Strikingly dry conditions persist; Thomas Fire now largest California wildfire

Filed in Uncategorized by on December 24, 2017 3,867 Comments

Bone dry in Southern California, and below average precip throughout CA

All of California is now experiencing well-below-average precipitation for the season to date. Southern California has seen almost no precipitation at all. (WRCC).

It has been an extraordinarily dry autumn and early winter across Southern California. Northern California had been faring better in the precipitation department so far this season, with near-average autumn rains in most areas. But in recent weeks, Southern California’s dryness has begun to expand northward along the Pacific Coast–now encompassing all of California, and even beginning to creep north of the state line into parts of the Pacific Northwest.

Why has California been so dry? (Regular blog visitors already know where I’m going with this.) Well, a remarkably persistent zone of atmospheric pressure has been present more often than not across the region for the past few months. Early in the season, this ridge was centered across Southern California and the interior Southwest–but recently, a broader “full-latitude” ridge feature has expanded to encompass much of the West Coast. This temporal evolution is the reason for the SoCal/NorCal precip split early in the season. A couple of months ago, Pacific storms had been redirected only slightly to the north of the SoCal metro areas due to subtropical ridging (into the Bay Area and points northward). More recently, the bigger & stronger West Coast ridge has pushed the Pacific storm track even further north. Remarkably, this powerful ridge has forced several very moist atmospheric river storms over the mid-Pacific to make a hard “left turn” over the open ocean–veering directly northward and bringing almost inconceivably heavy snowfall to the coastal mountains of southern Alaska.

 

Thomas Fire becomes largest wildfire in modern California history–in December

The Thomas Fire has become the largest wildfire in modern California history–in December. (Via NASA)

One conspicuous and locally devastating consequence of the delayed rainy 2017 rainy season in Southern California is the extension of wildfire season well into winter. While December wildfires are not unheard of in this part of the world, the extent and severity of the December 2017 fires in SoCal really is unprecedented in California history. The Thomas Fire–which has now burned nearly 275,000 acres and over a thousand structures in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties–yesterday became the single largest wildfire in modern California history. That this dubious milestone was reached in December, which is typically the midst of the California rainy season, is truly extraordinary. Indeed, recent months have brought not only near-record low precipitation, but also record-high temperatures across a wide swath of SoCal.

This long-term warmth and dryness set the stage for an unusually prolonged stretch of land-to-sea Santa Ana winds in recent days to push recent fires far further and faster than would usually be possible this time of year. An amazing indicator of how anomalous this winter airmass was: on several occasions over the past 2 weeks, relative humidities near the beaches of Southern California fell as low as 1%–with surface dewpoints at or below -20F in some nearby spots, and column water vapor under 0.1 inch. In other words: there was essentially no moisture at all in the airmass that has lingered over SoCal for many days. While long-term humidity records are hard to come by in most spots, all signs suggest that these were at or near record-low humidity values for many of these recording stations (and certainly for the time of year).

 

Is this (another) return of the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge?

Persistent high pressure ridging over the American West has kept conditions unusually warm and dry so far this autumn and early winter, especially across Southern California and Arizona. (NOAA via ESRL).

This is a question that I’ve been hearing increasingly often in recent days. “The Triple R” certainly has anxiety-inducing connotations for many Californians who endured record-breaking drought just a few years ago. (This is something to which I can personally attest: I live in Los Angeles at the moment, and I personally haven’t witnessed any precipitation other than brief drizzle since late March). And its return would rightfully raise some eyebrows, given recent research suggesting that such pressure patterns have indeed been occurring more frequently in recent years.

My current answer: we’re not in Triple R territory quite yet, but we’re getting close. We have certainly witnessed the return of resilient ridging near California, but I don’t think we’ve yet reached the “ridiculous” level of multi-month persistence that occurred during the height of the recent California drought. Should present conditions persist through January, and if seasonal precipitation has not started to recover from its early deficit by that time, I may have to revise that answer.

Latest forecast: still little to no rain over the next 2+ weeks over most of California. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

The good news: wet conditions last winter did help to top up reservoirs in the northern part of the state–meaning that the state’s overall water supply situation looks okay even if very dry conditions persist for the rest of winter. Last winter’s lowland flooding did help to modestly recharge shallow groundwater aquifers in the north, which has (temporarily) stemmed the long-term loss of capacity in these regions.

The not-so-good news: parts of Southern California that depend exclusively on local water supplies (such as much of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties) never really recovered from the last drought, and these regions remain quite susceptible to the impacts of drought re-intensification. And even further north, forested regions remain quite stressed as a result from the previous multi-year drought, and tree mortality in the Sierra Nevada remains far above historically observed levels.

 

Unfortunately, 2+ weeks of unusually dry conditions still probable

Persistent ridging is *still* in the forecast for the next 1-2+ weeks.

I wish I had better news regarding the forecast, but at there moment there’s still no real sign of rain returning to California in the coming days. Occasional light precipitation is possible across the north, but conditions will likely be nearly/totally dry across the southern half of the state for the foreseeable future. There has been–and remains–strong, multi-model agreement that West Coast ridging will persist for at least 1-2 more weeks. It has been remarkable to see day after day of numerical model forecasts depicting near-zero 16-day precipitation accumulations during what is normally the heart of the rainy season, and today’s runs (unfortunately) are no exception. The “Warm West/Cool East” pattern discussed in the previous post is still quite prominent over North America. The present West Coast dryness is largely consistent with seasonal model predictions for this winter, and those same models presently suggest that the present pattern is likely to persist for much of the California rainy season.

All of this is to say: it’s still too early to say whether we’re headed into a new drought, though there are some compelling signs that we may be (especially in Southern California). And even in a dry year, California can still experience big storms and very wet months. But at this point, it probably makes sense to start thinking about the possibility of yet another big swing in California–from drought, to flood, and then (perhaps) back again.

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  • jstrahl

    Rode to a show around 8PM, figured i wouldn’t get anything more than scattered showers. As the show started, got a round, though we were inside, got as much in it as the rest of the day, ended 1/5/18 with .30 inches in central Berkeley. No rain, just wet streets, for the ride hime around 1:30AM.

  • Broncos 88

    It is raining steadily here in Reno. What a pleasant noise. I was beginning to wonder if I would ever hear that sound again. More coming Monday-Tuesday. Hooray!!!!!!! Keep it coming. God’s provision.

  • Rusty Rails

    Woke up to what must be heavy drizzle in Santa Cruz as the gutters are flowing but KMUX isn’t picking it up. That’s normal for here in these warm moist flows even as the weak frontal band is now across Monterey. It will be interesting to see how long it takes to dry out today as the moisture keeps streaming through. The Monterey office is getting bullish on the next system. Hype levels are slowly increasing.

    • Jim (Watsonville)

      .09 at Watsonville Airport…

  • Taz & Storm Master

    sac NWS forecasted 0.10 too 0.25 well i ended up getting 0.44″ of rain over night

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)
  • Taz & Storm Master

    from the SPC

    .Portions of central and southern California…
    Showers and possibly a few thunderstorms are forecast to expand
    across portions of central and southern California Monday night and
    early Tuesday, with perhaps a more organized frontal band of
    convection moving onshore late. While instability is forecast to be
    meager, gusty winds may accompany this convective band. However,
    any risk for severe weather appears low at this time.

  • Cap’n

    1.8″ in the gauge since yesterday afternoon, 2.6″ on the month. Wind is ripping. Meager snow clinging in my neighborhood looked like it took a hit walking the dog, mountains are going to be even more thin, hope next week can help that. Off to Bodie, I was hoping to get some snow there for some good photos but radar is winding down.

    • I wonder if this WPC map went down because some of the fun is already in the bag OR it’s picking up a slight southern shift in the action. Bit of both?
      “went down” being the operative term here, forecast still holding together magnificently:
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a4a33c152766c92afd594b50e21137b641d0f567207e594e79b1f2deadca6f15.gif

    • 6″ lower elevations unofficially at KW and that went up about 0.3 in 10 minutes so fingers crossed they can eke out 8 up top where it’s 28 degrees instead of the 33 down below, slopes possibly gonna be empty!

