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.

 

Tags: , , , ,

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)
  • Idaho Native

    Rain band associated with cold front looking more organized! Sitting, waiting patiently for it to sag south and bring us some action in SF….

  • FolsomPrisonBlues

    This storm is a bust in the Sac area. What was supposed to be almost 2 inches for the weekend, has been downgraded to .3 inches at best. Still have not seen a single drop.

    • AlTahoe

      We go over this with ever storm. I don’t know how something can bust before it even happens.

      From NWS Sacramento

      “Significant rain and mountain snow, mainly tonight through Saturday”

      http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/total_forecast/getprod.php?new&prod=XXXAFDSTO&wfo=sto

      • Idaho Native

        Exactly. Have you looked at the radar??

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      As was said below models struggle with transition seasons and blocking patterns so it’s best to wait until it’s less than 5 days out on the models

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      You called it a bust, and then mentioned the forecast is for the whole weekend. And it’s Friday evening. You, good sir, are a Weatherwest Forum member in good standing! I salute you. 🙂

      • RunningSprings6250

        And at least he’s got a chance still – we’re pretty much guaranteed a hard dry shaft at this point… ??????

        Wake me up, when November ends…..

      • FolsomPrisonBlues

        Well the whole weekend was slated to be over an inch as of this morning has again been reduced… Models drive me nuts.

    • I’ve been seeing mammatus passing overhead for several hours now, straining to drop rain – every couple hours some drops do make it down, however I know what’s going to happen, all this moisture is marching its way up to the mountains where it’s going to….crash…out.
      I’m okay with this, as the early precip was expected to be heavily orographically influenced. We will get more, and soon…

    • Darin

      I also live in Folsom, and it’s painful. We see low, dark cotton balls rolling by and nothing. It’s like the fans streaming to the stadium but we’re stuck outside with no tickets. Just makes me want to plant another cactus!

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    GFS shows 8-9 k snow levels for the storm arriving around the middle of the week, let’s hope for a significant change

    • matthew

      Any water is good water.

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        I know you Tahoe people like your lake level snow

        • matthew

          I like healthy forests that do not burn in the summer.

    • AlTahoe

      Yeah yesterdays runs showed a nice cold front and of course it has trended warmer.

    • Bartshe

      you are hoping uphill in the long game

    • jstrahl

      For the storm FORECAST to arrive around the middle of the week. 🙂

    • Actually there’s no spilled milk to cry over yet, there’s no snow yet and a lot of places aren’t open. It’s not like high snow levels are going to wreck anything, if this was January I’d be upset, but today?
      http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/369/377/5bd.jpg

  • Bartshe
  • Tyler Price (Seaside)

    This has been such a great storm to kick off the storm season here on the monterey peninsula!! It rained all night last night light to moderate at time and on and off showers with heavy downpours all day todah and curtently lightly raining very cloudy skies with black rain clouds overhead here in monterey i knew that mobtetey bay would be the big winner i called it!! Idk how much rain had fallen so far as i dont have a rain gaige set up yet, but if i had to guess at least half an inch so far and much more to come! This storm aibt a bust at all!! Awesone storm!! Yay

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      spell check doesn’t look like it’s your friend

      • So many errors he broke it.
        You’re giving storm master a run for his holiest of wee cows!

      • Tyler Price (Seaside)

        Sorry hahah im typing on my andriod LG phonr as i was riding my bike and i dknt have spellcheck active so it was a messy post for sure my bad

        • Thor

          “typing on my andriod LG phonr as i was riding my bike”

          oh you’re that guy…I have seen you riding around and wondered wtf? now I know…(fellow) weather dork 🙂

          • Tyler Price (Seaside)

            Yes and i ride the whole bike trail with no hands the entire way to maximize my WW blog time and dopplar time! Lol

        • Dayn Tyler! I half a herd enuf time spitting down on my arse and speel chuck

    • Henry

      0.18″ of rain so far today here on the dry side of the Santa Cruz mountains near Los Gatos. Not impressive at all, but slightly more than I was expecting today. The air mass is moist, though dynamics have been lacking.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    Lower Level Water Vapor is increasing in the Bay Area according to satellite, from the WSW

  • Nate

    Some fun with MODIS images. 9/27/16-9/27/17.

    https://youtu.be/AFwQspmYXkY

  • Taz & Storm Master

    0.11″ here today so far so far from what i can tell for rader this has been a N of I 80 event most of the day

  • Nathan
    • Dan the Weatherman

      It was more of a midlevel cloud deck rather than a low cloud deck, and these midlevel clouds can produce some amazing color at sunset!

  • Tyler Price (Seaside)

    Well lookey here!! Winner winner chicken dinner! Looks like monterey is the big winner here so far for this awesome storm!! .22 so far more than all the surrounding areas cuz the rain wizard likes me and probably double that at my house based on how long it rained last night for and it was mostly moderate https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e9e2e3c9a510ccaa13f4e516d178adbbb79cf7a42eeab2edd9be86da7c4a84ec.png

    • PRCountyNative

      This storm seems to be favoring places near the coast, prone to fog, coastal hills.

    • jstrahl

      Interesting that you’re getting more than the high terrain to your east.

  • PRCountyNative

    Weather West – the go to place for pictures of clouds:

    Rain moving in!

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c40fdcd182665acc81e47fa1faa8ea88ac21794f325404cea232e49cfea21469.jpg

  • gray whale

    i promised my wife that my go-to outdoor “watering” spots would all be washed clean this weekend. so far this storm does not have my back.

    • Fairweathercactus

      My friend canceled his BBQ here in So Cal on Sunday. I told him he should have gone for it. I should have put some money on it.

      • gray whale

        speaking of bbq’s — what’re you gonna do if it rains on your 30th?????

        karma might be calling for the ark storm….

        • Fairweathercactus

          We will figure something out

    • Bombillo1

      My cousin, who should be properly credited for this observation, says that when picking a place to live/buy the grounds should be of sufficient dimensions to accommodate a place for gentlemen to relieve themselves. Seems very civilized to me.

  • Howard Goodman

    Rained all day and still raining never very hard got 1.22 so far

    • VK (Sacramento)

      Yay!! good news starts with Rag Dump

  • Hollow Scene (Riverside)
    • RunningSprings6250

      The sunset tonight was nothing short of majestic.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        The sunset was very colorful here in Orange tonight as well and looked similar to the pic above. It is amazing the colors these high and midlevel clouds can produce at sunset.

  • jstrahl

    No rain so far in central Berkeley, several dark green radar echoes have come and gone, lower levels must be dry. My weekly show is tonight (Fridays on first week of the month, otherwise Wednesdays), think ill bike. For once i actually do have a rain-worthy car, just don’t feel like driving a mere mile, and odds of rain before midnight (per Wunderground North Berkeley station are low, only rise to some 30% by 1AM, when the show will be nearing an end.

  • CHeden

    Not a drop so far in rain-shadowed Cottonwood. However, a classic Redding convergence line has set up WNW of town, and it looks like there is a narrow band of 0.5″+ precip under it.
    To my north, rain totals increase as you go up I-5 (Shasta drainage) where orographics become more pronounced. Simms for instance should be approaching 1.25-1.5″ so far.
    HRRR is continuing to show a chance of 1-2 narrow squall lines to fire up near me overnight…but given that the HRRR had showers on/off for us most of today and we got jack…I’m not too optimistic for anything tonight.

