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 5,505 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)

    approaching 2:30 and still a steady rainfall. Radar appears to show a light green blob has stalled right over us. Very Harveylike

  • SacWx

    Good to see socal resorts getting some love for a change:

    http://www.mthigh.com/site/mountain/photos-and-videos/livecams/westbase/index.html

  • Pfirman

    Holy wee cows, ten minutes went by without a post. You guys ok?

    • My nurse rings a bell and that means nap time.

      • honzik

        Otherwise, no fruit cup for you!

      • Admode (Susanville)

        You go to sleep or I will put you to sleep

        • Exactly.

          • Admode (Susanville)

            You can trouble me for a warm glass of shut the hell up.

  • RunningSprings6250

    I think our short break in the weather here in da Springs is about to come to an abrupt end. What a beauty!

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cdf41df243131119930dd8b3beb1e484b69fcbf2c4814a8a86d9d7d4bb5430a4.jpg

    • You’re definitely going to tack on an extra 4 inches of snow off of this.

      • RunningSprings6250

        That would be the icing on the…cake?!

    • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

      I called 1 foot of snow.

      • RunningSprings6250

        10” more to go!

  • Gary

    Duarte Ca (just north of Cactus City)

    Just passed 2 inches!

  • Eddie Garcia

    1.58″ here in Atwater… really good storm!

    • Pfirman

      Puts some water in Atwater.

      • Eddie Garcia

        YEAH!!!

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      It has been raining all afternoon. I think it will turn out better than the less than .10 the NWS forecasted for today. I was at 1.80 this morning. I hope we make it to two inches by this evening

      • Eddie Garcia

        Yeah I did not expect this much rain to fall into the day, but I can’t complain.

        • Bob G (Gustine)

          Me neither

  • AlTahoe

    18Z sticking to its guns of only 1 weak storm on the 19th and then the tropical one is closer to the coast on the final frame. Which model will blink first?

    • SacWx

      That last storm on the 18z seems to hang out in the Pacific for an eternity. I still think it’s a little too early to worry about details outside of the general potential for a storm. Every model has at least one storm cold enough to bring snow within 240 hours and that’s a good start.

    • Look at it this way was the storm that came just now not also kicked down the road? I see druthering about how the storm’s getting pushed back, and I know Lucy likes to move the football away but this is just more of the same kick back. What do the ensembles say?

    • Nathan

      I swear we are looking at different models…the warmest and dryest model is the ops GFS, which is trending towards the wetter/colder EC, and still gets 2+ feet to Tahoe in that 19th storm.

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      The 18Z brings the second storm in fantasyland but I don’t think the rainfall totals are reflected in that yet. Looking at BA’s update, the Euro is much better so hopefully that one prevails.

    • It had better snow.

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        Yes, it better snow good.

  • RT (Fallbrook)

    Approaching 3″ with another 1″ band approaching from the west. Avocado trees are smiling 🙂 https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3ef6190e42fa557fd15168fcb4a1f93abd3015de273b049e0b7e854cf72fc8de.jpg

  • RunningSprings6250

    Aaaannndddd Round 3 – snowing with a FURRY!

    • That furry many help you stay warm during the fury of the flurry.

  • alanstorm
    • RunningSprings6250

      You bet there will be….

    • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

      I don’t think people in LA were complaining, most were mentioning over performance :).

    • Dan the Weatherman

      No complaints here in Orange! This has been a good soaker for my area with a good amount of rain over a 2 day period.

  • 82/83 El Nino baby (San Jose)

    Just hit 2 inches for this storm. 0.23 for the day from a heavy mist that is getting heavier.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2556e12d47a3ae32c33eed84b62f614ef5aeb661d141265e781d328f063f9b7d.jpg

    • Love that display. Unfortunately, you won’t get that with any Davis unit. Their consoles are stuck in the 80s. LOL

    • I’m not home to check my bucket. I too have been surprised by the constant light rain today.

  • Al (VictorValley)

    Ahhhh… finally some heavy rain for once over here 🙂

    • Mario Gallegos

      Yup can confirm its been raining non stop all day except for a break midday.

  • RunningSprings6250
    • Dogs! Yes! 🙂

    • Pictures like this inspire me more and more to retire to the mountains someday, but not sure if the wife will go along with this idea. She is cold when it’s 105 out, so I am not sure how she would be able to handle below freezing temps.

      • RunningSprings6250

        Warm fires and goblets of Pinot! ?

        • I would be in shorts and a t-shirt. I’m only slightly less furry than your dog.

          • inclinejj

            I was just outside in short and a t shirt and it 53.4 degrees! Go A;s!

          • Yep, that will be me when I get home from work. Go A’s!

      • inclinejj

        You can dress for the cold, at 105 nothing you can do but sit in A/C car or House. When your younger you can take the cold, when get older it’s hard living in the Mountains year round. Take her up in the Summer then Fall and Winter she may like it. If she doesn’t like the cold staying in and watching it snow is fun. Or going to the ski resort and watching people ski/board.

        • Her family has had a cabin in Arnold at about 4,600 feet for over 30 years. It snows here and there. Summers are nice, too. We were just there 2 weeks ago and it was in the low 60s. Very odd for late December. I wish there was snow. The kids obviously love it.

      • Phil(ontario)

        Plant the seed now. I told my wife she gets to choose the location now but we are retiring in the snow.

