Strong storm across NorCal today; SoCal remains mostly dry

Filed in Uncategorized by on November 15, 2017 4,976 Comments

Intense burst of rain, wind likely across NorCal later today

A modest atmospheric river will be enhanced by a small surface low near North Coast. (NCEP via Scripps)

This will be a quick update (deadlines beckon). But the short, sharp burst of precipitation expected across NorCal later today is worth a brief discussion. This precipitation event was foreseen a week or more in advance by long-range weather models, but it’s only in the past 36 hours or so that it became clear that this would likely become a respectable storm for many of the urban areas near the I-80 corridor (including the Bay Area, Sacramento region, and even Lake Tahoe).

Why have expectations for this event been revised upward so sharply? A modest atmospheric river is currently aimed at the state, which will (slowly) sweep down the coast later tonight. But in general, an atmospheric river alone isn’t enough to produce heavy precipitation and strong wind outside of very specific mountain areas subject to dramatic “orographic enhancement.” For a significant storm in California’s lowlands, there needs to be some sort of “forcing mechanism” to generate upward vertical motion in the atmosphere and squeeze out all that water vapor present in even the most robust of atmospheric rivers. Until a couple of days or so ago, no such mechanism appeared to be in place–it looked like there would be a lot of water vapor transport but not much precipitation at the lower elevations. What changed? Now, a small surface low is expected to spin up later today west of the North Coast, bringing a burst of dynamic enhancement of the water vapor plume associated with this atmospheric river as it moves southward.

The Bay Area could experience pretty intense rainfall rates associated with cold front tonight. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

This storm, while not enormous, could nonetheless end up being fairly impressive for a narrow corridor near the Bay Area. Rainfall totals may be somewhat uniformly distributed across the region; while 1-3 inches is not too impressive in the coastal hills, that’s actually quite a lot in the urban areas and inland valleys. Moreover, most of this rainfall will fall over the course of just 3-6 hours–meaning that precipitation intensity could be quite high for a time later this evening. With strong vertical motion near the cold front, I would not even be surprised to see some reports of lightning associated with the heavy rain tonight across NorCal. Winds may also become strong and gusty in the typical spots, and while this is unlikely to become a major windstorm, the first wind event of the season typically brings down a disproportionate number of tree limbs and power lines. (Sierra snow levels will be relatively high, though some snow will be possible toward the end of the event at or below pass level).

 

Significant risk of flash flooding/debris flows in wildfire burn areas

While a storm of the magnitude expected to blow through tonight typically would cause only minor urban/small stream flooding issues, the recent wildfire burn scars in Northern California (especially the North Bay Fire region, including the Tubbs Fire near Santa Rosa) are extremely susceptible to sudden water runoff, ash-laden debris flows, and subsequent flash flooding. The rainfall rates with tonight’s system will be quite high for at least a brief period, and there have not yet been any heavy rainfall events in this region since the devastating October fires. Thus, for this event in particular (and to some extent for the rest of winter), folks in these regions should be prepared for more sudden and extensive flood issues than would typically be experienced during similar storm events.

 

Mixed signals for second system next week

A strong & persistent blocking ridge will continue over the North Pacific near Alaska. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

The models have been bouncing back and forth regarding the potential for a second system next week, which would likely take the form of a relatively weak but very warm atmospheric river with a subtropical tap. The instability in recent forecasts stems from the presence (and persistence) of a very high amplitude blocking ridge over the North Pacific over the past 30-40 days, and most forecasts suggest this will persist in some form for at least another 2-3 weeks. As previously discussed, downstream impacts over California can range from ridging (warm and dry) to deep troughing (cold and wet). At the moment, the “warm and dry ridging” still appears to be the more likely outcome (especially across SoCal), though that could change. For what it’s worth, both the GFS and ECMWF ensembles currently show a very warm and dry Thanksgiving across all of California next week.

Current indications are for a very warm and dry Thanksgiving across all of California. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

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  • Bob G (Gustine)

    Does anyone remember the long dry spell during 2016 El Nino year? I think most of either January or February was dry. I can’t remember if that was the result of a similar pattern or not.

    • matthew

      Having lived in CA my whole life, I remember a lot of dry/warm January’s. Quite a few of them were followed by wet February’s. No need to panic yet.

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        I do too. I am over 50 and lived here my whole life. I just remember a prolonged dry spell two years ago. I can’t remember the details though of that pattern setup

        • Pfirman

          I have ‘only’ been here since the 4th grade, coming from Ohio. But, yes, I long have noted a mid-January warm spell, which in ‘normal’ winters, I relished.

    • AlTahoe

      Squaw Valley snowfall tracker has a 17 day break from Feb 1st to the 18th that year. Probably longer down in the Valley. Last year was one of the shortest dry periods ever recorded. Only a couple of 6-7 day breaks.

    • jstrahl

      February was exceptionally dry, i only measured .5 inches in central Berkeley, vs. 3.18 inches “average.” (1950-1980).

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        I do remember the dry spell although I don’t remember what the pattern setup was in the Eastern Pacific or the east. I am wondering if it was something similar to what we are seeing now.

    • thlnk3r
      • RunningSprings6250

        This literally says we’re screwed this year.

        Thanks, I think….

  • sezwhom

    Welcome to Meteorological Winter. Now about those upcoming”dry” days. Very common.

    Over the past 65 rainfall seasons (i.e., July 1 to June 30) there has been a “dry” period in December or January averaging 20 days. The average dry period during seasons with an El Niño was 17 days, while the average rose to 19 days during “ENSO neutral” years and 21 days during La Niña. Courtesy Jan Null, GGWS.

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      I am not concerned about the upcoming dry period as I am the pattern that is being setup both in the Pacific and in the East. Similar to 2014. Daniel mentions this can stick around for awhile but he doesn’t say what how long is. I just hope this pattern does start to break in late December

    • jstrahl

      How much of a guide is the past any more?

      • Nathan

        How many more dozens of times are you going to post the exact same iteration of this comment?

        • jstrahl

          Where have i mentioned “late ’13-early ’14” before? !!!

          • malnino

            Your first sentence. Part about the past being a guide to future forecasting. Over and over.

          • jstrahl

            I’ve seen “Over and over” being used over and over. 🙂 How about “ridge”? Are we supposed to avoid that term too?

          • Pfirman

            Let it go. Please.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      We haven’t even had a wet spell in Socal this season yet, so this dry spell is simply a continuation of a bone dry fall so far. This pattern is getting really old!

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        We really havent had anything either. We had one storm that gave us .50 which quickly got soaked up into the parched dirt. Other than that, nothing. I couple of passing showers that amounted to nothing.

    • BTW–most of the ECMWF data is going to be available for free shortly on http://weathermodels.com/

  • Thirstier Nick (Santa Maria)

    I’m contemplating staying away from this site for the first half of the month, but hopefully we’ll see a pattern change two weeks from now. December heat wave looms from mid next week to at least December 10th. 75+ in December/January is still considered a heat wave.

    • malnino

      You know you can’t!!

    • inclinejj

      “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in! .”

    • thlnk3r

      Multi-model ensemble showing record-shattering persistent ridge for the West Coast. Unprecedented rare high latitude block presents dry conditions that will remain in place for the remainder of December. Dry WARM Christmas on the horizon: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/218c089a7b30f818de5c43eba9fad78045551d849bc8ff637a80c026e57fc0f9.png

      Good hype words? Notice I capitalized “WARM”. That word really makes users panic.

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        Which muli-model ensemble are you referring to? That pic is the GFS ensemble. They have a multi model enselmble at TT but that one is a monthly climate model. The one they have posted does not show heights just precip and temps

        • thlnk3r

          Bob, your looking into it way to hard. You need to embrace the hype/fear-mongering words in my post. Don’t worry about the image I posted ….

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            Lol, ok

          • Pfirman

            think3r is having too much fun and it is best just to join the party, such as it is. Warmly yours, Pfirman.

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            LOL, things sail over my head sometimes and that one went right over.

      • AlTahoe

        I think you nailed all of the key terms! I was pretty terrified and looked around for a paper bag to hyperventilate into 🙂

        • Pfirman

          I’m using a plastic bag in case I throw up too. Should just put it over my head.

      • Phil(ontario)

        With all the cold air in place in Northern Canada I would think the cold air would start cooling the arctic ocean as well.

        • David

          I was wondering about that too.

        • PRCountyNative

          Does this really happen?

          30 feet of water has the same density as our entire atmosphere. The average ocean is 2 miles deep, even at 1 mile depth, the ocean has 176 times the oomph as the atmosphere. Can some cold air make any difference on an ocean full of ~32 degree water?

          • PRCountyNative

            And in the dark as well?

          • Phil(ontario)

            Well something causes the arctic ocean to freeze and thaw.

          • Pfirman

            Wait, you talking 30 feet of cold water or hot water?

