Unsettled May pattern to bring showers (and some thunderstorms) to California

Filed in Uncategorized by on May 4, 2017 2,210 Comments

A warm spring so far; wet north, dry south

The last 60 days have been warmer than average across virtually all of California, especially in the south. (WRCC)

The last 60 days have been wetter than average in the north, and much drier than average in the south–especially south of Los Angeles. (WRCC)

The first half of spring has been rather warm across most of California, with temperatures ranging from slightly above average in the north to well above average in the south. The winter storm parade continued across Northern California right through most of April, but late-season precipitation has been rather meager indeed south of the Bay Area. Los Angeles and San Diego have both seen less than 25% of average precipitation over the past two months, though seasonal precipitation remains above average even across Southern California due to the heavy precipitation experienced during the heart of winter.

The season’s first real heatwave occurred this past week across much of California, and in some-cases brought record-breaking high temperatures for early May. It should be no surprise that melting of the prodigious Sierra Nevada snowpack is now well underway, and several rivers in snow-fed watersheds are currently near or above flood stage. Since temperatures are likely to cool substantially in the coming days, serious snowmelt flooding is unlikely in the near term. There is still a tremendous amount of water stored in the snowpack at high elevations, however, so a particularly intense or prolonged heatwave later in May or in early June could still pose a risk of more widespread snowmelt flooding.

 

Striking, high-amplitude atmospheric pattern developing across N. Hemisphere

An unusually “wavy” atmospheric pattern is currently evolving over the entire Northern Hemisphere, with significant implications for California weather over the next couple of weeks. The development of a pronounced and remarkably well-defined “wavenumber 6” pattern in the mid-latitudes has been a source of substantial interest in the meteorological community in recent days, and for good reason: this kind of atmospheric arrangement is strongly associated with slow-moving and sometimes extreme weather conditions as high-energy “kinks” in the jet stream become “stuck in place” across certain regions. For those of you wondering what the heck “wavenumber 6” even means, the explanation is actually rather straightforward: it literally refers to the number of complete atmospheric “ridge-trough” cycles across a particular latitude band. In other words, we know that a “wavenumber 6” pattern is in place just by counting the number of blue troughs (or red ridges) in the adjacent figure.

High wavenumber atmospheric patterns (n=6-8) have recently been of particular interest in the meteorological community due to their propensity to cause extreme weather events. “Wavy” atmospheric patterns tend to displace cold, dry polar airmasses toward the equator and warm, moist tropical airmasses toward the poles–and the strong thermal contrasts this creates are conducive to the development of alternating zones of heatwaves, cold outbreaks, and flooding rains (and that’s exactly what is expected to occur in the coming days across the Northern Hemisphere). Once in place, these patterns tend to remain “quasi-stationary”–exhibiting a high degree of persistence and moving very slowly (if at all). Recent evidence suggests that the frequency of high-wavenumber patterns has increased during the Northern Hemisphere warm season, which may be linked to rapid Arctic warming and the subsequent loss of sea ice. The Potsdam Institute has created an excellent, broadly accessible video on this topic for those interested in learning more.

Animation of persistent “wavenumber 6” pattern expected to develop over the Northern Hemisphere. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

 

Unsettled conditions across much of California; showers (& thunderstorms) likely

Cold mid-level temperatures will generate sufficient instability for thunderstorms across much of California this weekend. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

What are the California implications of the wavy, sluggish atmospheric pattern discussed above? Well, it appears that a fairly persistent trough will develop near the West Coast over the weekend, potentially persisting in some form for the better part of the next two weeks. This will bring much cooler temperatures to all of California, and occasional precipitation to much of the state at times. The initial event may be the most interesting, as a rather deep and cold low pressure system “cut off” from the main jet stream will develop directly over the California coast on Saturday. While this system will be rather moisture-starved, it will be associated with a fair bit of atmospheric instability by California standards due to some impressively cold mid-level temperatures for early May.

As a result, widespread mountain precipitation is expected statewide–including significant Sierra Nevada snowfall and perhaps even some snow accumulation in the Southern California mountains. Showers and even some significant thunderstorm activity are also pretty likely at lower elevations, especially across Southern California where the coldest air aloft will combine with slightly more moisture and favorable mesoscale dynamics. Some thunderstorms will also be possible across the Central Valley over the weekend. Just about the only spot that may miss out on the convective action entirely may be the Bay Area, where only isolated activity is expected. The good news is that the parts of California which have been quite dry in recent weeks–namely, the southernmost third of the state–will likely see fairly widespread (if modest) precipitation over the weekend. Some stronger thunderstorms may also occur, with heavy downpours and hail possible in isolated spots.

Significant precipitation will be possible across the Sierra Nevada and across most of Southern California. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

As is often the case with cut-off lows, there is some uncertainty regarding how quickly this system will move away from California. While the GFS moves the system out rather quickly, the ECMWF lingers the low pressure area over Southern California through Tuesday–continuing the chance of showers and thunderstorms. At this point, I’d bet on the slower solution…especially given the sluggish large-scale pattern over North America. By the middle of next week, Southern California will likely dry out, but the quasi-stationary West Coast trough may allow more precipitation to creep back across the northern part of the state. In fact, recent model ensemble runs suggest that an above-average likelihood of precipitation and relatively cool temperatures will continue through at least the middle of May.

Finally: for those who are interested, I will be giving a public talk (and Q&A session) on California weather and climate in Ojai on May 20. Details are available here.

Tags: , , ,

  • janky

    Consistent drizzle in the Santa Cruz mountains for the last 4 hours. Low of 43 tonight. Perfect November evening.

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      Drove up Hwy 280 on the way to Stanford Hospital around 7:30 this evening from West San Jose. Could see heavy drizzle/showers up above Los Altos Hills and Woodside. Then, boom, we hit an intense drizzle burst at Page Mill Rd, had to put the wipers on high. Then, it was over.

  • Cap’n
    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      The amount of bent and broken trees and bushes is astonishing. Four years of lack of snow left many of these trees undamaged now those trees look to be in two pieces. I’ve noticed many of the Aspens haven’t faired well this winter either, the weight of the heavy snow (and rain in top of snow) was not kind to them.

      • Cap’n

        There are trees down all over my neighborhood. We lost three aspens in our backyard, two houses down has an aspen graveyard in their front yard.

        • Thor

          My buddy who lives off of Alpine Meadows spur road has significant damage all over his neighborhood.

    • AlTahoe

      Wow that bottom picture is incredible.

      • Cap’n

        I predict there will be many mishaps and some tragedy in the high country this summer, conditions are going to be a real trip.

      • Pfirman

        Most of that looks to have happened in open spaces where the trees have no support from surrounding friends.

    • inclinejj

      Since 1988, I have always cut and stacked my wood for Tahoe. Lucky we have a nice shed that works perfect for all our outside tools and firewood. I don’t want to keep it out on the deck cause then I would probably lose about 1/3rd of my deck space. That’s half the fun. I try to mix up different types of wood. Pine to start the fire then hotter burning firewood to keep the fire going.

      You can still buy permits to cut firewood out in the forests right?

      • Cap’n

        I burn a lot of wood, 4-5 cords per winter and most of it is hardwood, the pine doesn’t do much for warming in my drafty shed. Having said that, my neighbors and I are going to have a wood splitting weekend this summer. I’ll get a couple cords of pine for maybe 40 bucks total. Also got a free cord of Almond coming so next winter is looking good early on. It was nuts up here this winter. All the oak in the foothills got soaked during those October rains and it went downhill from there. At one point I had my oak guy calling asking for wood. A lot of people over here were getting wood a 1/2 cord at a time. That January was one helluvah month.

        • inclinejj

          Pine is pretty useless besides starting the fire. Lots of people down here burn Cypress which is about the same. One year I cut a bunch of thick manzanita or Coyote Bush and the pieces were about a half to an inch thick that burnt hot. We rarely burn wood down here cause our living room gets way too hit. Even with a ceiling fan.

          Oak is hard to find down here unless you go down to Woodside area.

          One winter I scored some Acacia in the city. The tree cutters were cutting the tree up and I asked them if they had any wood. They gladly helped me load up my truck.

          Unfortunately we didn’t go up that much this winter so we have enough firewood for next winter.

          • annette johnson

            Sorry if this is a dumb question, but is it because pine is soft and burns quick? Desert dweller here ? lol.

          • Admode (Susanville)

            We burn pine and lodgepole in this neck of the woods and both burn fine. Nothing compares to hard woods, but we don’t really have anything besides conifer species here.

          • inclinejj

            How long to you let the pine dry out for?

          • Admode (Susanville)

            I give it at least a season.

          • Admode (Susanville)

            In terms of heat output Pine isn’t that much lower than oak: http://worldforestindustries.com/forest-biofuel/firewood/firewood-btu-ratings/

          • inclinejj

            Pine has a lot of sap and moisture. It takes a year or two to dry it out and it still pops.

  • annette johnson
    • gray whale

      Very cool!

    • Dan the Weatherman

      That is really a neat lenticular cloud formation!

      • annette johnson

        Thank you for confirming. I am still learning about the different types of clouds thanks to WW!

        • Tuolumne

          Nope, definitely UFOs sniffing around for chem tr@ils. 😉

          • annette johnson

            No kidding! Did you notice there were chemtrails going into the cloud but none on the other side?! ?

        • inclinejj

          I have learned so much from this site!!

    • Cap’n

      Amazing.

    • alanstorm

      Wow!
      Such an amazing area

    • apocalyptic. Nice job!

    • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

      Awesome Pictures. I think Jan Null posted a picture of the same formation from above: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c0208ff241f4baf9817e272785ce9e3ade400c8577cb22fb4f58e0e9ec96b717.jpg

      • Dan the Weatherman

        I don’t think I have ever seen a lenticular cloud photo taken from the air like this before! It almost looks like some sort of a large alien spacecraft from a science fiction movie suspended in mid air.

    • Pfirman

      You sure the cloud was not tracking you?