  • alanstorm
    • Taz & Storm Master

      not really CA did vary well

      …Sacramento County…
      1 E Cal Expo 3.95 in 0735 AM 01/09 35
      Strong Ranch Slough At Chann 3.95 in 0740 AM 01/09 46
      Beach Lake, Morrison Ck 3.82 in 0740 AM 01/09 20
      2 W Carmichael 3.75 in 0535 AM 01/09 0
      2 ESE Sacramento 3.70 in 0700 AM 01/09 0
      1 W Sacramento 3.69 in 0553 AM 01/09 299
      Branch Center 3.68 in 0730 AM 01/09 75
      Carmichael 1.4 W 3.66 in 0700 AM 01/09 0
      Arcade Creek At Greenback La 3.63 in 0730 AM 01/09 110
      Robla 3.62 in 0700 AM 01/09 35
      Upper Morrison 3.62 in 0700 AM 01/09 45
      Dry Ck – Nemdc – D15 3.59 in 0700 AM 01/09 35
      Elder Ck – Stockton Blvd 3.59 in 0735 AM 01/09 24
      Antelope 3.56 in 0753 AM 01/09 154
      1 WSW Arden-arcade 3.52 in 0700 AM 01/09 0
      Elk Grove Fish Hatchery Aler 3.51 in 0708 AM 01/09 45
      Van Maren Cripple Creek – Ci 3.47 in 0725 AM 01/09 118
      Correctional Center Alert 3.46 in 0700 AM 01/09 18
      Dry Ck Bypass @ Elkhorn Blvd 3.46 in 0700 AM 01/09 45
      Linda Creek At Indian Creek 3.43 in 0730 AM 01/09 168
      Cresta Park Alert 3.43 in 0700 AM 01/09 70
      Chicken Ranch Slough – Arden 3.43 in 0700 AM 01/09 35
      Carmichael 3.42 in 0600 AM 01/09 0
      1 NNE Elk Grove 3.41 in 0658 AM 01/09 49
      Sacramento Metro Apt 3.39 in 0700 AM 01/09 20
      Rio Linda Wc 3.39 in 0700 AM 01/09 42
      Sacramento Exec Airport 3.38 in 0353 AM 01/09 15
      American River D05 3.38 in 0740 AM 01/09 33
      1 E Fair Oaks 3.37 in 0753 AM 01/09 239
      Rancho Cordova 3.35 in 0700 AM 01/09 72
      1 E Citrus Heights 3.32 in 0741 AM 01/09 183
      Mokelumne River Near (benson 3.32 in 0730 AM 01/09 16
      Chicago Alert #279 3.27 in 0700 AM 01/09 220
      Eagles Nest Road, Laguna Ck 3.20 in 0737 AM 01/09 100
      Orangvale 3.19 in 0700 AM 01/09 233
      Arcade Ck @ Watt Avenue 3.19 in 0723 AM 01/09 75
      Cripple Ck 3.18 in 0742 AM 01/09 150
      Cosumnes Rvr @wilton 3.17 in 0740 AM 01/09 75
      Sacramento Intl Airport 3.07 in 0353 AM 01/09 25
      Arcade Creek At Sunrise Blvd 3.00 in 0740 AM 01/09 162
      Georgiana Slough 2.99 in 0700 AM 01/09 20
      Prairie City 2.80 in 0700 AM 01/09 280
      1 SSE Folsom 2.77 in 0700 AM 01/09 0
      1 E Citrus Heights 2.76 in 0740 AM 01/09 202
      Fair Oaks 2.76 in 0751 AM 01/09 219
      Prichard Lake 2.60 in 0700 AM 01/09 18
      Deer Creek At Scott Road 2.56 in 0700 AM 01/09 161
      Cosumnes R @ Michigan Bar 2.33 in 0600 AM 01/09 168
      Sherman Island 2.21 in 0700 AM 01/09 10
      Herald 2.17 in 0700 AM 01/09 70
      1 E Natomas 2.17 in 0749 AM 01/09 219
      Clay Station Road 2.05 in 0700 AM 01/09 95

      2.00 too 4″ of rain reported around sac

      even the dryer San Joaquin County. valley did vary well

      …San Joaquin County…
      1 NW Lodi 2.26 in 0600 AM 01/09 0
      Lincoln Village 2.04 in 0700 AM 01/09 12
      Bear Creek Near Lodi 1.90 in 0731 AM 01/09 59
      B Street 1.89 in 0733 AM 01/09 20
      2 WSW Lathrop 1.60 in 0741 AM 01/09 16
      Stockton Airport 1.60 in 0355 AM 01/09 26
      5 ENE Linden 1.44 in 0500 AM 01/09 0
      Rock Creek Below Farmington 1.36 in 0700 AM 01/09 105
      Mormon Slough At Bellota 1.34 in 0700 AM 01/09 130
      Camanche Raws 1.33 in 0659 AM 01/09 398
      Mcintire Rd – Alert #203 1.06 in 0227 AM 01/09 180

      and last my area

      .Tuolumne County…
      Cherry Valley Met Station 4.58 in 0745 AM 01/09 4770
      Pinecrest 1 NNE 2.47 in 0730 AM 01/09 5600
      Mount Elizabeth Raws 2.31 in 0702 AM 01/09 4942
      Buck Meadows Raws 2.27 in 0725 AM 01/09 0
      Columbia 1.6 NW 1.92 in 0700 AM 01/09 0
      Telegraph Hill 1.88 in 0645 AM 01/09 0
      1 ENE East Sonora 1.86 in 0700 AM 01/09 0
      4 W Jupiter 1.75 in 0730 AM 01/09 1060
      Strawberry – Pinecrest 2 1.62 in 0657 AM 01/09 5705
      Green Springs 1.32 in 0703 AM 01/09 1108
      1 W Sonora Pass 0.60 in 0400 AM 01/09 9250

      • SacWx

        It’s been raining non-stop in Sac since Sunday overnight.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Those numbers seem off. Much of the Bay area got nailed.
      Edit – Nevermind, that is for today’s accumulation.

      Bay Area won the day yesterday.

      • alanstorm

        That’s projected precipitation for today

      • Tyler Price (Seaside)

        Thats a forecast not rain totals it says forecasted rain totals for the 7 day.. Yeah the bay area and montetey got the most in whole state for sure

    • You got the Barney.

      • alanstorm

        Barney loves me?

  • honzik

    I’m going to break the John Curtis rule, but it seems like the GFS is starting to trend drier again (after a week of trending wetter). Anyone know how the ECMWF trending?

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      Wet and cold, feet of snow for Tahoe down to Lake Level. 80 inches for Donner Dummit

    • White Lightning

      Yeah the GFS is trending drier, but the Euro is still pretty wet. Both models are having a tough time with the strength of the trough next Monday. Details will probably still be uncertain for the next few days.

  • RandomTreeInSB

    I’ve recorded exactly 2 inches from the storm as we had more downpours after the main front. Not a bust but it’s on the low end of the forecast range. It would’ve been a great storm system if not for the tragedy that is still unfolding in Montecito.

    The bright side is that Cachuma Lake got smacked hard this time with 3.37″.

  • SolarWinds56
    • RunningSprings6250

      Snowmaggedon, commence!

    • Cap’n

      That’s a thing of beauty bradah, shakah!

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      IE and SD County getting lit up nicely. Looks like Ventura/SBA and most of LA County have finally seen the storm’s caboose pass.

  • Cap’n

    Got some rain falling here at home, .2″ since this morning, 1.7″ since yesterday. Feels like Seattle, not much intensity. StormMaster I think I’ll make it to 1.8″ after all. Snow levels still high, can we get some cold please. Doppler 7000 looks on point in So Cal hold on to your tetas Yanet.

    • RunningSprings6250

      Isn’t that a paying job? Tetas holder? Tetas spacer? Tetas shiner? Tetas plumper? Tetas teaser?

    • mbmattcor (TD 6400′)

      It’s over this year…..

      • Cap’n

        I posted this morning that if this TenDayAwayConstantPatternChange doesn’t show up by next week it’s looking grim to say the least.

  • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

    Local news has a helicopter up now showing the damage to Montecito. The devastation is vast, I am in shock.

    • I really don’t think people outside of the area really understand the scope of what has happened yet. This event was apparently big enough to roll boulders the size of box trucks and entire Eucalyptus trees through fairly heavily populated residential neighborhoods in the middle of the night…

      • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

        I’m 2 miles away and I don’t think I quite realize. The loss of life will be on scale with the 2005 La Conchita slide and the property damage is immeasurable.

      • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

        As I was writing that they just announced 13 dead now, passing La Conchita.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        I saw some huge boulders that were moved in some of the footage that I saw earlier today. It is amazing how powerful moving water is.

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      Can you please link your news station or tell me what it’s called?

    • I was waiting for someone with a drone to get an illegal scoop honestly, it’s taken quite a while for aerial imagery to get out.

  • Phil(ontario)

    Hard rain for the last 2 hours. Enough for me to wash the jeep with no hose. This is the rain I’ve been waiting 10 months for.

  • nunbub
    • jstrahl

      Looks like Victorville/Apple Valley getting pounded, San Bernardino even more.

  • Fairweathercactus

    I see on facebook and other sites most people saying the storm sucked. I do agree to a certain point for my area it was just run of the mill storm. No lightning no real winds just some heavy rain. I have seen it rain a lot more heavy. For as low as the pressure got today I was expecting a little more.

    • 82/83 El Nino baby (San Jose)

      If you give a mouse a cookie…

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      I think most in Montecito will agree that the storm sucked. For SoCal in general, I think getting 1″ to 2″ rain after a very dry Oct/Nov/Dec is awesome.

      I do think The Last Jedi sucked, though. I was expecting a lot more.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        I don’t know how much fell here in Orange, as I will check later when the storm is over, but this has been a good soaking rain that has lasted off and on for a period of 2 days. I would guestimate that at least 1″ to 1.25″ has fallen here, if not more.

    • Sublimesl

      Even if there was thunder it probably wouldnt be loud enough. Sucks!

    • alanstorm

      A downpour of .84″ in 15 minutes wasn’t enough?

    • redlands

      where are u from mr cactus

      • Fairweathercactus

        Whittier, CA

  • Cap’n

    Crash Posted this morning, snow at Bear Mountain. It wasn’t then, but holy Shnitzel is it now!!

    https://www.bigbearmountainresort.com/winter/mountain-information/web-cams/summit-base-cam

    • Which would mean GFS hasn’t been the shabbiest of the lot lately. Good For Snow 🙂

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

    • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

      Unbelievable.

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      I’m glad the NAM 3k’s 14 inch totals didn’t come true

      • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

        Cannot even imagine, Montecito would be gone.

        Maybe someone more educated can weigh in on the danger for any more storms? Are we better off now or can this get worse?

        • It can get worse. SoCal could get walloped again and the areas that were just denuded are still fragile. Montecito pictures have obvious massive fire scars behind them in aerial shots. The loss of life though may be at its apex however, as you can bet if a similar scenario presents itself even more precautionary evacuations will take place than this time.

        • alanstorm

          Well, virtually every creek & gully is filled to the brim with mud & debris, so any runoff will take completely new courses, &/or follow the same ones that went unexpectedly through neighborhoods.
          Untill it’s all removed, any storm this season will cause problems

    • Nathan

      Totally tragic.

    • cthenn

      damn, 13?

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Every new bit of news paints a more tragic picture. The mudslide has claimed many more lives than the Thomas Fire did.

    • Alice Paul (LA)

      I noticed the same, Daniel. Political news today is distracting or perhaps people are having weather fatigue.

      • FWIW the political news has been a virtual flash flood of devastation, Wolff and Breitboob executive shuffle and all.
        This isn’t too surprising to be honest in 2018.
        Just. So. Much. Noise.

      • PRCountyNative

        If there isn’t video it isn’t news. Their job is not to inform you, it is to get your attention. What matters, and what is presented to you in the (primarily large and corporate) media are very different things, sometimes opposites.

        • Alice Paul (LA)

          OK–a third valid reason. So true.

          OS High Sierra for Macs prevents videos from autoplaying when visiting a site. Love it!

          • I’ve been using a chrome extension with that functionality on all my ‘puters for years,
            Disable HTML5 Autoplay
            Version 0.6.2
            I recommend this extension. – Sir Esquire Dr. Out, Crashing the IV.

    • alanstorm

      Social media has the public completely absorbed in a self-centred me-bubble.
      Not interested unless it directly affects them or one of their Facebook friends

      • RunningSprings6250

        So you know my wife? LMAO

      • jstrahl

        YOU NAILED IT!

        • Pfirman

          Hell, he tagged it.

      • Sokafriend

        Also, it’s still early on W coast and I bet the logistics and equipment for transmitting and full on coerage weren’t in place and have been intensely hampered. Surely this will be fully covered starting this evening.

        • K?ros

          There is still a pretty prominent “east coast bias” when it comes to news coverage. Some of it logistical/time difference related as mentioned above, but if 13+ people died in an upper middle class suburb on the Eastern seaboard it would be covered much more intensely. National media organizations are for the large part still based/focused on the other coast.

      • Cap’n

        Agreed. Also, here I sit with Sling TV and my only National News outlet is CNN. I’ve had it on in the background for 75 minutes. There was 25 second blurb on Montecito, the rest is Trump Tweets and indepth Oprah analysis it’s a god damn joke.

          • Cap’n

            Thanks Crash, just giving you a hard time with comment above; All those ZEROS… Yeah I follow live streams and get news from internet. It’s just that once in a while I want to watch some footage on the big screen without buffering, ads, etc. I’m well aware CNN is crap, in fact their crapiness has gotting crappier and crappier and crappier and crappier. I’d end up going off the grid if I watched too much of this crap. Instead I just bury myself in books and blogs.

          • Pfirman

            You can’t lose with the blues, or books and blogs if you choose.

        • There I found you a link. CNN is better than nothing but the livestream below is 100000000000000×10 to the 100000000th power better.

          • Cap’n

            Do you do coke?

          • Absolutely not but I practice science, and like pi, which has infinite digits, CNN’s mathematical terribleness cannot actually be expressed, those zeros are infinite. So to preserve space and time, I’ve omitted a bit.

          • Pfirman

            That was math.

        • weathergeek100

          But god forbid there’s a hurricane (which isn’t always as devastating or tragic as a mudslide). It’s storm watch 24/7.

          • Dan the Weatherman

            In that case, I would watch TWC.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)
    • Alice Paul (LA)

      KSBY just reported that two dozen people are still missing and there are 300 waiting to be rescued. There were several dozen homes destroyed and possibly more in areas inaccessible.

      http://www.ksby.com/category/297505/live-stream

  • SoSocal (Chula Vista)
    • Sokafriend

      It’s been raining constantly -sometimes heavily- for almost 3 hours near SW college. Now tapering off. . ? no wind-

      • SoSocal (Chula Vista)

        About 2 miles away ;). Enjoy!

  • matt
    • JOHN CURTIS

      That sucks. It looks like its just below Rose Valley.

    • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

      This was inevitable and no doubt other sections further up will follow suit…I’m sure we’ll see highway 33 closed for a LONG time. Especially with more storms in the next few months.