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Interesting cooling in the N Pacific near the GOA around 140°W during November.

  • Bob G (Gustine)
    • molbiol

      That post reeks of desperation. Whenever we get in these situations, people will start grasping at straws: “The, PNA, AO, EPO, MJO etc is forecast to do this or that in several weeks from now”. All too often, these flips in the oscillations fail to materialize or change the pattern

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        Lol, Howard has always been that way. But i kinda prefer that to endless pics of the same model showing how screwed we are for the next two weeks or so.

      • jstrahl

        To be fair, Howard says he hopes this hope isn’t a mirage.

        • Pfirman

          Just say that aloud three times. I just did and am looking where I put the 9mm.

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      I am done thinking about the first half of december. I am looking beyond that. Are you still subscribing to the Euro?

    • Amazingly, the ridge in the ensemble mean is also incredibly strong and persistent even at day 16. ECMWF and GFS ensembles would both bring 75-80 degree temperatures into the Bay Area the week before Christmas…

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        Lol, is there anything positive or are we royally screwed this whole winter?

        • I’m still only talking about the next 2-3 weeks, which is a far cry from the whole winter. But Southern California is now even more likely to end up well below average for the season. NorCal will depend more upon what happens in Jan/Feb.

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            Thanks Daniel

          • Dan the Weatherman

            When do you think Socal will finally see some rain? This has been one of the driest falls to date here in Orange in recent years.

          • Freddy66

            So Cal will go the whole year without rain. Historic times

          • Dan the Weatherman

            If the whole winter behaves like this last month, it certainly could. However, I think it will change at some point because it never goes completely rainless even in far Socal. 2006-07 came the closest to being a “rainless” year down here.

      • Darn it.

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        If that happened…what has happened to our winter would be what I would be thinking

    • jstrahl

      Because you are always late paying the atmospheric bills.

  • Bob G (Gustine)

    Our air quality sucks today too. I cant see the mountains today to the west because of all the smog

    • thlnk3r
      • Bob G (Gustine)

        Usually a HP supresses smog here and traps it in the valley when there are no winds to stir it up

        • thlnk3r

          Record devastating but impressive winds set to blanket So Cal. Persistent and Warm ridge will provide natural heating. Pull the BBQ out of storage because SUMMER is back!

          • Phil(ontario)

            Back? It never left!

      • Dan the Weatherman

        It is smoggy here in Orange today. I can smell it in the air and I can’t see the Santa Ana Mountains as well as I can on a clear day.

      • Pfirman

        Not your usual post. I only see ‘critical’ as a key word. I had to laugh at ‘Secure lose items’, but I am just blowing debris.

    • Pfirman

      Even up here it is bad, but not that bad. But then I am only about fifteen miles away from the interior coast range.

  • molbiol

    I can’t help but be amazed at this output from the GFS. The operational 500mb plot looks like a sharp knife stabbing into the arctic within the pacific NA tele-connection. Its as if the northern hemispheric circulation has completely fractured along a fault line centered along the west coast. Even crazier, this isn’t occurring anywhere else. What is so freaking special about the pacific NA tele-connection that makes it susceptible to this pattern?

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4cf67016375234196fb1d03e777550637a6a468f7091c7169e68d16d0c129d7c.png

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/929a77df9766a1ddb99dc4779191d5209a815eb58dc18efcfa0e0309b5952e93.png

    • jstrahl

      Speculating it may have something to do with the west to east flow, having traversed the widest stretch of open water int he world, encountering a continental land mass whose surfaces rises quickly from the ocean’s edge.

      • molbiol

        Yes that is true, suddenly hitting 14,000 foot mountain ranges after traversing thousands of miles of flat sea will cause turbulence in the air, but I don’t think that is the whole story here

        • jstrahl

          I’m pretty sure it’s not the entire story.

    • Freddy66

      You would think with the ridge being squeezed up like that something could sneak underneath it and plow into the state.

    • Tom & Koyano Gray

      I think you’ll find this same kind of pattern off both north and southwest coast of Africa and South America as well.

  • Dan the Weatherman

    It appears that quite an extended period of Santa Ana winds is going to occur in Socal next week. This is actually a rather normal weather pattern for December, as the Thanksgiving to New Years’ period often has the most frequent and strongest Santa Ana wind events (usually of the colder variety). The major difference this time around is that we haven’t had any good rain events as of yet, so the fire danger is going to be sky high. Usually there is some type of storm before these winds come up that puts a damper on the fire danger, and these strong winds usually lead to more storms eventually.

    • RandomTreeInSB

      At least the temperature won’t go any higher than the 80’s. “Just dry” is better than “hot and dry.”

      • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

        It’s been awhile since I think we’ve had a week straight of colder variety Santa Ana’s. Certainly have to pay attention to this one.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Cold offshore flow with low wet-bulb temperatures should at least help out some of the local ski resorts in regard to snow making.

  • RandomTreeInSB

    My biggest fear is that the RRR will become the new normal, perhaps interrupted by a wet winter like the last one once every several years. The east on the other hand will consistently see cold winters, interrupted by a very warm winter once the pattern shifts briefly to our favor.
    I hope I’m wrong, but either way I’m looking forward to Daniel’s upcoming update.

    • celo

      It could be….But there are some many factors to consider in our warming and therefore higher moisture content atmosphere. I think the main thing I’m noticing is the changes occurring to vegetation and soil based solely on the increase in temperature and therefore evapotranspiration rates. That seems to be having a stronger impact on conifers and the oaks, especially here in Santa Barbara.

      • PRCountyNative

        A lot of the vegetation is now cardboard boxes, and the soil is asphalt.

        • Pfirman

          Asphalt and concrete make good mulches untll a sentient civilization comes along. Oops.

      • Tom & Koyano Gray

        Would you believed in San Diego we actually had a small grove of diminutive redwoods in Balboa Park at one time. Planted I guess sometime ago, in Florida canyon just down the hill from Roosevelt J H School. They were finally cut down bout a year or so ago – disease and low decreasing winter rainfall finally took their toll.

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      Not gonna happen

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      Yes, but lets not get into thinking this is a season ending RRR yet. I am trying not to

      • RandomTreeInSB

        Of course I hope I’m wrong and I’m not saying that it will necessarily happen. I’d wait for the experts to chime in first.

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      LOL, translation?

      • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

        Hopefully a dirt nap

      • Anomaly map, so, as long as it doesn’t show death-ridge-red it’s good.

      • AlTahoe

        I don’t think I can remember another instance of a mega ridge getting squeezed from the Pacific Northwest all the way up to the North Pol. Interesting times.
        Although I kind of wonder what the ridges looked like in the 1930’s. Some places in the plains had their all time hottest and coldest temps in the same year and have never been close to those numbers again. The cold snap of 1936 covered almost the entire country and severity has never been approached again.

        • Bob G (Gustine)

          It is ctazy looking. We hsve two ridgrs this year acting up

      • You 1/2 answered your own question. Use a visual for the other half. LOL

    • SoCalWXwatcher
      • It’s a bug being a big pest. Someone call the exterminator.

      • thlnk3r

        This winter is a BUST

        • SoCalWXwatcher

          You left out “unprecedented”, “catastrophic”. 😉

      • weathergeek100

        Winter is cancelled this year.

        • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

          You probably said that last year

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        At 384 hours out, it does kind of retreat. I know, it is 384 hours out. But we gotta keep hope alive that it is the start of something

        • Freddy66

          Looks like another ridge is ready to take it’s place

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            I don’t see that yet for sure but this is going to continue to change

        • SoCalWXwatcher

          If you’re looking at the ensembles, the retreat is probably due to increased spread among ensemble members as it goes farther out in time, which is pretty typical. Either way, that thing has gotta get dislodged. We need an atmospheric heimlich maneuver to dislodge that thing somehow. LOL

      • happ [Los Angeles]

        That is sobering!

      • Darin

        The ridge who shall not be named

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

    This was a story I wish I never read. Sobering, & yes there is climate relations in the article. https://twitter.com/disturbeddendro/status/936698171886993408

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      I have those in my orchard. They are a pest

      • inclinejj

        I have seen some beetles that have a reddish orarange stripe. Just noticed them the last couple years. I’ll snap a photo next time I see one.

    • Nathan

      Mentioning climate change in this sort of article that pisses me off because it basically just reiterates that everyone in the scientific community has put all their cards all-in on climate change, when concerted research and effort into actually eradicating these specific pests with targeted chemical pesticide, sterility breeding and microbiology would actually DO something about the effects of climate change, instead of ad-nauseum messaging about how “this will become more common in the future.”

