Record Southern California dry streak to end abruptly with strong storm; serious flood risk near Thomas Fire

Filed in Uncategorized by on January 7, 2018 9,187 Comments

Record SoCal dry streak February 2017 – January 2018

March-December was the record driest such period across most of Southern California, and drier than average across nearly all of California. (West Wide Drought Tracker)

As many Southern Californians are acutely aware, it has barely rained at all in this part of the state since February 2017. Despite the fact that winter 2016-2017 was fairly wet overall in SoCal (and near-record wet further to the north), the Pacific moisture stream shut off pretty abruptly by March–and the rains have yet to return to now-parched Southern California. In fact, the past ~300 days have been the driest such period on record across most of Southern California–including in Los Angeles proper, where the 0.69 inches of accumulated precipitation over that interval shattered the previous March-December record of 1.24 inches. Amidst this record dry spell, widespread (and late-season) record warm conditions have been reported–a combination that helped cause California’s most destructive fire season on record (the Thomas Fire, now California’s largest wildfire in modern history, is still not yet 100% contained as of January 7). As discussed in my last post, the cause of these record dry and warm conditions in SoCal has been the persistence (once again) of an unusually strong ridge of high pressure near the West Coast.

 

Strong storm to bring heavy rain, strong wind, thunderstorm risk to much of California

The incoming event will coincide with impressive storm-scale dynamics. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

Well, I have some good news (for most folks) and some bad news (for anyone living near the numerous recent wildfire burn scars in the state): rain will finally be returning, in fairly dramatic fashion, over the next 24 hours to the entire state. An impressively strong storm system is currently taking shape off the California coast, fueled by a burst of jet stream energy that has finally broken through the persistent West Coast ridge. There had been some uncertainty regarding whether the jet energy would “phase” optimally with a low pressure system, but models have come into unanimous agreement that everything is indeed coming together for a major storm across all of central and southern California over the next 48 hours.

The developing storm will share several characteristics of historical systems that have tended to bring significant impacts to all areas, not just the orographically-favored coastal mountains that sometimes “steal” the lion’s share of winter precipitation at the expense of downwind rain-shadowed valleys.

A strong, well-positioned jet streak will generate favorable conditions for intense rain rates and possibly thunderstorms across SoCal. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

The first: this system is developing/strengthening close to the coast, with a sub-1000mb surface low due west of San Francisco by Monday morning. Additionally, this surface low will be associated with a fairly strong, cyclonically-curved jet streak over SoCal–favoring strong upward vertical motion ahead of/along the cold front. A modest atmospheric river will be associated with this storm system, although it’s actually the storm-scale dynamics that are more impressive than the moisture tap in this instance. Finally, there will be relatively cold air aloft behind the front–creating a convectively unstable atmosphere that will likely be conducive to  high rain rates near the front and probably at least a few embedded thunderstorms. There’s even a slight chance of some strong-to-severe cells along the cold front, which could bring locally torrential rainfall in a few locations.

In addition to widespread significant/heavy rainfall, winds could become quite strong and gusty across some coastal areas, especially between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Winds may be strong enough to cause some damage in these areas, though this will probably not be an exceptional wind storm unless the surface low deepens considerably more than expected. Still, this will represent the first major windstorm in many coastal areas in at least a year.

Significant mountain snowfall can be expected with this storm, though as has been the trend in recent years snow levels will be relatively high during the bulk of precipitation. Thus, multiple feet of snow will likely fall above 7000-8000 feet but possibly only a few inches below these high elevation regions.

 

High risk of serious flash flooding, debris flows, and mudslides near Thomas Fire

While under normal circumstances this storm system would be a largely positive development–bringing much-needed water to parched Southern California–very recent severe wildfire activity will present a high risk of serious, perhaps life-threatening conditions in some places. The region of greatest concern is the region within and near the Thomas Fire burn scar in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. The region burned by this wildfire is enormous (around 275,000 acres, or 425 square miles) and extends across vast tracts of wilderness, agricultural lands, and even some urban areas on the margins of Santa Barbara, Ventura, Santa Paula, and Ojai. The confluence of very high burn intensity on the steep slopes above the Ojai Valley, plus a substantial human population in the town of Ojai itself, presents an especially high level of concern. But even areas miles away from the primary burn areas many see significant flood-related impacts from this intense storm event.

Why are the risks near wildfire burn scars so much higher than in other areas? In many cases, recent fires in California have burned very intensely and at extremely high temperatures due to record-dry vegetation and ambient weather conditions. In these patches of particularly high burn intensity, nearly all vegetation was consumed by fire–leaving steep slopes completely devoid of soil-anchoring vegetation, and even modifying the underlying soils in a manner that creates a largely impermeable, waxy layer. This means that rainfall has a very hard time soaking into the ground–and is instead forced to immediately flow downhill as nearly instantaneous runoff. When precipitation intensity exceeds a certain threshold (sometimes as low as 0.25 to 0.50 inches per hour, which would normally be well within the capacity of local rivers and streams), rapid flash flooding can result when huge volumes of runoff enter stream channels.

Widespread heavy precipitation is expected across coastal California Mon-Tues. Locally 4-6+ inches is possible near Thomas Fire burn scar. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

Flash flooding is not the only risk, however. Wildfires can also produce vast amounts of ash –which, given high enough rainfall intensity, can accumulate within drainage channels to form an incredibly heavy, debris-laden, wet cement-like slurry known as a debris flow. These flows behave like a hybrid mudslide/flash flood (not unlike a volcanic “lahar”)–and can be incredibly fast-moving and destructive (click here for a visual). More traditional mudslides and/or landslides are also possible, but it’s debris flows that arguably pose the most unique and substantial threat in the wake of wildfires.

Due to the particular trajectory of this storm, and the naturally steep topography of the Transverse Ranges, areas near/within the Thomas Fire burn scar will be at very high risk during the period of peak rainfall intensity late Monday night. But other recent wildfire burn regions in California will also be at elevated risk of flash flooding and debris flows during this event–particularly the Tubbs Fire scar in the North Bay. Most other parts of the state not affected by recent wildfires will fare just fine, outside of some localized urban flooding. But make no mistake: if you live near where the Thomas Fire has burned in recent weeks, this is a storm to take very seriously indeed.

 

Medium term outlook: substantial drying once again, but may become wet again soon

For Southern California, at least, the Monday-Tuesday storm will be quite strong but equally quick-hitting: the remainder of the next 10 days look quite dry. Things will dry out later this week in NorCal, too, though there may still be occasional light rain across the far north. Out beyond 10 days, there are hints that a more active pattern may re-emerge (especially across the northern part of the state, but perhaps further south as well). At the very least, it does appear that the multi-month streak of seemingly unbreakable Southern California high pressure is over, at least for a little while. Stay tuned!

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  • Rainmaker (San Jose)

    2018 summer is feeling pretty lonely that it will welcome us into February. 70’s on Thursday for us in the Bay. Feel bad for you folks in Socal though.

  • Atmospheric_River

    Though most everyone on this blog is complaining about the ridge and how hot it will be, people I’ve talked to are loving the ridge.

    Things I’ve heard:
    “Oh, cool! The temperatures gonna be 70! I’m so excited!”
    “Great, no winter this year. It’s already feeling like spring!”

    • Yolo Hoe

      Honestly, the Spring skiing today at Northstar was great — made bittersweet only by the grim reality of obviously thin cover everywhere except the snowmaking reinforced groomers

    • Bartshe

      Things I’ve heard:
      “Oh boy, going to be more exciting firestorms this year!”
      “I can’t wait until we can pump more groundwater!”
      “Great to go scoop up stranded fish in Sierra streams this June!”

    • Chris

      Kill them!!!

    • Uncle Jesse

      I can relate on a comfort level and I remember when Bay Area was not so packed with idiots. Lived through ’76 drought OK but it’s on a different level now with millions more here.

  • Thunderstorm

    If the rains don’t come to southern California by the end of winter, then the springs winds will and you know what that means!

    • Al (Victorville)

      Dry fronts/inside sliders= Big dust storms from strong NW-NE winds
      But I’m hoping for some upper lows sliding down the coast, giving us scattered showers since rainfall at that time is highly variable as the rainfall along/ahead of the fronts turn drier with time or limited to behind the front.

  • Jason Jackson Willamette

    Absolutely bizarre sat. image tonight. All kinds of systems out in the Pacific, but nothing has our name on it? COME ON Mother Nature, what’s it going to take?!

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/582bdcb9e1af105d3b3b55f18c8cd28be8042bd635217813367b6247baf39a4d.jpg

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    Is the eclipse worth getting up for in the Bay Area?

  • VC_AvocadoGrower (Santa Paula)

    Most regulars here will already know all this, but here’s a nice article that spells out our current situation half way through the “rainy” season in layman’s terms (Even features a quote or two from Daniel)

    I’m cautiously hopeful that the average folks read stuff like this and can begin to understand the implications of a changing climate in CA. I’m a city planner by trade (hobby avocado grower), and it’s alarming to see the lack of regard in local leaders, developers, etc. who after one wet winter have gone back to “business as usual” in terms of thinking about the interface between urbanization, climate change, and resulting impacts. Hoping that the disasters of this winter and lack of precipitation thus far get people thinking:
    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-dry-january-heat-20180130-story.html

    • Bombillo1

      There’s a paywall on the LA Times link. How ironic that the original co-conspirators of the Owens Valley rape should now be sounding the alarm of a perilous future. The vision of our visionaries has now come full circle.

      • PRCountyNative

        I’ve seen that before I think it’s common. The biggest hunters become the most passionate advocates for game, for example.