  • Cap’n

    Zoomed in on Running Springs. He’s either getting some extremely heavy snow or rain. Right on the snowline he is. The fact that he isn’t posting leads me to believe that he’s out romping in the snow, so it’s snowing. Romp on Ian.

  • Taz & Storm Master

    the CMC has a nic storm

  • The scale of mayhem is more obvious when you try and make some plans:
    https://twitter.com/crashingout/status/950896862680068096

    • Cap’n

      First measurable snow for So Cal resorts means business.

      • When I was making the mayhem-maps below I did notice jammed up roads at SoCal ski resorts – people are already trying to patronize.

        • Cap’n

          I actually meant means business, like the snow is no joke coming down hard, but you’re right it does mean business as well. I’m calling that they’ll get 10″, and that will be 10″ on the season. Please start now winter.

      • RunningSprings6250

        Means I stay put this weekend lmao, enjoy that 6hr drive to bear snow bunnies! Can’t go anywhere on the weekends anymore after snowfalls….

        • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

          And don’t forget….three day weekend on top of it. Fresh snow and an extra day off…all those people heading “sleying” loom out out for Muzik!

          • Pfirman

            Listen to the Muzik and watch him smoke that Doobie.

        • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

          Sno-playmaggedon commence!

  • alanstorm

    Mandatory evacuations in Montecito were only for areas north of 192.
    South of 192 to the ocean & Carpenteria were only voluntarily.
    Given the warnings for the fire area & the HUGE projected rain totals, obviously the whole area should have been mandatory.
    Where would the huge flows go? Certainly continuing down the gullies past 192 to the ocean

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b92ff14e8a86bc10e6148561621d2d140af6aa741b723a2c856809caa8e3971d.jpg

    • jstrahl

      Your logic is perfect. Really bad crisis management on the part of the authorities.

      • alanstorm

        A mandatory evacuation, especially in well-to-do areas, comes with a great risk of pissing off & inconveniencing important people. If the catastrophe doesn’t materialize, there will be hell to pay for scaring everyone & opening those neighborhoods to looters.

        • cthenn

          Lose, lose. Now there’s gonna be hell to pay for the authorities because these same rich people might sue over the deaths of loved ones. Better to be safe than sorry imo.

          • malnino

            Agreed, in a situation like that, any evacuation order should carefully considered. At least pack up your shit and be ready to go. But I truly doubt any of these moneybags have any legal recourse. First, they were issued ample warning with ample time under the evacuation order – even though it was only “voluntary” for many. Second, as long as authorities act under the guidelines & provisions of Cal OES, they’re pretty much protected from legal action, unless it was proven that they issued these warnings *after* imminent danger was present or identified.

            If in doubt, get the fuck out!!!

      • PRCountyNative

        Agreed. Unfortunately, make the call, displace a bunch of cranky people, have a false alarm your career might be over.

    • thebigweasel

      Let’s see where the worst damage was. The authorities underestimated the ferocity of the storm (everyone here did, too) and they were striving for a balance between getting people out of danger and not crying wolf.

      • alanstorm

        There were a few on this blog who knew what was coming.
        The projected precipitation totals were pretty much spot on

        • thebigweasel

          I knew we were going to get pasted and that it would cause problems below the burn zone, but I certainly didn’t expect THIS.

    • Nathan

      So it looks like those areas were evacuated due to risk of landslides and mudslides, caused by whole mountainsides slipping due to saturation and lack of erosion control, ie La Conchita.

      But if we look at photos, this wasn’t a landslide, it was basically a flash flood, filled with debris, that found its historical floodplain. So the effects are totally different. For the rest of the rainy season I’m sure emergency managers will be taking this into account. But it’s not as obvious as it might be suggested in hindsight. And even with all the dire warnings, I’m not sure anyone would expect 1″ of rain in 15-20 minutes…?

      • Models expected it. For a very long time no less. From the pictures I had seen of the burn areas, really don’t know why they didn’t expect both the mountain to collapse AND go downriver, weren’t projections 10+ inches two days prior? Then 6+ inches 3-4 days prior? 5+ inches at around 5+ days out?

        • alanstorm

          More like 5″-6″.
          Here’s 2 days prior, burn areas clearly outlined with a nasty pink splotch right above Montecito in the worst possible spot.

          I’m thinking they didn’t believe the forecast would be that much
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6274305579b1cfe412cfaccf63c8c64dc189a3139d62285e5899f36e15b9e412.png

          • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

            The storm underperformed. Downtown SB didn’t even cross 1.75″. Imagine 100% more rain.

          • Judging from what I saw with NAM/HRRR/GFS there’s limitations to spatial resolution that lends to this problem – that low is near impossible to predict with certainty but maximums are easier to parse than location, sorta.

          • I’m talking about the models, that’s a forecast chart from the gubmint. No, the models showed madness and it wasn’t heeded.

          • Rusty Rails

            A recurring theme I’ve been seeing is people a) not thinking their homes in the relative flat land closer to 101 or away from creeks could really be affected and b) thinking it was all a bust because nothing major had arrived before bedtime.

          • alanstorm

            Guarantee next flash flood watch & burn scar landslide warning they gladly volunteer an evacuation.
            Same with the fires up here.
            No more living in denial

          • Tuolumne

            Yup. Disasters don’t happen after you go to bed in the evening. My philosophy is to expect bad stuff to happen at 2 in the morning. All too often that’s what happens.

          • alanstorm

            Pretty much.
            That damn fire 1:30 am
            Montecito mud 2:30am
            64 Flood crest 2 am!

          • Pfirman

            Santa Rosa, etc. etc.

      • RunningSprings6250

        It’s not like these rainfall amounts OR rates haven’t happend in these exact areas many times before…..

        • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

          Ya these dense south facing chaparral carpets absorb so much during intense events. I live right on a 30 degree slope and I’m always amazed after 3-5″ falls and the lack of run off that occurs. Super sponge.

      • alanstorm

        The whole area was under a flash flood watch.
        Burn scar mudflows move faster & further then standard landslide/slipouts.

        All the talk prior was about the threat from the burn scar areas

        • All that extra throw weight to knock stuff out of the way and create its own path, why I keep saying Lahar Lahar Lahar. Premixed Fly Ash Cement delivery, the way it ripped roots boulders and cars around is akin to a tropical volcanic eruption.

          • alanstorm

            Reminds me of that St Helens flash flood

        • Nathan

          Again, this wasn’t a mudflow. It was a flash flood. What you’re suggesting is that every _floodplain_ under the Thomas fire, to the ocean, be evacuated.

          Think about the consequence of that for a moment.

          • RunningSprings6250

            13 people NOT dead?

            Of course it would have been a PITA and also impossible – but what’s your point in getting politically pissy pants about this here? ??????

          • Nathan

            I’m not getting politically pissy pants, I’m suggesting that this wasn’t as easy a decision as it is being made out to be. It’s very easy to criticize these things in hindsight.

            I don’t know why that is so controversial.