      It’s a pretty silly message too, since the primary drivers of invasive vector travel is our globalized economy, not climate change, unless you’re going to blame the Little Ice Age for Dutch Elm, Cryphonectria parasitica (Chestnut Blight), and Eucalyptus trees…

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        I think possibly the weather tie in probably is that these are drought stressed trees. Shothole borers have a much more difficult time getting into healthy trees that fight back much better. Once those borers get into an area, they can spread pretty well into neighboring areas. I am dealing with them right now

        • TheNothing

          Quite the contrary. Shot hole borders go after the healthier trees. Learned all about these pests at my cprs school two weeks ago.

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            They go after all trees but healthier trees are able to fend them off better than ones that are stressed. Healthy trees that are adjacent to borer infested trees can be attacked. I know all about these borers. I have them in my orchard and I have read up on all the literature I could get my hands on

          • jstrahl

            And of course we know that drastic climate change which will bring mega-stresses to all trees won’t be a problem for many decades. Oh, we don’t know that, do we?!!!

          • matthew

            My daughter at UC Berkeley had her final lecture of the term in one of her classes. The prof’s closing words were “We have left you guys a fucking mess. Good luck and thanks for all the fish”.

          • jstrahl

            Wow!

          • inclinejj

            Doesn’t every generation feel the same?

          • matthew

            I did not.

          • jstrahl

            I didn’t.

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            Actually i confess not to.know. i dont know much about the long term effects of climate change in this area.

          • Pfirman

            The short term effects have been quite enough for me. Wait….ARE quite enough for me. If only the leaves would fall off the damn trees.

          • jstrahl

            We’re already seeing a lot of drastic stuff.

          • Thunderstorm

            Fake news.

        • Nathan

          Well, there’s a “weather tie-in” with disease-carrying mosquitoes, too, but that doesn’t stop us from actually doing something about those instead of just bitching about it.

          Just frustrates me that climate change has taken on this beast-in-the-closet tone and “OMG HELP US WORLD IS ENDING WE’RE ALL DEAD TRUMP” in response to _future_ fears, while invasive species present an environmentally orthologous, huge threat _now_ that, by contrast, gets “atsa shame.”

        • Thunderstorm

          The general thinking is not to water the landscape thus the proliferation of borers,etc.

      • Bombillo1

        What everyone is really afraid to talk about is overpopulation. What we are witnessing is a direct artifact on every front.

        • matthew

          When couples are revered for having 0-1 children we will have turned the corner. If that does not happen – adios humanity.

          • Pfirman

            How did that work out for China, which tried, or India, which did not. We are effed.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      As someone who really likes plants in general, I really hope there is more attention from this point on in trying to eradicate these pests. Trees are a very important element to the beauty of a particular region and losing them would be terrible. They also help to keep things cooler as well, as they provide shade in hot areas. I suspect that some if not the majority of these pests have been recently introduced here from other parts of the world and their natural predators aren’t established here to keep them in check.

    • Dogwood

      Pretty darn close but still looking for magical footage of a truly inside view.
      Don’t know if anyone has captured it.
      An old account in the Snowden tornado book described someone looking up into the column. That’d be golden.

  • Fairweathercactus

    Since the Packers need a mathematical miracle to make the playoffs and Winter is looking like a bust I have been looking for new hobbies this winter.

    I have been playing Red Dead Redemption on that Xbox that has been collecting a lot of dust this year. Started watching old TV shows again (Family Matters and the Office).

    • SoCalWXwatcher
      • Fairweathercactus

        Oh I do that as well. Cactus does not take to much of my time. Fairly simple plant to take care of.

        • Pfirman

          Too much watering is bad. Too much cold is bad. You’re good.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        Is this your cactus garden, or was this photo taken at a local botanical garden such as the Huntington Library or South Coast Botanical Garden?

        • SoCalWXwatcher

          I dunno. I just did a google search for “cactus garden” and found that picture.

    • Bombillo1

      Old re-run classic. “The Drought”.

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      I know something interesting to watch on TV; the demise of the Trump administration starting with Flynn but including Pence and Sessions before the president is impeached.

      • inclinejj

        Orange Julius needs to get off Twitter and act Presidential. He’s acting like the guys on Deliverence.

      • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

        Don’t get your hopes up, its just like a fantasy land model run

    • matthew

      Grow some Peyote for the board.

      • jstrahl

        Or San Pedro.

      • Pfirman

        Peyote is spineless, so good call.

    • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

      “…………..I have been looking for new hobbies this winter.”

      Found the perfect hobby for you…….

      • Dan the Weatherman

        That makes me cringe just watching it! Those cholla have sharp spines!

      • AntiochWx

        Would you do it for a 1861-1862 repeat? I would consider it lol.

      • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

        I almost would rather jump in that one vs one with tiny hairy spines that will break off under your skin

    • AntiochWx

      Beats what I’ve been doing, I watch every Vsauce video and research Mendela effects. Holographic, parralle universes, sure is enough to send one into an existential crisis.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)
    • Awww the good days of last year. 🙁

      • inclinejj

        My rain gauge shows rain!

        • Unbiased Observer

          You should probably empty it.

  • Fairweathercactus
    • FolsomPrisonBlues

      LOL. This one got me laughing good.

  • Wet Line(San Diego)

    The record temperatures keep falling. Campo area in San Diego was 82 today, old record was 80. Also looks like Offshore winds in So Cal next week.

    • Pfirman

      Actually they keep rising, but I know what you meant.

  • Shane Ritter

    This winter is going to be record shatteringly devastating. It will lead to disasters of epic proportions, uncharted territory!

    • Thunderstorm

      The weather wants to stay extreme! Here where I live SF bay area by Fremont, so far this year strongest winds over 65MPH, hottest at 109F, lowest humidity at 9%. Now maybe a driest spell coming.

      • FolsomPrisonBlues

        Not at all. 2013 and 2014 were dry. Not to mention it was in the 70’s in December. This is not the case now.

        • jstrahl

          70s is in the forecast, per WW.

      • Pfirman

        Pretty sure you two get the think3r Brazen Onager award.

      • inclinejj

        16.9 and 106.4 in Pacifica. Not many days over 200 for us.

        • Pfirman

          Heh, 200. Just wait.

        • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

          That September heatwave and thunderstorms on the 11th was the most interesting weather we’ve had this season.

    • AlTahoe

      Lack of capitalization on the terror words failed to make me hyperventilate or curl up into an assball. You do get bonus points for using the word shatteringly though!?

  • Thunderstorm

    Have your neighbors been watering their landscaping?No? Has the utility done what their supposed to do?No? Might want to sleep lightly then especially if the winds are high.

    • Pfirman

      A cheery post from Santa Fe.

      • jstrahl

        ?? Is a link supposed to be here? Sorry, not getting the SF reference.

        • Pfirman

          Fe. Fire. St. Fire. Not St. Francis at all.

          • Osse (Redondo)

            Err? Fe in Spanish is faith. Santa Fe translates more like Sainted Faith.

          • Pfirman

            Ya, I was using the term broadly. Burning bush and stuff. Poetic license and all. So burn me.

            Definition of auto-da-fé

            plural autos-da-fé play -t?z-d?-
            : the ceremony for pronouncing judgment by the Inquisition which was followed by the execution of sentence by secular authorities; broadly : the burning of a heretic

          • Osse (Redondo)

            Yes, that was what an auto-da-fe typically resulted in. However the actual term “auto da fe” is Portuguese for “act of faith”. I’m stepping off my picky little soapbox now and taking my fe with me. We have more fire than faith these days anyway …

          • Pfirman

            Thank you for your input. Fue-to-go. I will be more strict in usage of my poor Spanish going forward. Hasta lumbago.

    • inclinejj

      Have you noticed all the law firm commercials about the North Bay Area Fires. They are blaming PG&E before the official cause had been announced. Commercials on the radio also.

  • Unbiased Observer

    Boy this party sure died….surely there are sign of hope somewhere.

    • jstrahl

      Mix up a punch bowl and see what happens. 🙂

      • Unbiased Observer

        How bout a snowglobe. All the action we’ll see for a while.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    When is it the East United States turn for a strong ridge for several weeks!

    • That is the million dollar question!

    • jstrahl

      This is why “East Coast girls are hip.” 🙂

    • AntiochWx

      I have a very strong feeling this pattern with warm west cold east is directly tied to the arctic sea ice being near record lows for years now. I don’t see the long term trend improving anytime soon until the sea ice recovers to conditions seen 20-30 years ago.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        There has been a tremendous outsourcing of manufacturing jobs to Asia, particularly China, during the last 20-25 years, and I am really beginning to wonder if all the coal burning and industrial pollution in Asia is having a negative impact on the Arctic, being one of the major factors leading to increased warming and ice melt in that region.

  • Yolo Hoe

    ‘Dry patterns happen’ — Mammoth Weather Guy post is a good one, as usual

    • Crouching Dallas

      WG is the real MVP, per usual

  • Happy Cactus

    It’s going to be a good year for the cactuses 🙂

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    NWS Bay Area AFD, “Early Tuesday morning looks the coldest and with a combination of clear skies, much drier air, and light winds temperatures may approach a few record lows; Bayside could be in the 30s and inland areas are quite likely to be in the mid to upper 20s.”

    • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

      Yuck

  • Jason Jackson Willamette

    Any fist fights break out here tonight? Reading some comments over the past few days, and things were getting kind of heated. Reminds me of what Mark Twain said once….

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d83440a7a2dfcf1014a8576dedab2557915cf07ae5de936a0d1dddd60aad7633.jpg

  • Thirstier Nick (Santa Maria)

    I’m done with this site for the year. I think the weather is rigged by the Russians. Wake me up when the next storm happens. Tired of the monotony.

  • David Mata

    I really miss the Pineapple Express from Dec. 2010.

  • Nookx-Weather

    So I got some bad news. Many of us here won’t be satisfied until we get a 1861-1862 repeat. That’s approximately 156 years ago. These events don’t happen all the time. We sit hear praying on a daily basis that maybe one day we can get 50 inches of rain from a single storm like those blessed in Houston earlier this year or 24+ inches of rainfall in a single day but it’s not likely. Many like us have died with the same dreams, ambitions, and hopes that one day the weather would be our friend. Even last years rainfall was disappointing overall which broke many California records that don’t go back to the great flood. It was like the most minor tease of all time. This summer nearly killed us with its blistering heat and not even a speck of rain. Now we hope. We hang onto hope today just as we watch Tiger and hope that miracles do happen. We hang onto hope today waiting and hoping the next big one can happen. We will not give up. We will fight and fight and fight til we die.

    • Charlie B

      Very Churchillian.

    • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

      Or… maybe just normal weather??

  • RunningSprings6250

    There is only one explanation for this type of behaviour. There are supernatural forces at play here.

    Either that or climate warfare from you know where…..

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ed3eb9810536ec065cdf5895fb88b2f510263344ba3c42426f4e3886da1a13f2.jpg

    • Tuolumne

      You forgot to turn off that force-field generator in your back yard. That’s what’s maintaining the donut hole. 😉

  • Shane Ritter

    For all the doom and gloom out there. Maybe we expect to much. Like, we see past winter’s in rose tinted glasses. Maybe it’s really not to bad…. yet anyways. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ddf85cab34822d8505f9d003f690873ae2a91d78416712e48dd871127654f8af.jpg

    • matthew

      Last year had a very wet October with little-to-no snow, a non-descript November with some snow, a decent December, and a biblical January. So these numbers are not that surprising given how we started last year.

      So far this year in Glenshire my rainfall totals are about average but way below on snow (as in zero on the ground right now).

      • Shane Ritter

        My hope is that it means winter is far from over, if last year this time we were not as good on snowpack as this year.

        • matthew

          Depends on the elevation. This year’s snow level seems to be higher than even last year. I had snow on the ground at 6100′ last Thanksgiving. Nothing this year even though overall precip has been decent.

    • AlTahoe

      The upper elevations really are buried this year already. Everything off of the top of Kirkwood was open and people were dropping some pretty big cliffs for this early in the year. I had face shots all day last Monday and never touched a rock on the upper mountain. Now the runouts down low were a different story. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1711884eba23e23d2fdcccc46dd0be6959b37f061b25dd4815c3d46f153606ad.jpg

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        Wow, I wonder how the top of Northstar is doing!

        • Terrible. Low ASF! They would be doing fine if the past two real storms the snow levels weren’t so damn high. Plenty of wet not enough white :/
          Squaw would have the same as Rose or more from that stalled out AR if the cold air was there.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      So it really has been basically the southern part of CA that has been left in the dust so far this season.

  • Charlie B

    It is an absolutely glorious morning at our new temporary place in San Clemente. 52 degrees and not a cloud in sight! As I explained to everyone a few days ago, we have relocated here from Reno for the next 7 weeks. Mrs. Charlie B was tired of the cold in Reno and has been praying fervently for nice weather down here. Her petitions have been answered, obviously. Last night, on the pier and with the town lights twinkling and the waves lapping below I asked her how long the nice weather would last. “We leave Jan. 16. Until then, of course.” Concerned about the sanity of all my Weather West friends, I asked “Are you sure? I am concerned about the sanity of all my Weather West friends.” With a twinkle in her eye, she smiled wryly. “Don’t you worry. The deal I made has undercutting of the ridge starting January 17. It will be a non stop storm parade until April that will shatter 1861-62 records. Subtropical moisture will stream across the Pacific in a non stop parade that will mix with a persistent GOA low and slam California with historic winds, waves and rain. Snow too, lots of it, and Squaw and Mammoth will have top to bottom skiing on July 4 following a late June 5 foot powder dump.” We hugged, kissed and walked back to our new place hand in hand.
    So that is why I slept well and awakened to an absolutely glorious morning in San Clemente.

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)
      • matthew

        Just saw that. 12Z makes the last half of Dec look good. Unfortunately, it doesn’t get good until 12 days out. I will start believing it in a week.

        • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

          I have a feeling it’s gonna be a fun second half or maybe last 10 days of December

    • Bombillo1

      I am happy for your well earned vacation but I suspect that by mid January you will understand why you live in Reno. If it were 1964, that would be another thing.

    • Pfirman

      Do you have a stepson named Tyler?

      • Charlie B

        Not that I am aware of……

  • Shane Ritter

    PNA forecast to weaken after the 10th. Maybe around that time the HP will shift west and north, and we will start to see undercutting.

  • happ [Los Angeles]
    • alanstorm

      Had to “relocate” a pair of huge problem racoons last night around 2am.
      WORST fog I think I’ve experienced. 10mph was nearly impossible.
      Friggin Ray Charles at the wheel

      • Jason Jackson Willamette

        How did you catch them? Bait trap, then back of the pickup? Wow, what a night….

        • alanstorm

          Traps baited with cat food.
          Ya, it’s risky with a minivan!
          They have big TEETH.
          Once they become thuggish, they have to be removed. Fish & Game told me to “go ahead & kill them”, but that’s not me, so I give them a nice new home on a lake far from homes.
          Best I can do.

          • Jason Jackson Willamette

            There you go. Cat food is the trick. I’m glad you didn’t kill the fellas. They’re just being who they are. Hope they find some nice feeding grounds (dumpsters) where you took them.

          • Good job on the relocation effort, when not raiding urban areas those little bandits tend to be efficient woodland garbage disposal units, like sneaky little goats. Have you ever seen a shaved Racoon? weirdest looking thing ever.

          • alanstorm

            Naw. My racoon shaving days are over

    • I spent the day at a San Joaquin Valley wildlife refuge on Friday, photographing birds. When I arrived a half hour or more before dawn the fog was about as thick as I’ve seen, and there was no dawn to speak of. Later it “cleared” the typical smog/fog in the Valley.

  • happ [Los Angeles]

    I was reading a discussion of roses still flowering in Seattle area on another forum. In SoCal trees/ flowers bloom all year. Snapped these photos this morning of plumeria and dombeya trees. When I realized that this hilltop area doesn’t experience frost I began planting subtropical palms/ plants. Anyway, if we can’t get rain and cold temps as least we can enjoy the trees! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5b2dca5ada6e68075d3b9fb32e71c9493906d1cbcfbf3c6f11e725dbdbbaffab.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5ca747583264927ebc007028fe27ebceaecc2cc7dc1db531464d4b127e030672.jpg

    • Dan the Weatherman

      The hilltop area doesn’t get the frost like the other areas, since cold air is heavier and sinks to the lower elevation areas nearby. That would be an ideal place to plant an avocado tree if you wanted to.

  • AlTahoe

    Good news is that South lake Tahoe has a chance to double or even triple our season to date snowfall total in tonight’s “storm”. Bad news is that we are currently sitting at 1″ of snowfall for this winter so far 🙂

    • Pfirman

      Once I told a guy I had lost half my chickens. He asked how many I had left. One, I said. Fun with numbers, ya.

  • Is ‘undercutting’ the right term to use in a Nina? We talk about the ridge hopefully moving west which will allow the polar jet jet to go over the ridge and dig a trough off the coast (GOA) storm) rather than over the Midwest. GOA storms IMO have nothing to do with undercutting via the STJ.
    Undercutting is a pet peeve word of mine. I’m hoping to be corrected.

  • V-Ville

    No worries about rain. Neighbor just started digging a foundation on the side of our hill. They’ve had the worse luck trying to build that house. I’m sure Mother Nature won’t be able to resist raining on their open trenches, septic chamber, and in ground plumbing once it’s most inconvenient. Piles of fresh lumber sitting in the open I’m sure will put her over the edge.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2ecaed9014a589c49f301dc08ef6305c649464dbd8ab5d9882e929506da299e8.jpg

    • alanstorm

      Not exactly the right time to be doing stuff like that. D.U.M.B.
      Luckily, they’re below you.
      “Lady, we should wait till spring to start this-”
      “NO, I WANT THIS DONE BY SPRING!!”

