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

 

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  • Cap’n

    My wife sent me this picture from this morning at Donner Lake. She reports morning temps between 10-19F the past several mornings keeping the small amount of snow around. She also reports much wood use and a diminishing supply. I suspect she has been giving some away or selling it off.

    I also suspect she might be cheating on me.

    Not much concern to me as this looks to be the winter that pushes me over the edge anyways. We’ve been watching the news in the Rec room. Very sorry to hear about the fires. Day number 17 clean and sober off the GFS, though still jonesing for a quick glimpse of the ensembles. I know it won’t fix me but what else is there to lose.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bc2f447d9ed27b44aacf9844a3f77549883862ffde714c1b9cf720eea4855ba5.jpg

    • inclinejj

      We were just asking about you the other day.

    • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

      Be strong!

    • AlTahoe

      The 18z is showing a classic arctic outbreak for the west coast starting around hour 288. It is the first exciting thing it has shown since you left. Url is waiting for your return!

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        The 18Z has nice beautiful strong ridge of high pressure extending the entire length of the East Coast

        • jstrahl

          Any situation of ridges along both coasts on record? Doesn’t seem possible to my thinking given the requirements, but i could be wrong.

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            That is beyond my capabilities. Gotta ask the record keepers on this board 🙂

        • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

          They deserve it

    • PRCountyNative

      One day at a time.

  • Fairweathercactus

    The days will be getting longer soon. Ugh let that sink in for a second. 🙁

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      True but that doesn’t mean much

    • Charlie B

      Easier to fight fires.

      • AlTahoe

        Easier to walk the dog as well 🙂

    • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

      Why would that matter? Our core winter months are coming up. July and August have shorter days than June but they’re hotter on average

    • honzik

      Interestingly enough, at my latitude (~38 deg) the 7th of December (yesterday!) was the earliest sunset. Today’s sunset is a few seconds later. The latest sunrise is the 3rd of January. Halfway between those two dates is the shortest day (December 21st.)

      I didn’t know that little fun fact until a few years ago (courtesy of sunrisesunset.com)

  • matthew

    Check this out : https://earthquakes.volcanodiscovery.com/

    Pan over to get a Pacific view showing the ring of fire. Does anyone else see an unsettling abnormality in that graphic?

    • alanstorm

      4.1 at Mammoth?
      Eruption imminent?

      • matthew

        I was thinking more about the fact that the San Andreas seems to be eerily quiet. Virtually no activity from southern Mexico to Alaska.

        • alanstorm

          I know. Joking. I’ve been wondering the same thing the last year or 2.
          Alaska should be lit up as well

      • Steve Taylor

        Let it blow…that 4.1 was fun

        • alanstorm

          Sure. Then we wouldn’t give a crap about that RIDGE anymore

        • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

          Snowman?

          • Steve Taylor

            Ya

    • celo

      neat website
      thanks

  • AntiochWx

    Going to just say what’s on my mind. California will be average to above average rainfall for the month of January. The pattern we will be entering into is nearly identical with what happened in the early part of November. I fully expect the Hudson low to retrograde towards the central part of Canada as the ridge lifts off towards the GOA/aleutians again. But this time, I don’t see the Baja ridge being as ferocius. This should allow the moisture to penetrate farther in the south. I think the Pacific will be open for business most the month of January.

    • ThomTissy

      I’m going to go ahead and bet it all on this if you do not mind. I will not place blame if you’re wrong.

      It’s weird, I come to this site not because I have a huge concern about drought and water supply (I do recognize they are huge issues) but because I LOVE rainy weather. The California curse is that we get roughly 6 months a year that have rain and that we are very prone to drought.

    • Craig Matthews

      With you on that.

  • tomocean
  • Robin White

    Zonal flow and showers are back in the forecast by next Friday.
    In Seattle.

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      Baby steps

  • Drought Lorde

    Those storms in fantasy land will stay a fantasy! Ladies and gentlemen i will do my absolute best to bring you the driest winter ever (heck, if i can, ill do my best to muster up rain/snow-less winter) alas tho, not even I am perfect! Don’t fret though, ill make sure there’s plenty of high pressures for everyone this Christmas! Get used to this! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d4be859127961fd332e78fb1effbd82f9484a99a33b7894e34d907759ddea37a.jpg

    • AlTahoe

      I am on board with this novelty account!

      Do you think we could have a negative rain season? Like through evaporation LA could finish with -1.5″ for the year?

      • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

        At the rate we water landscaping this is possible

      • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

        Who knows in the new days we seem to be in.

        You water but it’s so dry that the water actually gets sucked into the air?

        Maybe?

      • Drew Stofflet

        Like the Lakers after Kobe…they just kinda dried up

    • RunningSprings6250

      I was sold until the double “though” with mismatched spelling – you are not the real drought lorde.

      Unless you can muster up a bona fide extended dust storm….?

    • matthew

      White Christmas = Ash Fall.

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      Delete your account

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      The high pressure area is moving north for xmas

    • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

      Wouldn’t that position of the ridge be conducive to undercutting?

      • Thunderstorm

        Yep, starting next Friday but just colder and windy.

    • alanstorm

      Drought Lard

    • Daft Lard

    • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

      kook

    • weathergeek100

      This dude is like fairweathercactus times ten. Really annoying

    • Your trolling skills are are evident.

    • RandomTreeInSB
  • Taz & Storm Master

    the 18z GFS has a super cold snap for the W starting around 300hrs

    • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

      Bingo!

    • weathergeek100

      Not going to happen

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    Seems most long range models have the same idea about a pattern change around the 300 hours+ and it looks to be fun.

    • matthew

      It has been there for a few days. The timing has varied from the 18th – 23rd, but some variation on the theme has been there. Should come into better focus on the timing by next weekend, but at this point it looks like a change is definitely in the works.

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        I’ve seen the cold outbreak with precip and the warm one that’s much wetter, I’m sure the warm will win, but I hope I’m wrong.

  • Unbiased Observer

    If this arctic blast comes to fruition….this year is starting to remind me of 90-91, the season of the historic freeze and miracle march.

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      Doesn’t really look like an artic blast to me just some below average temps

      • Unbiased Observer

        Might not rival that arctic blast of Dec. 90′, but will definitely be the coldest temps we’ve seen in some time. We won’t ever see something like that again in our lifetime as much as the earth has warmed since then.

        • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

          The climate has warmed as an average, it doesn’t mean we can’t have a cold weather event still. There is a difference

          • Unbiased Observer

            Exactly, we can still have an arctic outbreak…but with the exact same setup it won’t get quite as cold now as it did then.

          • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

            But I still respectfully disagree. Weather is not the same as climate. Its impossible to say that because the climate has warmed XX snow event is not possible. Temecula received rare snow in 2014, the warmest year on record at the time. The value of temperature and pressure of a single storm or air mass is irrelevant of the climate. What am I missing here?

        • V-Ville

          Ha ha I remember that. Got on the plane in Sydney in shorts and tank top cause it was 102. Arrived in San Jose at 10p.m. where ramp folks were bundled up cause it was so cold. Thank God my mother met me at the gate with a heavy coat! Spent a couple hours wrapping her pipes, and dripping her faucets so they wouldn’t freeze. That was fun weather!

  • Craig Matthews

    Here’s an “On this day in Weather History” 45 years ago…posted by @NWSBayArea irt record cold high temp for the day in Santa Cruz on Dec 8th, 1972. I attached the 500mb geopotential height pattern for the timeframe surrounding this day…Dec. 8 1972. Was quite the amped of signals. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b1f100ecb64b509eee2eafe9bd15d15f82a03111eacb8a8d0e415c67b47ee0d8.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d0ae54eac5e48de993bd158502ef3ca38e8014489b5fe9223aea465aaf5fbe92.gif

    • RunningSprings6250

      High shifts north, open up that backdoor baby.

    • Tuolumne

      During that freeze, Sacramento had record cold daily highs for a few days that were below 32F due to ice fog. Very unusual and we won’t see that again in our lifetime, barring a mega volcanic eruption.

      • Craig Matthews

        Ice never melted in the shady spots in Carmel-Big Sur for several days during that event. Killed several eucalyptus.

