New insights into the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge & North American Winter Dipole

Filed in Uncategorized by on December 4, 2017 5,653 Comments

A timely example: Persistent Western ridge, Eastern trough next 2+ weeks

A pronounced example of the “Warm West/Cool East” temperature dipole pattern will develop over North America in the coming days. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

In the coming days, a remarkably persistent weather pattern will begin to develop across North America and adjacent ocean regions. Characterized by strong high pressure near the West Coast and low pressure over the Eastern Seaboard, this “quasi-stationary,” high-amplitude atmospheric wave pattern will essentially become locked in place for at least the next 2 weeks. Patterns like this have a tendency to become self-reinforcing, lasting for much longer than more typical transient weather patterns and leading to prolonged stretches of unusual weather. This particular event will be no exception: California (and much of the West Coast) will almost certainly experience an extended, multi-week warm and dry spell, while much of the East Coast shivers through repeated blasts of cold, Arctic air.

As it turns out, these upcoming anomalous conditions provide a timely example of several atmospheric phenomena my colleagues and I have been studying over the past few years. In this post, I’ll explore the broader climate context of recent North American weather extremes, with a focus on insights gleaned from two recent scientific papers published by my colleagues and me.

A remarkably persistent, quasi-stationary atmospheric wave pattern will develop across much of the Northern Hemisphere, persisting for multiple weeks. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

 

Recap: Origins of the “Triple R” and California’s severe drought

In 2013, a curious feature began to emerge on the weather maps: a region of unusually high atmospheric pressure (known as a “ridge” in meteorological circles) was consistently pushing the Pacific jet stream to the north of California, resulting in very dry conditions. At the time, I (somewhat jokingly) termed this anomalous high pressure zone the “Ridiculously Resilient Ridge” due to its implausible longevity, assuming that it would most likely recede by the subsequent blog post. Instead, the “Triple R” held strong straight through the entire winter—and then recurred, in slightly modified form, throughout the winters of 2014-2015 and 2015-2016.

Average position of the “Ridiculously Resilient Ridge” over the course of the 2012-2015 portion of the California drought. (Adapted from Swain 2015)

The multi-year persistence of this anomalous atmospheric ridge was nothing short of extraordinary. The co-occurrence of record low precipitation and record high temperatures associated with the Triple R ultimately yielded California’s most severe multi-year drought on record. I previously discussed the rise of the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge—and associated drought impacts—in an earlier post, which summarized findings from our initial scientific investigations (#1 and #2). Two key points arose from these early papers:

 

1) Atmospheric pressure patterns similar to the Triple R are now occurring more frequently than they did in previous decades.

2) The unprecedented magnitude and persistence of recent West Coast ridging can be traced (at least in part) to regionally-accentuated warming of the lower atmosphere.

As is often the case in scientific endeavors, these early findings raised more questions than answers. These lingering questions motivated us to continue our analyses, which resulted in the two new scientific papers discussed below. (And additional work remains in progress.)

 

A “standing wave” in the atmosphere: Warm in the west, cool in the east

Composite middle atmospheric pressure anomaly map corresponding to extreme North American temperature dipole days (compare to current forecast map above!). (Adapted from Singh et al. 2016)

Global wind and pressure patterns are not uniformly distributed across the Earth’s surface. Even at a given latitude, prevailing climate conditions can vary greatly from place to place (compare, for example, the winter climates of mild San Francisco and often snowy Washington, D.C., which are both located near coastlines around 38°N). These spatial variations in climate are a direct consequence of the physical geography of our planet: the exact position of our continents, ocean basins, and major mountain ranges dictate prevailing atmospheric conditions on a global scale.

In North America, these underlying geographical constraints yield a semi-permanent wintertime “wave” pattern in atmospheric pressure (in a two-dimensional map sense), which is characterized by generally higher pressure in the west and lower pressure in the east. This pre-existing wave pattern is not always easy to discern on surface weather maps, but becomes more apparent when considering pressure patterns at higher altitudes (often quantified as “geopotential height” (GPH)). This typical “western ridge/eastern trough” set-up predisposes the eastern U.S. to experience far colder winter temperatures than the West, as relatively mild southwest winds (originating over the Pacific Ocean) blow across the West Coast but harsher northwest winds (originating over the cold Canadian interior) blow across the East—producing a longitudinal temperature dipole. This “standing” (i.e. stationary) wave pattern is also the reason why California can be highly susceptible to long dry spells, even during the winter rainy season. More often than not, rain-bearing storms tend to veer northward just before reaching the West Coast due to the angled southwest-to-northeast trajectory of the jet stream as it approaches the west side of the semi-permanent Western ridge.

 

“Warm West/Cool East” extremes have become more common in recent years

Quite a few recent winters have featured not only extremely dry (and warm) conditions across much of California, but also numerous outbreaks of very cold, Arctic air across the eastern U.S. The Eastern Seaboard, in particular, has suffered through a number of regionally-crippling (and superlatively-named) “Snowmadeggon” and “Snowpocalypse” snowstorms. In most cases, these opposing extremes have occurred simultaneously due to an extreme amplification of this pre-existing “western ridge, eastern trough” configuration. Altogether, this recent flurry of wintertime extremes across North America raises the question: has there really been a sustained trend toward an increasingly pronounced winter temperature dipole?

 

Observed trends in the frequency of occurrence of extreme North American temperature dipole days (different colors represent different definitions of what constitutes a dipole). (Adapted from Singh et al. 2016)

Our recent work (led by Deepti Singh) answers this question affirmatively: there has indeed been an increase in the number of days each winter characterized by simultaneously very warm temperatures across the American West and very cold temperatures across the East. We found that there has been a substantial increase in the propensity for extreme ridge/trough sequences to produce especially severe temperature contrasts across the U.S., and (to a lesser extent) an increase in the frequency of the relevant atmospheric “western ridge/eastern trough” pressure patterns themselves. Using climate model simulations, we further found that an increase in extreme temperature dipole days like those we’ve observed in recent years is considerably more likely in a climate with rising greenhouse gas concentrations than in a hypothetical climate without human influence.

Intriguingly, this increase in contrasting dipole extremes appears to be caused primarily by the increased rate of warming in the western U.S. relative to the eastern U.S. While the eastern U.S. has indeed experienced a recent string of remarkable Arctic outbreaks, there hasn’t been a sustained trend toward cooler temperatures. In fact, when we estimated future changes using climate model simulations assuming continued growth in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, we found that the occurrence of these extreme temperature dipole days will soon start to decrease as winter warming accelerates across the entire United States—making it more difficult to achieve extreme thermal contrasts between the East and West.

One question we weren’t able to assess in this study was how the atmospheric pressure patterns conducive to extreme dipole events might themselves change in the future. But in a separate paper, we have now taken a closer look at the “Western Ridge” half of the equation—and I’ll discuss those results below.

 

Oceanic links to North Pacific winter ridging

Statistical relationships between ocean temperatures in different regions (black boxes) and middle atmospheric pressure patterns (i.e. GPH anomalies), plus long-term trends in ocean temperatures (right). (Adapted from Swain et al. 2017)

There has been a tremendous amount of interest—not just within the scientific community, but more broadly among weather-watchers and other drought-weary Californians—in understanding the causes and longevity of the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge. And that turns out to be a genuinely challenging question to answer, despite several years of formal study by quite a few scientists. To date, the strongest evidence appears to implicate unusually warm ocean waters in the tropical western Pacific, which can trigger a hemisphere-scale wave pattern favoring an enhanced subtropical ridge near California. Other work has suggested that unusually warm ocean conditions in the “extratropical” Pacific (i.e. the so-called “Warm Blob” in the Gulf of Alaska) may also be linked to the persistent ridge—though there’s considerable evidence that the atmospheric Triple R caused the oceanic Blob, rather than the reverse. Still others have wondered whether the striking loss of Arctic sea ice in recent years may have played a role, though the evidence supporting this connection remains sparse. Finally, it has also been shown that random variations in the atmosphere can occasionally produce an extremely persistent North Pacific ridge. In other words: the Triple R may be at least partially attributable to “bad luck.”

In our latest paper, we set out to explore all of these hypotheses using a unified framework. Using a combination of real-world assimilated observations climate model simulations, we asked the following overarching question: are there traceable linkages between tropical/extratropical ocean temperatures, Arctic sea ice, and the occurrence of seasonally-persistent ridging along the West Coast?

 

Tropical Pacific may offer early warning of “Triple R”-like patterns

Observed middle atmospheric pressure pattern anomalies during the 2012-2016 (left) vs. predicted pressure pattern anomalies using the methods in our study (right). (Adapted from Swain et al. 2017)

Ultimately, we found that there do indeed appear to be strong relationships between Pacific Ocean temperatures and persistent West Coast ridges conducive to dry conditions in California. Especially prominent are the links to western tropical Pacific Ocean warmth. These connections appear several months in advance, which not only suggests a causal linkage but also hints that it may be possible to predict the occurrence of “Triple R”-like ridges several months in advance. This result agrees with previous work by other scientists suggesting that displaced tropical precipitation associated with West Pacific warming can generate a trans-Pacific atmospheric “wave train,” favoring an enhanced subtropical ridge near California. We also reproduced the already well-known connection between cool “La Niña” conditions in the eastern tropical Pacific and broader high pressure in the Gulf of Alaska, which can also lead to dry conditions in California.

Importantly, the West Pacific relationship exists independently of the El Niño/La Niña (ENSO) cycle: that is, warm conditions in the western tropics can be sufficient to cause a California ridge entirely on their own. Of even greater interest: recent warming of this particular portion of the Pacific Ocean has coincided with a considerable uptick in the frequency of persistent winter ridging near California. This latter point offers further circumstantial evidence that at least some portion of the recent California drought may have origins in the warming tropics.

