Much-needed fire relief in North Bay today, but new ridge and record SoCal heat on the way

Filed in Uncategorized by on October 19, 2017 4,145 Comments

North Bay firestorm of 2017

October 2017 will be a month not soon forgotten by many thousands of California residents living in the coastal counties just north of San Francisco. Late in the evening on October 8th, a cluster of extremely fast-moving, wind-driven wildfires roared across Sonoma, Napa, and Mendocino counties (as well as Butte County further north and east)–together burning well over 200,000 acres, destroying nearly 6,000 structures, and claiming the lives of at least 42 people.

Imagery from NASA’s Earth-orbiting satellites showing vast extent of North Bay Fires earlier in October 2017. (via NASA)

Collectively, this wildfire outbreak has become both the deadliest and most destructive wildfire outbreak in California history, eclipsing even the 1991 Tunnel Fire in the Oakland Hills and the 2003 Cedar Fire in San Diego County. As of 10/19, most of these fires continued to burn, though containment has risen considerably and the risk of further risk to lives and property has diminished greatly.

Why were the October 8th fires so incredibly devastating, even in the context of California’s long history of large and frequent wildfires? Several key factors unfortunately converged in the North Bay during this extraordinary event. Perhaps most obvious: the development of very strong and bone-dry land to sea “Diablo Winds” over Napa and Sonoma Counties. Autumn is “offshore wind” season in California, as it’s the time of year when strong day-to-day variations in pressure over the Great Basin can result in steep pressure differentials between the elevated desert plateau and the coast. It’s the same process responsible for California’s so-called “Indian summers,” during which coastal regions often see their highest temperatures of the entire year due to the suppression of the prevalent summer marine layer. In its extreme form, however the “Diablo winds” (and its Southern California cousin, the “Santa Ana“) can result in extremely high fire risk–and can cause wildfires to advance faster than people can outrun them. In fact, this has been a common characteristic in all of California’s most destructive and deadliest wildfires: extremely rapid rates of spread are strongly associated with the occurrence of extremely dry and strong offshore winds in autumn.

Also contributing to the magnitude of the North Bay fire disaster was the proximity of fairly densely populated suburban neighborhoods to a large region of tinder-dry mixed forest and brush. Easterly winds in Sonoma County–which apparently gusted over 70mph along ridgetops and above 60mph even in the lower hills–drove the Tubbs Fire directly into northern portions of the city of Santa Rosa. It is this where the most lives were lost and most structures burned. Unusually, however, a significant portion of the burned area was apparently outside the designated “wildland-urban inferface” where most of California’s fire losses typically occur. How, exactly, did this wildfire manage to burn unchecked through multiple housing developments in the flatlands of Sonoma County (and, incredibly, jump over nearby Highway 101)? In addition to the very gusty Diablo winds, there have been a number of unconfirmed (but plausible) reports of “fire vortices” as the Tubbs Fire approached Santa Rosa. Such vortices act like fire-induced tornados, and while they have different mechanisms of formation than more traditional tornados produced by severe thunderstorms, they can ultimately be quite destructive and can cause a fire to “spot” ahead of itself a great distance. It’s possible that this phenomenon may partially explain why the Tubbs Fire became an essentially uncontrollable, localized urban firestorm. I’m sure there will be further investigation of this possibility in the weeks and months to come.

Finally, there is also the long-term climate context to consider. California just experienced its record-hottest summer, and the fire areas in particular suffered through one of the hottest autumn heatwaves on record back in early September. As the National Weather Service warned just hours before the fires broke out, vegetation moisture levels in the Bay Area had dropped to record-low values due to the extraordinary warmth over the past few months. This occurred despite a very wet winter across the Bay Area, which may have (somewhat counterintuitively) also contributed to increased fire risk by increasing the amount of dry grass and brush that grew during the spring months and ultimately dried out during the record heat this summer. Finally, as others have also pointed out, the legacy of California’s record-breaking multi-year drought is still being felt in California’s forested regions, where many trees remain drought-stressed and where tree mortality remains widespread. Thus, there is a strong argument to be made that the confluence of a wet winter (which enhanced the “flashy,” combustable fuels), the record-hot summer (which dried out vegetation to record levels), and the recent severe drought (which stressed trees to their limits) set the stage for the tragic events which have recently unfolded across Northern California.

 

Some good news: light rain today across hard-hit fire areas

Light to locally moderate precipitation is expected over the next 24 hours or so across much of Northern California, including the fire areas. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

I do have some good news to report this afternoon: as I type this, a modest cold front is currently working its way down the Northern California coast, spreading light to moderate precipitation across the far northern reaches of the state. Later today and this evening, this front will bring some light precipitation as far south as the Bay Area–most likely including the hardest-hit fire region in the North Bay. While this precipitation will not be heavy, it will probably bring a “wetting rain” that will greatly reduce (if not extinguish) fire activity. This, combined with cooler temperatures and higher humidity in the wake of the front, will hopefully allow firefighters to wrap up containment on many of these fires by the weekend. Even very light precipitation, plus a shift in the winds, will also have another considerable benefit: air quality throughout the Bay Area (and across most of NorCal) will likely improve greatly.

 

However, fire season is not over yet: record heat, wind headed for SoCal

A near-record strength high pressure ridge for this time of year will anchor itself directly over California. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

Following today’s NorCal respite, however, the overall news is not so great. This weekend, a very strong and seasonally anomalous ridge of high pressure is expected to build over California and the far eastern Pacific Ocean, bringing a dramatic increase in temperatures, along with plummeting humidity and even some offshore winds at times–especially across Southern California. In fact: there is now strong multi-model agreement that record high temperatures are quite likely to occur over nearly all of Southern California early next week. At the moment, it appears quite likely that daily temperature records for late October will be exceeded by a wide margin (i.e. by 3-5+ degrees in some spots). Downtown Los Angeles will probably experience its latest-in-the-calendar-year 100 degree reading on record next week, and could even approach 105. Even the beaches will be quite hot during this heat event–probably hotter, in fact, than during most of the significant inland heatwaves this summer. Early next week, there are also increasing signs that Santa Ana winds may develop–likely bringing critical fire weather risks for an extended period of time across much of Southern California

Near-surface temperatures will be a record-levels early next week across southern and parts of coastal Central California. (NCEP)

Temperatures across NorCal will not be nearly as hot as in SoCal during this event, though it will still be quite warm (80 and some 90s) for late October. Dry conditions will also prevail, along with occasionally breezy offshore winds. At the moment, there are no indications of especially strong winds in the northern part of the state over the next week, though this could change if any weak systems drop down the eastern side of the ridge over the Great Basin. The main message across California: the dry season is not over yet, despite the brief respite over the next 48 hours, and at the moment “fire season-ending” rains are still not on the horizon over most of the state. Stay tuned.

 

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  • Fairweathercactus

    The wunderground model has been everywhere this week. I take it it is from the location of where the moisture is coming from for So Cal. Model data and storms do not come from that direction to often.

    The wunderground has shown for my area as high as 0.86 to 0.06 as of 3:20PM today.

  • Fairweathercactus

    It was the first time since 1999 Whittier had no rain in October and I have to go back and look but I think the first time since 1999 as well no Thunderstorm days. usual October has one good day/night of a thunderstorm or lighting.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Didn’t you guys get some measurable drizzle there yesterday? (if we dare to call it “rain”).

      • Fairweathercactus

        No all the drizzle days resulted in nothing here kind of surprising being a foothill area.

        • SoCalWXwatcher

          That’s weird. I managed to squeeze out 0.03″ from the drizzle in Downey, which isn’t too far from Whittier.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        I had a little off and on drizzle on Monday night here in Orange, but it was barely enough to wet the ground. When I woke up yesterday morning, everything was dry and there were no puddles in my patio, which would have indicated rain overnight.

  • palmsprings

    Looking on the bright side, at least the area from Ventura through Santa Barbara and Pt. Conception will probably get some decent accumulations. They’ve been quite unlucky with rain amounts even last season which is why they’re still in a ‘Moderate Drought’ according to the current drought monitor.

  • Taz & Storm Master

    today GFS runs suck whats see what the GFS dos at 0z and see if it starts addeding things back seems too happen all the time

  • Idaho Native

    I think we were just spoiled by last year. .5-.75″ for SF isn’t half bad for the first major storm of the year!

    • matthew

      I was just thinking the same thing. Looks like I should be getting 2″+ precip (so maybe 12″ of snow) over the next 8 days from this first real winter event. I will take it for the first week of November. In my 57+ years in CA I have seen winters where the resorts were struggling to open a few chairs by Christmas. Assuming that we get some follow-on storms there should be at least partial openings by the end of the month.

      The glass is half full!

      • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

        My thoughts too-any decent snow in November is a bonus for most resorts if they can get a few runs open for Thanksgiving they’re happy. A good wet storm to build the base and bury the rocks would be a very good thing for resorts.

    • weathergeek100

      That’s why I think it’s pointless to get excited for ‘storms’ that are 384 hours out.

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      I still wouldn’t call that major, moderate is better for a storm of .5-7.5

    • jstrahl

      Well,hoping we get THAT!

  • AlTahoe

    I have noticed over the last few runs that a persistent Kona low over Hawaii keeps spinning up. That in turn is pumping up the Ridge to its East over Southern Cal and weakening the storms. At least this ssetup is different than a RRR or Subtropical high pressure killing Southern Cal’s chances. Once that feature moves on I think the South land will have better chances at meaningful rain.

    • matthew

      Why did I read that as “Kona Gold”?

    • jstrahl

      Assuming that feature moves on, or doesn’t keep repeating this activity.

    • Some destructive interference with base state when MJO went through phases 6-7 and some activity in the Arabian Sea is f’Inglin is up. Confirms it’s full on Nina conditions.

      • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

        By the day, I couldn’t agree more with you.

    • max

      My friends on Maui mentioned a large rain event, that again, changed the flow of Iao Stream. That takes a lot of rain. Kona storms can really drop a lot when they stall out.

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    Looks like Oroville is about ready for the winter, impressive how much work they did in a little over 9 months to be ready for winter.
    https://twitter.com/kcraFinan/status/925860543960825857

  • molbiol

    For those in Socal who were turned off by the discouraging AFDs from early today, I thought I’d have a bit of fun (since a new blog post is coming soon):
    Here is the Los Angeles AFD from Jan 16 2010—enjoy!:

    SHORT TERM (TODAY-TUE)…
    SEVERAL POWERFUL STORM SYSTEMS ARE LINING UP ACROSS THE PACIFIC THIS
    AFTERNOON…BEING PUSHED BY A 200+ KT JET DIRECTLY TOWARDS
    CALIFORNIA. TWO OF THESE SYSTEMS ARE EXPECTED TO IMPACT SOUTHERN
    CALIFORNIA IN THE SHORT TERM. TODAYS FAIR WEATHER WILL PROBABLY THE
    LAST DRY WEATHER FOR SOME TIME. TONIGHT AND EARLY ON SUNDAY…THE
    CHANCE FOR SHOWERS BEGINS TO DEVELOP NORTH OF POINT CONCEPTION. THE
    CHANCE OF PRECIPITATION WILL CONTINUE TO INCREASE ON SUNDAY AND MOVE
    SOUTH AND EAST TO DURING THE DAY. WITH A SLIGHT CHANCE FOR LIGHT
    RAIN TO REACH LA DURING THE AFTERNOON.

