California hits precipitation record as spring warming commences

Filed in Uncategorized by on April 16, 2017 1,700 Comments

Record wet in Northern California; huge snowpack threatens floods

Record wet conditions occurred across wide swath of interior West this winter, including parts of NorCal. (WRCC)

It’s official: the Northern Sierra “8-Station Index”–comprised of 8 precipitation observation sites in the northern half of the Sierra Nevada watershed–has eclipsed 1982-1983 to become the wettest Water Year (Oct-Sep) period on record! Even more remarkable is that this record has been set so early in the calendar year–even though May-September is the dry season in California, some additional precipitation in this region is all but inevitable in the coming months, which will push this record total even higher. Statewide precipitation metrics are not far behind. Precipitation in 2016-2017 is closely paralleling 1982-1983, and stands a good chance at breaking the long-standing record later this year.

All of this beneficial, drought-busting water, though, hasn’t been evenly distributed throughout the state. While Southern California has been wetter than average this winter, precipitation accumulations have not been nearly as anomalous as in the northern portion of the state (the Los Angeles basin, for example, is hovering just slightly above average for the Water Year to date).

The state of California is closely tracking its wettest Water Year on record–with more precipitation in the forecast. (CNAP)

The record wet conditions, however, have not been confined to California–a band of record or near record wetness extends from the northern coast of the San Francisco Bay Area inland across the Northern Sierra and then further across the interior West (as far east as western Wyoming and Montana!). This band of exceptional seasonal precipitation is the product of a persistently active and somewhat southerly storm track this winter, which brought frequent atmospheric rivers to the coast.
California snowpack is also extremely impressive this spring, though (as has been previously noted) it has for the most part lagged total precipitation due to the relative warmth that has co-occurred with this record wet Water Year. The tremendous amount of accumulated water in the high Sierra snowpack is just what the doctor ordered with respect to drought relief, but may pose some problems in the coming weeks if it melts too quickly. Growing concerns over major snowmelt flooding have already triggered pre-emptive disaster declarations, especially east of the crest along the Highway 395 corridor and in far western Nevada. It remains to be seen just how much flooding may result from melting of this snowpack–and it will largely depend on just how warm temperatures get over the next few weeks.

Precipitation, snowfall, and reservoir storage in California all well above average–but snowpack greatly lags overall precipitation. (CNAP)

 

Yet more precipitation next 3-4 days, but then major drying/warming trend

Additional precipitation is expected across northern and central California this week. (tropicaltidbits.com)

A couple more modest spring systems are expected to bring additional precipitation to Northern and Central California over the next few days. The southern third of California will likely stay mostly dry, with some showers possible as far south as Los Angeles County. A few more thunderstorms could rumble across the Central Valley, and some additional accumulating snowfall is likely at the highest elevations of the Sierra Nevada. But by next weekend, there is multi-model ensemble agreement that conditions will dry out and warm up pretty rapidly as a strong ridge builds directly overhead. Temperatures could rise to 10-15+ degrees above mid-April averages by next week, which will likely accelerate snowmelt. It’s still to early to say whether there may be a subsequent pulse of snowmelt flooding downstream, but the upcoming warming trend certainly bears watching from that perspective.

Model ensembles have been strongly suggesting a spring heat wave is likely in the 5-10 day period. (tropicaltidbits.com)

 

 

El Niño may be back in the picture this year (yes, already)

The multi-model ensemble mean strongly suggests the development of El Nino conditions in the tropical Pacific by autumn. (CPC)

There are increasingly strong signs that El Niño may be making a comeback in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. With all the usual caveats (namely, that we’re still on the wrong side of the Spring Predictability Barrier), there is excellent multi-model agreement that a significant event may begin to unfold in the coming months. That would be pretty eyebrow-raising, since it has only been a year since the last big El Niño. It’s still far too early to discuss California implications, but if the current outlook holds then I would expect warm SSTs to begin having an influence as early as this coming summer. I’ll continue to follow developments in the tropical Pacific in coming blog posts. Stay tuned!

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  • MetaGhost (Berkeley)

    It’s raining 3s at Oracle.

    • PRCountyNative

      Some serious blocking near the rim is deflecting the energy coming from the Pac NW and affecting the east west flow.

  • Phil Johnson

    BC/SCz has 119″ and 1″ just fell. Giants are still on, but A’s were washed out.

  • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

    Great post once again, very informal and will be interesting to see how much precip the northern sierras will get from additional spring storms and monsoons and make the record precipitation year even larger! On the other hand I don’t know about that extended dry period. I wouldn’t be suprised if rain showed up in the models in the timeframe of the second half of the heat wave shown in the models.

  • Just now starting to sprinkle here in Carmichael, ca.

  • ctwilliams2012@yahoo.com

    Expect even more precip, higher temps,etc. explore the 3-6th standard deviations of “climate” parameters….strength/sinuosity of the polar/equatorial jets…everything is wandering all over…10o:80o temp ratios have fallen and arctic polar ice allowed a cruise hip (and others) thru the NW Passage…I think thing are consistent with the “Global Warming” hypothesis??

  • Chris

    Great post! What stands out to me is the predicted warm water extending southward along the South American coast.
    That was not predicted during last year’s El Niño nor did it happen.
    Even a moderate El Niño event can give us a wet winter with that “tongue” extending southward like that.
    Maybe a decaying hurricane can move across California in September.
    We are 25+ years overdue for a wet September.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      Parts of Socal had a wet September in 2015, thanks to a the remnants of an Eastern Pacific hurricane. I recorded over an inch of rain here in Orange from that storm. I don’t think that it brought rain very far north, and I don’t even know if Ventura and Santa Barbara counties even got any rain from this one or not.

  • Jason Jackson Willamette

    It’s going to be a rainy afternoon for a good part of the “Green” State!

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4f6afa0cbd34d648592d8a8da4dd1a7e60051a740677cf34f4f9241cee879582.jpg

  • inclinejj
  • Tyler Price (Monterey/Seaside)

    It’s a very showery morning and afternoon! With plenty of stratiform light to moderate rain Showers ????? Developing and moving in! Going to be a truly April-showers-type of few days.. 🙂 cheers!

  • Dan weather maniac

    Thank you Daniel for keeping this amazing blog going

    As far as El Niño, i note 2 major differences from last years major El Niño ( which was a bust), and this years record precip ( which no one forecasted), and I will be watching for signs this summer and fall.

    I note this purely from a Bay Area coastal range POV

    1) the leadup to the bust 2015-2016 El Niño indeed included some huge AR’s and a decent overall rain year…. but notably warm, much warmer than normal

    2) this years persistent and record setting rains and snows have been average to marginally above average temps. Basically a more “normal” temp regime with much pacific jet undercutting and zonal flow being in the goods but with rain snow lines not much off historical (past 40 years) norms.

    Now what will be the thing to really watch for b Ct year, if indeed we get a proper subtropical pineapple AR type El Niño in all its fury..,, will be torrential precip ( failed on 2015-2016) with very high snow levels and warm winter rains.

    This could be the real extreme weather that the climate change models estimate.

    I also find it interesting that some of the past very wet years came in sequences of 2 winters. If that’s the case again next year will be the major wet year.

    In terms of the longer term averages we are now 2 years wetter vs 3 years drier in the drought. If one doesn’t look at the year by year totals the would see the simple smoothing to the “average.” It clearly illustrates the boom bust weather of the state, along with the overall e

    • Chris

      My understanding and experience has been that El Niño’s are usually associated with average to slightly above average snow levels.
      None of the top 5 biggest Sierra Nevada river floods have occurred in strong El Niño years.
      They were mostly weak La Niña where the MJO is often most active.
      The great flood of Dec 1955 was a mod La Niña event and more recently the Jan 1997 floods occurred during a weak La Niña.
      Can anyone shed more light on this? Am I mistaken?

      • Shane Ritter

        Your not wrong. El Nino tends to ad extra moisture to storms and create a stronger southern Jet, which means big storms often. La nina pattern tends to bring ARs which cause flooding. Look at this winter. A Dozen AR events, and we had a weak La Nina. ARs cause the major floods.

  • AlTahoe

    Hiked up to the summit of monument peak 10040′ today at heavenly. It was really nice before the weather blew in https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/569566fd20aa2194bac4e66a150370789363787c6de533d407c20d5c61760a43.jpg

    • Dan weather maniac

      That is..,,,

      Spectacular!!

    • Thirstier Nick (Santa Maria)

      Heavenly indeed.

    • Cap’n

      Great shot. Got a few snow showers right before leaving at the top of Lincoln. Wind was howling.

  • inclinejj

    HIghway 50 was briefly closed due to a 6 foot deep,20 foot wide avalanche. All cleared up now.