    • inclinejj

      Rained enough to barely get the street wet. Walked the dog and only felt a few drops. Pacifica.

  • Fairweathercactus
  • Huff (Anaheim Hills)
  • Nothing here in Twain Harte.

  • AntiochWx

    .01″ so far, oh Antioch you never cease to amaze me on your dryness. I think I will call you Santiago del Norte!

  • matthew

    Just compared the 18Z to what I have seen so far. It is completely accurate – fuckall in terms of precip so far. I am dropping my prediction for the coming week from 8-10″ inches to 0-2″.

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      What?

      • matthew

        Snow, not rain. GFS has been ratcheting down the precip totals for a few days now and I am inclined to believe it. Anything above zilch would be an over perform IMO.

  • Howard Goodman

    Coming down in buckets would be the correct term here

  • AntiochWx

    Who wants to live in the great city of Calama? Cactus?

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    NOT buying this .25-.50 NWS Bay Area is predicting at all, this storm is nothing short of a shit show here with just isolated light showers around the Bay. I always seem to speak to soon though about the rain, but ai think the forecast of widespread rain is BS.

    • alanstorm

      Shit show?

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        Not for you, but for most of the lower elevations of the Bay Area

        • alanstorm

          The possibility of decent ass-wiping of your shit show could come Wednesday/Thursday

          • FolsomPrisonBlues

            We can only hope… After the way this weekend is turning out despite the hype, I have learned my lesson. Do not get your hopes up until water is falling from the sky. That being said, I really do hope the storm next week performs as well as it is predicted.

          • Howard Goodman

            My friend Eric McKenna was a guard there

          • Yolo Hoe

            Thanks for that one — and also glad you guys are getting the season started properly — must be helping to quench some of the still smoldering landscape — as long as it’s dumping in Rag Dump, I’m keeping the faith

          • Howard Goodman

            4 inches so far

          • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

            I’m not referring that all upcoming forecasted storms will be a shit show, I’m talking about the current one

    • Uncle Jesse

      Welcome, son.

    • FolsomPrisonBlues

      Agreed. The forecast for us in Folsom was supposed to be well over .5 inches for the day….Not a single drop. The failboat has sailed.

  • Bombillo1

    1.03 so far for the storm and raining steady in Big Bend. Just drove back from the movies in Redding (1hr 15 min drive) and it was pouring there with tremendous wind. This is not over performing in any way but not a disgrace to the rain gods either.

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      Where’s Big Bend?

      • Bombillo1

        50 mi North of Redding, 2500′ elevation. On the Pit River, orographics running up to Mt. Shasta.

        • Charlie B

          I looked for Big Bend. I found Big Bend Project and a reference to some hot springs. Is that your area?

          • Bombillo1

            Yes, the hot springs is what put the place on the map. 1 general store, one gas pump, elementary school with 12 kids. PG&E has the Pit 3,4,5,6 powerhouses in the area.

        • Howard Goodman

          There’s also Big bend up here in the Feather River my friend has a ranch there

    • Craig Matthews
    • Ragnarok? I’d drive three hours for that. Or BR2049. If you say Tyler Perry’s BOO 2! A Made Halloween
      I’ll disown you and write you out of the will!

      • Bombillo1

        My grandson wanted to see Ragnarok. Not bad, Goldbloom and Blanchet were great.

  • FolsomPrisonBlues

    Holy crap! Look at the SST’s off of South America. Not sure I have seen this at all in the last 5 years or so. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ce82fe58301486a1228873cb0c0708acbeddf677487af6800cbb07403648ba8b.gif

    • Consensus east based Nina

      • FolsomPrisonBlues

        Look how far out from the coast that cold water is pushing….its unreal

  • WRT the comments below my memory of La Nina’s in the South Bay were good amounts of snow in the Yosemite north area of the Sierra AND storms that petered out at my doorstep. The Miracke March month was nada in San Jose yet everyone rejoiced but me.
    Yes I was sitting down and spell check on.

  • Rusty Rails

    Judging by other reports here I’d say the Monterey Bay area was a winner today. I was driving all over from SC to Watsonville, San Juan Bautista, and back while cells seemed to find me at every turn. It was pretty cool looking out over the bay coming back home on 1 around 5pm and seeing shafts of rain coming down all over. One last big one greeted me at home around 5:50pm.

    There’s a big hot rod show at the Boardwalk tomorrow morning so hopefully most of that slop from the north gets through here by late morning.

  • Howard Goodman
    • Bombillo1

      Do you feed him cats?

      • Howard Goodman

        It’s actually Karla Coyote and she’s really friendly doesn’t bother my cats in fact the other day I go out and my Gray Kitty was nose to nose with Karla , Miss Kitty swiped her in the nose and chased her across the meadow , Karla thought it was great fun Miss Kitty not so much

        • Bombillo1

          Handsome coyote, and well fed. Nice painted tip on tail…

          • Howard Goodman

            She went though 50 lbs of dog food in a couple of weeks plus if my Raven aren’t fast enough she gabes their hot dogs

          • Redlegs6_Susanville

            Not a fan of feeding wild animals in fact its against the law creates more issues and will harm their natural abilities including eating cats.

          • Howard Goodman

            Didn’t start out feeding her , only ones I did was Heckle and Jeckle the Rag Dump Ravens , they’ve lived here for around 15 years and they do fine , but the Coyote figured out the birds stach there food around and hug around too , she’s been around the area for a few years now and just got accustom to me

          • Looks freshly bathed. Downwind of a coyote is almost as effective as ipecac.

        • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

          off topic to what your talking about, but what was your rainfall for the wet season and how much rain fell in Jan and Feb?

          • Howard Goodman

            Rainfall total last year was 190 inches , I know people don’t believe it but I kept track , the Four Trees weather site got 166.5 and it was broken for awhile

          • Howard Goodman

            In Jan, 2016 51.5 feb. 38.2

        • gray whale

          sounds like a magical place howard!

          you’d never know it looking at the sign you posted by the creek though 😉

          • Howard Goodman

            You must have come down my driveway to see my welcome sign ” cross the creek get shot ” is that the one your referring too , living up here you have to deal with some of the dirt bags from down below , I could write a book on whats happened up here . A friend of mine owns the town of Pulga down in the Feather River Canyon they’ve had to call the cops several times last summer , if you happen to come up here again and my gates open just come in tell me who you are , I always ask first before I shoot

          • Howard Goodman
    • annette johnson

      Wow, that is one healthy looking coyote. Not like the scrawny ones I see around my area. Based on the looks of her she is getting plenty to eat. Neat story!

  • Craig Matthews

    Here are a few shots I took early this afternoon of a line of low topped convective showers that developed over Monterey Bay just off Moss Landing that slowly moved inland over Prunedale around 2pm ish. Was surprised at how heavy it rained and the size of the raindrops for such low topped convection in the area. Slow moving band of heavy showers lasted for about 20minutes over us,, then dissipated as they moved to our northeast. In the last pic, the one obscured by heavy rainfall, one can kind of make out the smoke stacks of Moss Landing, https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f7c18ac74e5f48019e78856496ad966892b9d917325a728e567d09c38beafc0c.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4d84f30ce284054cbbe0a32ba028990fec8f181e8b7897fcb065827bf4d770c7.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/68be3c7a6ab6961a35fd6e50b354be6e84f66f28e93649b7f73cf7a23a83bba6.jpg

  • Rusty Rails

    For the Truckee types, UP sent a flanger set up there this afternoon in expectation of some accumulation up top this weekend. Hopefully it will get some use.