    SUNDAY NIGHT AND MONDAY…THINGS BEGIN TO RAMP UP QUICKLY AND
    SUBSTANTIALLY AS THE LEADING EDGE OF THE FIRST POWERFUL STORM BEGINS
    TO MOVE ONSHORE NORTH OF POINT CONCEPTION EARLY MONDAY…MOVING
    SOUTH OF POINT CONCEPTION AND INTO VENTURA AND LA COUNTIES DURING
    THE AFTERNOON. THUNDERSTORMS WITH INTENSE DOWNPOURS WILL BE POSSIBLE
    WITH THIS STORM MONDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING. THIS WILL POSE A
    SIGNIFICANT THREAT FOR DEBRIS FLOWS NEAR RECENT BURN AREAS…
    INCLUDING THE STATION FIRE. IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT RECENT
    MODEL RUNS HAVE PROGRESSIVELY INCREASED THE STRENGTH OF MONDAYS
    STORM DURING THE LAST TWO MODEL RUNS. AT THIS TIME…WE ARE
    EXPECTING 1 TO 3 INCHES ALONG THE COAST WITH 3 TO 6 INCHES IN THE
    FOOTHILLS AND MOUNTAINS. SNOW LEVELS WILL BE RUNNING IN THE 5000 TO
    6000 FT RANGE. VERY HEAVY SNOW…POSSIBLY 1 TO 3 FEET…WILL BE
    POSSIBLE AT ELEVATIONS ABOVE 6000 FEET. LOWER ACCUMULATIONS WILL BE
    POSSIBLE DOWN TO AROUND 5000 FEET.

    LONG TERM (TUE-FRI)…MEDIUM RANGE MODEL AGREEMENT IS PRETTY GOOD
    THROUGH MID WEEK BEFORE THEY GET OUT OF PHASE. BOTH THE EC AND THE
    GFS CALL FOR AT LEAST TWO MORE STRONG STORMS TO RAKE THE SOUTHLAND
    IN THE EXTENDED PERIOD. THE GFS SEEMS TO PAINT THE MORE DOUR PICTURE
    WITH BACK TO BACK POWERFUL STORMS ON BOTH WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY…
    WITH THE THURSDAY EVENT BEING PERHAPS THE MOST POWERFUL OF THE
    WEEK…IN A WEEK OF STORMS. THE EC HAS THE SAME TWO STORMS…BUT
    PERHAPS NOT QUITE AS POWERFUL…BUT STILL STRONG. ON FRIDAY…THE
    GFS CALLS FOR A WET NORTHWESTERLY FLOW WITH SHOWERS CONTINUING
    THROUGH FRIDAY WITH PERHAPS A BREAK ON SATURDAY. THE EC…HOWEVER…
    KEEPS THE REGION UNDER MOIST SOUTHWEST TO WEST FLOW…WHICH LOOKS
    WETTER THAN THE GFS. REGARDLESS…THE SIGNIFICANT TAKE AWAY FROM THE
    EXTENDED IS THAT THE STORMS ARE EXPECTED TO CONTINUE THROUGH THE
    WEEK AND INTO THE WEEKEND.

    • molbiol

      Here are portions from a couple more from Dec 17 of 2008 (being in the Lancaster area this one really resonates with me):

      TUE NIGHT THE UPPER LOW WILL CONTINUE TO DROP SOUTH ALONG THE CA
      COAST AND SETTLE OVER THE BIGHT REGION WED MORNING. AS IT DOES,
      ANOTHER BAND OF PRECIPITATION IS EXPECTED TO MOVE THROUGH THE AREA
      TUESDAY NIGHT INTO EARLY WED, BUT AGAIN AMOUNTS ARE EXPECTED TO BE
      ON THE LIGHT SIDE. HOWEVER, THIS UPPER LOW IS EXTREMELY COLD AND THE
      AIRMASS WILL BE MODERATELY UNSTABLE. THIS WILL INCREASE THE RISK FOR
      CONVECTION, INCLUDING THUNDERSTORMS, WATERSPOUTS, FUNNEL CLOUDS,
      ETC. IN ADDITION, SNOW LEVELS WILL BE DROPPING TO EXTREMELY LOW
      LEVELS, PERHAPS AS LOW AS 1000 FEET. ALSO OF INTEREST IS THE
      POSSIBILITY FOR STRONG NORTHEAST UPSLOPE FLOW ACROSS THE ANTELOPE
      VALLEY AND ADJACENT MOUNTAINS STARTING WED MORNING. THE COMBINATION
      OF THIS AND LOW SNOW LEVELS COULD BRING SIGNIFICANT SNOW DOWN TO THE
      ANTELOPE VALLEY FLOOR WED AS WELL AS THE SAN GABRIEL MTNS. FOR NOW
      IVE BUMPED UP POPS AND QPF IN THESE AREAS AND FUTURE SHIFTS WILL
      NEED TO EVALUATE THE POTENTIAL FOR A WINTER STORM WATCH/WARNING FOR
      THESE AREAS AND POSSIBLE WINTER WEATHER ADVISORIES FOR OTHER AREAS
      ABOVE 1000 FEET.

      MODELS INDICATE 500 MB TEMPERATURES BELOW -25 CELSIUS
      TONIGHT WITH PERIODS OF 500 MB DIVERGENCE…SOME CONCERNS EXISTS
      FOR ISOLATED LARGER HAIL TONIGHT COULD DEVELOP OVER LOS ANGELES
      COUNTY…WITH OMEGA VALUES PUSHING WELL INTO THE FREEZING LAYER
      TONIGHT. WITH CONVECTIVE UNSTABLE AIRMASS IN PLACE…LOW-LEVEL
      NORTHEAST FLOW PATTERN…AND DRIER PRECIPITABLE WASTER
      VALUES…FLASH FLOOD WATCH HAS BEEN DELAYED FOR NOW…BUT IT MAY
      BE REEVALUATED LATER.

      LATEST NAM BUFR DATA AND NAM-WRF SOLUTIONS HAVE BECOME MORE
      AGGRESSIVE WITH THE PRECIPITATION FOR THE ANTELOPE VALLEY. NAM
      BUFR TIME HEIGHT SECTIONS OVER THE LAST TWO RUNS HAVE RANGED FROM
      0.50 INCH TO 1.40 INCHES WATER EQUIVALENT. WITH AN 8 TO 1 SNOW-
      WATER RATIO…THIS WOULD INDICATE 4 TO 11 INCHES FOR THE ANTELOPE
      VALLEY. WIDESPREAD AMOUNTS OF 11 INCHES SEEMS SOMEWHAT ON HIGH
      END…BUT LOCAL AMOUNT TO 11 INCHES COULD OCCUR IN THE FOOTHILLS.
      ORIGINAL THINKING WAS 4 TO 6 INCHES EARLIER IN THE SHIFT…BUT NOW
      6 TO 8 INCHES SEEMS MORE LIKELY OVER THE ANTELOPE VALLEY TAKING
      SURFACE AND GROUND TEMPERATURES INTO ACCOUNT. CURRENT AMOUNTS LOOK
      GOOD…BUT AN EARLIER START TIME COULD SKEW THESE NUMBERS UP SOME.
      FOR THE MOUNTAINS…6 TO 12 INCHES SEEMS AMENABLE FOR NOW WITH
      LOCAL TO 18 INCHES.

      • matt

        i remember to that night the temp was 17 wind chill was 16. according to my weather station. dec 17 2008

        • molbiol

          I spent the night on the 14 fwy due to that storm…

    • jstrahl

      Thanks, though no longer sure a new blog post is coming up, we might just get a big drizzle event after all the drama.

    • RunningSprings6250

      It snowed nonstop that Wednesday through Saturday morning for 6 feet of snow at my place. I believe the first storm Monday was all rain ending in sleet…

      • molbiol

        Six feet of snow in your neck of the woods from a storm sequence is a rarity these days. Not even last year came close to that!!!!!

        • RunningSprings6250

          I thought it was a normal thing or maybe it WAS normal but very rare now indeed. Jan 2017 did come close at 5 feet in 2 days but it was the ONLY big storm of last season.

          Here’s to hoping, there’s always ‘next’ year! LOL

          • Tyler Price (Seaside)

            Or there’s always THIS year 😉 i wouldn’t write this storm season off just yet November has only just begun! Who knows what this rain season has in store for us?!?

          • RunningSprings6250

            Technically it hasn’t started for us on the wrong side of Pt. Conception so I was indeed referring to this up and coming season. ??????

    • I wish these things weren’t such an eyesore to read, it always makes me picture the forecaster as this dude:
      http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/ibm100/images/icp/N580165A27485M26/us__en_us__ibm100__sage__sage_operator__800x625.jpg

    • WTF why post this shit?

      • molbiol

        Just having a bit of fun going down memory lane. Didn’t mean to upset you. Sorry if I offended you

      • gray whale

        damn homie you okay?

    • Chrissy (Long Beach)

      Oh man, now I need a drink.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    Colder Snow scenario: 5-8 inches for Tahoe City, 8-12 in for Incline, 4-6 inches for SLT and a couple feet of snow for the resorts
    Most likely total snow scenario: 2-3 inches for Tahoe City and Incline, 1-2 in for SLT. Nothing changes above 7,000 ft (the new 6,000)
    This all according to NWS RENO https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e968d965feb1630008a5c5fbaa924104aeded7b262b01009c098afe2e6d1aa9d.jpg

    • gray whale

      “Snow levels remain tricky in the 6-7000 range”

      You know, if they just stayed humble and open like this more often I think people would really appreciate it. A couple different scenarios, stating what they’re confident in and what’s less of a slam-dunk — all good stuff. It’s only when they give hour-by-hour specific forecasts that don’t pan out that they look kinda silly and people mock them.

    • inclinejj

      Incline Village rarely gets more snowfall than Tahoe City. Only when you have an inside slider dropping over the North Shore. They normally hit the Carson City area hard.

  • alanstorm

    Looks like a refining forecast for our much promised pattern-change: first cold front Friday, clearing Saturday, another cold front Sunday, then another Wednesday.
    That’s 3 fronts in 6 days for Norcal.
    That’s what I call an active pattern.

    • jstrahl

      All we now need is for those fronts to actually do something beyond bringing winds.

    • NAM doesn’t have the system down yet – too early. However, it is showing Oroville finished their work just in time, 7-8 inches is respectable, and just the start.
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3814772cb605011910493725187ded5ffe91f4698bf4ede4b2be363b91daba73.png

      • alanstorm

        Might be a good idea to make sure our flood control systems are in SHIP SHAPE going into winter.
        Last year got alittle silly with that huge snowmelt scenerio over the N. Fork of the Feather.
        ….a bit of a close call?

        • It’s picking up the intense action on the Feather river basin area showing up on the GFS 36-66 hours out, so other models verify it. They get their first test run early 😛

          • alanstorm

            Im around the same latitude as the Feather R watershed, so what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

        • Pfirman

          Gonna be 64 all over again!!!!!

          • alanstorm

            I’m over that already

  • mrzz

    If the 18z verifies it’s a good setup for Santa Barbara – I remember these low QPF events where it drizzles all day and really soaks the soils on Sunday. The carp will flop around but I’m getting me cord o wood ready for a day of gentle soaking……. GFS willing.

    • Pfirman

      Fun to read and a great reflection of what happens here. Thank you so much for your efforts.

    • “Page doesn’t exist” message

    • jstrahl

      I see a blank space.

      • Darin

        And Daniel wrote his name

      • Pfirman

        My reply disappeared. Weirdness happening on Disqus.

        • Pfirman

          Ok, if I use a different browser they are still there. ????

    • alanstorm

      Link is on the FRITZ.
      “Liked” it anyway

      • Pfirman

        Yeah, I had to go to his tweets. Worth looking for.

  • AntiochWx

    CPC actually did a really good job in the temperature anomaly forecasting. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1be5d4c203fc6ea726c2f0b97cfaf4ec768125ea45ec90a0b6d0750eeec904a2.png

  • AntiochWx

    CPC was not that good with precip anomaly forecasting. I guess you could be a case for Florida and some places in the north mid west were wet, but in general this was not a good forecast. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c72fd618a3494ca75b58477dff95ee2e36f2641a14c22d4a83ceefa6f47fac2f.png

    • jstrahl

      Almost a counter indicator in most places.

      • AntiochWx

        Yeah it was not good, busted for sure.