      • annette johnson

        Now that you mention it…

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      Beautiful photos I will repost to Weather Forums; thanks Annette

  • gray whale

    Steady moderate rain in Placerville, though nothing on radar in el dorado county

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b74f6eb9dfa2071fa97df5595f1635047681c125bbfd7e8248b7606ef792edbb.png

    • Tazmanian

      its called ghost rain has it may be raining but not showing up on radar

  • Cap’n

    That’s one impressive snow storm stalling over Northern Colorado and Southern Wyoming on the 00Z, which will then wreak havoc to the east.

    • Nathan

      buddy of mine is in Yellowstone at the moment, possibly regretting his honeymoon location choice.

      • Thor

        I am in Bozeman currently and its snowing heavily- in town even- big, fat fluffy May flakes.

        • Pfirman

          Bozone!

  • RandomTreeInSB

    Yet another series of earthquake on SB South coast–M 4.1 just west of Isla vista followed by a 3.1 aftershock only a minute later. That’s 4 earthquakes in the past 30 days and I don’t remember it being this active before.

    https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/ci37646983#executive

    • PRCountyNative

      Are they continuing to frac down there?

      The Google machine seems to say so: http://www.cafrackfacts.org/fracking-in-california/where-is-fracking-occurring/

      • rainingonmycactus

        Fracking isn’t the process that causes earthquakes, and wastewater injection probably isn’t the culprit. Most of these EQs are on the many thrusts that extend into the offshore SB basin, rooting from the Transverse Ranges (aka the seismic risk is naturally extremely high in this area).

        • Jim

          Tell that to the folks in Oklahoma…they have had hundreds of quakes in the area that fracking is going on

        • Jim
          • Pfirman

            Kind of disingenuous as the wastewater is associated with oil extraction.

        • PRCountyNative

          “Fracking isn’t the process that causes earthquakes..” Not true.

          “…wastewater injection probably isn’t the culprit.” How come, it causes earthquakes. Why not?

          “…seismic risk is naturally extremely high…” So lubricating the fault doesn’t matter?

          I am not pro or anti fracking, I try to be fact based though.

          • Nate

            Just saying, the annual number of induced earthquakes caused by fracking in the US is minuscule compared to those caused by wastewater injection. The vast majority of earthquakes in Oklahoma are caused by wastewater injection–not fracking. Fracking can cause earthquakes, but it’s almost always on a smaller scale with much smaller magnitudes (M2>). Fracking is not causing the daily M3+ quakes in OK.

          • PRCountyNative

            I didn’t find data (fracking, reinjection) on individual current wells in the SB area

            There is fracking going on in the Santa Barbara area according to my link.

            Fracking produces wastewater, the preferred (cheapest) way of getting rid of the water is to reinject it.

            Can any one earthquake be attributed, or not, to specific injection wells? You seem to say that – is there data and methods to back that statement up definitively?

            If fracking is producing wastewater, and reinjecting that water can produce earthquakes, can’t one wonder if fracking is contributing to these earthquakes?

          • Nate

            It doesn’t make sense to blame fracking for earthquakes caused by wastewater injection. They’re two separate processes that can be found independent from each other. Yes, waste from fracking is used in wastewater injection, but it’s the injection, not the fracking, causing the earthquakes.

            https://profile.usgs.gov/myscience/upload_folder/ci2015Jun1012005755600Induced_EQs_Review.pdf

            To answer your question about whether earthquakes can be attributed to specific wells, that varies. I’m talking less about specific wells, but rather attributing earthquakes to a specific process (ww injection or fracking). If you were to take a look at an area in Oklahoma, you’d find that the amount of fluid injected in wastewater wells is much greater than that in fracking wells. More fluid=more earthquakes. It’s relatively easy to determine whether an earthquake is induced east of the Rockies, but narrowing that down to a specific well is harder. It’s possible to do that using data such as well depth, volume of fluid injected, pressure, historical seismicity, and focal depth of the quake, but that presents challenges due to the high density of wells and their overlapping spheres of influence. The more isolated the wells and associated earthquakes are, the easier it is to connect them to specific wells.

            Overall, there have been multiple studies and models that have shown that wastewater injection is more conducive to producing earthquakes. It’s a simple concept, more fluid is pumped into injection wells than into fracking wells for longer periods of time, so wastewater injection changes the pressure underground more so than fracking. In addition, ww injection wells are much deeper and therefore are able to change the pore pressure over a wider area.

            Map of Class 2 (injection) Wells in OK: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b55576667b4152a1db55e01cc05cdac4e53996765bd5a384d702d8d27ee25141.jpg

            Map of OK Seismicity (M3+) since 2010:
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7a628bee3bbca9fba4fd12e7944ad2cfa8149fa7cd4c835d65a9d08b44643048.png

            It’s especially hard to determine whether the Santa Barbara quakes are induced, not only because of the general activity of the area, but also the tectonic setting. While shallow focal depth is a sign that points to a quake being induced, the fact that the Santa Barbara area is straddled by recently active faults (lots of low angle thrusts) makes shallow earthquakes nothing unusual. Just by looking at historical context, depth, focal mechanisms, and waveforms, I would guess that these earthquakes are not related to the oil extraction. However, there is always uncertainty.

          • PRCountyNative

            It’s great you know some stuff about this. And that is a good link you shared. Thank you.

            Meanwhile: If there’s a body on the ground with a bullet hole through the heart, and a guy standing there with a smoking gun, I don’t need to hear that not all bullets kill people (“they’re two separate processes”, you know!), and that the gun does not actually cause any injury, the bullet does. And some people fire guns while others don’t, and not all guns are fired. And there is uncertainty.

            Someone says “Earthquake swarm”, I think wastewater reinjection; fracking is a better name to call it otherwise it sounds like someone’s leaky septic system.

          • Nate

            I get where you’re coming from, but the thing is, wastewater injection is not fracking. I have nothing wrong with the statement, “waste produced from fracking is contributing to the increase in seismicity”, but I don’t like the idea of blaming the Oklahoma earthquakes on the fracking process alone. You can have fracking without ww injection and vice versa. Maybe this is it–from a purely scientific perspective, it’s inaccurate to blame the uptick in seismicity in Oklahoma on fracking as an injection technique. Keep in mind, I’m talking more about the processes/techniques themselves–fracking alone does not cause earthquakes like we’re seeing in OK, and wastewater injection does.

            I get what you mean though; you can definitely make an argument that the increase in fracking as an industry has contributed to the earthquakes, albeit indirectly. In all honesty, it really just gets down to semantics.

          • rainingonmycactus

            Wrong. Fracking doesn’t create enough pressure (“shear stress”) for rocks or faults to fail for the most part. Look up the Coloumb failure criteria/critical shear stress experiments. Wastewater injection is a different story, it can enable enough additional stress for brittle failure but there is limited evidence for even mid range EQ’s from such a small scale process.
            “Lubricating the faults” is a poor choice of words, especially for how complex faults are in CA. There is probably already some pore fluid pressure on those faults (which reduces the stress required for fault failure). Can wastewater injection add additional stress that helps reach the failure criteria? Theoretically yes, but in practice it is much more complicated.

        • alanstorm

          I think we’ve been lulled into a comfortable bliss regarding earthquakes, especially for those who recently located to Ca in the last 25 yrs.
          A series of violent destructive quakes for SoCal &/or the Bay Area are overdue & would be 100% normal.
          Where have all the M6 & M7 been?
          & Don’t get me started with the giant MEGA THRUST quake overdue for the PNW!

          • Nate

            Something that doesn’t have a set interval time can’t be overdue, but yeah, we are not as prepared as we should be.

          • alanstorm

            Good point. “Overdue” is a human construct.
            Rocks & tectonic plates aren’t beholden to human concepts of “time”

          • Nate

            Exactly! We’re just here waiting for the next fault to rupture…

  • JT (San Jose, CA)

    consistent drizzle-turned-rain for a good one hour now. San Jose 95132. Accumulation is quite impressive!

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      Are you up off 680? What’s your elevation?

      • JT (San Jose, CA)

        as I walked my dog from my home at around 300ft elevation to about 600ft elevation, the rain got big 🙂

    • Nothing on the south side.

      • alanstorm

        Drizzle Fest (DF) all day & tonight up here in Mendocino Co.

  • inclinejj

    It was drizzling hard enough to get the streets wet after the warriors game. Pacifica

  • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

    0.02. overnight?. Better than nothing.

  • Howard Goodman

    Drizzled all day then in the early evening started to rain in earnest for awhile got .61

  • mattzweck

    Really windy here in the high desert Lancaster area. Today

  • alanstorm

    FLOOD STAGE IN HUMBOLDT COUNTY!
    ……..Oh wait- Humboldt County Nevada.
    Humboldt River is well over it’s banks all the way to Battle Mtn. (graph)
    Minor snowmelt flooding resumes again on the Truckee R as well with the upcoming warm-up
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/31c4ddab730a2396109a806930c86c813b5994d59d566693f9eb1cd3feb76213.png

    • Thor

      Drove right over it 2 days ago on my way to MT. All the rivers from the Sierra across the Great Basin and up into Idaho and MT looked very full- seemingly all at their high water levels yet with most of the snow melt still coming. Most of the West has a pretty decent winter…and its currently dumping at 5000ft in SW MT.

  • Today’s ‘need to know’. (LOL)
    CFS is forecasting a weak +ENSO. Looking at CFS forecasts for January 2018 Nino3 is neutral and Nino4 is about +.05. This isn’t really screaming anything other than if there is a weak El Nino it looks like it will be heavily weighted on the ‘western’ half of Nino3.4

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d6d7741bf6329df34f66e6c587f767ffdab8e76f2541641e5f3239cc15dd659e.png

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      So, more like Enso Neutral? Seems weak El Nino’s are pretty unreliable regardless.

      • We know there’s A Lot more than temperature in an arbitrary region in the Pacific dictating CA precip. ….I think that’s what you mean by “unreliable”?

        • Bombillo1

          We can not look to ENSO this year for any kind of weather guidance. We need other signposts.

          • It’s a reference point whether it’s positive, neutral or negative. I hear ya! 🙂
            If anything I was referring to this spatially and not just a value that we can record up to the one hundredth degree centigrade. Kinda like PDO is a spatial thing rather than an index (IMO)

          • Bombillo1

            I am still a believer, albeit a tad more tepid, of a strong ++ ENSO being a good weather prognosticator. Like an abused spouse, I’m sticking around.