  • Stefan Myslicki

    First wave of the storm held together over the Santa Cruz Mtns. and we have had an hour of light rain that is now around an 1/8 of an inch in East Los Gatos. Over performer already!!

    • Henry

      Here in the mountains a couple of miles from east Los Gatos we just passed the 40″ mark for the season, an extraordinary amount of rain for this location.

      Here we are on an afternoon in the second half of April, and it is 45F and raining. The storm itself has not been impressive at all, a typical April showers type of front where most of the heavier precipitation missed us and went to the north. Rain amounts have been light with the main frontal band moving through quickly, I think we received about an eighth of an inch in the past 2 hours, matching the NWS prediction of between a tenth and a quarter of an inch.

  • Thirstier Nick (Santa Maria)

    Still waiting for the first wave of moisture, which won’t arrive until the AM hours of Monday.

  • Cap’n
    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      Wearing a dark dress and pouring everyone in the room a white Russian!

      • Pfirman

        Dude!

    • Looking west from Lincoln?

      • Cap’n

        Si

  • Daniel , just curious you mention El Nino is back, How strong is the correlation between El Nino and wetter years in California given the complete bust of the last El Nino ? In other words how many El Ninos in the data set and could there be a false correlation ?

  • Henry

    I think the concerns about flooding due to snowmelt from a warm spell in April are overblown. It typically takes a few days of warm spring weather after a period of cold and snowy weather to start a rapid melt. The temperatures forecast for next weekend are not exceptionally hot, just typical warm spring weather with temperatures that would be close to the average in May.

    Snowmelt floods from big snow years do not typically happen in April, which is still very early in the melting process. A major heatwave in May, with temperatures of 95-100 degrees in the central valley and 80 degrees at Lake Tahoe, would accelerate the snowmelt much more and would be a flooding concern.

    My guess here is that Sierra snowpack will be about 150% of April 1 average at the end of April, and about 60% of April 1 average at the end of May. I think the highest flood risk in the Sierra drainages would be in the second half of May.

    • alanstorm

      I tend to agree. Things will be running way higher then seen in decades, maybe some record spring flows, but to get to flood stage on these watersheds, it takes quite a dramatic amount of Precip plus snowmelt all at once.
      Even if flood stages are reached, it doesn’t necessarily spell disaster.
      However, if a freakish, warm AR storm happens in May, that’s a different story!

      • Pfirman

        You guys! Tempting the gods. Shhhh.

  • inclinejj
  • Jeff

    Light but steady rain here in the North Bay since about 10 a.m., and I’m expecting the same as I drive up into Mendocino county this afternoon. Mendocino is awash in lupines, poppies and, out near the coast, the first rhododendron blooms.

  • Cap’n
    • inclinejj

      Water wings, a snorkel and a boogie board might be the quickest way down to the Bay Area.

      • Pfirman

        Wet suit if you want to arrive alive.

  • wstockwin

    At Downtown Farm in Colfax we had a season total of 95.1 inches of rain before the start of this latest storm a couple of hours ago. A “major drying/warming trend” will be very much appreciated.

  • matthew

    Regarding the coming warm weather – AWESOME! Bring it !!!

    Regarding another El Nino only two years after an SEN – we are truly F’d. One of the few times that I feel fortunate to be in my late-50’s.

    • Pfirman

      I guess I am more fortunate in that way, heh. But my youngest is 21, and like your daughter, she gets it, so fortunate is sadly relative.

  • ConcepcionImmaculadaPantalones

    *sobs somewhat dramatically* SoCal never gets enough rain! And no I can’t move somewhere else! 😛

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      If ya love to be in the rain, here’s something that will put you there until you click pause….

    • Chris Gilbert

      You guys just need to use less. Water usage goes up by 50% in the summer. Ditch the lawns.

      • ConcepcionImmaculadaPantalones

        Nobody in my HOA has a lawn. Never did have any either, just trees, shrubs and small plants around a system of lakes and streams. Which our grey water replenishes (the HOA property has the water-scaping as a closed system with underground water filtering/circulating/treatment setup). Our landscape plants are drought tolerant which is required for any new trees as well, though we have a fair number of mature trees around we’ve had to have certain species removed and replaced only with natives/drought tolerant.

        I suppose I could go yell at everyone with a lawn in nearby neighborhoods, but I doubt they’ll do anything other than tell me to ‘piss off or we’ll call the police you crazy lady!’ 😛

  • David

    Thanks, Daniel!

  • Daniel thanks for pointing out that despite all the hoopla and cork popping for Northern Sierra regarding precipitation WY 2017 lags 1983, 1998, 2006 and 2011 for Snow Water Content. https://cdec.water.ca.gov/index.html
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/906192aef71a5a359329ab251153bbf2cc68358460b4ab256d321c958fb0dd40.jpg

    • matthew

      OK, I am confused. A few days ago NWS Sacto had a tweet that said we had set the record for precip on the Northern Sierra. Your graph says differently. What gives?

      • Precipitation does not equal snow water content.

        • matthew

          I understand that. But “water from the sky” equals “precipitation”. Yes? No?

          Snowpack water content is a function of time, not an absolute value. Precipitation is what it is. What am I missing?

          • Henry

            Precipitation includes both snow and rain. Snowpack is the amount of precipitation that fell as snow, minus the snow that has melted due to rain or warm weather. Warm storms with very high snow levels produce precipitation but do not produce snowpack except at very high elevations. This winter produced more total precipitation in the northern Sierra than 1983, but less snowpack because the snow levels were higher.

          • Pfirman

            Water in what form? Sticking point?

    • Shane Ritter

      Not according to the Cdec website. This years water content is better than 2011 and 2006, although the North had more water content, the current Central is far greater, and the South is very similar. But the statewide is 5-10% larger now. Couple that with very saturated soil, and that water content is all runoff this year.

    • CHeden

      Considering that the Sierra has gorged on and disgorged a huge amount of water already on several occasions this year, that there is near-record water in the snowpack in April is amazing. One must remember that a colder Winter with minimal mid-winter melts will retain snowpacks into April better than a warmer/AR-fed Winter like 2016-17 has been….but then again, the reservoirs wouldn’t have filled, either.

      • inclinejj

        2005 in Tahoe, there were some good storms in May. The last storm was the first week of June. June was more like March, cool with a near constant gloom. Even in the lower elevations around the lake snow stuck around in shady spots. It didn’t warm up until 4th of July Weekend.

      • Thanks I thought my post was relevant to this and Daniel’s update above. Maybe not so.

    • Pfirman

      This year is big for Eastern Yolo, Woodland to be exact, and still a long fetch to the 82 total. We are somewhere around 34 inches this year, but a long, long way from the 47 or that winter.
      I was here then and kind of remember white water in the Yolo Bypass.

      • Yolo Hoe

        Wow, Yolo had 47″? I am humbled as I thought this year was a big year with 35 ish.

  • Mike Stephenson (Riverside)

    Pray for SoCal

  • alanstorm

    Active jetstream map & satalite show the continued onshore flow with 2 storms chugging along with cold air.
    http://www.goes.noaa.gov/dml/west/nhem/weus/rb.html
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dd871a2bb5d2bfbeea0d93705409a94deee19297327556fe92ae6b369f781838.jpg

    • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

      High 60s in the Bay Area is cold air?

      • alanstorm

        “…..on Tues as a cooler & unstable airmass moves over the region…”
        -NWS discussion today.
        It’s friggin COLD here for mid April, with a low of 39° forecast for Wed. Cold air. BRRRR

  • Tazmanian

    SAC NWS was forecasting .10 to .25 rain fall today so far we have seen .39″ so the storm has over perform here all so getting breezey winds right now

  • Thunderstorm

    .15 here SF bay area by Fremont. This means 8 x .15 inches equals the amount that Rag Dump has gotten so far. I guess 1.20 inches?

    • Pfirman

      Let sleeping dogs lie. I mean lay. Oh, wait.

      • Howard Goodman

        The automated sites don’t lie !

        • Admode (Susanville)

          Haters ‘gone hate.

    • Howard Goodman

      Right at 1 1/2 inches since yesterday , four Trees 1.8 inches , Stirling City 1.54 inches

    • Howard Goodman

      Use to live in Fremont & Newark last big rain I remember there was when 880 turned into a lake

  • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

    0.25 in San Jose. I was not expecting so much.

    • Pfirman

      You ain’t alone. You forgot to mention ‘not expecting so cold’.

      • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

        Very true. These storms are out of the west it seems, so surprised so much cold air.