    • Yolo Hoe

      Winter is here! Thanks for the intel — are they staging in Truckee yard?

  • weathergeek100

    Wow. This is turning out to be the ultimate forecast failure for the Bay Area. According to the our radar and the Eureka one, we have…..basically nothing headed our way. Maybe it’s just very low level moisture that the radar isn’t picking up? Yeah, there’s a shower here and there but it doesn’t look like much. I wouldn’t be surprised if we pick up 0.00 even though 0.15 to 0.25 is forecasted.

    • alanstorm

      Ultimate Forecast Failure?

      • weathergeek100

        Ok ok maybe exaggerating a bit here but I haven’t seen more than a sprinkle here in the bay today. 1115 pm now and still nothing.

        • Azmordean

          Latest GFS seems to show basically nothing. Zero chance this outperforms the October “event,” I wouldn’t be surprised at 0.0 here in Mountain View though the higher res models like HRRR show a little bit overnight.

        • alanstorm

          The arrival of a cold-front into NorCal came when predicted, but as always, the further south you get, the harder it is to know exactly how much rain will fall.
          Usually it’s less.
          That’s just the way of things.
          No one or nothing can predict the future, not even computers

  • molbiol

    Slightly OT, but the ingredients seem to be there for a significant (couple of inches) snow event for the Seattle area Saturday night into Sunday. I know that for some, this is a mediocre amount of snow but given how early this would be for Seattle, it is worth noting. Looks like a precip associated with a surface low will coincide with 1000-850mb thickness values right at the critical 1300M threshold (second pic). The limiting factors might be too much southerly flow and the (relatively) high sun angle. However, since this event may occur overnight, those factors won’t be as big a deal. Still, the end result may be nothing more than slushy/chunky rain with occasional big flakes mixed in. This is a stereotypical La Nina pattern up there and could be a precursor to low elevation snow events affecting California as we get deep into December…

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/56d9e2654a730fc25fe66a68c02692c2f18f16224798c66557986d78477b7925.jpg

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/496e8cbb9f3a136fd345842d23a542d2af82caa4abaf80541664811862bc90b7.jpg

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      Euro at 240 hours has 525 MB thickness near Seattle again just like now, CFS went insane also , 5-10 inches for LA and the Bay Area metro areas through end of November

      • jstrahl

        Quoting the Hollies: “Stop, stop, stop.”

    • Pfirman

      Gotta love it when a desert guy weighs in about the PNW.

  • Jason Jackson Willamette

    Dynamics aren’t there for this event. No hard driving cold air mass coming in. Weak moisture feed off the Pacific combining to just be an orographically enhanced rain event for the Sierra foothills, north of I-80. South of that we just may get some sprinkles.

    Sad!

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/90d1fc954160553ad2bc47bd0bcd187bbe7fd5152e103f84865406be7293f44b.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/40072326628bacdf9a5848c43ad1a340e9d132bd799adaae5cfd1f603adc4435.png

    • Pfirman

      Orographically enhanced and Sierra foothills is a kind of redundancy.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    Daily dose of model madness, 11 inches of rain for Ventura County and those stubborn men at NWS Oxford through December 5th! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1a7ce503ab8193a8fea726f7d5ab3861fbe2a456aaa83c5c61e2da5a8a294ec5.png

  • Rainmaker (San Jose)

    I’ve waited a long time for a day like this. Enjoyed every minute of it!

  • Fairweathercactus

    For the first time I am getting a huge ad on this site saying “you wont believe what Ellen said about Donald Trump”. I had a hard time posting and it jumping around. I tired to get a cap and it went away.

    • Bombillo1

      I got an ad about aluminum fishing boats. That didn’t upset me a bit.

      • Tuolumne

        I really don’t like the ones for lead fishing boats.

    • Are you using iOS? I want to say this is predominantly an Apple issue, I see ads for Mammoth Ski Resort, and tasteful ones at that.

    • Pfirman

      I tired too.

    • Nathan

      Wellll….what’d she say????

  • annette johnson

    The weather here on the Colorado River is finally nice. Daytime highs in the low 80’s and 70’s coming next week. I can finally start doing some outdoor activities during daylight with my new rescue pup. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2b612c8933e7ca232d93283986920b9f1bb8b
    88ed74cf1e71e0e724c5ddabbeb.jpg He is turning out to be a good hiking and biking buddy. It is also evident fall is in the air as “Fluffy” the desert tortoise eats one of her last meals before taking her long winter nap. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c62c1199cc5725594868862cdc2a45def571a
    38f319ee33af2cb5f8c85c2b0db.jpg And lastly, some clouds drifting in from the Ca side of Lake Havasu made for an incredible sunset tonight. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/44a873d53923aae988f87ab3f17984d5c1d70fa488b1333746629a15e77f9ec9.jpg

  • So, it’s 630Z Saturday right now, and the 00Z NAM still says the Sierra will get some decent wetness, definitely not enough oomph to make it affect anything less than higher elevations – snow still looking to be a couple feet up top however the tap for 4-5 feet is looking to be for a tiny area now instead.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5dc4a0b1564e5bbcbaf08d2e644990acc697f6338d09864db0fbef7bd7d3bd6c.gif

    • Pfirman

      You are surprised?

      • From the very first runs it was in the NAM it became dead obvious elevation will be king with this one, so the only thing I’m really surprised by is the dichotomy between models – if the snow doesn’t show what the euro was at least showing yesterday, then this will be menage-a-trois-terrible

  • matt

    here in the high desert Lancaster area. 56 outside 63% humility. got mid-level moisture coming up from the south.

  • Thirstier Nick (Santa Maria)

    If something doesn’t fall here in the next 24 hours, I’m calling this storm a bust. Something’s gotta give. I should learn not to trust long-term storm models because when we get too excited, we end up disappointed like Dodger fans after Game 7’s World Series.

  • jstrahl

    Made it home from the show, no rain while i was out, in fact seems a touch less cloudy now (2:30AM)) than when i left home around 8.

  • Rusty Rails

    3:50am and it looks like things are ahead of schedule with a well defined line stretching from San Mateo out to sea and a less organized line of showers behind. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a33cef2e12f0873bb00a19f29fe152a3cde164da0e93d9ae294877fb17577643.jpg The Monterey office looks to have been spot on with a juicy fetch of moisture south of Big Sur.

  • Taz & Storm Master

    if i dont get at lest 0.50″ today am going too call this storm a major bust has well

    • RunningSprings6250

      Can’t wait.

  • Taz & Storm Master

    Area Forecast Discussion
    National Weather Service San Francisco Bay Area
    347 AM PDT Sat Nov 4 2017

    Todays front
    never merged with a moisture plume well to our south and in
    general has underperformed from what the rain potential looked
    like several days ago.

    • jstrahl

      It’s nice that for once NWS actually discussed what happened and why it didn’t match the forecast.

  • Taz & Storm Master

    Area Forecast Discussion
    National Weather Service San Francisco Bay Area
    347 AM PDT Sat Nov 4 2017

    Overall pattern remains active for early November with another
    potentially stronger system due to arrive Wednesday night into
    Thursday with potential for stronger winds and rain. Rain could
    linger into Friday with a break after that but models portend more
    potential storms to impact norcal later next weekend and beyond.