          • 15-16 was an odd one. So was the North Pacific. I was drinking the kool-aid like most everyone else.

    • DelMarSD

      I wouldn’t mind another Dolores!

  • mattzweck

    be careful driving through the high desert especially Lancaster area. really windy gust up to 50+ lots of blowing dust and dirt,

  • mattzweck
    • Chris

      Can the snowcover in the mountains limit instability since the ground is obviously frozen?

      • Yes, I suppose, but only right near the surface. Typically, the increase in surface moisture combined with an unstable atmosphere overall wins out.

        • Chris

          I was guessing that too regarding moisture making the atmosphere more buoyant.

      • matthew

        Not sure how it would contribute to the equation, but it is relatively snow-free below about 6500-7000 feet. I look at Northstar every time that I drive into downtown Truckee and it is starting to show dirt at the lower elevations. The first big warm-up of the year starts tomorrow – 50’s today, 60’s tomorrow, 70’s and up after that. If nothing else, the snow will be going quickly starting on Friday.

      • Bombillo1

        Are we going to get a measurable increase in albedo and some heat avoidance?

    • Bombillo1

      Lovely little map there. You could make an exact overlay and label it an expected misery outbreak.

  • DelMarSD

    Chances are pretty slim that I’ll receive any more precipitation for this season. Here is my Annual Precipitation Spreadsheet. 12-13 inches is normal, so I’m way over. A shame I didn’t reach 20 though…

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7b409cb09caa72ac7eae69eb280613f7a307f8f2d264e023b6305b6e9e81761d.jpg

    • RunningSprings6250

      According to the new standard which starts October 1 you have 19.3″ and 4 months for drizzle and perhaps a summer tstorm or tropical remnants to push you over 20!

      • DelMarSD

        Oh, yeah, I forgot about that.

        • Nathan

          You can do it. Just put your mind to it and you can accomplish anything.

        • Pfirman

          You forgot about Monsoon Madness? Dude!

    • Thunderstorm

      Maybe you make it over the top early June. MJO is currently in phase 3 and staying out of the rabbit hole. If it can stay out of the rabbit hole for another 2 weeks then likely some fun weather returns one last time this season.

      • Bombillo1

        Species have gone extinct waiting for rain here. Water in Ca is a cruel master.

  • Harpo (Chico)

    State Parks now has a live video stream of the Oroville dam spillway: http://www.parks.ca.gov/live/lakeorovillesra_spillway

    • Thunderstorm

      Shows the power of water. Cut it’s own canyon through the soft rock. Thanks for the the live video!!

      • Pfirman

        Shows the power of politics.

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      Looks like they took the video off the site.

      • Harpo (Chico)

        It’s still working for me. A pretty spectacular scene when it’s back-lit by the morning sun.

        It looks like it’ll be a full-employment year for heavy equipment operators around Oroville; lots of big machines rolling around twelve hours a day.

  • RandomTreeInSB

    Not CA related but interesting nonetheless.
    https://twitter.com/JakeMulholland1/status/864680306456055808

  • Fairweathercactus

    Like in the old days of seeing cartoons in the paper I like to go on accuweather. They have been showing some monster heat for June. I would not be shocked if that turned out right as past few cool Mays led to some warm Junes.

    • Rainmaker (San Jose)

      cold sst’s off our coast will save the bay area, can’t say much for the further inland areas.

  • Rainmaker (San Jose)

    good news for San Jose, mid 90’s have retreated and looks like upper 80’s are forecasted during this heatwave. slightly more comfortable, just hope the sea breeze kicks in as soon as possible to plummet temps at night. Took a look at Redding and those 100’s are going to be awful, along with most of the far inland locations like Sacramento and Fresno.

    • I wouldn’t trust weather.com

    • Bombillo1

      It came here. 50 mi N of Redding our heat has gone from 97 to 100. Thanks bro…

    • AlTahoe

      Reno NWS is only forecasting highs 5-10F above normal for our area. South Lake is supposed to reach 73F which isn’t notable at all for this time of year. in May of 2013 we had our earliest 90F ever recorded.

  • BerryessaSage

    It’s amazing how the rain this season is still affecting my region. Up in Northern Napa County, the hillsides are still green, the creeks are also flowing much more vigorously then they have in prior years! There are new seeps and springs everywhere I looked today on my hike to ZimZim Falls. The ground is still extremely moist in some spots even though our last decent rain was nearly a month ago! All these new seeps and springs are feeding into ZimZim Creek giving it a flow more akin to mid-march than mid-may. Here’s a great comparison of the creek from April 15th 2015 https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/916c4cc6f8d2b7be17116c64fa968ca80bf2c11b3762ca9082e54e4b5e6f27c6.jpg and May 17th 2017 https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6434a8d590052c6315e78d37dcd67adaa2d7d6ffbdd9b805958490fd5ecae54e.jpg .
    Maybe this year there might be enough residual moisture in the soils for the falls to run year round…
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/973f3b2d8772587846c58cc3ddd7abe697df0bc645f7d0e5c34ad4ca83489e73.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/561e9ecf58c54b3635f9702d326ac61be442290fff2b6bb3ee41277953d35051.jpg

    • Bombillo1

      If only we could have weekly rain. This will be on the November ballot and I recommend a yes vote. My mother-in-law lives in Medellin. Rains once a week, daytime highs about 78 year round with wild orchids and exotic palms growing in the hi way mediums. Except for a few socio political economic problems, pretty much ideal.

      • DelMarSD

        Sounds like perfect weather.

      • weathergeek100

        Higher elevations in tropical regions have some of the most desirable climates in my opinion. Go up to 2000-4000 feet in Hawaii’s mountains and it’s absolutely fantastic. Brief 10 minute trade wind showers basically all year long. That being said, sea level in Hawaii is also quite pleasant, relatively speaking. I’ve been there once and I recall humidity and temperatures lower than other tropical regions at the same latitude. Less of those torrential afternoon tropical thunderstorms, too.

        • Bombillo1

          Medellin is 6 degrees N of equator and 4900′ elevation. Hawaii is darn nice as well except a bit disappointing how cold the water gets between November and March.

    • inclinejj

      It’s also nice to see Putah Creek flowing strong. Or it was the last time I was up there. Is Berryessa still spilled through the glorry hole.

      • Pfirman

        Fairly recently it was.

      • Howard Goodman

        Putah Creek is CCR’s Green River !

    • annette johnson

      Beautiful!

  • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

    For those not a fan of the upcoming heat wave:

    https://twitter.com/SPaulsonKTVU/status/865191373573505026

    • Bombillo1

      Thanks. I needed that.

    • AlTahoe

      The Euro has been showing this for a few days now.

  • Howard Goodman

    Even though the winters here can be rough , I don’t like heat , the hottest I’ve ever seen is 92 and that’s when it was like 114 in Chico , even when it’s hot late in the afternoon I fire up my sprinklers , I have 2 creeks I pull water from and run about 25 Rainbirds https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/73ef72236679b53fb29361df641bade7fc82a54dcee58da9ffcc9e9874b3f0bf.jpg at once

    • What different types of trees do you have there? Your property looks very inviting.

    • Pfirman

      When I lived up in Cohasset there was a similar temperature difference, but not all the wet, heh.

      • Howard Goodman

        Yeah Cohasset’s a few ridges north of here , I’m at 4K the same as Butte Meadows , there’s a web cam at The Outpost they get about the same snow as here before I lived here full time I could look at it to see how much snow I had

  • weathergeek100

    Seattle residents are certainly going to be happy about the forecast, especially the guy that writes the AFD:

    “Yes…W WA stands on the threshold of a bold new age…with no rain
    in sight for at least the next 7 days. Those unfamiliar with the
    area`s long, torturously wet recent history may simply and
    dismissively just call it spring but for the waterlogged
    multitudes…it feels like liberation.”

    And here’s the forecast for Seattle:
    http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=47.60620882800049&lon=-122.33206857399972#.WR3BPOsrJhE

    70s!!! Even low 80s?!?!?!

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      I read comments by weather people living in the PacificNW on the Weather Forums. This has been an incredibly wet and cold rain season for Seattle going back to November.

      • Pfirman

        There was snow at sea level in Seattle. Buddy said it was good powder.

    • Cap’n

      I’m road tripping up to Olympia in a week. Those guys are right, according to my buddy up there it hasn’t stopped raining for 6 months, and a lot of heavy rain. I’m hoping for 70F and sunny as I’ll be camping for parts of the trip.

  • happ [Los Angeles]

    Nice photo of Parque Nacional Constitución de 1857 above Ensenada in Baja [80 miles from San Diego]; the forest in Hanson plain looks healthy. I was surprised to find out that these mountains are part of the Sierra Nevada range.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4aa1cca4b0d686f8795981e531b53d41673f296e8b0512093c4b30cf0a3d8ce2.jpg

    • Tuolumne

      Nice photo of a really cool place I’ve never been to.

      Technically these mountains are not part of California’s Sierra Nevada, but that name has been applied to several mountain ranges around the world (certainly in Spain and Columbia).

      On the other hand, while I’m not a geologist, I have the impression that the granite batholith of the Sierra Nevada proper was put into place under similar conditions and timing as most of the granitic batholiths in southern California’s Transverse and Peninsular Ranges as well as those in Baja. I understand these are generally remnants of a long-ago subduction zone, but this long narrow belt of batholiths has since been bisected and offset by movement along the San Andreas Fault. The granite in many of these areas has been exposed by tens of millions of years of erosion.

      Maybe a geologist can speak up and clarify this situation.

      • happ [Los Angeles]

        “Sierra de Juárez is a subdivision of the mountain range Cordillera Baja California which is an extension of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.[5]” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_1857_National_Park

        • Tuolumne

          The linked source within Wikipedia doesn’t work. All Wikipedia requires is one source to document any non-controversial assertion so it’s not a particularly reliable source, even though there are some nice explanations on some topics. I’ll link an article there when I know enough on that particular topic to be confident about the information therein.

          If the Cordillera Baja California is an extension of the Sierra Nevada then so would be the southern California ranges which link the two; it’s not like the Sierra Nevada consists of two widely separated parts. In fact, the Peninsular Ranges of southern California are merely an extension of the Cordillera Baja California, but they stop at San Gorgonio Pass. Then there’s a gap filled with other mountains of different origin before you get to the Sierra.

