Typical early autumn conditions prevail; some thoughts on La Niña

Filed in Uncategorized by on October 5, 2017 2,826 Comments

A pretty typical early start to autumn across California

Warmer than average conditions have persisted near the immediate coast, but temperatures have cooled over inland areas (and the Sierra Nevada in particular). (WRCC)

For the first time in many months, California has been experiencing weather conditions pretty close to the climatological norm for the time of year. After a summer of searing, record-breaking heat, the past few weeks have featured temperatures relatively close to typical early autumn values across much of the state (temperatures have actually been somewhat below average across interior portions of the state, particularly across the Sierra Nevada, where the season’s first dusting of snow fell last week). In a welcome reversal from the relentless inland heat this summer, conditions have been warmer than average only along the immediate coastline–not an unusual fall set-up in California.

Generalized statewide warming will occur over the next few days, and some late-season heat will occur over near-coastal portions of central and southern California this weekend as offshore flow develops. In fact, gusty hilltop winds and very low humidity will lead to fire weather concerns this weekend in the Bay Area and Southern California coastal hills. But a gradual cool-down back toward typical values is expected once again later next week, and perhaps even a bit below average after that. These relatively mild temperature swings–with occasionally breezy conditions–are the product of “inside slider” type low pressure systems dropping southward over the Great Basin. These systems are unlikely to bring any significant precipitation to California over the next 1-2 weeks, and conditions look dry for the foreseeable future across most of the state.

An Pacific ridge plus increasing offshore pressure gradients will lead to warm, dry, and gusty conditions this weekend across coastal California. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

 

What’s up with October precipitation in California?

There’s often much consternation on the part of California weather watchers when dry conditions persist during the month of October. It’s certainly true that October is often the transition month between California’s long, dry summers and (usually) wet winters, and almost always brings cooler nights, milder days, and a general sense that winter is coming. However, autumn in California is also characterized by dramatic year-to-year swings that ultimately have little bearing on conditions during the rainy season that follows. (A quick analysis using data from NOAA confirms that the correlation between October and December-February statewide precipitation is a minuscule, and not statistically meaningful, 0.09).

October precipitation in California is usually quite low, except for occasional very wet years. (NOAA data; graphic by Daniel Swain)

Why, then, is there so much excitement over what happens during the month of October? My best guess is that our collective perception of what constitutes a “typical October” is strongly shaped by a quirk of California climatology. The historical precipitation distribution during this month exhibits a strong “rightward skew”–in other words, there are many more dry Octobers than wet ones overall, but when October is wet, it can be quite wet indeed. The more general statement that there are “more dry years than wet years” holds true across California, but this effect seems to be particularly pronounced in early autumn. The reason? October tends to be dominated by essentially “summer-like” high pressure during most years, with relatively modest precipitation outside of the northernmost part of the state. Every 5-10 years, however, October can become very wet month indeed–and some notably powerful early-season storms have affected Northern California in recent years. Anecdotally, there does seem to be a link between “recurving” West Pacific super typhoons and California’s occasional very wet Octobers, but that’s a discussion for another day.

 

La Niña now developing in Pacific; what can we say about upcoming winter?

The Multi-Model Ensemble suggests rather classic La Nina conditions this winter, plus very warm conditions in the subtropical Pacific. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

A substantial La Niña event now appears to be developing in the tropical Pacific Ocean. There were hints of this in the coupled ocean-atmosphere models this summer, though the magnitude appears to have been underestimated. In any case, there is now a general consensus that the now-established cool ocean temperatures in the eastern tropical Pacific will persist through most of the upcoming winter. Concurrently warm temperatures in the far western Pacific (and a much broader area of anomalous warmth in the subtropical North Pacific) have the potential to reinforce a fairly classic “La Niña-like” atmospheric response this winter by further strengthening the west-east tropical temperature differential.

What does all of this mean for California? Well, that’s a bit of a loaded question in the wake of two very conspicuous seasonal forecast failures over the past two winters in California. The very powerful El Niño event in 2015-2016 yielded a dry winter in southern California, and the ENSO-neutral winter just last year was one of the wettest on record across northern portions of the state. Both of these outcomes were contrary to expectations, and there has recently been a surge in scientific inquiry regarding why this might have happened.

Current multi-model forecasts suggest an slightly increased likelihood of dry conditions later this winter in/near California. (CPC)

While the jury is still out (and analyses are still underway–peer reviewed science tends to proceed slowly relative to shifting weather patterns!), leading contenders are 1) the unusually broad pattern of ocean warming in recent winters and 2) just plain old “bad luck.” In other words: it is possible that the atmospheric response to ocean temperature variations caused by El Niño/La Niña is now different than it would have been if the subtropical Pacific hadn’t been so warm in recent years. But scientists have also known for a long time that ENSO, despite being the single strongest indicator regarding California precipitation on the seasonal scale, is far from the only game in town. It may well be that other influences were simply more important in recent years, essentially drowning out the ENSO influence.

Nevertheless, there is still very strong theoretical and observational evidence that El Niño and La Niña do indeed exert a substantial and somewhat predictable influence upon California winter precipitation. In practice, this influence is large enough to influence seasonal forecasts only during moderate to strong El Niño/La Niña events, and that influence is strongest 1) in Southern California and 2) during the second half of winter (especially late January, February, and March).

Warm conditions likely this fall, per NMME forecasts. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

Cooler conditions may edge toward California later this winter. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

So what about this year? Well, it looks like La Niña may indeed reach at least moderate strength over the next couple of months and will have a rather “classic” presentation across the tropical Pacific, suggesting that there may be an elevated risk of drier than average conditions during the second half of winter, particularly across Southern California. This is a conclusion supported by current seasonal model forecasts, but only weakly. Temperature wise, there is near unanimity that the autumn will be quite warm on average across California (apparently a product of very warm ocean temperatures over the subtropical Pacific Ocean). Later in the winter, however, there is also agreement regarding a trend toward a more La Niña-like temperature pattern–with below average temperatures across the Pacific Northwest possibly extending into California. (Interestingly, seasonal temperature forecasts tend to do much better than precipitation forecasts in the presence of a significant La Niña event. The presence of persistent North Pacific high pressure is the classic atmospheric response to La Niña, which reliably allows cold air to spill southward from Alaska/Canada but only sometimes blocks the Pacific storm track sufficiently to prevent rain to California).

So, to sum it all up: a moderately strong La Niña event this winter will tilt the odds slightly in favor of a dry second half of winter, especially in the south. Autumn temperatures will likely be above average, but winter temperatures may trend back toward or below average.

 

“Climate Change Cliff Notes” interactive discussion on Thursday, October 5

I’ll be having a free-form conversation on climate change (with a California focus) with Sarah Feakins and Michael Mann tonight at the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History. The (free) tickets for this event sold out weeks ago, but there will be some limited availability for those who show up at the door. If you are interested but can’t attend (or make it in the door), the event will also be livestreamed via the web on the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability’s Facebook page starting at 7pm.

 

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

    Sean Sculley – Editor, Napa Valley Register speaking on the phone with The Weather Channel says if the winds pick ups on the Tubbs fire they are saying the evacs in Calistoga are very necessary because it could gun it right down through the town.

    • tomocean

      As of 3pm. All of Calistoga has been ordered evacuated.

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)
  • Cap’n
  • AntiochWx

    I’m fairly young and fit and just walking down the street i can feel tightness in my lungs, intense conditions out there.

    • Same here. 27 and having a hard time outside.

      • AntiochWx

        Ya 30 athletic and don’t smoke, and I can feel it. I can only imagine how those with asthma and other people feel.

        • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

          I can say it’s not fun….you learn to avoid the triggers and stay inside. But as someone who loves the outdoors sometimes you just go for it. Inhalers, nebulizers etc are what help.

          • AntiochWx

            It’s such a shame, especially when you do love the outdoors. I always feel bad for people with asthma, especially when all you want to do is breathe normal.

        • Patrick from Stockton

          We are lucky so far in Stockton. Clear today with some high clouds but no smoke. Yesterday I could smell smoke a little bit. Guess it depends on the winds. Pretty calm right now

          • AntiochWx

            Yeah the winds have protected Stockton somewhat. North NE winds affecting Antioch and points south and west.

        • inclinejj

          I took the dog out at 6 pm. It was Smokey and hazy but not that bad outside. It smelled like someone was burning green firewood. I missed an awesome photo opportunity of the orange sun set. Had to leave my cell home to charge. Pacifica

    • cthenn

      I worked all day outside, used a N95 mask and bandana, which helped somewhat. Wanted to go for a bike ride after work (we’re running out of time before Standard Time starts!), but there is no way I’m gonna elevate my heartrate and breathe this junk.

    • Joey B.

      I was walking to classes today and felt the same way. My professor said someone had fainted in her previous class due to the bad air quality…
      I´m only 22 but don´t remember it ever being this bad.

  • Red Flag Warning extended to the Santa Cruz mountains. Whoever is in the mountains, please use extra caution!

    • Pfirman

      I am in Woodland and I am starting to jump at the sound of a match striking.

  • tomocean

    It looks like we’re in for another high wind event next week. Come on. One of these fronts needs to include some significant moisture as well!

    Next week another dry cold front moves through the region late Tuesday with
    increasing winds and cooler temperatures back to near normal by
    Wednesday. Another stronger trough moves into the west coast for
    the second half of next week, bringing strong winds and a chance
    of rain/snow into the Sierra and northeast CA Wednesday into
    Thursday. Most of the precipitation should remain in OR/WA, so
    forecaster confidence on seeing any wetting precipitation is
    pretty low. That being said, the forecaster confidence on seeing a
    strong wind event around Wednesday-Thursday is high and continues
    to rise.

    • Cap’n

      I read that too from Reno AFD. I’d say there seems to at least be good “potential” that it comes in with some moisture. Maybe we should all start chanting a mantra to make it happen. A huge dry wind event would just be the pits at this point.

      • Pfirman

        Where is Tyler when you need him? That dude can smile in a certain direction and the wet just falls.

    • jstrahl

      I’m wondering about that map (posted late yesterday) for substantial rain by the 21st down to the Bay Area.

  • GR

    I keep checking this site for some good news. No such luck.

    • alanstorm

      60% chance of rain next Thurs for Mendocino Co
      https://weather.com/weather/tenday/l/Willits+CA+95490:4:US

      • GR

        A long way out, and a little northerly.

    • PRCountyNative

      We got to live through the human species’ greatest moments.

      • GR

        One thing to remember is that these air quality conditions are far more exacting than before, if they even existed before. I went to school in at Pomona College, in Claremont, in the mid 60’s. Often when I arrived on campus in mid-September. and walked into the main street of Claremont (a small town) I’d wonder if there had been a recent fire, the air was that thick and dense. You could never see the hills. This was 4-5 years before the creation of the EPA (by the way, a product of the overly-demonized Richard Nixon, who actually had an extraordinarily successful first term.)

        So although this air quality is quite low in terms of what we are accustomed to, it is actually not that much worse , perhaps better, than the smog of two generations ago. Of course, if it persisted, it would be quite obnoxious and serious. But human beings did cope with it, and worse, not so long ago/

        • Tuolumne

          The smoke today in S.F. reminded me of the smog in the 60s and early 70s. Slightly different color but similar loss of visibility. Late in the day there was a smoke cloud overhead and that was different from the old days.

          • AntiochWx

            Different kind of smoke clouds then…

        • Pfirman

          Overly demonized compared to what? As to far more exacting, then that is a good thing, cough, cough.

          • GR

            Oh, no question more exacting is right.

            Nixon these days is synonymous with Watergate, and the Worst Ever. But he actually had an extraordinary first term – EPA, OSHA, the beginnings of detente. some suggestions about welfare reform from Moynihan that would have saved a generation from welfare dependency.

          • inclinejj

            Nixon also open out talks with China. The Chinese loved him.

    • Pfirman

      The site is still up. Count the blessings.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    AQI in my city has been degrading ever since 10 AM and as of 3 PM the air quality is 190 which is 10 below very unhealthy. Current situation is not getting better ( obviously), the Bay Area is in for bad air quality and critical fire conditions for days to come. This event could even be compared to urban locations in the Bay Area getting 5″ of rain

    • AntiochWx

      Yeah if I had to guess Antioch is prob 200-300, it has to be close. I have experienced 500 in Delhi and Kolkata, terrible to think they do it often.

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        Yep it’s in the very unhealthy almost hazardous at times

      • 82/83 El Nino baby (San Jose)

        Agreed. The burning smell took me right back to my visits to Mumbai. Not sure how everyone in China and India do not have asthma.

    • John

      Here in Orinda, I was outside chatting with my neighbor this afternoon about the smokiness, trying to figure out what the accompanying smell reminded me of. While doing that, we both noticed small bits of ash drifting around us. Note, we are about 30 miles away, I figure, from the closest fire (the one in Solano County stemming easterly from the Atlas fire).

      I witnessed the Oakland hills fire in 1991 from the other side of those hills, and, granted, the winds were blowing the other way then, but this air is a quantum leap worse than anything I ever have, literally, seen. Oh, and I figured out what the smoky smell reminds me of: a little like if you burned the coffee, not as strong, but much more persistent.

      • PRCountyNative

        I ran into a section that smelled almost sweet, with a hint of bakery exhaust. Interior Monterey County. Blowing in thick. Mostly it was stronger and smelled like poison and burning brush and hot weather shrubs.

  • alanstorm
    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      Well done with the pics! You got the S2s, skycrane, lead plane, and even got the CHP in the background.

      KCRA reported last night they had to set up a temporary control tower at McClellan because of all the traffic. Their pilot joked it looked like LAX it was so busy with traffic going both directions.

      • alanstorm

        I guess that’s where that BIG JET dumping mass quantities is saw earlier came from

      • Pfirman

        Not a joke if there is an accident.

    • Boiio

      Did you see the supertanker?!? You know it’s bad when this puppy is called in. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cnet.com/google-amp/news/747-supertanker-fights-california-wildfires/

      • alanstorm

        Whoa. No didn’t see it

  • cthenn

    What is the best source for fairly up-to-date VISIBLE satellite imagery? NWS vis is pretty poor, and even the 1-2km res is pretty zoomed out. Is there anything that has reasonably current imagery of better quality/zoom level (that updates regularly)?

  • Face masks are in ultra high demand get one before they are gone, I came back to my car after parking it for a short while and there was ash all over it, East Bay, The Orchard Supply Hardware down the road doesn’t have any anymore

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      Do you think they are needed here?

      • cthenn

        Well considering there are ash particles falling from the sky, I’d say so. I was wearing one all day and when I took it off after work, I started coughing immediately breathing this air…this is the worst I’ve ever experienced around here.

        • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

          No ash falling here, where are you located?

          • cthenn

            I work in Martinez, and there was visible particulates (also all over my car). I got home to Walnut Creek it’s a little better, I can’t see anything, but I haven’t checked my car to see if it’s accumulating.

          • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

            I live in SC and if you don’t know where that is it is next to RWC, AQI just below very unhealthy

    • AntiochWx

      Serious question, are a lot of the dust mask etc even able to filter out the ultra fine particulate matter. Don’t know the micron ratings on the dust masks vs air pollution. Wouldn’t one need a respirator or something along those lines.

      • rob b-Truckee/East Bay
      • cthenn

        3M N95 (from the product literature):

        “Can N95 respirators filter particles that are really small like smoke, soot and ash?
        Yes. Particulate filters employ multiple mechanisms that are effective at filtering a range of
        particles that include those so small you cannot see them. In fact, as part of their certification
        process, NIOSH tests particulate respirators against submicron particles in the size ranges of
        smoke, soot and ash. “

        • AntiochWx

          Thanks, wasn’t sure on the specifics, appreciate that.

        • matt

          yes they are very good. i use 3m n95 mask sometimes here especially living here high desert lancaster area but i also have reusable respirator that uses cartridges.

          • cthenn

            Yup, me too, I have the 6200 facemask with the pink cartridges that I use when I’m working around concrete dust, but it’s so bad I may use that tomorrow at work.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    Looks to be dry in the Bay Area for the next week or two. When will it end? Hopefully we get rain near Halloween or those fires won’t be closed to mostly contained in the North Bay

    • PRCountyNative

      Estimated containment as of earlier today: Nov. 1

    • cthenn

      That’s nuts. This is the type of visible satellite I’m looking for, cool!

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      How long do you think this smoke will last? My guess is the end of weekend

    • Boiio

      Unreal. I noticed small pieces of ash raining down in San Francisco this afternoon. Never seen anything like this!

      • Brad Broadbeck

        East bay Hills Fire had ash raining down on sf too.

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    Not sure of those listening to the press conference but some updates-
    2500 National Guard activated, Nevada and Oregon Nat’l Guard put on alert if needed. Over 1000 Fire Depts across the state are now at the fires. Oregon, Washington, Arizona, and Nevada have sent strike teams. US Forest Service has brought in crews from the Midwest and South to assist. I can also tell you the California Conservation Corps has sent almost all their crews available in the state to help with clean up and fire camp cooking.

    Law Enforcement from across the state has also been sent in, CHP is planning to bring in 100 more uniformed personnel tonight.

    • Craig Matthews

      Yuck!

  • Craig Matthews

    According to the latest 18z GFS in regard to winds in the North bay tonight, the 850mb gradients suggest strongest nne to ne winds occurring over the NBay after sundown this evening to after sunrise tomorrow morning. By late morning, marked #3 on the third map, gradients relax and winds should weaken. So will definitely be praying for folks out there tonight, and that there wont be any new starts as well. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7ebcdc48e87439917ab19e9fe564c885a06e37221fef18a373d60b5fc9a31c0f.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/09ef4dfced545694b10bc3beb95b4a5554959385b6ee0b99a21932cb749dd695.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/437ce6c6d35b69d4b6c5405e7f932c4abfdbd68321d24bfde09a2f48b6b79de1.png

  • Taz & Storm Master

    would be nic if we could get a pattern change with wet weather

    • Charlie B

      Yes, that would be nice.

  • Thunderstorm

    Active stage of the MJO currently in stage 4. If it can stay out of the circle of death then capture some western typhoon moisture just maybe a very good thing will happen in about 2 weeks.

  • Chris
  • Chris
  • alanstorm

    New evacuation ordered for Potter Valley, east of Ukiah (where Redwood Complex originated) as winds unfortunately, spreading further south then
    Sunday ://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/356e5b7fcaf155533a2bd1c9c44da3953bd26a798c0a685b78d02f8235ea844d.jpg shifted today
    http://www.ukiahdailyjournal.com/general-news/20171011/potter-valley-evacuating-mendocino-lake-complex-fire-spreading

  • Chris

    And one more before sunset looking towards Mt Loma Prieta.
    below the sun. Can’t you see it?
    ME EITHER! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9d999e8d5d9d6e16bafccdac7f8e9d4ef064beb37723fa0574575308a1dbc132.jpg

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    Various Bay Area schools districts are canceling school tomorrow, these districts are not in evacuation zones. They are closing due to extreme air quality issues. Mt. Diablo USD, West Contra Costa USD, and Vallejo schools have all announced closures for tomorrow at least.
    http://claycord.com/2017/10/11/all-mt-diablo-unified-school-district-schools-will-be-closed-on-thursday-due-to-poor-air-quality/

    Also the Claycord website noted there was a “fake news”story going around about a fire on Mt Diablo with evacuations in progress….it wasn’t true but was a story from 2013.

  • Smoke has cleared up here for now.

    • It actually hasn’t. It’s just above you now. Looking at it right now, saw a nice double sunset, it’s all still over the bay just several thousand feet up in a stratified layer

  • Idaho Native

    So far winds over the North Bay haven’t materialized as advertised. Is it just a delay or a misfire? Praying they don’t happen!

  • Up in the hills right now, air quality looks better, visibility is better, but a check with the headlight shows a ton of particulate matter in the air still, even if you think the air looks clean it’s not, lots of nasty things burned up in this fire you really don’t want to be breathing it if you have to do any exertion outside put on a mask. Still seeing ash floating around in the air

    • Pfirman

      Duly noted. Dully noted also.

  • Literally raining ash at 1900 feet above Berkeley here near strawberry canyon.

    • AntiochWx

      Sad when ash accumulations become greater than snow accumulations.

    • Sublimesl

      Light ashfall in Oakland HIlls as well. I didn’t even know there was a 1900 foot hill above Berkeley, top of Oakland hill is like 1200.

      • Tuolumne

        Round Top gets up to 1763′ in the Oakland hills.

  • Tubbs Fire 10% contained.

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    Almost 72 hours into these fires and still new evacuations; Calistoga and Gyserville. OES requested strike teams of type 1 engines to the Pocket Fire, being sent from Oakland, SF, and Alameda County code 3. Pretty crazy to think how things keep growing at massive rates.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c3c5c8255befc4132b5b438ec1e4aedcb45221db1d200193d96f66d84c94c2dd.jpg Air quality is the best it has been all day for some odd reason, even though the map still looks terrible in places. Does anyone know why the air quality is so good rn and why the winds haven’t started because it looks like the fires have died down quite a bit from what they have been

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    The 11th of the last few months have been very eventful days, I wonder what November 11th will bring?

    • Eddie Garcia

      A massive ARK storm 🙂

    • annette johnson

      Since it will be 11/11, hopefully good things.

    • Thirstier Nick (Santa Maria)

      Wish for inches of rain in the Bay Area northward.

  • Thunderstorm

    NWS just did the latest updated forecast and it ain’t good. Stronger winds Friday night then those tonight. Winds will stay up thru tomorrow night in the north bay mountain areas. Gona be just what that fire fighter said yesterday. Just one big fire by Friday. Also very dense smoke south of San Francisco. Just hope people don’t get stupid, fire fighters either!

  • Nate

    Currently getting some light ash fall in Saratoga, ~80 miles south of the fires. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/919950b5aa47a2ed454adb1f1c23b2c06e7ad976ae4211d32dd3cf7b230b956f.jpg

    • Nathan

      It’s showing up on radar…

    • Hollow Scene (Riverside)

      Not the precipitation anyone is hoping for

  • V-Ville

    It’s odd, I didn’t expect the smoke to clear here but I can see farther tonight than the last few days and the fire is just a few miles away.

    • Craig Matthews

      Flow down the Sacramento Valley must be brining clear air right into Vacaville while areas just to your west are downwind of those fires.

  • annette johnson

    Phoenix news stations are talking a lot about the fires. Unbelievable devastation in some areas. Hopes and prayers to all those affected. A convoy of fire crews from AZ are on their way, hope they can help.