        Unfortunately the original pillage can not be made up for by later conservation.

        • Bombillo1

          Seems right. Like the old saw about who sings the loudest in church…

    • It seems like Daniel has replaced the JPL guy as their go-to for climate and weather extremes in SoCal. Bravo!

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        As long as Daniel doesn’t make El Niño analogies that invoke 200ft tall Japanese SciFi monsters, or suggest people buy Kayaks like that other guy did, he should do well!

    • PRCountyNative

      Thank you for sharing!

      Among these local leaders do you see any understanding around our current plan for infinite population growth? 60 million here we come? Does everyone accept that our economy must grow forever? Must home prices forever increase? Mining fossil water, wiping out the fish, paving over farmland – all good?

      Just what is the thinking out there?

    • Quagmire Cliffington

      We’re incredibly short sighted.

  • March Miracle (SMX)

    No rain until at least Valentine’s Day? I guess I should leave the WW forums until a new post is up or a storm is in the 7-day forecast. I’ve given up on models for the time being. Sayonara.

  • SoCalWXwatcher

    Is Tahoe ahead of Morrocco in total snowfall this season? Or will the Gulf Coast rally & take the title? The Sahara Desert got some good snow, but I still think Monterrey, Mexico has a chance for an upset if they get another Arctic blast in February.

    https://twitter.com/stormchaserukeu/status/958234962377039873

    • A lot of weird stuff seems to be happening nearly every year.

    • March Miracle (SMX)

      Why can’t, say, Barstow get some of that rare snow, too?

  • Shane Ritter

    I wore shorts today. In late january. How disturbing. Hopefully it’s pant weather in March. However this eclipse is awesome to watch from the window at the shop while I make bagels . Awesome show!

  • Shane Ritter
    • Yolo Hoe

      Nice shot — Yep, this is a very cool early morning visual — hopefully it’s an omen for weather pattern change

      • CHeden

        Looks excellent up here in Cottonwood.

        • I was barefoot and in a T-shirt and wasn’t chilly. One difference from a somewhat chilly summer morning would have been lower humidity

        • Bombillo1

          No clouds to worry about..

  • matt

    Live feed . lunar eclipse. https://youtu.be/wwMDvPCGeE0

  • Disqus has an expanded ‘flag as inappropriate’ feature.

    • Bombillo1

      The new impersonation category is going to be tricky. I’ve never really looked into it but is Cap’n really a Cap’n?

      • Cap’n

        No more than you’re really a Bombillo I suppose. Actually I changed it to make my Father proud, a plan that has severely backfired.

      • Pfirman

        He’s been cap’n on the weather this winter, but who hasn’t?

  • tomocean
  • Well that was magical. Now to wait 10 years for rendering and uploading to complete :/

  • CHeden

    Spectacular view from here in Cottonwood.
    Here’s what I was able to tease out from my Coolpix. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/118a8a605582788ce4bfca73a58cebd14d9a1a9010fe91a79bd9a645c4691f0b.jpg

  • Ok fuck the moon for a second GEM AND GFS BOTH see relief in their ensembles! Hype Train heading out of station so that the Sag Express can blow through!

  • RunningSprings6250
    • matthew

      Finally some truth in advertising. It is forecast to be in the 60’s this week and next. Winter is indeed heating up!

      • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

        break out that bikini and speedo for skiing! Perfect way to excite people for the Winter Olympics!

        • matthew

          I will be golfing and cycling for the next couple weeks. Not what I planned on for February but you take what you get.

      • AlTahoe

        Yesterday was a record high in South Lake of 56F beating the old record of 52F. Looks like record highs for the next 14 days

        • matthew

          I hit 56F at my house. When I was driving into town at around 2 p.m. I had 60F on my car thermometer. Spring is here.

          • AlTahoe

            It’s going to be frustrating when our next one and done storm comes in, and the snow is falling on dirt again.

  • And now a Hyper Spectral Mega Dynamic Range Habanero Jawbreaker:
    https://i.imgur.com/26TKc8i.jpg
    Better pictures later, rest needed.

    • Noise reduced, check out the way the dynamic range runs out of stops in such a way that it highlights the mountains and ridges producing shadows on the surface of the moon. Click and zoom in!
      https://i.imgur.com/cQxk2fP.jpg

      • Yolo Hoe

        That’s awesome — thanks for posting!!

        • Pfirman

          Ha. It also is always cool to see the curved shadow of the earth, one of early pieces of evidence of its shape.

  • Fairweathercactus

    Your boy cactus was money in the back for January going one and done. I think we will be lucky to get any storms for Feb.

  • Idaho Native

    Does anyone know where you can find rain totals from the 76/77 season? I’m curious how they’re stacking up compared to this year…

    • Fairweathercactus

      I had the website that had all the rainfall by month. It was kind of deep on google. Let me see if I can find it again.

    • Where do you want them from all of CA or cities or Sierra

    • AlTahoe
      • Idaho Native

        Is it me or is that an amazingly confusing site?

        • nunbub

          Not just you…Definitely gotten lost multiple times on that site.

    • Chris

      We are wetter than that year here in the Bay Area….. but not by much

      • Bombillo1

        Wait until March 1 and answer that question…

        • Chris

          No kidding!
          But then again the 1976-77 year had an extremely wet May that brought it above what would have otherwise been a record dry year.

  • Bob G (Gustine)

    BA’s update this morning. He says the models are showing a pattern change beginning during the latter part of February. He said the Euro weeklies show a trough off the west coast and rain as does the CFS weeklies. I can’t see the Euro weeklies but I am sure he knows how to read them. I know the CFS weeklies have been consistent with March rain. Nice to have some model agreement. Hopefully we get a wet March. Unfortunately, we can’t make it rain right now.

    • Euro weeklies are the LUCY of all LUCYs. Run away from them and never look back.

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        LOL. March Miracle here we come

        • And you already know what to do with CFS weeklies. :))

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            Hey, both showed the pattern change in January weeks in advance although we didn’t quite get the precip we were hoping for

          • Do you have enough chill hours? Will you bud out 2 weeks if these temps or do you still have tule fog?

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            I think we are ok. We were doing okay to date according the information provided at our annual food safety meeting three weeks ago. We’ve had tule fog recently. More concerned about water situation right now than chill hours. I’ve heard nothing so far. Cherries won’t move this early although the almonds probably will. We didn’t use dormex but those that did might see some movement in late February on the earliest varieties like Royal Tioga

          • Al (Turlock)

            At our station for our cherries near I-5 west of Firebaugh chill hours were oddly tracking similar to last year. Dormex application date within a day or so of last year. We’ve got 18 year old Brooks and 4 year old Corals. What’ve you got there in Gustine?

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            I have cherries in Patterson. 20 year old Corals and Brooks. They are on Mazzard which is lousy. I just replanted half with Coral and Brooks that I grew from mahaleb seed into potted trees. In Gustine I have open ground. Thinking about Corals and Brooks and maybe trying a few acres of Royal Tiogas although I am not hearing good things about it, Packouts on Brooks have never been very good either. Too delicate. The Corals hold up better

          • Al (Turlock)

            Yeah we’ve got Brooks on Mahaleb and the Corals on Colt. The only thing keeping the Brooks going is how early we can get them off and the size. They are such a risk though especially with all the gib we’ve got to put on now, if they get even a drop of rain they split. Where in Patterson is your block? My dad and grandfather farmed for years in and around Patterson/Westley until they moved everything down around Firebaugh.

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            Brooks are soft and tend to bruise and shrivel. We are just east of town. I might know who your family is. Westley is a small place. I know the Cox family for years

          • Pfirman

            I wish they were paper so I could put them in the bird cage.

        • alanstorm

          Hoping for at least 40″ in March to get me to the seasonal average here in Willits

          • gray whale

            my vote for post of the day. may the dryness of your humor portend the wettest of weather in March

      • Nathan

        They advertised a very wet end to December for all of CA.

        lulz

        • Dan the Weatherman

          We all know how that panned out: not a drop at all for Socal.

          • Nathan

            NOW THAT YOU MENTION IT….vague memories…. There was like…some kind of, like, little brush fire or something right around then too, right?

          • Dan the Weatherman

            You mean, like one of the biggest fires in CA history, right?

  • Aiming to have a blog update later this week. Thurs/Fri?

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      Cool. I am sure it will be very joyful 🙂 Very little snow, record temps melt remaining snow. Worst winter in CA history. It is march and winter is over. Probably something like that, lol

      • Pfirman

        Wait, it is only February or did the blood moon kill it?

        • Bob G (Gustine)

          The evil twin ridges, lol

          • Come play with us Danny, forever and ever and ever and ever.

          • alanstorm

            Redrum…..

    • Nathan

      Does it come with a Xanax Rx?

    • weathergeek100

      Probably pretty easy update- just copy/paste the previous two updates and subtract the part about the one and only SoCal storm last month.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        If we don’t get any more rain from now through the end of the rainy season in Socal, I can guarantee that there are going to be some wicked hot spells in April and May, and even possibly March as well.

    • Thunderstorm

      Give us your thoughts about the MJO also. Also Howard in Mammoth thinks spring will be dry.

    • March Miracle (SMX)

      Give us an update on what is causing this Southwest ridge to be so stubborn. It’s insane.

  • Chris

    Anyone have a link on where I can find DAILY rainfall totals for any given year?
    The NWS in Monterey used to have a link for it.
    Specifically, I’m looking for Gilroy.
    They used to have a link where you could look at dailies going back to the early 1900s
    Thanks!!!