          My point before was that the underlying granitic rocks in these areas (hidden in some locations but still there underground) broadly share similarities and origins. However, the actual uplift of these different ranges was accomplished by different means and over different periods of time. Thus, the Sierra Nevada, the Transverse Ranges, and the Peninsular Ranges/Cordillera Baja California are reasonably considered to be separate mountain ranges.

          Some information can be found here: http://earth.usc.edu/files/htdocs/papers/paterson/Growth%20and%20demise%20of%20continental%20arcs.pdf

          • happ [Los Angeles]

            Thanks for the info/ link on the Cordillera Baja California. That was the first time I had ever read that the Sierra Nevada were associated directly to the peninsular range. The Baja tourist site for Parque Nacional Constitución even quotes the incorrect wikipedia information.

            At 5500′ Laguna Hanson gets a fair amount of snow. I have not explored the west side of the Sierra de Juarez but have been to Canon de Guadalupe by way of San Felipe. The hot side of the mountains but beautiful nonetheless. Has anyone driven Highway 2 over La Rumorosa? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0f0d216d59cc3b40292e558ae5a07defd8d1b0ab9814f6d0c75bad78f346a070.jpg
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9d3f8ecb35346274a0ace9f408de51cfe9aabe66aee2c18d0d4334cd63fd512e.jpg
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/be85b5a86191588fab91b6ce03fe1a729a48b03ff9a8028f8c7774f36256262d.jpg

          • Pfirman

            That highway pic gave me vertigo.

          • Pfirman

            The Marble Mountains out of Scott Valley are a displaced section of the Sierra Nevada if I reckon correctly.

          • Tuolumne

            The entire Klamath Mountains region (much more than just the Marbles) is made of a crustal segment that broke off from the Sierra Nevada area a very long time ago. I seem to recall 80 million years ago but don’t hold me to that.

            But that’s the rocks. The actual uplift to create the present distinct mountain ranges was much more recently in geologic time, so these are separate ranges but with a linked deep past.

          • Pfirman

            Yes. But the Marbles are the most visible evidence of that. The granite there is a dead ringer for Sierra granite and will mess with your marbles.

          • Tuolumne

            There’s also some very Sierra-like granite in the Russian Peak area, just southeast of the Marbles.

    • Dan weather maniac

      wow looks amazing….Im surprised its not more populated down there.

    • Craig Matthews

      That is a very unique area. Was close to it many years ago and surprised at the extensive pine forests up there. Not seeing any dying pines or trees in that photo is nice.

      • Tuolumne

        This range is far enough south that on the average they get lot more of their precip from summer thunderstorms. So they may not have been hit as hard by the drought as farther north, and the summers during the drought having decent monsoonal moisture in southern California might just have been very good for northern Baja.

        • Craig Matthews

          That makes sense. Seams like those mtns could get close to the same amounts of precip from the monsoonal surges during the summer as they do from the tail ends of our storms, or cut off Lows during the winter. That’s something to look up…

          • Tuolumne

            The figure I saw was 40% for the Sierra de San Pedro Mártir. The Sierra Juarez is a bit farther north so it might get a smaller percentage but it’s still probably pretty good.

    • Bombillo1

      San Pedro Martir mountains, no? The lake is certainly not above historic levels. Did they have a mediocre winter?

      • Tuolumne

        That range is a bit farther south and a lot higher. This is the Sierra Juarez.

  • Thunderstorm

    The honey bees have returned again this year on my Texas Privet. Blooming very dense this year. I always prune after the panicle blooms have finished as there are approximately 1,000 bees that do there work here for 6 weeks from about the 10th of May until Summer starts. Hedge is 14 foot tall about 140 foot long.

    • Dan weather maniac

      hmmm….2 question for you on that

      do you water your privet during summer?
      what area of the state are you again?

      I ask becuase I want to grow some along a fence to creat a screen, but i dont want to have to water it once is established….and I think I can get away with that…..but am curious on your experiense. I love to hear the bees like the flowers, i didnt realize that, but makes sense.

      I live in the east bay hills, get 30inches per year on average, but obviously zero from about June – Sept….usually 75-85 for highs all summer, but the occasional heat way to 90-100 for a few days, here or there..

      • Thunderstorm

        The hedge is not drought tolerant and needs to be watered once a week. I live close to SF bay by the Dumbarton Bridge. Cuts the wind very nicely.

    • gray whale

      Very very cool. With all respect to the research itself (of course) I think that Daniel’s work as a communicator / science-whisperer will be his most valuable social contribution.

      • Jason Jackson Willamette

        This site is certainly proof of that statement. We all are very, very grateful for his providing this forum for us weather nuts to share on. Thank you Daniel!

    • Craig Matthews

      Thanks for the direct link.

  • HighWater
    • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

      Nice! That sky line never gets old…North Lake Rd open yet?

      • HighWater

        Not yet

    • Craig Matthews

      Just about 2 weeks away from June and look at all that snow!!

    • Charlie B

      I took this yesterday morning on the way to Las Vegas. Shows the White Mountains, Owens Valley and high Sierra from 35,000 feet. The snow in the whites is impressive. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/98cc7ba5bcc66e0c698e171dcc193fe9acdf483400956aa015e1a326040eab85.jpg

      • HighWater

        Great pic! That snow pack is unbelievable for the middle of May
        Blown away

      • Yolo Hoe

        Wow!!!

      • Bombillo1

        Nice shot of Antarctica.

  • Craig Matthews

    From Levi Cowan’s site Tropical Tidbits.. http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/
    One map showing MSLP gradient and 10m wind vectors for very early Saturday morning before sunrise, and the other map is average low cloud fraction>642hPa….Looks like there’s going to be some type of marine influence on the immediate coast with this upcoming heatwave. Gradients suggest thermal trough locates slightly inland from the coast south of Mendocino Co by the early weekend. And with the mid-upper level ridge building way up into PNW and the warmest anomalies occuring over Norcal/PNW, am wondering if we might get a low level southerly surge up the central coast at some point later this weekend?
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/61ba11f22fa8c3c325b638ce96e90d84963422985c0c4a461b641e686bf16f38.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b20e41676a99fa4f7df4dc9fc38da6b4b7484cac2e6582e8ba508842a7eed9f8.png

  • DelMarSD

    Thoughts on next week. SD NWS:

    ” The forecast for the middle to latter part of next week is of low
    confidence. GFS maintains ridging hanging tough across Southern
    California, while the ECMWF model shows a longwave trough
    amplifying across the western states. Two drastically differing
    solutions in terms of temperatures. Dry weather would be likely
    though with either scenario. In terms of temps, GFS would
    maintain triple digit heat over the lower deserts and less cooling
    to the mountains and points west, while the ECMWF solution would
    bring more substantial cooling area wide. Case in point…GFS MOS
    shows 104F next Thursday at Palm Springs, while ECMWF shows only
    91F! The extended forecast is trended slightly cooler for this
    period, but not as cool as the ECMWF given the uncertainties. “

  • redlands

    Temp in Redlands, Ca – Southern Ca 5/18/2017 was 87 — yesterday temp 5/17/2017 was only 63 — was 24 degrees hotter today !!!!!!!

  • Chris

    Heading up to Tahoe today. Outdoor wedding on Sunday.
    Maybe a “boom crack”? ?????

    • AlTahoe

      Its already warm out this morning. It is going to be a nice weekend. Just got word that they cleared 20 downed trees off of the corral trail so good mountain biking is now open in South Lake.

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)
    • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)
      • Bombillo1

        Weing a warm one here too.

    • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

      Low level gradients down there don’t look to be that impressive off shore. I’d say you might get a sea breeze around 2-3pm that will cap temps in Camarillo.

      • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

        The southeastern part of the plain usually does change to a sea breeze every afternoon at 2pm, however today & tomorrow may be different, I’m expecting a few small brush fire reports over the next 48 hours across SoCal.

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      Nice photos. Santa Monica Mountains, right?

      • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

        Correct!

    • Craig Matthews

      That looks like a nice area. You have some nice ocean views?

      • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

        Nearby, but not from home unfortunately. Only 10-15 minutes away though.

  • Harpo (Chico)

    DWR has begun gradually shutting down the main spillway at Oroville dam “with outflows expected to stop by Friday afternoon.” They say that it will remain closed for the rest of the summer and that the big repair project is expected to ramp up Monday. They plan to increase flows through the power plant to balance some of the reduction from the spillway. The lake level is now under 830 feet elevation, about 71 feet below the lip of the emergency spillway.

    Press release:
    http://www.water.ca.gov/news/newsreleases/2017/051717_news_release.pdf

    Webcam: http://www.parks.ca.gov/live/lakeorovillesra_spillway

    Lake level: http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/queryF?ORO

    • Thanks for all of these links! I wonder if they will hit 25,000 cfs inflows this weekend? There’s plenty of room of course. Reservoir level is about 27′ above the main spillway deck.

  • mattzweck

    i guess it suppose to be warm the next couple of days. here in the high desert Lancaster area getting offshore breezes again.

  • Rainmaker (San Jose)

    this is the coolest page ever!!! I love seeing the Low pressure system wind directions
    https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=-122.57,33.30,758

  • DelMarSD

    Scripps Peir water temperature is 67 degrees. Great beach weather this weekend with temps around 80.

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      San Diego bay SST is 70

    • Bombillo1

      The Bite doing you right. Cold out further.

      • Pfirman will correct your spelling. The water is chile and that bites!

        • Pfirman

          Dyslexics Untie!

    • Nathan

      I can ground truth that later. Sounds waaaay high.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b8e60661f749a1ca23c4807ba623b461df49481012d3640b540a96e7ae37dfbe.jpg Picture of snow in Boulder Colorado from very late season winter storm that dropped inches of rain around Denver and multiple feet of snow in the mountains!

    • Bombillo1

      Just had a friend show me his diary of when he visited our ranch in 2010. On May 22 it was 34 degrees and snowing (we’re only at 2400 feet). Expecting 95 degrees here on Monday the 22nd.

      • Pfirman

        Heh, still three days until May 22.