  • AlTahoe

    Absolutely pissing here the last 2 hours. I would guess that we are easily over an inch of rain so far

  • Thor

    I dont know about totals as my gauge was de-activated unintentionally by the wife but this storm has to have over-performed as it has basically been raining since 10am here in Marin…with a few periods of moderate rain. No forecast I saw suggested an all day drizzle fest. Down right cold and raw for an Easter day at 50f degrees. Last year we had brunch outdoors…this year easter baskets by the fire.

  • Rainmaker (San Jose)

    looks like this heatwave is being isolated to only the southern 1/3 of the State. San Jose still predicting to be around 73-78 while areas around Los Angeles will be in the lower 90’s, upper 80’s.

    • Pfirman

      Ah, glad you pointed this out. OFL is now in LA. He would be warmly dressed if still at Stanford at the moment.

  • Flyin_Pig

    Surprisingly robust system today. Was only expecting about a tenth of an inch but am at .44 already and it is still raining at a pretty good clip.

    April total now 1.64, season total 28.53. This is the most rain here since the 82-83 season.

    I’m in the lower Sierra foothills between Oakdale and Jamestown.

  • DelMarSD

    Still at 18.8 inches for the season here. Hopefully we get some spring showers soon. I’d love to get another inch, but that’s probably unlikely.

  • jstrahl

    Thanks again, Daniel, for another excellent, easy-to-read, highly informative update. Yeah for records!!!

    .20 inches in central Berkeley today, came pretty much between 12:30 and 3:30, though it’s been spray/very light rain over the last hour. April total is now 3.02 inches, season total 39.80 inches.

    • Nate

      40″ or bust!

  • Thunderstorm

    Interesting to see lightning in the Sierra foot hills this evening.

    • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

      Where?

  • Cap’n

    I didn’t even know it was supposed to rain tonight, I’m already in drought mode for next winter. I’ve got .6″ in the gauge and it’s coming down good.

  • alanstorm

    SLO, Santa Barbara & Ventura Counties- I like your chances for precip by Wed
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9b144c29cd7a77730a36fdcfd4acbb46de82846d86d10e1b7cadb478bc4a11a9.png

  • Arnold Weather Fanatic

    Rain continues–about 1/2″ yesterday–and the snowthrower-now-out-working or SNOW) ratio continues to be below previous wet years, inversely proportional to the precipitation/snow ratio.

  • thebigweasel

    NWS has jacked SB’s POP to 80, with Ventura nearly the same. Meanwhile, McCloud is now at 110″ for the year, an all-time record. There’s moss growing on the cats…

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

      I love cold cut off low season. If the cold pool sits right over Tahoe we get snow to lake level all the way until late May. If it just misses us we gets lots of cold rain and thunderstorms.

      • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

        Do you prefer late-season snow or spring thunderstorms?

        • AlTahoe

          In the snow drought years I prefer snow. Now that ours is totally melted out I would prefer thunder storms.

    • janky

      Totally gone from the GFS now

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

      Ha! I sent him that picture. That’s me third from the left standing next to my mom in white.

      • Why is the family picture historic? Was it generations ago? Is your family in a time warp? What’s the future like? LOL

        • Chris

          Smarty-Assy ?

      • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

        That is cool. He referenced a Morgan Hill guy. Do you go to Mount Rose often? Curious if you’ve ever seen so much snow there.

        • matthew

          I was over Rose a few weeks ago and have never seen more snow. I have been hiking it regularly for over 20 years and this will be one of those years that you will need snowshoes in sections until late July.

        • Chris

          Fairly often. We have a condo at Incline Village.
          NEVER seen so much snow though 2011 was close.
          Within that snow wall is a public restroom.
          Hope no one got stranded in there while taking a bathroom break!!!?

  • Idaho Native

    4/10″ yesterday and then another .25″ since midnight here in southern Marin. It feels like the dead of winter with low visibility, low 50s and continuous rain. Nothing on the radar but I suspect the southwesterly flow is picking up just enough orographics to keep things going. 700AM and still coming down lightly!

    • Dan weather maniac

      Same in orinda east bay elev 600ft. Nothing on radar but light spittle drizzle all night and still going this morning with fog and somewhat low visibility. My local station is half an inch from 50 on the season, and Tilden peak is now at about 64inches.

      • Idaho Native

        That’s incredible. I bet the east bay hills are just gorgeous right now.

        • shampeon

          They are spectacular. One of the prettiest springs I’ve seen in a while.

        • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

          I can see how beautiful they are across the bay

  • CHeden

    Less than a tenth for the North Valley over the last 48hrs. Looking forward to possible convective activity tomorrow, but air aloft will not be super cold, so most activity will be from afternoon surface heating. Satellite and models suggest a weak wave working in during the afternoon, which may help stir things up a bit as well. As usual, this is the time of year when localized circulation centers can change things in a hurry, so eyes to the skies will be the rule for the next 48hrs or so.

    • inclinejj

      CH, I knew you would know my Dad. He was John the Barber in Skycrest for 40+ years.

      • matthew

        Did you go to Cal Poly by any chance?

        • inclinejj

          Me? No I went to UNR. University of Nevada Reno

          • matthew

            Had a roommate at Cal Poly whose first two initials are JJ and whose father was a barber. He also lives in Pacifica. Long shot but thought I would throw it out there.

      • CHeden

        Yup. Knew him well. I always asked for the whipped cream treatment around the ears and neck. At least that’s what I used to call it.

  • Cap’n

    1.1″ in the gauge, grey sky with drizzle, windy; I love fall.

    • Shane Ritter

      I’m so excited winter is just a few weeks away! Maybe we will have a big one that never seems to end!

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      You’re way ahead of me, showing .2″ since midnight in Truckee which ironically is the same in my gauge here in the East Bay. Love this light drizzle, so great for the plants the lawns here are just eating up all this moisture and so green this spring.

      • Cap’n

        I’m wondering if you’re gauge is off? It poured pretty good last night at times. Although your spot is still probably a couple miles east of me so who knows. It was raining good in town too in the afternoon. Looks like snow levels never really came down below 8-9 K.

        • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

          It clears the data at midnight, so if it rained heavier earlier in the night I won’t see it (wish it could save the data for 48 hours but it doesn’t remotely)

          • Cap’n

            Ah that could be it. The rain started in earnest late afternoon. You definitely got more. Have you read the Andy Wirth article and his latest proposition?

          • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

            I have not seen that, did see that Squaw/Alpine will now be part of the group with Mammoth…not sure how good that will be. I hate losing all the local influence at the resorts.

      • matthew

        As Cap’n says below, it dumped before midnight. Even out here in the desert known as Glenshire. So I would guess that you got substantially more than .2″.

  • Gregory Bates

    Can someone tell me the main reason that Myrtle Beach, South Carolina gets 48 inches of rain a year and Long Beach gets only 12 ? Same distance from the equator (Hadley cells ).

    • weathergeek100

      COMPLETELY different climate zones. The number one reason for precip differences- weather systems have access to warm water from the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico that aid cold fronts and summer precip. Number one reason for more temp extremes in Myrtle Beach- being on the east coast of a continent. Cold air generally comes from the northwest, with no modifying influence of an ocean along its trajectory (hence the hot, humid summers and colder winters where snow is possible).

      • weathergeek100

        It’s also very interesting you point this out, because it goes to show how unique CA’s climate is compared to other places at the same latitude. The pacific is colder than most other regions in the world at CA’s relatively southern latitude (due to the cold CA current and upwelling) and this truly affects our climate. This is what first attracted me to be so interested in meteorology- how unique we are here. South Carolina’s temperate continental climate, on the other hand, is more common and ‘normal’.

    • Circulation of the cell creates drier conditions on western side of continents and wetter on eastern side of continents. Look where the deserts are in North America and South America and Africa.

      • weathergeek100

        Ah, this too. Yes it is important to know that. And this influences our cold vs warm ocean currents.

      • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

        Thanks for noting. I have never heard of this but it makes total sense.

      • Tuolumne

        Depends on the latitude. In the temperate zone, yes. Close to the equator it’s more variable – compare equatorial South America and equatorial Africa – they’re nearly opposite in terms of east-west precip trends.

    • Wolfpack

      Like weather geek said. Warmer water temps and more water vapor leading to much higher dewpoints and humidity, add in ground temps in the low 90s and a trigger such as sea breezes, cold fronts, old outflow boundaries from thunderstorms you get your lift. The cool pacific water influences the weather by stabilizing the atmosphere.

      • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

        Is it east Pacific temps in general, or mainly the humboldt current.
        If the latter comma has any research been done into weather Pacific currents are affected by climate change and ice melt as it is in the Atlantic? Or we could reverse it and look back in time 4 periods were maybe the ocean was warmer and resulted in weather a bit closer to the East Coast?