    • Pfirman

      I have been looking for the same info for Woodland. Nothing yet.

    • gray whale

      University of California has a pretty good searchable database of stations and it looks like Gilroy is on there.

      Here you go: http://ipm.ucanr.edu/WEATHER/wxactstnames.html

      • Chris

        You are my hero!!!! I feel like I won the jack pot!

        I have been keeping daily records for rain in Morgan Hill since 1983.
        Apparently, I threw away my 2004 calendar!!!

        Now I need to do a lot of math and compare Gilroy’s other daily readings to the ones I have and get at least an approximate monthly total and the 2005 total.

        Where do you live? next time I’m in your neck of the woods…….. or you in mine… ..I’m buying you a drink……or two……….or?

        Thanks again.

        • gray whale

          🙂 happy to help!

          I live in Placerville — hit me up if you’re passing through. As a couple other peeps on the board know I’m down to have a real-life toast to weatherwest….

          • Pfirman

            It is a good site, but only seems to go back to 2011. I would bring a bottle of wine anyway if I knew where to deliver it. Your choice of Tannat, Primitivo, Cab. Sauv., Tempranillo, or red blend of Barbera, Zin, & Temp.

  • gray whale

    2Pluvious shared an awesome link on the QBO the other day that I highly recommend. One highlight of the reading is that, as of 2015 when it was written, no models are able to really get a handle on the QBO in a predictive way; we can only just look at the data and say, okay we’re in QBO- territory right now.

    Increased meridional flow is apparently a hallmark of a negative QBO, and it suppresses a flat, strong jet that could deliver storms in favor of a loopy, meandering one that allows a ridge to set up wherever the jet isn’t (very apparent right now). It would be cool if there were more predictive power in the models: knowing if this winter was slated to have a QBO- as part of a natural cycle would be helpful, I think, especially because there could be other factors behind a slack or non-zonal jetstream, the biggest one that I can think of being Arctic Amplification. My thinking is that, if there’s no predictive power and the models can’t “understand” the QBO, then are we just describing phenomena and assigning a name to it, without understanding the cause? Ultimately, a natural oscillation of a spinning earth would be a more comforting explanation for meridional flow than melting Polar ice caps. But I’m leaning toward the latter for the time being, unfortunately.

    Here’s 2Plu’s link: https://www.ecmwf.int/en/about/media-centre/news/2015/why-quasi-biennial-oscillation-matters

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      Howard stated in a post the QBO is flipping positive next year. Not sure how he knows that is going to happen

      • gray whale

        The section “Just as a note” in his January 25th post is really educational

      • Shane Ritter

        Basically the QBO has a 29 month cycle, 12 months + then 17 -. It’s fairly reliable. The only time it didn’t follow that rule was last year. It should have been – last winter, but stayed positive. It’s the first time in 30 cycles that’s happened.

        • Bob G (Gustine)

          Cool. Thanks for the info

        • gray whale

          great info. any links?

        • Chris

          That’s very informative! Thank you.

        • Pfirman

          That’s a span of 72 and a half years. Hmm, what significant thing has occured in that timespan?
          I wonder if we will see more irregularity?

    • Bombillo1

      Read that as well. My problem is that I can’t get past the name Quasi Biennial Oscillation. Groping about for something to provide some sort of reliable guidance and this thing has Quasi Biennial built into its name. Like it is sometimes Biennial, or it is Biennial usually until it isn’t or what? Quasi useful…

    • KInda like MJO. It’s there. it’s measured. Granted the wheel was only ‘invented’ in mid 70’s to plot MJO. Oscillations of SLP and precipitation were recorded for some time.. Yet there isn’t a consensus as to WHY it exists.

    • alanstorm

      Getting screwed by nature is better than getting screwed by civilization.
      Although, nature can be quite cruel & indifferent

  • My eyes are on what I think is a major SSW event coming around Valentine’s Day. The last two were in early January 2013 and late January 2009. Both of those had MJO running through the western pacific with good amplitude but nothing like this year. Mid February is not too late for one of these.
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/intraseasonal/temp10anim.shtml

    • AlTahoe

      The last SSW is what broke our weather. This has been a really long time between SSW events. Hopefully it happens this time and fixes our weather 🙂

      • Was sharing that same thought with a few yesterday.

        • 82/83 El Nino baby (San Jose)

          Maybe Daniel will mention the SSW in his upcoming blog post?

          • Dan the Weatherman

            I hope he does talk about the SSW if it is forecast to occur. I would like a more detailed explanation in layman’s terms on how they affect the atmosphere and weather patterns in general.

          • SSW’s don’t have much effect on us here. If one big one did happen it won’t be till after his update anyway and the effects take a little bit of time. If it happens it might look like the one in 2009. If you want good, really good tweet info check out @drahbutler

      • Dan the Weatherman

        A blogger over on TheWeatherForums has been mentioning that the SSW of 2013 changed the overall circulation pattern into the regime that we have been stuck in for the last few years. Hopefully this SSW does occur and shakes up the overall circulation pattern once again into something more favorable for us!

        • nunbub

          Seems unlikely to me that one SSW can have that much of a ripple effect on our weather, but then again I am only a casual weather fan, not an expert.

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      I wasn’t familiar with the term SSW, so I looked it up. Really good write up here:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudden_stratospheric_warming

      Weather effects –
      Although sudden stratospheric warmings (SSW) are mainly forced by planetary scale waves which propagate up from the lower atmosphere, there is also a subsequent return effect of sudden stratospheric warmings on surface weather. Following a sudden stratospheric warming, the high altitude winds reverse to flow eastward instead of their usual westward. The eastward winds progress down through the atmosphere and weaken the jet stream, often giving easterly winds near the surface and resulting in dramatic reductions in temperature in Europe.

      • Pfirman

        I’m glad you posted this as I was innocently translating SSW as Sea Surface Warming and getting lost at sea in the process. Doy.

    • Stressing that MJO is only ONE process that affects a SSW event, but being an MJO loose cannon, I found this tidbit fascinating https://twitter.com/NWSCPC/status/958796146952015872

  • Farmer47

    85-90 for at least the next 10 days!!
    Are u kidding me?!?!?!

    • AlTahoe

      I went to Diamond peak ski resort today on my lunch break and there is no way they can stay open after this extended heat wave. Natural snow cover on the ground at 8500′ was about 6″

      The man made runs are about 24″

      • Chris

        That is NOT good.
        My brother in law was up there this past weekend and the conditions were epic!
        We are all going up as a family during “ski week” (2/18-2/22)
        I think we’ll have to head up to Mt Rose even though Diamond Peak is walking distance from our place. 🙁

        • AlTahoe

          The ridge run from the top is the only thing worth skiing right now. They had two little advanced chutes open with mogul’s and huge rocks sticking out. The difference in conditions between them and Heavenly is crazy

          • Chris

            Thank you. I just took a pic of this screen and sent a mass text out and mentioned Heavenly as “plan B”.

          • inclinejj

            Mt Rose as plan A?

          • Chris

            Yes. They are higher up. Likely more snow.
            At least I hope to go sledding on the Tahoe side of Mt Rose!

        • AlTahoe
          • RunningSprings6250

            Looks like the resorts down here, ouch…

        • inclinejj

          Chris, so you can walk out to Ski way and even catch the shuttle up the hill?

          • Chris

            Yes. Our place is at 400 fairview. Those are the condos that you see opposite of Diamond Peak.
            Ours faces the lake though.
            IT’s a rental if you or your friends are ever interested.

          • inclinejj

            We are right behind/besides Raley’s on Northwood!

          • Chris

            I see a starbucks get together looming 🙂

      • inclinejj

        That’s ok the homeowners in the area keep Diamond Peak and the golf course open. IVGID will just raise the yearly fee.

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        Northstar some how has a foot and half at the bottom, likely because of all the tree cover and snow machines

        • Every day they push snow made from the top down to the bottom as part of the grooming procedure. They have it down pat on how to evenly scrape out skiable conditions in the worst of years, they have had all too much practice lately…

    • Tuolumne

      How are your mangoes and papayas doing? Should be ripening up nicely.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        The avocados must be doing quite well, too.

  • happ [Los Angeles]

    It’s in the 80’s in San Luis Obispo; where else in America can such warmth occur in mid winter at latitude 36N ? includes Arkansas/ Tennessee/ North Carolina

    • inclinejj

      It was 77 in Pacifica yesterday. 70.3 today!

  • Thunderstorm

    Very nice to see people on board about the MJO. Have been talking about this for the past 5 weeks. The farther east it gets in the Pacific Ocean the better. An SSW may happen too!

    • molbiol

      Not very excited about MJO. Likely it will move into Phase 8 (bad for us) and then into the COD before it has a chance to emerge into the Indian Ocean.

      • Models have recently been diving into the COD before going through phase 8. Possible to squeeze a few raindrops around mid-month. MJO hasn’t been a very good this year associating phases with precip, it pulled a fast one going through phase 3 this month.

        • molbiol

          Is that brief period in phase 3 the reason behind the models getting everyone’s hopes up for a stormy period during the latter week in January before the proverbial football was pulled out from under everyone? Speaking of which what IS the lag. I’m pretty ignorant about this

          • Yes it was forecast to be in phase 3 for about two weeks by some forecasts. As you know it’s just a tool in the tool box.
            By lag are you referring to the time it takes from the RMM location for it to affect west coast climate? Such as how many days from phase three to impact the west coast?