        • Bombillo1

          And more likely I have a date with Emma Stone than May 22nd snow…

  • Craig Matthews

    87 here in the nw Santa Lucia Mtns. Light nnw winds. Gonna be a nice BBQ weekend and some cannon balls in the local swimming hole. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a356eb3cd5fb5eb7c41fbfad3c5e52b7db03f6d982545e37524353981b4cc9ad.jpg

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      Water temps probably chilly, right? I’ve swam in Arroyo Seco river and it was perfectly warm but that was later on in summer.

      • PRCountyNative

        I’ll let you know by Sunday.

        I’d put the over/under for a bet at 59 1/2 degrees.

        • Craig Matthews

          Goin’ up past “Horse Bridge”?. Those pools are awesome…probably very very cold right now.

          • PRCountyNative

            Quick dip today at the ball field on the way back from the coast.

            I don’t want to incriminate myself about tomorrow, so I won’t say anything. Except it’s a river day.

      • Craig Matthews

        So cold it takes the air outta the lungs for a few seconds. Usually by late June or july the water temps are perfect…probably mid-upper 60s.

  • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

    Not CA related, but impressive when shown in scale.

    https://twitter.com/MJVentrice/status/865367530076078080

    • Craig Matthews

      Way cool visual from the global sat. standpoint where you can see all the Highs and Lows rotating and the interactions in between them, thanks for sharing this animation. You can kind of visualize the location of the boundary of moist-hot Gulf airmass in relation to the cold trough over the interior West and where the coldfront+dryfront are located…even from the global sat view, and then the dynamical explosion of those severe storms so large, yeah. The trough over the interior West is in just about perfect position for this slower moving severe outbreak.

      • Jason Jackson Willamette

        Flash flood warnings and tornado watches all over the midwest. You couldn’t pay me to live there. As much as I love storms, I don’t want to deal with the life threatening events that happen in tornado alley regularly.

        • ConcepcionImmaculadaPantalones

          That’s why all the houses the mister and I are looking at in Nebraska have a finished basement with a storm-shelter area in them at the minimum. We’re leaving California at the end of the summer though. 😛

  • AlTahoe

    Just got back from Nevada beach and I was able to wear shorts, sandals, and a tank top finally! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c36eade0eed655a32f1c35bd22a9d69ac6b55236145e3d0f51e91e41752a1a1b.jpg

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      Looks beautiful, what’s the water like?

      • Charlie B

        Cold.

      • AlTahoe

        I went in up to my knees and it was Santa Cruz Ocean cold

        • Pfirman

          Sure, but no Tiburon.

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      Look at that blue water and sky above. Mesmerizing!

      • AlTahoe

        Every time I turn on that path to the water at Nevada beach the view of Tallac takes my breath away. I think it might be the best view in all of Tahoe

    • Charlie B

      Thank you for not posting a tank top picture. This is a family site.

      • AlTahoe

        Just picture cousin eddy from national lampoons vacation with a 6 pack ring hanging off of my fingers and one hams beer left. That’s how I stroll to the beach

      • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

        True, but considering what the other gender considers normal beach attire these days, a tank top on a guy is probably the least of our worries when it comes to offensive clothing at the beach.

    • MetaGhost (Berkeley)

      Say Al, any idea of the condition of the South Lake golf courses for Memorial Day weekend? Obviously snow is gone but is the grass back? I’m assuming they’ve opened.

      • AlTahoe

        Golf courses are good to go and the grasses are green. It’s a little marshy in places now but that should dry out by then.

  • cthenn

    Why does the NWS constantly, and without fail, underestimate daytime highs during heat waves? It’s 94 in Walnut Creek, and the predicted high was 89. Tomorrow the predicted high is 91, so I have no doubt it will exceed 95. They are so bad, they are good. Meaning, I can predictably add 5-8 degrees to the forecasted highs and almost always be right. It’s almost all the time… You’d think they’d do the same thing instead of praying to the models and trusting them to the tee.

    • FolsomPrisonBlues

      Same. The high for Folsom was predicted to be 87. It got to 94. I would rather them overshoot the temp so that we can be pleasantly surprised when it isnt quite as hot as they said it would be lol.

    • Craig Matthews

      Is that 94 recorded at your place, or is it recorded at the official weather station of that area?(that’s interesting) Just curious because I notice a lot of temp fluctuations while driving through that area in the past. However that was likely due to marine air flowing through the gaps to the west affecting some localized areas of Walnut Creek and not others. But in this case no marine influence there so that is weird, esp the way they(NWS) are consistently off with the temps during heat waves in that area.

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      I don’t think it exceeded 95F anywhere in SoCal today except maybe Death Valley

      88/ 61

      • RunningSprings6250

        And 61 was my high!

        • redlands

          93 in Redlands, Ca — Southern Ca — had wind gust to 27.5mph today — on Wednesday it was 63 —

    • Unless you have a rather expensive solar-shielded thermometer sited on a grass or gravel surface, it’s unlikely that the temperature you’re measuring is the same physical quantity as the number reported in the official NWS forecast. Official temperatures are always “shade temperatures,” since they are supposed to represent the temperature of the ambient air (not air that is further heated by the interaction with the ground, or other influences). A 5 degree difference is certainly within the range that could easily be explained by such an “apples to oranges” comparison.

      • inclinejj

        Isn’t a requirement the tempature is taken 6-9 feet off the ground?

        • I think it is 5-6 feet.

      • Arnold Weather Fanatic

        I guess that would be a white box with louvers? Mine is under the carport, and has air flow, but runs a bit cool because I think cool air pools under it.

      • I don’t have a high-tech shield. It is just a basic radiation shield from Ambient Weather. During the winter, it’s pretty close to dead-on, but now it is in the sun most of the time and the temp reads about 2 degrees higher than other stations.

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      The airport is where they do the forecasts for me and there a mile away from the Bay. I’m 3-4 miles away and sit on the side of the hill and it is constant 4-5 degrees warmer too! For example yesterday it was forecast to be 79 and the high was 83

    • Dan weather maniac

      There is something about the east bay cities from orinda to concord to underreport hi temps in this sort of pattern. Not sure why but I notice it as well during summer warm patterns.

  • Jim

    Pretty early in the season for a 10,000 acre fire….
    http://www.fire.ca.gov/current_incidents/incidentdetails/Index/1496

  • Rainmaker (San Jose)
  • alanstorm

    Wow! That’s a rapid snowmelt rise above FLOOD STAGE for Lyon Co Nevada & the Walker River
    httpsloads.disquscdn.com/images/5e24b017f7059ba2d9aba0c75c63385b9dc236a8a4d6ddcb96d2777715e485f9.png

  • Thirstier Nick (Santa Maria)

    Came back from my second Bay Area trip in a week. Saw some glowing going on from that wildfire in the SLO/Monterey County. Fire season is here.

  • inclinejj

    While the rest of the Bay Area and state I woke up to this unexpected surprise.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c4c3d4dd26886910022c33c4f70d5dd59a5b517e7e79c2798907c46d0ff88368.jpg

    • Bombillo1

      A Sam Clemens winter in San Francisco.

    • inclinejj

      It burned off very fast but it’s only 69.3 we will probably hit about 75 today depending on the sea breeze.

  • Bombillo1

    I am impressed by how true to averages temperatures run, over the long run. All the cool/cold weather earlier being off-set by the consistent 10 degree above avg we are getting now. No real reversion to the mean in the next 10 days either. Spanking machine stuck “on”. 50 mi N of Redding.

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      Yes, the reliability of moderation can ruin any hope of extreme anomalies, it seems.

      • Charlie B

        I struggle with that concept every Friday after work.

  • T’storm98 (Orcutt, CA)
  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    First thunderstorm day in the Mountains today? 30 percent chance of isolated thunderstorms at 5 PM at Mammoth Lakes https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f95eebbcbe6900a61a98ac62e7c150a1b4c50abdd2c56226073f0b4e83447f64.png

    • Bombillo1

      I always remember the electric storm in the Mammoth area, a group of hikers took cover in a stone shack, which took a direct hit. Don’t remember year.

  • mattzweck

    here in the high desert Lancaster area. really warm out.

  • T’storm98 (Orcutt, CA)

    Nice weekend weather at Santa Barbara while its storms are going to pop up almost everyday in Port Charlotte, FL area. Which is good because there are so many fires in FLorida right now. The wet season has arrived in Florida.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3c65b1c38f6f9bfd630fbe5cc7af058fde0998de269d6531a9607c796eb276d8.png

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/df6f0bad548fc7b28ba75633c2c7f9723bd74c9e2fcdef1e03fccb3b2b3d97c1.png

  • Rainmaker (San Jose)

    12 days out , nothing like a June storm 18 days before the summer solstice to keep winter in the back of our minds. Only posting this because 4-5 models straight have shown something happening around this period
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8f291e0be765e14c94c3504cf2b4df568aab65bac5d97aedd0d97006fe93eacd.png

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      This year is a miracle, even if this storm doesn’t happen just wanted to put that out there. Which model is that

      • Rainmaker (San Jose)

        GFS, 12z, frame 44-45

    • Craig Matthews

      Yeah its spring. The GEFSpaghetti must be a real mix bag.

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      I knowwww I’m late to the party, but control EPS is showing a CoL dropping down from the north inside sliding generally west of the Sierra’s, Also I need a CoL to come into the plains for when I leave…

  • T’storm98 (Orcutt, CA)

    Its way cooler than expected, currently its only 73F supposed to be at 86F today. However the marine layer is hugging the coast now which explains why it’s cooler than yesterday.

  • I don’t know how this started. These aren’t weather related. https://twitter.com/cal_fire/status/866022373828341761

    • DelMarSD

      I actually saw this while driving.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        I thought I saw a distant line of smoke to the south when I was in San Clemente this afternoon, and I am guessing that it is from the Gate Fire, unless there are other active fires in San Diego County.

    • matthew

      I think the clue as to how it started are the words Otay Truck Trail. For me the most dangerous time of year up here is when the masses show up with their off road toys.

  • John Curtis

    I’m very excited about the award I am about to receive!!!

    • What’s your prediction for next Winter?