  • alanstorm

    The Calfire website, updated at 10:39pm, “injuries” lists the Redwood Fire Complex as having 1 fatality.
    In the “conditions” column it lists 3 fatalities.
    Today, the Mendocino County Sheriff confirmed 6 fatalities & expects the number to go up.
    http://www.fire.ca.gov/current_incidents/incidentdetails/Index/1874

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      Horrifying hearing the stories…

  • Ash has started falling here in South San Jose.

  • PRCountyNative

    After scrolling through Google Maps around Sonoma (This is not a prediction, it is just me saying) it seems hundreds of homes could burn on the east side of town. Looking at where the fire is, what the terrain looks like, all the houses. Scores of wineries too.

    If we do get several more bouts of dry winds in the next 3 days, there may be just one fire. Very dire.

  • Dan the Weatherman

    The Canyon Fire Two is now 60% contained from the latest I have heard. Today was the first day since the fire broke out on Monday morning that I didn’t smell smoke here in Orange. I was able to go outside and get things done without smelling smoke, and there weren’t any plumes of smoke that were visible, either. I believe there are just hotspots that are still smoldering in various areas where the fire burned.

    The flow is now solidly onshore and the marine layer has made it to inland Orange County including my area, and this will aid the firefighters in getting a handle on any remaining hotspots hopefully before the Santa Anas return this weekend. NWS is not expecting this next event to be quite as strong as the one earlier this week, but there will still be critical fire conditions, though.

    • weathergeek100

      You guys actually have progress. Most of our fires up north are still at 0% contained. A big fat zero and they’ve been going on since Sunday night. It’s actually getting worse now as the Santa Anas, or shall I say ‘Diablos’ have picked up overnight.

      • Bombillo1

        Let’s not pussyfoot around this, it’s now Santa Anus.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        Are these NW or NE winds that you are all experiencing up in the Bay Area on north? I am assuming that they are blowing from the NE like Santa Ana winds.

        • weathergeek100

          North to NE

          • Dan the Weatherman

            That’s what I figured, as it is the dry offshore winds which create the extreme fire danger that leads to explosive fire growth.

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      Looks like yesterday they demobbed some of the strike teams to head north.

  • Slick

    Maybe some rain a week from Today.
    From Noaa

    Weak ridging over the region on Monday will lead to above normal

    temperatures for Monday by 5 to 10 degrees. A weak trough will

    approach and pass through the region Tuesday and Tuesday night

    but any precipitation will remain well north of the area. The main

    impact will be to cool temperatures off to around seasonal

    normals. Continued cooling on Wednesday as a trough deepens along

    the west coast. Wednesday night into Thursday there will be a more

    significant pattern change. Some model timing differences exist

    but all models are indicating some much needed rainfall will move

    through the northern third of the state.

  • AntiochWx

    The smoke is absolutely strong, it’s permeating through my car driving this morning. Can’t excape it.

  • Thunderstorm

    Unfortunately the winds are going to last thru Sunday now and cover a much larger area. Also not good will be the first wimpy rain late next week, because it is almost always followed by high pressure and off shore winds this time of year.

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    More schools in Contra Costa are closed due to extreme air quality issues as. Contra Costa College is now being set up as an evacuation center. Also announced this morning Cal Expo would be opening as an evacuation center.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    The sun is red this morning at sunrise, a perfect red!

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    Terrible air quality out, currently in the U zone, but noticeably not much smoke and decent visibility. This will catch people off guard thinking no smoke, not much pollution

  • CHeden

    And to add to the irony, here in Cottonwood we have unlimited visibility this morning. Looking at Mt. Shasta, I cannot see any trace of haze (or clouds).
    NNW winds were brisk early this morning (gusting to 30 mph around 3 a.m.), but now are only ~ 10mph or less. Unfortunately the crisp, clean air is also devoid of moisture, with D.P.’s in the low 20’s and humidities <40% despite this being the coolest time of day.
    ATTM, Santa Rosa is marginally better with D.P.'s in the 30's, and humidities in the 70's, but I'm expecting a downward trend in moisture as winds continue from the north and drier, katabolically warmer air moves in.
    Since we are upstream from the big fires down in Napa, I'm hoping the slackening wind trend will continue down there….which is the best we can hope for given the repetitive pattern we're currently in.

    • inclinejj

      CH

      This isn’t really weather related but did you hear about this. The runaway Recology garbage truck on Valdez/Rosita? I heard the crash then it sounded like grinding metal. Probably the garbage truck pushing the mechanics truck down hill, then a tremendous crash then the power went out.

      • BRP (Ventura)

        That’ll get 100K views on YouTube! Why the hell was the mechanic out of the area??? Someone is losing a job from this one.

        • inclinejj

          The driver was at the top of a steep hill and he noticed the brakes were acting strange. He called the shop and the mechanic for Recology came out. The truck that was being pushed down the street was the mechanics truck.

      • CHeden

        Oh no! Is the video of the runaway real?

  • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

    38f in orinda this am. Coldest so far. Clear skies but stinky smoky nasty smell. Lots of coughing sniffling people on Bart. All around nasty.

    Coworkers house burned yesterday in Calistoga.

    0.07 rain in the 10 day window still. Wimpy but better than nothing…. if it holds that is.

  • cthenn

    East Contra Costa much better this morning. It was kind of the edge of the smoke plume yesterday, but today is much better so far.

  • CHeden

    WV this morning continues to show blocking is dominating the NCent Pacific, with a baggy trough downstream of the block pushing down from the north, with a SW flow coming up underneath. In between, what looks like a weak southern extension of the SPJ jet is trying to setup, but it’s getting pinched off by the digging trough. While it doesn’t look like much now, it’s this same area/zone that I believe the jet will try to reestablish itself later on.
    Our current repetitive pattern is starting to unravel though, as the low associated with the block (see 1st image-now north of Hawaii) slowly works it’s way NE while the parent blocking high retrogrades to the SW and flattens. By Sunday, the old blocking low will be mostly west of San Francisco before opening up into an open wave and getting absorbed into a restrengthening jet riding underneath a new trough digging SE out of the NE GoA (2nd image). Together, the mean flow becomes rather progressive, and a series of lows start plowing through the northern GoA with increasing storminess and increasing precip chances along almost all of the west coast of NA north of ~35N (3rd image).
    It’s too early to tell how much moisture will make it to the coast, but more on this later. But at least from an upper air support perspective, things are looking up for much of NorCal.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4c85360509476da4878b7d67805fba3d7c82d9af08d4f34e317d7acfaf6e5c55.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/650fe8e4695b45ffd90381ff840a597517f6978fd71b6b4bb1a13067122dc0a0.gif
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/93194ec1b49e16e64391247d7f969ecd3bb66bdee2e675924fa99cf878b14442.gif

    • I’m keeping an eye on MPAS forecasts. Alas, they are more than 24hrs in arrears.

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        See the significant cooling in the eastern pacific northeast of Hawaii? That area of warm water has really cooled the past week

    • jstrahl

      Most promising setup i’ve seen so far this season. Thanks for the maps and discussion.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      I hope that verifies, and that Socal can even get in on a bit of the action! I have noticed from past patterns when we have had major fire outbreaks like this with strong Santa Ana winds (particularly in Socal), that it often rains a week or two after the fires occur. This may not happen with every event, but it does seem to occur enough for me to notice the trend.

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    A lot of discussion about upcoming Bay Area events getting canceled or moved due to air quality issues. The SF half marathon has been postponed already, discussion of the Cal/Wazu game tomorrow night being delayed or moved, and the Raiders/Chargers game Sunday getting moved as well. Obviously it’s not good for the players to be breathing in the air but also not good for the fans that attend to be in it either. Most youth sports have already called their games for the next few days.