      • AlTahoe

        Ice fog happened in 1990. Modesto stayed under 26F for 5 straight days so it can still happen

        • Tuolumne

          That was 27 years ago and it’s warmed up a lot since then. It’s not impossible but the odds are against it.

  • Fairweathercactus

    I always leared that if you want any chance of snow you need to be above the 528 line. That line gets close to So Cal.

  • Fairweathercactus

    Is that more of a December 2008 or a 1990 cold?

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      That was a good year early Xmas gift

    • Unbiased Observer

      What were the approximate dates of the 2008 cold?

      • Fairweathercactus

        12 15-17 here is the video of that day. Some computer models had snow level near 500 feet but the storm went to far offshore.

  • Charlie B

    I was chatting with a client in Birmingham Alabama who was cursing that there was snow on his car and he was worried about icy roads…..

    • Uncle Jesse

      Good day to stay home, sip shine and gorge boiled peanuts. Mmmm.

      • happ [Los Angeles]

        lol

  • Charlie B

    The next week in Yakima Wa has freezing fog every day with a high of 30….

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      They’re getting stagnant air; looks like we will also experience foul air into next week as smoke

    • Unbiased Observer

      A while back this would have meant two weeks of cold fog/stratus here in the Central Valley.

    • Drove through an incredibly dense freezing fog bank on I-5 near Yreka, CA last December. Absolutely gorgeous rime ice on vegetation, but pretty terrible driving conditions.

  • Thunderstorm

    The Coyote Fire of 1964 is the biggest fire in Santa Barbara County history at 64,000 acres. The Thomas Fire may challenge that this month.

    • RandomTreeInSB

      Zaca fire is. Quarter million acres burned.

      • Thunderstorm

        Correct you are must have looked at an old map. Zaca fire burned for almost two months. I think the fuel is much drier with this fire and will take some time to contain.

    • Unbiased Observer

      Try the Zaca fire, much larger.

      • Jim (Watsonville)

        Was on the Zaca 2 fire…over 200k…and was on the Cedar Fire 2003, California largest (state land), over 235k.

    • alanstorm

      Wow. ’64 was a bad year for California.
      Don’t forget the Handley Fire that burned the exact same path as the Tubbs Fire Oct 9.

      & the Tsunami in Crescent City

      & the 34 county disaster declaration for ’64 FLOOD

      http://www.sfchronicle.com/thetake/article/Wine-Country-fire-of-1964-Eerie-similarities-to-12267643.php

      • inclinejj

        June 11th in 1964 was a great day!

        • PRCountyNative

          As was August 13th!

    • Henry

      The Thomas fire is already 143,000 acres, more the twice the size of the Coyote Fire.

  • happ [Los Angeles]
  • Jose Mota

    Today was had frustrashen in Bear Mountain. I bring family for sleying then they tackle me as we entry to the snow. I have no pass to sley. Then my boy and dotter have cry when I tackled and my wife staring into me with looking disgust. We have sleep 3 nights in are van at the mountain Baldy has waited for snow. Then today drove Bear for faked snow. She no speak and I drink alone outside the van.

    • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

      Gracias

    • Thunderstorm

      What did you do with the Capn??

    • Where’s your Sley?

      • Jose Mota

        My sleigh has cracking in the hot hot sun

    • molbiol

      Imposter!!! What have you done with the REAL Jose Mota?

    • PRCountyNative

      It’s good to get outdoors, and spend time with the family.

  • Thunderstorm

    Looking around at various NWS sites that might help see whats coming towards California. Found this forecast. Rare fire weather for parts of Montana next Sunday with temps in upper fifties,low humidity,strong winds and no snow cover.

  • Dan the Weatherman

    The winds have been very light here in Orange, except that it was somewhat breezy this morning. It was smoky aloft to the south of here this afternoon and I am assuming that may have been from the Lilac Fire.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    It’s as rare as it his here for it to snow in Corpus Christi and extremely EXTREMELY rare that they got 7″ of snow. So yes it is possible to get that much snow here. On another note in December or January of 1906 or 1907 it snowed 2′ in Santa Rosa.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      I think it’s even less likely for coastal snow in most of CA than it was in 1917. Even Laguna Beach in SoCal got accumulating snow back in 1949.
      It was rare then, and less likely now. Especially for areas below 500ft.

      I would compare Corpus Christi to Inland areas like Temecula, CA, which recieved accumulating snow in November 2004, and again on December 31, 2014.

      http://www.light-headed.com/asite/laguna/laguna_history/historic_photos/laguna_beach/lb_80.php

      • happ [Los Angeles]

        That link won’t open for me.
        You are right that it is much easier for sub freezing temps to penetrate south Texas than SoCal even at 25N lat

        • SoCalWXwatcher

          I fixed the link (url was too long).

  • Unbiased Observer

    While we are on the topic of cold outbreaks: not sure what the rest of the state was like in December 1998, but I remember some very cold days here in Bakersfield. The 21st had a low of 25F and and high of 36F, the 22nd had a low of 24F and a high of 34F. Later in the week one of the nights dropped down to 19F the same as during the 1990 deep freeze. In late January of that year it snowed 6″, the last measurable snow here.

    I don’t hear this one referenced much but am curious if anybody else remembers this cold snap and have any anecdotes or weather charts?

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      Dec 1998 produced a minimum of 38 here but I am in the hills and suspect USC was colder than that on 12/23. But 1990 was much colder during the arctic outbreak in late December

    • molbiol

      The Dec. 1998 event was an inside slider. In Lancaster temperatures dropped into the single digits for a couple of nights but no significant precip occurred with this slider system (just lots of cold air and wind). The 1998-1999 winter was quite disappointing with only one decent storm sequence during Jan 24-27. For some reason, a weird micro-climate setup overtook Bakersfield during that storm sequence and they picked up snow despite snow levels outside of the southern central valley being some 3000 feet higher

    • Chris

      The last snow in Bakersfield was January 1999.
      They had like an inch of rain then it turned to snow by morning.
      The odd thing was that it was wrap around coming UP from the south!!!!

      • Unbiased Observer

        Yes it was a cut-off low and the moisture came in from the south it rained for two days late and got progressively colder.

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      Great write-up below on all time cold snap outbreaks in the States (lower 48). The outbreak of 1899 was a killer.

      https://weather.com/storms/winter/news/america-coldest-outbreaks

    • AlTahoe

      I mentioned the 1998 blast last winter. The 1998 blast was remarkable but lost in the records because it fell on the same exact dates as the 1990 outbreak. In Morgan Hill we had a full on Snow Squall line pass through from the East over Henry Coe park into town.

    • Tuolumne

      I wasn’t there but I remember seeing that snow on the weather radar all over the southern San Joaquin Valley and being amazed. That day I flew to a bone-dry Vegas for a conference.

      It was amusing seeing saguaros in Vegas that had been imported to fit people’s idea of what desert is. They had been wrapped to insulate them against the cold because they were outside of their allowable climate range. Mental desert is always hot with plenty of saguaros, but reality desert can be too cold for those cacti and a lot of other things.

    • Steve Taylor

      December 1990 right in the middle of the 6 year drought, we hit -26 at my cabin here in Mammoth at 8200 feet. That was fun with no snow and no snow making.

  • happ [Los Angeles]
  • SoCalWXwatcher

    00z GFS continues the idea of a cold GOA low sliding down the W Coast into CA around Dec 22/23. It would be nice to see this idea hold into the 7-10 day window, which is still a ways off.

    • Farmer47

      I think this may actually happen. We all deserve a little Christmas present

  • alanstorm
    • happ [Los Angeles]

      cool

    • Yolo Hoe

      Cool — and assuming you’ll be back just in time to drive the LOW SNOW LEVELS bus?

      • alanstorm

        Did u see the bus in the newspaper pic I posted? How ironic

        • Yolo Hoe

          LOL — this has indeed been one nasty RIDGE — we’ll get back on the road soon

    • Charlie B

      As I drift into unconsciousness I wonder why this conference is held in Bangkok where it is and always will be hot and oppressive and not somewhere like the scattered communities in north Alaska where their history is melting

      • alanstorm

        They realise they’re in trouble here with any sea-level rise since BK sits mostly at sea-level.
        It’s funny- it’s been unusually cool & breezy with a shitload of rain (fon-tok) down south.
        Was looking forward to some blast-furnace sauna action, but denied.
        Maybe I’m acclimated after that brutal Ukiah summer

      • sezwhom

        Have you ever been to Bangkok? There’s lots to do.