      • Rainmaker (San Jose)

        honestly probably another wet winter, if droughts last 4-5 years, a pattern of above average rain years can at least last 2 years. Besides these two heatwaves, late spring has been very chilly. Gfs is hinting at more low pressure troughs going into June. If this pattern continues through summer I can see an early start to the rain season with average to above average rainfall across the State next winter season.

        • Hollow Scene (Riverside)

          Im not getting too excited; If you look at LA’s historical rainfall, a wet year can easily punctuate a drought period. Also, at the beginning of this wet winter, things weren’t looking so great either.

    • Hollow Scene (Riverside)

      Congrats!

  • Craig M. You did a good job with your thoughts on marine layer along immediate coast keeping temps cooler there than just a few miles inland. ?

    • Craig Matthews

      lol, thanks man. Yup, looks like its getn blown a bit south. Might clear out down to pt sur by evening with the stronger northerly grads down the coast at this time. But by tomorrow it could move back north will see…

      • LOL yer welcome 🙂

      • PRCountyNative

        Thick fog all afternoon Carmel Bay, right at the coast.

        I was way wrong on the water temp. in the river – was at least 60. And so nice to step out into 80+ sunshine!

  • cthenn

    96 in Walnut Creek! We did it, I correctly predicted the high temp based on nws’ underestimation. Forecast was for 91 and I said 95+. If there’s a casino that takes weather bets, always bet the over… Lol!

    • Bombillo1

      Congratulations, you win, sort of…

    • Craig Matthews

      It worked..

    • I think Wynn does.

  • matthew

    @jstrahl & others – back to the topic of Berkeley housing/neighborhoods. Any input on the Gourmet Ghetto neighborhood? Henry Street in particular.

    • Andrew (Berkeley)

      Would definitely recommend. Henry is convenient to bus lines and Safeway nearby. And lots of good restaurants too. But it’s probably gonna be pricier than Central Berk / southside.

      • matthew

        Thanks.

    • Nathan

      thumbs up.

  • Cap’n

    The road to the Mt Lola trailhead through Perazzo Meadows was quite an adventure. We had to walk the last .75 miles as the mud and snow patches were still tough (I’d imagine that road will be good to go in 10-14 days. Trailhead at 6,600 ft is still buried. Luckily I brought a chainsaw and bucked 25 rounds of Lodge pole. Spring is in the air. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/13fa0b09c1761e4fa2d1201c1e3a686f1e9be7b03de50ca210928198be33ca9e.jpg

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      It is such a pleasure to see so much snow at this time of the year; thanks for the photos

      • Cap’n

        It’s going fast, but areas like this that are close to the crest, north facing, and shaded are holding on to some snow. Mt Lola and everything surrounding Jackson Meadows has a lot of coverage still. I think my neighborhood will be completely snow free at the end of the coming week. The woods behind my house (between the west end of Donner Lake and the summit) maybe another 2-3 weeks.

        • Dan the Weatherman

          When does your neighborhood become snow free on average?

    • inclinejj

      How many cords of wood fit in the back of a full sized pickup as high as the bed?

      There must be tons of branches to cut up to start your fire.

      • Bombillo1

        Way less than one cord (4’X4′ X 8′ = 1 cord), stacked to that height.

        • inclinejj

          Thanks. I’ll never forget this story. A friend of my dads was invited up to another buddies house in Grass Valley area. So they went out to gather and cut some oak wood. Dad’s buddy loads his truck full of oak. He’s driving down the road back to the guys house and realized he way over loaded his pick up truck, so he barely made it around a pretty sharp corner back to the other guys house.

          • Jason Jackson Willamette

            Oh come on! That’s a teaser. Then what happened?

          • Tuolumne

            He failed to crash and there was no YouTube video. The end.

          • inclinejj

            The truck was very overloaded and he almost missed a sharp turn and hit a couple trees.

    • Charlie B

      It is always a good idea to have a random chainsaw in the back seat. In fact, I replaced my 8 iron with a chainsaw. I have found that I still stink but it is easier to get out of the woods.

      • You can do anything once. Good one!

      • Jason Jackson Willamette

        Heh, don’t like the course layout – darn trees!!! Just change it –

        Umm sir, it that a chain saw in your golf bag or are you just glad to see us in the pro-shop?

  • happ [Los Angeles]

    Hottest day of the year today [94F]. There were a few low 90’s in March and April.

  • TBinRC

    There was some discussion of when Tioga road would open in Yosemite… well, I just drove Glacier Point and there is still a LOT of snow up there. Tioga make take a while more to open.

    I can’t post pictures due to the file size limit, but many of the snow drifts next to the road were over 8 feet tall.

  • Farmer47

    Anyone know when twin lakes campground in mammoth may be open?

    • mattzweck

      i think sometime in June do to alot of snow fall. alot of campgrounds are opening up late this year do to heavy snow.

  • John Curtis

    Excellent presentation! I had the intention of introducing myself as John Curtis. Dr. Swain’s presentation and knowledge base, especially demonstrated in the q and a session, made me realize that John Curtis has no place in the weather world. And because of that, I declare the avatar of John Curtis to be dead effective immediately and not worthy of introduction to the great doctor. He slayed John Curtis with his demonstrated acumen across multiple topics.

    This was presented at an institute that believes in among other things the idea of reincarnation.

    John Curtis experienced the collaboration of science and religion in one experience that were enlightening in both fields.

    And so it is. The scientific John Curtis may have passed, but only to give rise to his reincarnated superior, River Man.

    • Yolo Hoe

      Nicely said and much appreciate the on site reporting.

      So in this reincarnation, what becomes of the coastal fog theory (CFTV2)?

    • PRCountyNative

      Long live John Curtis!

    • Bombillo1

      Scientific academics have the exalted position of being paid to study, experiment, postulate, attend convocations with other academics exchanging ideas, critique the theses of others and have their own thesis similarly critiqued, their entire lives. They are therefore extremely well read, conversant in many subjects as they are the repository of our collective acquired knowledge base. In most cases they are supported by the institutions that request their presence thereby unchained from the pursuit of profit. The rest of us are left to make a living by somehow appealing to the market place, which does not afford the same breath of experience as scientists. I can not think of a better life than which Daniel and those chosen few that call themselves scientists experience. Mothers, tell your children… So yes JC, we are all dumb shits in their presence. Don’t feel bad.

      • Bombillo1

        BTW, what did he say about what we might expect for our weather (not climate) here in Calif?

    • alanstorm

      Haha. Got a chuckle out of me

    • T’storm98 (Orcutt, CA)

      Kenny Strawn?

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      Ha! Good one JC (oh wow, same initials….)

      About reincarnation. Makes perfect sense to me. Explains much of human nature and the garbage we go through, or not… Isn’t it nice though that we don’t have a clear recollection of all of our past lives? Imagine how nuts we would be if we had to deal with all the baggage of this lifetime PLUS all the previous ones? Yikes.

      What does come through though are our innate tendencies; our propensity to either grow and change into truly conscious adults or become self-sabotaging and waste our time defending the ego.

      • Bombillo1

        Why we do not have perfect recall (in our existing state) is an interesting subject. On the surface it would represent a major competitive advantage and this trait would have been selected for very early on. Alas it is not so and some psychologists think that it is emotionally better to be able to FORGET many things/events that are not conducive to good mental health. Apparently in my case, it is about half the shit that happens.

  • redlands

    99 in Redlands, Ca – Southern Ca—- 5/20/2017

  • mattzweck

    Here in the high desert Lancaster area It’s 7:45 am and about 80 ou already. Think it’s going to be another warm day.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    Category 3 Hurricane with Central Pressure of 963 MB shown hitting Tampa at 384 hours on GFS.If there is model to model consistency then there is a possibility of that outcome as hurricane season is almost upon us! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/14cff75801773bb9ee6d336ab85822db790a64e0b7d8b96f0de8a7c5baef1d22.png

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      Yee haw! Tumbling trailers, airborne golf carts, and seawater in Orlando.

      Fun!

  • Bombillo1

    Euro has shanked this one. 4 or 5 days ago they had called for troughs after this week’s heat wave. It appears now that we float around with much higher than normal temps for the next 240 hours. Remarkable slamming shut of the storm door around April 22 after getting over 140 inches in the previous 7 months. 50 mi N of Redding ( average annual ~ 70 inches)

    • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

      Just as people in Seattle get depressed in the winter, I think some WW folks have the same thing happen during CA summers. At least that is the case for me. Soooooo boring.

      • Bombillo1

        Include me in. These boards become a Facebook page for about 3 people as well.

        • Jason Jackson Willamette

          Well, we could always share barbeque recipes on here! Or our favorite artists from the 70’s!

          • Tuolumne

            50 different ways to sun-dry fresh fruit in our dry summer climate! At least away from the coast – my mother tried to sun-dry fresh figs from her tree and found they got moldy. Too much fog and night-time humidity (Fremont).

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        All about that subtropical pacific high that makes our weather so boring in the summer, include me too

      • happ [Los Angeles]

        4-corners high is heat-maker w/ occasional monsoon.

        PacificNW is warming up nicely; they deserve it.

      • T’storm98 (Orcutt, CA)

        West coast summers are horribly dry and boring.

        • Dan the Weatherman

          I wish what we experienced here in Socal during the summer of 2015 was the norm for all our summers. That would certainly make our summers more exciting!

          • T’storm98 (Orcutt, CA)

            Summer 2016 and 2015 were very different from each other. Summer 2016 was devoid of monsoonal moisture and was frequently socked in marine layer with cool temperatures. Summer 2015 was very warm, unusually humid and frequent tropical moisture impacted California all season.

    • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

      Looks like a NE-SW rex block setup over us next week which means more of the same. The low in the SW portion of this rex block has the possibility to cut-off and produce a cooler pattern late next week.

    • Rainmaker (San Jose)

      I see another high pressure system swinging in right behind this one https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/184975e0ef422b22043bde4bb3a04aaba9e0d9df7ddf537aea1efcc24243489a.png
      not going to be fun

      • Bombillo1

        I see my camper and fly rod swinging north right after this next heat wave.