          • alanstorm

            Yes they should have. The floodplain below that massive burn to the ocean is fairly narrow.

            I agree, it wasn’t a pure “mudflow”, but it also wasn’t a pure “flash flood”.
            It was a “hyperconcentrated flow”, which sits between a “flash flood” & “debris/mud flow”.
            A single event may produce different flow types at different times & at different locations of a watercourse, but this clearly was an example of all 3.
            My long-winded point is what initially came off of those burned mountains was a hyperconcentrated flow of muck, with incredible sediment loads from ash/burnt soils.
            Hyperconcentrated flows extend far beyond debris flow run-out locations, & that’s exactly what it did.

            This event wouldn’t have produced near those flow levels if it hadn’t contained the mud & debris from the burn scar

          • Nathan

            My point, which kind of got lost, is that E-managers were clearly focused on one type of hydro risk when they really should have been focused on a completely different one, or at least considered it as well.

            The problem is that that risk (floodplains) covers 100X more people than those who live below really steep slopes. So the order to evac wouldn’t have just been that one neighborhood, it would have been enormous, and probably covered most of SB to Oxnard. That’s a much harder decision to make for an emergency manager. Again, easy in retrospect.

          • alanstorm

            Ok, I see your point.
            I think the areas south of 192 to the ocean in Montecito would have been enough.
            No reason to evacuate Oxnard & SB

  • Taz & Storm Master

    Area Forecast Discussion
    National Weather Service Reno NV
    139 PM PST Tue Jan 9 2018

    the GFS holds on
    to more of a dry glancing blow solution on Tuesday while the EC is
    much wetter. The forecast is not quite as aggressive as the EC
    but still has chances for precipitation across the Sierra and
    western Nevada which is more in line with the FV3. Fuentes

  • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

    Hopefully this wasn’t posted already, but mandatory evacuations for some areas in Corona near the Canyon fire scar area https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2e8b2a9c17321d330241d24d012b58b7334fc13585dfa8432e6f42c9418997bb.jpg

  • An HRRR run made right before the snow started falling, and so presumably most accurate total-wise, shows this kind of result possible by 06z Wednesday – Time to bite some nails!
    (And yes I blew this up but the time up top is accurate)
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bb604804bddb58717c1078e3a4e0053bc7c1521c0b912a195ced3b746fd8123d.png

  • Taz & Storm Master
    • SacWx

      Wow – need to save this graphic. Not every day you see Sac as the big winner in the region.

      • Right? I was like dafuq, some serious stallmagic. MORE than Blue Canyon! Half stall to blame or also the direction of the dynamics? Mix of both? Neat to see the dry doughnut virtually gone statewide despite the descriptions of a “cresthugger” earlier.

        • SacWx

          It had to be the stall and the south to north precip orientation. We generally do pretty well with events from the southwest, but almost always have substantially lower totals than areas with elevation to the east.

          Still raining here too.

    • Patrick from Stockton

      This seems on the low side for Stockton. This was also reported on KCRA Ch. 3, but my gauge collected a little over 2 inch of rain for this system

  • Shane Ritter

    Heavy rains here in Reno. Showers firing up

    • Cap’n

      Yeah been a pretty steady rain here for hours at DL

  • SoCalWXwatcher
    • benSoCal

      wow

    • DAT TREE WRAPAROUND @ 0:46!!!

    • Jo Taylor

      You usually can’t see any of those homes from the street.

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      I biked there in April on a 90 F degree, who would have know 9 months from now…

    • I just drove Olive Mill on Sunday afternoon after having lunch at the ironically named Lucky in Montecito with old family friends (displaced to somewhere else in Montecito due to fire damage).

      The evacuation fatigue cited on the news is very real, and the evac zone was only voluntary. The light drizzle and rain yesterday certainly made people think, pfft, that was it? It made locals complacent. After 2 weeks evacuated over the holidays, who wants to evac again?

      My folks still havent got in touch with the couple we had lunch with. Hoping its just crappy communications. I dont think they were in the hard hit area, but I dont know the area that well. The fire damage right up to their property was impressive, but the soil was just ash, ripe as heck for what happened. But they moved to a local rental, due to smoke damage and power situation.

      • Pfirman

        You echo what Hermit Crab wrote about so eloquently above.

    • Cap’n

      Completely insane, thoughts are with these people I got choked up watching that.

      • Pfirman

        It is like driving through a burned out area but with the houses still standing. California is getting way too real as we skip from disaster to disaster.

  • Winter Watcher

    15″ of new snow in the Sahara Dessert (Northwest Algeria). Here we are struggling to get snow in the Sierra and they’ve got fresh powder in the desert. How do you like them apples?

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5faf5e68716aa1aee5299a18067e84a4fc0b2ea7fb148bbdda12e2b6a482128f.jpg

    Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/09/world/africa/snow-sahara.html

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Maybe Mother Nature is getting senile got “Sahara” confused with “Sierra”?

    • Pfirman

      Real icing on that Dessert.

  • RunningSprings6250

    Another weird combo for a winter day. Chula Vista recorded both a daily rainfall record and record highest minimum temperature today. ????? Tropical is the new subtropical….

  • hermit crab

    Wealthy or not, no one deserves what fire and rain did to Montecito.

    It could just as easily been Carpinteria. We were just lucky. I evacuated but am not in the mandatory zone; just the yellow voluntary zone at the link below. We’ve never had anything like this before, so I do not fault those who decided where the evacuations should be for missing any areas that were devastated.

    I knew this could be really bad and was afraid. A lot of people did choose not to evacuate, like my neighbor who saw major creek overflow race down our street. She does not have a computer and relies on tv for news…not too useful when the power goes out, and I had to call from my safe place at the home of friends to let her know what was going on, not to use the roads etc.

    I know people who didn’t evacuate because they had battle fatigue from the Thomas fire. Then, some who had never seen a devastating flood in their lives had trouble realizing what could happen here. Others had been safe in other disasters where they simply got lucky but thought the warnings were just overstated for CYA reasons,

    Rescue operations are still going on with sniffing dogs, jaws of life,, air rescues etc. The hospital has many workers who can’t get there because 101 is closed. (And I can’t get home.) also the hospital is full of flu patients. But room had to be made for the injured. This rain came at the wrong time.

    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-evacuation-montecito-20180109-story.html

    • molbiol

      flu season this year is the worse since 2009 (swine flu). Hospital ERs were already a disaster before this. I did get the vaccine but it is only 30 percent effective this year

    • SloTruckeeJohn

      Thank you hc for posting this local perspective. It’s way too easy for us to judge from afar where all the fine details are lost. So glad to hear you are safe.

    • malnino

      Very well-put, Crab of the Hermit variety. I know all of us here on WW wish you, your families, friends, neighbors (and all their pets) the very best in a speedy and safe recovery in these affected areas!!! Get home soon!!