What about “The Blob?” Well, we did find a strong statistical linkage between warm ocean conditions in the North Pacific and West Coast ridging—similar to that which occurred during the recent drought. In this case, though, the “chicken or egg” issue rears its head once again: while a time-lagged relationship between autumn ocean temperature and winter ridging did exist in observations, only an contemporaneous relationship existed in climate model simulations. We posed two possible reasons for this divergence: either the persistent ridging itself caused the subsequent ocean warmth (rather than the reverse), or climate models may be underestimating the role that warm North Pacific SSTs can play in ridge-building. Additionally, it’s still plausible that warm ocean temperatures in this region, once in place, can enhance the persistence of ridging via self-reinforcement (i.e. high pressure causes the warm ocean in the first place, which then favors more high pressure, thus causing an even warmer ocean).

Observational analysis suggests a possible link between sea ice loss and West Coast ridging (here, blue represents ridging when sea ice decreases). Climate model simulations, however, do not support this relationship. (Adapted from Swain et al. 2017)

And how about the sea ice hypothesis? Well, the link between Arctic sea ice anomalies and West Coast ridging remains…unclear. Our observational analysis hinted at a possible relationship, but climate model simulations disagreed. As my co-authors and I have previously emphasized, however, a scientific “absence of evidence” is not necessarily equivalent to an “evidence of absence.” That is to say: just because we didn’t find strong evidence of a connection doesn’t mean one doesn’t exist in the real world. The Arctic is now warming more than twice as fast as the rest of the world, and sea ice has been disappearing at a greater rate than had projected by climate models—a rapid rate of change that has complicated scientific investigations into high-latitude linkages. Indeed, the relationship between “Arctic amplification”/sea ice loss and mid-latitude climate remains the subject of a vigorous and ongoing debate in atmospheric and polar science circles. While it’s increasingly clear that these profound shifts in the Arctic have the potential to alter mid-latitude weather, it still is not clear precisely where, when, and to what degree. Thus, while our work does not obviously implicate sea ice loss in recent California extremes, it’s still plausible that stronger evidence could emerge using more sophisticated modeling tools or new observational approaches in the future.

 

Some conclusions, and thoughts about the present winter

Ocean temperatures have been cool in the eastern tropical Pacific and warm in the western tropical Pacific since early autumn. (NOAA via tropicaltidbits.com)

Ultimately, we confirm that unusual ocean temperatures are linked to seasonally-persistent West Coast winter ridging similar to the Triple R. Tropical warmth (in the West Pacific) and coolness (in the East Pacific) are both linked to different patterns of North Pacific winter ridging, and may offer an early warning of seasons with an elevated risk of dry conditions in California. Interestingly, tropical Pacific Ocean temperatures during autumn 2017 were warm in the west and cool in the east amidst a modest (and ongoing) La Niña event—a combination that suggests a substantially elevated likelihood of West Coast ridging this winter. To date, Southern California has experienced one of its driest starts to the Water Year on record, and strikingly persistent West Coast ridging is now expected to last at least two weeks. It will certainly be interesting to see how this winter plays out in the context of these new research findings.

 

This blog post focuses on peer-reviewed research from two separate papers published in scientific journals (Singh et al. 2016 and Swain et al. 2017). While most Weather West articles are primarily based upon my own informal thoughts and analysis, this piece is directly informed by formal investigations by a team of scientists. I would like to thank my collaborators in this work—Deepti Singh, Daniel Horton, Justin Mankin, Tristan Ballard, Leif Thomas, Bala Rajaratnam, and Noah Diffenbaugh—for their invaluable support and ongoing insights.

I am happy to provide a personal copy of any paper mentioned above (on which I am an author) upon email request.

Want to learn more? Follow climate scientists on Twitter!
Daniel Swain, Deepti Singh, Daniel Horton, Justin Mankin

 

Tags: , , ,

  • Chris

    I don’t recall seeing SST anomalies quite like this before.
    Would this configuration cause the ITCZ to be further north than usual and therefore high pressure further north than usual?

    https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/map/images/sst/sst.anom.gif

    • I think the warm over cool pattern in the NE Pacific is extraordinary. Hopefully Cheden will offer his 5cents. The ITCZ is a little lower than last year at this time. Last year was as an anomaly in itself. I don’t know where ITCZ normally is in a Nina.

  • Apollo

    30+ sustained and 50+ gust for Santa Paula (home) tonight. Thinking can it get any more dangerous than Monday and early Tuesday’s Santa Ana’s? YES!

    • Hang in there. I’d honestly be a basket case.

      • Apollo

        Caffeine (coffee) and Stress not a good combination.

        • PRCountyNative

          Taking a break from coffee – big change in reality. Much gentler, calmer. I love coffee but this might be even better.

  • Thor

    Breaks my heart to see California on fire…again. The Nbay fires really hit close to home (friends/family etc…) and while not as many ties to SoCal, I know the fear, pain and misery y’all are g thru and my thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Alas, here in SW MT, it appears we are somewhat benefiting from NPac that is causing all the teeth gnashing. We are just on the outer NE edge and in a transition zone between the mild temps of the high and the deep cold of the eastern trough…and we are getting some NW flow and troughs flitting by semi-regularly. Since Mid-September, I have received almost 2.5 feet of snow already and its not even Winter. That probably doesnt seem like a lot to Tahoe folks but it is well above average for this time of year in this fairly dry locale (valley floor at ~4800 feet). Most of it was gone after Thanksgiving but Sunday gave us another shot (7inches) and plunged us back into a winter wonderland.

    Stay safe SoCal.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/689eb8df9188ece607424be9180b869f9da2658fccb9f6db8e4865918354af67.jpg

    • AlTahoe

      I have picked up 1.5″ of snow for the season here at 6200′ in the Sierra Nevada. Running Springs is at 0″

      • RunningSprings6250

        …..but does frost count? We did have frost….once…. ????

      • Thor

        I was just off Pioneer Trail for Thanksgiving and was amazed at the 65 degree temps.

    • PRCountyNative
      • matthew

        Looks like Montana de Oro.

        • PRCountyNative

          I try to be cagey about specific places. Loma Prieta in the background.

          • matthew

            Got it. I thought I saw the Morro Bay poweplant in the background. Maybe Moss Landing?

  • 82/83 El Nino baby (San Jose)
    • RunningSprings6250

      Yes, line em up please!

    • Let’s all take a deep breath and notice that this is the CONTROL run, not the 51 member ensemble.

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        “GO Control Run!, and NOT the other 51 ensemble members!!!”

        There. Happy now? 🙂

    • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

      All I want for Christmas

      • Dan the Weatherman

        is a nice soaking rain!

    • Just like the other poster said, the Ensemble mean continues showing a ridge. Don’t want to burst any bubbles.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Also of note is that the 12z GFS Op run shows a disturbance which coincides with that time frame around December 18/19th. It doesn’t mean much right now unless we see later runs trend towards that idea.

  • RunningSprings6250

    “#gettycenter” search on social media – ouch…….

    Without inciweb covering the ventura fire I’m not up to date, last i heard it was 55k last night. Is it burning itself out, still raging?

    • Apollo

      Thomas Fire 65K and still consuming.

      • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

        If I saw correctly it had pushed across 101 into a neighborhood that had views of the Pacific.

        The Skirball fire will get most of the attention today I’d think-there’s some VERY large homes that are quite impressive when the helicopters show them on TV….I am sure it makes for great eyeball grabbing TV.

        • Apollo

          It did make it to the beach. From the erea of ignition to the beach is 13/14 miles and it happened in less than 24 hours.

    • ArcGIS has live fire activity

  • Fairweathercactus

    The best post I have seen is God is punishing all the left coast states this year for voting for Hillery. Portland and Seattle at this rate are on track for having the most dry December on record. AZ is being punished for keeping Macane around.

    • Mario Gallegos

      Who said that people should stop bringing politics into weather forums.

    • cthenn

      “the best post”

    • Shane Ritter
    • Steve

      If we’re being punished by a supreme being, surely it’s being visited on the entire world via our Climate-Change-Denier in Chief.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      He must have had a sudden change of heart then, after nailing Texas with Harvey and FL with Irma. There were some partisans back then making carzy assertions that those states deserved it. If this is how our thought process works, then maybe we ALL deserve it.

    • gray whale

      I know you’ve been on here for a long time and I weirdly appreciate you, but I’m gonna go ahead and say I hope this post gets you kicked off WW for good. Sorry.

  • roseland67

    On the plus side, reservoir levels seem to be healthy in most of the state.

    Are there any December updates on Oroville construction?

    • I sincerely doubt there will be the need for the spillway to be used this winter. The lake is well over 100 feet below the gates and almost 200 feet below capacity.

      • Jim (Watsonville)

        Reverse psychology ?

        • I am a believer in that theory.

    • Harpo (Chico)

      Work on the main spillway has mostly stopped for the winter. There was a bit of a kerfuffle about cracks in its reinforced concrete, but that seems to have mostly died out.

      They are concentrating on the emergency spillway now, drilling and pouring concrete for the “secant cutoff” wall below the lip of the emergency spillway and doing some blasting and digging to prepare for the next gazillion tons of roller-compacted concrete that will line the area between the lip of the emergency spillway and the cutoff wall next summer. That’s all there to prevent the back-cutting that prompted the evacuations when they used the emergency spillway last winter.

      They lowered the lake below 690′ to make room for winter rains which haven’t shown up much yet. It rose to over 700′ during the wet weather in November but then things dried out and it started falling again. They’ve cut releases way back. The lake is currently at around 702′. Their target level for the end of December is 725′ — it isn’t likely to make it that high unless we get a lot of unexpected rain. The bottom of the gates for the main spillway is at about 814′. The emergency spillway is at 901′.

  • Thunderstorm

    Now for some real news. NWS out of San Diego expecting wind gusts in ALL foothill areas of San Diego County up to 90MPH tomorrow morning. To me this means the – trees will block all escape routes. Power is very likely to go out for an extended period of time. Fires could happen in several areas. Most at risk are neighborhoods that let their landscaping dry out. Those that live at the bottom of canyons if they stay will not be able to leave. Since power is gone -payment in cash please. And lastly wind speeds right close to the fire will be well over 100MPH.