          • molbiol

            yes, that is what I mean by ‘lag’

          • It’s a planetary wave so there really isn’t a lag for it to travel to the west coast. The RMM would be in a different phase anyways once it hit the west coast. Different phases have different effects on extratropic circulation at different times of the winter season (intraseasonal and intramonthly). Phase 3 is generally good for troughing on the west coast most of the winter months.
            Also ENSO can be a big deal too. Phase 7 can plant a ridge in January or drop a nice trough depending on Nina or NIno.

          • Pfirman

            Now you drop RMM. Please translate the following.

            For the remainder of this paper, we denote the leading pair of PCs of the EOFs calculated from U200, U850, and VP200 as the velocity potential MJO (VPM) indices. We compare them to the PCs and EOFs computed by WH04, which we refer to as the RMM indices. The RMM indices, which are based on U850 and U200 from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction–National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP–NCAR) reanalysis (Kalnay et al. 1996) and satellite OLR (Liebmann and Smith 1996) are obtained online (http://www.cawcr.gov.au/staff/mwheeler/maproom/RMM/). For the RMM PCs, the EOF analysis was performed using data for 1979–2001, and subsequent PC values have been computed by projecting the daily data onto the fixed EOF spatial patterns.

          • Dan the Weatherman

            What does EOF stand for? I am tempted to think it means End of File, but I know that’s obviously not the case here.

          • empirical orthogonal function

            Guys this stuff here is way way over my head. I don’t have a background in meteorology. I’m a visual learner.

          • Here’s something to read. It’s way over my head. http://www.met.rdg.ac.uk/~han/Monitor/eofprimer.pdf

          • Pfirman

            So just designate it something with a ring to it?

      • Pfirman

        Sigh, what is COD? I’m guessing Cycle of Death?

        • molbiol

          circle of death. Yes, the acronyms get on my nerves too but if you think its bad here…try reading the weather twitter feeds from various climatologists and meteorologists. They mind as well be speaking another language

          • Pfirman

            So what is circle of death exactly?

          • http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/mjo/
            “When the index is within the centre circle the MJO is considered weak, meaning it is difficult to discern using the RMM methods”
            I’m going look at the lustre on my new carbon fibre bike before I go to the theatre.

          • molbiol

            Brace yourself:
            The circle of death is a region on the multidimensional plot for which the enhanced and suppressed phases of the MJO fall below a certain index threshold. These indices are better known as “Real-time Multivariate MJO series” which are derived from principal component analysis of empirical orthogonal functions used to describe equatorial measured fields including winds at 850 and 250mbs, OLR measurements etc.which are themselves averaged. We are currently in phase 7 resulting in a high index over the maritime continent/western pacific and a symmetrically negative index over the Indian Ocean. In other words, when the index falls into the circle of death, that typically signifies a weakening of the MJO

          • Pfirman

            Thank you so much. Heading out to the wood shed to get my beating now.

          • PRCountyNative

            It’s the spinny thing when your computer freezes

  • RunningSprings6250

    Two things of note here – 1. It’s not the warmest January on record, it’s the second! LOL! 2. SoCal is so screwed! We can’t get rain when NorCal does because of the Baja high and we can’t rain from Baja now because of a NorCal high! WTF?!

    ??

    The long range GFS is projecting high level moisture associated with a weak upper level trough west of central Baja to spread north toward SoCal next Wed and Thu. This feature may bring thicker mid and high clouds the middle of next week, but the deep layer moisture will likely remain well offshore, especially with the blockade of
    high pressure parked over Northern California.

    Climate: January 2018 looks like it will be the second warmest January on record. The warmest January on record was back in 2003 with an average temperature of 61.7 degree. Through January 30th, the average temperature is 61.4 degrees.

    • Atmospheric_River

      Hopefully the monsoon is very active this year. SoCal seems to reap most of the benefits from decaying tropical cyclones and NorCal is the place that gets shut out. It’s annoying, being in the Bay Area, but at least SoCal gets much-needed rain.

      • molbiol

        I love the monsoon; It is my favorite time of year..but to think that the monsoon can in any way make up for wintertime precip deficits is extremely futile. I guess we are getting very desperate down here if that is the case

        • Atmospheric_River

          Agreed. Problem is, we are getting quite desperate.

        • weathergeek100

          Yup. Average summer rain from the monsoon for the vast majority of SoCal is probably like 0.20 of an inch. The mountains get more of course. Also, years can go by (outside of the mountains) with virtually zero summer rain. But this is normal. Our situation right now is NOT.

        • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

          I agree. I don’t feel like summer rains in SoCal are terribly meaningful. The hot dry ground sucks it up and evaporates so fast. Maybe it’s different in the mountains, but I love it none the less.

      • RunningSprings6250

        Maybe that’s the trend going into the next 10-30 years (increased monsoon), as it has been a noted trend over the drought years…but spotty summer thunderstorms doesn’t help in the scheme of things except in areas with multi day or week training thunderstorms in such areas as big bear valley and forest falls. I remember a summer when big bear received a foot of rain over 7 days and everywhere else was dry including me on the west end, lol.

        • Atmospheric_River

          Yeah, 2015 was a really active monsoon, even though it was a drought year.

          • RunningSprings6250

            This brings up my curiosity though – I’m wondering if there has been any notable east pacific tropical storm remnants that hit Bay Area north with widespread precip during June-August?

          • molbiol
          • RunningSprings6250

            Ah, about a once in a lifetime event!

          • Atmospheric_River

            The closest thing I remember is in June 2015 when the remnants of Hurricane Blanca spread showers across the Bay Area. That was about it, everything else just brought a few sprinkles.

          • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

            In September of 1998 I know of, there likely more

          • weathergeek100

            Ha, I could probably count the number of raindrops that fell in the bay area from decaying tropical storms the past several years. We get plenty of mid-high clouds though!

        • WXPhotographer

          2003 was the best monsoon year I’ve encountered for AZ (severe and frequency of storms). You guy’s should do what I did: get a little place in the SE corner or Arizona and go there for part of the summer. You will be in heaven, never a disappointment. Even during the dry spells, the intense nocturnal lightning storms shred the sky to the south. No two days or nights are the same.
          I have 10 acres near St. David, land and housing is dirt cheap (for now). This photo I took https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/95542e108a73d31ed9100c87c5ce002226f3a4c10c6d89d1458b7cf264abba76.jpg is a common sight to the south of me.

          • molbiol

            I’ve read that areas around Tucson actually rival Florida when it comes to lightning during the summer. One of these days I need to go for a drive down there

          • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

            As someone growing up there I can say the summer monsoon is spectacular.

            Torrential rain at times
            Insane lighting and thunder
            Flash floods
            Nocturnal storms
            Best sunsets ever

            Would i ever trade it for the east bay hills climate. No way.

            No way

            Do I miss it

            Absolutely! Definitely a sight to see.

          • Pfirman

            Is ‘there’ Tucson or Florida?

          • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

            Tucson

        • Dry Bones

          Not going to happen west/south of SoCal’s mountains. The onshore flow is like a mini-RRR that is extremely permanent.

          • RunningSprings6250

            “Not going to happen” – famous last words lol ?????

          • Dry Bones

            Optimism, fair enough, but I am not going to be putting any money on there ever being a classic, mature, heat-driven, well-developed thunderstorm in the LA/OC coastal basin or valleys, ever. Not like the ones I grew up with in Arizona, not like the ones in my aviation textbooks. We get weak little accidental thunderstorms during warm winter cold fronts, and those don’t count.

      • weathergeek100

        Ha, SoCal gets rain from decaying tropical storms once every 20 years or so….

      • malnino

        If I may – So Cal doesn’t get shit from the summer monsoon season, basically. Sure, we get the heat & humidity aplenty, but those convective storms are more or less confined to far inland valleys and deserts (ie the convergence zone), while a minimal onshore flow present pretty much pushes all that away from the coastal region. My 40-year avg precip in the SGV foothills in July and Aug, respectively? .03 and .03

        • Dry Bones

          Exactly right. The cool, stable air of the sea breeze murders the convective heat driver of thunderstorm formation, as far inland as the western Inland Empire and southern Antelope Valley.

  • Charlie B

    A town in Siberia called Ostrovnoe is above the Arctic Circle and about 100 miles from the Arctic Ocean. Yesterday the high was +42f and the low was +33f. That is 64 degrees above normal for the high and 69 degrees above normal for the low. It was the first time in the 80 year history of records that a low failed to get below freezing during the months of January and February.

  • Atmospheric_River
    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      When I looked at it—–I thought WEEEEEEEEEEEEE

      • Yolo Hoe

        Holy WEEEE Cows — all aboard the Hype Train — somewhere in the heavens, Randy Rhodes is cranking it up to 11

    • RunningSprings6250

      Nope – not yet lol – more SAG!!!!

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      I didn’t look at the Precip. On this run the high moves from the west coast east and parks itself over the east coast. The Baja ridge starts pumping up behind it again. The east coast is going to get hot with that high there. Let that high push that Hudson Bay low into that Atlantic and let the east coast fry.

    • AlTahoe

      Yeah I saw one warm dying cold front with high pressure chasing in right behind it. Last week I said Feb 19th before we see any more storms and now I think I was to early. NWS Reno said highs will be 10-20F above normal for the next two weeks and fire danger will be a real thing in the foot hills.

      • Pfirman

        Stop raining on Thunderstorm’s parade. Oh, wait.

    • matthew

      Looks like some pinwheeling lows starting around the 12th or so. There has been something in that timeframe for the past couple days so my hopes are getting higher. Not expecting much, but even an inch or two of precip would be good before the door closes on the season.

    • jstrahl

      The gradient as one approaches the Gate is amazing.