    • Bill Moore

      Could’ve easily been my hometown of lompoc, with the fire they had a couple yrs ago that burned up to the ridge behind town. I know the hills there don’t face south, but the damage could’ve been bad

    • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

      Grateful for your safety HC…heartbreak for those with loses. I’m having that gut wrenching feeling similar to La Conchita 95′. Local community is considered family to me.

      • JOHN CURTIS

        ‘05 La Conchita

    • Nathan

      Glad to hear you are ok.

    • Thunderstorm

      Nature is stuck on being extreme. You were smart to leave, the hillsides are saturated now and winter has a ways to go yet. If the rains come heavy again more of the same.

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      I don’t think there is too much you can do to stop the mudslides and flashfoods for the next heavy rainfall event so do what you did today

    • JOHN CURTIS

      Did somebody say they deserved it because they live in Montecito?

      • Kevin Martin and Drought Lorde did! Lock her up! Lock her up!

      • hermit crab

        Yes, although hopefully not on this board.

    • alanstorm

      If there wasn’t a city in that spot, the natural cycle of fires & floods would simply be mother nature doing its thing.

    • Thanks for posting this, Hermit Crab. The loss and destruction that occurred in Montecito today is simply tragic and heartbreaking. Those of us not affected by recent fires and now mudslides, counting our blessings. Stay safe and be well…

  • molbiol

    Just as I suspected: Las Vegas was the winner for the Desert areas. The gulf of CA really helped that area as the southerly flow and lift tapped into those warm waters. Here in Lancaster we got almost an inch. And with this storm in the rear view mirror, it is time for me to go back into hibernation until the next significant weather event

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0cf02701bd98d5061fc3844a66c0fec0264030d90a3f0274cfb7444b04b8ac26.png

    • MakeSoCalWetAgain (SMX)

      Anything to somehow refill Lake Mead.

      • Pfirman

        Take out Lake Foul and you’re there.

  • Cap’n

    Randomly getting some pretty good downpours all of a sudden. Up to .4″ on the day, 1.9″ since yesterday (I made it StormMaster) but looks like those damn snow levels just refuse to drop. The minute snowpack we had below 8,000 or so is all but vanishing.

    • Re: CrapNN, fair enough, what’s your intertube pipe speed? Maybe your modem/router just sucks.

      • Pfirman

        Sometimes you just out-tech yourself.

  • Bob G (Gustine)

    Storm total in Gustine 2.5 inches.

    • Flyin_Pig

      That’s impressive for Gustine! I got 2.06″ for the storm and thought that was awesome. I’m about 70 mi NE of you between Oakdale and Jamestown.

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        Cool. My girlfriend lives in oakdale. I spend alot of time there

        • jstrahl

          One of the several towns i got to know via taking 120 to Yosemite.

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            It would be a sleepy town except for hwy 108 runs thru.it. oakdale has alot of hotels and retail for a town with a small population

        • inclinejj

          We would go out to the Oakdale Rodeo every year.

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            I was there last year. We hung out at HbarB bar downtowm. All the rodeo.people hang out.there rodeo weekend

  • SoCalWXwatcher

    Here’s today’s storm in living color, when it was swirling around centered over SBA.

    https://twitter.com/UWCIMSS/status/950924501126172672

    • osc3_el cerrito

      Stunning presentation.

    • Thunderstorm

      The low has a face,you can see the nose and mouth clearly.

      • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

        Elephant and his tucked-in trunk?

        • Phil(ontario)

          I just read the comment above and thought, “ I see an elephant”

    • Chris

      Beautiful!

    • Phil(ontario)

      I see Ventura

  • BP (Ventura)

    Got home from work and my gauge shows a 2 day total of 1.52″. So the forecasted amounts of 2 to 4″ we’re way off. But meh, I understand forecasters would rather be wrong on the high end vice low end. We are now at 4% of normal rain for this date, season started Oct 1st. Death of vta continues…

    • It’s the nature of the wobbly low, like trying to predict roulette.

    • Nathan

      wait, what? your normal for the date is 30″?

      • BP (Ventura)

        Typo, meant to indicate 14% of normal for this date…we still were the losers for this storm…

        • Nathan

          double digits! gotta start somewhere…

    • Michael_T (West Oakland)

      You are moving out of Ventura area right?

      • BP (Ventura)

        As soon as kids are outta HS, yep. You’d be thinking the same thing if you too were a lifelong resident of this town and seen what the past 40 years has done…what about Oakland, are you content?

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    Anyone know what the biggest total was by the burn scar?

    • RandomTreeInSB

      Biggest I can find is 6.46″ at Matilija Canyon, Ventura county.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    Just about back to average rainfall for my area

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    Take about natural disaster day. Tsunami for Gulf States? Magnitude was lowered to 7.6 https://twitter.com/weathernation/status/950927986462621696

    • Flyin_Pig

      Seems like an odd place for a quake that size. Haiti and central america have a history of large quakes but wasn’t aware of that area being seismically active. Is there a plate boundary in that area?

      • Chrissy (Long Beach)

        Yep- there is a plate boundary in that spot. Caribbean Plate vs. North American Plate.

  • Black Cat (Santa Maria)

    Its raining!

  • SolarWinds56

    Evening update from Vista (North County San Diego): Checked my rain gauge around 6:30pm to find a storm total of 3.20″ so far!!! This has been an amazing storm! Seems like it over produced a bit for my area. I think it’s pretty much done now. Finally an amazing storm for most of our state. Sad to see what’s going on in Monticeto and SB though. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a962a4dba4bc0eef4c543088cc581d5a0022242469e03b60330f0a484d299d49.jpg

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    How can a tsunami not occur with a 7.6 earthquake https://twitter.com/nws_ntwc/status/950925142934409217

    • 82/83 El Nino baby (San Jose)

      Depends on amount of vertical movement of sea floor. Slip strike faults cannot produce them, but subduction faults, where one moves beneath the other can. Near us, the cascadia fault is biggest risk.

    • Rusty Rails

      That notice meant to indicate none are expected to hit the US mainland. Here’s the latest advisory statement indicating a tsunami has been observed. http://tsunami.gov/events/PHEB/2018/01/10/18010000/3/WECA41/WECA41.txt

  • matt
    • Sokafriend

      We called friends in PR awhile ago – they said they had reports that city of Colon had been flooded.

      • Pfirman

        Poor PR. Maybe this will stir Trump’s heart and wallet.

        • You are a cruel tease. Everyone knows you’d have better odds playing playing Pick-up sticks with your butt cheeks than cracking open those subzero crypts.

          • Pfirman

            If he tries that I hope he forgets what he is doing and sits down.

        • Sokafriend

          Eight ball hasn’t been consulted in a while but posing that question now it says No heart -Strengthen resistance.

  • happ [Los Angeles]

    With afternoon convective showers the storm total is 2.23 [close to what NWS_LA predicted]. Very content and look forward to the next storm; hopefully that won’t be to long off.

    • Pfirman

      Backs up what Daniel said about it taking just a few storms to provide LA with its ‘normal’. There is still the rest of Jan and Feb to fall short. JK.