    Satellite this time tomorrow likely to show a solid smoke plume from Santa Barbara past San Diego.

    So for those that did not know what to expect tomorrow, now you do.

    • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

      I’ll make sure to fill up the gas tank and have the cat carrier ready. Although, if it got to me all the way at Sola and Castillo I think the world would officially be ending.

      • celo

        Santa Barbara is shielded from Santa Ana’s by the santa ynez mountains. The main issue with Santa Barbara are sundowners which can actually be more problematic because they are harder to forecast.

        • Jim (Watsonville)

          Not to say a different fire breaks out closer to you…would likely be a while to get resources.

    • Micycle

      Link to SDGE fire cams:

      http://www.alertwildfire.org/sdge/

  • MakeSoCalWetAgain (SMX)

    Coldest morning of the young season in SMX: 35.

  • RunningSprings6250
    • MakeSoCalWetAgain (SMX)

      Could power lines be the cause?

      • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

        Did you see what happened to So Cal Edison’s stock price yesterday? Dropped 12% ($10) a share!! So someone knows it may be.

  • molbiol

    Seattle:

    The GFS now resembles the ECMWF which
    shows a weak system moving over the ridge well to the north of WA
    over the weekend. This system poses no threat of precipitation or
    even significant cloud cover, but might spread some high cloud
    across the area at times. It remains to be seen on how much these
    clouds will interfere with radiational fog formation. Kept fog
    limited to mostly the southwest interior for now. Clouds were
    increased but partial sunshine is still expected. Highs will be
    little changed in the 40s.

    Models indicate the upper level ridge will strengthen again and
    maintain the dry, stagnant pattern into early next week. There will
    be areas of fog, especially in the typical fog prone locations. Air
    quality issues are possible through the Saturday to Tuesday period.”

    Portland:

    An extended period of dry weather is likely to
    continue into early next week as an upper level ridge of high
    pressure remains over the Pacific NW. The surface high looks to
    remain east of the Cascades which will keep the flow offshore. A
    strong low level subsidence inversion will allow areas of fog and low
    clouds to persist in wind-sheltered inland valleys. Additionally,
    temperatures will remain cool in the inland valleys, with warmer
    temperatures near the coast and in the foothills above the inversion.
    It`s odd to think of this time of year, but with the continuation of
    offshore flow and dry weather, we may see significant drying of fire
    fuels. ”

    Reno:

    The ridge stays firmly in place, likely through the second or third
    week of December based on longer range guidance. This means that the
    forecast remains dry with light winds and inversions in place. The
    stagnant conditions under the inversion will keep haze in place with
    possible air quality concerns. Temperatures will gradually warm
    through the period with seasonably mild days and cool nights.

    What did look to be a glimmer of hope for changing conditions mid-
    month, does not look as favorable in recent forecast simulations.
    Previous model runs showed a strong zonal jet across the Pacific,
    which could have lead to an undercutting of the ridge, whereas
    recent runs are significantly more amplified. This is likely to only
    reinforce the current longwave pattern, especially given the deep
    trough downstream over the eastern CONUS. -Dawn ”

    Los Angeles:

    Offshore flow will continue unabated through the period and it
    looks like we will see at least 10 consecutive days of it. Which
    while impressive is still a far cry from the record 24 consecutive
    days of offshore flow that started on December 9th 1951 and ended
    on the 2nd of January 1952.

    Skies will be clear and there will be offshore winds each morning
    although they will be at worst just low end advisory and more
    likely garden variety 15 to 25 mph events. Daytime highs will
    mostly be 8 to 12 degrees above normal as there will be no cold
    air advection to temper the offshore flow. ”

    San Diego:

    An upper-level trough moving by to our east tonight, combined with
    surface offshore flow from the surface high over the Great Basin,
    will create another round of strong east to northeast winds across
    southwest CA tonight into Thursday. San Diego county will be the
    main focus this time, with wind gusts along the coastal mountain
    slopes and foothills forecast to be around 60 mph, and isolated
    gusts around Sill Hill to near 90 mph. Winds will weaken Thursday
    night into Friday, but remain strong. The High Wind Warning
    remains in effect for the mountains, valleys and coastal Orange
    County through Friday afternoon. The extremely dry airmass over
    the area will continue afternoon relative humidity of 5-10% for
    inland areas through next week. The ridge that is locked in over
    CA for the time being will continue above normal high temperatures
    for most areas through Thursday, with areas increasing to 5-15
    degrees above normal this weekend into early next week.

    The ridge will weaken and shift more westward by the middle of
    next week, however above normal high temperatures, offshore flow
    and the dry airmass is expected to continue through the period at
    this time. ”

    ECM 51 member ensemble valid for day 10:

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1979d52a76c33f8d18f3b421e84ab72e885acedb95f5f26960b0c876bdf3f1de.png

  • RunningSprings6250

    If the massive ridge shifts WEST, will that leave us open to get some backdoor arctic air, and perhaps of the moist kind with all that moisture currently getting pumped UP and OVER the ridge? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fe38ca5bbedc17a344a276c65c06f11f1ad0b4dd5ede6ebbdb75235fb085cd1a.jpg

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Wishful thinking.
      Dude, let it go.

      😉

      • thlnk3r

        The indices for today look like trash. Not favorable at all!

        https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/forecasts/reforecast2/teleconn/forecast.html

      • Yanet Garcia (on a beach)

        Do not be the downyer

      • RunningSprings6250

        I’m actually being neutral and asking a serious question (not laced with my usual sarcasm that goes over way too many peoples heads) – I am curious if this nasty setup we are in could give way to an arctic blast, or do I need to go back to meteo 101. Lol!

    • It’s time to “Let it go.”

    • Yanet Garcia (on a beach)

      No let go. Hold tight to your dream.

      • RunningSprings6250

        Tight it is…

  • Steve92
  • thlnk3r

    https://twitter.com/MJVentrice/status/938409632065839105

    Michael adds in his tweet discussion that things look “grim” for California. But meh who knows.

    For those that like hype words: Record-shattering impressive amazingly unprecedented dry conditions will continue through the extended period.

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      I postef that below. There are spme other reader comments with it

      • thlnk3r

        My apologizes. Thanks 😉

  • happ [Los Angeles]

    Photo taken early AM by Richard Dickert/ KCAL of Sepulveda Pass/ now called Skirball fire https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1815013625ac3d76967c41c9de96b63b1bc296767ae9fd970cfae2ab1edbcfb5.jpg

  • Apollo

    The Thomas fire has moved into the Los Padres National Forest behind Ojai. With the winds forecasted tonight could this fire make it to the beach https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dc6e09017c264721efede68d4e666c699ca80b37fd67199e29c9b654f7c9e231.jpg i.e., Carpinteria Beach? The impossible thought might be possible tonight.

    • Admode (Susanville)

      I wonder if the forest will take over the fire now that it’s burned onto them.

      • Jim (Watsonville)

        Not likely…only about 5k acres was on the forest. They would most likely turn it into a “zone” of the main fire and then perhaps do their ordering through the forest…

        • Admode (Susanville)

          Copy. I’ve done quite a bit of dispatch down there, just wondering what the likelihood would be that a team would be ordered.

        • Admode (Susanville)

          I see it’s under unified command.

  • Unbiased Observer

    So at what point does California become virtually uninhabitable?…..some might say we are rapidly approaching that point.

    • Apollo

      The question actually will be can you afford to live in CA after all the disasters from the winter deluge to these current fires. Wait until we get the bill.

      • Unbiased Observer

        Not to get political…but taxes could be going up significantly too.

        • ThomTissy

          That’s not political. The truth is they have gone up significantly recently without the major fire issues we’ve had this year. I suspect they would go up significantly again, even without the fires. The fires just adds more fuel to the tax burn.

      • AlTahoe

        Insurance companies have already stopped providing home owners/fire insurance in a lot of areas of California. My mom received a notice in Sonora for her house back in like 2008. Snagged this from a news article.

        “But recently, Sandra received a letter from her insurance company
        Liberty Mutual that said they will not renew her insurance policy
        because her property “poses an unacceptable risk for wildfire.”

        • My guess is wildfire coverage will be available as a separate policy sooner than later in CA. It will be a tough one to price.

    • cthenn

      If I leave, I’m going to one of the Hawaiian islands. At least there I know not to expect seasons, and the weather is usually very predictable, and reliable.

      • Unbiased Observer

        I like the change in seasons, it’s one of the things I miss with this new climate regime here. Although the older I get, the less tolerant of cold I am.

        • ThomTissy

          The new climate regime along with the number of people have made wildfires much worse and more frequent and water is by far the most precious commodity. The sheer volume of people is a huge problems as over 90% of the fires are human caused.

    • Darin

      Humanity has an incredible capacity to persevere.

    • thlnk3r

      This is a very unprecedented but rare impressive post.

  • thebigweasel

    Cold morning here (29) and appalling air quality. Can’t see the mountains — hell, I can’t even see the FOOTHILLS and they’re right here. Friends in Ventura either evacuated or guarding their homes, and disabled friend in La Canada/Flintridge on perimeter of fire, but it seems to be burning away from her.

  • AlTahoe

    East winds have just come roaring back in here at incline village after 2 days of calm winds. Good luck So Cal with the next round.

    • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

      It’s already been blowing good here most of the day

  • MetaGhost (Berkeley)
    • JGold

      Now that’s some serious doom and gloom

    • cthenn

      hell on earth

    • Unbiased Observer

      It really is hard to see the glass half full at this point. I don’t care who you are.

      • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

        That’s because it is more like a quarter full.

    • The original tweet by @WLV_investor IS a must see

    • matthew

      Sign should read “Welcome to your future”.
      Soundtrack should be “Highway to Hell”.