  • T’storm98 (Orcutt, CA)

    At least it’s not all dry in California.

    http://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/qpf/p168i.gif?1495382390

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      that’s not funny

      • Jason Jackson Willamette

        Ha! If you want to live where you can experience weekly thunderstorms, move to the South. Other than the storminess, I can’t recommend the place. Heat + oppressive humidity, BUGS, and people who have lived under those conditions all of their lives. Of course there’s the Cracker Barrel, where Southern hospitality is served with a side of bacon, grits and a Coke

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/de36abdef7a08aa1bf56a6827be6edb89f03ecf9bc93ca6a870f60cb4d5f6525.png

        • inclinejj

          Waffle House!

        • Yolo Hoe

          Been there, done that — California is the place to be!

    • Thirstier Nick (Santa Maria)

      At least it’s late May.

  • alanstorm

    98° for tomorrow in Ukiah, interior Mendocino Co.
    RATTLESNAKES AWAKEN!!

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      Que the screaming teen agers and rats!

      • alanstorm

        Rattlers have been strangely absent the last 3 years.
        I’m sure drought related, however over the years, I’ve caught & “relocated” quite a few since I’ve been here.
        Also, I doubt the like the chainsaw noise!

        • Tuolumne

          Rattlesnakes can’t hear sound in the air, but they can certainly hear sound transmitted through the ground.

          • alanstorm

            I do quite alot of that!
            Plus, my cats have wiped out the rodents population around the living area.
            However, I’m not under any illusions- they are PLENTIFUL here

    • TheNothing
      • alanstorm

        “Monkey fighting snakes”?
        That’s like watching Scarface on TV- “Don’t ever FRIGG me Tony!”

        • TheNothing

          I figured I would have caught hell and been put in time out by a certain someone who lurks these boards if I linked the juicier version.

  • T’storm98 (Orcutt, CA)

    June 15th is the official start of the monsoon season in the Southwest. (CA, NV, AZ, NM, UT, CO and West TX)

  • Yolo Hoe

    Far southwest Davis: low of 54F at 0540 this morning — currently 89F with 28% humidity, barometer steady at 29.89 and light breeze from the north — high pressure in control as we head for high 90s and I melt into the asphalt on upcoming afternoon bike ride.

    • Pfirman

      Sunday was predicted to be 95 in Davis but it only rose to 93F. Woodland for Sunday was predicted to be 97, but hit the same 93F. It was actually pretty nice, with the breeze.
      Today I am expecting triple digits as a kind of turnaround as both towns are predicted to be 99F and the air is still.

  • happ [Los Angeles]
    • DelMarSD

      Interesting.

    • T’storm98 (Orcutt, CA)

      I’m in the pink

    • weathergeek100

      I love reading maps like this. The dew point one is interesting. South Florida sure is soupy! Also, many people don’t realize how humid the coast of Southern CA can get sometimes (closer proximity to the monsoon and warmer water than central and northern CA). This definitely raises their overall mean.

  • T’storm98 (Orcutt, CA)

    It is interesting that Sierra Vista, AZ is wetter than Santa Maria (Airport) and that the hottest month is June compared to September in Santa Maria.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/12f9b2e731553b941e33a30fda8bf93cbf4ca5e12f864e90e2a6b967bc196d7c.png

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/23e3877e732a7b9a8906150bd69c78ae940b2895e37b3debdd2e974e85eac4ce.png

    • Tuolumne

      It’s slightly wetter in Sierra Vista in terms of nominal precipitation, but they undoubtedly have more evapotranspiration due to warmer temperatures and lower humidity. So it’s a much more arid climate.

      The differing seasonal temperature behavior is for a couple of reasons. Coastal California gets the potential July temperature peak knocked down by the summer fog which hits hard in May, maximizes in June, and finally abates somewhat in September.

      Meanwhile, southern Arizona and neighboring areas get that potential July peak knocked down by the summer monsoon, which tends to get going fairly suddenly by July. So the potential summer temperature peaks for these two areas are pushed in opposite directions by regional climate patterns.

      • T’storm98 (Orcutt, CA)

        Its pretty cool how that works out.

  • Jason Jackson Willamette
  • Chris
    • Chis don’t know if you are home yet. Temps were quite warm in MoHill yesterday but dropped like a rock with cool surge from Monterey Bay and over the hill.

      • Chris

        Sea breeze from Monterey keeps the SJ smog away!!!

        • Subsidence. We’re in a pretty good spot. Warmer in the day and cooler at night than San Jose.

          • Chris

            Exactly!!! And by a large margin.
            Take today for example.
            It’s 95 in Morgan Hill and 82 in San Jose.
            The wind just shifted to the SE.
            By 8:00pm, I think we will be cooler than SJ.
            I’ll edit later!?

  • T’storm98 (Orcutt, CA)

    Santa Maria, CA: Mild temperatures with night and morning marine layer on most days.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/953ae4d22045cc101286fc7028810cc5cd7216083b93e5c9980e1e0e6e25a19d.png

    Punta Gorda, FL: Hot, humid and stormy with frequent pop up thunderstorms. Heaviest on Wednesday
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c283eaca257b342c117f83194e7c8565cc3dd9b76bb80e260ece27cce357d623.png
    Sierra Vista, AZ: Hot, sunny and very dry weather for the next 10 days.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/faa2555744d067568e9144423f0f155c0792cba71fe9fe58c2df70639f57139a.png

  • Nice and warm here in Twain Harte right now. Wish there were thunderstorms though.

  • AlTahoe
  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    Past 234 hours GFS looks extremely interesting for Late May and June especially SoCal especially if there was dynamics, forcing and a low. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5f4cb3681c7bd97d67eeeecb2d1bf7aa1a2643b66b83c3253811c7ad5247e018.png There is a winter like AR with PWATS of 1.25-1.5 aimed at the Santa Barbara Coast to Ventura County, but the low is completely detached and way to the North! To the North through 384 hours there is a ton of rain and moisture for this time of year especially in the Central Valley and Tahoe Basin. Also I know this might not happen at all as it is 10-16 days and just one forecast model, but who doesn’t like fantasyland! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3439be74bbde621df4672168a490f3f9152e290af047bc5f713b8f4ee2b0e934.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f0986ae06dd6ed699530e98fd7514648f3d075393144b3ae4bbcc3dc8e233c75.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c222718be22e9794eac4e31bcfdefbfeacd739b0dd0a7495bd0f474ad18e72ac.png

    • It’s not really an AR rather more like this continued wave pattern and COL. If you look at the North Pacific view you’ll see it develop. It’s kinda gone with current runs so we’ll see.

  • redlands

    100 in Redlands, Ca – Southern Ca — 5/21/2017

  • Yolo Hoe

    Thank you Pacha Mama for the snowpack: irrigation season begins in the Great Central Valley https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fb5eaa08e8420dae32406f7610e6495cf805261bd9628640ac293cb2e995de05.jpg

    • Nathan

      bell peppers?

      • Yolo Hoe

        Tomatoes

        • PRCountyNative

          Next year? All Cannabis. Cali’s gonna grow a billion pounds.

          • Pfirman

            Gonna be the new Zucchini….people will be leaving it on your porch and running away.

  • T’storm98 (Orcutt, CA)

    Its very quiet these days. Hopefully activity picks up when significant weather events impact the state.

  • inclinejj

    CH,I just saw Redding was 103 yesterday.

    • Tuolumne

      Warming up a little bit for spring. One of these days it’s going to get hot there!

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      Wow, that’s scary hot so early in the year

  • CHeden

    Didn’t get that hot at my place. Topped out at “only” 96F.
    Went up to Lassen/Manzanita Lake yesterday and it was beautiful with mid 70’s. Lake was fishing well, too. Crystal buggers working good. Too early for leach patterns.

    • Bombillo1

      Any surface activity? Is there ever a dry fly opportunity there? Never fished there…

      • CHeden

        Oh yes..especially the caddis hatches in July. Manzanita is small with lots of flats, and with the clear water, the sight fishing for browns and ‘bows can be awesome. Need a float or pram..no motors (incl electric) allowed. The basic technique is to strip leaches/buggers or small midges in front of fish in the shallows.

    • inclinejj

      The last two weeks have been pretty windy making the surf too rough. Tons of sea lettuce washing up. Now that the fog has socked us in maybe the wind will calm down. Was watching a huge school of anchovies a couple hundred yards off Mussell Rock the other day.

      • CHeden

        I was down in the Bay Area on Friday…and cruised the loop from Pedro to Funston.
        Saw the same bait right off Mussel in pockets. Nothing but pelc’s working it..no terns, migratories or black seagulls that I could see. No whales, either. Had been seeing some virtually every trip I made down there last few years. Also hearing reports the Spring/early run was pretty much a zip. Past years have featured some good April-May action, but apparently not so this year??

        • inclinejj

          Next time your down this way let me know! Friday I couldn’t get out. I was in Comcast H*ll. Router received an update over night and shut down. Had to go get another one and get the new one activated.

          The last wet year 2011 was very good early. I’m wondering with the high ,muddy water in the Sacramento River, has the spawn delayed a couple weeks to a month??

          • CHeden

            Saw quite a few skiffs working the flats near Candlestick, so the Bass are already back into the main Bay…so my guess the main spawn is over. With DFG now aggressively trying to slaughter as many Bass as possible up in the north Bay and Delta, it’s probably a moot point anyway. The Sac is still off-color (2′ vis) and not fishing well…I went out last week and got only two pick-ups and zero landed. Still pretty much legs&eggs from a drift boat. No surface action yet, but with the temps near 100, I’m hoping for some decent hatches to start…maybe this week.

          • gray whale
          • Nathan

            Cold got the beat!

          • inclinejj

            Flats near Candlestick? Halibut maybe? The guys down here pretty much all say, high water doesn’t matter they spawn when they spawn. Being I have caught stripers with eggs all year round? The guys in Sac say, the high muddy water puts off the spawn.

            Kill all the fish then send all the water South..I know don’t get me started.

    • TheNothing

      Manzanita campground is up there on my favorite places to camp. It doesn’t hurt that there’s a store selling cold beer there too:)

      • Admode (Susanville)

        And good ice cream.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    New Blog Post this week?

    • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

      What’s to discuss? Sunny for the next 4 months with a chance of monsoons down south.

      • Bombillo1

        Unless it is a post about research, that is exactly it. Martian weather would be more dynamic…

      • weathergeek100

        Yeah that’s pretty accurate, I’d say. In and out fog at the coast, deepening at times. It’s so boring I can’t stand summer in CA.