  • Arnold Weather Fanatic

    .36″ yesterday and a quarter inch overnight. Has been a north-of-50 event so far.

  • Howard Goodman

    Just went out in the cold and rain to check the rain gauge so far the storm total since yesterday when it started right at 4 inches

    • BRP (Ventura)

      Seriously? Where do you call home? That’s an impressive amount of rain?

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        You haven’t heard of the infamous Rag Dump? It’s right above Oroville at around 4000′. He almost got 200 inches of rain there last year!

      • Howard Goodman

        Rag Dump Ca, above the Feather River Canyon , one of the wettest places in the 48 states

        • BRP (Ventura)

          Thanks. Rag Dump it is. Here’s to another 200 inch winter for you. Wish we could get just 10 of thos inches down here…

          • The wettest recording station in that area and arguably all of CA is Four Trees. Howard’s place gets more precip than Four Trees.

  • Idaho Native

    .12″ in Tiburon…. sigh.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)
    • Henry

      For all it is worth it looks like the front is stalling or moving very slowly. With narrow cold fronts sometimes that can be a good thing. But it might also dissipate before it reaches the south bay.

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        It seems to me there is rain shadowing involved with it, but yes its moving less than 10 mi per hour!
        edit: After looking at the last 2 hours of radar the rain has consistently weakened or dissipated right above me.

      • Jim (Watsonville)

        Its dying a quick death

      • 82/83 El Nino baby (San Jose)

        Good call. It went poof.

    • jstrahl

      Looked impressive on radar. .10 inches down here on the ground in central Berkeley. Low levels are DRY.

  • Los Padres NF/ Piñon Pines

    I’m very happy to see you guys up north getting your wet on. But DAMNIT, two days ago it was raining all weekend and a lot with high PoPs, and it’s literally been down graded to nothing!! I’m gonna go wash my cars, work car, truck, even wifeys, hell I think I’ll rinse the deck down too. Ugh. :/ ok I’m done. You guys up north have all the fun. Post pics for us down here. It’s all we got lol. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/74ec979630481c5747586a35dc6001833d86fb00cbc0c07e53d8ed4f3510a76e.png

    • jstrahl

      We got wet?

      • Los Padres NF/ Piñon Pines

        Uh, yeah.

  • AlTahoe

    This front is dying on the line according to NWS RENO. We haven’t picked up any rain or snow in south lake yet from this storm. Snow levels are supposed to stay above 7k now. I doubt any resort picks up 12″ at the top.
    Hopefully this storm primes the atmosphere for the next two storms as they are looking impressive on the models currently

    • Forecasts for MJO are still looking better for storms after this weekend.

      • jstrahl

        Forecasts are for more forecasts.

  • MetaGhost (Berkeley)

    Nothing falling from the sky here but we should get points for menacing clouds.

  • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

    well Im calling it….official bust. Im guessing a tenth or less in Orinda. The main rain line hit, but mostly stayed a bit south.

    Shows that Lucy can still pull a trick even a day out!

    next week is looking pretty good though so lets see if the models get it right this time

    • Henry

      The front has hardly moved in the last few hours, based on bay area radar it is just stalling and dissipating. This is yet another example of a case where forecasters talk about a storm for days and almost nothing happens. It is like listening to a Republican politicians talk about repealing Obamacare and cutting federal spending, a lot of BS and no action, all hat and no cattle.

      While I have not done a scientific analysis on this, it seems that the forecast models tend to predict much more rain than actually falls, at least here in the south bay. Perhaps this is a question for Daniel, I would be interested to know if any studies have been done quantitatively comparing the average annual rainfall predicted by the GFS vs the average annual rainfall actually recorded at weather stations on the ground.

      • jstrahl

        Same outcome in Berkeley, South Bay doesn’t have a corner of busted forecasts.

    • jstrahl

      Like i said, > 24 hours = Fantasyland. Why should next week be any different re the models? Or the rest of the season? Getting my forecasts from random dudes/dudettes in the streets from now on.

      • Charlie B

        Throwing in the towel so soon, are we? (Your last sentence is perhaps the most profound thing written here in a long time.)

        • jstrahl

          Someone here mused yesterday on why we bother with models vs getting forecasts from random dudes on the street. 🙂

  • CHeden

    A pretty interesting precip distribution around the Redding area.
    A mentioned, a narrow convergence line setup yesterday aft/eve NNW of Redding. Under the convergence zone, 1.5′-1.67″ fell..such as Whiskeytown with 1.5″.
    However, just a few miles east, pretty much nada with Redding apt. only getting 0.12″.
    Overnight, a second line setup, this time a bit further south. I got the rear edge of the line, with 0.21″ falling, but further south near Red Bluff they got 0.44″….0.32″ in a 45min period between 0200 and 0300.
    Elsewhere, if you weren’t getting hit with a convergence line, it was pretty dry, with lots of totals <.1" throughout much of the north Valley.

  • CHeden

    HRRR is hinting another convergence line may setup in a few hours south of Redding very near my place…just like the last one earlier this morning. Looks like the model is depicting a weak circulation to setup. Will be keeping an eye out for signs of development, fer sure.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/099b663a6cb20381b608c190c87b1ac83d6c9f65b7ac5d23c67f05381f559ed7.png

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    White stuff falling from the sky in Truckee, chains required over the summit
    Winter may finally be here. Had about .10” of rain here in the East Bay that moved through around 7am.

  • Howard Goodman

    Still pouring in Ragdump up to 5 inches now , starts raining hard enough I’ve been losing my Satellite signal

    • Tuolumne

      With that being a pretty typical story at Rag Dump, it’s a good thing many of us are downstream from you. Your extra water runs off and heads towards us.

      • Howard Goodman

        I’m above Oroville , that’s why there was almost a disaster of epic proportions

        • Tuolumne

          Based on past looks at your area on Google Earth, I thought you’re outside of the drainage of the Feather River since your area drains away from the North Fork Feather. Then I went back and found out about the West Branch of the Feather River, which is northwest of the North Fork and ends up in Lake Oroville. Learned something new!

          • Howard Goodman

            Yeah the creek at Ragdump “Fall Creek ” goes into the West Branch of the Feather and less than 1/4 mile away Dogwood Creek goes into the north Fork and just a couple of miles east Camp creek and lockerman creek go into the North Fork and a little further Rock creek goes into the North Fork , this is the northern most drainage for Oroville , this area gets so much rain there are over a couple of dozen creeks that drain into Oroville , you have to go to the north side of Paradise to find one that doesn’t

          • Howard Goodman

            If you zoom in you can see my compound , the photo was just taken last July and most of the photo’s that pop up are taken by me

          • Admode (Susanville)

            The west branch is the red headed step child of the feather river drainage, but has a ton of history including the discovery of the famous dogtown nugget, one of the largest gold nuggets ever found. I have always wondered why it’s called the west branch and not west fork.

          • Tuolumne

            I think “branch” is a regionalism. With all the people pouring into that part of California from all over the U.S. and the world during the Gold Rush, it’s amazing that local geographic terminology is as consistent as it.

            Thanks for the link. Interesting!

          • Admode (Susanville)

            I heard. It’s just weird that there is a north, South and east fork but then a west branch. Just never got it.