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    This was just posted via East County Today (CoCo County)-looks like the Contra Costa strike team had a pretty unique assignment their first day on the Creek Fire.
    https://twitter.com/eastcountytoday/status/938532616830984194

  • hermit crab

    Wind forecast reports here keep changing. I don’t want to evacuate because I have a small car and a bunch of temporary large medical equipment. But I’m at the very edge of Santa Barbara County, right next to Ventura County. I know they are trying to hold the line in the backcountry right now. But…winds?

    Weather very important for a lot of ppl today.

    • Thunderstorm

      The smoke plume looks to be headed more to the south so the wind at least for now is coming more from the north not the east. Better news for you, not so for Simi Valley because of the Rye Fire.

      • hermit crab

        I’ll pray for Simi

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      Yes I am worried about all the way to Carp, it’s not looking good, hope you have a way out and access to evacuate easily. Is there anyone that can help evac?

      • hermit crab

        No, and I need help…housemate is legally blind. Thinking of asking the sheriffs.

        I just got out of the hospital and am weak as water. Watching the winds…I don’t like what happened last night. Just surprised everyone as the fire made its way up the coast. Now we are told to also watch the mountains and the foothills.

        Everywhere I look has a different idea re wind direction! Still!

        • PRCountyNative

          In normal times the local firepersons are usually happy to help.

        • CHeden

          Can you provide a more precise idea of your location?
          A nearby intersection would do.
          I’m sure WW community can provide you the most accurate data available.

        • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

          I’m so sorry to hear, I’d drive up if the risk of the fire being on both sides of the 101 was present!

  • Thunderstorm

    I remember one off shore wind event here (SF bay area by Fremont) with east winds in gusts to 70mph 20 years ago in early January. Similar set up with cold front dropping straight south thru Big Basin. 60 degrees colder behind the front. 40F below zero in Montana. Winds were 50 miles an hour behind the front in Nevada. Were no mention of winds that night here in the bay area weather sites. Big time miss!!! Did not pay much attention as was not expecting anything. Around 10PM started hearing a rustling noise out front kept getting louder and did not stop, went out side 10 minutes later into 40MPH east winds. An hour later it sounded like a freight train was moving thru the neighborhood and stayed that way till noon next day. Mt.Diablo had the highest recorded gust at 140MPH some 20 years ago. My thinking is Running Springs will be the first to feel the event.

    • RunningSprings6250

      A couple of my fondest snow memories here accompanied that violently cold and windy backdoor scenario.

  • cthenn

    Any hi-res satellite imagery for the fires? It was pretty stunning looking at the satellite images of the North Bay fires. The GOES satellite is currently down from what I understand, just wondering what it looks like from space.

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      Sentinel-2 has been doing some magic, but it’s behind a paywall.

      • cthenn

        WOW. What is the source of that?

        • thebigweasel

          The City Once Known as Los Angeles.

        • http://ge.ssec.wisc.edu/modis-today/index.php
          It has an archive, too.
          Hover your mouse and you’ll see blue boxes light up each section of CONUS. Tick the different radio buttons if you want 2000m or1000m or 250m
          You must click the “download this image” link then it will open in a different window and then you can right click save as. 🙂

          • cthenn

            Awesome thanks for the info!

    • Osse (Redondo)

      I think you might be confused about the GOES satellites. GOES-13 is operational in the GOES-East position. GOES-15 is operational in the GOES-West position. The most recently launched satellite, GOES-16 (known as GOES-R prior to checkout), has been going through calibration/validation checkout in a somewhat central position. Its products are considered “non-operational” until it is moved over to replace GOES-13 in the eastern slot in a few months. So – both of the operational satellites are still operating. No issues.

  • Farmer47

    I think it’s about time for a
    FIRST RAIN CONTEST
    I’m gonna say Jan 18-20

    • molbiol

      July 23 2018 when the monsoon kicks in and an easterly wave brings moisture sprinkles/t-storms to the area 😉

    • Idaho Native

      I’m guessing very end of December. (Wildly optimistic)

    • RunningSprings6250

      Dec. 24 at my place. Snow.

      And you’re pushing it with that 3rd week into January crap. LOL

      • Yanet Garcia (on a beach)

        Please invite me! I will break your home up and be funny!

    • palmsprings

      My crystal ball says Dec. 28 will bring the first solid rain for LA/OC/SD

    • matthew

      Is it too late to enter Charlie B’s squaw snow contest? I will go with 8″.

      As for first rain – where?

    • weathergeek100

      I’d have to agree with you on that date. But I’ll be slightly more optimistic and say Jan 15-17.

    • weathergeek100

      I think at some point it will rain in SoCal, and I think the best estimate is mid to late January, but I also think that it’ll be a one and done deal. You guys will get your widespread quarter of an inch of wetting rain and then it’s blocking high pressure and santa ana winds (varying between cool winds and 90 degree winds) all over again for several weeks after that. At least that’s how 2006-07 turned out.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        Are you thinking that we are going to be drier than 2006-07?

        • weathergeek100

          I wouldn’t be surprised

    • Dan the Weatherman

      I am thinking either the very end of December or the beginning of January we will start to get at least a little rain and the larger storms will come later in January and February, sort of like it did in 1996.

  • AlTahoe

    Newest GFS is the first run to show the Mega HP cell completely gone at the end of the run with storms returning. Except for Southern Cal of course where the Baja Ridge still shows up. Hopefully it is the start of a trend in the models.

    • matthew

      There has actually been a hint of rain around 12/18 for the past couple runs. Not going to get excited, but there is at least some hope.

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        Whatever the GFS is seeing out there, hopefully it is a real “thing”. Later runs over the next several days will reveal whether this is good news or just a mirage.

        • matthew

          Odds are with us to get at least a few spritzes. But I am sticking to my September call of way-below average until February, followed by a few good storms then a transition to Summer in April.

          • AlTahoe

            I just want 4 or 5 really good cold snow storms this year. I am totally fine with summer starting in April up here this year like in 2008. It will give the lake more time to go down and maybe my local beach will come back by August.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      The 12 Op run had hinted at a small disturbance approaching CA around the 18th/19th. 18z has a similar idea but shifted it farther North. Hopefully later runs follow this lead and trend wetter for later in the month. I posted some charts of the 18z Op run & Ensembles a bit farther up in the comments. Of course it’s still way to far out in fantasyland, but we’re looking for a trend.

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      Threre were earlier runs showing this only to come back. Hopefully ridge does back off

  • Candleman (Santa Barbara)
    • cthenn
    • Osse (Redondo)

      Is that on or near State Street? Everyone must be hunkered down inside.

      • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

        Yep, right on State and Anapamu.

        • Osse (Redondo)

          A sad sight to see it empty and grey. Fingers crossed. Nice of you to offer to help Crab BTW.

    • hermit crab

      I’m on oxygen. So I can breathe, unlike some. But I can’t fit the tank in the car. It’s a small car. Do not know what to do because I don’t think Carp should trust these winds! They are not anyone’s friend!

      • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

        Are you on the mountain side of the 101? If you need help evacuating I can give you my number. Let me know.

        • hermit crab

          Not very far from 101 but yes mountain side. I was told that because of my medical situation I should at least get my stuff together and have some help when the time comes…

          What a great person you are!

          • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

            My cell phone is 510-432-8683. If you need help let me know. I am in downtown SB so I should be safe. I don’t have a place for you to stay though :(.

          • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

            Respond back when you have my number down so I can remove it.

  • SoCalWXwatcher

    Both 18z GFS Op run and GEFS Ensembles slowly start painting some color in the West Coast white rain-free zone “donut hole” after December 18/19. The Earlier 12z Op run had a similar idea. Nothing to get excited about yet, but am pulling for this trend to continue. Ensembles still like a ridge in the West though.

    18z GFS Operational Run
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/532516984f06b4ecdf33819fa75b3c5c7518b605dee0f1bbb70d6ee6da26bd8c.png

    18z GEFS Ensembles
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b536cfaacd56b0299fe5300bb1ef6c27e93d55a95917408a593e2471748b4e2c.png

    • This Is why molbiol has his first rain date for mid July 2018

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        I gather he is a “no” vote on a late/end of December pattern change.

    • mosedart (SF)

      This reminds me of a few years ago when we lived, died, and were ultimately disappointed by Fantasyland. A land much wetter than Realityland.

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        Hopefully not a replay of those years. We’ll see.

  • thebigweasel

    Good map showing extent, perimeter and spread of all fires.
    https://maps.nwcg.gov/sa/#/%3F/34.3773/-118.9358/10

    • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

      Helpful, thank you. I don’t like that march along the coast…

  • SoCalWXwatcher
    • SoCalWXwatcher
      • RunningSprings6250

        And on that note…..we’re just starting to experience the strongest winds of this wind storm…

        • SoCalWXwatcher

          And they’ve had a couple earthquakes near Julian. Mother Nature dishin’ it out.

          • Bombillo1

            She’s in her death throes.

        • Thunderstorm

          If the NWS is correct you will have gusts to 90MPH in the morning. Long term power outages?

          • RunningSprings6250

            Ridges, and wind prone areas, not widespread 90mph.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      What a sweeping view – Salton Sea, Pacific coast w/fires in SD county all the way up to Ventura, Central Valley in the middle, and the snow-capped Sierras off to the right.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6c31a0356a0dfed66dc3d632e32e02d1ad497ada2bcbd7b112e0da84d0de1d5e.png

      • K?ros

        wow amazing angle

      • Dan the Weatherman

        I believe that smoke plume is from a fire in Mexico just across the border, near Otay Mountain.

      • Bombillo1

        Kind of small when you look at it. If we mess our nest it’s kind of a bad thing.

  • Paul huntington

    Teleconnective patterns that are really reinforcing the ridge is the Madden Joulian Oscillation getting locked up in the East Indian Ocean and West Pacific (both ocean basins warming quickest with global warming) and if La Nina is at all established it creates an equatorial Rossby wave that interferes with the thunderstorm belt propagating eastward. The ocean atmos coupling of the active ITCZ in West Pacific and interference from the equatorial rossby wave creates the high amplitude planetary waves and locks in place the quasi resonant amplification of the ridge or North Pacific High in the northeast pacific ocean basin.