      • Cap’n

        Rose is reporting 10″ up top and 5″ at the base, snow levels stayed high that’s going to be some slurpee good for base building. Hope next week really brings it.

      • Apotropaic

        Based on the number of people here in the bay that said they were going up this weekend, I doubt the slopes will be empty.

        • It’s funny I forget we aren’t in a normal season, I’ve seen some really dead Januaries, this won’t be one with luck.

        • Sure enough, Cornice cam shows a healthy crowd but nothing, and I mean nothing resembling a zoo.

    • Bombillo1

      Was in Bodie yesterday. No snow, in fact warm. Only 6 people there, it was nice. Stepped out of the truck with my dog,leash in my hand but not connected, and in a billowing cloud of dust was accosted by the Rambo Park Ranger. The Park Interpreter was pleasant . The cemetery is as haunting as the town with the 3 dollar interpreter brochure explaining the demise of many of the interred. Tough place.

  • Arnold Weather Fanatic

    Looks like this storm is totally south of I-80. It’s been raining most of the night.

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      Been raining here the past four hours

    • Patrick from Stockton

      Same here, but finally cleared out. My rain gauge now stands at .5 inch since the 1st. Picked up about another .19 inch over night, light rain but steady.

      • Arnold Weather Fanatic

        Ended up with 1.5″ on the button for the 6th. YTD is still tracking with the two driest years, but next two days should change that. The big difference is that it is all forecast as rain. Usually, this storm is the Big New Year’s Snow Dump. Snow will be at 6k, and it is 47 degrees, about 6 above normal. Snow thrower is lonely and has crawled back into its shed.

  • RunningSprings6250

    100%?! Is that even possible anymore? It’s been 5 months since we’ve had appreciable rainfall and 5 months before that…the thought of a, ahem, “storm” feels so foreign! What does one even do?? ??????? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/90e56b1922e64dd57dc3028f9460117ef61fc96a9d5c929b2e148b07b9b2a07d.jpg

    • BP (Ventura)

      Can you believe it?! Just 48 hours away, and yet I’m still leery of the forecasted amounts. Did you read Crashing Out’s post below, totals for so cal starting to recede? Could this supposed first rain in 10 months provide the current forecasted amounts of 1.5″ currently predicted?

      • Not recede per se, an insignificant amount of moisture in the scheme of things has moved a little further south, a good thing, would you prefer H2O to retreat North, widening the doughnut? Don’t be mistaken, we are talking about like SB/Ventura getting maybe 0.5 to 1.0 less, while still getting about 1+ inches at least if not a good amount more. Some of what was going to you and burn scars is now ending up spread throughout the LA basin for example. Widespread precip instead of more stalling off the coast and SLO area.

        • BP (Ventura)

          Burn scar and the potential disasters that could come from too much rain be dammed! Our only source of h2o for our area, Lake Casitas, is down to 29%. That’s it, no lake, no water. No I personally want the front to stall and dump on south facing watershed slopes. We here in vta treat each rain storm as the last one, which knowing the patterns could very well be!

          • RunningSprings6250

            You’re completely right – it’s a sad ironic situation for those that will be disastrously affected by debris flows below burn areas but it’s going to happen and the rains need to come…

          • hermit crab

            We do need the rain…desperately.

            But I have to admit I’m scared. There wasn’t time after the fire to prop up the hillside or whatever it is they do. We were saved by a backfire so there is nothing on the hills. And our hills are right up next to major habitation. Carpinteria is having a very hard time!

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        Looking at the 00z Euro, totals for SoCal actually went up, with a 5.9” bullseye over Eastern Ventura County.

    • Sublimesl

      No nothing is 100%. We could be hit by an asteroid tonight.

      • Admode (Susanville)

        That statement is 100% true:)

    • Tuolumne

      Take the dog(s) out afterwards for a romp.

  • Bob G (Gustine)

    It has been raining here the pasr few hours steadily. I wasn’t expecting this at all

  • inclinejj

    Good news, bad news. Bad news first, my Lacrosse Technology weather station took a final dump yesterday.

    The good news, they made good on it even though I was out of warranty. They are sending me an upgraded professional weather station with wind direction! Should arrive on Tuesday!

    • Good thing yours took a dump in time for more dumps before your new dump dumps. Edit: Rag.

      • inclinejj

        That is a dump truck filled with dumps!

    • My LaCrosse crapped out in stages. Wind in September, rain gauge November. I bought a Davis Vantage Vue and will install today or tomorrow.

      • inclinejj

        If this one goes out I am going to go that way. Go A’s!

  • Howard Goodman

    2.5 for Jan. 31.01 for the rain year

  • Yolo Hoe

    0.07” in far southwest Davis yesterday — 0.56” for January and 2.47” thus far for the WY.

    Barometer 30.15 and slightly rising — temperature 43F.

    Mammoth Weather Guy Ted Schlaepfer had a good post yesterday regarding upcoming storm + pattern shift — he often has some insightful tidbits.

  • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

    Well I’m thankful for the moisture but instead of snowing last night, it just rained here in Mammoth. Currently raining and slushing?

    • Yolo Hoe

      That’ll be changing soon

      • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

        Yolo, it’s snowing now but my weather app says rain later. What do you think?

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)
    • PRCountyNative

      Bullseye: Santa Lucia’s! Nice!

  • matthew

    0.9″ in the shire over night. Woke me up several times – a good, long soaking rain. Great for the forest. Hope we can cover it up with a couple feet of snow to lock it in. Bad news is that any last remnants of snow which were hanging on in the shade are long gone and we are back to 50 tomorrow.

  • Tried to embed this with imgur, didn’t work, sorry about the twitter embed:
    https://twitter.com/crashingout/status/949674648895078400

  • SoCalWXwatcher

    00z Euro is the wettest run I’ve seen so far for SoCal with this upcoming storm.

    1.5” rain for the coastal plain all the way down to SD county, with many areas getting more. A concern though, is that the “bullseye” has shifted to Eastern Ventura county, with almost 6” shown there, which would be a big concern for burn areas if it verifies.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/12728cb0e8f36ee95ee28b4f9cf3ad92fd5df8abdc2de1a60d6ab62ea0c0971f.jpg

    • RunningSprings6250

      These are usually the types of storms that bring some 7”-10” rain totals in the typical places. San Marcos pass, Nordhoff Ridge above Ojai, ridges above Pasadena, the ‘Rim’ (Crestline – Rimforest – BlueJay – Skyforest – Running Springs) and Yucaipa Ridge. Although Yucaipa Ridge is at 9000’ so feet of snow up there!

      Wait what, snow?! SNOW?! The FIRST SNOW OF THE SEASON!!!

      • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

        I agree. Even with the projected totals… I’ve still got a hunch with the way this storm is trending, It’ll end up an over performer.

      • Sfedblog

        Buy a raincoat.

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      This was literally the last sliver of moderate drought that was left after last winter… Arid dry thick chaparral completely stripped off the hills and then this. Incredible hurdle this county is going through.

    • matt

      Hopefully this will come into filtration. With the precip amounts.because everytime they say were suppose to get rain nothing. I’m going to see what happens. Here in the high desert Lancaster area.

  • cthenn

    0.3″ yesterday for a 2 day total of 1″ in Walnut Creek. Woke up today to beautiful blue skies and CLEAR AIR! It was Beijing-like in the bay area for what seemed like forever. So nice to clear all that junk out!

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      .99 here for both storms, solid storm!

  • gray whale

    Looks like about .85″ total for us here at 1400′ north of Placerville. Incredible fog just rolled in rather quickly! Covering all of Coloma and the SF American basin https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/afd757f535223f5872d8b143079c4ec01088b580005333139faa93d239676354.jpg

  • Taz & Storm Master

    0.61″ so far

  • Black Cat
  • AlTahoe

    We’re getting some chunky snow mixed in with the rain currently. Temp is 39F.
    Hopefully the next storm can bring us some snow. It is really weird being in January and not having a hint of snow anywhere in my neighborhood. My lawn has started to green back up in the last week!

    • Taz & Storm Master

      carefull what you wish for models are hiting at some colder storms after this one

      then you be saying you dont want any more snow

      • RunningSprings6250

        Speak for yourself hombre ?