  • RandomTreeInSB

    From a purely amateur viewpoint, it looks like the last 2 GFS runs thinks the low near Washington /British Columbia is weaker and more inland, thus not pulling up as much subtropical moisture as previously forecasted.
    But then that slug of subtropical moisture near 30N 130W develops into a weak low and pulls moisture all the way from the tropics into into CA next Tuesday. Hmm…

    • RandomTreeInSB
    • Nathan

      About a week ago I suggested that this was one of two scenarios that may conspire to kill our rain chances. Previous model runs showing a more powerful storm counted on perfect phasing between a good slug of tropical moisture and a diving system from the north, both of which hinged on the massive high sitting over the Aleutians. Turns out that massive high got massiver and its anticyclonic flow is helping to quash the subtropical moisture tap, or at least its timing with the dynamics of the diving system, which still looks about as healthy as one might expect this time of year. I realize it’s not what folks want to see but this seems like a pretty reasonable early November storm.

  • 12Z Euro flipping between 84 and 132 hrs, to illustrate wave 1 & 2. SoCal cover your eyes. Still healthy Sierra #s
    Goodnightgif.gif
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2576e97a32e435af6708d0fd9616e15336ea667ab0499cbedd74dc00fa80f3b3.gif

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      The 00z EC is running late for some reason.

      • Maybe for you but for CA DWR there might be some bedwetting tonight. Numbers got jacked way up – The euro is picking up on what the NAM is seeing, SCORoville!
        GFS shows it to, as well as some of the snow was trading for rain but not much.

        • SoCalWXwatcher

          True, I was speaking in terms of SBA Counties and points South, where 00Z Continues to backpedal on totals.
          Things look nice n’ wet up North.

  • Rainmaker (San Jose)

    these storms look to be limping towards the finish line. No longer expecting any heavy rainfall. but still glad 2-3 storms are still in the window. Light showers are always welcome!

    • alanstorm

      Go up hiway 17 during the cold-front passage, I’ll bet you’ll see some heavy-ish rain……
      on second thought, that’s an entirely bad idea-
      bound to be a half dozen pile-ups!

      • Rusty Rails

        Yeah keep the amateurs off 17 please!

      • Darin

        Elon Musk should do a 17 passage after he’s done with the 405.

      • Pfirman

        Whoa, what happened to the replies about 17? Weirdness.

    • Bombillo1

      A watched pot never boils. This pot has had incessant dissection for over 280 hours and now we learn the origins of grandmama’s maxim.

    • jstrahl

      “In the window”? You mean being forecast? 🙂

  • Osse (Redondo)

    Just woken up by pouring rain in Redondo Beach. !!! Such an unfamiliar sound – thought my sprinkler head was broken.

    • Bombillo1

      Just the faintest hint of offshore moisture your way. Interesting that it is sufficient to bring you that strange sound. There appears to be hope for some more, perhaps tonight?

  • Bombillo1

    What a bizarre confluence of forces brings us this rain. I long for the big GOA lows that sequentially drop from the North and work their way south. This thing we’ve got now is the “camel” of rain events, designed by committee and improbable looking. To wit the Loop. Can anyone say they have seen this before?

    http://www.goes.noaa.gov/dml/west/nhem/weus/rb.html

  • Bombillo1

    What a bizarre confluence of forces brings us this rain. The “camel” of rain events, improbable and looks to be designed by committee. I long for powerful GOA Ls that sequentially work their way down the state. Can anyone say they have seen this set-up before? To wit the Loop..

    http://www.goes.noaa.gov/dml/west/nhem/weus/rb.html

    • Tom & Koyano Gray

      Usually its the kind of thing that happens later in the season, “oh just another low with the “possibility” of some light rain, but you know how that goes; there is a much bettter possibilty for us with this possible pineapple express forming later in the week” . Then the two collide in the Catalina bight and all hell breaks loose.

      • Tom & Koyano Gray

        My basic cynicism of so cal/San Diego rain predictions only allows me to give this an iffy 50 %.

        • Bombillo1

          Interestingly, the split jet gives S Cal ( Santa Barbara bullseye) something fair. Central Cal is the orphan this go around, my condolences to 2 Plu.

    • Hollow Scene (Riverside)

      We have had some odd setups the last few years it seams like here and there. Late Oct and Nov would normally bring washed out tail end fronts of systems up north (Norcal)

  • Disclaimer: lots of action still beyond what NAM can show.
    However…an interesting double header event: all event planners in the Santa Barbra and LA basin must be called and everyone has to schedule an outdoors BBQ on Friday night, that way this GIF will come true or you’re mothers rain gauge will die in its sleep tonight.
    Edit: let me resize that, was too big.

      • jstrahl

        This shows cloud cover, not precipitation, right? Thick cloud cover with dry surface air translates to very little if any rain.

        • SoCalWXwatcher

          Yup, colors are cloud top temperatures, not precipitation.

  • Palos Verdes Snowstorm

    0.13 in of rain fell last night without any warning.

    • JGold

      came down hard in Redondo too

  • SacWx

    NAM has bullseye on rag dump

    • 06 GFS+ECMWF @ 108 hours still in agreement showing 3 ft snow @ Donner Summit. More or less what it depicted 5 days ago, maybe in a different spot by 50-100 miles. Looked at Boreal’s new webcam, a loader drove by with a snow maker on the blade, this is what they need @Cap’n.
      Wait a minute. I just tried to @Cap’n and his name won’t come up, like say, @SacWx:disqus or @disqus_8g4C7NJ5ST:disqus.
      Did the maiden of all his cords burn his burner phone in a funeral pyre of twirled poles and bobbleheads?!?!
      He got caught oogling the doppler too many times,
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/be9f292621cc227ee3791330caa898b28ae2d0b68c08d807cf3ba2e8cf7a5a4c.jpg

      • Bombillo1

        The later.

      • matthew

        The handle which shows up on posts is not always the same as the @handle. If you click on the poster’s “name” you can see both. Mine for example.

    • Howard Goodman

      I’m covering up stuff now , it’s funny there’s a large group that say’s they’re coming this weekend , they looked at the forecast for Paradise and said it didn’t look too bad , I told them ” this ain’t Paradise “

      • Pfirman

        Well, it is in a way, just not that way.

  • CHeden

    Here’s the 300mb air flow by tomorrow…and is reflecting the same general theme we’ve been tracking for most of Fall. High pressure ridging continues to dominate much of the NPac, with the main N-S axis in it’s typical position ~-160W. The high is anchored as part of an Omega block, with Northern California within the eastern trough associated with the block. Within the trough, low pressure has developed as expected off B.C., and will be tracking mostly due south behind a quickly moving, and rather dynamic CF before weakening south of San Francisco. The front will be a good snow producer above 4-6k’ and the Sierra should get a good dusting…however down here in the lowlands, we’ll be lucky to squeeze out 1/4-1/2″ despite a chance for a rather robust but brief frontal passage.
    The Omega block, working in tandem with broad High Pressure centers over Central Mexico and another HP centered directly south of the Omega block, is creating a split flow in the jet, with re-consolidation taking place east of California. At various times, the GFS (in particular) had the jet reconsolidating more westward near the Sierra, which is when the heavier precip totals were indicated. Now, with a split flow continuing, the northern low will have limited moisture to work with…hence a downward trend in precip.
    For SoCent/SoCal, it’s a totally different story…as mean anti-cyclonic flow…. i.e.dirty ridge, is bringing up sub-tropical moisture with weak lows spinning up (almost like eddy lows?) and periodically moving over the coast. The flow is moving around the aforementioned HP centered over Mexico, which also has come up stationary, hence the juiciest flow will become focused over SoCal, mostly near Pt. Conception and the SoCal Bight.
    ATTM, this pattern will remain relatively locked for the next 5 days (at least) with 2-3 troughs/lows quickly moving NE-SW into the Omega block before opening up and ejecting East. As these lows eject, trailing cold fronts will impact mostly Northern California due to persistent ridging over SoCal, with the northern lows limited as to how far south they can dig. Right now, the third low due in on Thursday looks to be the most impressive, which may feature a re-consolidated jet to aid in providing additional dynamics and upper air forcing. If this scenario pans out, the block should get temporarily disrupted with a more zonal flow setting up with several more waves riding mostly north of California, but still giving NorCal a chance of on/off rain.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cf8a24c52f7786b4a7650e49f5131069c023175782b1099424b8d65d76a69b4d.gif
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/24fec8860bd249756d1c7a4ba14e3fc6818dad7cd2ed54b9c5cb26799974e03b.png

    • CHeden
      • jstrahl

        Next Thursday is a week away. We know what was forecast last weekend for this weekend. 7 days out is Fantasyland. Anything past 24 hours is Fantasyland. I’m getting a feeling this season will be filled with forecast busts.

        • CHeden

          Of all the other varying scenarios with the previous systems, the GFS has been unusually consistent with the Thursday (third) system.
          ATTM, confidence is rather high.

    • Bombillo1

      What a mess.

      • CHeden

        Yup.
        Hoping to see a more “reasonable” setup by end of next week?

        • jstrahl

          Is that a question, or a hope stated in a hedging manner?

          • CHeden

            See my new note above. Looks like a more typical circumpolar wind flow will be starting to re-establish itself by then. I’m kinda leaning (60% chance) towards this scenario to occur given the really cold air piling up over Northern Canada, Greenland and N Siberia eventually needs a place to go…and therefore should add some extra energy to the SPJ jet and a switch to a more progressive overall pattern in around 10 days or so.
            On the flip side, if the block holds and H.P. remains parked where it is now, the SPJ will remain disrupted/split, with the cold air filtering NNE-SSW around the high/block.

          • jstrahl

            Thanks. Given recent history, I’m no betting man but i’d bet on stagnated pattern. HP cells are not moving much, anywhere, i indeed think this has to do with the polar climate disruption.

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    Thanks to KCRA here are some opening days for Sierra resorts.
    http://www.kcra.com/article/when-will-your-favorite-sierra-ski-resort-open-for-winter/6425860

  • 82/83 El Nino baby (San Jose)

    Two interesting tweet about the Global SST pattern. Way over my head, but interesting note that the current patter looks like the 1980s.

    https://twitter.com/antmasiello/status/925825386960826369

    • Bombillo1

      I’ll take an 82,83. I was living in Mission Beach (San Diego) at the time. Almost died surfing LJ Cove, that breaks only on a monster north swell.

      • malnino

        I remember that Black’s was virtually stripped clean of sand after the EN, so we discovered the joys of surfing the 15th St break in Del Mar, and Moonlight Beach in Encinitas. North County treasures!

        • Bombillo1

          Yes! Almost died at Blacks that year as well. Went surfing with Debbie Melville ( world women’s champ at the time) there and couldn’t be shown up, got my ass kicked and broke my groovy new Al Merrick board in half. Took up shuffle board shortly thereafter.

    • honzik

      I was living in Santa Barbara during the 80s drought. One of the things that struck me was that the weather models would often signal a big storm a week away, and then a day before the storm would fizzle out. It was the weirdest pattern.

    • Globally, it looks like Nov 1989.

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        What happened in 1989?

        • Fairweathercactus

          Not a lot if you lived in So Cal. 89-90 was much like 99-00 very little rain.

          • SoCalWXwatcher

            Yup, I remember 89-90 wasn’t a particularly wet season in SoCal, but we did have some good cold storms that dumped some good snows in the local mountains.

            During the following season, March of 1991 was epic.

          • Dan the Weatherman

            I remember that the fall of 1989 was warm and dry, and it seemed that the eastern part of the country was colder and snowier in some areas. I do remember a significant late season storm in Socal sometime in late May, possibly near Memorial Day, 1990.

          • SoCalWXwatcher

            We got a series of storms during early March which did dump quite a bit of rain in 1990, but paled in comparison to the storm-train-on-steroids that hit the following March. Those in March 1991 were all GOA storms with snow levels around 3,000-4,000ft locally.