      • max

        Gulf of Mexico and easterly, north/ Easterly flow, along with the Gulf Stream interface helps, too

    • Mike Stephenson

      Man they get a lot of summer rain lol https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myrtle_Beach,_South_Carolina

  • weathergeek100

    I LOVE Howard’s analysis’ on all of our weather systems and climate in general. He mentions it important to watch for El Nino next year, but be cautious…(not too different from Daniel’s analysis in this post!).

    In writing this Mondays Weather Letter, I cannot help to think back to the beginning of fall in October, when the first storms hit the Eastern Sierra. I find it so fascinating that the drivers of the great winter of 2016-17 are still ongoing now since last fall. “Except of the change of ENSO”. I still see the same Teleconnections driving the storm track into California today. The same ones that brought us the big sierra storms of yesterday. I know that if it were January or February now, today, instead of April, we would be getting hammered by the same pattern that has been with us all Winter and most of the Fall.

    I am beginning to think about next winter. In doing so I will focus more on ENSO. The EL Nino Southern Oscillation. Many ocean climate scientists will be extra cautious this year in forecasting a significant EL Nino because of the bust of the winter of 2015/16. Nevertheless, weather dweebs like myself are watching important changes in the sea surface temperatures, now affecting the Indian Ocean off the coast of Western Australia. Very cold water has formed in that region along its west coast. Cold water is denser than warm water and the winds will flow east toward the warm waters of eastern Australia. I will be watching to see if this colder than normal water works its way south then surrounds that country to the north along its east side. Westerly wind bursts may develop from the Indian Ocean , associated with the MJO this Spring and Summer along the equator, sending Air Sea coupled Kelvin Waves eastward toward the central eastern pacific. This subsurface anomalous warmth is what El Niño’s are made of. I’ll be focusing on this later this spring and summer, sharing with those that are interested via my Dr. Howard and the Dweebs report.

    The forecast this week shows, a pattern early in the week with the upper jet mainly to our north. So today Monday should be another nice weather day. Winds will pick up Tuesday as a small system comes through, bringing the chance of some showers. On Wednesday, winds will pick up as well as increasing high clouds. Both the subtropical jet and polar jets do become confluent west of Santa Barbara well off shore. This is a different set up compared to many past storms as the bottom of a large scale trough that is confluent with this upper jet moves into Central California. The front left exit region will favor Northern CA and Oregon while its right rear entry region is focused upon the Central Sierra. Without a lot of subtropical moisture, this set up is not good for a big snow storm moving into the sierra Wednesday night and continuing into Thursday. This looks to be a light storm, not associated with a Atmospheric River. Thus snowfall amounts will be much less than the storm that brought up to 5 feet along the sierra crest last week. It appears that amounts will be in the 2 to 8 inch range at this time.

    One point worth noting, the long wave trough will remain over or near California over the weekend and into the following week. So expect unsettled weather and at least light snowfall on and off through the upcoming weekend.

    With the block remaining over Alaska and the Bering Sea, the upper jet is likely to remain suppressed at times into California. So more storms are likely this month….

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      he posted a bit more of an update on Opensnow last night-
      http://opensnow.com/dailysnow/mammoth

      He still expects more storms
      “As a note, the Dweebs feel there will be a few storms in May and possibly June as well. We have yet to see the Cut-Off lows over the Great Basin develop this season. They will show up eventually!”

      • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

        I’m actually so excited for storms in May and June, who else!

        • If a pow day is possible in may, mammoth might be the way!

          • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

            They are for sure staying open to July 4th and the possibility of all summer, same with Squaw but no all summer

        • matthew

          Afternoon T-storms, sure. AR’s or cold fronts? No thanks.

    • AlTahoe

      He was the only forecaster that I read early in the season, that predicted non stop AR’s all winter. He based it solely off of the pattern he saw back in October. Very impressive.

      • weathergeek100

        He also predicted the ‘possibility’ of a wetter than normal winter in SoCal- which came to fruiton (despite the spigot completely shutting off this spring down there)!

  • jstrahl

    Drip, drip, drip….. can add up. .21 inches yesterday, 4/16/17, and .14 inches since midnight, still dripping in central Berkeley. month total is 3.17 inches so far, season is 39.95 inches.

  • Beel
    • cthenn

      Damn nature, you crazy!

    • matthew

      Mother Nature has always had an artistic streak.

    • Wolfpack

      Crashing waves

    • Sfedblog

      Vincent would be proud.

    • PRCountyNative

      Surf’s up!

    • Neighborhood Nursery

      Thanks for sharing the great picture Beel.
      Would it be OK for me to post it on my website sometime in the future? Non commercial use.

      • Beel

        by all means.
        photo credit: Kelly Kantner

    • MetaGhost (Berkeley)

      Looks a bit like Burmese writing. This could be an important message from the Big Buddha.

    • Craig Matthews

      That is an outstanding example there, nice shot. Those are very unique and don’t see em that often, especially like that. That’s the kind you see in a met book

    • srfrgrl1

      Surf clouds 😉

  • T’storm98 (Orcutt, CA)
    • T’storm98 (Orcutt, CA)

      I haven’t posted here in a while. I glad I’m back! 🙂

      • happ [Los Angeles]

        Glad to see that rainfall is continuing at least in Santa Barbara/ SLO counties; maybe a stray shower even down in LA!

  • mattzweck
  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    Looks like 101 in Humbolt is closed for the next few days.
    https://twitter.com/CaltransDist1/status/854026194467115012

  • TheNothing

    We are witnessing history in the making with this rainy season with records already being broken up here in the north. I know there are those who want the heat, and it will come soon enough trust me, but I for one want to see this 2016-2017 season go out with a bang and be remembered for years to come.

    • Tyler Price (Monterey/Seaside)

      This has certainly been an awesome
      April so far! I would love to get another storm in for April end month, I’ve got a feeling May will come with some surprises too.

    • Cap’n

      I would bet money we’ve got several more inches coming thru June.

      • TheNothing

        What surprised me most is that this season was slated to be below average in terms of rainfall according to some experts… cough cough.

  • Shane Ritter

    Very below average Temps starting after our 4 day “heat wave”. Temps here in Reno aren’t even going to get much above 70 next week 🙁 https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/53dd345413dad6bdca5c5e7eded04bc45370d41af65afad623b15c3505c9697e.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9b36421b2ed6c3b43fec6cc5b16a4423059251a7d51d0788ccd72a8429ba09d5.png

    • Thirstier Nick (Santa Maria)

      Might see echoes of 2006 with a pattern like this.

  • Bobby M ( San Carlos/Tahoe)

    Wow it’s humid and warm here back in the penninsula after a weekend in Tahoe! 65 degrees out and cloudy with a dew point of 56 equating to 74% humidity. I have a feeling some interesting weathers gonna happen in the Bay later today and tomorrow.

    • matthew

      I am in the Bay Area a few times a year. Every time I go down I always say “wow, it is humid”. And I lived there most of my life.

  • Forsyth Shizzle

    “Pouring It On” — a positive article on the potential of recharging the San Joaquin Valley aquifer with flood water from today’s LA Times:
    http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_popover_share.aspx?guid=32a17996-4561-49d4-99cb-e8d004dd1817

    • ben

      Im glad some farmers are taking the lead. Recharge is the only way towards sustainability in groundwater use. Its daft to over draft.

    • Tuolumne

      Great idea in principle, but it’s only going to work with porous soils and relatively shallow aquifers.

      Much of the San Joaquin Valley, and even parts of the Sacramento Valley, have surface soils that are not very permeable. Large portions of the lowest-lying (read: easiest to flood) parts of the Sacramento Valley are rice fields, which by definition have soils that are resistant to percolation.

      Meanwhile, many desperate farmers in the San Joaquin Valley have been exploiting very deep aquifers that won’t recharge in any reasonable period, if ever.

      Plus there’s the problem that widespread recharge can be done in a very wet year when there’s extra water, but normally it could only be done wholesale by taking more water out of the Delta ecosystem which is already badly stressed, or by tapping the protected north coast rivers plus increasing Delta pumping to move the water south.

      Bottom line: every little bit helps, but to move extensive recharge from a boutique operation to a major player is not going to be cheap, easy, or without serious negative side effects. In the end the problems will be finessed enough to implement as much recharge as can be done without stepping on too many toes, which may not be anywhere near as much as one might hope for.

      • PRCountyNative

        Sigh. Thank you for the realism. Kind of depressing. Seems like mostly a one-way street unfortunately.

        Millions of prairie dogs, tens of thousands of sharp-hooved grazers, and time would do it. In a rush add 100,000 beavers that would help, and time.