  • sectionmaker

    I think I got the Windy link from here, but its really helpful for amateur weather watchers to put visuals on all the jargon thats talked about!! Site is fun to use to pull back and see large scale processes at work. Predictive abilities? I guess everrybody gets the same data as everyone else eh? Hope this linking works out!!

    Weather in Santa Barbara, cold, foul, London Fog murderous type of weather.

    https://www.windy.com/overlays?gfs,500h,31.241,-112.500,4,i:p,m:eCvacPS

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)
    • SoCalWXwatcher

      I would be thrilled with some hail or graupel.

      • thlnk3r
        • happ [Los Angeles]

          who cares?

          • thlnk3r

            That is a record-shattering, unprecedented comment with extreme (but impressive) consequences that could lead up to some amazing outcomes.

        • SoCalWXwatcher

          East Coast Weather Weenie Roast?

        • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

          They need a good month long mid winter dry spell

        • Taz & Storm Master

          YAY for the E coast payback time

          at lest it will keep there heating bills down

    • ECMWF shows dry weather in its run during the sane timeframe.

      • Yolo Hoe

        As does the 06Z GFS.

        For those who like analogues, the similarity to December 2013 remains uncanny to my admittedly novice eye.

        • Arnold Weather Fanatic

          2011-12 was a zippo December here. Followed by heavy rain and snow during February, March and April that turned it into an average year.

    • sezwhom

      Unfortunately, in typical GFS fashion, the 06z run is DRY! Completely dry through the 25th. EURO and GEM are scary dry through 10 days.

  • honzik

    I’m noticing the GFS starting to indicate rain again for the west coast in about 2 weeks after a few (crazy) runs of no rain all the way up to the Canadian border.

  • Fairweathercactus

    I often wonder how much damage the 2006/07 winter did to the cactus plants in the desert. Such long lasting cold must have done some damage to the pants.

    • sectionmaker

      maybe the spines poked through, really messed them up as well? ; ^ )

  • SolarWinds56

    Update on Lilac fire in North County San Diego. According to an article published by the SD Union Tribune on Friday around 8pm, the Lilac Fire is only 15% contained. Strong Santa Ana Winds are expected to return to SD Saturday afternoon through Sunday, gusting to 60 MPH+ in some areas. Firefighters trying to get the fire knocked down as much as possible before winds start to prevent a major flare up.

  • CHeden

    Yesterday, Redding failed to set the all time latest freezing date record, so Dec. 8 2017 will wind up just the second latest in history.
    At my house about 150′ higher, I was in the inversion layer and only got down to 41F. This morning at dawn, under a somewhat weaker inversion, I’m at 38F…so my streak continues….while the Redding airport is 33F.
    ATTM, not seeing much chance of us dropping below freezing anytime soon..at least for the next 10-12 days.

    • Yolo Hoe

      That’s really interesting — 29F here in far southwest Davis, continuing our several day string of frosty mornings at 54 feet above sea level.

      • CHeden

        Yup, you’re under the inversion layer. My guess is temps are probably ~ 5 degrees (at least) warmer at 1,000′ elevation than you are.

        • OldSnwSrvyr (Paradise)

          Yep. 47 degrees here at 1800ft.

        • inclinejj

          Speaking of the inversion layer I have run into snow down around 2,500 feet and rain going over Donner Summit around 7,300 feet. At first I was like WTF?

          • CHeden

            Know what you mean. Years ago I was up on Skyline down by Saratoga, where it was raining…. then turned to snow as I went south towards Skylonda, where I slid off the road from the ice.

          • Thor

            We’ve got serious inversion going in the Gallatin Valley…nice blanket of snow keep daytime highs barely reaching 25-30 whilst 20 miles up and over the pass and onto the plains they are in the 40s…

  • Arnold Weather Fanatic

    Atlanta has had more snow than we have had here.

  • This is amazing. Many “forever-sharp” knives slicing in unison. Santa must have delivered thousands off RRR bundles early.

  • This is amazing. Many “forever-sharp” knives slicing in unison. Santa must have delivered thousands off RRR bundles early. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/18ffa2fcbb8d6a5fa0a8cae0eb89bfba2d7357b190917207e4d0824830ea623a.png

    • Thunderstorm

      Exactly what the stratospheric temperature forecast shows. Hard to believe but fire weather for Montana also. Temps there 30F above normal. I see orange there in Canada.

      • Thor

        How do you get “fire weather for Montana” from that map. Most of the state is below average temps on the map…and most of the state currently covered in snow. What am I missing?

  • Hardcort

    In Truckee, WU stations show 30, 31, 34 in the upper reaches of Tahoe Donner and 12,14 around Sierra Meadows and that is a fairly good spread. I’m in Walnut Creek this morning and thinking about going for an early morning bike ride but it’s in the very low 30’s in the flats.

    • matthew

      12F in Glenshire this morning. Not unusual to see an inversion when it is dead calm like it has been recently.

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      47 was the low here across the Bay at 140 feet.

  • CHeden

    As for the upcoming “change” near Christmas, the GFS continues to show a very messy pattern starting to set up beginning around the 18th-19th.
    While other details have been sketchy, the model has been consistently showing an Omega Block located off the west coast at that time, with California remaining on the dry eastern flank….and a strong SPJ riding over the top north of the block.
    As we know, how/when a block breaks down is one the most difficult scenarios for the models to pin down in the MR-LR, and this one will be no exception. Take a look at the spaghetti plot for the 21st. Pretty hard to pull any sense of reality out of this conflagration of various solutions….as anything from a depressed ridge off the coast, to a monster ridge extending north into Canada to a low pressure trough setting up in the NE GoA are all showing up in the same series of runs. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/44f5ca062c91c557385333fc3079f779eb9576b097fe640debf147f0a86ce7fd.gif
    I

    • Nathan

      yeah hate to say it but given the trends of this past year since ~May, I think more likely than not the ridge will re-develop. Perhaps not as strongly, but GEFS still showing the central pacific and Hudson Bay lows from the 19-25th, and as long as those things are still cranking, it’s pretty unlikely anything will dislodge that high, or at least enable meaningful moisture through. We’ll see.

  • Weather Vain

    I’m really worried about John Curtis. He’s been silent since the Ojai fires started. If we never hear from him again, he is so far right with his second prediction for so cal: No rain until new year.

    Long live the most accurate weather see of our time: John Curtis!!

    • matthew

      Something tells me he is just fine.

      On another note, all I needed to do was click on your name to see your posting history. Good to know that you made it through the fires OK, John.

  • David Clark

    Strikes close to home for this longtime Bay Area resident. My only pet peeve complaint is that it raises, not begs, the question. This misuse dilutes the important concept of the latter.

    • gray whale

      i had to restrain myself on that one but will gratefully upvote your pointing it out 🙂

  • Fairweathercactus

    The 6z showed the pattern being a lot more East with us getting a whole lot of nothing. 12z is coming in.

    • matthew

      Still seeing a one-and-done for us up at Tahoe. This has been there for a few days now so I am getting more hopeful for at least a quick spritz. Better a quickie than nothing at all.

  • Andy Paul

    Very odd that an entire article on “resilient pressure ridges” and seasonal weather patterns completely fails to mention Milankovitch Effect, Sunspot activity, and especially the Circumpolar Vortex (including Rossby Waves, and ESPECIALLY, seasonal shifts of these patterns from Zonal, to Meridional!)

    As the world cools down, the Polar Front moves toward the Equator and the wave pattern switches from Zonal to Meridional.

    When the waves become deeply meridional, they tend to block (that is their normal movement from west to east stalls) causing prolonged spells of hot, cold, wet or dry weather.

  • Dogwood

    Just looked at my rainfall index cards in the laundry room, the one marked Rain 2014-15 jumps out. From December 21 thru February 5, 0.00″ in San Jose.
    That’s 6 weeks. No rain.
    Busted out 2″ on 2/6-8, then reverted to rainless until the 28th.