    • inclinejj

      Last I heard the NFL may ask the Raiders/Chargers to switch dates. So Sundays game may be played in LA.

      • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

        Issue is there’s a soccer game at the Chargers LA stadium same day. So it’d have to go to the Rose Bowl, LA Col, or ……….San Diego???

        • inclinejj

          Oh wow Didn’t know that. Didn’t they move San Diego Chargers games when San Diego had the really bad fires?

          http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2017/10/12/raiders-mum-on-potential-impact-of-smoke-on-sundays-game/

        • Dan the Weatherman

          The Rams are on the road this weekend, so the Coliseum might be available for the Raiders game this weekend. There are no smoke issues here in coastal Socal right now, but another Santa Ana is forecast this weekend and hopefully there aren’t any new fires then.

          • Darin

            Chargers-Raiders at the Colliseum?? That would awesome. Break out all the old footage!

          • Dan the Weatherman

            I am not sure if there are any plans for that or not, but I was thinking of the idea since the Rams are on the road this weekend.

  • Cap’n

    18F this morning in Central Truckee and a balmy 24F at Donner Lake. The sky is a lot less smoky than yesterday so far.

    • thebigweasel

      26 in McCloud, and my 20 year old cat was aggrieved because spousal unit wouldn’t let him out to bask in the sun until about 11:30, when it finally cracked 50.

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    Pictures from the fire Alan has been dealing with. Not much has come out of that area due to the focus on Napa and Sonoma Counties.
    https://twitter.com/lonnirivera/status/918533276263788544

    • alanstorm

      Ugh! Horrible.
      I have a regular purchaser of my carvings who had their dream log cabin/major spread up on the summit above Redwood Valley, behind a locked gate of wealthy ranches.
      I did them 2 huge bear benches & a custom mantle piece of a forrest scene out of a fir log I cut from my property.
      I’m sure it’s all ashes now.
      They were from San Mateo, but this was their weekend/retirement project.
      I always asked “aren’t you worried about wildfires up here?”
      “Naw.”

      • Jason Jackson Willamette

        Sad, but at least it wasn’t their one and only home. For those who lost everything – incredibly sad.

        • alanstorm

          Right. They will collect insurance & build something even better.
          Big difference.
          I think of the middle aged couple, worked all their life for their modest house, ready for retirement & POOF- it’s gone.
          Or a young family renting some of those apartments in N.Santa Rosa who had nothing to begin with.

  • Thirstier Nick (Santa Maria)

    Evil winds blowing in Santa Maria. Hello, sleepless nights.

    • Pfirman

      Crap, can’t catch a break.

  • matt

    Really bad air quality today here high desert Lancaster area. Plus i think were having northerly winds. plus i think the smoke from fires burning in the state. Ugh.

  • alanstorm
    • DayHoe Herald

      Dude, you will go to any lengths for the real story — very impressive — you’d have made a great combat photographer

      • alanstorm

        No, don’t be silly. Not much effort- just the view from my place!
        BTW those pics are of very low quality. If I were a real photographer, I’d have an actual camera, not a Fartphone.
        Heard from scanner that those are homes on Pine Mtn that they are trying to save, hence the heavy bomber campaign.

  • Aaron W. (Paramount)
  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    Not great news in regards Tubbs Fire and Hwy 29
    “All Division Zulu units on Highway 29 in the Mt. St. Helena area near Robert Luis Stevenson State Park are being pulled out and back to the Old Faithful Geyser staging area. “We are not going to be able to hold Highway 29.”

    Also, they’re focusing three VLATs on Calistoga currently trying to protect the city.

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      Also of note it sounds like issues with water, finding enough water tenders to get water to engines in remote areas. Once everything clears up many small ponds in the area will have been pumped dry by engines and crews moving water. KCRA had reported this morning Travis AFB had sent some of their fuel and water tenders to the fire to help.

  • Darin

    I was looking at https://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=airnow.main for my current air quality and I see that they, “Map and forecast data are collected using federal reference or equivalent monitoring techniques or techniques approved by the state, local or tribal monitoring agencies. ” which got me thinking…

    I *imagine* there’s a ultra-basic weather monitoring station (barometer, temperature) and that they get more complex as you go up from there (wind speed, direction, humidity). Are there standards for what a station is, who can it report to, what features it has to have, etc. OR is that determined agency by agency OR ???

  • Fairweathercactus

    The 12Z GFS has been the only real interesting GFS run. It continues to show a little bit of rain somewhere in So Cal with upper level moisture. No other GFS has caught onto this idea. It has showed it on and off for the past several days.

  • Cap’n

    These CPC outlooks have a longer stretch of “below average” temps than I have seen in the past few years, and here in the mountains they have definitely verified as it has been a chilly start to fall. Just praying we see these type of below average anomaliesa during winter and actually accompanied by moisture; probably too much to ask. I do see a chance of rain and snow next week with a continuing string of lows in the 20s and high teens. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/55d05a28559514a7b937b43742aba20f31a4d237d1d0fea1e63e1cc4caedfa23.png

  • Idaho Native

    Is anyone else surprised at how little national coverage these fires are getting? NBC, ABC, CNN all have any reports way at the bottom of their page.

    • weathergeek100

      Yeah, I have. It’s interesting because the deaths from the fire are almost reaching the # of deaths from Harvey. Media was ALL OVER that storm!

    • Dan the Weatherman

      Fox News was just talking about the fires a minute ago.

      • thebigweasel

        NBC gave them a lot of coverage this morning.

        • Dan the Weatherman

          That’s good. All the major media outlets should be covering the Norcal fires because it is a major event like the hurricanes that occurred last month.

          • Idaho Native

            I don’t have TV so I only have their websites to go off of. Good to hear cable is covering the fires

    • thlnk3r
    • Nathan

      Who cares about the most catastrophic fire in CA history?

      Check out this CraaAAAaaZyy sentence that Trump said!!!! What a goof!

      /media

      • DayHoe Herald

        What fire?

      • weathergeek100

        Wait, there’s a fire?

      • 82/83 El Nino baby (San Jose)

        At the end of the day, anything Trump said would be purely for mental purposes as the Federal Govt could not have done anything to stop it or event or help in the days following. Now, if he is slow to declare areas federal disaster areas, then he should be blamed.

        Don’t get me wrong, he is a total moron, but it seems like at this point, aliens could wipe out the country and people would somehow say it was because of Trump (or climate change).

        • Nathan

          Trump: I like puppies
          Media: TRUMP HATES KITTENS

    • Cap’n

      I’ve been watching CNN the past few nights (it’s my only option I’ve got at the moment with Sling). They’ve dedicated 2 minutes to it each night, then right back to a panel discussing Trump Tweets, NFL kneeling, and a pervy Hollywoodi producer (is it really such a surprise that a Hollywood producer would be sleaze bag?) I’ve got all of my fire info here on the blog.

        • Cap’n

          NPR when I drive and internet for things I can read, I was just looking for some actual national footage. Not sure what a John Stewart clip from 2010 would help me with? But then again I didn’t watch it.

          • 7 year old jokes about CNN stand today, and resonate. Reason being is because CNN has shifted into a quest for ratings using schmancy fancy graphics and less content more BANG. Investigative journalism is dying, as well as good coverage. Large corporations are gobbling up local broadcasters and papers left and right for their own purposes many of them strictly financially driven. We definitely do not profit from this, CNN used to be decent, however they have been shifting from less entertainment more news to the opposite, a model the CEO of Fox news has eloquated: “In fact, Ailes, 74, no longer views those networks as rivals. ‘We’re competing with TNT and USA and ESPN,’ he says.”
            Which means he views his channel Fox as entertainment, not something that has to adhere rigorously to the standards of journalism, CNN has been eyeing that model.
            This isn’t the place to disqus this(heh) however it’s a royal shame you can’t get a local option on your Sling, as I believe local news needs to catch up to the new way we consume media. Some have but not many.