        • Tuolumne

          Prairie dogs aren’t found in California outside of zoos, but we certainly have plenty of ground squirrels. We used to have many hundreds of thousands of elk, deer, and pronghorn in the Central Valley. If we still did then we wouldn’t have the groundwater overdraft… but we wouldn’t have all that food either.

          • PRCountyNative

            Thank you for the clarification.

            The tunneling animal element, along with the tunnel collapsing animal element (looks like food to me!) are key to natural recharge.

            Humans are really good at the opposite.

    • Neighborhood Nursery

      This is a great article and covers the cons as well as the pros.

      Quote from the article.
      “We’ve proven in 2011 that it does work,” he said, adding that monitoring showed that 70% of the water applied to the fields made its way past the root zone into the aquifer.

      The article also speaks to soil types.
      They are focusing on certain soil zones.“We’re designing this to make a difference in the area here,” “In some areas, the soil is too heavy for water to percolate into the aquifer.”

  • alanstorm
    • It’s really quite hard to discern California heat waves via surface pressure maps. Nearly always more informative to look at what’s going on in the middle atmosphere (i.e. 500mb GPH). https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/16c712766278a494d9981838cf958bb378ca014df4344e818f100d4deee06b0c.png

      • alanstorm

        Thanks. i.e. heat rises, ala “dome”

      • Shane Ritter

        It won’t last long tho. Euro ends it on the 25th, GFS ends other on the 28th. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/85f949b525c318f7092c6e71e21413460a9dbbaab5d90ca4692974e8d3a2c31c.png
        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d9e4bc51ef0d22f38995ea813293e85cd684c6983b0ac8168e245ebd1748dec9.png It feels like it keeps growing shorter and not as intense as originally forecast. Seems like 5 days of 5-10* above normal Temps. Here in Western Nevada it’s gonna be low 70s. I’m ready for summer. I want 75-85* for several weeks! Lol. Not 5 days!

        • matthew

          Something tells me you will get your heat this summer. Just not necessarily in April.

          • Shane Ritter

            I love spring, when it’s 70-80*. But unfortunately, most years here in Reno, we go straight from 55-65* with wind and rain, to 85-100* and broiling sun. This year will likely be the same. Mid may it’ll switch to 90* and never look back. In SOCAL you guys get alot of 70s after January, but not in Reno.

          • matthew

            BTW – I am in Truckee.

          • Charlie B

            Shane, I had a son who was a really avid athlete from his young years through college. I can remember April-May baseball games and track meets where it was snowing, and others where it was in the 90’s. Wind in spring, though, is an everlasting constant.

          • inclinejj

            That’s the reason why I went to Reno for school. In Pacifica we had rainy season,fog season and 5-10 days over 80. I wanted to live where you had 4 different seasons.

        • Ensemble forecasts don’t have any remarkable or extended cool down. Exception may be at elevation and far northern CA. No freezer or gas burner in sight, yet.

        • Cap’n

          Reno AFD already downgrading and downsizing any type of “heat wave”.

          • inclinejj

            Reno “heat wave”= serious and severe flooding.

        • Craig Matthews

          That pattern looks more typical for mid Spring to me, where troughing is located over the Great Basin and Rockies with High pressure offshore of the West coast that brings a cool nw flow down the coast and perhaps a few showers over the mountains. This would also give a big boost to the tornado season in the plains and Midwest.

  • Thirstier Nick (Santa Maria)

    Got .14″ in Santa Maria. Second storm coming tonight/tomorrow morning.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      You almost got as much rain with this one storm as I have had since March 1 here in Orange! It has been absolutely bone dry south of Pt. Conception since the very end of February!

  • Tazmanian

    am up too .67″ of rain today not sure if this a new storm or not but it is over performing so far here looks like it will be a wet night has well

    we ended sunday with .52″ of rain

    • Patrick from Stockton

      Yeah we got about .5 inch out of yesterday too. Was pretty good for Stockton. Nothing today so far but it looks like it’s coming

  • Cap’n

    And… it’s raining again. I need some heroin or horse tranquilizers.

    • inclinejj

      Raining here also. Pacifica.

    • inclinejj

      Looks like the A’s will get rained out again today!

      • Cap’n

        Man I’m out of the baseball loop. I did check the Angels site a week or so ago and they were 6-2, next time I checked they were 6-6. Sounds about right. With Fat Soth behind the wheel that team will stay stale. Give a ziti loving foodie a ten year contract (unheard of in sports) and this is what you get.

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      Stick with wine and weed. One will make you say – Why not? The other will have you asking the big question – WHY?

      : ^ ~|

  • Thirstier Nick (Santa Maria)

    The mosquitoes are biting out there.

  • tomocean

    After living in the desert for a week, I feel like I’m now in some kind of Pacific Northwest Psychedelic acid trip with all of the lush vegetation, rain, and fog.
    Note: Photo was edited for psychedelic effect. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/61ab92efc167f2707238577d99778fdc7e898de3a95c46424b66cac1760a9bd7.jpg

    • TheNothing

      I always enjoy this section of the hike. Maybe I’ll get up there tomorrow and drink in the lush tropical vibe before the summer heat kicks in to full gear.

      • tomocean

        You should. The grass is getting long, the poison oak is hanging over the trails, there is lots of mud, but the wildflowers are in bloom, the streams are flowing, and the river looks grand.

        • TheNothing

          The poison oak is plentiful I’d imagine, Think I’ll help out the CCC and bring along a pair of hedge trimmers.

  • Howard Goodman

    Been raining steady since yesterday at around noon got 2.25 inches , then I’ve also been doing the bucket test , I haven’t dumped the bucket or my rain gauge since the last storm so the Rain gauge had exactly 6 inches and the bucket (I leveled it with a level ) had 6 7/16 inches so the difference is not 4 to 1 like someone else said and I have a Stratos rain gauge that’s pretty accurate

    • I don’t think anyone doubts you are the precip king here. You must have a very cylindrical bucket.

      • Howard Goodman

        It’s 10 inches at the bottom and almost 11 at the top

    • Dan weather maniac

      Orange Homer bucket? That’s the standard? So the range is x bucket amount) times 75% to 90% or so, sound about right?

      • Bombillo1

        I would think, to eliminate conversion/compensation issues, a 16″or 20″ section of 12″ diameter low head PVC pipe, with a cap on the bottom, would be the proper set up. Paint the whole thing red so you don’t run over it in the winter!

    • Someone else

      I said no such thing.
      blame the Xerophobe

  • Chris

    It’s raining pretty good in this “green” right now. .2/hr
    That yellow and orange is directly upwind from me.
    So much for 30% chance of rain tonight with amounts under .25″.
    NOT complaining!!!!?? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d314007128b5ea1bfdae6945d4a46b02b76bc799a42ae877cae1bc9b51e82d83.png

    • Craig Matthews

      Moderate rain just began in Carmel Valley .

      • TheNothing

        Carmel always reminds me of Rabata grill & sake bar. Good times…

        • inclinejj

          When I hear Carmel, I always think of the Cantina.

  • Craig Matthews

    Whoa, what a season!! Thanks for the update Daniel. I’m finally going back home to my place in Big Sur next week, as work has slowed down enough to permit me to do so. Its still going to be quite a job getting to and from home, especially with the bridge situation, but will be nice to just be at home again, even with the challenges it will take. Over 80″ of rain has fallen at my place in Big Sur since October, and a near 40″ where I’ve been staying in a tuck-a-way spot of Carmel Valley. Anderson Peak about a mile as the crow flies from my place in Big Sur, just passed the 100″ mark for the season last night according to the RAWS report. And a place down near Mining Ridge, which is above Lucia, was at 109″ of its last report, before going offline a week ago. It is amazing what these mountains do with incoming storms off the Pacific, especially this season.

    • I’m certain you will have some hesitation opening your refrigerator unless your neighbors were neighborly.

      • Craig Matthews

        Lol 😉 Fortunately that got taken care of by my neighborly neighbors. I’m most worried about the mold and mildew situation in and around the basement. That smell tends to seep up through the sub-floor in the back of my house. Happens only in very wet winters like this one. Put in a moisture barrier in 2015. Will soon find out if it works.

    • max

      Friend has been running helicopters out of Watsonville , supplying homes and resorts ( Post ranch, etc). Good luck and keep us posted..

  • mbmattcor (TD 6400′)
    • Charlie B

      Where in Reno?

      • mbmattcor (TD 6400′)

        Near REI

        • inclinejj

          The REI by Harvard Avenue Costco?

          • Bombillo1

            Of course. They just got a shipment of overpriced rain gear.