    There was a poster here during that time that was fond of responding to certain continuing drought predictions as availability heuristic.

    I think I might be in that camp at the moment.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    12z GFS shows a dryer storm system with an extended period of 20s in the valleys and single digits in the mountains from 288 h-384 h

    • Taz & Storm Master

      yep the 12z brings back what the 06z took away

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Long range has been very inconsistent from run to run over the last few days, moreso than usual. I do get the impression we’ll be seeing colder weather after the 20th with a shot at some rain though.

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        CFS trends wet and cold with GOA’s near New Years

      • Henry

        I think we are in a stable dry weather pattern, and the likelihood of persistence from week to week is quite high. Even without a model I think we can predict dry weather in 7 days based on this blocking pattern, and we would be right about 80% of the time.

        It is funny how people here react to dry stable weather during the winter months. They keep obsessing over imaginary storms 10+ days out, as if they are thirsty hikers in the desert looking at a mirage. Thank goodness the GFS doesn’t publish 30 day forecasts, otherwise folks here would be talking about the imaginary mega storm on Day 30. The obsession with long range models here also dovetails with the over reliance of climate researchers on model simulations to help them jump to conclusions. Model simulations don’t prove anything, they are no substitute for real world observations.

        • SoCalWXwatcher

          Long range guidance has some value if it is consistent, with corroberation among multiple models and ensembles. Even then, it is guidance and not a crystal ball. It is one of many tools in a meteorologist’s toolbox, but is useless in the hands of those that aren’t familiar with its limitations or don’t know how to use it properly.

          The very strong ridge pattern we are in now, as well as some of the storms that hit Norcal last month were picked up in the 300+hr long range by these models & their ensembles.

      • After Santa and maybe early January for a temporary opening of the storm door. Too much anxiety here looking at one model then another and getting depressed or manic for something everyone swears has zero reliabity until inside a 5 day forecast. I need more fiction posts of the trials and tribulations of Jose Mota and the Muzikman(sp).

        • SoCalWXwatcher

          If you think anxiety is high around here now, just wait and see what it’l be like if we get to New Years wothout any rain or anything promising looking in the Operational model runs. Mota may burn his sley.

          • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

            That sley needs to be sacrificed.

          • I may try some Evel Knievel stunts to make sure my adrenal glands are still functioning.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        We are really overdue for a decent rain event after how dry it has been this entire fall so far.

  • happ [Los Angeles]
  • Darin

    My wife said she felt weird and wanted to see an apocalyptic movie but… I said, “like bubblegum apocalyptic?”. “Yes!” . And by “bubblegum”, something not serious maybe even comical CG or heavy handed in messaging. So we watched The Day After Tommorow. It leads with the Antarctica Larsen B shelf miraculously breaking in half, Dennis Quaid almost dying trying to save ice core samples. Of course, all the actors have nothing covering their face in the cold.

    Since then, the Larsen B has gone increasingly negative and significant calving events for Larsen C. For all the Hollywood weather silliness, they did capture the human reactions to weather wonderfully. The weatherman standing on the street by a hurricane; people taking pictures of serious events; and decisions to travel in the weather when it’s an obviously bad idea.

    Fun cheap Friday night with a pinch of a little too close to the bone.

  • Fairweathercactus

    One thing to keep in mind and this is a long way off. A lot of moisture to the south and if that gets tangled up in the flow that could kill the chances of the cold. We need to root for the bold and hope that moisture stays to the south. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ee45a27d3004a68d2446fbaf13bee55ff75568eddb22c64b7e49ad346d148c11.png

    • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

      I know your “schtick” when it comes to posting comments on this blog but after what we’re currently going through, picking cold over moisture seems over-the-top. As this pattern holds for the foreseeable future it looks like our only chance of precip will be a cut-off low forming to our SW, undercutting the high to the north, and moves into SoCal ala Baja Blast. We need rain very badly here and posting, “We need to root for the bold and hope that moisture stays to the south” is not the news our firefighters and residents of SoCal need at this time.

      • Freddy66

        I still don’t get the rationale behind his posts. Can somebody explain it for me ?

        • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

          That’s his “speal” on this blog. Trying to get people riled up to reply to his posts and unfortunately, it just worked on me.

        • We’re stuck in this pattern for three more weeks and ? has the ability desire and timing to troll

          • SoCalWXwatcher

            I’d like to see a bar fight between him and Mota. Yanet could hold up the sign before every round, so we know which round is coming up.

          • Yanet Garcia (on a beach)

            It is called ring card girl! You boys from Cali Sur get me in a fluster.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      I do think at this point moisture is more important than cold. And I love cold snaps, especially around Christmas, but after the driest Fall on record around here, and a week’s worth of strong Santa Anas and record low humidity, I’d take a warm, saturated Pineapple Express over cold dry air, pretty morning frost and ice on my windshield.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        I would rather have a warmer soaking rain at this point as well as opposed to a cold snap that would lead to little rainfall and possibly more dry offshore winds afterward.

  • Drought Lorde

    For those who doubt me, I shall make sure that ridge goes nowhere. Can you hear that? It’s the sound of lakes running dry under my watch. Your welcome. I think I’ll hang around the next few years, 2019 seems like a reasonable stay, what do you think? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e28048aaf85ab40e6a88811c820bc9b9a5ced8f6cd9c00d26b6dbf67060805de.png

  • MakeSoCalWetAgain (SMX)

    I’m sick of the smoke and the fires in this state. If these stupid ridges continue to keep California dry until New Year’s Day, I’ll probably move to another state where there’s a real winter, like the Great Lakes area. I’m tired of this same old Dry West, Cold East pattern. Something must be rigging our atmosphere.

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      It does seem like an awful amount of people on here are moving farther north in CA or completely moving out of the state. Crazy

      • Dan the Weatherman

        There have been some people talking about moving, but I don’t know how many actually have moved aside from a couple.

        • palmsprings

          I know dozens and dozens of people who have moved here from Canada or the Pac NW, yet I can count on my fingers the number of people who moved out. Everyone here is blissfully ignorant about global warming and weather in general. Every day for the past couple of weeks, I’ve heard nothing but ‘gorgeous day’ comments…

    • The Bud Meister

      We could repopulate Detroit!

      • Pfirman

        Nice, but guessing lack of response makes you Bud Wiser.

  • Shane Ritter

    PNA still forecast to go negative in 10 days. Hopefully that holds. Both Euro and NCEP showing a weak but progressive MJO. I think the real positive is the SO forecast to go positive and stay there. Hopefully all of it will come together and we get a series of storms after the 20th. Maybe 2 cold weak storms and 1 monster wet one. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8fff594fe49f5a46fc9ca591640c9baa64df89dda55090c7ddebbec978329ff3.png

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      Positivity, but not over positivity. What I like to see

      • Shane Ritter

        Seems to be alot disgruntled ppl here. Lol. I still have hope this winter will be ok. All it takes is 2 or 3 big storms and we are on track. To me a good sign is the models have steadily trended with a deeper -PNA and shifted from a -AO to a +AO over the last 3 days. Granted its all 10 days out.

        • Yolo Hoe

          Agree — especially if we can get a system in late December that demonstrates current set up is not the immovable one like ‘13/‘14 — good news is we weren’t in weak La Niña that season so macro pattern is hopefully fundamentally different

        • VK (Sacramento)

          You’d have to be gruntled at some point to be disgruntled. I never let my guard down this season 😀

    • God, I hope so. We go to our small cabin on the western Sierra slope a couple of days after Christmas, so it would be cool if we could get some snow at 4,500 feet.

    • Seemed like if the door opened for three storms the last was the biggest

  • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

    Interesting weather fact from Oxnard’s AFD:

    The GFS forecasts onshore flow next Saturday. If this is a correct forecast it would mean that SoCal will have had continuous offshore flow for 13 consecutive days. There have only been 17 streaks longer than 13 days since 1948. The record being a nearly inconceivable 24 days in row back in Dec/Jan of 1951.

    • Farmer47

      I wonder if they were blaming
      “global warming” for extremes in weather back then

      • Chris

        Depends on who the “they” are.
        Certainly not the scientists

      • Stella Chela

        i know right , don’t believe the liberal climate change lie . we on the Right will overwhelm with denial . long live President Trump and the Republican party

        • matthew

          MAGA!!!