    • On Dre

      Everything burned around me. Everything dead. This isn’t a desert. This is a civilization death trap.
      To those that wouldn’t listen to the climate change scientist I hope your houses are burnt!

    • gray whale

      I think it’s confusing that the MJO in phase 6 is getting so much attention for the “warm and dry”. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but it normally progresses steadily to the east, so MJO-induced anomalous convection in the WPAC should not only strengthen the jet (as we’re seeing) but one could also expect all that good stuff to come our way pretty shortly as the Oscillation moves east. It seems like the real problem is that it is amplifying and getting stuck (somewhat atypically) in phase 6/7, thereby strengthening the western half of the jet and allowing our ridge to entrench itself in the east.

    • Pfirman

      So we get ‘Lo and behold’ instead of ‘Behold the low’. Crikey.

  • Thunderstorm

    From the NWS out of Albuquerque New Mexico.

    Both the GFS and ECMWF ensemble members continue to show the MJO in phases 6 this week and stalling out in phase 7 next week. The convective blow up southwest of Acapulco is indicative of the MJO entering phase(s) 6/7. At any rate there remains a good amount of potential for the large scale weather pattern over the EPAC and Western U.S. to change for the better/wetter during the second week of February and perhaps earlier. The main question lies in how destructive the cooler then average SSTs related to La Nina will be. If the current convection off the southwest Mexican coastline is any indication it may not be all that destructive.

    Exactly my thinking 37 days ago with Harry Guise’s major change every 72 days. Still all in for Feb the 7th!

    • jstrahl

      We’ve had a major climate pattern change. Our climate used to feature regular pattern changes in the weather. Our new climate is El Stucko. Patterns remain stuck for much longer periods, even for entire seasons (with minor breaks), be it dry or wet (like last year), though the weight is largely on dry.

      • Pfirman

        You are both on the same page about the models.

  • RandomTreeInSB

    So, from reading a lot of comments, this season’s dryness can at least be partially blamed on negative QBO index and unfavorable MJO positions?

    Also regarding pattern change not coming to fruition, I remember someone said that the MJO dashed right through phase 3 during Early-Mid January instead of staying in place longer like originally forecasted…

    • I did but there’s a lot more to the weather than MJO. IMO it’s a big driver with a lot of other weather oscillations and patterns and stuff that ride shotgun and give directions. Sea Ice, AO, a freakish warm NE Pacific and a persistent meridional pattern that Daniel has mentioned since 2013

      • RandomTreeInSB

        Thanks, I still have a lot to learn about different patterns and ocilliations.

  • Thunderstorm

    WOW!! Take a look at the stratosphere temperature forecast animation site. SSW indeed does happen with polar vortex shoved into the U.S. in the second week of February. NWS sites are going to be very busy by the middle of next week playing catch up. As usual we are all ahead of what can happen thanks to Daniel setting up this awesome blog. A battle with a warm MJO and a Polar Vortex? Has it ever happened before?

    • PRCountyNative

      What might that all portend for CA in the next couple months?

      • weathergeek100

        Historically, it’s lead to wetter times for us.

  • Charlie B

    I commented earlier about a town in Siberia that recently experienced extreme temperature anamolies. I couldn’t link to the site and still can’t but will tomorrow. It is from an Alaska weather blog called “deep cold.” Anyway, the author noted that this anamoly was not unprecedented. On December 21, 1955, this same site was +68f compared to recent norms (and more given cooler norms back then.). That date caused me to look further. The last week of December 1955 saw catastrophic floods in Nor Cal and Nevada. So, was it a big warm block ridge extending to Siberia that got undercut? Model riders unite and answer that.

    • molbiol

      Interesting, January of 1956 was very dry for Socal….until the 25th of the month when 8-10 inches of rain fell in the valleys and twice that amount in the mountains over a two day period. That followed earlier wildfires as well. I don’t think that there is a connection however

      • Charlie B

        Thanks for your link, in your earlier response. I am not a model rider so I have 6 extra hours every day to think about other things. I could not live without riders, though……and their analysis.

        • molbiol

          I typically ride the models like crazy during the monsoon. However during the winter time, not so much unless a major stormy pattern is on the horizon.

          • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

            You live in a desert right?

          • molbiol

            yup. that’s why I love the monsoon. Its the only time we get to see major T-storm action

          • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

            I almost like the one night of amazing thunderstorms in September more then this whole “wet season”

          • molbiol

            Excluding last year, it seems like the monsoon has been much more exciting than winter…which is a bad thing TBH

      • sectionmaker

        I kinda hope not.. my household barely made it through the 3″ rain we had in SB debris flows..(heavy rain would have made the catastrophe far worse, we got lucky). I would like it just drizzle, say 1/4″ here and there, for a few months.!!!! Soil is so dry still from the recent 5? year drought…this winter doesnt look hopeful either.

    • Thunderstorm

      Please take a look at the animation chart showing the extreme warm up on the north pole region. Happens in only 2 days. I guess a battle with a MJO and polar Vortex did happen back then. We are forwarned.

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        Models still aren’t caught up

        • Pfirman

          Models are very well caught up….in tail chasing.

    • alanstorm

      Not sure, but the 1955 storm was considered to be a carbon copy of the even more destructive 1964 storm, happening on the same dates (Dec 22-23) low elevation snowpack followed immediately by massive Pineapple Express deluge.
      Pacific High was eroded enough to let the lower latitude flow come in both times.
      For ’64, there was HP over the Aleutians spinning Arctic air south into the trough. Was that the case in ’55?
      Pics are town of Klamath, under water Dec 23, 1955, & wiped out Dec 23, 1964

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d67d8f57817814f0989d38a79d6a2e8495a8f78b21b0da26843a0dc10acec824.jpg
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1ade3302fe8fc8badee2d9d0582d0c1db9172df8ecf977fff60dc483a23b7a28.jpg

      • Pfirman

        Guess what happened in SoCal on those days? Bwahahaha.

        • alanstorm

          I wouldn’t know because I wasn’t born yet.
          What’s Bwahahaha?
          Is that a Beach Boys song?

          • Pfirman

            Let’s just say the only reason you would need an umbrella was at the beach to get some shade.

    • jstrahl

      The anomaly is not totally unprecedented, but these are becoming much more frequent, to the point of creating a new “normal.”

  • alanstorm

    For what it’s worth, the 18z & now the 00z are introducing what appears to be a zonal flow reaching CA by the 14th.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0c8ed26dba230b5eb749be5c02007914c0f63efb2c6b72c05b6beca8b4c1e3d6.gif

    • matthew

      It has actually been showing up in various forms for a few runs. Still mainly above Santa Rosa but it is a start.

      • alanstorm

        We can pipe our water south.

        • Pfirman

          The Eel already does….it keeps the Russian running.

          • alanstorm

            Incidentally, Potter Valley was the origin of the Redwood Fire Oct 9

          • Pfirman

            I know. A cousin was once a coach at the high school long ago. And once it was on my short list of places to live.

          • alanstorm

            My short list went to shit list after that.
            I love Lake Co, but……

          • Pfirman

            I hear you. Talk to me about Willets.

  • Unbiased Observer

    I wish the Winter Olympics were earlier in the year. As much as I love them, it’s hard to get into when it’s so damn warm, dry, and springlike.

    • mbonsack

      How much earlier do you want them? December was hot the whole month and spawned the Thomas fire, and January has been 85 every day. Not sure where you’d squeeze them in on the calendar given what we’ve been dealt with this Nov, Dec, Jan, and now Feb (I’m not calling those months “winter” around here…) Maybe in May/June when June Gloom hits?

      • David Mata

        There’s been some years where the coldest month falls as late as March here in So. Cal. Not often, but Mar. 1991, Mar. 1999, and Mar. 2006 were the coldest months of their respective winter seasons.

  • Thunderstorm

    They need a bigger chart for the MJO. Last position is almost off the chart to the east and now still headed NE. Interesting to see the animation on the global showing the jet stream much farther south now thru Asia coming into the western Pacific to the south of Japan and to the north of the Philippines. Has been north before all season. Believe this is the jet change coming across the Pacific to change things in California about a week away.

  • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

    Well this is one interesting Bay Area nws write up this evening.

    Sounds like he’s saying past 5 days things are looking a bit dicey, maybe a hope the constipated block pattern is about to get washed downstream with some strong undercutting?

    Who knows and 5 days out is basically Lucy land and, meanwhile some record highs are in the cards, but hey maybe some hints of hope here?

    https://www.wunderground.com/DisplayDisc.asp?DiscussionCode=MTR&StateCode=CA&SafeCityName=Orinda

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      The last couple of runs show the ridge moving east over the US. The eastern US is covered by the HP area. Hopefully the hudson bay low isxsent packing. Looks like ridge rebuilds in west but hopefully not for long

  • Nate
    • Great link Nate. Thanks!

    • matthew

      Thank you!!! I have been looking for a data source like this for years!

  • Nathan

    tried to post this earlier but Disqus fritzed

    Unreal calm ocean today – it was like Tahoe in the early morning. I could see bait balls like two miles offshore and swimmer wakes….

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/149dffa0711178df93ae0b7f9818746985ecfaf517a19047a9650da65e18c8c6.jpg

  • March Miracle (SMX)

    As long as I love to see a late-February/March Miracle, I don’t see the Stubborn Southwest Superridge moving anytime soon. This thing is like Tom Brady, they both never go away. Fakeweather dot com says we’re at 80 and above until at least Valentine’s Day. Blech.