  • matthew

    @jstrahl – you out there? I have a Berkeley housing question for you…

    • MetaGhost (Berkeley)

      What is it?

      • matthew

        See above. All feedback appreciated. It is for my daughter.

    • jstrahl

      I’m here, what’s up? Neighborhoods question again?

      • matthew

        Blake Street, between Shattuck and Telegraph.Any feedback?As a reminder, single, 24 year old, female grad student.

        • jstrahl

          That’s the heart of Southside, so named because it’s immediately to the south of campus. Student land and unfortunately the students tend to bring in petty criminals. I think it would be good if she could find another location, IMHO. In fact, being away from the student ghetto tends to lessen the number of petty criminals drawn there. For example, Blake St west of Shattuck, i.e. towards the Bay, is probably a better bet. Berkeley PD stats can be had via the department’s website, i believe, or via the web, in terms of districts.

        • Nathan

          I used to live at Ellsworth and Blake about 10 years ago when I went to Cal.

          Kind of scuzzy, but livable if you’re a cautious person (ie no walking around alone late at night), lock car doors and apartment doors, and love parking tickets. Sweet, sweet parking tickets.

      • max

        Daughter did 4 years at Berkeley, majored in MCB,with a second in Public Health, and was the Public Relations Director for the Cal Marching Band.. We spent a lot of time up there. She lived in 3 different locations, Dwight, across from Peoples Park being one of them. Correct me if I am wrong, but it does not make a difference in where you live, but it does if you do not have a sense of your surroundings and an awareness of your abilities to be in the now, and not get caught up in stupid behavior, knowing your self, and of those around you. Heads up, where ever you are. She is now in SF,, all Chinese Area, and as safe as she ever was, as she stays aware of her surroundings. Don’t smother her. She will be just fine
        99% of the world is kind, helpful, and gentle. Trust her, and she will teach you. My take only..

        • jstrahl

          Basically, word!! Paying attention always helps, in all sorts of situations, be it coming/going around home as well as weather. 🙂

          • max

            J. As an East Bay resident, you are very aware of the actions necessary to operate efficiently in that area, and offer good advice regarding his situation. Since the Campus is so strung out, 10-15 minute walks between are not uncommon, and sometime even longer getting back to your housing. Many times, if in the Sciences and doing late Labs, you will be doing these walks in the dark, and often in the dark and rain. Being at Top Dog is one thing, Strawberry Canyon path, another. My daughter was told from the very beginning to carry Pepper Spray, and did, never having to use it, or ever coming close to needing it.

          • jstrahl

            Max, very well-said!

  • inclinejj
    • The Bud Meister

      Very bad to leave the door open at night while you sleep. You could be allowing rats, mice, raccoons, mountain lions and humans in!

  • jstrahl

    Burst of rain over the last 20 minutes, rainfall today is .22 inches, meaning the season’s total is now…… 40.03 inches!!! We’ve exceeded the 40 inch mark!!! If you have a 10% adjustment to make this equivalent to pre 1990 measures, we’re now in the territory of 1981-2 and 1982-3.

    • lodule16

      I’ve been waiting on your pronouncement! When you checked in with 39.95″, I started muttering to myself…

      Another couple of inches and we match an average precipitation winter for Portland OR. It seems like we’ve reached an atmospheric and terrestrial saturation point here where it can’t seem to help precipitating. We’ve have at least a 1/2-inch of drizzle this month, and it continues again tonight.

  • Axel Vasa

    Why can’t writers spell?!

    • Bombillo1

      What is he supposed to do, hire proof readers? Error has been corrected BTW. Anything to contribute about the content? I thought not.

  • I like WeatherWest
    A lot of good stuff is here
    Chemtrails are not real.

    • cthenn

      Science is hard for some people. Seems it’s too hard for about half the country and really really too hard for a certain someone wielding a lot of power.

  • Fairweathercactus

    It is that time of year where we sit and wait to see what the monsoon does for So Cal. It is done here. What a disappointing Spring.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      It has really surprised me how dry it has been here in Socal since March 1. I really thought we were going to have a more active spring, considering how active the winter was.

      What has prevented us from getting rains down here despite a hyperactive pattern in northern CA? Is it the Baja high, the flow being too zonal, or is it something else?

      • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

        I was wondering the same after a prolific Dec/Jan/Feb. The only theory I can come up with is the active jet stream shifted from a W/SW flow to a more S/SW flow shifting everything toward NorCal. Also, the troughs and strong low centers shifted further west and north from SoCal and seems to be set in that pattern today. Surprisingly, the Baja High has been weak and was not the main culprit for our spring drought.

        • Dan the Weatherman

          The lows shifting west and north might be indicative of a high in the Great Basin or Rockies region blocking storms reaching Socal from the west.

          • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

            Definitely. If you look at the satellite loops the storm systems moving into central and northern Cali are moving up and over SoCal into the Texas and the mid-West.

          • Dan the Weatherman

            I looked back at the information I saw about Denver’s dry and warm spell and it occurred from sometime in late January to late March.

      • happ [Los Angeles]

        I have been puzzled about this pattern also. It seems the dry/ warmer than normal anomalies are along a SW line from SoCal into Utah/ Colorado for months now.

    • Mike Stephenson

      Going to be a long 2 month wait for you lol

  • tomocean

    Wondering if the cool/wet Spring in Northern California could exacerbate flooding concerns when the spring melt finally does arrive. Especially if we go directly from a cool spring to summer heat. There is still a LOT of snow up there.

    • Yep. Good news is short-lived if the mentioned April heat wave peters out, since there’s just that much more snow that will melt that more quickly once we get closer to summer.

      • tomocean

        Thank you for the reply. I was surprised at how much water was already evident in many areas of the Eastern Sierra Nevada. Places I’ve never seen water collecting were ponds and lakes. Aside from the Oroville dam, the big concern would seem to be the levees in the Central Valley. Could be a very interesting May and June.

  • Patrick from Stockton

    It’s raining here although very lightly. Nothing like what the radar returns are showing. This system does not have the dynamics of the one yesterday.

    • jstrahl

      Likewise. We’ve had several large yellow echo areas go through, but no torrential rain.

  • alanstorm

    How’s it looking for San Jose the next 2 days?
    I have a tree sculpting job booked.
    Forecast says scattered isolated thunderstorms tomorrow then clear.

    • That’s what I am seeing as well. So expect mostly sunny skies. ?

      • alanstorm

        Excellent. Not to hot either.

  • happ [Los Angeles]

    “In the Golden State, the California Coastal Basin and Central Valley aquifers together contain close to 7 billion acre-feet of brackish water, which if desalinated could provide enough water for the state’s needs for the next 160 years.”
    http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/04/15/usgs-finds-vast-reserves-of-salty-water-underground-in-california/

    • VK (Sacramento)

      The entire state’s needs, including Agricultural and ecological?

      • James Mason

        Nah, no more agriculture for California. Real Estate is king now. There’s another 25 million Mexicans moving up and they’ll need housing.

        • WalkmanJG

          That was absolutely unnecessary and inappropriate for you to say, I have flagged your comment.

    • matthew

      The pacific ocean, if desalinated could go a lot longer than that. Only one problem…

    • Jeff

      Interesting cost analysis in the article, nice that they address recharging of the aquifers as well, would have been nice to use all of the extra water this year to recharge our aquifers

  • Thunderstorm

    .04 thats it so far.

  • alanstorm

    Rained the entire 2 hour drive from Ukiah to Concord.

  • Cap’n

    Nothing but a harmless drizzle all night in Central Truckee. Back at the West end of Donner Lake it’s raining a bit more moderately. Now 1.7″ in the gauge since yesterday afternoon. Judging by radar snow levels seem to be 7,500 ft or higher. Just another fall day.

    • I think this April weather caught some unfortunate souls in a bad way…

  • BerryessaSage

    All these April showers really help provide a dynamic photo opportunity, haha. Here’s a view of some Bison on a ranch outside Maxwell at sunset in the Northern Sacramento Valley after a brief rain shower. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/af273fe11282ce261efbfa550a96c623891725879d9e38d2e2bc832d7a929846.jpg

    • alanstorm

      Wow. Could be Montana.

    • srfrgrl1

      Looks like a painting!

    • The Bud Meister

      Camp Pendleton has a herd of about 150 that are genetically pure.

    • Bombillo1

      Looks like a diorama, incredible. Ancient buffalo ( 100 k years ago, 30% larger than contemporary) were fairly widespread in Ca but since the mega-fauna die off (15 k years ago)) no buffalo were in Ca except for Surprise Valley in extreme N Cal. Kept out of Ca proper by the Warner Mts and the Sierras.