          Mueller
          Ain’t
          Going
          Away

          • Stella Chela

            as long as we control the house and senate president Trump is untouchable . he could shoot someone on fifth ave and nothing will happen to him

          • Jason Jackson Willamette

            Flagged. This is a weather discussion site. Please take your politics to another more suitable place.

            Thank you.

          • I could be wrong, but I read this as a joke. I hope.

          • Jason Jackson Willamette

            It has become one, but how can we argue with the facts and the evidence? Is cancer a political issue? Diabetes?

            I’ll leave it at that…

          • Pfirman

            If previously affordable health care is politically taken away, then, yes, it is a political issue. Can you afford to treat these issues from your present income?

          • matthew

            Apologies to the board for my contribution.

          • Jason Jackson Willamette

            matthew – believe me, I had to restrain myself from taking the bait. There are plenty of places to take such discussions and spar with “the other side”. I consider this site sacred, a safe haven from the bitter divide that is waging in America. My cordial invitation to Stella to please take her political comments elsewhere reflect the respect we wish toward for one another on this site, I hope.

          • PRCountyNative

            Farmer started it. I believe Stella is using sarcasm to demean him. But best to avoid the whole topic, yes.

          • Stella Chela

            yes your correct . i actually can’t stand punk ass trump . sorry ill never post another non weather comment again

    • Fairweathercactus

      It rained a lot in 51-52 a winter like last winter.

      • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

        1950/51 we were in a weak/moderate La Nina and we rolled into an El Nino in the 1951/1952 season.

        • CHeden

          Don’t forget, 12/01/51 featured the famous “Golden Gate Bridge shutdown” storm.

          • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

            On Dec. 1, 1951, heavy rains soaked Northern California and broke records. At 5:55 p.m., winds of 70 miles per hour were recorded and San Francisco traffic Sgt. Everett Jennings closed the Greatest Bridge Ever Built in both directions.

            The following day’s newspaper reported that Jennings saw the span swaying 24 feet, 12 feet in either direction. George Pimlott, a bridge electrician, said the lights were rising and falling “like a rocking ship at sea.”

            http://www.sfchronicle.com/thetake/article/When-the-Golden-Gate-Bridge-was-closed-by-a-7971512.php

          • Jason Jackson Willamette

            That article is worth reading! Thank you for the link.

          • inclinejj

            The bridge shut down due to wind in the early 1980’s? I remember watching it on the news.

  • Nathan

    Thomas Fire threat to homes, urban areas, etc is slightly lessened for now but that thing is going to burn the backcountry for months, or at least until the first legitimately soaking rain so…..months.

    Such a gorgeous area back there historically, got totally shafted by the drought and now looks like fire is going to finish it off. RIP Los Padres NF.

    • thebigweasel

      It’s chaparrel. It will come back. Horrible for the wildlife, but part of a natural cycle.
      Bad news for our air quality, though.

      • Nathan

        the pines/oaks probably won’t.

      • RunningSprings6250

        Yea but all you need to do is look south and see what’s moving north, the forests are shrinking and burn areas burn again before recovery takes hold enough.

        We’re too populated….

    • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

      Most of what’s burning now hasn’t burned in decades, so it was due for a refresher….I just hope they can hold it before it gets to the Day Fire 06′ and Zaca Fire 07′ burn scars where recovery has been slow…

  • molbiol

    I’ve been looking at some of the pics out of Atlanta and surrounding areas on social media and it is absolutely incredible the amount of snow they got. The pics are of the gorgeous classic Christmas wonderland type. The storm did catch a lot people including NWS meteorologists off-guard. A winter storm warning was not issued until the event was pretty much underway. However, I understand the hesitancy since snowstorms in the south are very hard to predict due to high bust potential and the fact that cold air tends to be too shallow. It makes what we are experiencing here in California all the more sad…here’s to hoping for a record setting low elevation snow event here in Socal. Maybe our turn will come soon

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      I lived in Atlanta back in the early 70’s. And what you say is spot on. They’re winter storms are a total crapshoot. Raining on the south side of town and freezing rain falling on the north. And when the freezing rain does hit, the urban forest responds by falling tree limbs on power lines and hundreds of traffic accidents because of slick roads. The term “black ice” was learned by many the hard way.

  • Fairweathercactus

    Some insane snow in the Army Navy game.

  • Tyler Price (Seaside)

    The triple R (RRR) looks like its here to stay for most of the month as the self-reinforcing nature of it keeps ot around.. Weather has been very dry up here as of late with RH in the teens. smoke has made its way up here from the fires the air quality has become moderately bad and my lips are chapped. Warm days with very chilly nights due to more sufficient radiational cooling at night and low dew points and RH. Theres a hint at a breakdown in the ridgr about 300 hours out or so with a possible.storm and maybe some undercutting moisture that will come up from the south according to the GFS operational model, but still little too far out in “fantasy land” ATTM.. Unfortunately after that storm though it only shows the RRR building back in with continued dry conditions and only a short-lived break of these drought like condtions.. Ill tell you what and i hate to say it, but it feels like we have entered drought mode again as of late 🙁 i really loved this new article and Daniel’ insights on everything he really sid follow through with what he said he was going to post in furure posts about going in depth in regards to our “new normals” and Californias alarming climatalogical changes that has occured over the past 5-10 years.. Anyways all we can do is pray for rain and the fall of the RRR!

  • Drought Lorde

    Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all. My favorite Christmas character was always the Grinch. Can’t have a good story with a great antagonist. I’ll be accepting first born offers starting monday. Unfortunately https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8f11497b5e1dfc57819c32c163db19101d423cb641853bfcd84314db6aa1fd76.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f0b384e64f195533ac2279ac3a75ba65101e61f5f804783b3c95e6f5d9942e3e.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c94326229da0166d8ea91c8a072a2f45027b19e33e82200b44b5f567e47736c6.png i make no promises that it will change my mood

    • Drought Lorde

      I wonder what the implications will be if there isn’t another storm this winter? No snow in January. None in February. And 20″ in March. Haha. That’d be very interesting am I right?

      • alanstorm

        Cool. So I guess you’ll go on a wildfire victim’s blog & poke fun there as well

        • Drought Lorde

          I’m poking fun of no one. People who lose their homes to fire is unfortunate and sad. However I don’t control fire. And I’m on a weather page, discussing the future weather. Sorry if dry pattern upset you, but tis the nature of the West my son.

          • alanstorm

            No, you’re simply a proverbial TITPB

        • Charlie B

          He probably gets his kicks by driving by the homeless shelter and telling everyone it’s their own damn fault.

          • alanstorm

            I’ve seen some trolls on here before that cracked me up? before they got booted (tea-cup poodle breeder), but this guy needs to go to Troll School

  • molbiol

    Just saw Daniel’s latest tweet. And now this….this is about as bad as it gets (those who consider themselves to be religious need to start praying):

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/920e68759788df10eb665757a52fe13520b1388722bbe98de4ad85008fc1e9b4.png

    • WXPhotographer

      I’ve never seen anything like that

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      Quite depressing to see for sure, the ridge extends all the way into the arctic. Hopeful for changes https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/gfs/2017120918/gfs_z500aNorm_nhem_53.png

      • weathergeek100

        That cutoff low over Baja can do 2 things- either drift a bit further north and result in some rain or just stay in place and cause more offshore flow- probably strong offshore flow. I’m betting on the latter and hoping for the former.

        • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

          If the ridge really continues it would be crazy to see Crescent City with almost no rain for December which I couldn’t imagine. I only have .03 for Dec so it won’t technically be a completely dry month.

    • alanstorm

      He’s also pointed out the possibility of troughs behaving in this manor, which could turn around a winter precip total in a hurry.
      …just trying to avoid the gloom

    • RandomTreeInSB

      Since the models are so inconsistent with long range forecasts it’s hard to put much faith into this…but I am not feeling very optimistic about the possibility of significant precipitation later this month.

    • Bartshe

      Exciting. This may put December 2017 in the running for the driest December in the Calfornia weather record.

      • Pfirman

        Gather you are not religious. I wonder how many of those in perilous years of yore prayed for weather, now climate, salvation?
        We could ask the Hopi?

    • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

      Wow this looks like the RRR on steroids. Truly bizarre, unreal.

  • Thunderstorm

    So another Santa Anna next weekend too. Looking at the stratospheric temperature forecast site four days ago the site showed cold air under cutting the ridge thru the south west states next weekend. Site still shows same just now. Also NWS sites in New Mexico and Arizona have now added this to their forecasts today. Basically windy,cold and dry.

  • Jose Mota

    Now has time to prey. Into myself is feeling the situashion is badly. My boy and my dotter make look to me for reashurance. But I said to them: “I have not make snow.” Today we put are be longings into the van for driving to mountain Tahoe to sley. Now my wife look into me with a hatred but I keep drive in concentrashion.

    • alanstorm

      dotter…..hahaha!

      • Pfirman

        Who has ‘make snow’?

  • RandomTreeInSB

    So doom and gloom reigns sumpreme now. At least for the majority of the State one dry year won’t be a big problem since reserviors are full. The same cannot be said for parts of SB/VTA that relies on local reserviors, which are still below average.
    We’ll just have to hold our breath until the fire is out and hope for the best. Dwelling on the negatives won’t change anything, other than the fact that it’s bad for your mental and physical health.

    • Chris

      Well said!

  • Charlie B

    Cliff Mass in Seattle has noted that they are experiencing degraded air quality due to smoke from the SoCal fires

    • Pfirman

      Whoa. Explains my argument with my wife today and we are way closer to the source.

  • Drought Lorde

    Even the Ensemble now agrees with me, a long prolonged ridge! Thats quite an agreement at 384hrs. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a4751c66e418e72178efb6a51f931f013421c46296aa3c80f0a25b5e3e5d799d.png

    • alanstorm

      Not quite, buster.
      This can easily switch to a stuck, prolonged TROUGH, ala 1861-62.
      One month of that & you’ll need to change your handle to Flood Lorde

      • Drought Lorde

        I did lose last year to the Prince of precipitation, however, that hero is, shall we say, incapable of a repeat performance. But i always relish a good challenge. My rule shall reign again though at least through 2019.

      • Pfirman

        Have you heard of King Canute?

    • Kelley Rogers

      Atreyu and Falcor are coming dude… to defeat The Great Nothing.

  • AllHailPresidentSkroob

    I guess I don’t see what the big deal is in all of this… I’m looking forward to the nice and dry weather for the foreseeable future. We had a gang buster winter last year for NorCal so it doesn’t really matter much if we have a good/bad/whatever winter this year. Besides, we can’t control the weather and so getting all bent out of shape about something you can’t control is illogical to me…

    • janky

      Ever buy a season ski pass?

      • AllHailPresidentSkroob

        In the interest of full disclosure I’m not a skier…. I took lessons one time and it wasn’t my thing. I fully get where you’re coming from and no doubt this effects peoples livelihoods. I just am at the point where we can’t control it, can’t change it, so why lose sleep over it if it’s not directly affecting you?

        • UrbanBizarre

          Because everyone on this site is a weather geek and one bad winter will turn us back to a state of drought. People aren’t losing sleep, just concerned at the prospect of another below-average winter.

          • Pfirman

            Losing sleep? Your post gives me nightmares. So bizarre. This state cannot afford even one below average winter in the long run. I don’t take hyperbole lightly.

          • Steve Taylor

            Some of us in the ski industry lose sleep in patterns like this. At least Mammoth has a decent base from the Insta Base storm we had…

        • Nathan

          Well, for a fair amount of people in SoCal it is directly affecting them; we’ve had several commenters literally evacuate from fires…

    • Steve Taylor

      lol then you’re on the wrong blog…

  • happ [Los Angeles]

    Very warm day and a very warm evening

    83/ 63

  • Trying to stay positive, but this pattern just blows.

    Smoke enhanced sunset over LA. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6b5575b1506fcf820d6a63c45ae1364d2c42ebb8718dc20e5f5d74ac959f9cca.jpg

  • Sublimesl

    I checked the records and San Francisco has only had only 1 December in 168 years, where there was 0.0 rainfall for December. So this is looking like it will truly be a historic month.

    • Bartshe

      According to NOAA the lowest I found is .01″ for 1989. I suspect that was already nudged out this year by the precip that fell Dec. 2-3, however miniscule.

      • Pfirman

        I was looking back and forth betweent the posts above and was about to accuse you all of conspiracy to cause migraines.
        It’s ok. I’m good with your surmises….we are so ….yeah.

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      I found 2, December of 1876 and December of 1989. The season for 1876-1877 ended with a pitiful 11.04 inches of rain and the 1989-1990 ended with a slightly less pitiful 14.32 inches of rain.

  • happ [Los Angeles]

    The total absence of tule fog in the Central Valley seems strange and sad somehow.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      I believe one of the reasons for that it is that it has hardly rained there this season.

      • Chris

        I think part is also the urbanization of the Central Valley.

        • Dan the Weatherman

          That probably is a factor as it leads to higher overnight low temperatures.

    • saw1979

      We haven’t had fog like I remember as a kid in YEARS

      • happ [Los Angeles]

        I was born in Fresno/ lived in Chico as a young child and remember the long days of fog. All this sun is not good for the land to cool down for agricultural purposes [cooling degree days/ chilling for pit fruit]

        • Farmer47

          Soil temps are insane! I have pumpkin volunteers putting out flowers in DECEMBER!!!!!

          • Dan the Weatherman

            When do pumpkin plants usually bloom? I am thinking it must be in the spring or early summer as the fruit is harvested for Halloween and the fall season.

          • Farmer47

            We plant in June and usually see first flowers in 30 days. July is usually mid 80s low 90s.
            It’s not unheard of to see a few volunteers come up in November but a few cold nights usually gets rid of them. This year I had to have a crew pull the pumpkin plants out of 15ac of kale.

          • Pfirman

            Yikes.

          • Darin

            Winter squash (which is a terrible name) includes pumpkin. It typically needs soil above 60 degrees which is why it’s so crazy. Winter squash are ready 80 to 100+ days later unlike summer squash (also a terrible name) which is more on the 50 to 70 day range. Winter squash are the really hard skinned ones e.g. butternut, spaghetti, and pumpkin that will survive more cold and stay fresh in storage into the winter, hence the name.

          • Pfirman

            You speak my language.

    • Darin

      I wonder if they are less pileups in grapevine.

  • Happy Cactus

    I remember in previous dry years, SoCal used to get at least get tail-end storms,but this year nothing at all. Completely shut down. Even the cactuses are getting worried.

    • Fairweathercactus

      That they are.

      • Pfirman

        Youse guys could save some energy by just typing cacti. The latter just cringe at excess.

  • Nathan

    Even as conservative as the USDA drought monitor is, anyone else surprised most of SoCal is no greater than D1 at this point?

    http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

    • Tuolumne

      At this rate I think we’re going to start seeing large areas bumped up to higher numbers quite soon. Look for most of the state to be in D0 pretty soon and for southern California to start jumping up to D2.

      • Pfirman

        The capital D stands for Doom, correct? So. Doom 2. Pretty sure Doom 1 started somewhere back early November 2016.

        • Tuolumne

          D2 is doom squared. They just have a little problem on their site with superscripts.

          Wait till doom to the fourth power returns to our state…

  • Fairweathercactus

    Every other run today has brought the cold. Some like the ridge some like the cold. See what the 0z has to say in a bit.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      I don’t want either one. I want to see a nice soaking rain, instead. Ridge = dry, cold = dry.

  • Thunderstorm

    Wow! Thomas fire already 15th biggest fire in California history. By middle of next week will be in the top seven. With record fuel dryness and two more Santa Ana’s coming by Christmas may take the number one spot.

    • Pfirman

      Aren’t you just a bag of happiness.?
      You could wait until the patient is dead to proclaim the inevitable.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)
    • Craig Matthews

      ” some areas on fire haven’t burned since the early 1900’s, before records were kept” wow! During the Soberanes Fire up here in Monterey Co in 2016, the fire burned into a few areas that hadn’t burned since the 1930’s, and man, talk about some insane mushroom clouds when those areas went off. The heat was so intense that it sterilized the soils in those places, to the point that new growth of vegetation has not been allowed.