      • Jason Jackson Willamette

        Exactly! Break ground in April, frame in May, weatherproofed by July, interior done by Sept. Move in – October.

        Done.

        • alanstorm

          We have many new property owners nearby attempting to “cash in” on the pot-boom (& coming crash), cutting into hillsides, putting in massive green houses.
          Most are from other states & other countries.
          We have mud & clay here that can ruin your life.
          You don’t just plow up hillsides around here without repercussions

          • Jason Jackson Willamette

            Where are you Alan? Foothills? Sorry, I forgot, you may have mentioned it in the past.

          • alanstorm

            Mendocino County interior, steep Coast Range between Ukiah & Willits at 2000ft.
            Hiway 101 is in the constant state of slipping out here

          • Jason Jackson Willamette

            Oh yeah. Reefer has a deep history up there, seems to be a magnet for the growers. Just wait till the smell starts to be a constant part of the experience.

          • Pfirman

            Northern Capay Valley the same. Poor Guinda and Rumsey are inundated with odor.

    • V-Ville

      We only irrigate during prolonged dry spells. However, while the vineyard is damp, and our cover crop has sprouted, we haven’t seen enough rain to close open cracks in the soil following a long, hot summer. If we don’t see rain in the near future I’ll be forced to irrigate the vineyard and orchard. Rats!!!

  • redlands

    How widespread is this Santa Ana Event suppose to be ??? Is it just for the normal areas that usually get the winds and or is it strong enough for a wide spread event ?? If we cant have rain/snow — I will take some winds — at least its something different — thoughts

    • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

      NOAA SD:
      Widespread 20-35 mph winds are
      possible Tuesday with gusts of 40-65 mph along the coastal slopes
      and below the passes/canyons. Isolated gusts to 80 mph are
      possible in the most wind prone locations. There is some potential
      for wind damage Tuesday, especially in the northern Inland
      Empire, where tree damage and toppled big rigs are more common
      with this type of event.

    • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

      Stock up on chapstick!

    • Wet Line(San Diego)

      If this forecast verifies it looks to be one of the stronger and longer duration events in quite a while. With no rain so far this could be really problematic from a Fire Weather standpoint.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        I have seen these types of prolonged Santa Ana wind events in December before in past years, but the major difference this time around is that we usually have had a fairly good rain before this pattern set up in December, helping to keep the fire danger down. It has been so dry this year that this is like October all over again as far as the winds go as the fuels are as dry or drier as if we just came out of the summer season.

        • Wet Line(San Diego)

          Well said, and that is my concern. It’s as dry as It has ever been down here.

  • Sublimesl

    Rain chances re-introduced to the central Bay Area (50%). Keep the ground wet a bit longer before the December heat wave.

  • Jason Jackson Willamette

    Gotta say this looks like rain headed our way, but – nah… barely a few hundredths if that, all staying N. of I-80.

    http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/west/nepac/flash-rb.html

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d30b4592b4e2d8a27678e63bbde37496c2a1144cf1eb202b9f6d4d173e0b43e8.jpg

  • Chris
    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      Try not to believe those

      • It’s hard not to.

      • AntiochWx

        I wouldn’t ignore them if we are under the higher range, I have found they actually verifiy fairly close. Especially the 1 month ones.

        • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

          And ya and the totally verified last year

      • Chris

        I’ll do my best!

      • Tom & Koyano Gray

        No rain for you!

        • Dan the Weatherman

          No rain for anyone along the west coast it appears if that verifies.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    Throwback! Special weather statement issued NWS Monterey

    Issuing Office: San Francisco/Monterey

    Source: National.Weather.Service

    3:19am PST, Mon Feb 20

    … POTENT STORM SYSTEM AND ATMOSPHERIC RIVER LIKELY TO RESULT IN WIDESPREAD FLOODING, STRONG WINDS AND INCREASED THREAT FOR ROCK/MUD SLIDES, SHALLOW LANDSLIDES AND POTENTIAL DEBRIS FLOWS IN HILLY TERRAIN AND RECENT BURN SCAR AREAS THROUGH TODAY… RAINFALL AND WINDS CONTINUE TO INCREASE IN COVERAGE AND INTENSITY EARLY THIS MONDAY MORNING AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON. RAINFALL WILL BE HEAVY AT TIMES, ESPECIALLY IN THE NORTH BAY REGION AND ALONG THE SOUTHWEST FACING COASTAL SLOPES RESULTING IN THE POTENTIAL FOR LIFE-THREATENING FLOODING. IF YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED FLOODING AT ANY TIME THIS WINTER SEASON, EITHER NEAR YOUR HOME OR ON YOUR DAILY COMMUTE, THE POTENTIAL EXISTS FOR ADDITIONAL FLOODING IN THESE AREAS DURING THE NEXT 12 TO 18 HOURS. IN ADDITION, SOUTHERLY WINDS WILL INCREASE THIS AFTERNOON AND RESULT IN A HEIGHTENED THREAT FOR DOWNED TREES AND POWER LINES WITH THE POTENTIAL FOR ISOLATED TO SCATTERED POWER OUTAGES. THE COMBINATION OF HEAVY RAINFALL AND STRONG WINDS WILL ALSO GIVE WAY TO WIDESPREAD ROCK/MUD SLIDES, SHALLOW LANDSLIDES AND POTENTIAL DEBRIS FLOWS IN HILLY TERRAIN AND RECENT BURN SCAR AREAS. RESIDENTS ARE URGED TO REMAIN VIGILANT AND ENCOURAGED TO STAY UP- TO-DATE WITH THE LASTEST WEATHER INFORMATION THROUGHOUT THE DAY. THOSE TAKING TO AREA ROADWAYS SHOULD ALSO CHECK THE LATEST INFORMATION FROM THE CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL AND CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION FOR POTENTIAL ROAD CLOSURES. REMEMBER, “TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN” WHEN ENCOUNTERING FLOODED ROADWAYS. IT IS NEVER SAFE TO DRIVE OR WALK INTO FLOOD WATERS.

  • Taz & Storm Master

    the long range GFS 12z was fun for DEC 15th on words

    • Jose Mota

      My sleigh is cracking from the very hot sun. In frustrashen I throw it off the van

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    Just read an article on that devastating, insane heatwave on September 1st and 2nd. What really stood out the most in the article is when Daniel said,” maybe 30 years from now we’ll see a three-day Labor Day weekend heat wave in which downtown San Francisco hits 110, or 115. Maybe we’ll see Bakersfield, where it already sometimes reaches 115, reach 120.” My question is how is that even possible next to the coast? If it was 115 in SF it would be even higher here! https://baynature.org/article/how-extreme-heat-caught-sf-by-surprise/

    • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

      I’m taking a guess, but wouldn’t a central coast heatwave be in a mild offshore pattern which would be relatively unaffected by the pacific? LA’s hottest temps are in offshore patterns.

    • Thanks for posting this article. What stood out for me was:
      “But on the ground the perception is it was a miss. If you’re in exactly location X the forecast was different than you expected a day or two before. Despite the fact that by any objective metric we saw it coming from a mile away.”

    • inclinejj

      Or we will see a mini ice age!

    • Dan the Weatherman

      Does that mean Los Angeles will reach 125? I don’t even know whether temperatures of 110-115 are even possible for downtown San Francisco even under the most favorable conditions due to latitude and proximity to the coast.

  • AlTahoe

    Weird time of the year where the skiing up high is awesome and the mountain biking down low is awesome. Got some turns in at heavenly this morning before the winds arrived and then got a mt bike ride in. Included a muddy bike shot since that is what the people want. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f114f091762ab9741ac04ae8df0010b43f9f007a8956f30be84af5641974a829.jpg

    • Yolo Hoe

      Ha — was thinking same thing today as trail riding was great between 6 – 7 K — looking forward to upper half of the mountain skiing tomorrow morning with a few inches of powder refresh — it’s a nice time of year.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    18z GFS the same as 12z, 2-3 storms for NorCal that look to have moderate snow levels (6-8k)

    • Freddy66

      Too far out in fantasyland to get mad but So Cal gets f###ed again.

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

    From what I’m seeing the highest temps get in the low 80s for entire southern state… So these will be cooler. Fire risk nonetheless though… https://twitter.com/NWSLosAngeles/status/937102297489739776

  • molbiol

    Less than three weeks left before…the days start getting longer again!!!

  • inclinejj

    Actually, showers in the forecast for tonight. No one jump just yet!

    • jstrahl

      Jump for joy? 🙂

  • Thunderstorm

    What is the current fuel moisture reading for vegetation in the wind prone areas in S.California?