    • Charlie B

      Where do the deer and the antelope play?

  • Rusty Rails

    I drove from Santa Cruz to Berkeley this afternoon for a show at the Greek. I saw no less than 5 accidents scattered on both directions of 17 plus a mudslide blocking the right lane going south. An older Cherokee was teetering on top of the right hand guard rail going north.

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

    Another sunshine/showery day shaping up for central/northern parts of the state & with chances of rain even making it down to as far south as LA county.
    We continue to see additional spring systems drop into the region adding just a smidge more precipitation to benefit areas in the south at best… Otherwise these systems are becoming quite of an annoying occurrence at this point for those who live in the north with relentless odds of wishing for a dry season to begin after having such an insanely epic water year to-date…
    All of this water that has fallen from the sky literally (& figuratively) still needs to be soaked in by the land & in a sense by most of us regardless. Daniel, I’m really looking forward to your take on the prospects of another Niño forming rapidly & out of sync with typical Niño behavior as has been discussed and mentioned there is an increasingly more widespread look to above-average SSTA’s surrounding the EQ similar to what we saw during the onset of the latest SENiño (15-16), however there are warmer SSTA’s in the SHEMI this time around and once again above average SSTA’s in the mid-latitudes of the NPAC as well as the added possibility this could end up as a Modoki event, though too soon to fully believe that yet…

    As we head through the SPB & closer to summer I have also grown curious to see how the upcoming summer will follow in suit, especially if the boy begins to kick. It sure has been a great season and it looks like there is a possibility for more to add to the history of it. I’ve added plots for the last 150 day departures from normal of geopotential heights @ 500mb/850mb as well as zonal wind anomalies at 250mb to show the general impacts from the jet on the PNW… Just goes to show what this season has brought… Also to add is a graphic for the updated CFSv2 (I know SPB, seasonal transition, etc.) to help show what forecasters are keeping a close eye on this season. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/25974f5cf34a204c18d110b23b19c77ec71df87476cb2bb44ee49dc03594095c.gif https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/27950463672d8533404b79c83dfa3cb87167723f78b41db2575aeed0ab22091d.gif https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/461e9e59b53d160837ec6ecb31864a2237ea4993800c1bd19625aa40ba45999c.gif https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/559c058c35b961e38827a8ab4db533ae7cff6a96be99542dbd2752ef82874fea.gif

    • Yolo Hoe

      Thanks for those plots; really cool.

      So is there an obvious ‘analogue season’ given those aggregate views?

      • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

        I will be looking over years that come to mind, input on analog seasons to look over is welcome.

        • Chris

          1981-82 please. Looking at old satelite photos, I remember seeing GOA high pressure with jet undercutting.

          • 805 Weather (Camarillo)
          • AlTahoe

            1981-1982 reminds me more of this year as I believe souther cal was pretty dry compared to northern cal that season. It was also not an El Niño year. I am hoping for a 1982-1983 repeat for next season.

          • T’storm98 (Orcutt, CA)

            82/83 was actually a Strong El Nino year.

            http://ggweather.com/enso/oni.htm

          • A few of us are already wishcasting for the 17-18 season!

          • T’storm98 (Orcutt, CA)

            Oops I misread your post

          • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

            If you correlate that pattern with the pattern we started this season off with, it sure is similar… (Rex block with distinct NPAC ridge placement over the Aleutians and the Bering Sea along with a funnel of subtropical moisture originating from an area north of Hawaii similar to the Kona Lows we had mentioned quite a bit before DJF. This season was somewhat predictable looking back on it, but intensity was not one bit what everybody expected. I think it’s wishful thinking though for another season like 82/83… Just look at our current state, however once this event kicks off we may actually be moving in the right direction. Depends on how everything changes with this summer as that is when the most notable SSTA’s will begin to present themselves.

          • Charlie B

            Remember that February 1982 was virtually snowless. One mid month warm rainstorm but that was it. There were essentially 2 gargantuan storm cycles that year. The first was late December to mid January and the second March and early April.

          • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

            3 if you count October.

          • jstrahl

            In fact, in Berkeley, October (especially latter part) and November, especially mid-month.

          • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

            Yep, it matters!

          • Chris

            So my hunch was right. Thank God for my pictographic memory.
            Preceding that famous Jan 4th storm of 1982 was indeed a cold snap like the one predicted before our mega January rains…. though the cold air advancing southward was cut off sooner this time around.
            Patterns repeat themselves!

          • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

            We need to watch the atmospheric coupling way more this season than last believe it or not. There will be distinct thing happening in order for this to walk into the 82-83 scenario, but you sure did serve a great hunch. I will be looking more & more into it.

          • Chris

            The only notable difference that year was march was wetter than this past year.
            ENSO was the same.
            Also, look at the evolution of the Jan 4th storm compared to the one we had the (12th?) of this year.
            Quite similar in my opinion.
            There is a satelite archives page somewhere. I looked at a lot of satelite photos of the pacific leading up to Jan 4th 1982.
            This year’s evolution reminded me of it.

          • Craig Matthews
          • Chris

            Thanks for posting this!!!
            See the jet stream undercutting the high in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska?
            It should also be noted that the Jan 4th storm started as snow in the northern Sacramento valley similar to the big storm of Jan 13th of this year.
            I’d love to see that satelite pic side by side with this one for comparison.

          • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

            Yep, as I said it was very similar for the first half of the season & then the jet took over wildly and the Rex Block lows or (Kona Lows) displaced east and a progressive pattern took over, another reason why much of the latter half of the season has been zonal & not meriodional like the first half of the season. We have a lot to look forward to this coming year, so be on the lookout. I’ll be surely posting more on the blog in the coming months. I’ve been in a dead zone since the tap turned off back in February. Monsoon season is what I am locked onto next. 🙂

          • Chris

            My understanding is heavy SW snowpack equals a late start to the monsoon season and a lighter monsoon overall.
            Yes?
            (Not to mention El Niño)

          • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

            Quite frankly not the truth, as the moisture from the winter on the Mexican plateau especially over the Sierra Occidental & Baja is where thunderstorms get their true kick during the summer months. Depending on how much rainfall actually has fallen in the northern Mexican plateau and how strong the summer 4 corner high is will be the main player in how the monsoon will come alive. That being said I’m looking into how those regions & how they did with precipitation this winter and then keeping a watchful eye on the ridge as we head for June. It’s a sequence of events for it to spark, but California microclimates such as the Mojave, eastern Sierra’s and even the western Sierra’s can really amp up those monsoonal thunderstorms due to added moisture especially with how high the snowpack actually is though it’s deep. This year though with the caked peaks up there your idea could indeed be somewhat correct with alpine temps keeping it all around long enough and suppression of thunderstorm activity may stay further east & south. It will depend on when the daily thunderstorms start firing up there this summer & how hot it actually gets. More heat, the right wind patterns and enough instability and it could be a very big season, however this is not a forecast and it may be a complete dud of a season. As you know we also might have aid from coastal subtropical moisture around Baja this season similarly to what we saw during the SEN in 15-16.

          • Chris

            Ah, good to know….. and I”m glad what I heard was wrong!
            I do remember the summer of 1983 to be quite the wet summer in California even to the coast starting around mid July………and that was after the huge el nino the preceding winter.
            I’ve wondered what would have happened if one of the Pac Hurricanes took aim especially in S California in the late summer of 2015. The ocean off San Diego could have supported a strong Cat 1 hurricane if conditions were right (Moving fast w/out wind shear)

          • Craig Matthews

            Wow, very nice find. Gotta wonder about the theory of the ENSO pre-cursor in the tropics, and how the ENSO precursor, its timing in the season and its interaction and effect in tandem with the pre-conditioned tropical and extra-tropical ocean-atmospheric base states, affects the teleconnections in a way that structures wave trains and storms across the NPac and North America similar to past event(s) ie 1982. In this case, maybe there is an ENSO pre-cursor happening this year that is interacting with other tropical and extra-tropical phenomena that is giving us weather patterns and storm structures similar to 1982.

          • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

            You’ve got the right idea Craig, and it can be further pushed if we keep digging like I did this morning. I think we really need to watch how the water warms or cools in the NEPAC just as it did the summer of 15-16, and the summer following 81-82… I do remember 08-09 very well before the onset of the 09-10 Modoki event, but I don’t think it’s too justifiable from my perspective as I was living in Central California at the time and was experiencing much more exciting weather than the typical summer weather down here in SoCal. A lot to look over, but indeed things seem worthy to look at. Thanks for the link on precursors by the way!