          • Dan the Weatherman

            We were at the height of a 5 year drought at that time that finally began to come to an end with the March Miracle of 1991.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      I’d take the 80’s in a heartbeat. I have some great weather memories from that decade. An extremely wet El Niño in ’82/83, Some good winters with several low snow level events in SoCal, wettest summer Monsoon I’ve ever seen in 1984 with several thunderstorms making it into coastal SoCal.

      And in sports, US Hockey team beat the Soviets at Lake Placid Winter Olympics in 1980, a great Summer Olympics in 1984. Dodgers went to the World Series twice, won both times without choking like they did last night. 😛

      • Fairweathercactus

        The 80s sucked for the Chargers and Packers. No thanks.

        • Bombillo1

          Still had Fouts and Winslow in early 80s…..

        • David

          Awesome decade for the 49ers though…..

    • CHeden

      Has to be the last couple of years of the 80’s.
      But, then again (IMHO), it’s all a pile of hoooey to suggest any meaningful analog since the base-state changed after the ’97-’98 SEN.

  • Robin White

    Back to counting raindrops. I’ll go with 42.
    Robin

  • “yes officer I’d like to report a domestic disturbance”
    “a woman was seen chasing a man into the waters of Donner lake, she was throwing logs and small misshapen plastic figurines at the man while screaming about an “addiction to the white stuff” and various other improprieties(something about paying a Reno hooker to wax up skis in a shed while someone watched).”
    “it’s been going on for about an hour, she keeps coming back and chucking more wood whenever he tries to make it back to the beach, no we don’t need a special unit, actually, can you send Jose Mota? We need a hostage negotiator to talk the subjects down over the mutual safeword subject of sleying.”
    happenseveryyearsowintermustbeclose.jpg
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d759091a67399b072e36ba1bce5f926172394923592ebd6f1bae5510948aee31.jpg

    • inclinejj

      The woman also told authorities, He made me..

      Stack firewood!

    • Pfirman

      Yup. All comments have been deleted as per the cycle.

  • Fairweathercactus

    Every time the models back down on a solution like the 6z and 12z I feel like this

    https://i.vimeocdn.com/video/615090164_1280x960.jpg

    • Pfirman

      You throw enough damp rags on a fire and it will go out.
      #cactuspulp

  • Bob G (Gustine)

    The 12Z continues the current trend. I will be working outside Saturday afternoon despite what the NWS local forecasting says. Through Sunday night the GFS shows us getting less than .10 of an inch and it looks like nothing much happening other than the upper 1/3 third of the state.

    • jstrahl

      Sounds like my forecast from Sunday or so was correct, down to a big … drizzle event.

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        For anything south of Sac sounds about right

        • Pfirman

          I’m near Sac and I’m not expecting much either. Been up and down too often, though the local rag says we might get a dump, so to speak.

          • Patrick from Stockton

            KCRA TV meteorologists are certainly talking up this storm for tomorrow and Saturday. They are talking soaking rain for the valley and good snow in the mountains. This doesn’t give with what EC and GFS are showing. They are usually pretty conservative too. Makes me wonder…

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            The north valley north of sacramento maybe unless they have some top secret weather models no one knows about that is telling them something different.

          • Pfirman

            It won’t be long before we both know, and they know, and we can move on with winter, day by day.

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            The way the models are trending and now in agreement with each other a day out I would not be expecting much either

  • CHeden

    Here’s a couple of polar grabs that illustrate the magnitude of disruptions in the “normal” circumpolar circulation as it virtually grinds to a halt. The first image is showing 2m temps/SST’s near the North Pole are currently near to just slightly below freezing despite the surrounding land surfaces approaching -40C. Over Greenland, another interesting item is how extreme the N-S temp gradient is…and is reflecting a long-term atmospheric set up that has been in place.
    The second image is for later next week, and shows how the polar flow is being now broken into two main circulations. Note also the lower heights over the EGoA which appears to be teleconnected to the trans-polar flows.
    Fortunately, the Arctic looks to settle back into a more familiar pattern about a week later, with a possible 4-wave pattern setting up? Given how constipated the general hemispheric pattern has been, it wouldn’t surprise me if a standing wave did set up.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6ffdabe655024acdc0f7befe68e5d5059c81b52b99f843917bdda2255bf22ab0.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/50dc3b794be134221345043b0a9a7a2a8d78a70236267c63af8a34e48c17d9af.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/81fe093b5948e8dc178d870ca0e7c7cf92ca7a517580977b6a0b6765adc247d1.png

    • jstrahl

      Temps of 20-30 deg C above average in the Arctic!! No wonder models are having a hard time handling developments.
      https://robertscribbler.com/2017/11/01/extreme-warming-at-the-poles-this-week-arctic-and-antarctic-temperatures-to-rise-to-20-30-c-above-average-in-some-locations/

      • Bombillo1

        Jesus, 20-30 Celcious! That’s crazy, so we’re going to be operating without albedo, great.

        • Pfirman

          Albedo ran off with Mota. I thought you knew.

          • Bombillo1

            Albedo ran off with the old habitable California. Can’t wait to see how delightful this summer is going o be…

      • CHeden

        Thanks.
        An amazing coincidence in timing to my post above.
        Obviously we’re seeing the same thing.

      • alanstorm
    • Darin

      Daniel and you are smarter than I am**. Yet, I’m still hanging onto my idea that the warming of the artic and (increased) wobbling of the Arctic circulation are major contributors to California drought. If the traditional pressure setup with traditional GoA persistent low isn’t fed cold artic air then we won’t get the low pressure waves. No waves, no major rainfall. More climate change, more warning, fewer cold waves, less rainfall. I’m an intelligent guy and I do my research. Yet…**

      ** I just realized I have become that guy – the one that holds onto beliefs instead of facts, prevented instead of observed, reality of the mind than objective truth – and I’m still processing that.

      • CHeden

        Not sure where yer going with this….
        I certainly believe that Arctic conditions are affecting/reflecting global weather patterns….and I do so because the facts back me up .
        I also seem to recall an older post(s) by Daniel noting the various impacts of changes in the Arctic and Sea Ice, but then again I don’t want to speak for him as for his position(s)/beliefs.

        • Darin

          Oh, uhh… Good then! Very good then, nice when smarter people than me confirm my beliefs with facts. (Yes, the backwards logic is an attempt at humor directed at confirmation bias). I’m guessing I remembered the whole conversation incorrectly. Sorry for any confusion.

          So… In the broad climate timeline, would expect less tight concentric arctic flow and a higher frequency wave surrounding the pole?

          Again, sorry for confusion.

          • jstrahl

            In a situation of mounting chaos, it’s probably best to not expect anything, in any direction.

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        Yet last year happened. I am no expert on this and I believe in what Daniel posts. I suspect there are numerous factors involved which can affect our weather that can lead to wet and dry years

    • inclinejj

      Ok you lost me. Correct me if I am reading this wrong. Outside Arctic surface temperatures around freezing but the ground temperature is -40?

  • Thunder98 (Santa Maria Valley)

    Chance rain, chance rain, chance rain, chance rain, chance rain………..

    https://i.imgur.com/BoJKwaM.png

  • jstrahl

    NWS Sacramento this morning, forecasted amounts by Monday. Given the drying trend since last weekend, i’d say the forecasted amounts should be shaved by around 50%.
    https://twitter.com/NWSSacramento/status/926082364123631622/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fweatherwest.com%2Farchives%2F5914

    • alanstorm

      I’m tending to agree with you, maybe not half, but less then initially forecast
      Seems like the 2 fronts (Fri & Sun) will pass too quickly.
      I’ll be lucky to get an inch from both

      • jstrahl

        The forecast above drops about an inch on Willits.

        • alanstorm

          See? I’m lucky

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      No way Modesto sees.40. If the models pan out will be lucky to see .10

  • tomocean
    • Pfirman

      I’d swear that bottom shot is Long Beach.

      • tomocean

        Yep.

      • Nathan

        pretty sure that’s Tenaya Lake, actually…

        • Pfirman

          Tenaya Lake has supertankers?

          • Nathan

            shoot, you’re right, I meant the Merced River.

          • Pfirman

            Dang, I thought you were being sarcastic and I was just playing along. Now I really think you were being sarcastic.

    • annette johnson

      Great pics! The first one is the best photo I’ve ever seen taken from a plane!

      • tomocean

        Thanks. Very kind of you to say.

      • Tuolumne

        Agreed!

        BTW, the peak near the middle at the very top is White Mountain Peak (14,252′), in the White Mountains east of the Sierra.

        • annette johnson

          Thanks for letting me know…I had no idea where it was but I did know that it is hauntingly beautiful!

    • Nathan

      these are really unique! thanks for posting.

  • Thor

    Sorry to see the trending disappointment in CA precip prospects. It does look like NorCal will get something…which is a lot better than nothing. I remember last Halloween was a wet one in the Bay Area- who knew what was yet to come?

    I think MT is the benefit of CHedens split jet stream as we have a fairly active, moist pattern parading across the N. Rockies currently and in the 10-day. It held off for Halloween but seems winter has set in a tad early. We had a winter storm warning all day yesterday and now in a winter storm watch for tonight, tomorrow and Sat. We had already had snow on the ground 4 times since Sept 15th before yesterday (including a 78degree day followed the next day by 3 inches of snow swing)…I wonder if that portends as the early rains did last year in NorCal? Guess I will find out.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c8cefc5ac320eda9b67b61a75102dedd15f07e6a4bdd051f5b303d6a1be42541.jpg

  • Thunder98 (Santa Maria Valley)
  • Fairweathercactus

    Here is your arch storm storm today that will be replaced by a ridge tomorrow. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0d4b57e0ed93352327c6e5514b5f0ded57505325722fe0ca8258515a8539c6e6.jpg

    • Pfirman

      Heh, typical arch comment from you. Ark ark.

    • alanstorm

      ….then replaced by a storm Thursday

  • jstrahl

    CHeden might be on to something regarding next Thursday, the GFS 12Z is showing healthy rainfall over the Bay Area. The weekend storm doesn’t look like a whole lot, OTOH, but a wave comes in Tuesday.

    • inclinejj

      Going to see Metallica at ATT the Band Together Bay Area Concert for the North Bay Fire Victims.

    • RandomTreeInSB

      12z Euro shows a ridge at the same time. The model feud continues…

      • jstrahl

        Unfortunately, when models feud, the dry one wins 90% of the time.

        • Dan the Weatherman

          If the dry model wins 90% of the time, why don’t they just forecast dry conditions in the first place and not lead us into this emotional roller coaster of rain – no rain – rain – no rain…?

    • GEFS MJO forecast has decided not to stay phase 1. ECMWF wants to stay awhile i.e. GEFS and ECMWF are at odds with cyclonic activity in the Bay of Bengal

      • jstrahl

        Gotta get that MJO working. 🙂

        • In the right phase at the right time?

          • jstrahl

            Time signature to match key change. 🙂

        • Pfirman

          • jstrahl

    • It’s been showing distinct waves for days, and wave 2 is really only starting to look more promising because it hasn’t declined in amplitude as much as wave 1 has vis a vis the model failures. If we say W1 forecasted at 100% strength and now drawing close, only 65%, W2 isn’t close enough yet to get the GFS cutdown it will receive 😛
      I joke but this is so typical I expect it. Meanwhile the NAM has healthy snow accumulations coming up quick, look above ^

  • inclinejj

    Coolest morning to date this fall. 46.1 degrees. Pacifica Currently 66.3 degrees 52% humidity and 29.80 Barometer. Winds calm under 5 mph.

    • Craig Matthews

      Had a low of 36 in upper Carmel Valley last night….coldest night of the season so far here as well.

  • RandomTreeInSB

    Rain chances just completely evaporated from wunderground. 12z Euro shows ridging in the medium range. This blog’s gonna be ugly in the coming days
    ¯_(?)_/¯

    • Thunder98 (Santa Maria Valley)

      Yesterday at this time Wunderground showed 0.60″ of rain yesterday. The forecast models are absolutely terrible

      • jstrahl

        Can you spell U-S-E-L-E-S-S?