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      Lets hope for a change come January

    • PRCountyNative

      You speak weather guy real good!

      • Suzan

        Is there a translation to this that a simple old lady like myself can understand? Still waiting for rain here in Lebec. The wind has my flapjack holders shaking wildly on the clothesline out back.

        • PRCountyNative

          “Blame it on climate change”

    • Bombillo1

      Student of Barbara Billingsley school of linguistics??

    • CHeden

      Your analysis seems well founded. However, there are several ‘chicken or the egg” things going on. IMHO, the MJO is a classic example, as it is often initially a secondary effect of a mega-scale/long wave pattern setting up first, which in turn then triggers a self reinforcing eastward propagating MJO.

  • CHeden

    Redding hit a new daily record of 70F today….and 73F at my house.
    It would seem that our total # of heat related records for 2017 isn’t over yet.

    • inclinejj

      One of the few times Pacifica is warmer than your area. Warmer than Redding at 71.3.

  • molbiol

    Majority of schools in the San Fernando Valley are closed- both public and private

    • RunningSprings6250

      My brother lives off 118 and I don’t know if he’s got it wrong but said there’s 100k evacuated??

      That section of the 210 will be extra ugly now with the Burbank fire earlier this year….

      • VK (Sacramento)

        I wouldn’t be surprised at that number. The valley has around 3 million people? It’s pretty easy to get 100k evacuated

      • molbiol

        The big concern is the Rye fire which could overtake Semi Valley area if those 70mph winds materialize. Lots of people taking shelter in Van Nuys. Even here in Lancaster, they are receiving horses and livestock at the fairgrounds. I am very worried about the Santa Monica mtns- Hollywood hills area. The any new starts plus the skirball fire could be devastating if strong winds materialize.

        • RunningSprings6250

          I heard 30 horses perished ?

        • My brother-in-law is in Simi with 4 horses, cats and dogs. He was going to be our bug out ‘just in case’ and for our many dogs. Had not considered the Rye fire to be a threat for Simi…?

      • Dan the Weatherman

        I have been hearing on TV that there are nearly 200,000 people under evacuation, but I don’t know if these are all mandatory, or are some of them voluntary as well.

    • molbiol

      Just saw a tweet that ALL schools in the San Fernando valley are closed. A lot of kids are getting an early start to x-mas break

  • Thunderstorm

    Latest hotspot map shows continued movement into the mountains. Thomas fire starting to really look like the big long burning fire in Big Sur. Inaccessible terrain,dangerous fuel moisture conditions.

    • PRCountyNative

      Yeah, inaccessible places are hard to get to, or move around in. You just have to hang out at the edge and wait for it to get there.

  • molbiol

    Here is a wind gust map that many people will be anxiously watching. Those 57 mph gusts near Sylmar are not good. Also don’t like what I am seeing INVOF of Malibu and Griffith Park near Hollywood…

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/13c90eb6a8bfbe7232d8f76d422ba3c96898c979464b23a2390fb397a4a53a2b.png

    • Bombillo1

      How do you actually evacuate a place like that with so many people? Seems like authorities could begin by suggesting that for those that can, consider visiting relatives out of the area right now until this threat passes. You really can’t just up and say “OK Valencia, everyone needs to evacuate”. Too many people and we as a state have never really digested that reality.

  • hermit crab

    Hearing that Ojai is still a hot spot.

  • sdmike

    Fun night in Carlsbad. Waiting for the Santa Ana’s to kick in and get not one, but two noticeable earthquakes. Seems that there has been a swarm out past Julian, CA. Shake ‘n bake, I guess.

    • RunningSprings6250

      Wind is blasting get ready.

  • justsomeguy

    Interesting frame from one of the Ventura Fire Cams a little while ago.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/de576c4c13f5317092bb7d724db1a0d8bd7c7464d187e79010ac06d306bcc1be.jpg

  • Thunderstorm

    Infrared satellite showing the Thomas fire coming back from its rest.

    • Unbiased Observer

      Link?

      • Thunderstorm

        I use this site to save time. Seems to be current time also. So here is how you find it. 1. Type this in — Sierra Fire Lookout – Live forest cams 2. Go to the site click on it. 3.Scroll down thru the web cams until you come to. South Fire Satellite with infrared.

        It is really bright now in the last 30 minutes!! This will probably be a very valuable site tomorrow as numerous fires will eliminate visibility everywhere down there. Visible satellite will be useless and locating fires from the ground impossible.

  • I’ve recieved many Amber alerts on my phone, but this is the first weather related alert I’ve ever had. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7d004dedfc0c8111c218504e245e5bc45dc35e3fb2dbc7b122681a205dd76491.jpg

    • sdmike

      Same here. Just got one a few minutes ago.

    • Thunderstorm

      I believe it means DO NOT SLEEP TONIGHT. Forget about trying to go some place, that time is passed. The dumb drivers will cancel any plans that you had previously made, because they will run out of gas. Good luck

    • Nathan

      I got it too in SD county… Good move.

    • Alice Paul (LA)

      Yes, what a trip. I was outside with a fair amount of other pedestrians and everyone’s phone blared out the emergency alert at the same time.

    • Phil(ontario)

      Same in Riverside and San Bernardino counties

  • RandomTreeInSB
  • happ [Los Angeles]

    You can see where it is windy and where it is calm within 10 miles of each place:
    8:00PM
    JOHN WAYNE AP CLEAR 72 11 9 NE24G32 30.16S
    FULLERTON CLEAR 58 27 30 CALM 30.16R

  • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

    Received an emergency alert that voluntary evacuations are taking place in Carp. Bad sign.

    • RandomTreeInSB

      Yep, I received that as well. From twitter it looks like the fire might make a run toward the county line.

    • hermit crab

      Oh no.

  • Charlie B

    Thompson Pass, a few miles north of Valdez, is reporting that over 40 inches of snow fell yesterday. They are experiencing an AR event up there.

    • Charlie B

      Update. Thompson Pass is closed due to an avalanche. At the herght of the storm they received 15 inches in 90 minutes.

      • Bombillo1

        Nice glacier up there. Wish we had a glacier just outside of town.

  • tomocean

    NWS Reno, NV

    This is essentially the same atmospheric wave pattern we experienced
    during the recent drought years in California. At this point, it is
    impossible to say exactly when this dry pattern will break, but
    confidence is relatively high that dry conditions will last for at
    least the next 10 days, potentially longer. -Zach

    If this is the new normal for California, I’m not staying.

    • Charlie B

      Unless Zach changes his tune very soon, I will file a complaint.

    • matthew

      As I posted a few days ago, I think that we are decades away from settling in to a new normal. Given all of the variables and the rate at which they are changing my feeling is that this is a transitional phase. I just hope that it is short and that what comes next is not worse.

      • RunningSprings6250

        I agree that much much time needs to be given before calling anything “new normal” – but what would even just 3 more years of drought do to this state? It doesn’t need to be a new normal by any means…

  • molbiol

    70mph wind gusts being reported in the Santa Monica Mtns INVOF of Pt. Magu

    • Thunderstorm

      Looking like NWS from San Diego will be right on the 90MPH winds at the foothills later.

      • molbiol

        The last thing San Diego needs is a repeat of Oct-Dec of 2003

        • Thunderstorm

          That was the guy that got lost and shot up a flair for help I believe. Rumor had it that a pilot got turned back when the fire was very small because it was getting dark.

        • Jim (Watsonville)

          I was on the Cedear Fire in 2003…quite an experience

        • Tom & Koyano Gray

          I remember that day! Woke and looked northeast and thought, wow, were finally gonna get some rain! How wrong that was !

        • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

          I went camping to Calico ghost town that weekend. The Cajon pass was on fire on the way up. When it was time to head home a day or 2 later the Cajon pass was closed. What a traffic nightmare that was! We had to go around through joshua tree, and everyone else had the same idea. The 247 to the 62 was a parking lot!

  • Nathan

    Yeah yeah yeah yeah fantasy bla bla….at least it’s not a f#$#4ing 590dm ridge.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f91842248e225d019677931460fe13a63269e19453d85b4857f4fee3b8f2e7b2.png

    • molbiol

      “384” Everyone’s favorite or least favorite number….

      • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

        “bingo”

    • Rainmaker (San Jose)

      lots of chatter about a pattern change around Christmas, this could set the foundations for more runs of wetter weather in the coming weeks.

      • inclinejj

        Am I tripping or is the Euro showing 3 storms under cutting the ridge?

        • Rainmaker (San Jose)

          00z is showing some activity

        • jstrahl

          You may be tripping, but i’m seeing the same thing, and currently not tripping. 🙂

      • FR44

        I believe nothing until it’s precipitating.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      No, it is good to see something like that. We’ve had multiple runs now hinting at the ridge retreating later in the month. Hopefully subsequent runs show more green in the long range. I think we all know by now how 300+hr solutions can break our hearts, but we gotta start somewhere.

      • thlnk3r

        Mmmm just in time for Christmas deviled eggs…lock it IN!

    • That’s a beauty!

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Yeah, that’s way better than a ridge extending from Baja to the Arctic Circle. What do we gotta do to get it to verify?

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d723814d47fc62bd79d8eec984f141acca938faf626abc79f684307af41985d2.gif

      • jstrahl

        Smoke two joints. And then smoke two more.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      RH values of 4% with 60 – 80mph wind gusts expected. This is scary.

    • Admode (Susanville)

      Insane. The burn index gives you an idea of how much energy will be required to put out a fire compared to the energy of the fire.

    • Admode (Susanville)

      It is a function of how fast the fire will spread and how much energy the fire will produce. Basically, it helps you predict flame lengths of a given area under predicted conditions and helps you determine how much energy would be required to put out a fire. We have pocket cards that give whatever area you are looking at and tells you the predicted BI at any given time of year, under various weather conditions. It is a very useful tool when you show up on a fire in an area that you know nothing about. It gives you a heads up on what you can expect fire behavior to be.