          • Cap’n

            Was it Zimmerman who said, “Everbody has got to serve somebody.” The vast majority of it is garbage, I just want to see footage once in a while that doesn’t have pop ups and buffering. I get by alright.

          • For expressly that reason regarding footage, especially helicopter footage I finally got off my ass and installed my antenna on the roof on Monday. Ground level I was getting a couple channels now I get 67 in a valley that isn’t supposed to get squat so maybe buy a $30 antenna if you can be inclined to put it on the roof? Been impressed with the quality and quantity of the coverage on the fires now that I put the modest antenna up.

          • Cap’n

            Nice! Hey did you get your pass for this season yet? Got my Sugarbowl pass already and I’m contemplating getting the night Boreal season pass it’s only $150 and it is more realistic that I get nights in after work more than anything. Not much of a park guy but Boreal has some fun little spots to lap, and that is pretty cheap. We’ll see…

      • Tom & Koyano Gray

        I feel sorry for you! Thats all i could get in the hotels in Taiwan last couple weeks, Oh BBC refreshingly once in while, at least as a break to CNN’s perpetual obsession with Trumptweet.

      • I posted the wrong clipperoo, check this nugget out – only 3 years old:

      • maddogokp

        I’m in CT and the fires have been lead stories the last 3 mornings and nights on national and local affiliates. The extent of the coverage has surprised me.

        • Cap’n

          Dude did you move, where you been?

          • maddogokp

            On the east coast to get full use of my EPIC pass, since Stowe has been added 😉
            Back in the ‘Shire in January.

      • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

        Word.

    • inclinejj

      KTVU SF and KPIX SF are doing a great job with coverage! You think the national news would use their coverage being KTVU is FOX and KPIX is CBS.

      • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

        All the major stations in SF are owned and operated by the networks…KTVU was the last to “fall.”

    • alanstorm

      Yesterday KGO 810, Bay Area’s flagship radio station, had it’s usual Ethan Bearman “slap-n-tickle” millennial talk show with the giggly-girl sidekick, yakking politics, fitness (he’s Mr Wonderful In Shape) & how he invests (also Mr Wonderful Investments) Got pissed & called the programmer (VM) & let them know people were suffering, major catastrophe going on, etc. & to get their shit together.
      Today, the show was all about “the tragedy our neighbors experiencing….”
      Not sure if my ass-chewing message had anything to do with it or not, but felt good anyway.

      • CHeden

        How cathartic!
        Wish I could have been there to give you the big yazoo in support.

    • Fairweathercactus

      Not at all. The media does not like to cover any news west of the Mississippi. If Miami gets a month of below average rain it is a national crisis but if So Cal goes 5 years of no rain who cares.

      • Eddie Garcia

        yep just like the wx channel always covers the eastern half the country just and never seems to care for western weather… I know the east gets more action but its called the weather channel for a reason cover the weather and that goes for sunny and dry conditions. Even if the west is dealing with a good storm, and the east gets weak to moderate nor’ eastern guess who’s going to get covered.

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      The Weather Channel has been covering them pretty in depth, they’ve also been relying on NBC News for some of the coverage. I believe ABC has lead off their nightly news and GMA with coverage from Santa Rosa.

      I know the hurricanes received a lot more Nat’l coverage but I think that’s partly because they can play out over time and it looks good visually to have a reporter hanging on a power pole or wading through waist deep water.

  • thebigweasel

    It’s getting pretty smoky in Santa Barbara. It’s very diffuse, clearly not local (probably the North Bay fires) but it is worsening. Steady, but light breezes out of the NW right now. About 80f.

    • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

      Is that what that haze is? Nasty.

  • Shane Ritter

    so i think this will be the repeating pattern most of this winter, with the north of Hawaii, and storms coming down the coast. I think its not paying off huge yet, because its October. once its colder, and the jet has a bit more energy, i think we see this bring lots of 18-36″ snows in the sierra. 3-5 per month. This is the same pattern that has been setting up since the middle of September. i think for Nor cal, and the the central sierra it will be a great year. average to below from central valley south. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/65bcd8f4ed7537e00a0c2f09c723364c5840512bbd8d560e1a9354fad8726931.jpg

    • Nathan

      ECWMF still digging deeper with that trough. Only 7 days away now…cross fingers!

      • Shane Ritter

        I think the big variables this winter will be how far offshore/onshore the trough sets up, and how deep it digs.

  • Thunder98
    • Dan the Weatherman

      I would like to see the above normal precip forecast cover Socal, too!

    • Thunder98

      If the green line moves 30 miles south!

    • Eddie Garcia

      wells that’s good i’m in the green side… don’t know if that will make a difference lol

    • Cue ARKstorm mudslidestorm transforming Napa into a twisted flaming gnarled mass uglier than a herd of reindeer accidentally released onto the track on lap 48 of the Daytona 500

  • So did anyone catch the sunset last night? It was one for the ages, recorded a green flash from a very distant setting sun after a double sunset. You could see the Farallon islands 44mi away and visibility to the horizon was unlimited. Above the horizon however, visibility was maybe 8-12mi? Crappy cellphone screengrab below, I’m scrambling to assemble a video hoping it can be up before sundown.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6f028da2ed25afcb1575088b6edbb4761f297a94197bb478f954c2c28894ff15.jpg

  • Thunder98
    • weathergeek100

      A slight chance of shower, but mostly sunny.

      Love it.

  • Fairweathercactus
  • Fairweathercactus

    Also the cactus changed like he does every season.

  • Tom & Koyano Gray

    Well, for whatever its worth, we’ve just come back from an extended visit with family in Taiwan, and I can report weather in the far east right now is extremely unseasonable; hot, oppressively humid and rainy. While heat is normal over there anytime and typhoon season is year round, to have high temps an humidity in September/October is like God forgot to turn off the summer! .

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    Looks like a big blob of smoke is approaching from the north, here we go again to 3 mi visibility

    • Ugh, that means it won’t be too long till it’s here again.

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        Actually it may that that concentrated band of smoke that has been over SF all day may be shifting closer to me, will see what happens

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)
  • Qile Chen
    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      How do u zoom into CA like that on wx graphics?

      • Qile Chen

        Just click Southwest

    • Good for my area also!

    • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

      Fantasy land.

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        It’s not, the main precip is about 7 days out

        • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

          You have access to the Euro? If so, can you post a GIF to show when the rain occurs? The above graphic includes all precip through 10 days which is a large window.

          • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

            Can you help me out with the settings? Not seeing the above info.

          • SoCalWXwatcher

            It took me a little while to find the SW US EC Precip Map also.

            1.) GO here:
            http://wx.graphics/models/ecmwf/ecmwf_usa.php

            2.) Click “Southwest” from the available choices on the right:

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e7067813be12e3138c2626bb2798208f73944a77a653ad3b458f9d588cebf653.png
            3.) Click either “Total Precipitation” or “+6HR” from the Parameter menu just below.

            4.) Now you can move your cursor over the Forecast Hour numbers at the very top of the page to see the progression.

          • Patrick from Stockton

            Very interesting. Thanks for the info.

          • Dan the Weatherman

            What type of domain is .graphics? I have never seen a website with a name like wx.graphics before. It seems to be missing a top level domain such as .com or .net.