      • Dan the Weatherman

        It seems to me the models are more inaccurate now than they were a few years ago, unless it is because I am constantly reading a blow-by-blow analysis of every single model run.

        • jstrahl

          Probably a bit of both. Growing global climate chaos will tend to mess with models.

        • happ [Los Angeles]

          Isn’t it the same for just about any moisture in SoCal? Every wrinkle in the atmosphere seems to reduce chances.

  • Fairweathercactus

    We just got enough drizzle to get the ground damp.

    • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

      Even the professionals at the NWS are bewildered about our local weather:

      “Hard to explain what`s going on this morning along the LA Coast where gauges have been reporting a quarter to half inch of rain in a short period of time even though radar and satellite are pretty blah.”

      “The remainder of the forecast through Saturday looks equally as ambiguous as a persistent moist southwest flow continues with few if any features to hang our hat on in terms of isolating when and where the better chances for precip are. Models have been little help as the scale of these features are too small to resolve and predict beyond more than few hours.”

      • Fairweathercactus

        One of the more interesting right ups in a while. I was looking at the sky last night and it looked like there was a touch of instability.

  • Nathan
    • SoCalWXwatcher

      You say “Po-TAY-toe”, I say “Po-TAH-toe”.

      I wonder which one of those Cactus thinks will verify. ¯_(?)_/¯

    • I’ll go with the GFS. Track record for spotting things far out = not too shabby lately.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      That is about as opposite as it ever gets for the exact same initialization time and forecast period.

      The Euro solution will probably verify, but I would rather for the GFS solution to verify.

      • Nathan

        The ensembles are way less bifurcated; basically Euro keeps the LP about 500mi to our N and W vs GFS. Still, quite jarring to see the discrepancy!

    • PRCountyNative

      And people base ‘how they are’ based on what the weather models say – thank you very helpful! Given the truth of this, why not just choose the output that makes you feel good?

      • Pfirman

        Pretty sure weather models choose the input.

    • The ensemble members look very similar at 240 hrs. Can’t tell you which one you posted is wrong though.LOL

  • gray whale

    Looks like a good time to fly to Japan!

    Seriously, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen the jetstream this slack in November over the Pacific. Any comments appreciated. Strong Inactive phase of MJO? Arctic Amplification in the extreme?

    As Nathan posts below, GFS has low pressure over us, but it won’t do much good without storm generation. What a waste 🙁

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d4bd96c902285201031fa473b451a75ea94da0afe94da52005a76ef794c51875.png

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      I am no expert on this. That is a pretty strong ridge of HP in the gulf of Alaska right now. And I am not too crazy with this current storm track. The lows are currently coming up and over the that large HP area. A lot of cold air but not a lot of moisture. Hopefully bring some snow anyway. I was hoping the pattern would be zonal with Lows coming underneath the ridge like last year. I would expect that to bring much more precip

    • IMO, GEFS isn’t the best way to view the jet in long range. Changes in members tend to cancel out over time. It does suggest areas of strong agreement but not a weak jet. GEFS members don’t come up with a solution at all over Alaska. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1898aa1ad57405a1a0fa4989d65152407890393023af1a90abd93a09ce877106.png

      • gray whale

        excellent point. i don’t think i even realized i was in ensemble mode. that chart still looks crazy but much more believable!

    • PRCountyNative

      Small surf, good conditions!

  • alanstorm

    Santa Rosa fire body cam footage of sheriffs deputy risking his life going thru burning neighborhoods evacuating door to door.
    Pretty calm until he starts dropping F bombs & “I gotta get outta here!”
    https://youtu.be/k3CGqocPnoc

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      When he says “don’t go don’t pass” that was to the deputy that held 30+ people in a parking lot for their own safety. Can’t even imagine what these guys were thinking about as all h**l was breaking around them.

      • alanstorm

        Im still stressed out & I didn’t even get burned!
        I’ll never forget parked on the top of my property, seeing that orange glow over the next ridge, then hearing distant “booms” of houses going up.
        Looking down at the phone & seeing NO network snapped me out of my frozen disbelief: it was coming & no one would coming to warn us. Time to go!!
        Luckily for my neighbors & I, the winds let up soon after & it didn’t cross 101, less than a mile from me.

        • Yolo Hoe

          That’s truly intense — defines gnarley in the real world.

          My friend who lost his house in Kenwood is of course experiencing all kinds of PTSD from their harrowing escape in middle of the night.

          • alanstorm

            Sucks about your friend. Their struggle is only beginning, just like the 200+ households just over the hill from me.
            Wife & I aren’t sure where to go from here for the future. Why invest in a dream homestead to only have it burned on some random Oct night with no warning?
            Thinking of an all-metal ag building with a home interior & out in the middle of a dirt field

          • Yolo Hoe

            As raging as the situation was in his neighborhood, the houses that did NOT have wood shingles survived — construction materials, etc do make a difference — defensible space and not giving the falling embers something to work with matters a lot

          • alanstorm

            If there are flammable items around a “fire safe” house, i.e. stacked boxes, furnature, nicknacks & decorations, plants, junk, &/or wooden porches or deck, with those winds, any embers carried from a distant are like thousands of wind-blown matches: TOAST.
            Metal building.
            Middle of an open dirt field.
            No neighboring homes.
            NOTHING around the house that can ignite.
            Escape plan

          • eff that these areas need underground bunkers with air filters. Fires are getting more frequent so the writing is on the wall, we get winds like those yearly…

          • alanstorm
          • Pfirman

            Metal melts.

  • 18Z several feet for upper elevations still, and closing in fast. NAM:
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3fcd68d746b20dc167ea1414af977687acaaece104733d689eb180663c558c81.gif

    • Yolo Hoe

      Absolutely gorgeous — the detail around the Crest and Basin is especially interesting.

      By the way, thanks for the images and updates you’ve been posting past few days — really good stuff — the stoke is definitely on.

      • I’m trying to get a really good assessment down on how the GFS will do this year for one thing, and proper analysis requires tracking every detail – remarkable job done as far as spotting pattern change far out. If the recent changes in processing, input, environmental variables such as warming Arctic are done right, I can only hope the GFS has a banner year.
        I need to get a series of photo shoots done depicting the incoming system for a project, the obsession has some roots in both productivity and finances, as well as reading the tea leaves for the coming winter. Filmed some marvelous fog this morning, I’ll check out the footage right now to see if I can slap it on here quick.
        I got some cool footage of the last fall storm that swept through with an NCFR however I effed that up by ignoring the wind sock – recording was quite wind wrecked.
        Edit – fog looks cool gonna make it a gif.

  • Jason Jackson Willamette

    The visible Sat. sequence (still image shown) link shows the extensive cloud cover over our state today. It feels like rain is coming. We’ll celebrate with a glass of Merlot when the street are wet and the gutters are playing their tune tomorrow night. I, will dance in the rain, and I won’t care if my glasses get wet!

    http://www.ssec.wisc.edu/data/geo/#/animation?satellite=goes-west&end_datetime=latest&n_images=8&coverage=conus&channel=01&image_quality=gif&anim_method=flash

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8b674356c2353321d1363ecb63ed5fa94fab214fe773b74c639302505f07e941.png

  • happ [Los Angeles]
    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)
      • celo

        Do you think it is possible if there is more cold air around, instability can be increased overall, leading to higher amounts of precipitation? I believe the la nina/el nino precipitation forecast of the past do not hold as much water in the higher global temperature regime of the present.

        • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

          I would tend to agree with your last sentence, but the questionable part of that is way over the top of my head… I would certainly have to look into some studies if there are any at all on that possibility.

          • Pfirman

            He only wrote two sentences, heh.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      That looks like a 4 Corners High pattern in the middle of the fall!

  • celo

    Weak frontal boundaries drawing up moisture from the more energized subtropics. Leading to a long period of light to somewhat moderate rain. Is this the new southern california global warming fall storm pattern? Or same as the old?

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      I would like it to stay around. Redondo beach recorded low level 0.34 rain this morning that radar completely missed

  • AlTahoe

    18z GFS shows a major snow storm for Tahoe next Wednesday. NWS Reno says that the Euro is much drier.

  • RandomTreeInSB

    Typical NWS Oxnard wording here:

    .LONG TERM…(MON-THU)

    ” Both the GFS and ECMWF scaled back on the precip threat for early
    next week, shifting the moisture axis further south. But again,
    very little confidence in this and will keep rain chances going
    through at least Monday night. Models start to diverge quite a bit
    Tue/Wed with the GFS keeping the trough over the area with
    increasing rain chances by around Wed and Thu while the ECMWF
    starts to build a ridge through the end of the week. Favoring the
    ECMWF just slightly but again low confidence here as well. ”

    Btw 18z GFS looks better for SoCal.

    • Written, designed, and made for, event planners.
      Isn’t Hollywood under the jurisdiction of Oxnard? We can’t have droplets from the sky threatening the set of the Aquaman shoot! He could get wet!

      • Pfirman

        Hey, I graduated from the event planner course at the Senior Center and I take umbrage at that remark. Turns out you only need a couple weekends for credit so my umbrage is pretty small.

  • SoCalWXwatcher

    18z GFS is back to trolling SoCal with higher amounts for SBA/Ventura/N LA County. Don’t worry, I won’t post it. You’ve seen enough of these already.

    • But…that kind of logic doesn’t work as time is not running in reverse. This freshest run is more trustworthy NOW than at any time before in the past – every minute we get closer the main event and to winter uncertainty will fade appreciably as well, so, yeah here’s a bone to pray upon, T-24 hours will be here before Cap’n can even make another account:
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b4bede68125057c462030be3a9a8e134bbbc8ac3c44405b354817874cbf0f5f4.gif

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        It would be different if there was an actual trend and increasing consensus between the various models. (Speaking specifically regarding the Socal totals)

        When a solition flips wetter/drier/wetter/drier with subsequent runs, that means the latest run isn’t necessarily the most accurate. Now if the 00z GFS continues a wetter trend for SoCal and the EC trends wetter too, then that would be encouraging.

        • Dan the Weatherman

          I would think that the models would now be finally settling in on a solution for this weekend now that it is only 2 days away for crying out loud! This model flip flopping business is really getting out of hand these days!

          • Pfirman

            I can hear you tsking all the way up north.

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)
  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)
    • Bombillo1

      Tell those guys to relax. This thing’s a dud.

      • Pfirman

        People have to make a living.

        • Bombillo1

          And how. 5 guys doing what should be work for 2, in the private sector.

  • CHeden

    Some interesting looking cloudiness associated with L.P. now west of Cent. Calif.
    Not sure what to make of it, though. Looks kinda convective???
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/da7a03f499f3b79eb80caf098b1325ce0772b594c173bc0bcef7d44bb1eab8ea.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/71c7ebe0ff5509ed39e6b1473135bf5881c12ba287031d342d9aff49d8c849af.jpg

    • molbiol

      Nope. Those are stratocumulus formed due to the lifting of the marine inversion above 5000ft with some lower stratus banking up against the mtns. Looks like this pattern will be impacting Socal for the next several days as SW flow remains intact with some lift as well. Not the storm system people were hoping for down here but plenty of November gray to get into the winter spirit…

      • CHeden

        Thanks!
        Couldn’t tell. Glad I asked.

    • Darin

      Way cool!

  • Bombillo1

    Well, this ain’t good. My donkey tail is still dry.

  • CHeden

    Not much happening up in Or/Wa, which is much nearer the low’s core.
    Really moisture starved.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a407306274dcd9c2fab40fb1bcf21b3ace9500c860d2a78792fb6cd7cca79edb.gif

    • AlTahoe

      It is snowing at sea level up there currently which some people are saying is the earliest ever recorded. Let the cold winter commence

      • Charlie B

        One of my daughters is in Bellingham and she said they were talking about some snow in town…..

  • Stereolab

    Chance of rain now is at essentially zero for the Bay Area over the next 10 days. Good for my Napa trip, bad for everything else.

