooky tomorrow. It is well within the realm of possibility that SugarBowl hits 800″ this month.

    • You have no idea what it’s like over here…jackpot

      • Cap’n

        The resort above me looks to end up with 24-30″ in a two day span with two epic days (today and tomorrow). Where you’re at is probably great, none of it matters to me, I’m working. Sugie is going to be epic tomorrow, I”ll hear about it. Sley on.

        • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

          How much do you think Northstar has?

          • Yolo Hoe

            Reporting another 9″, so 17″ 2 day total — lucky folks indeed who are on the slopes

        • It is 18 degrees. The snow quality outside is superb, what I would expect in January not April.

  • maddogokp
  • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

    Let’s hope rain is the reason for the heat wave at the end of month to have disappeared in models.

    https://twitter.com/SPaulsonKTVU/status/852847189311107072

    • Chris

      It would be nice to have a cool summer again. It’s been many years.

    • One is GEFS the other is GFS. Nothing wrong about it unless he has some reason to believe in GFS for the cooler temps will be the right forecast. and not GEFS on same run (06Z April 14 276hr)

  • AlTahoe

    It is 19F outside right now. Highway 50 coming back from incline yesterday had sheets of water and flooded sections from the heavy snow that melted on contact. I fear that the black ice might be all time this morning on my drive into work. Should be interesting

  • Howard Goodman

    Cold out everywhere this morning 28 here with clear skies this storm total 3.8 https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d6f59b732ead0fa1e982ca7f390f97c2928dc005edd84785067c3f64db17de04.jpg

  • Chris

    I’m up at Incline Village. 18 degrees with 3″ of snow on the ground.
    That heavy snow band closed 80 last night and had to take 50 as an alternate.
    Long night.

  • weathergeek100

    More rain coming this weekend as the wet pattern continues here in (and strictly in) NorCal. The green shall be maintained until further notice!! The poppies should really be exploding now!

    Of course, the dry spring continues in SoCal. I seriously wonder if it’s record dry down there or not. Dry springs in SoCal at least feature a storm or two here and there. Not this year, and it looks as if nothing is going to change. That spigot really shut off at the end of February. The chance for any significant precip down there for the next 10 days is about…..zero. Good thing most places got there average annual already. Wildflowers were going crazy when I was in San Diego over the weekend. They won’t last much longer.

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      Funny you mention the poppies, a few years ago in the height of the drought I put down some seeds for poppies in my yard. They have exploded and all the neighbors comment about them. They’re sure big fans of the wet winter!

      • weathergeek100

        I’ve failed to find a good wildflower hike this year in the bay area. I wonder if I went hiking too early to see them (did several hikes in mid-March). At Tilden park, the trail with poppies was closed due to storm damage. In the SC mountains, the poppies were barely out in Russian Ridge open space preserve, despite every source mentioning that location is ‘the place for poppies’ in the bay area. I thought March was the time for the poppies but maybe not this year due to all the clouds and rain (they do need sun!). It was actually better down in San Diego. But I’d be surprised if they’re not out by now, and the explosion is probably the best in years.

        Let me know if you know of any good wildflower hikes. Poppies, lupines, etc! This is the year for that!

        • Henry

          I was hiking in the Santa Cruz mountains last weekend and saw only a few isolated clusters of wildflowers. I think it was too early, especially up at 2000-3000′. Last spring, after an average to slightly wet winter, I found the best wildflower displays of the season on the south side of Mt Diablo in mid April. I’m guessing that the peak this year will be slightly later.

        • Nathan

          I think it’s still a little early. Head to Henry Coe soon, aout a week after we get our first good warm-up.

          • Craig Matthews

            Oh man, Henry Coe is one of my favorite places to go. I love the endless mountain bike trails that would take us miles and miles, all over those hills…. way back toward where we can see Mt Hamilton. Use to go up there every April around the 20th. Would get drawn a special permit to drive ~15mi up the south entrance into the south end, and mtn bike way in, pitch the tent, and hit those bass ponds waaay back in the Park. One year we had a thunderstorm develop right over the top of us with lightning bolts hitting the hills all around us. Fortunately the rain shaft fell a mile away from camp so we didn’t get too wet.

    • AlTahoe

      At least with the storms continuing in NorCal that prevents any early season heat waves for Southern cal.
      In the winters were the precip shut off early for everyone like 2008 the early season heat was extreme.

      • weathergeek100

        Good point. It was cool in San Diego last weekend. Upper 40s at night, actually. So evapotranspiration is a bit limited keeping soil moisture levels pretty good for now.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        Years in which the rainy season in Socal ends early tend to have heat waves in April and May, but June is often normal without the ridiculous heat spikes of earlier in the spring. 2004 and 2008 (as you mentioned above) are prime examples of this kind of year.

    • Mike Stephenson (Riverside)

      I’ll snap a few pics soon. Everything is completely brown already around here. There were so many flowers that just withered so fast after our very dry March.

  • AlTahoe

    I saw 6 different spin out accidents on my way in to work. It is sketchy out on the roads right now https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bf290b0d0d250b6c4a59013a0d29204e8fb41ffe1cc6c4fcc50f19af6978208e.jpg

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      Clatrans made mention on their morning video of the “slickness” I believe he called it “butter ice.” He mentioned to use gears instead of breaks, in this day and age I don’t think a lot of people know they can shift their cars out of overdrive and use the gears/engine to slow the car down and hold the speed.

      • AlTahoe

        That’s why I got my Tacoma with a 6 speed manual transmission.