          • Look for total precipitation on the right side.

          • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

            Got it now, nvm. Thanks, didn’t realize we had access to the euro without a membership.

          • Fwiw fantasy land is generally 10+ days, Lucy land is 7-10, check-the-euro land is 5-7, OMG-Its-really-happening land 2-5. Ultranarnia 14+ days.

          • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

            It’s a fantasy if it is not likely to happen. I’ll believe this when I see it. We had plenty of storms aimed at SB last year and only received one of them, even 2-4 days out.

          • Thunder98

            Santa Maria seemed to get hit by storms quite frequently last year. Might be due to being farther north.

          • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

            Blame it on Point Conception.

          • You’re in SB that doesn’t count you’re almost living in a desert.

          • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

            True, but the image showed SBA/VTA being in the bulls eye. Last two runs show all water for SoCal gone, it was a fantasyland prediction.

          • AntiochWx

            You can thank Ryan Maue for that. So glad he has this site, I’ve been using it non stop since I found out about it.

    • AlTahoe

      The Euro at hour 240 is much more believable than the GFS 384 hour map.

    • Bartshe

      gotta love model optimism

      • Dan the Weatherman

        Next Wednesday isn’t exactly in Fantasyland range, although it is always possible that models could back off of this change in the pattern.

    • Thirstier Nick (Santa Maria)

      Make California Wet Again!

    • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

      Completely gone in the newest runs, yes?

  • Thunder98

    50% of showers next Wed in Santa Maria!

    • Thunder98

      I’m pumped up for this Winter! 🙂

  • Thunder98
    • Thirstier Nick (Santa Maria)

      It’s good, but I think Santa Rosa and surrounding communities need the rain more than us now.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    NWS Bay Area said smoke will unfortunately stay in the Bay Area atleast into Monday and that the winds will switch on Tuesday

  • Charlie B

    Flew https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e3b607ede412a424f8f4390c72229663340d146431102f197b6bec3f2d12409e.jpg into Seattle this morning. It was a day that lived up to the song that goes: The bluest skies you ever seen are in Seattle. Here is a view of the downtown area, including the Space Needle, Columbia Tower and the two sports stadiums.

    • Thunder98

      I see an airplane and clouds

      • Patrick from Stockton

        Me too. Is this a joke?

    • CHeden

      So, the King of Sarcasm finally shows himself.

      • Charlie B

        I am in Bellingham visiting one of my kids up here. It was a glorious day with rain, sun and the San Juan islands. The fire season is done up here, wish I could say the same for California.

    • Flaps?

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      I think I see Richard Sherman down their practicing his post interception celebration! Is that Jeff Bezos I see waving to you?

      • Charlie B

        You are right and yes.

    • Bombillo1

      Next time take the carrying sock off the phone before you take photos.

  • Fairweathercactus

    The more I look and study 2011-2012 winter/spring the more I think it could be another year like that. The way the Jet steam was cut and how we had a few early fall and early spring storms that made the difference between a dry and very dry year. It was also rather cold and dry in late December then had a mini heatwave the first week of January and got cold again mid January. February was nearly bone dry as well. March and April saving the day.

    • tomocean

      You live in the desert. Why do you even look at the weather? Dry and cold. Dry and hot.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        Inland coastal Socal isn’t a desert; it is a semiarid Mediterranean climate. However, we do get desert-like rainfall totals in some years, though.

    • It’s possible. Right now SST in NP and also sub-surface look more like 1995 than 2011. I haven’t looked at any atmospheric teleconnections recently. MJO will be a player. Hoping the ridge knows there is a parking limit if it gets to close to CA. Not good if it gets a boot in the wrong neighborhood.

      • Chris

        1995 was bone dry until the “meteorological bomb” arrived Dec 15th and dumped 5” of rain in Morgan Hill and hurricane force winds in SF.
        That winter was very warm and wet.

        • jstrahl

          To be exact, arrived on Sun Dec 10th. 🙂

          • Chris

            Yes!! Then the bomb was actually on 12/12

    • Dan the Weatherman

      I remember that year, too. It was more active in the fall and spring in terms of storm activity than it was in the heart of winter here in Socal. I think there were only 4 storms in January and February, and they weren’t major ones, either. From St. Patrick’s Day until the end of April, it was a wetter pattern overall.

  • These redwoods have been irrigated and are at the base of an east facing slope. They looked very good even in the fall of 2015. At least 45” of rain fell last fall winter. They were scorched from the heat wave in early September. 114 after a 108 bookended by two 105’s. Others in the South County area look scorched too. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a57850689111bd84b8d9a74ba71c42abcd8278dd8a441872dfc3fbed946133f9.jpg

    • PRCountyNative

      Ouch! The oaks in Carmel Valley seemed happy, but now have dead tips all over. Stressed, heat, bugs, disease?

    • Chris

      This has happened all around Morgan Hill including mine.
      This actually started during the first heat wave in June when it was “only” 101.
      I was thinking the new growth couldn’t handle the heat or maybe the trees can’t handle from going from sub 70 to 100 instantly.

      The heat wave in July 2006 had four days above 110 with the highest also being 114.
      But virtually no damage on the trees then.
      My guess was the huge difference in the dew points between the 2006 and this year’s heat wave.
      When it was 114 in 2006, I had a dew point of 70.
      When it was 114 last month, dewpoint was in the mid 50s.

  • CHeden
    • Eddie Garcia

      see I knew he was out there somewhere… very cool!

    • tomocean

      Who doesn’t enjoy having their toes in the sand on Kaanapali Beach?

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      LOL.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    Look at that tropical/ sub tropical tap for the projected storms 138 hours out on the Euro! Could be some strong storms if that verifies èhttp://wx.graphics/models/ecmwf/2017101212/noram/ecmwf_pwat_noram_138.png

    • Indeed. ECMWF suggesting pretty high CAPE with that event, so would expect a major thunderstorm outbreak if such a setup comes to pass. At least they would bring wetting rains. Stay tuned…still 6 days out.

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        Don’t want to sound greedy, but is there anyway this could shift north into the Bay Area to help with wildfire efforts?

  • Heavy smoke had just arrived.

    • Bombillo1

      Commuter flights to Redding have been canceled, all day, out of sfo.

  • B_R

    Anyone in the Capitola / Aptos / Watsonville area? How’s the smoke / air?

    • Jim (Watsonville)

      I’m in Watsonville…smell of smoke earlier today but not bad. Drove to Aptos about 3 and could smell it but wasn’t real thick. Looked pretty bad up towards Scott’s Valley direction

      • B_R

        Thanks. It’s been really bad here in the East Bay.

  • thebigweasel
    • justsomeguy

      Does it look like a ‘wall’ of smoke?

    • Pfirman

      Whoa.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    Smoke is on all sides of me, but not yet on top of me. Hearing of heavy smoke in SJ now and wondering when it will arrive here?

    • matt

      Down here in socal think the smoke from fires made it’s way down here in the high desert Lancaster area. The air smells bad. Too.

    • It’s funny. I’m in Los Gatos now and it’s clear, but San Jose is very smokey. Hopefully when I go back, it would clear up but I doubt it.

      • You kids weren’t around yet to experience smog. This is bad no doubt. Smog was a season.

        • Well that’s good. Lol

          • GR

            Yes, it is. These conditions, and worse, were the norm in LA in the late 60’s.

          • DayHoe Herald

            Wow — I was a lad in the Arkansas Ozarks then and do remember lots of national news about the CA smog — if current conditions approximate the norm from that time, then the positive progress really has been amazing!

          • GR

            Doing away with lead in gasoline was a real biggy.