  • SolarWinds56
    • Sokafriend

      Thank you so much!

      • Pfirman

        Welcome back.

        • Sokafriend

          Thank you

  • Jockman

    Après-storm view of Hollywood and downtown LA from my deck right now. We got 1.86 much-needed inches from the storm. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/471145caeb722dc767b35730b5cdc2e992424214d8cf5fd95e2fa4df1d028402.jpg

    • Pfirman

      Million dollar view and shot.

      • malnino

        from a multi-million dollar slab of real e$tate, perhaps …

  • Taz & Storm Master

    some commits from dr m blog

    Belizeit • a minute ago
    Belize city residents are told to find a 2 story home

    • Jim (Watsonville)

      Huh ?

      • VK (Sacramento)

        It’s gonna rain and flood so, get on top to the 2nd floor is what I get

        • Phil(ontario)

          He is referring to possible tsunami from the carribian quake

    • alanstorm

      Storm Master, I don’t have a clue what you’re posting.
      Tempers in Belize?

      • matthew

        7.6 quake off the Belize coast. Tsunami warning.

        • alanstorm

          Got it.

          • matthew

            Did you not receive your WW decoder ring?

          • alanstorm

            Haha. Eye wuz think ing the saym thing

        • You’d be good at code cracking. I can’t spell deciphering without speel chk

    • SacWx

      Any cruise ships in the Caribbean right now?

  • Thunderstorm

    116% of normal to date. 4.56 this January so far and no rain shadowing. Season total so far 7.27, normal season total only 16.86.

    • Yes but where LOL

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        Fremont

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      What are you rainshadowed by?

      • jstrahl

        Fremont is rain shadowed by the SC Mountains, being practically next to San Jose, though not as badly.

        • Tuolumne

          I used to live there and can confirm that. Frustrating to see so many storms fizzle when you’re there.

          • Pfirman

            It does not take a rain shadow any more for the fizzle to shizzle.

    • redlands

      where u from city

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    Rock slide in the Atlas Fire Area, one boulder hit a car killing a person. Looks to be fire/rain related.

    https://twitter.com/russd008/status/950944720057806848

  • Farmer47

    Can someone post the map with rain totals again please. Thought I saved it but guess not. Thx

    • jstrahl

      Scroll down, it’s by Storm Master, about 3 hours ago (you need to click on “load more comments” once).

    • Winter Watcher

      I usually use this link, although you can only get the last 24 hours: http://www.cnrfc.noaa.gov/precipMaps.php?group=rsa&img=3. There’s also an interactive map on their home page if you want to look back further.

  • SacWx

    Nice GFS, CMC, and the new ICON model runs tonight.

    • ICON?

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        German one a posted a couple weeks ago showing monster precip totals

        • inclinejj

          Is this the Japanese bomb storm Howard from Mammoth was talking about?

          • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

            I think so

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)
  • Unbiased Observer

    A bit over 3/4″ storm total here….no complaints.

    • redlands

      where are u from city

      • Pfirman

        Bakersfield. He may get less rain than you and about the same smog.

      • weathergeek100

        Redlands, how much did you get out of this one? Did you at least get SOME rain?

    • Dan the Weatherman

      That’s a good amount for Bakersfield, which is often rain shadowed by the Tehachapi Mountains and the coastal ranges.

      • Unbiased Observer

        Definitely, but now I’m thirsty for more. Rain is glorious.

        • Dan the Weatherman

          I am hoping we get more rain later this month!

  • Craig Matthews

    Carmel River now flowing into sea thanks to some bulldozer help. Its amazing what just one significant storm can do around here. Hard to believe it is still raining here in Cachagua upper carmel valley. My storm total is now at 4.25. We are getting heavy drizzle with occasional short bursts of heavy rain, and its barely showing up on radar. Must be some low topped cells moving upslope, up carmel valley off the pacific, as a stronger moist nw flow has ensued. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/63a5e0003af89e953bf0de1fa3b1077cbf617d47930050ad739dc3e3eef31c68.jpg

    • Nice pic. The size of that berm amazes me. The one at San Jose Creek is big too. Any slides you know of around Big Sur burn areas?

      • Craig Matthews

        Minor rock slides so far, but some damn big boulders in the mix on the road, especially south of nepenthe.

    • Rusty Rails

      Last week we were there just after high tide as the surf was overtopping the berm. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/95186f85e8ba90a86a0246e203aa9534a15173a4aa843935ac09ff60b39beba7.png

    • Cap’n

      Thanks Craig. Hey it’s about time we got some sandbars. You live in one of my favorite places. Here’s to some more rain.

    • inclinejj

      The fish are happy. Carmel downtown and Carmel Valley is one of the most different micro climates I have seen. Pacifica can be fogged in at the beaches and 80 degrees back In the valley at my house.

    • PRCountyNative

      Nice! Thanks for the report. Looks ugly, in a surf and dive kind of way. The rain stopped and the low moved on and the wind switched to NW I thought we were done. Took a hike at the dam, needed some exercise. An hour out the rain started again, and kept going. Light rain/heavy drizzle. Ended up with another .7″ yesterday for storm total of 3.7″. It all soaked in no runoff really. The reservoir was at least 1/2 way towards full yesterday, it should fill soon, the river and creeks are running nicely up there. They just fixed the road around the reservoir now it’s blocked by rockslides.

  • Charlie B

    San Clemente received around 2″ today. I went down to the pier this evening. I was the only one there. The ocean looked like an evil monster waiting for a meal. It was turning, churning and laughing sadistically. Nothing in the water was safe. I counted six different breaks. The last was close to the end of the pier, but I could hear more further out. The sign said: “Unsafe conditions.” Nature is not happy right now. Or maybe it is?

  • Phil(ontario)

    Storm ended here with 1.70″ for the total. About 1/4 inch more than projected sunday night thanks to pre frontal showers, but otherwise projections were spot on with this one.

  • SoCalWXwatcher

    My total in Downey was 1.79”.
    (0.27” from the pre-frontal rain yesterday and 1.52” from the main event.)

    NWS had originally called for 1-2” in my area before upping their call to 2-4”. Had they stuck with their first call they would have nailed it. It was a solid storm nonetheless, & sorely needed.

  • SoCalWXwatcher

    The heavy rain in Las Vegas prompted this parking garage to do its impression of the Oroville Spillway today:

    https://twitter.com/time/status/950845904512106496

    • Dan the Weatherman

      That’s a lot of water!

    • inclinejj

      Too bad Marks Vegas cluster Fart stadium site didn’t wash away.

  • Rusty Rails

    NWS Monterey is just bought an H with the end of tonight’s AFD. Will a Y be next?