          • Admode (Susanville)

            And the east fork is spectacular backpacking and fishing. It’s treacherous because of hydraulic mining in the past but the fishing is off the chain.

          • Admode (Susanville)

            Middle fork, not east fork. Not sure what I was yhinking, there is no east fork, which is weird too.

          • Howard Goodman

            When your headed up the Feather River Canyon on Hiway 70 the big Bridge you cross as you go up is the arm of the west Branch

          • Admode (Susanville)
          • Howard Goodman

            That 54 lb. Dog Town nugget was found about 6 miles down the road been looking for another

          • Howard Goodman
    • Jim Yerkes

      Hi Howard. I could not find Ragdump on the westhernet web site. Just curious what would be the closed official weather station where you live? No doubt you are the precip king of NorCal. I live in El Dorado Hills ca my neighbor had a coffee plsntstion in Bouquete Panama elevation 4K average rainfall 100 inches temp range from 78 high to 66 low almost year round he has no heater or ac. Talk about everything looking emerald greed. Love reading your posts. I lived in Philly, Mpls and STL. THIS IS BY Far most informative weather site

      • Howard Goodman

        Stirling City and Four Trees you can go to the Dept. of water resources Ca. data exch. ctr. station search the code for stirling city is SRL and Four trees FOR

      • I’ve spent time in boquete, hiking in those mountains was remarkable – the temperatures and the fog made it feel like I was in a San Francisco climate, I was shocked at how nice the weather there was year round.

        • Tuolumne

          Tropical montane climate.

        • Jim Yerkes

          Believe me I would love to visit Boquete one day. It has almost the perfect temperature range. No heat waves’ no drought but elevation had everything to do about it’s relatively cool year round climate. Their is a town close by but much lower in elevation called David which is much more warmer and humid then Boquete. They have many benefits for seniors that live there. With two of my children living in Calif not going anywhere any time soon and at 72 years old probably not a lot of time left on the clock. Oh wait I gotta set the clock back an hour tonight!!

          • I stayed in the Fortuna Forest Reserve at about 4000 feet for several days, visited Chiriqui and David several times, a fascinating place with some really wonderful people, a lot of happy people, also they are tiny so my experience crossing borders down there in buses is definitely an unforgettable one, think packed-like-sardines-in-too-small-a-bus. When I went back to Costa Rica my ass sweated so much I think it collapsed.

          • Also, if you haven’t gone, for the love of Pete GO NOW GO GO GO! Trust me when I say you won’t be disappointed, yes you lose some things we have here but the trade is well worth it especially if you are 70+, sitting in a lifetime of traffic, rent/housing nightmares, and endless drought/wildfires/the big one fear, you could possibly add years to your life from lowering stress and eating healthy there. Eating healthy there is cheaper than it is here, which is so frustrating.
            Things were cheap when I visited 3 years ago, get some property and a source of income and call it a day. I bought ten organic bananas from the farmer who grew them for…$1. 3 pineapples for $0.75, at Whole Paycheck they want like $5 a pop.
            Seriously, I wanted to retire already then and there and just stay forever. If you like coffee that’s also a huge bonus, I didn’t start liking coffee until way after I left ;/

          • Jim Yerkes

            My neighbor spends about 6 months their on his coffee plantation. I have Boquete on my weather Ap and it is amazing there is either a symbol for rain or a thunderstorm like for 10 days straight and many days rainfall amounts are well over an inch. What he told me is that moisture from the Caribbean from the east collided with moisture from the Pacific Ocean on the west over the mountains around Boquete to produce the extremely heavy rain fall. I know that health care is rather inexpensive. Glad to have found someone that is familiar with Boquette. Would have to get used to the macaw parrots waking you up in the morning. Worth a definite Bucket List visit

    • I think that Rag Dump is my new favorite California place name.

      (A former contender was Sandy Mush Road.)

  • Charlie B

    For those participating in the Great Weather West Squaw Valley November Snowfall Prediction Contest (first annual), Squaw Valley 8000 received 2″ which brings the monthly total to 2″. My fearless prediction of 55″ is right on track.

  • David

    Still raining steady here in Paradise. Just under 1.5″ since it started raining yesterday around noon.

  • Sublimesl

    .34 in Oakland Hills. For the first real storm of the season, I’ll take it.

    Its November 4th folks, lets chill out.

    • jstrahl

      I think what’s riling people is that a LOT more was forecast, both amounts and duration. A summary of NWS statement on the forecast’s failure is below, for once the NWS actually did that, which is good.

      • Sublimesl

        Yup they missed one, it happens.

        • jstrahl

          It’s more that it’s a pattern than a single miss.

      • Chris

        Agree!
        What’s disturbing is the fact we have had a few storms now follow the same pattern of weakening more than the models predicted.
        Going by memory, once models weaken storms just before arrival, there is a good bet that for the next 1-2 months they will continue the same pattern of weakening storms……. until a different stormy pattern sets up.
        Unless the storm in the middle of next week stays strong, I feel quite confident that we will have a dry November-December in the Bay Area.

      • A forecast is not a promise. 🙂

        Chill, folks. It is November 4.

        • jstrahl

          Of course it’s not a promise, but the magnitude of forecast failure is mind-blowing . Yes, it’s November 4, but what’s ahead to mid month? Nothing much, several storms were promised, all seem to be weakening as their due dates approach. Just seems like a pattern. Of course, it could turn on a dime. October ’77 came to 0.00. We got an event just like today on the 5th. And then came a huge one around the 20th. And the season turned out way above average, ending the 2 year severe drought.

          • Go find a nice comfortable couch. Put the computer away. Crack open a beer. Or two. Or a nice bottle of wine.

            We’ve all been over this many times. What happens at the beginning of the season only loosely correlates to how the season ends up. Your worries might turn out to be right, but there is a greater chance that they won’t.

            And, “the magnitude of the forecast failure is mind-blowing.” No, it isn’t. Not even close.

            Again, chill. Please.

          • jstrahl

            Well, it wouldn’t exactly be alcohol. 🙂

            I actually noted in the post how ’77 started out, right? As to the failure, even the NWS felt a need to explain why the forecast was so off, i don’t think i’ve seen that before.

            I will chill, too tired from last night not to. 🙂

  • weathergeek100

    This was an underperformer for the most part, though some places picked up near the forecasted amounts. I slept right through the rain. How much rain? 0.08 in downtown SF. 0.22 at Oakland Airport. This was one difficult ‘storm’ to forecast. Thankfully, there’s more rain chances coming up. We’ll see.

  • V-Ville

    .07 at Vacaville Nut Tree airport. That will hold the dust down for a bit. Glad hills NE got more.

  • 82/83 El Nino baby (San Jose)

    Cf desinigrated on peninsula in bay area. Lame.

  • Darin

    Woke up to the sound of water running. Half-asleep I thought it was the kids toilet float that didn’t get reset. Then I realized it was outside so it was probably that neighbors water feature that makes me cringe. Then I remembered the windows were closed so I got up to check. Water in the gutters, whodathunk??!? Been so long I forgot what the sound was. Rocking 0.09 (sic) inches last night.

  • jstrahl

    .10 inches in central Berkeley, .13 in the “North Berkeley” WU station, which is is actually just north of University Ave, , by the West St. bike path (former ATSF train track/Francisco St. Missed it, streets barely seem wet,i’m surprised it’s .10 inches, doesn’t feel like it’s even that much.