    • thebigweasel

      Maybe if we find a daughter system of the RRR and call it a pissant…

    • Dan the Weatherman

      This is the Ridiculously Relentless Resilient Ridge (RRRR).

  • Rusty Rails

    “Its only Feb 1st but both short and long range forecasts remain dry through around mid-month. Temps will be well above normal with record or near record warmth likely over the coming days. Image shows 8-14 day precip outlook.”

    https://twitter.com/nwsbayarea/status/959038330603212800

    • Chris

      These graphics should be banned on WW!!!
      Only green colors allowed?

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      LOL, we have been talking about the first two weeks of Feb being dry for the past week. Color me shocked, They are late to the party

    • Dan the Weatherman

      It looks as if most of the country is in the below normal category, due to nothing coming into the west coast at lower latitudes.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    Really hoping for no repeat of December this month. Everything seems to be against rn

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    I know this is crazy to even consider something this far out, but ever since September came into view on the CFS (1-2 months ago) it has a shown a much average precip month with tropical remnant connections into CA. Would be cool to have a very active monsoon season for Southern California and maybe some hits for NorCal to make up for the bad winter up here (so far) and the utterly horrible winter down in SoCal (so far). https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/cfs-mon/2018013118/cfs-mon_01_apcpna_month_cpac_8.png
    https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/cfs-mon/2018013118/cfs-mon_01_T850a_wus_8.png

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      Lets get through late February and March first. Cansips just came out and it likes March precip for CA. I am waiting for the latest NMME to come out. It is run once a month.

  • Chris

    I really appreciate the Reno’s AFD experimental 2-3 week outlook. They issue this about twice a week.
    However, I HATE the content of today’s discussion. Read on

    Week 2 Outlook…Feb 8th-14th…Issued 3pm 1/31

    The long term outlook for precipitation returning to the Sierra
    and western Nevada continues to look bleak. The ridge of high
    pressure currently building over the western U.S. is forecast to
    persist through mid-month. Daytime high temperatures are also
    expected to stay well above average, potentially by as much as
    10-20 degrees, as the amplified ridge axis moves over the region.

    Long term ensemble models and short term climate models are all
    in good agreement that the ridge of high pressure will stay locked
    into the West Coast through mid-February. This will continue to keep
    stronger storms out of the region for the time being.

    A strong Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) event is currently
    moving through the western Pacific. This tropical event is
    teleconnecting well to North America, which favors a trough in the
    eastern U.S. and continued ridging in the west. In addition, periods
    of high pressure moving into the arctic will create periods of
    blocking, continuing to keep the current pattern in place.

    Of course this will not be good for the current near record low
    snowpack in the Sierra which is already at 30-50% of normal. This
    extended period of warm and dry weather could even produce mid-
    winter fire weather concerns as normally wet vegetation begins to
    dry out. -Zach

    • Yeah we beat the MJO to death yesterday.

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        Yesterday? How about the past several days 🙂

      • gray whale

        I am totally looking forward to learning more about the sudden stratospheric warming. It sounds fascinating. The eager learning has been on pause for me since the SEN hangover, excited to start reading about weather again.

        • Bob G (Gustine)

          Pretty interesting reading about It from the east coast weather qeeks. According to one of them on twitter one of the models now has a 9 degree temp difference showing temps 9 degrees higher

        • It’s pretty much going to happen mid month. What happens after that will be interesting to see unfold. I’m not sure if the split always happens in the same orientation and affects the NH in the same way. It’s kinda looking like 2009 and less like 2013. And I don’t know what effect it will have on the west coast if any .

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      This is all old news. We knew it was going to be dry through mid February and bad on the snow pack.

      • TahoeCard

        Yes and it’s the second week outlook not 2-3 week.

        • Bob G (Gustine)

          Sometimes I feel like we are in a circular firing squad

  • janky

    Groundhog Day is tomorrow. If Phil sees his shadow, we’re set. Ridge will definitely busticate.

  • RunningSprings6250
    • honzik

      Every year my dad says “February 1st: First day of Spring (in California)!”

      • RunningSprings6250

        Now it’s firsy day of spring, in the mountains, permanent summer ‘down the hill’. LOL! ???? ?

    • Fish Farmer (Fresno)

      Some bass are already in the shallows looking to spawn. I’m sure with this super moon a few will succeed. Water temps never really chilled down this yr.

  • Fairweathercactus

    I am looking at the data for downtown LA. Let me tell you Dry February do not mean good things with only a few exceptions for the rest of the year. The last shutout was 1984 for February.

    https://wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMONtpre.pl?ca5115

    • Wolfpack

      That shutout was after a nice start in the fall.

      • Fairweathercactus

        63/64 is the closest match. Even then much more rain in the fall.

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    Hopefully all the Nor Cal WW’ers have their hands up as we ride the model train……..12z says Weeeeeeeeee again.

    • Idaho Native

      WEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      I have not even bothered looking at accumulated precip totals. I am just following the 500MB heights across North America. What has been consistent in the past few model runs is the current HP area in the pacific moving eastward over the continental US. Hopefully the ridge does not rebuild. We need the ridge to continue to migrate eastward. It looks like almost all the East Coast will be affected by the eastward shift of the HP area. It looks like the models are backpeddling on the big east coast major cold snap. I am starting to see this in the tweets from east coast weather qeeks. The polar vortex is not happening like the models were showing.

      • matthew

        Spoiler alert – fantasyland shows a few inches of warm rains for NorCal. Snow? Not so much…

        • Bob G (Gustine)

          LOL, I am not even going to bother looking at it, I am not confident in what fantasyland is showing yet precip wise. That ridge needs to shift farther east. Hoping for a better pattern shift towards the end February into March. I wish I could will it to happen but cannot

          • Look at MSLP too. Not just height anomalies.

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            It is too hard on my eyes 🙂

          • matthew

            FWIW – it has been showing something similar for a few days now and it is not significantly shifting out in time. I am not expecting much but will take anything.

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            It actually shows it shifting away from the pacific and at the end we are on the western edge of the ridge. Bot we will see

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            It actually shows it shifting away from the pacific and at the end we are on the western edge of the ridge. Bot we will see

        • janky

          Need breakage first to open things up…

      • Al (Victorville)

        I may sound like a cactus, but the models always have problems with the speed of the higher height anomalies, since usually they are too fast to move the ridging to the east, and I’m pretty sure some NWS stations in the past mentioned something like that in the AFD from the models, especially the GFS.

        • Bob G (Gustine)

          Well, this is more than 14 days out so I don’t think this moving the ridge out that quickly

    • janky

      🙂 So back and forth the last few days.

      • Folks…the operational runs have been wavering back and forth a bit in recent days in the 10-15 day period, but the ensembles have not. Unfortunately, solid multi-model ensemble agreement that ridging will most likely persist for next 2+ weeks.

        On the bright side: I’m hoping to have a blog update this PM. 😉

        • matthew

          Who invited you to the party?

        • Bob G (Gustine)

          LOL, the GFS operational runs have been showing consistent ridging going back several days. They have yet to show where any trough hits California. Maybe this rain on some of these model runs is falling from the moon

        • janky

          Looking forward to the new blog post. Good excuse to also wipe out all these comments. It’s a double edge sword Daniel, you have less serious conversation about climate/weather because there’s nothing to talk about but a lot of us wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the drought in the first place. If it just rained in CA and snowed in the Sierras regularly I don’t think my interest level in this blog or meteorology would be where it is today.

        • Charlie B

          “Bright” side. I am sure it will be. Bright as in sunny……

  • RunningSprings6250

    Plenty of wet panties already i see, over the 12z……it’s a dream crusher i tell you, a dream crusher….

    • March Miracle (SMX)

      It’s a mirage.

  • happ [Los Angeles]

    NWS_SD issued a dense fog advisory using this picture. The people on the sand and in the water are wearing swimsuits not wetsuits; couldn’t be taken this morning [sst = lo 60’s] https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2f7477e6d99ed19b3d00d1cc570d14bf5e07e05d0ca4be3b070fd008f4d45af9.jpg

    • PRCountyNative

      There is a much bigger world out there where many people swim in 60 degree water… I use to dream of 60 degree water!!

      • happ [Los Angeles]

        Yes, I recall swimming at Sea Cliff/ Santa Cruz & being happy it was that warm. But even mid 50’s sst didn’t keep us out of the water given good surf conditions. I’ve swum at local beaches every winter but enjoy 70F more.

        • AlTahoe

          AS kids we played in the water at Santa Cruz all day long with SST’s in the mid 50’s. Didn’t bother us a bit. Tahoe feels like a tropical ocean compared to Santa Cruz water. The beach by my house gets into the lower to mid 70’s in summer time.

          • Lol I don’t bother with water below 75, but then again I’ve seen some $hit – I was in the Pac ocean at the equator 2015 where the water was 88! Felt like I was swimming in blood. The 78 waters in the sea of Cortez last week we’re perfectly refreshing, 50 would kill me.

        • PRCountyNative

          It still gets cold, but on average has been a lot warmer the last 4-5 years than it used to be, and also the last 20 or so.

          That one big El Nino – early ’80’s – everyone was amazed the ocean was 60 degrees… Now it’s 60 degrees all the time.