      • AlTahoe

        I dont see any snow for us for at least another 10 days. The cold fronts on the long range look awesome but they will need to verify.

        • matthew

          Back-end of next week’s storm could leave a little behind for us low-landers at 6100′. Other than that we again wait for fantasyland.

        • TahoeCard

          Going to be optimistic. I think we’re getting some snow at lake level Monday night-Tues

      • TheNothing

        From the person who always gets excited by the prospects of snow, I find myself shaking my head at your statement.

  • Black Cat

    Feels exactly like a Summer morning with temps right under 60F with marine layer. My skin likes it. Last month my hands were so dry and cracked. Now my skin is back to normal.

  • SacWx

    Dumping on the Mammoth Village Lodge cam for the first time in recent memory:

    https://www.mammothmountain.com/winter/mountain-information/cams/village-lodge-cam

  • Sfedblog

    I hadn’t taken 101 back from LA in awhile and I was truly shocked to see the devastation wrought by the drought, particularly all the dying trees. This next storm looks to be a doozy and I would not be anywhere near the burn areas when the denuded hillsides give way to inches of rain.

    • RunningSprings6250

      So many dead very large live oaks on the 101 corridor between Gaviota and los Olivos – some areas looks like 50% and it’s already too thin from a century of cattle ranching….

      • Craig might have some info WRT oaks recovering after fire. As far as cattle grazing that’s a good question

        • RunningSprings6250

          This isn’t fire – just straight up dead.

          • BP (Ventura)

            You got that right, straight up dead. The PCH from Gaviota over to Lompoc/Jalama also shows mass oak die off. It’s frustratingly maddening. I and I’m sure many others, feel powerless at our surrounding environment dying before our eyes…

        • PRCountyNative

          Here’s what I’ve noticed: In Monterey County the oaks have good years, they have moth years, they have denuded caterpillar years, they have random other disease years. I’ve seen that cycle for decades.

          On top of that is sudden oak death. 99% of mature tan oaks are dead. Sprouts and young trees pop-up, good luck to them. In places, other oaks are succumbing – valley oaks, coast live oaks, interior live oaks. Usually the biggest grandest specimens.

          On top of that was last year’s big fire (as opposed to the other 3 or 4 big fires the last 20 years). Degree of burn varied a lot. In many places, some percentage of trees were simply vaporized. I think larger trees suffered this more than younger. Numerous very large old oaks simply disappeared, leaving a thin ash outline.

          The rest of the oaks are alive. Even severely burned oaks have all sprouted. Some have fallen or will fall because the bases burned. I wonder at the long term prospects because many many trees had all the bark burned off for the first 5 – 10 feet, yet are alive now.

          The madrones fared worse. A lot died from the fire, then when the survivors sprouted after the wet winter many more fell or will be falling because their bases burned too.

          In general the oaks around here are really stressed, with lots of dead branches and tips. The fire is natural, sort of, the compounding of stresses that will kill many of them, not so much.

  • Jason Jackson Willamette

    Nice NWS site showing rainfall totals for the last 24 from the various reporting stations in the Bay Area. Upper drop down lets you select your area.

    http://www.cnrfc.noaa.gov/precipMaps.php?group=sf&hour=24&synoptic=0

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/67bb7f085cc94520ccd85ad54a3e1c5d7a5fefd782d526378689de52e931da61.jpg

    • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

      Thanks for posting this resource.

  • Taz & Storm Master

    this is turning out too be a vary wet Am here

    we are up too 0.72″ of rain now

  • happ [Los Angeles]

    Really enjoying the onshore flow after weeks and weeks of very low dew points. I kept the bedroom window open overnight to let the moist coolness in like a humidifier for my fever [caught the flu] and actually dreamt of showers.

    Friday: 74/ 58

    • saw1979

      I did the same last night (down with flu here as well) ??

      • happ [Los Angeles]

        Sick as a dog; delusional but had vivid dreams all night

      • inclinejj

        Take care my Mom has it. She’s been in the ER twice since New Years Eve. The first time 3 hours the other night we were there from 6 pm till after midnight. The ER was full, people were in the hall way waiting to be seen. The pharmacies are running out of flu medicine.

        • saw1979

          Thanks, there was a news report here telling people not to go to the ER if they are otherwise healthy w/ the flu.
          I’m currently nursing a NyQuil hangover & enjoying the sound of the rain. Here’s to health to your mom, Happ, & I.

          • inclinejj

            Thank You! Her doctor and the Fire Department. The EMT on the fire truck said bring her in cause of her age.The EMT lives 2 houses up the street from her.

    • Admode (Susanville)

      5 people so far here at work have had it, one person had to go to the er with a 104 fever that wouldn’t go away. This flu is no joke! (Santa Maria)

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)
  • Unbiased Observer

    Darn, the models and Wunderground keep dropping my rain totals here for this upcoming storm. Looks to be lots of shadowing here with a southerly flow. Best chance here is for post frontal showers when the flow turns more northerly.

    • alanstorm

      Look at the post above. Totals have been upped a bit for most areas.
      Where are u?

      • Pfirman

        Bakersfield area.

  • happ [Los Angeles]

    Photo of mountainsides outside Ojai. Mudslides are guaranteed
    @GretchenWenner
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/802b436443d407f75fef74395e4c28e84fe849ec8787b55b648492b1fa353ab4.jpg

  • Nate

    Ended up with a 4-day total of .36″ in the western Santa Clara Valley for a WY total of 2.70″. Just had these two stop by about an hour ago.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cdccb1a02ce6261e329e4ab59d1ef78f9a4b4f382847a2b202ed61e6a04fd0ff.jpg
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3e761b95bf32c25aa309e3a625f33e3ebfcf911358a438a4e29b3663e894ced5.jpg

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      Coyote, right?

      • Nate

        Yup, and pretty healthy-looking too.

        • happ [Los Angeles]

          Keep your pets indoors

    • matt

      had one pass by our neighborhood 6 months ago 3am in the morning.

    • Fairweathercactus

      A few months ago I had 3 of them on my lawn. They watched me when I went in the house. They did not move. Not to worried about humans in this area.

      • happ [Los Angeles]

        Same here. The coyotes are fat and sassy and totally indifferent to humans.

    • inclinejj

      My dog is about 60 lbs so I would say they are about 75 to 80 plus!

  • alanstorm

    CNRFC upped the totals a bit for Tuesday’s event.
    Some repairs have been made on melted culverts & erosion control for the North Bay Fire zones, but doubtful for the Thomas Fire zone.
    5″ there in 36hrs could be catastrophic for mudflows
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d533764a27b871e47e2326dffc7fbc933d3e23004ad296743d7beee51d31843f.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6274305579b1cfe412cfaccf63c8c64dc189a3139d62285e5899f36e15b9e412.png

  • 12z EC has widespread 2 inches plus throughout so cal and up to 6 inches in and around the south facing slopes, wonderful to see, but we all know how 6 inches around Santa Barbara in less than 36 hours is going to end up.

  • Thunderstorm

    Headline in the morning paper today about the Oroville spillway failure. The designer back in the 60’s was a college grad with 2 years experience and no spillway experience. Sounds just like the electrical underhanded problem they have in Puerto Rico. Bob Bea I believe did a lot of the work on the report. Paper said it was a 754 page report.
    Been looking at the hillsides of the Thomas Fire area. Moon scape. If people live in a lower area. Time to pack up. Store the valuables in a safe area. Plan for the worst and hope for the best.
    Ordered the latest best seller from Amazon yesterday very early,should arrive today. Currently sold out.

    • Verdugos

      Why does the mod’s post areas appear blank on my screen?

      • Sometimes twitter embeds go wacky, refresh?

      • PRCountyNative

        It’s an embedded Tweet. I think they all show up on the right side bar as well, you can see them there. They load slowly – do you have a slow connection to the internet? Or else your computer is blocking them, maybe an AdBlock type thing?

      • Sometimes you have to refresh the page for the embedded code to show up.

      • Verdugos

        Thx for replies, still not seeing them either here or in the sidebar. Maybe a Firefox thing.