      • Pfirman

        I have an ongoing argument about this with a guy. I shudder at the word ‘sterilized’. Dude, it’s dirt. But I see where you are going, or went. My take is yes, the stuff in the dirt that might grow has been killed, but plant new stuff and it just takes off. No competition. NPK 4 life.

  • RandomTreeInSB
    • Dan the Weatherman

      It seems like so many of these fires are starting just outside suburban areas, with the exception of the Thomas Fire, which is really making me wonder if arsonists are starting many of these fires we have been experiencing. I am really getting suspicious of all this fire activity for so late in the year.

      I know conditions are bone-dry, and that the fire danger is sky high, but haven’t we had strong Santa Anas in December in years past despite the dry fuels and haven’t had fires like this every time it happens?

      • Pfirman

        Ever blow on a spark trying to light a fire? Have a bucket of water close.

      • Jason Jackson Willamette

        So am I, and have been for a while. Wonder what would happen if someone gets caught and talks…..?

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/35f022319b6a47450c40f6e55cf0ee43beece50989e305fda7d9407fe10ef931.gif GEFS ensembles showing some possible interesting setups just beyond 10 days, some show a jet extending across the whole Pacific like last year.

    • Dogwood

      Member 10 Rules!
      Member 20 sucks.

    • That’s a cool animation. I’ll continue to put ragu on my pasta 🙂

    • janky

      BRING IT.

    • It looks like something out of a Hollywood movie–what the special effects team THINKS a volcano should look like.

      Some pretty iconic images coming out of LA County this week, that’s for sure!

    • Nate

      Wow, that’s intense–the juxtaposition of christmas lights and wildfire is surreal too.

      • Nathan

        that would make a cool, dark christmas card….

        Merry Christmas from LA!
        *smiling family, raging inferno in background*

        • Pfirman

          Send it to Trump et alia.

          • Pfirman

            No don’t!!! He would think if was from NK and launch.

    • weathergeek100

      Could that structure be, say…a water tower?

      • malnino

        It is. Just about a mile and a half over the hill from my house, I’ve hiked kinda close to it before. One of those set deep in the ground w/ cap on top. Fire looks to be under decent control after a whole 4 acres .. so tiny i dont think they even named it!

    • Jesus Christ.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    I feel bad for all those in SoCal tomorrow, more mid to high 80s and record highs 🙁 http://wx.graphics/models/ndfd/2017121005/southerncalifornia/ndfd_t2m_hi_southerncalifornia_1.png

    • Pfirman

      You know what your mama said? If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. The post counts here are ridiculous.

    • RandomTreeInSB

      Speaking of highs, today’s forecast high was 80 degrees. But since the smoke is so thick the high temperature failed to even exceed 70.

      • I just flew over you and got pictures of said smoke and it is indeed thick.

    • redlands

      Was 82 in Redlands, Ca – Southern Ca today 12/9/17 — lookin to be the warmest December ive recorded at my station — if it continues the same dry n warm pattern

  • One thing I’m going to say is, these weather patterns in the northern hemisphere are not the same weather patterns I grew up in.

    • Chris

      Same here. Can’t prove it as I’m going by memory.
      But it just seems extreme time after time again!!!

    • inclinejj

      I remember when the Raider played in LA going down to games close to Christmas and having 85 degree plus temperatures.

      Girls in Bikini tops and short with a Santa hat. Only in LA.

  • hermit crab

    We have to fear our current wind forecast. Little Carpinteria is threatened and many are frightened, including this crab.

    I do not remember weather like this. Others I know say they have but I’m not talking about a few hot dry days here and there! So I try to tell them not to count on weather being the way it used to be, on average, at any given time of year. But people are stubborn. They think they can still use water with impunity. They think it won’t be hot and dry and windy tomorrow.

    And they don’t evacuate when they should 🙁 I know several people who assume the fire will be completely out very soon, like Monday.

    Pray for Carpinteria…

  • alanstorm

    06z hot off the press:
    Ridge slides west enough by the 20th & brings this down the coast for SoCal.
    No, not up all night staring at models, dinnertime here https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9b30b9ebd32fb2dfdefa76345c6e130ab4bc57a99e04cd205ed059724f1e6d7f.gif

    • RunningSprings6250

      I annoint the 06z “The Game Changer.”

      We’ll be seeing much from storm Master soon enough and that’s how you know a pattern change is really in the cards.

  • Fairweathercactus

    The 6z does show the ridge holding enough to keep the big moisture source offshore right after the cold snap. If it holds looks like your classic one and done system that we saw so many times during the drought years.

  • thebigweasel

    Thomas fire has moved into SB county. Carpinteria and Summerland N of 150 under mandatory evacuation to Montecito, all areas S of 150 under voluntary evac. Winds at Carp have let up some, but are expected to pick up this afternoon.
    Santa Anas now expected to continue through at least Wednesday, worst in Ventura and E. LA counties.
    Air quality in SB rapidly worsening again, about 1/10″ of ash on the streets.

    • Wow. Things really changed overnight?

      • thebigweasel

        That’s why these conditions are considered so fantastically dangerous.
        173,000 acres now, over 730 structures burned. One dead, plus at least 60 horses.

    • celo

      Burning in brush that hasn’t burned in more than 50 years at least. No way to stop it. Luckily winds are pretty light down by Santa Barbara. Up in the mountains the winds are a little stronger

      • thebigweasel

        I am worried that with the winds shifting to the SSW, the fire might escalade along the north side of the Santa Ynez ridge, posing a threat to the entire SB/Goleta area.

        • celo

          I agree. A couple things in the favor of Santa Barbara. Santa Ana’s do not favor Sundowner development. Fire will eventually enter into burn scars of Tea fire and other fires

          • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

            The tea fire burned 9 years ago, most of that area has enough growth now to fuel a fast moving fire. The kind winds are the only thing saving us at the moment. That’s been the case all week.

          • celo

            The fact a fire has burned in the area means saving structures is much easier. The fire may continue burning through the burn scar, however it will not have the fuel to burn intense enough to be a great threat to communities. The fire burning in the never burned area is hard to control

          • thebigweasel

            Yeah, that’s my hope, to. It’s also moving into the Zaca burn zone. That might help.
            Looks like the fire gained another 40,000 acres overnight.

            https://maps.nwcg.gov/sa/#/%3F/34.3773/-118.9358/10 If so, it’s well over 200,000 acres now.

          • celo

            Yeah let it burn, all the way into the old burn scars. The wind is going west. Not south into the city.

      • Darin

        One report said “parts” of SB county under threat have not burned since 1900, when the records started.

  • RunningSprings6250
    • PRCountyNative

      ‘Burn until it rains’ doesn’t sound quite so bad in December, as compared to July, or August.

  • MakeSoCalWetAgain (SMX)

    Smoke’s so thick the temperatures haven’t warmed up as quickly as a clear day. It’s like a marine layer.

    • Dave (Arroyo Grande, CA)

      Smoke coverage over Arroyo Grande is amazingly thick. Makes it like dusk.

      • MakeSoCalWetAgain (SMX)

        The sun looks like a stoplight.

  • Drought Lorde

    16 days and only a few showers for central CAL. I told I’d make that storm in fantasy land a fantasy. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b577a9c5c7ff0ba4e0a9a8ccca4880453ff854c4fde95426cbb72bf8ae2b487f.png

  • Idaho Native

    This weather is so boring I’m going to Spain. Hopefully there’s some ridge-b-gone on the underground market I can purchase and bring back.

    • PRCountyNative

      Low Pressure in a can!

      • Idaho Native

        I’ll be searching for it.

        • PRCountyNative

          One used to be able to find ‘fog in a can’ for sale in SF.

          • matthew

            It is even legal now!