    • Chris

      Really???

      • AlTahoe

        Somebody is being a little dramatic based off of the radar image posted below. You can clearly see the rain bands forming off the ocean and it will get organized by the time it gets to Cali. I guarantee rain for the Bay Area.

        • Stereolab

          I’m going off the latest WU 10-day… a couple of trace events listed at best, none probable.

          • AlTahoe

            If you use Wunderground for your forecast your going to have a bad time.
            Here is the NWS Bay area rainfall totals posted this afternoon. Looks like rain for everybody to me

            Precipitation totals will generally top out around 1.50″ for our
            highest peaks, ie Mount Tamalpais, Big Sur peaks, the coastal
            Santa Cruz mountains, and other wet areas like Venado. Other
            higher elevation locations along the coast and inland will range
            closer to 0.75-1.25″. For non rainshadowed communities, rainfall
            amounts will range from 0.33 to 0.66″, wettest over the North bay
            valleys, while rain shadowed areas such as the East Bay, Santa
            Clara Valley, Salinas valley will run with lesser amounts in the
            range of 0.15-0.33″.

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      Look at the models buddy

    • NAM is trending UPWARD for Sierra and NAM precip accum chart showing heavy orographic influence for totals coming with at the very least the first wave. NAM now showing 48+ inches for Donner Summit/Crest peaks. Probable that because the extra snow was previously outside of the window, now it’s in and it’s looking good!
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/43e57712eeff4d111099e735cc1b08ce961b7ba3ba89ff65f9d1e607e9879b8f.png

      • Idaho Native

        It also looks like its trending a bit upward for the Bay Area. PS- how does one access charts like this?

        • I pay pixies in bitcoin to schlep them up Donner Summit, there they do a little dance and then it is certified Halal, ready to consume.

          In all seriousness, wx.graphics for Euro, tropicaltidbits.com for GFS and NAM. There are other sites however the more I use these two the more I appreciate them, really nice functionalities. For example, on the NAM due to it’s short range high resolution you can see the mountain peaks by Oroville are going to get plastered, they will scrape the moisture straight from the sky and so will portions of the rest of the Sierra. Since I was supposed to fly in support of FEMA mission over Napa this weekend the weather might threaten our work, so I am paying very close attention.
          Then when all the work is done it’s time to ski! This system is literally going to open up Boreal and prep other places for the season opening.

          • Pfirman

            A lot to digest there. My takeaway is you are snorting pixie dust.

      • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

        So is this saying this will be a more orographically favored event?

        I’m asking because even in the hills the totals look wimpy, but I’m still hoping for 1inch this weekend.

        Was thinking even the hills would be a bust but it still seems the carp is flopping around on the pier.

        • If the North Bay is gonna get a dump, we usually get in between them in Berkeley in precip, the NAM has great detail but our little grizzly range is barely big enough to show up. But it gives a huge bonus – our rain gauges show it clearly, there are days Orinda will get a nice rainfall and all Concord will get is a drop. 1-1.5 I want to say, just for this first impulse, the other one was looking to be colder with lower snow levels so that one might need less orographic shove. Don’t know yet.

          • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

            Ya I’ve noticed that also when looking at the maps.

            We get less than the north bay hills and Santa Cruz mts, but more than the east bay flat lands for sure / by far and you don’t see that show up always on these charts. 1.50 would be great, we’ll see.

            The fog this morning was SYP here to quote running springs and the air feels moist so hopefully the hills start stinging it out!

          • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

            What were your rain totals this past wet season?

          • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

            Right around 50 inches. Sites in the hills around here were in the low 40s to a bit over 60 at Tilden peak, the summit /wet spot of the berkrkey hills a couple miles from my location.

            Avg for Orinda is about 30

          • Pfirman

            My impulse is to say pulse, not impulse in this context, but then the botanists get confused.

    • Thunderstorm

      Would be surprised to see any rain in my location tomorrow,Fremont area. Atmosphere looks anemic, no wind,hazy,stuck barometer,funky lazy,whimpy. Nothing in a hurry to go anywhere.

      • jstrahl

        Going by what? It may turn out that way, but the last GFS run, 18Z, didn’t show such an outcome.

        • FolsomPrisonBlues

          I dont know…I am in Folsom and everytime I look at WUnderground, the rain is pushed back. Its always a day away. Not to mention the insane reduction in totals as well.

    • jstrahl

      Why are you saying this? It may end up like that, but the most recent GFS run, 18Z, didn’t show anything like that.

  • Was checking what the weather will be in Detroit(go figure – thunderstorms the day before I get there I guess I should have known as a Californian I can’t cheat the curse) and saw this, an interesting read:
    https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/possible-new-world-record-lowest-barometric-pressure-860-mb

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      What day are you going?

      • Monday – SFO-DEN-DTW. Might see some snow on the Rockies at least.
        The drive back might present some better opportunities to chase some storms. Hello Kansas!

        • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

          Well may I inform you that there is an appreciable risk of severe weather on Sunday in Lower MI, Illionois, Indiana and Ohio. Current Tor Con of 4 for Lower MI and a rare 30% chance of severe weather for Day 4, along with supercells looking to be the dominant storm mode.

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      I still think Patricia was lower

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    I hope the regression we have seen in many runs isn’t a pattern that will repeat itself as we get farther into the rainy season. I really don’t have a clue how this winter will pan out.

  • jstrahl

    Left my place at 6:45 for an acupuncture appointment. Just a few clouds around. Left there at 8:30, pretty sold cloud cover, and not low clouds.

    • Pfirman

      Not sold. Speaking for the lower Sac valley.

      • jstrahl

        Not selling anything. 🙂

  • gray whale

    steady drizzle-plus here in placerville, nothing on radar. similar to reports from socal this morning?

    • Pfirman

      Nothing down here in Woodpile. Yet. Pretty thin cloud deck.

  • Jason Jackson Willamette
  • Fairweathercactus

    0z no longer shows nearly no moisture for So Cal.

    • Unbiased Observer

      That’s a double negative, but in this case I don’t think it equals a positive.

  • Unbiased Observer

    Looking at the latest GFS looks like a bunch of inside sliders, hope this isn’t a trend for how this winter is going be.

  • mrq – Glenshire Truckee

    Hi everyone missed you all… Im back lets get this winter started

  • Bombillo1

    Drizzle has begun in Big Bend. Metal roof not singing yet.

    • SacWx

      Kind of strange – absolutely nothing on radar then the next frame a band over eureka. I know it’s not what people wanted but it’s an interesting setup

      • Bombillo1

        The L over Seattle has not budged in 24 hours. Looks Rexed to me but in any case certainly blocked. I do not think I have ever seen an L do that in Ca even though blocking patterns are common for us.

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

    Remember orographics & how hard mesoscale models can see what’s going on within the stratus ;). They’re currently at play up & down the central coast even getting going here in Ventura County as the marine layer continues to lift & wring itself out like a sponge…

  • Rusty Rails

    Just woke up at 2:30am to brief downpours and the gutters running in Santa Cruz. KMUX is showing a line of cells coming across the bay. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/92c375ec1aa48eea190599f1b6f9b74f3f8b557200711602a54f2bbf565cab93.jpg

    • jstrahl

      Nothing registered up here in Berkeley.

      • Brad Broadbeck

        It was raining on 24 when i went past, so that is odd

  • Brad Broadbeck

    Was Raining pretty hard in SF and Oakland the last hour. I out ran it back home to Concord though.

  • AlTahoe

    It is snowing in Seattle this morning. There might have been a few instances of snow that happened earlier in a season before, but those ones had cold air in place before the moisture came in. Today’s snow is from a cold front coming through and that might not have ever happened this early before. Goes to show how crazy that HP cell over Alaska is. If this happens in Jan we will be looking at a 1949 type scenario.
    Sea level snow this winter for the bay area?

    • Chris

      We need the ocean to cool below normal like it was in Dec 1988.

      • AlTahoe

        Just more moisture for the arctic air to scoop up and dump as snow. Maybe ocean effect snow for the bay area. Lol
        Now I am day dreaming again

    • Bombillo1

      And how crazy it is to have a Low parked directly overhead for now the second day. Curious as to their BP readings….

  • Los Padres NF/ Piñon Pines

    And WU has taken the 60% chance on Sunday and turned it into 20% and the 80% for Monday has also been reduced to 1 https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d322c2532d2e2a0da89adc130b098960e6bc6452c2c97c984a10a1deb81ed680.png 0%. I guess two days out is becoming fantasy land for the SoCal area. Was getting kinda excited last night. And then I woke up…

    • Bombillo1

      In the interest of anger management vis a vis model predictions I try and give the input conditions a great deal of weight. Our atmospheric set-up for this long predicted rain was incredibly convoluted requiring phasing and other difficult to call solutions. Certainly was not a garden variety storm pre-cursor.. Maybe that thought can assuage your blood pressure…

  • AlTahoe

    I forgot to post this last night. Took the dog disc golfing after work and this lenticular cloud was staring at me from the tee box. It was anchored directly over the top of monument peak 10, https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f90ce4f1c349956a16bc4959c0773172b144ec7b5c59b39daa94cfbbd56b53b5.jpg 067′

    • Yolo Hoe

      Was a good omen

    • BRP (Ventura)

      Which course were you playing? I too am an avid discer, my local course is Coyote Point at Lake Casitas. Let me know if you are ever in my area, we can throw a round together….

      • Bombillo1

        How’s the lake looking? Does it get off-site water?

        • BRP (Ventura)

          Lake is depressingly low and getting lower by the day. Currently sitting at 37% capacity. Last winter took us to 43.9% capacity. And as you know, last winter was pretty good down here, backcountry had over 30″ of rain, but the drought is so severe, the runoff wasn’t enough to make a big dent in Casitas. We disc golfers haven’t thrown over or been intimidated by water hazards since 2011. And it’s starting to feel as though we never will again….

      • AlTahoe

        Bijou park course on Al Tahoe Blvd. It is a 27 hole course and apparently one of the harder ones in the nation. They hold lots of tournaments here in the Summer time.

        • BRP (Ventura)

          Bijou! Me and my disc crew did a Tahoe tour of disc golf courses the summer of 2015, and Bijou was definitely on our list! Great course, you should be proud to be a local of that place. We really appreciated the course at Kirkwood and Zephyr Cove. Great place to disc golf all around!

          • AlTahoe

            The Zephyr cove course is awesome as well. Here at my job in Incline Village, there is a course about 200 yards away from my office. I play it in summer during my lunch breaks.

  • Patrick from Stockton

    We are getting some pretty decent rain right now. Hit me by surprise as I rode my bike to work this morning thinking it should be dry. Seems KCRA TV meteorologists were more right than wrong on this and GFS & EC were way off.

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    Rain just changed cover to snow in Truckee 7k’. Looks to sticking too.

    • SacWx

      Judging by the traffic cams, snow levels appear to be between 6200 and 6700’

    • Bombillo1

      Curious. I’m about 200 mi north of you, on the slope up to Mt Shasta, and it was a rather warm night, 48 degrees @ 2500′, however 4 days ago they were calling for snow here. Only .30″ in my Weather West coffee mug so far.

      • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

        We are at 33 with the wet flakes falling, sticking on the dirt and decks but the roads are just wet currently.

  • Shane Ritter
    • jstrahl

      When the GFS and Euro agree on rain, i say the chance is good,…. up to 1 in 3 odds.

      • Shane Ritter

        1/cactus odds

  • Fairweathercactus

    It looks like a weak ridge will win the battle in So Cal and prevent a good soaking. Just like I feared a few days ago.

    • Bombillo1

      Still hope for some sub trop moisture to get pulled in there. Might be raining now in Imperial County. You have to believe….

    • Phil(ontario)

      Alas… our first storm has been reduced to partly cloudy skies.

    • alanstorm

      Be careful what you fear

  • Jim (Watsonville)

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e9f5df0de7e6fb31c759d8e3665a1faa10bca3375fa583401669b800a69cedb4.jpg

    Never seen a “V” shape off a rainbow..guess it was bouncing off the water ?