    • Clearly, this justifies a new blog post. I’m planning to have one up tomorrow PM.

      • Freddy66

        I would assume it also includes the mid month expected pattern change ?

        • Patrick from Stockton

          Yes, I am sure a lot of us would like to hear his updates and thoughts on the upcoming pattern change seeing as how there is so much agreement in the models.

    • Tuolumne

      I got a great tour of the unstable landscape within 50 miles of UCLA from Tony Orme, now retired from the Geography Department. Seeing the land through the eyes of a geomorphologist is a real eye-opener, so to speak.

      I think it was in 1938 that mudflows coming out of the front range of the San Gabriels flowed a mile out of the mountains and across Foothill Blvd. in La Crescenta. If this happened today hundreds could die. Back then it was all orchards.

  • JOHN CURTIS

    View showing fire scar all the way to ocean from 33 past rose valley, plus an old car that ran off the road years ago.

  • JOHN CURTIS

    Won’t let me upload photos.

    • Go to Oregon. You pump your own gas now. I’m assuming you could upload there.

      • JOHN CURTIS

        Follow the leader.

  • sectionmaker

    Im in the flats below the area where SantaBarbara saturday flare up started. I still have fire spotting station set up on roof, so perhaps i can spot mud flows too!!
    Ojai peaks are higher, up to 6000ft, and ours are between 2-3000 ft, so that area will probably receive the max rates. South facing slopes here do funnel the winds in though.
    Should be interesting. We need the rain so badly though.

    • alanstorm

      There has been virtually no time to assess which areas have critical culverts or diversions damaged or destroyed because of the vast size of that fire.
      Just one melted or debris clogged culvert can start a chain reaction ending up in unexpected locations.

      Pretty much a worst case scenario for mudflows unfortunately.

      • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

        I agree, the system is likely to fail if this precipitation does fall into depicted amounts.

  • Taz & Storm Master
    • Is there some sort of portal you grabbed these from?

  • Fairweathercactus

    Are warmer storms becoming more common for So Cal in Winter. I do not remember snow levels at 7-9 thousand feet being the normal but it feels like it is becoming that way. Also seeing more storms come in from a different direction from the undercutting.

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      Models suggest a cold period coming up this month

    • Verdugos

      My perception as well. Last year was an exception to the new rule.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      I think that’s a result of getting fewer GOA storms. These were quite common, but have been fewer and far between over the past several seasons.

  • White Lightning

    This thing is definitely a serious threat to those burn scar areas down south and also a great statewide soaker! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/26ea15c2238eaa5e2262dfbcf4798796b4002b4769a4dd97d8906c09b32f0fa9.png

    • BP (Ventura)

      I went up on my roof just now to check out my gutters, I have over a 1/2″ of ash throughout my gutters! Wondering if I should divert my rain catchment system for the first couple hours of storm then hook back up to fill up my 300 gallons of storage??

      • JOHN CURTIS

        You should take a gas blower and clear them out. They will be clogged forever if you don’t. Just got off my roof myself.

        • BP (Ventura)

          Thanks JC. Heading back to roof now.

          • JOHN CURTIS

            Good luck BP.

      • Admode (Susanville)

        There are good minerals in ash that your plants would benefit from (if that’s what you use the water for). Sounds like you have way more than you’d want to use though.

  • Taz & Storm Master

    we got way more then what Sac has forecast we ened up with 0.78″ of rain from this event not bad at all

  • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

    Im thinking of planting my tomato, basil, pepper, marigold and sunflower seeds today. All very frost sensitive.

    I see no cold outbreaks around the coastal / hills Bay Area and this huge warming storm coming will get them sprouted.

    Tomato sprouts in jan, outdoors. Yep this is the new nor cal (Bay Area at least) norm!

    I have had only one sub freezing temp this year so far.

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      Way too early

      • RunningSprings6250

        (Wait until March!)

    • What makes you think cold outbreaks won’t come with the GOA action soon slated? Winter began a couple weeks ago…

      • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

        Well i can cover them as needed. I’ll take the chance and see.

        Orinda past 2 winter Years was much colder, this year much warmer. Let’s see what happens.

        Sprouts by mid / late jan… planted in the garden by late feb? Fruits and flowers by early May? Let’s see…

    • Tuolumne

      Tomato and basil want warm weather so they can grow. It’s not just the lack of frost (which may not continue) but the actual warmth that matters. Relatively warm for this time of year is not the same as warm enough for these plants.

    • PRCountyNative

      Rain will batter the seedlings unless they are under cover. Additionally, healthy young starts planted many months hence (later) will pass your stunted battered early starters like they are standing still. But it’s worth a try, you might get lucky!

    • Soil warmth. They will rot or not sprout until soil warms up.

    • malnino

      Those veggies are all Mediterranian-based plants – not only do they need the temperate soil (as noted below) but, like citrus, require decent drainage. If the roots are forced to sit in moist/oversaturated soil for any extended period of time, they’re toast.

    • Idaho Native

      We’ll unlikely see freezes around the Bay (except for far north and east bay valleys) but the sheer amount of moisture plus the cool temp of the soil will rot seeds at this point. Planting established plants might be okay (except tomatoes need more heat)

    • Pfirman

      In Woodland I have been watching a rogue tomato seedling that is in a pot about ten inches tall that has made it past temps that took out basil in pots higher off the ground, which themselves made it until a couple weeks ago.
      Ironically the actual pot has a cactus in it.

  • RandomTreeInSB
  • Taz & Storm Master

    high wind watch and winter storm watchs starting too go up

    http://www.weather.gov/hnx/

  • Black Cat

    The Marine Layer has came back and it’s very cloudy on top of the high and mid level clouds streaming in.

  • Taz & Storm Master

    cant wait for are 1st major storm event of the season

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      That is an understatement. Media is paying much attention to East Coast storm/ frigidity but in California we are focused on rainfall with much enthusiasm

  • inclinejj

    Pacifica .67 the last couple days. Currently 54.7 degrees no wind over cast. Barometer 29.96 and 86 percent humidity.

  • Craig Matthews

    Here’s the 18zNAM3km forecast for late Monday afternoon. This system looks very convective in nature, and no real surprise to that, being how well the sub tropical wave to our sw is forecast to get picked up and phased into the incoming dynamical system from the wnw….I’m thinking a high potential for special marine statements/severe thunderstorm warnings with this one. Also, it is amazing how long the Big Sur coast gets slammed with forecast high returns between very early Monday morning thru Tuesday morning, when putting the NAM3km in animation. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/03d175f4e65a6ed4531ed3e340dc4a831e69cbe12b64d7688d4d3dbd2b56a7b3.png

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      I was noticing that convective look also. This is a pretty dynamic system. By 10pm Monday night Santa Barbara & Ventura counties appear to get lit up with heavy rain rates. Lots of individual strong cells in the approaching frontal system as opposed to a flat, stratiform rain band.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a5d69fe2db468fee5c4b8bf156b797b360a9950b23b44e4053714608aa70b389.png

      • Craig Matthews

        Holy ……!!!! This is a very serious situation for the Thomas Burn Scar if those rain rates verify. That burn scar looks to take a direct hit with those cells for several hours…..
        The convective nature looks something outta the gulf coast.

      • hermit crab

        Contradictory forecasts are floating around here in Santa Barbara County

    • Craig Matthews

      Also, of interest, we had a very dynamical system move thru the state around this same time around Jan 9-10, 2001. Here’s what that system looked like.. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8528e6c9ed670b08a41c782ed16bc121a58f73fd09652ee6025640e16d8fad33.jpg

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      Yes, Jan 2001: 5.46. Two days [1/10 &1/11]: over 2 inches each. It ended up being a good rainyear: 18.26

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      Can you think of any similar setups like this in the past that produced severe thunderstorms?

  • JOHN CURTIS
    • JOHN CURTIS

      Photo from 33 past rose valley looking down to ocean and out to Anacapa Island. That car looks like it’s from the 30’s when the highway was built.

      • happ [Los Angeles]

        Now comes the rebuilding as rain heals the earth. Ecologically sound.

  • Fairweathercactus

    I forgot I do not even have GRlevel installed on my computer since I have had no reason to use it.