  • Tyler Price (Seaside)

    I met somebody who works for the NWS here in monterey at my restaurant.. We got to talking about weather for 20-30 minutes as i tried to persuade him to hire me as a new meterologist low key.. Lol never the less he did offer for me to come on down to the NWS office and meet some of California’s finest meterologist he even said there might be some.volunteer work! Hey its something weather related so sounds fun to me either way whether money is invloved or not.. He seemed very impressed with my knowledge in meterology so much so he couldnt believe i havent gone to school for it.. Also said evrn for people eith degrees in meterology its hard to grt a job at NWS nowadays. We talked about the arctic ice melt, MJO, thr causes of the 2016 el nino failure and much more! It was an insightful concersation! He also handed me a 50 dollar bill as a tip on a 30 dollar check 🙂 so i think he liked me to say the least.. He knows of this blog and Daniel Swain so if yall were wondering if the peopleat NWS are listening then yes!! Apparently they are reading this blog and comments haha at least some of them! I also met this guy Rick who is a fisherman and is always following the weather and this blog too! Its a small world we live in, we are a quite popular bunch in the world of weather and this is confirmed! Keep up the great work friends and Daniel! The weather world needs us! ????

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      Great story. I think it would be a great experience to check out their office.

    • alanstorm

      Great post. Did he venture a prognosis on to this current dire ridging problem?

      • Tyler Price (Seaside)

        We did indeed talk about the RRR and the resemblance of the RRR to the current ridging pattern and also confirmed and admittted to Daniel Swain coining that name for it himself so to yes we did talk about the ridging and how its become more persistent as the climate continues to warm and the expanding hadley cell as well!

    • AlTahoe

      Hello NWS employees. Since you are in charge of maintaining and running the weather machine, please turn it back on. K thanks

    • JOHN CURTIS

      I think we need some kind of sign so that we can recognize each other in the real world. Oh wait a minute…John Curtis doesn’t exist in the real world.

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      Go for it Tyler! Many a long term employee started out as an intern or volunteer. Your enthusiasm is infectious and fun. Just remember, you will be their guest, so listen, learn, be super helpful, do whatever it takes to win their graces, even is it means sweeping the floors, lol.

      And don’t forget to report back here, your experience.

      HIGH FIVE!

    • weathergeek100

      I’ve always wondered how cool it would be if I met someone who reads, or even posts on this blog. So far, I’m the only one I know in person.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        I don’t know anyone in person who reads or posts here, either, although I have mentioned this blog to some of my friends and relatives before.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)
    • Nathan

      FINALLY. Should be worse, too.

    • March Miracle (SMX)

      Thanks to all these fires, the Mojave Desert has expanded to my backyard. It’ll be a matter of time before it reaches D4. Heaven forbid.

      • …and without the monsoons. That’s even more depressing.
        This represents a rain deficit in inches averaged per year.
        So 20×3.5 = 70 inches Division 6 (SoCal). Down there that’s what about 20 years of 75-80% of normal?

        • AlTahoe

          Since after the 2010-2011 winter I am running like a 550″ snowfall deficit that is still going up!

          • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

            Tahoe is back in abnormally dry; D1

          • matthew

            Aside from last year’s anomaly we never really left it, IMO. Same could be said for the whole state.

          • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

            I think the Penninsula left it as we didn’t do bad in 2014-2015

          • Quagmire Cliffington

            Perhaps this is just the beginnings of a mega-drought and last year’s anomaly was just a blip on the radar.

          • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

            Very unlikely IMO

    • Dan the Weatherman

      More than 50% of the Continental U.S. is in some form of drought right now, and if this pattern doesn’t change going into the spring, it could get a lot worse.

  • March Miracle (SMX)

    Remember, no matter what the groundhog sees his shadow or not, it won’t determine our fate of this rainy season yet.

  • inclinejj

    11:33 am 75.4 Degrees Pacifica.

  • Harpo (Chico)

    At the rate that it’s currently filling up, Lake Oroville should be full by the end of February… 2019… assuming they don’t use any of it.

    • They drained too much of it to begin with. Extreme paranoia. I wonder if they’ll even allow it to get to 900′ again with a properly working spillway like they did in June 2011, when it actually went slightly above 900′

  • alanstorm
    • RunningSprings6250

      Well at least one can visit the Elko brothels and perhaps catch a little Barney purple….

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        Looks like some purple in Oregon around Forth Klamath and Crater Lake also. They don’t have any brothels though.

        • RunningSprings6250

          They do have that world renowned Klamath Falls crack though…?

      • alanstorm

        I wouldn’t know ANYTHING about those places…….?

  • Chris

    Here is my monthly update for Morgan Hill:

    Here are the monthly and season to date rainfall totals since the season began July 1st.

    *PON= Percent of Normal
    * SEA= Season to Date

    *Updated 2/1/18

    Month Total Normal PON

    Jul 0 .01 0%
    Aug 0 .03 0%
    Sep 0 .24 0%
    Oct .35 1.27 28%
    Nov 3.28 2.45 134%
    Dec .08 3.73 2%
    Jan 4.36 4.66 94%

    SEA 8.07 12.44 65%
    2017 31.94

    • nunbub

      Thanks for the info. I think have similar stats for the Sacramento area.

      I think your season PON is off though…8.07/12.44 = 65%

      • Chris

        I guess the edit didn’t work on your end.
        Does yours read 48%?
        That was left over on my Jan 1st post.
        Then I edited.
        Mine still
        Shows 65% still.

        • nunbub

          I still see 48%, but it shows you posted around noon today

  • Taz & Storm Master

    California Department of Water Resources officials hiked up to Phillips Station near Lake Tahoe this morning to conduct the second manual snowpack reading of the season.

    What they found was a mere 14-percent of average snowpack for the season.

    Speaking about the recent snow, Frank Gherke of DWR notes, “We did start to get what looked like good storm activity, but now it seems as though the blocking ridge is back in place. The forecast for the next couple of weeks does not indicate that there will be a lot of snow coming our way, but there is still a lot of winter left.”

    Michelle Meade of the National Weather Service added, “The state as a whole has already had two atmospheric rivers, and we do average five in a winter. So, we still have half a winter to go, so there is still time to see one or two atmospheric rivers, which can make all the difference.”

    Meade adds that November saw above average precipitation, rain and snow was basically non-existent in December, and January was near average (80-percent).

    Electronic sensors are a bit more encouraging than the 14-percent reading at Phillips Station, as they show statewide, the snowpack along the Sierra Nevada is 30-percent of average for the date

  • First 70 degree day of 2018 in Brentwood (East Bay). Last year, March 9 was the first.

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      I am showing 83 at my office in Clayton (that’s a bit high because it’s on a roof) but also showing 77 around the Concord Pavilion.

      • My station is a Davis Vue. It’s on my roof, as well, in direct sun, but it has a decent radiation shield.

    • jstrahl

      71 in central Berkeley, my first 70+ of the year.

  • alanstorm

    Willits, Mendocino Co 2000ft, precip as of
    Feb 1, 2018: 23.4″ *

    Seasonal avg: 60″

    Feb 1, 2015: 24.2″
    Feb 1, 2016:. 43.8″
    Feb 1, 2017: 62.7″

    2014-15 total:. 36″
    2015-16 total:. 66.8″
    2016-17 total:. 101.2″

    * this totally sucks

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      Models don’t look good, even in long range every storm gets sheared apart by the ridge

  • PRCountyNative

    Halfway thru “A Kingdom From Dust” Right sidebar retweet.

    “The farmer corralled the snowmelt and erased the valley, its desert and marsh. He leveled its hog wallows, denuded its salt brush, and killed the last of its mustang, antelope, and tule elk. He emptied the sky of tens of millions of geese and drained the 800 square miles of Tulare Lake dry.”

    and

    “Because a human picker is not needed in the almond and pistachio groves, the nut harvest doesn’t spread around money the way it spreads around dust. Wages that used to go to workers stay in the pocket of the nut growers. Maybe not since the wheat barons has the income disparity between farmer and farmworker been greater. ”

    This is a top notch story. Our human condition. Kern County and beyond.

    • Dan Brekke

      That is a great piece. Just came across it today. Didn’t realize Arax was a native of the great valley.

  • AlTahoe

    Still no sign of a pattern change even at hour 384. Just more ridging 🙁

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Sometime after mid-February, I expect models will start showing some interesting things @ 300+hrs which would be early March time frame. Febru-scary is going to be ugly but I think we get some storms in March.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        I believe we are going to get some rain at some point, either starting sometime in mid-late February or beginning of March.

        If we don’t get rain by early to mid March, then I don’t think we will get anything at all for the rest of the season. Then what will follow is the Spring from Hell!

    • AllHailPresidentSkroob

      I really wish it would rain so you guys could stop whining constantly about something you can’t change, and can’t do anything about… Granted I come here to read Daniels posts and follow the general model information but some of you take this to a ridiculously unhealthy extreme… It’ll rain/snow whenever it will again and if you’re that concerned about it then move to a state where you can feel more comfortable or whatever it is that gets some of you so up in arms over drought.

      • Verdugos

        Or, how about this? Instead of whining about something YOU can’t change, but CAN do something about, why don’t you just stop reading the comments section? There, problem solved.

      • AlTahoe

        Some of us have hobbies that are tied directly to the weather. I moved to this location for my hobby addiction.The resorts that cater to my hobby will be closing shortly if the weather doesn’t change. Those of us that live up here are looking for any sign that the weather might be able to save the resorts season. That is all I reported above in a non whining comment. I could care less about water as I have an unlimited amount of the cleanest water on earth at the end of my street.

        • AllHailPresidentSkroob

          Thank you for a reasonable reply that makes logical sense as to your reaction.

      • gray whale

        the only thing worse than the “whining” is when haughty people show up and start telling others what to do.

      • Cap’n

        Amy?

        • gray whale

          ha! you wish!

      • Nate

        It’s probably best to take a break from the blog at this time. Anyway, don’t you have some events to plan?