  • Candleman (Santa Barbara)
  • Rusty Rails

    I’m over .25″ already in Santa Cruz which is a nice start! Somebody has apparently rolled their car at Laurel Curve on 17 in celebration. An excellent sunset through a split in the clouds put on a show last night signaling the pattern change. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/21457d8a7da16d4df34a95ceeca8f9b04741e7e53342ba53e9927676e3da8b40.jpg

    • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

      Awesome picture!

    • alanstorm

      You’re blessed to live in that county.
      I once had a great business idea when I resided there in the 90’s:
      Every storm, I’d sit at the NB Summit curve with a camcorder record each pile-up & offer the footage for sale to said motorists for insurance purposes.

      • Did you make any $ out of it? Lol it’s like a non-dash dash-cam, I can picture it now, Hi8 tapes and all.

        • alanstorm

          You’re right! Hi-8 tape cameras are what I had!
          No, never tried the hiway 17 idea, but I ended up duct taping those camcorders to the rollcage inside the stock car & got some wild footage.

  • CHeden

    I can understand the angst amongst many of the blog members regarding precip chances for today thru the weekend….and frankly I’ve been one of them. So far, the expected CF is drifting ever so slowly south with some low level jet (AR-ish) activity to the south bringing just some orographically induced showers. ATTM, Eureka radar is still showing just limited/orographically-enhanced precip, with the leading edge trickling eastward into the Trinities….. so there’s not much currently in the pipeline for the next few hours to get excited about.
    BUT, this morning’s WV has several features that bear watching for possible signs of enhancement and rapidly changing conditions….so there’s hope!
    First, offshore, low level troughiness has nosed down to near 20N, and appears to have bottomed out….and as result the trough is starting to pivot/rotate counterclockwise to the ENE. At the base of the trough, a broad area of weak low pressure is tapping both cold air within the trough and sub-tropical moisture (dirty ridge) moving NE within a large area of anti-cyclonic flow. Additionally, there is another (upper level) low that is just now starting to form out around -135N within the northern half of the AR. This low looks like it will track ENE over CentCal, with outflow moisture making it to California in about 6-8 hrs. The low itself should make it to the coast in about 24 hrs.
    As the day progresses, as the low tracks ENE within the AR, what may happen is the northern trough/CF picks up some of the moisture which results in a juicer airmass for the advancing CF to tap/lift.
    ATTM, there is a chance the CF and increased dynamics/energy from both the west and SW will interact somewhere near Sacramento…and if so would likely result in a rapidly developing deformation zone. The possibility of some briefly higher rainrates near Sac would therefore become likely before the main dynamics migrates east into the Sierra, where orographics and continuing upper air support could result in some locally impressive snow totals.
    As for SoCal, within the last couple of hours, the leading edge of a large plume of moisture has just pushed over the mountains of northern Baja/SE California with blowoff coming off the ridges clearly visible. It looks like this juicy plume will lift a little further north, which would put the SoCal mountains under the gun for some steady/moderate orographic enhanced rainfall.
    Lastly, while the first low now off the Pac NW coast looks like it won’t dig as robustly to the south as we first thought, the reason is there is another reinforcing NE-SW trough digging off the coast that is acting as a kicker. This new trough will then push over the coast later in the weekend, bringing another shot of rain…and it is possible that more energy ( a new imbedded low?) will be lingering within the weakening AR to enhance precip-rates…especially over the Sierra.
    Anyway, at least a couple of things to watch out for.
    Could be interesting or a big snooze. We shall see.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/467d4ea7e322c4717226d3ba3f776f9df54cee76305bd6dd06503c50031fc70c.jpg

    • jstrahl

      Any notions re the Bay Area? The map in Daniel’s tweet shows very minimal amounts by Wed 11/8. But it shows even lower amounts in Santa Cruz, and it has already picked up .25 inches.

      • CHeden

        Both features around -135W, 37N and -132W, 30N have a decent (30-40%) chance of getting their acts together…or at least more than current thinking for the Bay Area IMHO.
        Right now, I’m looking at WV imagery for general flow patterns, and based on past pattern recognition, these type of setups can get real messy in a real hurry.
        One thing we know, is there is obviously oodles of juicy air SSW of California and snow-cold air coming down over water from the north that’s now touching the NW coast. So far, the two mean flows are uncomfortable neighbors, but there are some signs the truce may be ending??
        We should have a better idea of what’s going on after noon when VIS imagery is optimal.
        Here’s the WV loop.
        http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/west/weus/h5-loop-wv.html

        • jstrahl

          Thanks. WV *looks* impressive.

    • FolsomPrisonBlues

      Its interesting how such high totals were predicted for this as far as rain goes. Is there a reason the models will predict ~2 inches of rain for an area, yet always back off as the storm approaches? It just seems that this is happening with most storms that we get.

      • jstrahl

        Yep. I think the models are routinely missing something. Daniel did say that they have problems dealing with pattern changes, especially onset of precipitation after long bouts of dry weather.

        • FolsomPrisonBlues

          Ok I was wondering why that was occurring. I was all excited about this storm a week ago. Regardless though of the amount of rainfall, the cooldown and the clouds are a welcome sight!

          • jstrahl

            Well, yeah, but i hate getting teased like that, repeatedly.

          • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

            As a complete laymen who has been on this blog for a few years, the one piece of advise I can give is to not get excited about storms until they show up on the NAM, especially if you live south of the Bay Area.

        • 82/83 El Nino baby (San Jose)

          The GFS and Euro constantly predict tropical systems as cat 5 monsters even though most do not get to what was predicted. So it seems the models struggle with dynamics.

          • jstrahl

            HMM, Harvey was WAY underestimated, so was Maria.

        • Meteorologists don’t live by models alone. Unfortunately most of us here live and die with GFS four times as day.

          • SoCalWXwatcher

            We love us some Models!

          • jstrahl

            People here are more roused on models than are fashion designers.

        • SoCalWXwatcher

          Also, seasonal transition this time of year (and again during Spring) are notorious for giving Models a hard time. Another issue is that this pattern involves a lot of blocking, with an elongated trough digging SW as opposed to a more predictable progressive pattern, and it has a potential subtropical connection, which often give models headaches as well.

          Silver lining – at least it’s trough with a moist flow that will squeeze out some rain, and not the infamous RRR!

      • Hollow Scene (Riverside)

        Fall transition?

        • BRP (Ventura)

          You’ll be saying Fall Transition come this February when we here in So Cal have recorded less then 2″ of rain! I have a real bad feeling about this winter for us…..real bad…

          • SoCalWXwatcher

            Admit it, you copied and pasted that sentence from a year ago. If you repeat it every November you’re bound to be right now and then. 😉

          • AlTahoe

            I think southern Cal will end up in the 85-105% range by the end of the season. Either Jan or February will have a series of cold upper level lows that will spin down the the coast and swing in over the LA area.

          • SoCalWXwatcher

            I’m thinking of around ~85% of normal down here, which may be optimistic for a La Niña year. I’m also expecting some cold snaps like we haven’t seen in several years, which will affect agricultural concerns, punctuated by some very mild stretches with ridges that many here will herald as the next “RRR”, even though they will be typical transient winter ridges which are common for this area.

            Of course, this is just my “gut feeling” type of stuff, and no more valid than BRP (Ventrua)’s take. Everyone’s opinion is valid. Except Cactus, of course.

            (Just kidding Cactus, we love ya)

          • BRP (Ventura)

            “Copy & Paste”, you damn right I copied and pasted that comment from last year and the year before! Sorry, but being November 4th and not a single drop of rain since June makes me a little bitter. I really need to move, and will be once my ducks are in a row. 85% of normal for VTA = 12.75″. Let’s hope and see if you are correct!

          • AlTahoe

            It took me 12 years to get my ducks in a row but it was totally worth it.

          • Jason Jackson Willamette

            I copied and got pasted last New Years. Darn Colombians and their Aqua D. (tastes like liquorice, goes down easy). Felt like crap for two days. Learned my lesson, NO Gracias! Cervesa – por favor : ^ [

            Stay thirsty my amigos –

          • Hollow Scene (Riverside)

            I think like this is the year where we get some relief or start sh*%#ing out pants. A slightly below average year is fine, it if it’s a super dry RRR year then it would seem we have slipped into a longer term drought (decades not years) IMO

      • alanstorm

        That storm last month overproduced by about double.
        .50 predicted here, got 1.1″
        Last winter, there were several overproducers due to stalling

        • Bombillo1

          .54 here since last night. If this keeps up for 6 or 7 days it will actually be meaningful.

          • alanstorm

            Bombillo, you are a true friend of The Believers with words spoken like “if this keeps up” & “meaningful”.

          • Bombillo1

            hedged to the max

        • AlTahoe

          Every rainfall storm forecast for South Lake Tahoe over produced last winter. Every snowfall storm except for one under produced. I want to flip that around this winter 🙂

        • jstrahl

          People here only remember under performers.

      • gray whale

        I think it’s pretty simple in this case. The core of the low tracked further over land than was originally predicted and it was therefore not as moisture laden. I don’t even think it was off by that much, geographically speaking.

        That said, the 500 mb heights were spot on in the GEFS in predicting a broad low to retrograde west and link up with a smaller area of low pressure coming in from the pacific. so I think that’s pretty cool. That is to say, the potential for weather was predicted well, but the actual track of the specific storm less so.

        I’ll take it — if they get too good at it I’ll need to find a new hobby!

  • Bombillo1

    Bogota yesterday. 1/2 foot of hail, flooding. Looks like winter on the Yukon. Wife is there and witnessed it. Everyone there is blown away.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/99f406159dab4f07facbf8b5a06e0cf33831ef400444b0456626aef05f6f425a.jpg

    • Atacama got hit in August and has another bloom. 2015 was a bloomer as well.

      • Bombillo1

        I like and appreciate desert environs but Atacama was the ugliest place I had ever seen. It felt like I didn’t belong there, no living thing belonged there and it was telling me to leave.

        • Hollow Scene (Riverside)

          Creepy

        • matthew

          So, kind of like Bakersfield???

          • Bombillo1

            Now that you mention it….

          • Tuolumne

            I might get accused of prejudice against Bakersfield, but my first visit there around age 8 or 9 gave me a very negative impression. Brown, smoggy, oil wells, ugly. I’m sure there are positive aspects but they weren’t obvious to a kid passing through at the time.

            On the other hand, Tehachapi Pass was great (green hills with vast patches of colorful wildflowers!) and so were Red Rock Canyon and Death Valley. The latter absolutely captivated me, and a lifelong desert lover was born.

    • gray whale

      if that’s only 6″ of hail those are some tiny people down there in colombia

      • Bombillo1

        1/2 foot hail on top of 6 inches of rain in 2 hours. I believe that is a road underpass, not a river actually.

    • alanstorm

      Holy crap

    • honzik

      I never realized until a Columbian coworker told me: Bogota is 8660 feet above sea level. I can imagine hail is common there (note wiki image below)- although not this much!

      https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e7/Hail_in_Bogota.jpg

      • Bombillo1

        Yes, daytime average high is about 61 degrees, but just 6 degrees off the equator. This however was very unusual, the amount…

  • jstrahl

    GFS 06Z still shows a substantial event for the Bay Area next Thursday. I know, 6 days ago it was showing a substantial event for today.

    • Charlie B

      Yes, and the Giants will rebound, win 103 games next year and sweep the Indians in the series.

      • Alonzo Powell is close to becoming new hitting coach for Giants. This is a good sign for pleasant warm evenings next year in the Bay Area.

        • SoCalWXwatcher

          Word is the Giants are negotiating for Yu Darvish.

          • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

            Feel bad for Yu. Very good pitcher but seemed very nervous on the big stage. Rumors he’s tipping off his pitches and has lost his enthusiasm for the game. Not good qualities going forward.

            Now back to the weather…..