    • Admode (Susanville)

      This isn’t exactly what a pocket card looks like, but it gives you an idea of what you could expect the BI for bogard ca to be. Note that even under 90th and 97th percentile weather conditions the BI barely exceeds 80. Not even half of the BI they expect per your tweet! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d2c16e47f044011376dfa70442e5af9b55c22a4870ce1d5dd460d945da5378f7.jpg

  • RunningSprings6250

    Wind storms like this always felt like rain/snow storms would come after at some point – the stronger the winds, the stronger the storms!

    For my location, it hasn’t been this windy (sustained) in probably years!

    • Phil(ontario)

      Wind hasn’t dropped below 20 mph for 48 hours and probably won’t for another 36. I also notice it is shifting from a cold santa ana event to a warm santa ana event. Im also getting gusts over 40 mph. I know this because at 40 the wind makes the kitchen window screen make the most annoying sound in the world like Lloyd Christmas.

      • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

        You must be getting some good downslope action from being closer to the mountains. Im getting some nice gusts here but nothing sustained

    • Thunderstorm

      Strongest winds still to come. NWS out of San Diego says big increase in original forecast winds above 7,000 feet will result in mountain wave action. Don’t know what that means but probably not good.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      We have had the cool variety of strong multi-day Santa Ana winds in Decembers past, although I don’t think we have had this strong wind pattern in December during the last several years including 2014, 2015 and 2016. I remember having a series of Santa Anas in December during one of our really wet winters, and it believe it may have been December 1997.

      • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

        Dan, I was pretty young, but somewhere around 97 or so I distinctly remember a pretty strong Santa Ana event that lasted at least a week or more. I don’t remember what month it was…

        • Dan the Weatherman

          That well may have been the December 1997 event I am thinking of. I also experienced a strong storm with very heavy rain and hours of thunder and lightning nearly overhead during that month as well. I will check my weather records to verify this and may post some dates of significant cold Santa Ana events of the past.

          • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

            Please do, im curious to see if that is the event im thinking about!

      • David Mata

        I remember a really strong Santa Ana event around New Year’s Eve in 1997. But it was also a really warm event too.

  • Jim (Watsonville)

    Just heard on the online scanner new mandatory evacs near Santa Paula /Hwy 126 area…they mentioned other streets/areas but im not familiar with the area.
    https://www.broadcastify.com/listen/feed/2858/web

    • Jim (Watsonville)

      Helicopters are also actively defending structures…doesnt sound good

    • Thunderstorm

      Winds must be coming more from the north then the east.

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

    Wow, the Thomas Fire is completely out of control right now, Ojai Valley could get cut off and upper HWY 33 where I always drive is completely engulfed in flames into the Matilija Canyon. Officials starting to believe it’s going to run all the way to Carpinteria. @calibeep:disqus we are thinking dearly of you and if you need any assistance, WW fellow friends I’m sure would likely help out, I won’t speak for everybody though. Buddy of mine & his pups are at the bottom of that canyon and are being scrambled out at the moment, he did the right things packed everything up in his jeep.

  • RandomTreeInSB

    Hearing reports of people trapped in homes surrounded by fire in Ojai…terrible.

    • Unbiased Observer

      Yikes….hope John Curtis is okay. Would have thought they had plenty of warning, either way….not good.

  • Brody McNeill

    Thank you for your work on this. I follow these trends with an almost obsessive interest. I did wonder what came first during the drought, the blob or the ridge. Your explanation of a self amplifying system makes sense.
    This year is different then it was during the drought because of the lack of the blob and we had El Niño rather than La Niña. I never considered the SST of the western tropical pacific, something I’ll have to keep my eye on from now on.
    Another interesting consequence, or should I say sad consequence of this persistent ridging is it pushes all of the warm wet air right to me in Alaska. There is nothing worse than rain in the winter up here, it’s meant to be cold and snowing not warm and raining. Many MANY thumbs down on that! At least we’re not on fire up here.

  • David Mata

    Too bad last year’s rains in So. Cal. subsided abruptly after the middle of February. The ridge took over for the remainder of the rainy season and kept what appeared to be a bountiful wet season into just simply an above-normal one. The month of March doesn’t bring as much rain anymore as it did in the past.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      I have also noticed that March has really been a warm and dry month in recent years, and not nearly as wet as it used to be.

      • David Mata

        Especially after March 2006.

    • Fairweathercactus

      May has brought more rain compared to March. May is the new March.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        May 2015 was definitely wetter than March 2015 here in Orange, and that March was much warmer as well.

  • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

    NOAA San Diego:
    Santa Ana Winds will be strong at times through Saturday, with
    the strongest winds likely on Thursday. Very dry conditions will
    prevail under mostly clear skies. There will be a warming trend
    through the end of the week, with above normal temperatures each
    day. Offshore flow will continue next week continuing the dry
    and warm days with no prospect for rain.

    Not sounding good

    • That’s no good at all!

    • Dan the Weatherman

      I am really hoping we don’t have any more strong Santa Anas next week. This event has really been a nightmare, and strong Santa Anas in December aren’t normally a nightmare despite their strength.

      • Steve Paulson KTVU

        Weak shortwave moving through this AM with massive surface high to the north = stronger gusts today compared to yesterday. Loop
        the Water Vapor and you’ll see it. Not good for SoCal today.

  • Fairweathercactus

    GfS showing some rain before Christmas. I am not expecing Santa to bring a bag full of goodies to So Cal like he did in 2004.

    • Steve Paulson KTVU

      06z Run shows rain on 21st. Mid-latitude system. Blocking patterns can last about three weeks so this would make sense to see it break down around then. Well, we hope so!

      • alanstorm

        Historically Christmas week for NorCal is when the storm door opens.
        Let’s not have another blocking pattern in January, please

        • Steve Paulson KTVU

          That is a concern. Get one front to bring nice rain then have the High build back in for another few weeks. Seen it before.

        • Yolo Hoe

          Agree. That said, I was recalling this morning in 2013 we had a pattern that yielded a cold storm on 7 December followed by 8 solid weeks of RRR — if we can see a real storm before end of the month, at least that dry ghost from Christmas past can be put to bed.

          Now the OCD really kicks in for model watching — we’ll know we’re making progress when Stormaster starts whipping us up into an anticipatory frenzy supported by colorful visuals from Crash — may it come to pass.

          31F in far southwest Davis — barometer 30.40 and slightly rising.

  • RunningSprings6250
    • annette johnson

      Wow. Hellish doesn’t even come close to describing it.

  • RunningSprings6250

    This is crazy, it’s going to merge it seems but lots of Avocado orchards back there…. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9383104bd8571a0945813822c1ad54b21b987a995f2a7a54ab77833ab9ebee14.jpg

  • saw1979

    Daniel quoted in CNN article this morning. It seems odd to say “congrats” during such a tragic event for so many people, but we’re all happy that you are getting notarity! http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/07/us/california-fires-disasters/index.html

  • Matthew Nelson

    Big winds never really materialized here in the hills West of Temecula. Light breeze is about all we’ve had since Wed afternoon. Glad for that.

    • RunningSprings6250

      You mean they haven’t yet….SD NWS has the severe to extreme winds shifting your way late morning through tonight….

  • 82/83 El Nino baby (San Jose)

    Wow, fire tornado in Ventura.

    https://youtu.be/l9N5JLMEx64

    • thebigweasel

      Saw one of those in the Painted Cave fire, crossing the grounds of the Saint Vincent nunnery. The next day, there were strange black patterns in the grass, looking like Thai script.

    • Jim (Watsonville)

      When I was on the Zaca 2 fire, the airtac ship reported one that he said was well over 1k feet tall…he said of all days to forget his camera…

      • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

        Very memorable fire…

  • thebigweasel

    Santa Barbara was unrecognisable this morning. 28 degrees, and because of the smoke, visibility is a quarter mile. I’m pretty sure we have clear blue skies above, but there’s no way to tell.
    Just how bad is it down there?

    • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

      It is horrific… almost the worst I’ve seen it. People should not be outside. Wearing my N95 mask all day.

  • Taz & Storm Master

    ever since the 18z runs wed 12 wed 06z today all seem too agreed that we could see a storm around x mass

    • RunningSprings6250

      Someone must have stood in front of the mirror and repeated “Storm Master” 3 Times!

      • Steve92

        I think when storm master added taz to his name that messed everything up. Seems like we got more rain when he was just Storm Master.

        • RunningSprings6250

          Agreed, hope hes listening….

    • weathergeek100

      Not going to happen

  • https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2f586c834eeeec901a4b18c92dfcd51e08e9a05f7a7e026d2f981d637645adcd.gif GFSniper on overwatch: “I think I see some movement up top, Ridgeline 384-Alpha, heavy AR gunners setting up for an ambush on the Bay Area and Sierra, a LOW yield tactical device is going to impact the Monterey Bay directly with the fallout hitting Mammoth in a 1-2 punch capable of taking out millions…of bark beetles.”
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dc5cd528e01560802803dc7cf977c70e1cf2e38d92395932c72c86dcac05f425.jpg
    https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/gfs/2017120706/gfs_mslp_pcpn_frzn_swus_50.png

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Lol. Hopefully this isn’t a drill, and GFS Strike Team 6 is using live rounds in their .50 cal Barretts. And hopefully they’ll be getting some backup from NATO when the European Allies send in the Elite ECMWF Tactical Ops Brigade once the target is within the 240hr window.
      The DPRK has already demostrated how their RRR Death Ridge Weapon can reach the Western US. This is serious business, but we won’t go quietly into the night without a fight!

    • RunningSprings6250

      Being a bigger tease than Yanet…

    • Yolo Hoe

      Right on cue — thanks for that Crash — we need some positive meds

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      Unfortunately, the 12Z took that away. That is why I am not even posting about one operational model run. One run shows the potential for rain then the next model puts the ridge back.