        • BRP (Ventura)

          Was the price for that manual tranny a bit lower then the automatic? Did you have to special order this model and wait a while to get it? Crazy to see pics of icy roads and snow laden trees in the middle of April. So stoked for the Sierra’s!

          • Cap’n

            Way lower priced. If I remember correctly it took 3-5K off the price of mine

          • AlTahoe

            Yeah I got the Trd Pro Offroad with 6 speed manual so it was only like 1k cheaper. It is the model that all of the off road enthusiast want because it is so rare. I can sell it for even more than the absurd resale priced of a normal Tacoma.

          • Cap’n

            Resale resale resale. I got the manual access can, high demand but becoming obsolete and hard to find. I had to search a lot, only found two in Carson City. Everything is 4 door now. Upgrading shocks this summer. Bit by bit…

    • Cap’n

      Completely snow packed over here so far. I’m in second gear behind a slow poke. Should slush up quick.

  • Tazmanian

    wow we are now at 55.29″ of rain for the season here vary good ch we will top out at 60.00″ this has been one of the most wettest season that i have ever re call since liveing here in sonora CA

  • Henry

    CDEC reports statewide snowpack at 169% of April 1 normal, the highest for this season thus far. It had reached 168% after the cold storm in early March, and the recent storms have more than replaced the (mostly lower elevation) snow that had melted in the last week of March and the first week of April. Average snowpack in the central Sierra has reached an astonishing 52″ or 181% of normal.

    This portends a big snowmelt in May with runoff probably peaking around Memorial Day. In 1998 we had a cool and wet May which kept snowpack well above the April 1 average through the end of the month and postponed the peak snow melt until mid June. But a wet May is a rarity in California, and weather in the Sierras has gotten somewhat warmer in recent years, thus I would not expect this year’s melt to be quite that late. Some flooding is a possibility, but snowmelt floods are usually prolonged minor flooding events, rather than January 1997 style massive floods. Even very warm spring weather typically melts snowpack at a fairly steady pace of 1-2 inches of water equivalent (or 2-4 inches of condensed snowpack) per day, which would take at least a month to melt the current snowpack. I’m not too concerned about major floods, with the exception of Oroville.

    • Chris

      Do they ever consider the actual temperature of the snow pack?
      In feb and march 2011, the heavy snow was accompanied by MUCH colder temps whereas this year the snow fell at much warmer temps.
      I would imagine a snow pack of 30 degrees would melt much faster than a snow pack at 20 degrees.
      Any thoughts on this from anyone???

      • gray whale

        Pretty sure the snowpack temp is pretty stable somewhere in the 20’s. When I grew grapes on the East Coast we used to say snowpack was great for the vines because it prevented the temperature around the base from dipping into the single digits, which can kill the vines.

        • Pfirman

          In Iran they lay the vines on the ground, cover them with straw, and let it snow.

      • Harpo (Chico)

        A lot of the cold in ice (or snow) is tied up in the ice crystals. One calorie of heat normally raises the temperature of one gram of ice or water by one degree C. but it takes almost 80 calories of heat to raise it that last little bit to get it from ice to liquid. That’s why ice cubes, even if they’re only a little below freezing, will keep your drink cold and won’t melt instantly when you put them in a warm glass of warm water. So it takes as much heat to raise a lump of ice from -80 degrees C to almost melting as it does to get it just a little warmer so it melts. There’s a similar phenomenon when going from liquid to vapor. They’re called ‘latent heat’ or ‘enthalpy’.

        So, yes, warm snow melts a little faster than cold snow but not nearly as much faster as you’d think.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enthalpy_of_fusion

        • Chris

          Thank you! Much appreciated Harpo?

        • Craig Matthews

          Seams to me that a snowpack that formed from colder storms, having less moisture content / less density and likely a weaker snowpack surface “skin”(formed by the diurnal melt-freeze process), would allow more warming springtime air to penetrate and infiltrate deeper into the snowpack, hence a greater(more rapid) melting process would occur with a snowpack that formed by colder storms. Whereas, a snowpack with a higher moisture content formed by warmer storms (Sierra Cement) with greater density and likely a stronger snowpack surface skin, would make it more difficult for warming springtime air to penetrate and infiltrate the snowpack, hence a slower melting process would occur during the spring and early summer months. But man that’s a good one, and I really don’t know for sure, and if what I am saying makes any sense??

    • Cap’n

      Great post, I love this type of information.

  • Tazmanian

    and it looks like we are skiping spring this season and when the rain dos end for the season it looks like we will go right in too summer

    we have not had some like that for a long time

    • Henry

      What makes this year exceptional is the heavy rains. A fairly quick transition to a more summer like pattern after it stops raining is not that unusual (though in the Bay Area the transition from a warm/dry pattern to a cool/wet pattern that typically occurs in November tends to be a faster one). In most of central and southern California, May is basically an early summer month with warm to hot weather inland, with a marine layer keeping temperatures cool near the coast, occasionally interspersed with short periods of offshore flow accompanied by hot weather.

      • Mike Stephenson (Riverside)

        “May grey!”

    • Mike Stephenson (Riverside)

      SoCal has been in spring since March. What a difference!

  • IRT the serif, It’s okay. I increased by browser to 125% to make it easier to read for my 60yo eye balls. I’m glad Disqus didn’t go to Times New Roman. Georgia font is easier to read. Also the animated gif in your recent update at the top is a little wonky unless you click on them to open full size. I don’t know if changing the font affected your animated gif.
    Thanks for keeping the comment section open and your insightful updates.

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      Wait! The old Arial font is back. Hurray!

      Much better, at least to my eyes. Serif fonts might work for the printed page, but on screen sans serif fonts are easier to read.