          • It wouldn’t surprise me. The Astros knew him like the back of their hand as Yu was pitching for the Rangers before Los Doyers got him. Kinda like the Raiders in super bowl XXXVll the-year-after-Gruden left for Tampa Bay. Hindsight is 20-20 yet this scenario of familiarity and recent success or failure seems to Always be ignored.

          • SoCalWXwatcher

            I was just kidding about Giants & Darvish, hope no one took that seriously. He’s a much better pitcher than his 2 WS starts would indicate, but those were the 2 starts that mattered most in his whole career. No doubt the Astros knew him better than any of his NL opponents did, but there’s a difference between being familiar with a good pitcher and lighting him up like a Christmas tree for a 21.6 ERA.

          • gray whale

            It did cause me to check MLBTR! good one 😉

      • gray whale

        correct. so, sounds like evidence in favor of the GFS to me!

      • jstrahl

        Hard to tell if the optimism is more overboard re the Giants or the Indians.

    • alanstorm

      Glad to see you’ve finally come to join one of us, the Believers.
      Welcome Jstrahl!
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fef7cf5925cf02fe3b49c5a3eff0570b9ea3b210dacca9ff4c0aa7d0bac54c18.jpg

    • Guess what, we can track accuracy with this – past 30 runs centered on Thursday – after looking at this gif, if anything the crystal ball is becoming clearer?
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/29efac2645d96854c5f2282fceab449620cd1392a6ebd10705190b89fe93d068.gif

      • jstrahl

        As clear as it gets, which isn’t much 🙂

        • well, look at how it starts, DRY! As the hours count down the model looks wetter and wetter, where it is wetter is floating around however the signal is there – rain/snow for us in 150 or so hours…

          • jstrahl

            Eh? What models are YOU looking at? You sure it’s not you who’s getting wetter? 🙂 Just kidding. Rain/snow for us in 150 or so hours? It’s always 150 or so hours away.

      • honzik
      • Nathan

        I count only 22 runs

      • FolsomPrisonBlues

        After the way this weekend’s storm has shaped up, I would not bet on this verifying.

  • Charlie B

    Shelton, Olympia and Everett, WA (sea level locations around Puget Sound) are all reporting snow with temperatures in the low-mid 30’s. Meanwhile, Barrow, Alaska, on the Arctic Ocean, had a high yesterday of 34 (another record for the day, which is rapidly becoming a broken record, beating out last year’s record, which of course beat the previous year’s record, etc.) It is around 20-25 degrees above normal up there, or I guess I should say 20-25 degrees above the historical average up there.
    Also, I read that Fairbanks, in the interior, had two all rain events on non frozen ground within the last week or so, and that has never happened before. The explanation was a warm AR event coming up from the south…..

    • PRCountyNative

      For years on end now, seen on those temperature anomaly global maps, the arctic has been many degrees celsius above average.

      Average is deceptive. Around here, sunny days are above average and cloudy days are below average. Both are normal. There may never truly be an average day (you get the point).

      The arctic is different. The new normal is nearly always above average.

      • happ [Los Angeles]

        Yup!

    • Thirstier Nick (Santa Maria)

      For Barrow’s standards, it’s considered a heat wave for this time of year.

  • matthew

    High 30’s, no wind, drizzly, an occasional white flake mixed in with the drizzle.

    Live from Glenshire.

    • Euro and GFS showing a couple feet for the Crest, however NAM is showing 40-48+ inches for the peaks, and I don’t doubt it, Wave 1 is now under the NAMs 60 hr window.
      Back in NAM’ we got our snows from the Starlifter that dropped off Ice Cream from Da Nang:
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f7b1d35d6c54e12b3e92e1264040a7f5da0791ba81f7d90767ee1e31e2e9b6e5.png

      • matthew

        I am still thinking 8-10″ for my location in the 7 day timeframe (12 miles east of Donner Pass, 6100′). Hopefully my estimate is low.

        • Your thoughts are accurate, as you can see from the NAM the dropoff from the crest is sizable – what we get for being outside of the core of winter ;/

      • AlTahoe

        BA updated this morning that he doesn’t see how any place will score 24″

        • Note – “peaks” – I chose the word for a reason, Squaw could easily see 2 inches at the bottom but feet up top. See that strip of white just left of Tahoe City? Shows up top getting plastered, just as it has for days, highly orographic event :/

          • AlTahoe

            yep saw that. There aren’t many peaks above 9k in north Tahoe.

            “At 9000 feet we could hit 18″ as my forecast below shows”

  • Thirstier Nick (Santa Maria)

    Holding onto hope for this storm. Accu is predicting .51″ in Santa Maria for the next three days. Late Friday through Sunday morning looks to be more active, yet scattered. The opportunities don’t end until the middle of the month.

  • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

    Did I miss something or is it on my end. Looks like every updated comment/reply shows “an hour ago”. Anyone else have the same issue?

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      I saw that yesterday. Then checked back later and things were back to normal.

      • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

        Thanks. Yes, started yesterday and it’s still happening. Guess I’ll wait and hope it fixes itself.

  • RandomTreeInSB

    Slightly OT, but hurricane Harvey is now the costliest hurricane ever with $198.6 billion dollars in damage. The season total stands at 317 billion which is DOUBLE the damage in 2005 hurricane season.

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      All of those homes and refineries built in a swamp….

    • 82/83 El Nino baby (San Jose)

      Thanks for sharing. Interesting how much more coverage Katrina got even months after it hit. Part of the reason is probably the multiple hurricanes causing the public’s focus to change, but also the fact that the citizens of Houston did a better job after the disaster coming together and moving forward versus what happened in New Orleans.

      • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

        The citizens came together but the federal response was greatly improved as well.

      • JGold

        A lot (over 1800) more people died in Katrina.. that is why it was and still is a much bigger deal

    • alanstorm
      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        thats what the ARKstorm is gonna like on the models, maybe double that lol

    • matthew

      It is almost as if the weather is getting more extreme or something. I wonder if there is an explanation. Maybe someone should work on that…

  • Jason Jackson Willamette

    Thanks to Bombillo1 for the report about an intense thunderstorm with half a foot of hail falling on Bogota, Colombia yesterday. Wife’s family is from there, so my interest is high.

    Lots of images and videos of the event.

    https://watchers.news/2017/11/02/intense-hailstorm-hits-bogota-causing-heavy-floods-and-traffic-chaos/

    • Darin

      @Bombillo1:disqus You can use an the at sign to tag in Disqus

  • happ [Los Angeles]
  • molbiol

    For those who are frustrated with the computer models, here are several friendly reminders. PDF viewer required; and the Nature article is behind a paywall but at least read the abstract. Remember that ALL models are technically wrong. Also, though unrelated, having lived in the PacNW, if the current pattern is a sign of things to come, then there is a very good chance that December and Early January will be VERY snowy and icy for Seattle, Portland, Eugene, Medford etc…..

    https://www.atmos.umd.edu/~ekalnay/pubs/Chaos-Predictability-EnKF-WMOtalk.pdf

    http://www.met.rdg.ac.uk/~ross/Documents/SchoolTalkA.html

    http://weather.unbc.ca/csis-docs/CSIS-kizhakkeniyil-chaos-data-assimilation-2013-11-21.pdf

    https://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v525/n7567/full/nature14956.html?error=cookies_not_supported&code=e87d4b5c-d0f8-409e-a248-256adf4acfe8

  • Robin White

    Continuous light rain now on the Monterey Peninsula. Caught .12″ overnight.
    Robin

  • Just got to Twain Harte for the weekend and it’s cold! No wonder people were staring at me, short sleeve shirt. Lol

  • Tyler Price (Seaside)

    Absolutely dumping very heavy rain here in monterey!! Is this convective!?

    • Jim (Watsonville)

      Looks pretty dark that direction from Watsonville

  • Jim (Watsonville)

    In case anyone missed my post this morning, what im guessing is a rainbow reflecting off the water near Aptos. On the left side of the primary rainbow is another going almost straight up, with best I can tell, the same color pattern unlike a secondary which the colors are opposite. I’ve never seen anything like this. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8009057b118393f12d9687a932abe8948c5e1fae7c98120c430d40ce8a78ace3.jpg

    • Jim (Watsonville)

      I have a close up of it but I guess it exceeds the size limit

    • Nathan

      Fairly certain that’s just the natural burnished glow of the pot of gold…

  • Andrew (Berkeley)

    Interesting clouds in downtown Berkeley. Hopefully indicating rain on the way! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a909e094283eb9759a85c9a3ea58a8719ee74710b1e12393e79c6a056723d361.jpg

  • alanstorm

    FLOOD STAGE: ALANSTORM CREEK.
    .50 so far today for Willits, Mendocino Co.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4cd89670b805d3af2be9e812c05016eb4fafb35ca732b510674c4d94136cc071.jpg

    • Yolo Hoe

      Well, even the mighty Mississippi starts as merely a trickle — looks on the radar that things are starting to organize a bit, especially western slope of the Northern Sierra — seeing clouds like this in Yolo means Winter is on the way — I even felt a few drops on bicycle commute a few hours ago

      Edit: disquis says I can’t load photos, so you’ll just have to imagine it

    • RandomTreeInSB

      WOW that looks like Santa Ynez and Ventura river in the heart of winter! 🙂

      • BRP (Ventura)

        So true brother! How little our brethren up north know about our 2 county’s dire situation and being the epicenter of the worst drought conditions in the USofA.

        • max

          We did have a couple of good breakouts at Ventura River rivermouth this year.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      I hope the spillway holds up, you guys must be feeling pretty anxious up there.
      😉

      • alanstorm

        HAR.
        It’s an uncontrolled release

    • That’s ’73?

      • alanstorm

        74 454 & factory posi

    • Charlie B

      How many cmms is that (cubic millimeters/second)?

      • alanstorm

        .007 mm per sec.
        Or maybe per hour?

  • Darin

    National Climate Assessment came out today. It’s an annual report mandated by law from the federal government. They pulled no punches and went full “we cannot prove the null hypothesis” for maximum effect. https://science2017.globalchange.gov
    (I do not apologize for taking shots at academia’s unfortunate and necessary position. Smoking cause cancer. Humans cause climate change. I am not an academic.)

    • matthew

      Just doing some reading on it. No surprises so far. The only real question is if we will develop the political will to do something about it before it is too late. I am less hopeful this year than I was one year ago.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Is the spillway still missing most of the retaining wall on the left side or am I just looking at it wrong?

      • It’s kind of an illusion. Looks like an embankment wall? yes?
        That part won’t be done till next year

    • Nathan

      wow, such resolution. Anyone know what the water-filled pits are for at the bottom of the old e-spillway?

      • I see they are dredging it – I was walking by a TV yesterday in a hurry and they were yammering about some toxic runoff at Oroville that is being removed? KCRA? Idk but I found no news articles about it googling. Wouldn’t be surprised if a slug of awful chemicals is sitting at the bottom, any and or all moisture from the storm a couple weeks ago could have washed construction tailing and debris into that morass down there.

    • Steve92

      I’m wondering if they did anything to reinforce the part of the old spillway above where the erosion worked to last year? Say the first 1/5 of the ramp that looks like old cement. What’s to say the same thing doesn’t happen again, but closer to the gates?

      • Harpo (Chico)

        They did some patching and added bolts into the bedrock to hold the old concrete slabs down in the top section. They plan to replace it next summer.

      • From what I’ve read, the upper spillway was repaired from the gates about 1/2 way down by bolting patching and repairing existing slabs. The lower half of the upper spillway was removed completely and replaced. Next year the upper spillway that was repaired will be removed and replaced.

    • Wow a lot of change since I last flew over it. Where did you get this photo from, DWR? Highly detailed.

    • Howard Goodman

      Ready to go if the lake happens to go up 200 feet , looks like that was taken yesterday

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    New Caltrans Donner Pass superintendent, sadly no epic ‘stache this time.

    https://twitter.com/caltransdist3/status/926538415784452096