    • Uncle Jesse

      Not sure what you’re breathing… Pretty bad at work in Menlo Park today. Maybe a bit better on Laurel St in SC after work but not much.

  • V-Ville

    Smoke back in Vacaville. Watched it for about an hour slowly take over the city.

    • Thunderstorm

      Maybe they have set back fires today as the plumes 6 were puffing away around sunset.

  • cthenn

    Smoke has gotten worse in Walnut Creek, was decent air quality most of the day, but now it’s pretty bad again…hoping the wind turns more NE.

  • molbiol
    • lodule16

      From Bob Hanson and Jeff Masters’ take today on Wunderblog. The whole thing’s well worth a read —

      https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/barry-lee-myers-nominated-head-noaa

      “If Myers were to adhere closely to past positions, some functions of the National Weather Service could go by the wayside. Myers has long maintained that the public-facing roles of the NWS—such as everyday weather forecasts, websites, and social media products—should be kept to a minimum. In a statement before Congress on private sector weather forecasting in 2016, Myers said: “The best public facing forecasts and information comes from the weather industry and the best atmospheric research is in the academic research community. The nation should be proud of that. The nation should also support the core missions of NOAA and our National Weather Service. We need quality shared data, support for the development of top notch models, and the best severe weather warnings.

      “As noted by Capital Weather Gang, Barry and Joel Myers both contributed in 2005 to the campaign of then-Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), who introduced legislation designed to reduce government competition with private weather services. The National Weather Service Duties Act of 2005 did not succeed, but its apparent goal was to limit public-facing NWS products to severe weather forecasts and warnings. Much of the content now available on NWS websites and social media channels would fall outside this mandate, including hundreds of enormously popular Twitter feeds and Facebook sites developed through the initiative of staff at local NWS offices over the past decade.”

      • Bartshe

        Like so many other facets of gov. This admin. Is working hard to wreck prosperity and progress of prior decades. But the bright side is that don’t need weather predictions during nuclear winter.

        • Pfirman

          Seems there is no facet being left alone, especially if it has a public face or can be monetized.

          • AntiochWx

            It’s sad! I don’t want my science being sacrificed for profit. Why do they hate science so much.

          • Because it doesn’t conform to their worldview / theological textbook

        • Excuse me in 2032 I would like my NWS Daily Fallout Distribution Map in the future to be accurate and not inferior by design to the InAccuweather RadMax MetaMucil sponsored Fallout Map Plus that’s £4495 pesos a day. I can’t have the FutureMafia not getting their bitcoin protection monies in on time!

          • Pfirman

            Masterfully done.

    • 82/83 El Nino baby (San Jose)

      I think we wait and see. I do think the NWS needs to modernize. The websites suck, have a dated user experience, are not great for mobile, do not offer apps, etc. I know there main purpose isn’t necessarily to be flashy, but they must understand what people expect these days and can’t use the fact that they are a government entity as an excuse to always be so far behind the private sector. In other words, these days, people will flock more to info that is packaged up to looks pretty and is easy to consume versus data that might be more accurate, but is not easy to understand.

      In addition, I think the continual decisions that keep us with the GFS instead of a better system like the Euro, is due to government bureaucracy.

      Its unfortunate as I think combining the power of the US government and these billion dollar companies could result in amazing things. But this won’t happen because liberals think “Corporations” are the enemy and conservatives think “Government” is the enemy. This is crazy since companies and government is filled with people like you and me. The end result is no rational discussions or decisions being made.

      • Pfirman

        You are half correct. Corporations are the enemy. Government is the idiot.

  • alanstorm

    Mendocino/Lake Complex fire now at 36,500 acres, another 2500 burnt today, presumably where those bombers were attacking all day across the valley from me SE of Willits.
    We now have 245 single family homes destroyed & 8 fatalities.
    I don’t think any disaster has ever matched this for Mendocino County.
    Geez.
    Pics are what looks to be an awful display of individual homes going up in the Pine Mtn area. Topo map show that area dotted with dozens of homes, so that’s my assumption.
    The bombers impressively tamped things down earlier (posted this morning), but around 4 the winds picked up & reignited the area, then these plumes appeared.
    Back the bombers came & mopped things up by dark.
    Tomorrow once again will be crunch time with friggin winds expected to get into the 30-40mph range.
    Hopefully I won’t have anymore smoking pics to share.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3e2391e41a680fd5e6d1ec7e326af991c4f28579df5c032ac9caa5e5e0b47fe9.jpg
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b54846e45db2347e1f7ed85a6d5e90e54ba8e7d5799328f0a7f7c0ab64816753.jpg

    • Jim (Watsonville)

      The smoke is pretty light in color to be a home…

      • alanstorm

        I hope that’s true, however they would start with black smoke then go grey.
        They really put alot of air attack attention on that area, 2 days nonstop.
        It was evacuated Monday evening.

    • DayHoe Herald

      So how far is your place from the front lines?

      • alanstorm

        2 miles or so

  • Thunderstorm

    Hopefully the hot spot map and the infared white rectangle on the southern tip of the atlas fire is back burning. Otherwise Vallejo heads up tomorrow night!

    • Jim (Watsonville)

      I think you exceeded the legal amount of “assumings”..

  • thebigweasel

    Tranquil in Santa Barbara at this hour. Winds are calm, cool but dry. I can smell smoke, but it’s stale, obviously from the horrible fires to the north.

  • AntiochWx

    00z GFS is no bueno. Was really hoping for some fire relief.

  • Thirstier Nick (Santa Maria)

    66, low humidity, and breezy right now. Call me crazy, but it feels nicer than 66 and humid or under smoke-covered skies. What I won’t like is the hot days that follow up in the next four days.

  • 43 degrees here. Burrrrr.

  • inclinejj

    Morning all. Looks like sleeping with the window option is over. 46.5 degrees.

    • Pfirman

      I grew up sleeping on screen porches. Don’t have one now, but the window is open every night of the year except for during heat waves, but I live in the valley, not the mountains. I did not sleep with the window open during winter in Fairbanks, Alaska, heh.

  • Bombillo1

    Our rain for wed/thurs is changing hourly. What a cruel game.

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

    Yea, going to have to hold a little while longer on those rain forecasts unfreakingfortunately… & any forecasts after this upcoming pattern. 00Z Euro ensembles are still struggling with the upcoming southerly disturbance & GFS is still having a panic attack about it in general. There is a few factors in the forecast that need to be tweaked out first (e.g. the position of the ridge north of Hawaii, the CoL currently forming between HI & the west coast from an extension of the trough over the PNW and lastly the subtropical ridge hanging out to our south) then this forecast will hopefully be a bit more settled. As some of us regulars here know, these factors all happen to be the trickiest to pinpoint in such a time (seasonal transition still ongoing) & who knows if we ever get a handle on it up until 36-72 hours out. Graphics for reference below while I begin to hold my breath again. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9c0535056bb21824c5cbd670e90dff5ccbe3f9fe9998b902320dd7e5781aa0dc.gif https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ec3d7adeb085331c963bb6ddbcfa072f2fbe76391cb83d34b18bdf3ac68d2bc3.gif https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c083db8e0d1c457140d18058d2e27443dc017fefda9cdee862b589c9fba75687.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/55f1ddbeec98ebbf4937ce5044b0b78860f79fbf18e7ace9a9424453c7b43f9f.png

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      I also believe anything past this outlook is pretty shot in the dark, due to these factors I am pointing out… Especially since we still need to see what this ridge north of Hawaii does.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Both EC and GFS have been playing peek-a-boo with the potential system for late next week. Understandable, given the fact we are in seasonal transition, which tends to eat numeric forecast models for lunch.

      • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

        Lol it’s the season I suppose. ?