        I’m heading to Lincoln, Nebraska this weekend for a wedding. I was hoping for more convective potential but ‘a chance of showers’ is all I could get. Still, more fun than here.

      • There was a lot to discuss during the drought years! :)) There’s always been some good discussions during the summer.

      • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

        Summer 2014 and 2015 was the most active blog with the development of +ENSO. It was non stop WWBs and SST graphs all day long, I was on here checking in constantly…I think atmospheric concepts are infinite in subject matter regardless of season, but thats just me…Im looking forward to posts from Daniel that dive into the cause (Bering Sea block) of our productive winter we just went through…My eyes are constantly on the southern hemi for gale potential (swell) and of course the EPAC tropical zones for TD development…

        Does anyone think this troughing trend will continue into the summer and nudge the four corner high to east? That would be a substantial player…

        • 82/83 El Nino Baby (San Jose)

          Agreed, but Daniel does not tend to list predictions. Instead, he will list out the facts and draw logical conclusions from that (what a scientist should do). For example, before this last winter, his posts did not seem to have to ANY hope of a wet winter, let alone the deluge we ended up having. Not blaming him in anyway as the atmospheric setup at the time did not seem great. I would love a blog on causes of our wet winter, why it caught everyone off guard, and how we can use these learnings for the future. That and more info on teleconnections and atmospheric waves since .

          Regarding ENSO, I am a weekly watcher of Storm Surf for updates.

    • Bombillo1

      We never had much of a discussion here about the wavepattern post that Daniel said was an area of research and interest. I guess not as sexy as the Antarctic breaking up. I am imagining the next topic will be news regarding the Arctic which has become “the usual suspect” when looking at tipping point possibilities. All interesting but disappointed that no one ran with the wavepattern post.

      • You could look at a geothermal slant for the Antarctic. I haven’t seen any climate change articles that address this possibility. There’s most likely a different kind of melting going on that’s causing the glaciers to slide faster other than geothermal heat. The answers are never this easy.

      • PRCountyNative

        I’m naming my next band Wavenumber 6.

        Like the name La Rain, too.

  • Howard Goodman

    What a difference time makes the one https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6123ad5c80e2d5822e62ebfab246fea700229c983cd1c3f1587d3eb650a2ba6a.jpg picture in 2011 with the snow on this day back then , the second even though it was the wettest year on record the snows been gone for months https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6c05c3480bfa2b1ea048a6772c91171b5b2745cff1d68fb3d82e052236d269a9.jpg

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      Lush look

    • Bombillo1

      I just posted a comment about how in 2010 we had a snow event here on May 22nd (2400′ about 150 mi N of you). This year it is sweltering. Clearly your grass in 2011 was just coming out of the winter dormancy. you are in July growing form already.

      • Admode (Susanville)

        It is amazing how quickly things have been drying out. We have been planting the Eiler for the past month and have become very intimate with the soil moisture out there. The rate of drying is kind of scary.

  • Tazmanian

    if this fall/ winter is going to be a repet of the winter we this got done with then this time around with the lakes full in most place we could have a lot of issued with the lake and stuff has the lake will be full too near full too where the lakes are all most down too nothing but a little river

    • Cap’n

      Well said

    • I can’t even imagine another winter like this last one.

    • Tuolumne

      The lakes are going to go down quite a bit this summer as they drain water out to downstream users. Every reservoir that has a flood control purpose is supposed to drop its level down to a defined level at the beginning of the rainy season so it has space ready for incoming storm flows.

      That said, When reservoir levels are really depleted after a drought, that leaves extra space in the reservoir to handle an unusually wet winter. On the other hand, two very wet winters in a row is extremely rare in California.

  • Still some green and interesting (not seen before by me) grass in low lying areas that were supersaturated this winter. North facing hills with oaks are still pretty green, too. Otherwise hills are light brandy.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c7fc607e16af7b6a08bff011abac32c892198bf79c538945e4de400fe7abdf72.jpg

    • Pfirman

      See if you can figure out the grass. Does not look like good forage.

      • Tuolumne

        My guess is Harding grass.

    • Craig Matthews

      That’s about the same way it looks where I am at.

    • honzik

      I have this grass in the swampier part of my field. It stays green for a long time, which is nice. I think Tuolumne is right: It looks like Harding grass, which turns out is an invasive species.

      Speaking of invasive species, the one that gets my goat (!) is Stinkwort (Dittrichia graveolens). It stays a pale green when most of the other grasses have turned brown. It’s coated with a sticky, peppery, soapy resin that for some will cause contact dermatitis. My goats, who’ll mow down just about anything, including blackberry and poison oak, won’t touch it.

      I’ve been pretty good about making sure I kill it with my handy weeder when I see it, so my field isn’t covered with it. Unfortunately, though, it can quickly over take an overgrazed field. I’d be curious if any cattle raising folk have had any issue with it.

      http://luirig.altervista.org/cpm/albums/04a/001213-dittrichia-graveolens.jpg

      • Bombillo1

        Kind of looks like Star-thistle, Kryptomite for horses and cattle.

        • honzik

          It does look a bit like Golden Star Thistle. Almost the same color. But no thorns. Apparently, toxic in horses if they eat too much, causing “chewing disease”. Goats, on the other hand, are not bothered so much by such trifles, and will mow it down with nary a care.

          • Bombillo1

            Anything that eats blackberries with impunity is to be respected.

          • honzik

            True. My goats will take all the leaves off a blackberry vine, thorns and all, and wait for new ones to come back. They’ll do that over and over until the vine gives up the ghost. It’s pretty amusing, actually.

            Goats are funny that way. Grass, even in abundance, is not so interesting to them, but challenging plants with thorns and juicy leaves, they’ll go after with a vengeance.

            That’s what makes stinkwort stand out. Anything that a goat won’t eat is pretty dang remarkable.

          • Bombillo1

            The name implies something rank (Stinkwort), but most likely an alkaloid this is utterly distasteful.

          • honzik

            I’m sure that’s what it is. I’m guessing some kind of saponin.

          • Bombillo1

            Saponin, a Glycogen, a modified sugar compound. Thank you, I just learned something. A saponin becomes soap like (sudsy) when you chew it. What a remarkable adaptation to ward off an herbivore! Bullet proof. The real test is Round Up.

      • Tuolumne

        Anybody fighting this really nasty weed should keep in mind that after you cut it down the cut parts will still produce seeds as they slowly die. You need to bag the plants immediately after cutting to isolate them from the environment.

        • honzik

          Very true. Also, early intervention is important. If you can get it before it flowers, so much the better.

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    Interesting article from the Lake Tahoe news, looks like Memorial Day Weekend could be interesting for those not prepared/paying attention to the closures and delayed openings of trails (and golf courses).

    “Water is spilling forth from hillsides, creating mini-waterfalls that even longtime locals don’t remember ever seeing.
    In South Lake Tahoe the Upper Truckee River and Trout Creek have been beyond their banks for weeks. Trout Creek is in the back yards of people in the Al Tahoe neighborhood. The river looks like it might spill onto the runways at Lake Tahoe Airport”

    http://www.laketahoenews.net/2017/05/rapid-snowmelt-causes-floods-impacts-recreation/

  • alanstorm

    CNRFC backing down the Walker R, Nevada crest for Sat to well below the ’97 record.
    That’s good news.
    Looks like it will equal the moderate flooding of the summer 2011 snowmelt
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b2b433874b8fa544dd28918eb43e2157e08a3f2dab0dde2f84c0297d3a86cfd9.png

  • Craig Matthews

    Rattle snakes have really come out from their hiding holes with these warmer temps. There have been numerous sightings in the upper Carmel Valley/Arroyo Seco/Big Sur area just this last weekend. In these pics…. this small rattler was perched 5 feet away on the bank next to my truck, and about 15ft away from my front door! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/22f2fb5eac73484f8d8097e903c7b0bd309147970e9242baf82661023b18c12b.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/89a4a44b2c5b612ea59a33a838f4a4ecc456c50fcc6336f8d2a6716ca08522b9.jpg

    • Were they swimming in those holes this winter? 🙂

    • alanstorm

      Beautiful. I’m on full snake alert up here.

    • Fairweathercactus

      Looks friendly

    • Bombillo1

      We use those a lot in church.

      • Jason Jackson Willamette

        Ha! I love it when they are used to lasso those steers and wrestled to the ground!

    • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

      I’ve always believed that these guys and quail were a good barometer for the health of chaparral ecosystems…i’ve seen plenty of both here this year…

      • PRCountyNative

        Lots of quail in the neighborhood too. I’ve seen a kingsnake and a couple garter snakes, no rattlers yet. Looked yesterday.

  • mattzweck

    here in the high desert/ Lancaster area about 100 outside really hot but i think it suppose to cool down a little later this week.

    • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

      Would you take the heat over that wind pattern the last month?

    • Bombillo1

      Waiting for another wavenumber 6 trough. I’m tired of getting hot coals in my jockey shorts.

  • Harpo (Chico)

    Today a typical summer temperature pattern in the Sacramento valley —
    Wunderground temperatures heading north up I5 around 5:30 PM today — Sacramento – 93.3, Williams – 97.7, Red Bluff -102.4, Redding – 102.6.

    Counterintuitive because the farther north you go the hotter it gets. Redding at the north end of the valley is the hot spot. My (mostly uneducated) explanation is that cool moist ocean air flowing over the Coast Range and the Siskiyous into the north end of the valley gets elevated and cooled where the water vapor condenses, releases its latent heat, and then precipitates. The dried out air then drops into the valley where it compresses and heats up at the relatively steep dry adiabatic lapse rate.

    Sacramento, at the south end of the valley, is cooler because the ocean air that blows in there doesn’t go through that elevate, dry, compress sequence.

    Am I making any sense?

    • Bombillo1

      Poor Redding, so far from the ocean and so near to down-slope compression (3 sides with mountains).

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      Makes sense….often referred to as “The Delta Breeze” cool down is usually a couple of days after the fog returns to The Golden Gate.

  • mattzweck
  • mattzweck
    • Charlie B

      I dearly love what they did with the power lines! It’s too bad mother nature had to spoil a beautiful shot of human ingenuity.