  • happ [Los Angeles]

    Quick aside:
    Watching Curry destroy the Clippers. Wonder if Step stays w/ Warriors the entire career like Kobi/ Lakers?

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      Steph can make it rain on a cloudless day and get hot on th coldest day of the year. rumor has it his wife can cook up a mean comfort food dinner.

      • happ [Los Angeles]

        What can you say? Like a wet dream every team envies

    • Rusty Rails

      Steph and fam come down to Santa Cruz Warriors games and he couldn’t be nicer/more charming. Dude loves the game.

  • Broncos 88

    .40 here in South Reno. A nice storm. Look forward to Monday’s storm.

    • Charlie B

      72 degrees in San Clemente. Only 10 days left.

    • Taz & Storm Master

      ended up with 0.78″ from this event

  • SacWx

    Feet of snow for Tahoe on the 18z

    • Taz & Storm Master

      and may be even hvy snow fall down too 2,000 too 2500ft at times

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      Could line up perfectly for resorts; Winter Olympics showing off skiing and snowboarding making people want to head to the snow. Sierrra resorts digging out from back to back to back storms.

  • Taz & Storm Master

    WOW

    next storm is JAN 15-16

    https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/gfs/2018010618/gfs_mslp_pcpn_frzn_swus_39.png

    then it is followed by a much colder storm and a week on end of low snow and vary high snow fall

    not even a small break be for the next one

    https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/gfs/2018010618/gfs_mslp_pcpn_frzn_swus_42.png

    we could see heavy snow fall down too 2500 too 3,000ft and has much has 5 too 10ft of snow higher up

    https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/gfs/2018010618/gfs_mslp_pcpn_frzn_swus_43.png

    that storm keeps going right from thrusday too sat we get a small break sat then other cold storm sunday

    https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/gfs/2018010618/gfs_mslp_pcpn_frzn_swus_52.png

    we could be makeing up are lost time has far has snow fall gos by the end of JAN

  • Taz & Storm Master

    i have not had a good low snow event down here in some time i think it be fun if sonora CA has 2 too 3ft of snow

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      Do you recall the lowest snow elevation last winter in Sonora?

      • Taz & Storm Master

        i think it snowed down too 1500ft last winter but at most we only got like a light dusting

        i want a real snow storm

        • RunningSprings6250

          B careful what you wish for

          • Taz & Storm Master

            show off but ture

          • RunningSprings6250

            Hehe

          • Tuolumne

            Three feet in the Sierra foothills would be cool. Of course, I don’t live there so not my problem… 😉

          • RunningSprings6250

            Let’s go for thirty?

  • Cap’n

    Model runs have been looking great for days with consistently showing a “parade” of storms in the extended. The 8-14 day outlook still showing above average temps though. Time will tell. After seeing Pickle Meadows today (7K) where the road.closes to Sonora Pass with no snow, it is obvious we are in desperate need of colder storms and a snowpack. Sorry I missed you in Bodie Bombillo!

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/09a8539456093295b23c15c5797fe6b8f5b53527a8a5df72a4ecb0e06b381d5d.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b433cb972a475ac62f767c41c7474f42a83446a0dafeb6c0e520b2a744e4f0b6.png

    • Verdugos

      The 8-14 day forecast map shows warmer than normal because the bulk of the period is projected to be warm and ridgy. The precipitation referred to on the map, if it occurs at all, will be at the end of that period.

      • Cap’n

        I did think of that, I’m just so skeptical that we’ll actually get cold GOA storms. I thought by today maybe the 8-14 would start to show some “average” temps at least as the “projected” colder storms are shown starting around the 17th. A cold storm just seems so hard to come by.

        • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

          There outlooks are horrible at times

          • Cap’n

            Reno AFD just pacified my anxiety as they touched on colder storms with “finally meaningful snow possible below 7,000 ft” in the extended. Until then, should be a fun couple days statewide starting Monday! Granted no one slides away.

          • Don’t those maps suffer from inertia AND whiplash, haven’t we seen them change dramatically countless times?

  • Taz & Storm Master

    am up too 1.05″ of rain so far in JAN not bad

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      .99 here on the SF Pennisula

      • Taz & Storm Master

        cool so we are runing about the same so far

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    NAMNEST is showing very very scary totals for the Santa Lucia’s which has the Soberanas Fire burn scar and for the Thomas Fire burn scar

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/385b3b4b6570afaa3540647ea6e03785bddbb902aaa0f0c5b1e91fbe1040f03b.gif These numbers seem pretty remarkable and would cause extremely dangerous and massive flash floods. Up to 11 inches within 60 hours being shown in the Santa Lucia’s and up to 9 inches being shown in the mountains of SB and VT counties with even more rain to come. Really scary if these numbers verify. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/03cc701e544bd983402a14a56ef04ce815fe8ece9c2bed5a621fa25eb29132b1.gif

      • RandomTreeInSB

        Those numbers are impressive but IMO NAM 3-km sometimes overestimate rainfall on ridge tops. During the storm of last February the NAM consistently displayed rainfall totals of over a foot over transverse ranges, but the highest actual total was 10.47″ in El Deseo ranch near the top of Santa Ynez range. Still a huge total but not as impressive as what the NAM originally forecasted.

        • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

          Forgot to add the disclaimer that the NAMNEST/NAM 3K is known to overdue totals sometimes by several inches

  • Taz & Storm Master

    the wettest day of the year for me was Nov 16th with 2.86″ of rain and the wettest day in order too past that we need 2.87″ of rain or more in one day

  • PRCountyNative

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/01802eddbf3d7ea640ac5cf399d8f4df8b9bb8762398db46a10896627c52db00.jpg

    Lots going on in this picture! This is the Carmel River entering Los Padres reservoir. The former San Clemente dam is a couple miles further downstream. Santa Lucia mountain range.

    The whole area burned in the Soberness Fire.

    The 1/2 inch or so of rain lately, with much more up on the peaks, has increased the flow of the river already. Erosion through last years massive sand and silt deposits in the riverbed has increased.

    Last winter huge amounts of sand and gravel washed down from the burn areas. It’s very remote and rugged, so not a huge deal. On the other side of the range, there was a lot of damage from rains after the fire. See: Hwy 1, and Palo Colorado.

    The reservoir rim can be seen in the distance, the water level is super low from releases and little rain (and siltation). I guess they are working hard at saving the last 9 anadromous fishes, and didn’t expect a drought-like fall. Fire, flood, drought, disease, hubris, and resource depletion. Nice but looking a little battered.

    • Thanks for the ‘oak report’ an hour or so down the blog, too. There had been debates regarding dredging Los Padres. Any idea how much more the reservoir silted up?
      Dang that’s practically a pond already

      • PRCountyNative

        You’re welcome! There are a few things I know first hand. Hard to give a percentage. This last week is the lowest I’ve ever seen the water level, I don’t have a big history here though. For one year’s event, the amount filled-in was huge.

        I was thinking about that… to have the economy that supports the bulldozers required to dredge the reservoir… implies an economy dependent on carbon, and the battle is already lost.

        That we will rely on geoengineering to try to fix things depresses me.

  • Taz & Storm Master
    • Is this from pivotal weather?

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        It is

      • Taz & Storm Master

        yes

    • Yolo Hoe

      Mammoth will be the big winner with this one — perfectly situated in the sweet spot

      • Nathan

        I think Mammoth is a little further south. Sweet spot looks more like Kirkwood/Dodge Ridge.

        • Not what the NAM thinks. Suggesting Mam gets the most snow, check out gif above with precip and radar synced – see how the cold air fuxorz Kirkwood? Hope it changes and storm cools down, but oh well.

    • Nathan

      Not looking so great for lake level.

  • Black Cat
  • SoCalWXwatcher

    NWS Oxnard’s official forecast for Monday/Tuesday:

    https://twitter.com/nwslosangeles/status/949771437140824065

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      Dare I say conservative totals for the mountains?

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        1-2” for coastal SoCal seems about right. I think orographically-favored areas/foothills will overperform though.