      • RunningSprings6250

        Well it’s been showing for 3 or 4 runs so we have to consider the pending 18z and 00z before stepping back to square one, IMO…

        • Bob G (Gustine)

          You are right. I just hate putting too much into one run or another

  • Jim (Watsonville)

    KTLA just reported the first confirmed fatality for the Thomas fire. Female in a vehicle in Wheelock Canyon

  • Jim (Watsonville)

    Almost looks like some smoke over us this morning ? Sun has that orange look it does going through smoke.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      It does seem that the smoke is moving up the coast from Socal. It is not smoky in areas east, south, and southeast of the fires such as Orange County.

  • nunbub
  • happ [Los Angeles]

    Only light winds here overnight and no smoke since all the fires are west of Pasadena; the closest is the Creek fire over the ridge above the eastern San Fernando valley. Nearly all schools are closed where smoke is present. Seems like everyone is suffering from allergies. Wish we could get a break from these killer ridges.

  • Chris

    Un freaking believable!
    SMOKE in the South Bay (Morgan Hill) in DECEMBER?!?!?
    It’s currently 35 degrees out. I wonder how much cooler today will be since the rays of the lower sun angle will travel through more smoke than if the sun was higher in the sky. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e31061acb071e91f25cd5d2e1e7d6d7ead578f40e35f665dfcbe243d748d639e.jpg

  • justsomeguy

    Frazier Peak Fire Cam
    Not sure what this is looking at, assume Thomas Incident.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f733c1973418335ce85dfafca29e6521f13ef5b45c8c0d036fb7dcb217292382.jpg

    • RunningSprings6250

      7am and blowing up like that…..gonna be a long day…..

    • justsomeguy
      • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

        Wouldn’t straight up be the best? When it starts going sideways like this doesn’t it imply higher winds? I could be wrong.

        • matthew

          I was thinking the same thing. The top picture, while more ominous, seems to imply less wind.

        • justsomeguy

          I thought about that. Hard to tell from upwind what it is doing on the other side. Still, at that time of day to be able to produce the amount of energy represented by the first pic, without wind, is pretty telling.

      • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

        That actually isn’t better… Means the plume is hugging the lower levels, easier spotting ahead of the fire due to this.

        • justsomeguy

          Probably should not have said better. Only good thing about strong wind is that you know which way it is going to spread. Plume dominated fires can be equally messy.

    • matt

      Looks like volcanic eruptions. On Ventura fire cams. It’s like merry Christmas everyone socal burning to the ground. Not over emphasizing anything.

  • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

    I’m wearing an N95 mask inside and we have two Air Scrubbers going and there are people outside running as if it is a normal Thursday morning…

  • davdorr

    It looks like the smoke from down south has reached the Bay Area. Just took this from my backyard in South San Jose.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/68fbadc9695266ecb8b83d51c94fc829f9477b73f2258045ea317d79605ae03a.jpg

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay
      • happ [Los Angeles]

        I believe there are some active fires in NorCal according to the state fire administration. I don’t think the smoke up there is from SoCal fires.

        • Jim (Watsonville)

          Not aware of any active fires in the north…where did you hear about any ?

          • happ [Los Angeles]

            Sorry, here’s the update from NWS_Monterey; the smoke is from SoCal amazingly:
            “Visible satellite reveals smoke aloft that has
            made it as far north as Monterey Bay and the Santa Cruz
            Mountains. A reverse Hysplit trajectory confirms the air source
            over Monterey originated from southern California.”

    • AlTahoe

      I actually went to that elementary school in the picture for one year back in 1985. Then I went to Paradise Valley in Morgan Hill after that.

  • AlTahoe

    And of course the 12z has the ridge reforming off of the BC coast before any storms can make it onshore. Cold air keeps spilling all the way down to the gulf coast on this run as well at the end. As long as that keeps happening it will pump the ridge up over us. Hopefully it is not a trend but I think it will be.

    • matthew

      At least it looks like WA/OR gets a quickie. That is a change, and at this point change is good.

    • We’ve been looking at end of month for some time so this doesn’t bring cause for concern at least in medium/long range IMO

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Later runs will give us an idea if 12z is an outlier. There have been several runs lately hinting at things changing after the 19th/20th, so one run may not mean much, or it’s the start of a trend.

  • Fairweathercactus

    Where getting fake cold (dry air low dew point driven cold) and a fake ass fall as well.

  • Thunderstorm

    Could be a venturi effect later today over the mountains in the Thomas fire area. Winds are very strong between 7 and 10 thousand feet today. This will suck up the hot air from the fire and lead to very long range spotting in front of the fire.

    Thanks for the link Matt from Landcaster of the fire cams in Ventura County. One of the cams looks like a volcano this morning.

  • Fairweathercactus

    12z is the dream killer. Today it it did just that.

  • Shane Ritter

    Good news: AO now forecast to stay near neutral in the long range vs. Go deep – like yesterday. Bad news: PNA weakens briefly around the 18th then rebuilds.

  • weathergeek100

    Dewpoint in San Diego Lindbergh: 1. One lonely degree.

    https://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mesowest/getobext.php?wfo=sgx&sid=KSAN&num=48

    Dewpoint in San Diego Montgomery: -10. Lowest I’ve ever seen in the area.

    https://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mesowest/getobext.php?wfo=sgx&sid=KMYF&num=48

    That, my friends, more or less makes vegetation as flammable as gasoline.

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      Leo Carrillo Beach [Malibu] was reporting negative dew points & temp in 70’s overnight.

  • happ [Los Angeles]

    The high level smoke from Ventura county fire is being reported as far north as Monterey Bay/ Santa Cruz mts! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9ca5f9a9c680fc5c6775ed5333f5f991414480f5270d30d6582615c1b4b0be0d.jpg

    • Henry

      Yes, from here in the Santa Cruz mountains near Los Gatos I am seeing some gray smoke several thousand feet above ground level that looks like a cloud. Visibility is still good at lower elevations, e.g. from here to Mission Peak. However some smoke is covering the top of Mt Hamilton. What is surprising is that for the smoke to get here from the southern California fires the wind would have to blow from the southeast. I though Santa Ana winds usually blow from the northeast.

    • Robin White

      Quite a bit of smoke at dawn from the Bitterwater Fire in the northern Salinas Valley, east of Monterey, not from Ventura.

      • happ [Los Angeles]

        Per NWS_Monterey:
        “Visible satellite reveals smoke aloft that has
        made it as far north as Monterey Bay and the Santa Cruz
        Mountains. A reverse Hysplit trajectory confirms the air source
        over Monterey originated from southern California.”

        • Robin White

          Yes, I see that smoke as a band just offshore. Thanks. I think the darker stuff that turned the dawn red was blowing in from the smaller fire to the east.

    • honzik

      Can confirm. I’m working from home in the SCMtns today, and can distinctly smell the wildfire smoke at 2000′ above sea level.

    • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

      No relief in sight

  • tomocean
  • justsomeguy
    • RunningSprings6250

      Flamingo poop?

      • justsomeguy

        Nicely done!

    • Bombillo1

      Remarkably green vegetation for so little rainfall measured in the last 9 months…

      • RandomTreeInSB

        At least the mountains got some good T-storms back in August and September.

  • RandomTreeInSB
    • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

      We are so fortunate the winds are calm right now.

    • This is that feature that some folks noted in model forecasts earlier. It’s real, and has come to pass.

    • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

      Wow straight from the equator almost to the pole. That is truly insane!

  • Despite occasional minor rain chances in the 10-16 day operational runs, persistent ridging along/near the West Coast remains prominent in all model ensemble solutions straight through their 14+ day runs. Minor hints of retrogression at the end of December, but even that’s not especially favorable for significant precipitation in California. Really wish I had better news, but that’s this is what the best evidence suggests at the moment.

    • gray whale

      retrogression is what got us our big rains a couple weeks ago, though. but not disagreeing.

    • Bombillo1

      I noticed that your work at UCLA falls under the auspices of the Institute of Environment and Sustainability. I understand your contribution is in the area of climate and its impact on California, specifically, but this is being fed directly into the “sustainability” question that your group is charged with assessing. When will you weigh in on this much larger question as we are all watching this climate change, horrific incidiary events and there is only so much for us to say about this. Specifically, what are the “sustainability” issues that preoccupy you and your group? As a society we depend on logical collaborative scientific analysis to initiate these discussions.

    • GuestForToday

      Apologies if you’ve already addressed this question elsewhere: I’m wondering how you feel about the conflation on this blog of your role as a climate scientist and your role as a weather forecaster. The former, of course, is well-established, entails longer term trends, and is nuanced, complex, and solidly grounded in a larger scientific conversation.

      Not that the latter role isn’t all of that, necessarily, but… forecasting is a bit less certain, I think it’s fair to say.

      My question is, then, is there a worry that the relative capriciousness of weather forecasts could undermine people’s faith in the serious reality of climate change? Put simply: weather forecasts can be wrong (not saying this one is wrong, but there’s a chance, at least, that it could be). So, from a science communication perspective, is there a worry that assuming a role as a weather forecaster, and being wrong (say, like many forecasts were wrong about the NorCal winter last year being relatively dry), might undermine people’s faith in longer term climate forecasts? (which of course are based on something much more thorough and certain than forecast models) I’m not trying to say that models are totally unreliable; I’m more just thinking of the possibility that forecast misses will cause people to just say, like, “well, see, he was wrong about that, so what does he know.”

      For the record, I’m not trying to criticize; I’m genuinely curious. Apologies, too, for the long post. And I understand if this isn’t the place for this kind of question!

    • Dan the Weatherman

      Is there any other part of the world right now that is experiencing a stagnant long lasting high amplitude ridging pattern as the U.S. west coast and CA are experiencing? Just curious.

      • thlnk3r

        -QBO coupled with Weak La Nina’s have produced the type of blocking in the past that we are seeing now.