  • Jason Jackson Willamette
  • ben

    Found some huge chunks of fossilized coral the swell threw up on the beach yesterday, and some nice sized agates today. Steady drizzle totalled .74″ for the day, redwoods n salmon are happy.

  • Bombillo1

    Snowing but not sticking on Hatchet Summit, 4300′. This little storm is on it’s way to over performing here.

    • alanstorm

      Currently RAINING in Willits with NOR

    • Yolo Hoe

      Radar and satellite imagery looking good — wind picking up here in north central Tahoe basin — love that sound through the forest — conifer music

  • PRCountyNative

    Ummmm, is the blog broken? Gone all day, and only a handful of new comments?

    After JJW’s flashback post just below, new comments are scarce. I think I’ve seen this here before: after a post with a bunch of attachments sometimes the comments go wonky?

    • PRCountyNative

      Or maybe TheNewDrought and lack of weather has driven everyone away?

      • Jason Jackson Willamette

        ^ This ^

    • matthew

      Take a look at the 00Z and you will understand.

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      No game today. Stadiums closed, concessions locked down, parking lot gate chained and padlocked. The team’s on the road for a couple of weeks,and will return to much fanfare and excitement. Until then – let’s reminisce about what a great season us fans experienced last year when we won the Weather West World Series…

    • molbiol

      Here you go: 00Z GFS has 500mb heights approaching 590DM over the PacNW and BTW it is December now. I’ll be honest, this pattern is starting scare me a little bit. I don’t like the way things look and the ramifications this may have next summer if these extremely amplified positive 500mb anomalies continue.
      Now back to your regularly scheduled programming

      • Dan the Weatherman

        If we keep getting repetitious high pressure with those kinds of heights, it’s never going to rain in Socal this winter! What you’re describing sounds like the dreaded RRR.

        • molbiol

          Last winter was wet and despite this, 500mb heights during the more extreme portions of the summer hit 600DM. A dry winter and warm upper level atmosphere will only help to further prime the atmosphere for these extreme ridges and heat waves that they bring. I live in the desert and would rather not experience 120+ degree temps

          • Dan the Weatherman

            It is more common for heights to be this high or in the 590s in the summer anyway, when the jet is much more to the north when the subtropical 4 Corners High is more dominant.

          • molbiol

            590s over the four corners or northern Utah is normal and associated with the monsoon. However, 600+DM centered over NorCal or Socal is not considered the norm…at least not yet

      • I agree. I’m waiting for the ECMWF in an hour and preying we get something.

    • weathergeek100

      Because we’re basically in panic mode- no rain for the foreeable future after a drop has yet to fall in SoCal this season. I’m going to try to find a new hobby until we’re within 24 hours away from a good rain event.

      • Arnold Weather Fanatic

        Develop an interest in rain dancing?

    • Joey B.

      nothing really to talk about :-/

  • Wind starting to gust here. But no rain.

  • jstrahl

    Wet stuff in central Berkeley. .01 inches for 12/2/17, already ahead of December ’89. 🙂

  • ECMWF is another bull**** run. Whatever!

  • jstrahl

    The 0Z is way different for the period starting the 14th from the 12A and 18Z. So is the 1 in 3 correct because it’s the latest, or is it an outlier? Stay tuned. I bet not a fun time to be a forecaster.

  • Joey B.

    Raining lightly in Lafayette…

    • Joey B.

      It just switched to a heavier rain but I don´t even see anything on the radar.

    • Nothing in San Jose. Hope to get something here soon.

  • 3 sprinkles! Yer!!!

    • Garbage Forecasting System.

      • inclinejj

        I’ve always heard
        Garbage in garbage out

      • AntiochWx

        It’s what happens when you don’t believe in science and don’t adequately fund for improvements.

    • Bombillo1

      Great knuckle ball!

      • Pfirman

        Almost confounded the catcher. Certainly confounded the batter. That look on his face is priceless.

    • Yolo Hoe

      Incredible video of that pitch — thanks

  • Merry GFSmas everyone! Several new presents, I may be mistaken but I don’t remember IR satellite being an option on the GFS before. Snow toys just in time for a weird dry holiday season. Oh and another gif of the 1.21 GigaWuts: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0d3cea133539d936ed6d6869e785f1bdf7eb6dad6dd9b8cc030609300f4c7cf3.jpg

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/45293572109a40940e502d40d361adbb8fba23dd71168c1f4c9091491f899461.gif

  • Air clarity high – view with the moon right now at Grizzly must be savage.jpg
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4b9048fa13133440bbb99d93ad11277f64b9b46d9101b9b32c877e1124bb81c7.jpg

  • inclinejj

    I really wish the NFL would start one week after the Workd Series in October. Football was invented to be played in the elements, not in 80-90 degree weather and domed stadiums.

    If and I emphasize IF, this pie in the sky Las Vegas Stadium gets built how fun would it be tailgating when it’s 110.

    Besides December and the playoffs you rarely see games played in the snow.

    Blah!

    • Nookx-Weather

      NFL sucks.

      • inclinejj

        Then don’t swatch. A 9 billion dollar a year business won’t miss one lost customer.

        • RunningSprings6250

          Swatch your mouth mister.

          And vote with your dollar. ???

          • inclinejj

            Voting got us Trump!

          • matthew

            Correction – NOT voting got us Trump.

        • Bombillo1

          Ain’t that the truth. Blew off 3.5 million in San Diego like it was nothing…

          • Pfirman

            Well done.

          • inclinejj

            Football Fans are fickle, they dump their team after a couple bad games. Football in LA has and never worked. USC is their team win or lose. LA sports fans show up in the 3rd leave Dodger games just to be seen. LA people wound rather go to the beach or bitch about it not raining.

          • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

            Way off base there buddy. Yes, (some) L.A. fans, mostly celebs, only go to be seen, but there’s a MUCH larger fan base who are die-hard supporters. I’ve been a big L.A. sports fan all my life and support my teams in good and bad times since childhood, even the Rams when they left town. Yes, L.A. gets a bad rap about supporting our sports teams, however I can say the same about other sports towns, including ‘Frisco.

  • inclinejj

    Chain controls in Highway 80 at Baxter about 4,000 feet.

  • Shane Ritter
    • AlTahoe

      That’s about the same as we got in south lake. About half an inch of snow

  • Howard Goodman

    Not much of a storm got .31 out of it

    • Arnold Weather Fanatic

      About the same here.

    • CHeden

      Somewhere “it was all night pouring, pouring rain….but not a drop on me”.
      Bertha, don’t you come around here anymore.

      • inclinejj

        Bertha from 2 and a half Men?

        • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

          That would be “Berta” from 2-1/2 men.

        • jstrahl

          Grateful Dead. The tune is actually about a fan (as in air circulation device) in the band’s office, which had a tendency to move while in operation.

    • mogden

      0.03″ in Redwood City. Take that, Atacama!

  • matthew

    Three inches on the ground this morning. That about doubles my season total.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/25a68e81d0ed4f4a5d3203708a201af7f91ac8ca5f9ff8d6fce92783b99cea2e.jpg

    • Pfirman

      Now to see how long it sticks.

      • matthew

        Given the forecast it should be around for at least a few days. In the shade on the north side of the house it will stay for even longer.

        • Pfirman

          Down here in Flatland it was clear and sunny, but the views of the Sierra had clouds piled up magnificently.

    • AlTahoe

      Nice! Reno ended up with more than we got on the south side of the lake.

  • cthenn

    Based on my security camera footage, we got like 30 minutes or so of sprinkles. The roads are slightly damp, and the gauge is bone dry.

    • inclinejj

      Same in Pacifica just a trace of rain.

  • Bombillo1

    .76 here in BB. . Primordial morning. Wish I could hear elk bugling. I could pretend the planet was still OK.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/03a1b0d8b4b482aadccb2148a84a08a598741165a403701fe9323618e5160f0c.jpg taken 5 min ago.

    • Pfirman

      Earth abides. People not so much.

  • Robin White

    Unless the rainy season is totally broken (which is possible) the tendency to revert to the mean suggests that we’re going to have some real gully washers come January.
    Unless we don’t.
    Robin

    • PRCountyNative

      If you mean the old mean, it’s meaningless.

  • RunningSprings6250

    13 day totals here and look at the size of that donut hole! And is that not record rain/snow for that southern Alaskan coastline in December? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/49f4eefc0874ce6c9dd5b5c80eddda0f62f6fd5e2a30cde018dd3515277881a0.gif

    • matthew

      Wow. A donut hole that covers most of North America. In December.

    • mosedart (SF)

      If the HP moves east looks like there’s plenty of moisture out there. Hopefully mid December…

      • RunningSprings6250

        It’s looking locked and loaded – we’ll see….

        • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

          Or blocked and bloated…

    • PRCountyNative

      As if someone who hates The West has his hands on the HAARP machine.