  • A common misconception about fires burning through chaparral is that the time since the previous fire matters. Studies have shown, however, that fire burns equally well through all age classes of chaparral vegetation (although stands < 5 years old burn a little less). I think the idea that stand-age is an important factor may have been imported from studies of forest fires where growth of underbrush and accumulation of litter would make a difference in terms of fire behavior. Here's a link: http://www.californiachaparral.org/chaparralmyths.html

    • celo

      The burn scars of previous fires seem to start and end at each other. The reason that occurs is due to the lack of fuel within an old burn scar
      I agree chaparral regrowth is faster than a pine forest, however fuel density for something that hasn’t burned for 50 years vs 10 years in chaparral are not equal

    • celo

      That was a well written article and I stand corrected. What I had learned about chapparal as a kid is all wrong

      Thanks for enlightening me

  • Thunderstorm

    Infrared satellite showing largest ever hot spot for Thomas Fire right now. Very long range spotting. Remember that is you have neighbors with dry fuels you will be at high risk. Winds starting Tuesday will be light from the SE and push the fire much farther to the north. Only thing to kill this monster will be rain. Wind direction and how strong next weekend still to be determined.

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      Can u link

      • Thunderstorm

        Ventura county fire cams. Scroll thru the cams showing the Thomas Fire till you come to the satellite Infrared. Real time infrared.

  • Dave (Arroyo Grande, CA)

    My concern into the future is when storms return for Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, there will be real problems with debris flows even with moderate rain. We really need the rain obviously, but then the crisis turns to flash floods and landslides. There is a price to pay for the mostly beautiful California weather.

    • RunningSprings6250

      Hats off to you for the Mr. Obvious post of the day award!

      ??????????????

      • Dave (Arroyo Grande, CA)

        Wow. Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed? Maybe you should go back to bed and get some more sleep. That’s way you won’t be such a jerk when posting. JMHO

        • RunningSprings6250

          It’s actually you that should lighten up. If you can’t take lighthearted internet sarcasm maybe you should really crawl back into bed and get out on the right side.

          ???? Have a GREAT day!

          • Dave (Arroyo Grande, CA)

            Sorry if I took it the wrong way. But a Mr. Obvious award didn’t feel like light hearted sarcasm. I’ll let it go thanks. No harm done.

          • RunningSprings6250

            Mudslides / debris flow immediately after big winter fires, come on that’s definitely deserving ??

            It’s ok, everyone is wound up so tight my friendly sarcasm doesn’t do well here lately…unless it’s Yanet or Mota comments…

          • Alice Paul (LA)

            Yes, this day isn’t looking good for So Cal. You guys all be well.

  • RunningSprings6250

    I’ve always noted the very large temp spread between my hillside location and the canyon just below (Deep Creek aka headwaters of the Mojave River).

    While it’s only been below freezing here a few times this season and in the 40s the last few nights, the creek is frozen solid down there, dogs were really confused! LOL!!
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9db6435e4443a729636b8e7ba5ff34266fafe0535d2b1bf4bdd01da86acfac97.jpg
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e9e03595d6156e1f89574e895c60a2a7723be4ff5c4b027e971615703ad41925.jpg
    What’s more surprising is we have water flowing still! Now THAT is something to smile about, in the midst of an otherwise pretty grim start to the season…. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/87452537fd3955cd3b845c34c3f20f0cb32fdcc3d56aaa94ecfd08c36c5adb32.jpg

    • Tuolumne

      What amazed me long ago was backpacking and waking up to serious cold in a canyon bottom, then walking 20 vertical feet up the slope and finding it’s at least 10 degrees warmer. Cold air drainage is a real thing. I see the same thing in my neighborhood, where frost at the top of the hill is rare but frost at the bottom of the hill (300 feet lower) is quite common.

      • RunningSprings6250

        You can feel the change as you walk! So neat.

    • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

      Great looking pup there! Was looking for a lab rescue dog but they’re far and in-between. I may end up purchasing a full lab w/ papers from a private party instead. The gf wants a small lap dog, so the arguments continue.

      • RunningSprings6250

        Believe it or not this husky/malamute was a rescue at 12 weeks old. 61 pound girl exactly a year old now – the wife wants a lap dog now too, “morkie” is the last breed/hybrid I heard her mumbling about, lol!

  • Dave (Arroyo Grande, CA)

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9e7b2982304ca87568b41b1c476646b27a4eb62f32b95673351b3617f38962c7.jpg.

    The sun is blood red with a red aura around it. Very strange feeling day.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    CFS has done a complete turn around for the end of the month atm along with the GFS hinting at a return to wet weather here and there and the GEFS ensembles showing it too. That’s my good news for the day, stay safe in SoCal.

    • jstrahl

      Got a good source for CFS?

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        pivotalweather.com, has tons of different data for the CFS out to 768 hours to fulfill your fantasy dreams.

        • jstrahl

          Thanks a bunch!

    • jstrahl

      Thanks for the CFS source, but what i just looked at doesn’t at all look good for end of month. ????

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        00z did

        • jstrahl

          Got it. Oh well. 🙁

  • SloTruckeeJohn

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/240b7048ffda1c243beb8cdeaac19c187337612019d915eecfe43c55c237df52.jpg
    We had been very fortunate here in SLO but the air quality has now been impacted dramatically.

    • Dave (Arroyo Grande, CA)

      There is no ash coming down yet in Arroyo Grande as the smoke is too high. I think that will change the longer the smoke plume stays over the Central Coast. My guess is there will be ash on everything by tomorrow morning.

  • weathergeek100

    Not the most unusual thing in the world, but parts of the Bay Area will be warmer than Miami today.

    That’s how strong that dipole is across North America.

    (Edit- the ENTIRE Bay Area will be warmer than Miami. Highs there are actually forecasted at only 60 today).

    • PRCountyNative

      Got to at least 80 here today, northern Santa Lucia’s, 1800′.

    • inclinejj

      75.7 in Pacifica at 3 pm

  • Fairweathercactus

    The GFS 12z went back to being super cold with no rain for the area.

    • Thunderstorm

      Yep, the big wind event coming around the 23rd will effect a much larger area of California.

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        Hmmm

      • redlands

        More details

    • redlands

      Is that super colds n dry for Southern ca

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    Wow, the snow falling in the Bills/Colts game is making me long for last winter. Quite the snow storm blowing off the lake.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      Buffalo is certainly known for its lake effect snow!

      • Thor

        Indeed…however most of the snow falls south of town. Buffalo proper, downtown, only got about 2 inches yesterday…its all about the wind direction.

  • Thunderstorm

    Pyrocumulus just now on the Thomas Fire. Web cam from Ventura County.

  • happ [Los Angeles]

    Despite previous model runs showing smoke moving southwest into the basin/ San Gabriel valley/ Orange county the wind continues to direct the smoke WNW toward Santa Barbara. Nevertheless many are suffering hay fever/ allergies from the dry dusty winds; I’m living on antihistamine. I’ll just stay inside and switch between NFL games featuring the Chargers vs Redskins and Rams vs Eagles playing at the same time.

    • Fairweathercactus

      I want to punch my computer screen watching the Packers play this morning.

      • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

        Brownie’s 21-7………ouch!

        • MakeSoCalWetAgain (SMX)

          And they the Clowns lose again and so does SoCal’s rain chances for another week.

    • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

      GO RAMS !!!!!!

    • BigBearHiking

      It is sadly dry up here on Big Bear, but the air is clear, so maybe consider an outing. They made snow on the resort slopes, although I don’t think it is worth skiing atm. Very sad, but I still take the cooler temps and clean air.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      Except for a couple of days ago when there was some smoke aloft from the Lilac Fire with most of it to the south, northern Orange County has had good air quality with little to no smoke. Of course, if the wind shifts, it could become more smoky aloft.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)
  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    Impressive retardant drop on a house by a DC10.
    https://twitter.com/nycaviation/status/939934964614754304

  • RunningSprings6250
    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      Holy shit….

      • RunningSprings6250

        Who woulda thought right? Only 6 friggen days ago it started….

    • Fairweathercactus

      Smoke plume gets higher then any thunderstorm around these parts. Kind of the ironic thing.

      • RunningSprings6250

        Sadly lol yes…

    • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

      Wow…..holy wee cows!

      Holy smokes didn’t seem appropriate at this time.

      • RunningSprings6250

        I was about to put on Cheech n Chongs ‘Up in Smoke” and had the same thought….

        • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

          Yup……in this sensitive, politically correct environment, we must be careful what we post.

          • RunningSprings6250

            ??? You’re telling me!

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      That’s one horrific pyrocu.

    • Woah!

    • Dan the Weatherman

      That looks like a volcano!