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      First year to record near 0 inches of rain in December is coming here if that’s true

  • Farmer47

    This is unbelievable. There looks to be a constant east wind for the next 10-12 days!! If I had no reference to a timeframe I would swear this was October

    • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

      Damn…Just a small shift in low level on shore flow would be huge right now. Does feel like a early October pattern…I hope we can get some kind of RH recovery soon…

      • gray whale

        you doing okay my man? hope so.

        • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

          Ey GW! West slope Sierra foothills are sounding better and better…seems like we’re hitting rock bottom here on the south coast…hope all is well up there. Still hoping for a WW Sierra @Tahoe pow day one of these storms…

    • Al (SoCal – VictorValley)

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0511d08a2170e21cd4a7d5cebabfe2da8e4f63e9a18b673d87fbd1e7c2f03a6d.jpg And the worst part, after looking at the 12z GFS, is that none of the mountains in SoCal has recorded any snow yet so far this season :/ (Pic taken in Apple Valley facing towards Mountain High/Wrightwood)

      • Freddy66

        Looks like July

  • Thunderstorm

    Another first here at my location for the year2017 with fire smoke covering the entire sky in December. Will add that to highest winds,temperature,lowest humidity and strongest thunderstorm (40 bolts in one minute at the peak). This extreme year continues.

  • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

    It’s going to be ironic that once these fires are put out and we give thanks to all our heroic first responders, our local tv weather personalities will begin to wish-away any heavy rain predictions to avoid flash flooding and mud-flows. Go figure.

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      That’s how it goes…

    • Dry Bones

      Yep, the folks in the elevator will complain about the fires and the wind, and in the next breath complain about the cold. If it were to rain (ha), they would complain about the rain and cold: “When’s it gonna warm up again?” I don’t want to sounds negative in the midst of everything going on right now… But that is your typical southern Californian’s attitude toward weather. If it’s not between 70°F and 85°F and sunny, they will complain about it. Obviously you can tell I didn’t grow up here.

  • Jim (Watsonville)

    For those who used to use wildlandfire.com, that site is no longer. A new site has been established to replace the “hotlist” many of us used to get updates on fires. Here is the new site.
    http://www.wildlandfires.us

    • Admode (Susanville)

      Thanks for that. Looks like you have to re-register.

      • Jim (Watsonville)

        I just did…they have made it very easy to do so

        • Admode (Susanville)

          Yup, me too:)

    • justsomeguy

      Thanks. You da man!

  • Bombillo1

    Our climatic and hydrological displacement has been well chronicled now. We are to expect between 10 and 20% less rainfall over the next 20 years, per Daniel’s re-tweet. I suspect no one south of Monterey would find this statement particularly controversial . I do not view planting cactus landscaping as a solution, arguably aggravating our situation. What then do we do?

    • I would not take those numbers too literally. That study’s a targeted one trying to tease out the singular effect of Arctic sea ice loss, which is far from the only thing changing as the climate warms. The emerging theme seems to be increasing precip variability in California, which means both more wet and more dry years (and therefore, it may not really matter so much what happens “on average”). I’ll have more to say about that in a few months, hopefully….

      • Pfirman

        I guess this passes for optimism these days?

      • Well there are other changes that already do matter much. Temperatures are definitely on the rise and already caused a nontrivial chunk of our most recent California drought [Williams et al. 2015]. My own research showed that precipitation timing is changing and can cause reductions in water resources such as streamflow and groundwater recharge [Daniels 2014].

    • Los Angeles has been running an average deficit of 4″ per year for the last ten. So that’s about like 75% of average over the last ten if my math is okay.

    • Quagmire Cliffington

      I think water rationing should be a norm based off of real time forecasts.

      • Bombillo1

        And development, subdivisions, apartment complexes, office buildings, freeway additions etc? 15 second showers for everone so we can squeeze in that next taxpayer? Is anyone worried about the end game?

        • Quagmire Cliffington

          You’re saying you don’t want the hyperloop between SF and LA?

        • 82/83 El Nino baby (San Jose)

          We are all pointing out the “what”, but not the how. For example, where I live, no new homes have gone up in the areas, but the number of people living in each home has increased. More multifamily setups. My point is that the resources are still being used by these folks, so its not like if we stop zoning new development, we solve the issue.

          And if the bigger issue is population, we live in a democracy and I know of no way we can enforce population control without doing somethings we would all call the opposite of a free society.

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            One day it will stop. We can turn the entire Central Valley into one giant Los Angeles but one cannot create more land or water

          • matthew

            If sea levels rise as predicted a lot of what we know as the central valley will be under water.

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            Nobody looks that far down the road. Most cities don’t look beyond 10 to 20 years. Do you know what an EIR is? I would argue it is only a nuisance to those wanting to pave over the valley which includes like minded local politicians. Unless there is someone willing to challenge an EIR in court, it doesn’t matter what kind of fiction is passed off as an EIR document.

          • matthew

            Yes, very familiar with the works of fiction known as EIRs. I have seen a few up here in the mountains that amount to nothing more than lies. Hire a consultant, tell them what you want the EIR to say, pay them handsomely, and that is what the EIR will say. Fortunately we have a group of very active and very talented people defending the environment up here. They are not “no growth”, but “smart growth”. There is one currently going to court for a development that the planning commission unanimously recommended not proceed. When it went to the Placer County supervisors it was rubber stamped to go ahead in spite of the planning commission’s recommendation. Would love to see who got paid on that one.

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            Yes, I know those kind of stories all to well. We have a local town near where I live. Very pro growth and basically local landowners and developers control City Hall. A large project came before the City. The City was warned for years it could not keep approving large scale development without finding a surface water source. It currently relies 100% on well water. The city hired a consultant who did a water supply assessment for this proposed development. The consultant stated the City needed to find a surface water source so the Developer and City terminated this consultant and found another one to give them the type of assessment they needed. The city approved it. LAFCO staff recommended the board deny the project because of water and other issues and the LAFCO board went ahead and approved it anyway. I am sure these types of things happen all over the state

          • Pfirman

            Upvote for getting down.

          • Pfirman

            I keep forgetting you are stuck with Placer ‘officials’.

          • Bombillo1

            We our managing this state like it is one giant Brazilian favela. And I am not a fan of huge government either…

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            Planning is done at the local level. Most cities want to grow and take a narrow view looking at it only from a economic point of view. I would also say some of these local towns are corrupt with developers basically running city hall. There is a state agency called LAFCO that overseas it but their controlling body consists of mostly appointed local politicians and the effectiveness of that body can very significantly from County to County. The state also mandates Counties and Cities build a certain amount of housing per year, well unless you are Marin County

          • Pfirman

            Brazilian favela, heh. Water ghetto? The taxpayer gets a Brazilian shave job.

          • Pfirman

            Will Rogers said ‘Buy land, they ain’t makin’ no more of it.’ It’s the same with water.

        • Bob G (Gustine)

          There is this development startng up in Tracy now. Almost 5,000 houses on arid land west of Hwy 580 that used to be cattle pasture. This will come home to roost one day. It will take almost 6,000 acre feet of water to serve this area which used to take not a drop

          • Bombillo1

            I was reading an article about an ancient buffalo being un-earthed near Escondido. Coincidentally the following article was the minutes from the Escondido planning departmen which I read out of curiosity . I was shocked to see two residential developments approved for 1200 new condominiums. Our leaders are failing us in a shocking manner. Now that very area is being threatened by the 2 new wildfires on 15 and 76.

      • RunningSprings6250

        Nah, population reduction plan, commence!

        • Tuolumne

          Starting in the San Bernardino Mountains of course. Pick your straw and good luck! 😉

      • matthew

        How do you impose rationing on an orchard? Something like 80% of our water use is agriculture.

        IMO, water needs to be priced like the scarce commodity that it is becoming. Even that does nothing to address the ecological damage done by drought.

  • Thunderstorm

    Looking at the stratospheric temperature forecast for the next two weeks, the ridge gets undercut from the east next Friday and again on the 23rd. I assume if from the east this means Santa Anna winds again.

  • molbiol

    I’ve said it before but can’t resist: This looks very similar to a summer monsoon pattern with a strong 500mb anomaly over the great basin, weak upper level low to the southwest, and deep ESE flow over Socal. Very strange to see this in December. The big difference of course is that it IS December meaning that there is no convection over Mexico, and low latitude flow (over Mexico) is westerly (as it should be this time of year) since in principle, subtropical easterlies/ridging is suppressed. In other words: No moisture and no instability/ No inverted troughs

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/05921eb6ef16d5389d20f83adbe1038e4125388d9c7dbb52e790325a87f901a7.png

    • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

      The STJ also has a huge influence on the weather this time of year. Mexico is getting the perfect set-up, with cold continental air-mass sliding down the backside of the ridge and merging with the moisture from the STJ, creating storminess all the way south to Monterrey.

    • Forecast is for a low of 1C in Monterrey tonight with a possibility of snow. I know your map is a few days forward.

  • Dry Bones

    Dewpoint -2°F and 4% RH at Fullerton airport. Over here in Long Beach we’re at a luxurious by comparison 3°F dewpoint and 5% RH. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen both these values dip so low.

  • Freddy66

    Forgive me for the simplistic question. but In simple terms why doesn’t the ridge want to budge ? I thought weather is always changing as different air masses make their way around the globe…or so I was to believe.

    • Jim (Watsonville)

      Remember, a woman is in charge….and they can do whatever they want !! Damn that Mother Nature….we’re sorry for whatever we said to make you mad !!!

      • Chris

        So if you’re saying Mother Nature got a sex change, we’d all be ok???

      • Tuolumne

        Yeah, men never cause any problems at all, right?

    • IMO There is a 5-6 wave pattern that is very stable and we are in the middle of the dead dry area. The Arctic oscillation pattern is full on negative (high pressure) over the Arctic

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      I am no expert on this but that deep Hudson Bay low on the East Coast helps to keep the ridge in place. Both together help create a pattern that is hard to dislodge.