        • ha WPC this afternoon suggesting 3-5 inches though! GIF above, really wants to hammer those burn scars ;/

          • SoCalWXwatcher

            Burn scars are in the orographically-favored sweet spot. Along the coastal plain from LA to SD, 1”-2” will be pretty common. There will be a lot of anxiety for those burn areas.

  • Taz & Storm Master

    i think flash flood watchs will be going up some time on sunday

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)
  • AntiochWx

    Rage Against the Ridge
    “Storms on Parade”

    The cloud explodes, shattering the drought. Either drop the drops like a De La Luge, or get off the cactus. With the sure shot, sure to make the rains drop. Drop and don’t roll yo, don’t call this a NWS co-op. Terror rains drenchin’, quenchin the thirst!

  • Freddy66

    Those storms in the long range don’t seem to have changed much during the past few days….can we say there’s a good chance of them actually becoming a reality ?

    • White Lightning

      It’s a very promising sign that the GEFS and GEPS ensembles are both showing the pattern shift that the GFS and the ECMWF are showing!

    • Nathan

      While I’d like to say yes, I’m so jaded that I can’t yet.

  • Apollo

    Due to the nature of this intensifying upcoming storm and rather than it deflating just before it makes it over SoCal. I’m surprised NWS Oxnard has not issued any watches or advisory’s this afternoon for the recent burn areas from the The Thomas Fire since the possible inhanced oragraphic lift is going to happen right on top of it.

  • hermit crab

    Well here we go again…heard from these folks often during the Thomas Fire

    S: Message from the Office of Emergency Management –
    Your property may be threatened by winter storms beginning this week: The Thomas, Whittier & Sherpa Fires have left our local mountains with little or no vegetation to prevent the slopes from sliding. We have identified that the property you reside on or own may be threatened by Flash Floods, Debris Flows, Mud Flows and/or Landslides. It is important that you understand the seriousness of the situation & are prepared. For more information & to determine if your property is in the impact area, go to http://www.countyofsb.org & refer to the interactive map. If you do not have access to the Internet, you can call 211 or (800) 400-1572

  • Taz & Storm Master

    area lakes are going too due vary well with this event

  • Taz & Storm Master

    with Melones at 83% and Don Pedro at 81% we could see them both closer too 90 too 95% full by the end of this event

    http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/products/rescond.pdf

    and with more storms comeing we could see both lakes full too the rim by the end of JAN

    • matthew

      Dry ground will soak up this first storm. I would not expect much in the way of runoff. If we get follow-up later in the month then we will be in good shape.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    USGS map showing chance of a debris flow in burn areas in SB and VT counties https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9967036878b356b10c7bb7ba5bf9d27c7ecc33c8576bda60a9f8c73cf1f16164.png

  • Cap’n
  • Taz & Storm Master
    • RunningSprings6250

      SoCal will no longer ever truly be drought free…not in our lifetime not without a few years of true miracle winters but back into frying pan we’d go anyways….done and done toast and toast.. ?????

    • Tuolumne

      Seeing as how they update based on conditions up through Tuesday each week, I doubt they’ll have enough updated info on not just precip but soil moisture, etc. to make that call by next week.

    • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

      That’s not accurate.

    • alanstorm

      Not even close.
      North coast rivers & streams are currently at record lows for January, only to be eclipsed by the horrific Jan 2013 lows

    • PRCountyNative

      With 39 million people? Never again.

      • BP (Ventura)

        What did “guest” say, it’s been deleted. Your reply is cryptic!

        • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

          It was Storm Master saying the entire state would be out of a drought after this storm.

          • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

            LOL!

          • He gets excited ;P

  • There was a post a moment ago saying Ca might be drought free after this. Kind of presumptuous, but you know what’s sumptuous? The 18z NAM – 99% of the event now falls under the 12km versions 84 hour window. Synced in framerate and timeframe.
    Player 2 has entered the game:
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/63cbc6eb2825d1927ad4066f8c9d491dfbe833614e1ed8ca20628ae9ad774181.gif
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ee90b49f04132fb20f3bd0556992a5ad6f06ddf66403f5fb52e1fdc9e76ba92b.gif

    • Dan the Weatherman

      We certainly won’t be drought free after this storm, but it will certainly help. We will need additional storms for the rest of the season to keep us out of severe drought conditions.

    • Tuolumne

      Didn’t Prince sing about this run?

  • Dan the Weatherman

    The upcoming storm sounds like it will be a good soaker for Socal. Hopefully it is not a one and done for the rest of the month and that we get additional storms later in the month. Joe Bastardi is forecasting quite a January thaw for the east after mid-month, and hopefully that means that there is more of a trough in the west that would bring additional storms to CA including Socal.

  • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

    Just had a nice jolt from a 3.8 in the SB channel…felt like it was about to escalate. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/14dcd8889403699dc9d809522a62d32490fd3fa36051be92e3e02f100b872770.jpg

    • matthew

      Fire. Earthquakes. Flood.

      When do the locust arrive?

      • These are the seasons in SoCal. Add sunshine substitute mudslides for floods.

        • matthew

          Living in the Bay Area most of my life, I used to tell the newcomers that there were two seasons. Wet and Dry. And sometime only Dry.

      • Charlie B

        My older brother, as the firstborn, is worried.

      • 82/83 El Nino baby (San Jose)

        I may be in the minority on this one, but I don’t dread the next big one. I kind of hope in the area when it happens.

        • matthew

          I was huddled under my desk in a tilt-up office building in Palo Alto when the 89 quake hit. First time I was ever afraid during a quake. It was literally throwing me from side to side while I watched ceiling panels hitting the floor. Being helpless is not a good feeling.

          • inclinejj

            I was in San Bruno sitting down waiting for the World Series to start. My buddies house started shaking so hard I thought for sure it would slide off the foundation. When the World Series broadcast was lost almost all the radio stations briefly were down.

            The other one I felt I was on the roof of a house we were framing in Tahoe. It was about 5.5 or so but I thought the frame collapsed.

        • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

          Never been in a big one so not sure what to think

          • V-Ville

            I was on 880 just south of the pancake section.

          • 82/83 El Nino baby (San Jose)

            I was 7 during the 89 quake in the bay and it drives my disaster fascination.

          • matthew

            Picture a 5′ x 4′ solid wood bookcase packed with technical manuals (pre-internet, no digital publications!) walking across the floor then literally jumping in the air and landing in the chair that you were sitting in 5 seconds earlier. As viewed from under your desk.

          • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

            It only lasted for 15 seconds. I cannot imagine what will happen if they next quake is longer, stronger and it’s epicenter is in a heavily populated area

          • PRCountyNative

            You will likely get a chance. Hayward fault.

          • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

            I’m 2 miles away from San Andreas on the Pennisula 🙁

          • PRCountyNative

            Watch out when you’re in the East Bay

          • I’m crazy close to that fault, been thinking about making a steel desk that can support the weight of several I beams striking it. But then I’ll have to account for the legs punching through the floor…hmm…

          • Tuolumne

            The desk’s legs…. or your legs? 😉

          • PRCountyNative

            Gets scary fast.

          • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

            SoCal could get up to an 8.2 so I’m glad I don’t live there

      • hermit crab

        I’m going to read up on Plagues of Egypt.

        • matthew

          Just ask Judge Roy Moore. He’ll tell you what’s going on.

      • honzik

        Answer: Earth, Air, Fire, Water
        Question: What’s wrong with California?

    • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

      I was sitting on my bed on the second story and didn’t feel it. Sad.

      • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

        Maybe being up here in the mountains made a difference?

        • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

          Or I just missed it. Probably a bit of both.

    • Nate

      Very shallow quakes like this (prelim depth of 2.3km) are felt strongly by those close to the epicenter, but the shaking attenuates at a much greater rate than that of a deeper quake.

    • thebigweasel

      We had a second, slightly stronger one about a half hour later. Lasted about eight seconds, which leaves me thinking it was further but stronger.

  • Taz & Storm Master

    last JAN i had 11.91″ of rain what will happen this JAN

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      How did I get more than you? Received over 13″ of rain that month

      • Taz & Storm Master

        not sure may be i miss some in

  • Sad Cactus

    So, is this upcoming Cold GOA storm going to phase with a warm subtropical low from the south?

  • Fairweathercactus

    Looks like Las Vegas will break record dry streak.