      The only thing worse than abnormally high temperatures for the arctic ice, is abnormally high temperatures and rain.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)
    • PRCountyNative

      And if they weren’t pretend, we could get flying monkeys too???

  • Santa Ana winds and single digit humidity on the way…oh the joys ?

    • Freddy66

      Can’t wait. It would be bearable if rain was on the way later but we know how that’s been

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      I’ll be giving updates from my location. This one is coming for my area…

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        Good luck to you, extreme risks are rare thing just like when SPC issues a loaded gun or high risk for severe storms in the Plains.

        • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

          Yep, I’m actually going to have to keep my eyes peeled… It’s all tinder out here, not one bit of good growth.

  • Charlie B

    As everyone might recall, during the excellent 2010-11 year there was a six week dry spell between early January and mid February. Daniel did a post on January 17, 2011 and there were 119 comments (some from folks who are still here.) It is fascinating reading. This was pre drought. The ridge back then was enormous, extending up into Alaska. Daniel had to calm everyone’s nerves by noting that month long or even longer mid winter dry spells were not uncommon in California. There was significant doom and gloom, but then it all changed….and if I recall correctly, SV received, according to them, 500″ of snow during the remainder of the year, ending up with over 800″ at 8200′. Maybe we have just front loaded this year’s dry spell….or maybe we really are doomed and the gloom is warranted.

    • AlTahoe

      Looking the Tahoe city’s records, this year is not looking to good. If they dont get any more snow before the new year (looking very likely at this point) the only other winter that had less was 1990-1991. That year it didn’t snow until the Miracle March. All of the other winters that featured less than 18″ of snow by the new year were all historic drought years. The only exception was 1962-1963 which had all of the moisture come in April and May.

      • matthew

        Didn’t the Miracle March of 1991 coincide with Saddam Hussein torching all of the Kuwaiti oil fields?

        • jstrahl

          I’ve said that before, people seem so certain that the two are unconnected, i thing the coincidence was remarkable.

          • Steve92

            I’d be interested to see the correlations between unrest in the middle east and snowfall in California. Seems around the time isis was causing trouble we also had an average and then record year (15-16, 16-17). May be a prime example of correlation not equaling causation.

          • jstrahl

            Eh? Big fires have a weather impact, both in terms of shading which leads to rapid temperature changes (those were HUGE fires) and might disrupt circulations patters, as well as provide nucleation for raindrops. What effect would just “unrest” on the ground have?

          • Steve92

            I was thinking there really is no real connection, just seems a coincidence that when there are bigger problems there then maybe we get more snow.

          • It is not unreasonable to speculate about that. Droughts, for example, can lead to civil unrest and it is not impossible that there might be a teleconnection between Middle East weather and our own. I’m not saying I know of any, just that it is not necessarily a far-fetched idea to think about. Stranger things have happened.

        • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

          Let’s hope for a panitubo v2

        • Pfirman

          You think the Bako fields are big enough?

          • PRCountyNative

            Throw in Barstow too.

    • Freddy66

      If only we knew the outcome would be positive

      • PRCountyNative

        Or could just inhabit the present, positively.

    • alanstorm

      Thank you CB.
      I remember that DS, but wasn’t on this forum till 2012.
      I refuse to live in the shadow of the threat of another RRR, which basically was the worst catastrophe to hit our state (even if u consider 10-9-17 to be a Wind Event)
      We’ll see if it’s dry by Dec 23 or not.
      Apparently, there were no indications that 2016-17 would yield record rains, so…..

    • inclinejj

      Thank you counselor for being the voice of reason.

    • jstrahl

      Are you saying that some folks have a knee-jerk predisposition to see doom and gloom in every dry spell? Here on this forum? I never would have guessed. 🙂 Thanks for this, i wasn’t here till early 2014 so i missed this specific episode, but there was stuff like this even last season!

      • I see bust people

        • jstrahl

          Is that “I see bust, people,” or “i see ‘bust people’.” ?

    • redlands

      That year was only a good season 2010-11 – cause Redlands, Ca – Southern Ca – got 10.46 in December 2010 — ending up with 19.35 for the 2010-11 season — if we didn’t get the 10.46 in Dec 2010 — — would of been a below average – somewhat of a flop year —- that was our last killer month Dec-2010 — been a long 7 years

  • WXPhotographer

    Hello Everyone,
    I was at my ranch in St. David, AZ this summer. While watching a storm over Sierra Vista I saw and recorded this. Does anyone have any idea if this is ball lightning or something else? I promise it is real.

    • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

      This looks like a case for Mulder and Scully.

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      Wow… That was one of the oddest phenomena I’ve ever seen possibly related to weather. Looks like an orb manifesting.

    • annette johnson

      Incredible footage! I watched it 5 or 6 times. Whatever it was it didn’t seem to take a random path. Beautiful area btw.

    • TheNothing

      This is some awesome footage. Have you had it professionally looked at and enhanced?

      • WXPhotographer

        Thank you, I only did some contrast enhancement. Other than the original YouTube post in August, this blog is the first professional exposure it’s had.

  • jstrahl

    12z shows action reaching the Bay Area/Monterey and north by the 19th, but high pressure cells appear to remain in control, that storm somehow sneaks between the wall over the PacNW/BC and a high pressure cell in the Pacific and moves down the coast.

  • Chowpow

    .92″ yesterday near Arcata. I was surfing this morning and could make out frosted ridgelines from the water, lowest snow level of the year by a good margin.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    Could be scary if many fires break out tmrw in SoCal. Fuels are so extremely dry (hasn’t rained since April) and the fire conditions are at the top of the top extreme.

    • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

      I’ve received 0.05″ TOTAL since May 7th! I live 12 miles e/o DTLA and 5 miles south of ‘Cactus….oh wait, I get it now.

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      Yep, these conditions don’t need the heat. Cooler Santa Ana’s tend to be more vicious as well, typically of the more damaging variety.

      • happ [Los Angeles]

        Cooler = greater temp gradient/ strong winds, yes?

        • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

          Generally less room between isobars in these colder patterns. 850mb winds have a better influence on mixing down into the surface levels as northerly winds tend to do better at this out of the Great Basin & San Joaquin Valley

        • PRCountyNative

          Cold air weighs more.

    • Tom & Koyano Gray

      “Long range model guidance suggests a very stagnant riding pattern
      along the West Coast through at least the first 2 weeks of
      December. This suggests no meaningful rainfall for the region and
      puts us on track to tie with 1962 for the driest start to the
      rainy season in San Diego since 1929 (October 1st – December
      14th)!”
      (Sigh)

      • Tom & Koyano Gray

        Its
        got to break sometime between now and next June.

  • Fairweathercactus

    One thing to keep in mind is models almost always over predict winds. Do not be surprised if advisory/warnings are on the low end of things.

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      I wouldn’t doubt this one getting up to projected intensity seeing as though the regime for these winds is primed right now & generally most of our wind events have fully materialized so far this season quite accurately.

    • annette johnson

      That seems to have been the case here on the Colorado River. We have had Lake wind advisories for the past 3 days and nothing. High of 79 today and tomorrow’s forecast is 63, so maybe tomorrow. Gonna go out and secure my tomato plants just in case.
      P.S., the cactus should be just fine lol.

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

    Thought this graphic was kind of cool showing which areas in the country see their most snowfall in a month on average with 81-2010 climo. Check out our state and serve yourself the question of why February? Go back and look at your data if you’re able too. https://twitter.com/climatologist49/status/936737663947649024

    • Phil(ontario)

      im thinking since 2010 the snowiest month for the socal mountains has been december.

      • RunningSprings6250

        Since 2010 it’s been so sporadic.

        16/17 was January at 75” followed by Dec. at 25”
        15/16 January at 30” followed by March at 17”.
        14/15 was December at 16” followed by MAY at 6”

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      Much of the state receives its most snow in late winter. Yet Feb is the warmest winter month. Please explain. Thanks

      • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

        This is something I’ll look into for sure. Did you receive my message on Twitter btw?

      • jstrahl

        Snow is more likely at 25-30 deg F than at 15-20. Really cold air doesn’t hold moisture very well.

        • inclinejj

          Yep it’s too cold to snow.

    • Pfirman

      Question….is that accumulated snow or precipitated snow?

    • PRCountyNative

      That should be secret.

  • Unbiased Observer

    Pretty cool and foggy here with a temp of 52.

  • molbiol

    Is it known what is causing the extreme SSTs around New Zealand? I posted on this a couple of days ago and speculated that it might be due to persistent ridging in that area (kind of like the gulf of Alaska blob). Daniel just re-tweeted that anomalies are above 6 C in some areas which is pretty significant to say the least….

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      Thanks. It seems heatwaves are getting more intense worldwide. Sadly we have a president who denies this clear fact of science.

      • AntiochWx

        There is a clinical term for someone who denies reality.