    • UrbanBizarre

      I measured .29 in Oakland, which is weirdly high? Usually my numbers are similar to Berkeley.

      • You might have a measuring error, that would put you above the regional champion – Tilden which got 0.25 – I’ve been to the Vollmer Peak measuring site, it’s one of the highest points in the East Bay, so it’s possible that a cell trained on you for a little while longer, however this orographically favored event says no, so might want to check your gauge before the fun begins again 🙂

  • Taz & Storm Master

    i might not get any rain at all from this event other then what fell on friday and that was 0.13″

  • Yolo Hoe

    0.22” thus far in far southwest Davis — maximum rate of 0.32” per hour at 05:56 this morning.

    Temperature 56F and barometer steady at 29.98 — light breeze from the south

    • Pfirman

      Around 1:00p the western view was beautiful with blue sky and a line of white clouds scudding along. The eastern view was dark and ominous.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)
    • Cap’n

      Are you gonna shred it?

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        I don’t know if I can go this NOV, I was spoiled by the hundreds of inches of snow I skied on last year. Last year was the first time I really went skiing and got into it. That made me really think how lucky I was get into skiing that year and not the ones before.

  • weatherhead

    Got about .3 in the gauge over the past couple days and nights, on Mendocino Coast. Mostly just drizzle, but it added up.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    That line of moderate to even heavy at times rain was exciting! Loved hearing that sound of good rain; .24 of rain fell in one hour with a max rain rate of 1.5 in per hour at 7:18! Guess I was the big winner compared to everyone else in the Bay Area on this blog and also it won’t be surprising to me when I hear that it rained over an 1″ in some spots on the Peninsula!

    • mogden

      0.23″ in the foothills of Redwood City, can’t complain.

    • inclinejj

      The rain woke me up a couple times last night. We didn’t get the heavy shower at 7:18.

      Picked up .26 in Pacifica.

  • Eddie Garcia

    well only a trace of rain has fallen since yesterday here in Atwater… I said it on Sunday that this storm might me as weak or weaker than the Oct 20 storm for my area and guess what so far i’m right. 🙁

    • AlTahoe

      We are also at a trace in south lake tahoe and radar doesn’t look promising for anything else. Even yesterday the Nws had 1-2″ of rain for us.

      • matthew

        Trace here also for the shire. I have already thrown in the towel for this storm and am hoping for something/anything from the Wed/Thur event. But even that appears to be trending weaker as we get closer.

        • BRP (Ventura)

          Wouldn’t it be nice if the models would just start out weak 7 days out, and then get either wetter or stay weak as the event gets closer? Just saying…

        • The forecast several days ago did show some sizable crest-hangup-action. I did expect you to get light rain so that was wrong. Limited dynamics pushed the action right to the top of the mountains 🙁

  • happ [Los Angeles]

    Not even clouds in LA this morning but satellite shows the moisture surge occurring in San Luis Obispo currently. I sincerely hope we get in on the storm by tomorrow otherwise I will be bummed again.

    October was no surprise but I hope November produces negative departures for a change.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b8083922419a43c083e07f35b2b429b8b20bfdd0c6ae15828c1ff0e59746bb6c.jpg

  • Bombillo1

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d0636c0f8062caef65e0f06a25fc9cd148874e760d894fdd46f780f46b6a232b.jpg

    2.20″ so far. No Rag Dump but the name is equally descriptive, Big Bend.

    • AlTahoe

      Wow same temp as me right now. Except I am at 6250′ 🙁

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        Wierd wierd weather, its 56 degrees here at 140 feet. Anything below 60 here almost always means snow at Lake level

        • inclinejj

          Tempature inversion. I have seen snow down at 2,000 feet and rain over the summit. Warm air rises, cold air sinks.

    • Howard Goodman

      I’ve cleaned up all the rags

  • Admode (Susanville)

    0.19″ for us so far here in the ville. It’s been constant drizzle for 2 days now. It has felt very humboldty outside.

  • Taz & Storm Master

    well this storm is a bust here got 0.13 then other 0.04″ so 0.17″ of rain from this event not event 0.20 or even 0.50″ sac forecasted for here

    • 82/83 El Nino baby (San Jose)

      .03 away from the forcast seems pretty accurate to me. I think we all hope for the higher forcast to come true.

      • Taz & Storm Master

        well see but has of right now it dos not seem so ture right now

    • inclinejj

      When is a bust a bust. Never!

    • Jim (Watsonville)

      A true “bust” would be no rain…

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    Im confident the Bay Area will get something nice out of these next 2 strong storms slated right now to pound Ukiah North https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e8f05a9cfe5189f9252062124f9d680d6c9b3a47c326fa0d91974dcb930258ef.gif

    • jstrahl

      Why the confidence? Even the over promising models are not showing that.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    Lots of negativity on the blog right now, shouldn’t we be happy the RRR isn’t parked to our west. Let’s be happy rain is falling from the sky and that there is a long extended period of unsettled conditions guaranteed for us in NorCal.

    • 🙂

    • Rusty Rails

      But models runs from a week ago promised HYPE!

    • Admode (Susanville)

      Exactly.

    • Admode (Susanville)

      Plus it’s early November. It’s a good start to the season if you ask me.

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        And the GFS from October 25th showed 250+ hours out that there would be pretty wet and unsettled pattern pattern from this Saturday-Wednesday and look what’s happening!

    • redlands

      yes this is true — however – what about southern ca — haven’t seen rain in ages — last 8 months only 0.77

      • SacWx

        Honest question – why live in Southern California if you expect rain? It might be one of the worst places to live in the world if you enjoy precipitation.

        • BRP (Ventura)

          Best comment I’ve read in a while. Yeah, I’m one of them So Cal complainers, but living in Ventura, when I was young, I used to think I was part of the central coast. 153 years of accurate rain tallies here in town, with an average annual precip rate of 15.7″. So I expect decent rain every freakish winter, going through this drought has been tough…

          • I might think there are wild swings over and under your average? Maybe quite a few 13 and under and quite a few 18” and over? 13 and 18” are ~.85 of your average

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        SoCal is a different story that I don’t know much about

    • Cap’n

      We’re negative because we deserve limitless rain and snow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        you had to make another new account?

        • Cap’n

          Of course, I really enjoy your analysis.

          • all those upvotes, burned, ashes drifting in the wind…
            or was that just a gophone in a fireplace???

          • Cap’n

            I’ve got plenty of mood stabilizers saved up now to distribute to blog members after each model run or storm dud.

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      I know. The problem is; the models promise rain up and down, and the reality is; what we got. That’s why I don’t get all jazzed about predictions-models-forecasts, and yes, it’s fun to wonder, but we need to keep the salt handy.

      • happ [Los Angeles]

        Well put and especially down here. I’ve lived in LA for 40 yrs and experienced some fabulous winters. Years of drought make me skeptical

        • Jason Jackson Willamette

          You So. Cal’ers are like teens on the sidewalk outside a strip club. Ya can hear the beat, occasionally the door opens and you get a peek inside, oooooo, wow, then it closes. Fantasy is what you live for….

          It’s a tough way to live. Thank God for the Internet, if you know what I mean. ( ^ :

          • happ [Los Angeles]

            Dreadful yet true but we do get more than a “peek” lol
            I’am still waiting on the first minimum below 50F.