    • Amy Cohen

      Gucks Fiven = Zero

    • RandomTreeInSB

      I’m sorry but the cherry picking award goes to drought lorde. You are the runner up though! 🙂

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      I swear, if they keep getting these record dry streaks out there that place will be a desert.

    • Unbiased Observer

      Looking at the radar it looks like there is small chance it could get some rain tonight.

  • RunningSprings6250
    • Twas, methinks dan man is up on deck getting a tan…while writing the newest post.

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      LOL! Never laughed so hard at a post on here ever

      • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

        Mota is hilarious.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      First his wife leaves him, then his post gets removed. Bad night for Mota.

    • Scap

      Mota is a national treasure and should never have a post deleted. I will sleigh in his honor.

  • RunningSprings6250

    Last call for the night – so much for “snow levels will remain above 7000’”. Boom! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0af0c1baa04d5ea77c8920ac37341e12174714ccdcc3e984dd400078bd196da1.jpg

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

    I have a very ugly feeling due to how many people here in Ventura County that I’ve talked too are just shrugging off the serious situation for the the northeastern county… Even just the conversations in the last 24 hours have been, “It ain’t raining here,” & almost right after I ask how long they’ve lived here. Most say about 15 years at most of California living experience and that is where the problem IMHO is rising. With new state residents (less than 15 years of living here) so embedded now into SoCal, our seasoned natives that have long been here and dealt with such problems and educating their neighbors to environmental risks to property loss are really slowly fading into the growing population and with age in disasters, dry outcomes in forecasting are taking grip amongst state citizens now from dry season fatigue when we are given such a good forecast. Unfortunately, it seems another wake up call is yet again coming to SoCal as the NAM continues to light the way in our possible problems ahead… Soon it’ll be the HRRR.
    This is getting quite dire seeing as this is only out until 7AM Tuesday morning & the Thomas Fire burn scar becomes the officially highest total across the state in this run, forecasted to even surpass the Santa Lucia’s and Sierra’s in precipitation totals. Snow totals continue to rise, & NAM 12KM was showing it could be big. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/854245aba8ddbb4225de9feaaf70e72df6e3a89ccf85802a8c98830489e6a46e.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/03b2c2b668d0078940de6f9097150f58e2ee65c323bb9d9f4aab192483957dff.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8cb5240d41118dbe8eb05ace54a67e03827f623338e833dc689dbf984c640dba.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c0da75fbd2a96f1cdf071e24e0c3e73a506eac4766bf5ae79b2b0b5c37cbcf8f.png

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      A foot of rain over Tranverse Ranges & supportable with multi-model agreement… Um, watch the F out everybody if this keeps getting closer in the runs.

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        Wouldn’t be surprised if there is severe thunderstorms with this storm, a definite beast

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        I think NWS is going to be issuing a lot more advisories & warnings by tomorrow evening, and local TV stations may lead off their newscasts with them tomorrow night & Monday evening. Those near the burn scars who don’t heed the warnings will have no one to blame but themselves when the mud comes for them.

        • Dan the Weatherman

          With the huge burn scar from the Thomas Fire, there are likely going to be mudslides, mudflows, and flooding over a large area, especially in those neighborhoods that have been impacted by the fire. However, areas below the fire-affected areas could be in danger as well, especially if the rains are heavy.

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      NAM 3K does show in excess of 5 feet of snow in the highest elevations of the San Bernardinos

      • RunningSprings6250

        There are…. 9(?) peaks above 11k in the San Gorgonio wilderness and a decent amount of terrain above 10k/9k. It’ll sure be nice to have some WHITE capped mountains for the rest of winter, finally!

        • SoCalWXwatcher

          Although not in the San Bernardino range, Mt San Jacinto tops out at around 10,000+ft. San Jacinto State Park at the top of the Palm Springs Tramway is at about 8,400ft. They should make out pretty well.

          • Tuolumne

            And the mountain itself gets up to 10,839.

            I went up to the top of the tramway in early April 1983 and there was still snow on the ground. Stupid tourists I overheard thought that there’s snow on the ground all year at the tram station. Sorry, but there are no pines that grow on permanent year-round snow.

          • SoCalWXwatcher

            I’ve seen snow on the steep North face of the mountain (which is an imposing sight for those on I-10 going through the Banning Pass) as late as June. It wouldn’t surprise me if there’s snow in those deep crags up there on the North face well into Summer, but up at the Tram station it can get into the 80’s during Summer.

          • Dan the Weatherman

            Back in February 2011, I witnessed very low elevation snow in the Banning Pass on the way to Palm Springs. It was a very cold storm system that brought some good snow to the local mountains.

          • Dan the Weatherman

            I was up on the top of the Palm Springs tramway I believe in early April either back in the 1990’s or early 2000’s and the weather was dry and coolish on the desert floor, and it was snowing up on top. It was really neat to experience the snow at the top.

          • Tuolumne

            The area between the tram station and the peak is my favorite place in southern California. It’s like a little bit of the High Sierra transplanted southward.

          • Dan the Weatherman

            You go from palms to pines as you travel up the tram, and it is reminiscent of the Sierras at the top. The top of the tram is over 8,000 ft if I recall correctly.

          • RunningSprings6250

            Highway 38 going around Onyx Peak on the backside tops out at 8400’. I like that drive, I just wish there was somewhere good to eat in Angelus Oaks!

          • Tuolumne

            That’s a classic southern California mountain drive. I took my wife up that way back in 2010, continuing on to Big Bear and back down via 330. It was her first introduction to the southern California mountains up close. There was snow all over but the road was clear. The trees between Big Bear and Running Springs were nicely iced which was quite a sight.

          • Cap’n

            Perfect description. I’ve hiked it and slept up there from three routes; yet to ever do the cactus to clouds as I’m not that into self torture and knee mutilation. It really does feel like the high Sierra in spots. I love Jacinto and so did Muir, he’s got a great quote about it floating around somewhere out there.

        • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

          41 peaks above 8,000 feet, gonna be a ton of white

        • Tuolumne

          Maybe 9 above 10K?

          • RunningSprings6250

            That’s probably it – basically a bunch of bumps along the long ridge culminating with San G at the eastern end. ?

    • matthew

      On the bright side, there will soon be a lot more seasoned natives to pass along their hard earned knowledge.

    • Unbiased Observer

      FWIW the 00Z 12k NAM has actually lessened the amounts a bit compared to the 18Z run. I find that the 3k NAM tends to overdo the orographic component.

      • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

        I’m expecting the worst (far less totals in the HRRR) but my expectations thus far with this storm have fallen ridiculously flat, and this thing has just continued to strengthen into the 36-72 hours window.

    • PRCountyNative

      Good description of the situation in Ventura County. I think it applies to all places and all humans. Who has lived anywhere for more than 70 or 80 years? The challenges we face take more than 15 years of living experience to address, and more than 70 or 80 as well. Humans choose to sleep through repeated wake-up calls, we’re just not equipped to do otherwise (with a few exceptions maybe).

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        One trip to Pompeii should provide ample evidence to support your statement. People can be very stubborn when it comes to evacuating their homes in the face of present danger.

      • Admode (Susanville)

        We are reactive rather than being proactive as a society. It’s a shame but that’s how we are.

    • Tuolumne

      That’s a pet peeve of mine. ‘I’ve been here 30 years and it’s never flooded, so this flood talk is hooey.’

      • Dan the Weatherman

        It all depends on where you live. Some areas are much more prone to flooding than other areas are, and of course certain events such as fires can make flooding more likely in some areas than they would normally be if there weren’t a fire. A major deluge can cause flooding in areas that aren’t considered as flood prone as well.

        • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

          Truly.

        • Tuolumne

          I’m talking about when the flood danger is verified (actual floodplain), but people haven’t seen it flood since they moved there so there couldn’t possibly be any danger.

    • hermit crab

      In Carpinteria we were always low flood risk in my area…until now with the two day or so old updated map. Wish I could get people to believe the map. They think if they have been here ten years they know it all.

  • Taz & Storm Master

    keep in mind you guys if you live in a rain shadow area like redlands you may see vary little if any rain fall

    • RunningSprings6250

      Isn’t that the song “it never rains in sunny Redlands”?