        • happ [Los Angeles]

          You mean besides “moron”?

          • AntiochWx

            Yes delusional. Thinking he needs to take some cognitive behaviorial therapy sessions.

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)
      • molbiol

        Thank you. Just the explanation I was looking for!!

      • AntiochWx

        It’s more than just tranquil conditions causing the lack of upwelling of colder subsurface waters. Even subsurface water temperatures are above normal world wide. So much heat has accumulated in the worlds oceans.

        • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

          I agree with you.

          • AntiochWx

            but he is right, these are basic atmospheric feedbacks, but just need to factor in the extra accumulated global heat energy.

        • inclinejj

          Daniel has said, correct me if I’m wrong, sea temperature relatively close to shore, 20-25 mikes out don’t really matter. The last 3 years there has been very strong upwelling, which helps the krill which helps the salmon.

          With the extremely hot summer on the coast I had a feeling this winter would be wonky.

          • PRCountyNative

            Upwelling matters, but relative to the eastern Pacific as a whole, it doesn’t. The volume is too small.

            The water has been way too warm, for years, nearshore California. Upwelling is failing.

    • Unbiased Observer

      I’m honeymooning there in March and wouldn’t mind some fair weather. Not good news overall though.

      • inclinejj

        Congratulations!

      • John

        I’d not just honeymoon there, but move there if I were you.We went to the South Island a few years ago, and I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.

  • ECMWF day 14 shows the Ridge shifting westward and we may get clipped by some of the Arctic air. Fantasyland, but finally something different.

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      Where u getting this day 14 data from?

      • Weatherbell. All the drama here made me subscribe to it. Lol!

        • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

          It’s so much money just for wanting to know what the weather may be.

          • AntiochWx

            Meh, if its a passion, it’s worth every penny. Some buy expense toys, others buy access to weather information 🙂

          • inclinejj

            I mostly slept through most Econ classes because they pretty much all believed in the NeoCon let’s start a war to get the economy going mentality. One guest Economist said after everything is paid you should spend 10% on yourself. Toys, vacations, hobbies.

            A buddy of mine put his daughters through school, paid his house off and he’s racing Corvettes. He just ordered the 750 horsepower beast that just came out with.

          • PRCountyNative

            They lost me early on when insisting that the more you consume, the happier you are, and much else relied upon that.

          • AntiochWx

            Yeah, I haven’t been a fan of econ for quite sometime. Nothing wrong with business and making money, it’s just I’ve always been keen on ethical capital accumulation that doesn’t exist in todays crony capitalism, and you are right that doesn’t get taught much today. See some buy expensive cars, I just buy weather related books, research data etc. Everyone has their own niche.

          • I know….But very tempting.

        • Don’t fall in love with the ECMWF weeklies. LOL

  • I’m in the process of writing a really long blog post summarizing a bunch of our recent research in the context of the Triple R (and the big “Warm West/Cool East” set-ups we’ve been seeing recently). It’s about 2000 words long, and will probably be ready Monday or Tuesday. Hopefully that will at least reset the comments section for a while… 🙂

    • Yolo Hoe

      Am certain I speak for many when I say very much looking forward to this — thanks for taking the time to write an extensive summary.

      • Pfirman

        A reset will be wonderful. The jet flops around like a dying snake while the SacBee has sunny clear days marching lockstep and ramrod straight through the 5-day.
        If this keeps up the comments section will need more than a reset.

        • SoCalWXwatcher

          If it keeps up, the comments section should be locked until the pattern changes. LOL.

        • alanstorm

          I’ve heard exactly *squat* in the news media, including L.A. radio, about a possible return to unusual dry winter pattern/drought fears

          • PRCountyNative

            Don’t look to ‘the media’ for anything. Ads and marketing. That’s their job. The rest is filler.

    • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

      Can’t wait. Always interesting reads.

    • alanstorm

      Anything about the possible link to the catastrophic wind event on Oct 9?
      Lady from Potter Valley (Redwood Fire origin)) who my hair, described family taking cover because winds were blowing trees down all around just prior to fire breakout.
      She described multiple “large oaks blown down & uprooted”

  • Taz & Storm Master

    the 18z seems too have some in around DEC 15th and its going to be a cold storm has well

    • Jim (Watsonville)

      Lets hope a “fantasyland” dream comes true..

  • Charlie B

    I read an interesting post on an Alaska weather/climate blog about the progress of sea ice formation this fall. It said that sea ice in the Bering and Chukchi seas was running at least 7 weeks behind schedule (historical average). This is an area north of the Bering Straight and extend east to Barrow and west into the north reaches of Siberia. “The absence if sea ice in the Chukchi and Bering seas in unprecedented for the time of year in the period of record since satellite monitoring began.” It is 25% below the previous low in 2006, and is about where it should be on October 13……

    • Pfirman

      I would upvote but I am too downcast.

      • Charlie B

        Mrs. Charlie B thinks I am nuts because I read weather blogs on the San Clemente beach while she is chasing waves and later slurping down chowder. I am now set up with the computer in place and work access achieved so tomorrow is is back to the grind, such as it is.

        • Pfirman

          I hope they are still doing E. Coli counts on the water down there.

    • jstrahl

      There’s a post on Daniel’s tweeter feed, made yesterday, about the low level of Arctic ice, Zach Lobe i believe.

  • V-Ville
    • matthew

      With the snow on the ground it is like daylight right now. 16F at 8:15 and dropping at over 1 degree an hour. NWS is predicting 6F tonight. We should easily hit that.

  • Fairweathercactus

    Its sad and a bit funny that it feels like no point in even looking at the first 192 hours of the GFS. Just skip straight to fantasy land.

    • Freddy66

      There’s no rain in sight in fantasyland. That ridge just sits there while the east coast gets all the weather.

    • jstrahl

      At a certain point in life, you learn and accept that fantasies are all you’re gonna get. 🙂

  • jstrahl

    Howard’s latest.

    “An important indicator that will give an even longer look down the road will be the RIMM Phase Space, showing where the locations of potential tropical forcing will be. The strength of the signal and speed will be important as well. The speed of the signal can give an indication of what it is. IE, an MJO, Rossby Waves or Kelvin Waves. A “strong” MJO moving through the Indian Ocean in phase spaces 2 and 3 would break down the +PNA and help bring retrogression to the pattern that is currently developing for the west coast and eastern US. At the moment, the RMM chart this morning using the NCEP. (American Models) ,show more amplification within Phase 7 for week 2. This just intensifies the +PNA the following week, so this pattern setting up this week looks bullet proof for at least a week or two.”

    http://mammothweather.com/2017/12/03/chilly-upper-trof-axis-has-pushed-east-of-the-sierra-now-and-so-sunny-skies-are-expected-sunday-what-appears-to-be-the-last-shot-of-cold-air-will-follow-monday-then-ridge-city-for-for-quite-a-w/

    • Freddy66

      In other words…. enjoy the relentless sunshine and warm dry air.

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        Depends on where u live

      • jstrahl

        Perhaps, Perhaps not. Howard is putting all his eggs in the traditional basket, looking strictly at Pacific factors. At a time when Arctic ice is at record low (for the date) and persistently so, and the Pacific between Australia and New Zealand has SSTs up to 6 deg C above normal, something tells me that global weather patterns are being disrupted in completely unpredictable ways, making forecasting very difficult. Sort of in a forecasting bind. Neglecting such factors is totally unjustified. But accounting for them is difficult if do-able at all. I thought nonetheless that his take is worthwhile sharing.

  • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

    Its kind of eerie out right now with 94% humidity and party cloudy skies and a full moon; You would never know it was about to be single digit humidity and strong winds the next day. Calm before the wind storm!

    • Thirstier Nick (Santa Maria)

      I have a bad feeling the big one is coming and I’m not talking about the shaking.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      It was even overcast with a bit of marine layer here in Orange earlier tonight before clearing again.

  • Thirstier Nick (Santa Maria)

    Already dipping to 30 in Paso Robles. 54 and hella windy in Santa Maria. Going to be a sleepless night and a loooooooong two weeks of unseasonable warmth ahead. Next storm could be by winter solstice or so, if we’re lucky. We’re as lucky as the Browns now. Ha ha ha.

    • Nothing is as bad as the Browns.

      • inclinejj

        The clowns? I thought Hue Jackson would have been a decent coach. His massive ego gets in his way.

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

    Winds picking up here…

  • RunningSprings6250

    Odd little turn of events – with a forecast low of 43 I did not expect to wake up to 26, very breezy and RH at 92%…… And so this marks the first sub 32 reading of the season….the latest it’s dipped below freezing by…like 2 months ????

  • Yolo Hoe

    46F in far southwest Davis with a strong breeze gusting from the NW — barometer 30.13 and slightly falling

  • Jim (Watsonville)

    A chilly 37° here in Southern Santa Cruz County