    • jstrahl

      Happy with no RRR so far, yes. But a long extended period of unsettled conditions “guaranteed”? Nothing is guaranteed in weather. Any surprise that such a big forecast failure leads to distrust in future forecasts?

  • Cap’n

    Stoked to be back online. My wife left town for five days and did her normal thing of taking my keys and canceling my accounts for fear that I’ll end up in sordid places and parlors while off my meds when she’s gone. Luckily this time I outsmarted her. I concur with other Basin brethren here; this thing is a crest hugger with no umph. I’m sitting at 1.4″ of rain with wet flakes now falling but three miles to my east the pavement is barely wet. Took a hike up to Summit Lake at 7,400 ft via Negro Canyon, probably 4-6″ of snow up there and coming down good. Judging by the SugarBowl cam at base they might get a foot or so up top. Pretty run of the mill weak system and warmer than what was forecast, no surprise there. The Only place I saw this thing hyped up was right here on the comment section.

    Heading to the Truckee Ski swap now to see if I can score a used jumpsuit with minimal stains.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d26a6129d087a450e75872fbbd7d62a9d4fe841cbd86b7906ed9835477521d25.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d34d667dcd7f2059cbb73dad14d47b3d935269f0ce4eed149f7d8ea2d84bf2a9.jpg

    • Bombillo1

      Where the stains are located makes a difference.

      • For example brown…chest? Coffee. Brown down town? That’s a night out in Cleveland…

    • Huff (Anaheim Hills)

      Sordid places and parlors….got a good chuckle out of that one.

    • jstrahl

      We do get quite sordid here at times.

    • AlTahoe

      We haven’t even gotten a sprinkle yet. I went disc golfing this morning and am headed out now for a mt bike ride.

    • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

      Welcome back capn bobble head. I hope you find a proper jumper suit.

      Keep us posted on the donner summit madness both snow and precip and madness of life!

      Pills and shills. My brother is a pharmacist and he himself experienced many code 7 red alert situations. And lived to tell it all and prosper.

      So keep the reports coming!

    • Boiio

      Do any sledding?

  • happ [Los Angeles]

    As others point out, November isn’t a particularly wet month for SoCal only 1.04 average @ USC. But when will be the next “real” chance of rainfall since this week looks dry despite zonal SW flow?

    • Taz & Storm Master

      lol this is early NOV even no N CA is this now getting in too the rain and snow season i think S CA rain season dos not really start in tell at lest mid too late nov or early DEC so you guys may have too wait for some time for the next rain down there if you guys want more rain you guys need too move up N

      • Bombillo1

        No place left to go to.. The planet has a big NO VACANCY sign posted.

        • alanstorm

          Plenty of room in Big Bend

    • Dan the Weatherman

      That’s a good question. We still really haven’t had our first widespread storm of the season yet. So far we have had only scattered drizzle and I haven’t seen much of anything here in Orange yet.

  • Jason Jackson Willamette

    Got my first Rancho Cordova rain experience this morning since moving here on 10/21. A quick walk around the place showed some leaky rain gutters and likely clogged downspouts. More it do! Yeah… not. It’s all part of the journey. I did so enjoy what little fell, a harbinger of what lay ahead. May it be a repeat of last winters orgie of storms.

  • tomocean

    Nice cold rain falling all morning in Auburn. Sitting with hot tea in front of the fire looking out over the canyon and listening to the rain on the roof. Blissful.

  • Charlie B

    Remember when you were a kid and it was fall and all the leaves came down and your dad would rake them all into a big old pile and then you and your brothers and sisters and maybe some friends would jump into them, laughing and yelling “Geronimo!” and then your mom would come out with hot chocolate chip cookies and cold milk and you would sit there in the middle of the lawn and everything was grand and right with the world?
    Well, it has been windy in Reno and most of the leaves in our trees have come down, so today was Charlie B leaf collection Saturday. Fortified by a breakfast of biscuits, gravy, scrambled eggs and a pot of coffee, I headed out with rakes, a snow shovel, a leaf blower and garbage bags galore. After about an hour of grunting, sweating, swearing, getting blisters (I have a desk job) and splinters, I had a big old pile of leaves in the middle of the lawn. IF ANY LITTLE URCHIN HAD GOTTEN ANYWHERE THAT PILE WITH MAL INTENT HE WOULD HAVE BEEN QUICKLY DISPATCHED TO PARTS UNKNOWN AND LIKELY AND BE GLAD HE WASN’T DISMEMBERED OR WORSE.

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      Folks, this is what happens to you when you get OLD!

      LOL, JK Charlie.

    • jstrahl

      You need some cookies and milk. 🙂

    • inclinejj

      My dad always said. That’s is why I had boys. Would hand us the garden tools and walk inside laughing .

    • PRCountyNative

      I always remember dodging the inevitable dog turd.

  • Henry

    Finally getting a light rain shower here on the dry side of the Santa Cruz mountains. With some luck we might get to 0.01″ so that the NWS forecast of rain today verifies. This would be in addition to 0.18″ that fell yesterday. In any case it is much less than the forecast of 0.5-1 inch from a few days ago.

  • Aussie Joe

    Tail end of front overproduced here in Sunnyvale and now have 0.26” – more than last rain event and well over what I expected given Friday bust…

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    Will be this the year were legit cold snaps return? Haven’t broke the freezing point mark since 2013.

  • Fairweathercactus

    NWS was very optimistic for what the GFS paints nearly 0.00 for So Cal.

    • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

      Oxnard seems to be more optimistic both near and long term for rain chances than their normal “dry bias” forecasts from the past. They also seem to be all-in for late next week:

      Near-term:
      A moist air mass ahead of the boundary from the southwest will move over the region into Monday. Cooler conditions with more clouds than sun will be main story. PoPs have been nudged higher over the next 24-36 hours as the moisture in the air mass peaks between this afternoon and Sunday morning. The moist air mass will interact with the frontal boundary offering some weak lift. NAM-WRF solutions are most aggressive, hence NAM MOS guidance is producing likely PoPs for areas south of Point Conception for tonight and into Sunday morning.

      Long term:
      GFS solutions are more aggressive with the moisture and a pattern more favorable for Southern California relative to the ECMWF solutions, but moderate confidence exists for a period of cooler, cloudy and unsettled weather as early as late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning and as late as Saturday. Slight chance to chance PoPs have been reintroduced into the forecast for late next week. If GFS solutions are correct, a moist air mass could move over the region in southwest flow. 850 mb mixing ratios climb to near 9 g/kg, which is impressive for a fall storm system.

  • CHeden

    A weak circulation setting up near Chico. Looks like precip up near Rag Dump ain’t ending anytime soon. Gotta believe Truckee is in for some action at some point in time? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4a4aeb463d4433b009295182c71324fee611da1ea523aff9f4d47191ddbd6b45.jpg

    • David

      Now just a drizzle here in Paradise. 1.8″ since yesterday.

    • Look at how hung up it is on the crest too, Truckee is effed without any shove. Flatstar is a common name for Northstar, however some years that place is Drystar, Dirtstar, Northskid, Rockstar, Mudstar, Deathstar, Stumpstar, Snorestar and finally, Brown Town.
      In bad years they barely make it, they wouldn’t without manmade snow. Operating East of the crest is going to be an increasingly untenable location if things continue.