    • Phil(ontario)

      Redlands is not rain shadowed as it is southwest of the mountains. Palm Springs on the other hand definitely rain shadowed.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        There are some areas directly to the east of the higher peaks of the Santa Ana Mountains (especially Saddleback) that are somewhat rain-shadowed, such as the areas around Lake Elsinore. I can see the difference in how dry the terrain looks in that area as I travel on the I-15 from Corona to Temecula. The Temecula area isn’t nearly as dry looking since the mountains to the west and southwest of the area are lower in elevation and more moisture is able to penetrate that region as opposed to the Lake Elsinore area.

      • David Mata

        Yeah, that’s what I was thinking too.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Are you teasing Redlands? Under this kind of setup they may actually get more rain than the coast.

      Or did you mean Redding?

  • Jose Mota

    My wife came into the van when I was stairing into the model plots making plans to sley for Whensday. She put surprise onto my face, I was under the impreshen she wood not becumming back.

    Then she made vilent.

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      He’s back!

      • Atmospheric_River

        Who? Drought Lorde? Was he crying his lungs out this time?

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    Gonna be a beauty on satellite. 00z NAMNEST suggesting the front may be accompanied by very heavy rain and maybe thunderstorms. Post frontal could be fun with maybe some white on Mount Hamilton! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/83b40bc3e1ec8f8d85799cde5cb4574fc761a7f911becab859cce745a36c9cfa.gif https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3ffc9236b505a63a03d5c806c55afebe223becd254d408e4502156a12cdb7a05.gif

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      The wraparound moisture could benefit a number of areas who are not expecting post-frontal action for sure… Remember though, progression, deepening, and trajectory of the low’s core are key factors for big changes in what we are seeing in hires model guidance. Any of the solutions that have been initialized in the last 24 hours could happen and ruin somebody’s day for a fun storm. The good news is all general runs show this storm being a marvelous feature for the state :D.

  • RandomTreeInSB

    Newest Oxnard discussion. You know the situation is urgent when it’s the first time that they’re using capital letters since they officially stopped using Capital letters.

    “There have been some changes to the forecast for Monday and
    Tuesday. Notably, the higher resolution models are now indicting
    higher rainfall totals across much of Los Angeles, Ventura and
    Santa Barbara Counties. 1 to 3 inches for coast and valleys, and
    3-5 inches for the mountains,with some favored south facing slopes
    receiving over 6 inches. Have added slight chance for
    thunderstorms everywhere Monday evening through Tuesday morning.
    With this much rain and high hourly rainfall rates up to an inch
    per hour, we are expecting debris flows to occur across the recent
    burn areas including the Thomas, Creek and LaTuna burn areas. IF
    YOU ARE IN OR AROUND ANY OF THESE RECENT BURN AREAS, STAY ALERT TO
    THE FORECAST AND FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS FROM YOUR LOCAL EMERGENCY
    OFFICIALS.”

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Oh wow. Now they’re upping totals to 1-3” along the coast as opposed to 1-2” earlier this afternoon. This could well be SoCal’s biggest storm since last February’s super-soaker.

      • Nate

        It doesn’t seem to be as powerful/dynamic, but this storm does appear to have some commonalities with that one…

        • SoCalWXwatcher

          What it lacks in dynamics it makes up for with an abundance of subtropical moisture to work with.

      • Called it lol

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      Coming from them… I’d be doing everything I can at this very moment to prepare for this storm if I was in & below. However several people who live below those slopes I’ve talked to including a conversation today have been meh. They just feel it’s not happening anytime soon.

      • BP (Ventura)

        You nailed it. I live about 1/4 mile from the steep west side hillside here in vta and no one, not a peep is taking this serious. A good friend of mine lives right below the 45° hillside and just tonight he told me that we’re going to get less then a inch and he’s done nothing to prepare. It’s weird, people are in denial?

        • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

          Oh, believe me living just 20 minutes away… I know. What is a problem for me is that it could bust on the plain & foothills of the plain, but the chance of that is quickly fading. It’s still worth noting some of the totals being depicted in the lower elevations are under an inch, but remember… Everything comes down.

        • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

          Well be the person to take action for your safety and yours to alert them of the danger that faces them

          • BP (Ventura)

            I’m on it! I’m like the Ventura Paul Revere!

          • hermit crab

            Please help me with Carpinteria.

        • People don’t understand mudflow. It doesn’t mean the creeks are flowing mud. Mudflow flows from higher to lower terrain and it usually undermines, taking soil with it rather than flowing over ground like too much rain would. It can start anywhere. Mudflow isn’t part of a stream or tributary or gully or barranca gone rouge. I’m not trying to scare people but I’ve seen it and people effected by it. Better to be boy-scouted’ to the hilt than be a fool.

          • Nate

            They need to see videos like this. It’s hard for people to visualize the power and speed mudflows can have. https://youtu.be/OTuHQOHjC6Q
            https://youtu.be/2Rfuoylv34k?t=47s

          • Nathan

            that 2nd vid is nuts.

          • Tom & Koyano Gray

            There’s a video somewhere on Utube couple years ago, of one that derailed a train in Washington.

          • Pfirman

            Barranca gone rouge would indeed be a rogue event, heh.

        • hermit crab

          It’s true. My neighbors are unconcerned despite the scary warnings we got both by text and by phone.

          I’m properly scared! I can’t tell exactly what color the hills above me are on the rain map but I think whatever it is, it is concerning.

          Being so ill and weak and needing my electric powered oxygen machine…I am not there to see it.

  • Taz & Storm Master

    seems like we are going too see a state wide area of 1 too 5″ of rain so it looks like ever one will get some fun i like that

  • Taz & Storm Master

    i think this is going too be are 1st winter storm warning event of the season i do not think we have had one yet for are mts

  • Apotropaic

    I think this is a good time to remember that the NAM-3k has severe precipitation overprediction problems. Jim Steenburgh, author of “Secrets of the Greatest Snow on Earth”, discusses it on his blog:

    http://wasatchweatherweenies.blogspot.com/2017/11/precipitation-overprediction-problems.html

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      Well it says on average on average over the Western US it overestimates precipitation by 30% and if you decreased the totals by 30% being shown in the Thomas Fire burn scar you still get a max of 9 inches of rain! I do wonder on average how much it overestimates precipitation in CA especially SoCal.

      • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

        NAM 3KM is only showing until Tues 7AM as well. It stops producing by Weds morning.

      • Apotropaic

        I guess we’ll know when the paper’s out! The image in the post includes roughly the Great Basin sensors, so when we get the full paper I’m excited to see how the NAM-3k’s performance varies geographically, and especially in California.

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      It’s a good add, thank you.

  • Cap’n

    Each run showing a little less snow up top and more splitting for Tahoe area, but eyyyyy ohhhhhh look at these totals for Mt San Antonio (Mountain Baldy). Exciting couple days for California weather ahead it seems.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a58a9fc25d5a255c0dfb5797ce18aba55b646aead2a78487692efdfb63eba8ba.png

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      With snow levels falling to 4000′ we could have a winter wonderland in local mountains. Best news in a long long time.

      • Cap’n

        This is for the top at 10K and it has a low of 36F for a big chunk of the event. Time will tell. So Cal resorts have yet to get any real snow though so man it would be great if they could pull in a couple few feet.

    • BP (Ventura)

      It’s such a nice change of pace, brethren in nor cal excited for us in So Cal to receive rain! Odd times indeed!

  • Atmospheric_River
  • SoCalWXwatcher
  • Cap’n

    Great read from SF. Something tells me I won’t be getting much work done Monday and Tuesday as my time will be divided by checking the blog, checking the Doppler, and checking the gauge.

    http://forecast.weather.gov/product.php?site=MTR&issuedby=MTR&product=AFD&format=CI&version=1&glossary=1

    • Rusty Rails

      I have Monday off and I intend to stare at the rain, wind, and waves all day while checking here for reports around the state. It will be glorious, I tell you.

      • PRCountyNative

        Could head up the coast to Waddell Creek, or even up to Big Basin! South wind in town is kind of ugly.