          • Craig Matthews

            Totally agree. Thanks for such an awesome post BTW. 2008-09 had a NPac High, but in a different position and there was not such a raging NPac jet as there was in 1981-82 and this year. Here’s 2008-08 500mb geopotential height anomaly, and threw in 1964-65 and 1971-72 b/c those winters also had a similar height pattern to 1981-82 and this year, also followed by a strong El Nino. Those winters also had an early end in Socal, except for maybe 2009? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dca24a36c1df28907ac2a3c73098e9625e9fe2fddd42f64a360a709ab5534c50.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fc8b9ee5672602f8e853ee4c9500ed25c1c257e672bdd5897d89e2ee9be6dcee.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b81d68be612c42028ca6a14a1d7a6bde608314342a845ddb840da2343402081d.png

          • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

            Just saw this post Craig, thanks for the super interesting added analogs… I think a few of us really may be on to something, the ’82-’83 bandwagon may not be the only bandwagon, but now a real possibility of what could come about next season. A lot to watch now with that in mind.

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      To add… There is a big difference in the way our Niños have been forming, first & foremost we have seen way larger expanses of above-average SSTA’s across the EPAC including off our coast, more notably with Niños after ’98 & actually better justified by the ENSO events of the last 8 years…

  • Allen Dodson

    almost 2.25″ now since this little event started in Murphys. Looking forward to seeing the sun tomorrow, I guess. Not so much today…

  • T’storm98 (Orcutt, CA)
    • T’storm98 (Orcutt, CA)

      Its raining quite hard

    • DelMarSD

      Jealous.

  • T’storm98 (Orcutt, CA)

    Very heavy rain now!

  • AlTahoe

    We just went from very heavy rain to heavy wet snow. My radar app isn’t showing much over us at this time which is weird

  • T’storm98 (Orcutt, CA)

    I have gotten 0.30″ of rain in the last 15 minutes!

  • AlTahoe
    • I think Rag Dump is some where in the left 1/3 of the box

    • Howard Goodman

      Just about where the capital S is Four Trees with 163.20 inches

    • Howard Goodman

      Most of the reporting stations around Strawberry have more rain Bucks Lake (where “IN” is at 153.3

    • Damn that is a lot of rain. How do you get the mold out of your shoes?

    • AlTahoe

      I am thinking that Downieville might have some serious trail damage this year to go along with the very delayed Mt Bike season.

      • Howard Goodman

        Don’t worry us dirtbike riders will fix them starting with 3rd divide and Butcher Ranch

      • Cap’n

        Trails all over might have quite a few obstacles this year. Hole in the ground wasn’t doable until mid July last summer, might be September this year.

    • max

      In what what year does the record start?

  • Aussie Joe

    Just hit 22″ for the season here in Sunnyvale, or about 150% of the annual average. Pretty good for a rain shadowed spot…

  • Tazmanian

    i have .59″ of rain fall for today so far

    and i am up too 2″ so far since this event started i think we will end this event with 3″ may be 3.50″

  • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

    Off 395 this morning looking at Mt Tom, had nice timing of spillover and sunrise…rained all through Mammoth until right after the village. Freezing level around 8300’…time for some mashed potatoes turns!

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bfda6c73d141df65a0ac1d12b13d2271f787f06a49e254b01f8a4494aaef974c.jpg

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f66280d3bc4959ed196bce1df41333733a065a969e7bd6566b9be5200eeb2a06.jpg

    • Craig Matthews

      Whoa man that picture is awesome!!!

    • HighWater

      First pic looks like the gorge Rd. Nice pics

  • RunningSprings6250

    Someone in Guad/SM/Orcutt/Nipas just got lucky!

    Too bad it’s all moving in the wrong direction! Go SE not NE!

    • RunningSprings6250
    • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

      Damn zonal flow…I swear we’ll have better odds when the jet retracts, then we can maybe get a closed low to drop down.

      Seems like shades of the 14-15 winter pattern creeped in after Febuary…

      • RunningSprings6250

        Big time! Still under 2″ total precip and zero snow since end of feb…feb was only 50% average here. The last 7 weeks is the worst 7 week period I’ve recorded that included March.

        It’s dusty dry up here already….

        Last April we had 4″ rain and 7″ snow!

        I’m starting to doubt we’ll even get our token late season storm….?

        I’ve never been pessimistic in my life – it’s that bad! LOL!!

        • Cap’n

          Bummer Ian. You’re right I’ve notice some of your frustration in recent posts and I don’t blame you. Really is bizarre how it just completely shutdown several weeks ago. Jose Miya is probably weeping in his tortas somewhere near Wrightwood. It’s a damn shame.

          • RunningSprings6250

            I go to bed flabbergasted every night – It’s a real damn shame LOL!!

        • weathergeek100

          The shutoff to the spigot is truly something. This is what the zonal flow or southwest flow of systems does to SoCal, and creates some of the largest precip gradients from north to south across the state. I mean, you guys have been getting literally NOTHING this spring while the bay area has been getting pounded (we haven’t seen one minute of sun in days). This is actually a rare scenario for spring in SoCal because while the spring months average less rain than winter months, storms tend to be more frequent and traverse the entire state (but they put down less precip). My experience growing up in SoCal (in general)- January might mean long dry spells with a couple of heavy rainstorms, but April would mean more consistent light to moderate showers here and there.

          Not the case this year….at all. Wow. Very frustrating.

        • AlTahoe

          I mentioned this further below but this year is pretty similar to 1981-1982 in that Norcal was extremely wet and Southern Cal was dry. LA was 4″ below normal that season while most of the Norcal stations were in the top 5 wettest years. Lets hope next year is like 1982-1983 where LA was +16″ above average

          • RunningSprings6250

            Fingers crossed! I’ve had that same thought based on those years…

        • Bob G (Gustine)

          I even noticed the differences this year. Parts of Norcal were really wet for parts of March while we were dry, We would get rainshadowing wth the ARs where they would see a couple of inches or rain from a couple of storms and we would barely make it to .25

    • Indeed we did. Major over-perform compared to forecasts. This was the hardest steady rainfall of the season. .85″ in just a couple of hours. Loved it! Perfect end of the season storm for us.

      • RunningSprings6250

        Awesome!! I know my parents are happy in Orcutt!

  • Cap’n

    Another .6″ in the gauge since 10pm, now at 2.3″ since Sunday. Looks like SugarBowl got a wet 5 incher up top, ever closer to 800″ as they’re now at 782″. Mountain biking season will be on serious delay up high.

    • inclinejj

      You should see the Sacramento River in downtown Sacramento high and super muddy. I’ll snap some photos next week.

      No Spring or early Summer stripers this year.

      • Hardcort

        And I noticed on my drive through yesterday that the Yolo Bypass is refilling again after receding for much of March into early April

  • Chris

    This is for Morgan Hill:

    Rainfall as of 8:00am 4/18/17

    Today .50
    Record .58 in 1993
    Month 3.07
    Year 51.16

  • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

    Darn you, Pt. Conception! Stop killing these storms!

  • T’storm98 (Orcutt, CA)

    I have gotten 0.73″ of rain today. The rain at times was very heavy, tropical like downpours. Which puts my April rainfall total of 1.12″ which is above the average of 1.11″. My water year total is now 21.61″ of rain! The annual avg is 13.53″.

  • T’storm98 (Orcutt, CA)
    • Craig Matthews

      Nice!! Looks like the front stalled overnight over central ca, and kept the precip pumping up into SLO and MTRY counties. I got about .45″ out of light to moderate rain. Still raining this morning here…

  • CHeden

    Early this morning, a brief light shower dampened the streets. No big deal. Except there were no clouds above. Clear air precip. Pretty unusual for the valley…if only for Wx geek-sake. Best guess is some left-over instability from last night’s weak frontal passage must have been present in the lower/middle layers.
    HRRR continues to show some convection firing up later this aft. mostly north of Red Bluff, with possibly two lines setting up that will be bracketing my place in Cottonwood. I’ve seen this setup before, and I can’t rule out these two lines will gradually phase thus producing a localized but potent rain/hail event somewhere in the Anderson/Cottonwood area. Needless to say, the ol’ Jeep is gassed up and camera bat’s charged. Will be an interesting challenge to make a call should both of these storms indeed fire up. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6da4bb346dd87beeb4eea92bd528f6a56cf8e236fabf77af21a1f120de91936b.gif

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      Lucky you! I’m getting ready for the monsoon season down here, should be my first consistent chase season (once or twice a week) depending on how active the season kicks off. A couple more repairs and then my car will be more dailyable for the drives out to the mountains & deserts.

  • Gregory Bates

    Thanks everybody who took the time to comment on my Myrtle Beach / Long Beach precipitation question. Elementary perhaps, but then climate gets very complicated soon enough. Thanks again!