    • Cap’n

      Still raining over here on the west side of town but probably fizzling out right around Truckee High or Safeway. It’s been trying to switch over to snow but not happening. It’s really a pretty localized event; Al’s playing disc golf and Matthew is probably golfing or cycling.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    White Mountain (14246′)
    Nov. 4, 2017 12:10 PDT
    Air Temp: 20.1 Fahrenheit
    Ave wind speed: 59.3 MPH
    Wind gust (10 min): 72.9 MPH
    Wind chill: -5 Fahrenheit
    Max ave wind speed: 89.1 MPH (8:20 AM)
    Max wind gust (10 min): 103.5 MPH (8:20 AM)

  • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

    C’mon fellow SoCal’ers, let’s not complain about our lack of rain, it’s still way too early in the season to worry. Last year I did not receive my first measurable rain until Nov 27/28 (0.93″), and I ended up with a season total of 22″. I feel your frustration but we’re in a changing climate with fluctuating rainy years, then drier warm ones. Enjoy what rain we get and remember the definition of a Mediterranean climate in which we live.

    • Fairweathercactus

      This place will melt down faster then Fukushima soon.

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      Yeah but Koppen designates PacificNW as “cool Mediterranean” and they are getting snow down to 1000′ today
      Photo: 11/3 Port Angeles [ele: 1000′] near Seattle
      Dan McFadden
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c3a88368208c6769a8463f318b69c5350c2d3c0e0207f23f74cef5e51d1b9578.jpg

      • Koppen lied snowflakes died.

      • Charlie B

        I have been trying to share some pictures my daughter in Bellingham sent me yesterday of sea level snow, several inches around a beautiful area, but they wouldn’t load. Damn. She is Karla B and her goal is to be the first person on Mars. She left Reno for Bellingham because she loves weather. I keep urging her to join us on this blog but she says she is too busy with tutoring freshmen in basic physics (and she is now a state employee so that will help with residency next year.). I digress; sorry.

    • redlands

      is your rain season — a july-1st start ??? I use a july 1st rain start the rain gods weren’t as generous in Redlands

  • jstrahl

    From Howard yesterday, sorry if already posted:
    “The longer range if you want to believe it show the upper “polar” jet extending further south into Central CA. If that should occur, there will be better chances for more significant snowfall in Mammoth. The Dweebs will not get two excited but watch the pattern unfold across the Central and Eastern Pacific next week…. The “seasonal change” will likely provide more meaningful effects upon the current EP weather patterns later this month, as we transit to Meteorological Winter in less than 4 weeks….”

    http://mammothweather.com/2017/11/03/cold-blustry-weather-expected-this-weekend-with-light-amounts-of-snowfall-expected-for-the-towns-of-mammth-and-june-pattern-very-disorganized-across-the-eastern-pacific-additional-opportunitie/

    • Thunderstorm

      Looking at the stratospheric temperature forecast site, November 19th shows very cold air from the north coming into California.

  • This thing is erroring out the map, sorry. However those numbers are good for the watersheds and there’s still a bit more to come in the Sierra. Spot the Channel Islands!
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/61ccafbaedafc8ffde3cde135bd023175709c549d1d40334eac729906f237c26.png

  • happ [Los Angeles]

    Satellite shows a slug of moisture SW of San Diego moving our way; any chance this could produce? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/63edbb8e04576a67dddc48f4c1e9013067f0becedebfb58fe367f2b443666cbf.jpg

  • Howard Goodman

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d1461d4bff6d5d72c2245a21a740939c4f7b2b80afb7005e171362b0df8ed6a1.jpg I was wondering what you guys use to measure rainfall , I bought two Statos gauges use one with the funnel an inter tube to measure 100ths the other the container without the funnel and tube , still got a difference betweenthe two of 5/8’s of an inch in 6 1/4 inches of rain ?

    • Howard Goodman

      They’re level

    • This might be a dumb question but does the one with the tube read higher? If so it might be displacing some rainfall.

      • Howard Goodman

        No that’s the one that reads lower and even with the tube out and the water poured back in it’s different , the only thing I can see is the funnel is about a 1/16 of an inch smaller and it should be exactly the same size

        • Bombillo1

          Make sure you keep them away from your roof downspouts this year.

          • Howard Goodman

            But that’s how I get them full

    • matthew

      Can they withstand rain followed by a hard freeze? My gauge last year lasted about 2 weeks with the torrential rain followed by single-digit temps.

      • Howard Goodman

        Probably not , would be a good idea to dump them before it got that cold

        • matthew

          I think that I need something more along the lines of Tupperware or Rubbermaid.

  • AlTahoe

    Rain picked up right when I got to the mountain bike trail parking lot. Nice and tacky ride today. Temp is still going up which leads me to believe the cold front is hung up north of me still. Temp is currently 44f

    • AlTahoe
      • Cap’n

        5 ft bed?

        • AlTahoe

          Yeah 4 door short bed.

          The 4 door long bed is super rare

          • Cap’n

            Keep the pad out, winter is cancelled. Waiting for the 18-19′ outlooks to come out.

          • AlTahoe

            Lol
            Whats crazy is that the gates to get out to the corral parking lot are still open all the way to the top. I dont think I have ever seen them open this late before. They usually close them Nov 1st

          • BRP (Ventura)

            I’ve got the 6ft 4 door Tacoma, seriously like maybe 3 I’ve seen here in vta. Great truck, in 4×4 it handles great.

          • Cap’n

            Gotta have the six foot bed. I don’t put mine in 4×4 much though, but I think it handles ok.

  • Thunder98
    • Mark T. (KCCR)

      Nice clouds out in Concord too. Gonna be a brilliant sunset I recon.

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

    Does anyone know what dam means when relating to 500 mb height anomaly?

    • Jim (Watsonville)

      Could it be this ?
      DAMBRK
      In hydrologic terms, the Dam Break Forecasting Model

    • Shane Ritter

      Maybe like an omega block, that dams up the jet?

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      @cheden:disqus would know

    • Nate

      Decameters 540dam=5400m

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        what would -35 dam represent?

        • Nate

          A height anomaly of -350 meters

          • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

            What do you think would happen if those heights went over the Bay Area in early Dec?

    • Charlie B

      Damn archaic models?

  • Shane Ritter

    Here is the good news, both the GFS abd EURO agree on a major storm for Wed-Thurs, just 4 days out, and still have full ensemble support. So maybe this week was the warm up, and the show kicks off in a few days. Just 108hrs or so. After that the GFS keeps the trough just our north, while the Euro keeps it right over us. Long term the GFS ensemble keeps the trough near thr coast till the 20th.

    • jstrahl

      Nice to know, though models are a bit suspect past 24 hours at this point.

      • Shane Ritter

        We can agree the didnt not accurately predict precip totals, however, the did a good job 10-12 days out of picking up a pattern change, predicting that we would get rain (at least here in Reno). I think their reliable, just gotta be taken with a grain of salt. This pattern was dynamic, and failed to fully materialize. If the next few storms bust, then we may have a problem.

      • SacWx

        Pinpointing precip is always difficult for models, they are generally good at identifying low placement and which areas may get rain. West coast weather is especially challenging due to the lack of sampling.

        In general the setup we are in will be more likely to bust because we are on the southern end of the precip shield. ARs are more likely to produce area wide impressive totals.