        • AllHailPresidentSkroob

          What a dick thing to say…

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        Thanks for setting us all straight. Imagine the nerve and unmitigated gall of these guys coming on here, musing and putting forth their 2 cents worth about the weather, or expressing their disappointment in dry model runs, as if this were the comments section of a weather blog or something.

        I’m glad you pointed out that the weather is something we can’t change, cause I think lesser informed people need to know that. It never crossed my mind, and I thought I knew a thing or two.

        I think you are right in saying that it will rain/snow “whenever it will” again. I hadn’t even heard Daniel mention that specifically, so I was getting worried, but am inspired by your assertion that we haven’t seen our last rain or snow, ever.

        Thanks again for the gem of wisdom. If you had a hat on the floor I’d drop a dollar in it. Have a nice day.

      • BP (Ventura)

        Split out of state kook! It used to rain here more before all of you non natives moved here bringing your distaste of rain! Nevermind, I’ll move and you transplants can have it…

      • hermit crab

        If all of us who are looking at serious water scarcity problems try to move, where could we all go? Especially if our property values plummet? Where would you put many millions of climate refugees? Weather is important stuff. Hence interest in a weather blog.

  • PRCountyNative

    For about $20,000 in labor, this is where the water, the rain we desperately ride models for, the fruits produced, the snowpack everyone is dreaming of, this is what is happening to CA water:

    “All told, nine men operating five machines will pick clean this orchard over the next four weeks. They’ll take home $11 an hour for their labors. And how will the Resnicks fare? Each tree produces 22 pounds of nuts. Typically, each pound sells wholesale for $3.75. That’s $83 a tree. By harvest’s end, the Resnicks will have put their clamps on 4.4 million almond trees. Nearly $365 million worth of ?Wonderful almonds will have dropped down from the dry sky.

    Kern county nut farming, American style. No local water. Seen this on your TV lately?

    • That doesn’t sound right 4.4 million trees? Probably meant to write 4.4 million almond nuts

      • PRCountyNative

        The truth, so rare, really does sound incredible!

        “At age 81, he’s gotten so big, he doesn’t know how big. Last time he checked, he told me he owned 180,000 acres of California. That’s 281 square miles. He is irrigating 121,000 of those acres. This doesn’t count the 21,000 acres of grapefruits and limes he’s growing in Texas and Mexico. He uses more water than any other person in the West. His 15 million trees in the San Joaquin Valley consume more than 400,000 acre-feet of water a year. The city of Los Angeles, by comparison, consumes 587,000 acre-feet.”

        • Thunderstorm

          Is he from China?

          • PRCountyNative

            He grew up in New Jersey, where his father ran a bar

          • Thunderstorm

            Impossible! There is big money hidden some where.

      • David

        At about 100 trees per acre that is 44,000 acres planted. So it could be right.

    • sectionmaker

      Great article thanx for sharing it. The Resnicks come across as somewhat benevolent, helping the workers get education etc growing our food..but you get the underlying feeling if you cross either of them, you are burnt toast. Given the price we city dwellers pay for water, bottled and tap, it maybe that the farming of these areas is just a precusor to where the real money is, selling it to the cities to grow. Central Valley, one big suburb, end to end. John Vidovich seems to be headed that way.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    Great ski day at Northstar, won’t be much left in 2 weeks of 50s

  • PRCountyNative

    Your water, and about $25,000 in labor:

    “All told, 36 men operating six machines will harvest the orchard in six days. Each tree produces 38 pounds of nuts. Typically, each pound sells wholesale for $4.25. The math works out to $162 a tree. The pistachio trees in Wonderful number 6 million. That’s a billion-dollar crop.”

    How to make a billion dollars, California style! Drought, what drought? Suckers! Live from Kern County.

  • Charlie B

    Since Daniel has promised a new post he need not take the time to delete this comment, so here it goes:
    In 1968, Bob Gibson started 34 games and pitched 13 shutouts on the way to the Cy Young and MVP awards. Thus, 38% of his starts were shutouts. So, comparing that to this year, how is the big ole RRRidge doing? If we consider the rainy season as Nov. 15- April 15, RRRidge pitched a shutout in December, and might pitch another in February. If he is able to do that, then his shutout rate will be 40%, which is slightly better than Gibson’s rate! This is indeed a RRRecord year for the RRRidge! The HOF is waiting.
    (I sense that the comment section is going to be getting increasingly weird as the month progresses.)

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      Not weird, just horribly depressing…

    • Yolo Hoe

      Nothing weird about Bob Gibson — and his inside slider was truly nasty

    • Shane Ritter

      Mt. Rose did get 12″ in December, so it wasn’t a total shutout.

      • Charlie B

        It was a two hitter; Rose got a single but was thrown out at second trying to steal.

  • PRCountyNative

    Last one, end of the story (“A Kingdom From Dust”) Daniel’s tweet on the right:

    (Highly Recommended Article!!)

    “The extraction of water beneath the lake bottom won’t last forever. The state of California has adopted a new law that finally regulates the pumping. When it goes into full effect, in a decade or two, more than a million acres of cropland across the valley will have to be retired. By then, Wonderful, if it still exists, will be a portfolio run by men even farther away than Beverly Hills. The water will be stripped from the land and sold to developers of new towns both here and over the mountain. In my lifetime alone, California has gone from 13 million people to 40 million people. Nothing will stop the houses. The Wheat King beget the Cattle King, and the Cattle King beget the Cotton King, and the Cotton King beget the Nut King and Pomegranate Queen. Like the waters of the lake, the indent of the Resnicks will recede from the land, too. The Yokut had a saying that when the farmer drained the last drops of snowmelt from Tulare Lake, the water would return. It would return as tule fog to remind the white man of his theft. The fog is our history.”

    One of the sad truths of this story is the susceptibility of humans to marketing and their willingness to go along with it. Spend a few million on an ad campaign, you can get people to eat, wear, drink, or think anything. Usually to their own detriment.

    • Nathan

      I read The King of California, by the same author. It’s a little bit Axe-Grindey but overall a fascinating read about a part of California few see, let alone think about.

      • PRCountyNative

        That’s why reporting like this is so valuable.

        One married couple making billions of dollars, using water on the same scale as all of Los Angeles, in the middle of what everyone else thought was a drought. In a county with no water.

        And people blame the fish!

        • gray whale

          I used to live in Santa Fe, where water is obviously scarce. A few decades ago the city gave unfettered water rights to a new golfing and retirement community on the outskirts of town — Las Campanas, I think — as a way to entice the developers to build it. Fast forward to 2000 or so, when I was there, and the city is on mandatory water restrictions, while the golf courses in Las Campanas are green as Scotland. They were legally allowed to use unlimited water as part of their charter, but Santa Fe residents were very very angry. People burned crosses and political messages into their grass, etc. More than a few got arrested for vandalism, all in protest of the water. Of course I loathed the waste and conspicuous consumption that the golf community represented, but I could never help feeling that the blame lay not with them but the democratically elected city council members in the 70’s that sold out their constituency to the developers.

          • PRCountyNative

            Looking closely into ‘water restrictions or rationing’ yields surprises, like all the people who are exempt. I’d forgotten about examples like that. They abound.

            We pretty much live in the world our legislators have intended. It’s not an accident or some ‘natural law’ that labor is taxed, machines are subsidized, manufacturing moves offshore, and water goes to the wealthy. It’s 100% intentional, deliberate, planned.

  • Howard Goodman

    Spring time in feb.

  • Atmospheric_River

    The number of comments is OVER 9000!

    • I want 10,000 but I don’t think it will happen.

      • thebigweasel

        Daniel only posts if he has something to talk about. Posters, on the other hand, sometimes post whether they have something to say or not.

        • jstrahl

          But he did say he was planning for a new post late today.

  • Tom & Koyano Gray

    Yaaaaay!

    “Next week a stronger offshore flow
    pattern will bring gusty northeast winds to the mountains and
    foothills at times.”

    • thebigweasel

      Oh, goody. Another red-flag warning. A new California winter tradition!

    • alanstorm

      Where?

    • Where at?

      • Tom & Koyano Gray

        SoCal of course, San Diego specifically.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      The last thing we need right now is another friggin’ Santa Ana!

  • jstrahl

    January rainfall in central Berkeley 4.82 inches, exactly equal to the “normal” for this location, per 1950-80 stats. WY was 3.77 inches at year’s start, thus 8.59 inches as we start February. We may not make it to 10.

  • SoCalWXwatcher

    Euro Ensembles are not our friend, apparently.

    https://twitter.com/RyanMaue/status/959230482792747010

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      Dry Feb. Surprised,? The GFS already told us

    • I have already begun loss mitigation procedures, Colorado and BC adventure currently in the planning stages…take note that not all of Colorado gets the shaft in this graphic…

  • Huff (Anaheim Hills)

    In the mean time, while we wait for any kind of change…it’s still beautiful in Tahoe. Cold beer on the deck of Garwoods is always a good call. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/95521b9fa29eb542c83f266fb157e0f80d37dd1a79a69643378b57699d7528c1.jpg

    • Elise Wagner

      Please remember to generously tip all of the Dreamers who work there!

      • Huff (Anaheim Hills)

        Huh?

  • hermit crab

    Is Carp really worse off than Santa Barbara? I think we used to get as much if not more rain than SB.

    But that was then, and this is now…

    Heat wave next week? Again? I’m going to sell my winter clothes! It’s already shorts weather.

  • hermit crab

    Sometimes when I try to get to this site I get a “406 Error ” why?