    Over this weekend and through next
    week the long wave pattern over the Pacific will become increasingly
    zonal and progressive. A recent increase in the wave number around
    the northern hemisphere will very likely exhibit a tendency toward
    stronger developing storm systems, like the one we just observed.
    The westerlies, the jet stream, strengthen as modified maritime polar
    arctic air from high latitudes slips southward co-locating with sub-
    tropical air. Next chance of rain looks to be next Monday into Tuesday,
    and possibly a much more significant longer duration rain event arrives
    late next Wednesday through Friday.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      Hopefully Socal can get in on some of this storm action, too!

      • inclinejj

        SoCal is in a pickle. They need rain but they don’t need rain, after what happened yesterday.

      • Yea, we need it!

  • Never stopped snowing at Mt. Rose. Top and bottom, not significant quantities, but neat. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/07126087abca8138d6acbb2df7c421a10d8189b51ddc92b985d16a85f791332f.jpg

  • Very impressive totals, ended this storm with 3.5″ of rain. Over performed in my are definitely.

    • Michael_T (West Oakland)

      Wonder if Deckard had Doppler on his Esper machine 😐

  • Nate

    Storm satellite and radar:
    https://youtu.be/jK2fsAnmAxA

  • palmsprings

    Overperformer here, most of the Coachella Valley ended up with over 1″. Here’s a cool timelapse of today’s sky from here, looking SW: https://youtu.be/EQ_gFuT7s38

    • alanstorm

      Great video.
      Thanks for posting

    • MakeSoCalWetAgain (SMX)

      That’s great to hear.

    • inclinejj

      Someone posted 1.35 in Palm Springs.

  • Nathan

    A few thoughts:

    -in fall, Nov/Dec, there were several times where tropical moisture was projected in fantasyland to phase with Pacific or continental lows, but never panned out until now thanks to the La Nina setup and the Wicked Ridge of the West. So sad that all the tragedy may have been prevented by a single decent storm back then.

    -last night several folks observed an incredible, 100mi-long squall line that formed offshore and (mostly) dissipated in energy before hitting land. It looks like a small trailing end of this squall line trained over SB and caused the unbelievable Montecito mudslide. As tragic as today/last night was, I’m struck that perhaps a bullet was dodged; had that full squall line came ashore 50 miles further to the east there could have easily been a dozen Montecito-like floods from SB to Ventura.

  • Queen Rose

    Do you all follow the weather like a hobby? Just curious if there is avid weather watching!

    • I get paid by the LA county board to read a farmers almanac to them and make crap up while sipping mai tais in Antigua. I’m also Kevin Martins event planner.

      • RanDog

        ? hilarious ?

    • inclinejj

      As explained on another weather blog, we’re all weather deeebs. Yes it’s a hobby. Some keep detailed notes and chart daily weather.

      • matthew

        A hobby? That puts too gentle a spin on it. More like “unhealthy obsession “.

    • Cap’n

      We specialize in emotional crisis support as well. There is a session every six hours.

  • SacWx

    Full model agreement (all 3 majors) on a Sierra snow event Thursday night through mid-Friday next week. Disagreement over amounts/duration/southerly extent, but promising nonetheless.

    Some slight disagreement still for the possible norcal event earlier in the week.

    • alanstorm

      Southern Oregon getting a bullseye barrage.
      Southerly extent is everything

      • Yolo Hoe

        Yep — we may need to drive the bus North across the state line to pick up that GOA pattern and drag it south a bit — even a short visit would be nice — maybe the Storm King doesn’t like high taxes?

  • Sokafriend

    It rained again here in Bonita about 1 hour ago- has now tapered off to a fine but perceptible drizzle. It looks like more rain may occur before and around dawn, oozing up from the south. Phenomenal.

  • Looks like I was wrong and spreading fake news ;/
    Radar returns showing it snowing at Mt Rose were a lie. Just flakes swirling around at the top of the mountain giving a false return for the Reno radar. Lesson learned. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dbfba729343d709d3c55880b18fdd2a0173e2dfb500aa972ad086b24a9999fb6.jpg

    • inclinejj

      AUnofficial Mount Rose is a pretty accurate reporting. He’s on the mountain just about every day.

  • weathergeek100

    Do you guys think the 6″/hour rainfall rate (0.54 in 5 mins) in Montecito is accurate? I have never heard of such intense rainfall rates in CA. TX and the midwest, yes, but not here. I have heard of 4″/hour rates in monsoon thunderstorms in our mountains, and the most I’ve heard for pacific winter storms is probably 2″-3″ per hour. I don’t know, I just have trouble believing it but the guage is the NWS so maybe it’s accurate. WOW if it is.

    By the way, what an epic batch of rain that moved through SoCal this afternoon. That thing was so perfect- a solid batch of orange and red swirling around the center of the storm. It was getting stronger as it moved through, too. You look at that and you’re just guaranteed you’re going to get hammered.

    Epic storm totals in far SoCal and the bay area from this one. Sorry, LA. You still got good rain though, something like 1.75″ downtown and widespread 1″ totals at the very least.

    • It’s plausible. The record for rainfall in 1 minute is a tick over 1″ back in the late 1800s, I believe. Take that for what it’s worth. Are there any personal weather stations near the recording station that recorded a high rate at any point during the event? That should be a good indicator of accuaracy.

    • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

      The rainfall rate for me, visually and 3 miles northwest, was less than the microburst we had this summer that caused damage and went Viral.

      It was short but intense. It was wind driven. I’m thinking the wind had something to do with that reading.

      If you scroll down you can see my reaction in real time. Granted, I’m not elevated and I’m 3 miles away, it didn’t seem that bad to me. It reminded me of a Hawaii afternoon thunderstorm (without the thunder and lightning).

      All anectodtal and without any numbers to back it up.

      • celo

        I live in western montecito and in the western part of cold spring creek drainage. At three in the morning, all the visual ingredients for a very strong rain event seem to be occurring. Rain water falling off the eaves right over the gutters, water was flowing over the surface…It was 3 in the morning so it was tough to see how hard it was raining. My wife and I felt like the intense rainfall went for 45 minutes, however we remember checking out clocks that night and it was only around 15.
        I remember watching the cell on the radar that night. It was moving toward the north/north east. Orographics could of played a part in rainfall rate enhancement and probably did.

        A lot of culprits were at play that night and pinpointing one is tough. One factor was the strength and intensity of the fire. It burned through extremely dry, 80 year old brush and left little or no vegetation on the hillside to let water be absorbed. The heat of the fire due to the thickness of the 50 to 80 year old brush scorched the earth.

        Another factor, the high intensity rain band was basically the first rain event. Most of the time in Southern California, a fire occurs in September or October, then you get some small storms in october/november. Rain storms continue to increase in size and duration during the fall. During that time, grass and other vegetation begins to grow on the denuded hillsides As we know, it doesnt take much precip to green the hills in California. That process was never allowed to happen.

        Another factor is the topography of the lower drainage of the creeks that run through Montecito. If you ever have driven from east Valley Road to Mountain Drive, you would realize how steep the roads are as you drive by all the mansions. (It’s even harder coming down due to the stress on your breaks). Downtown Santa Barbara, Goleta and Carpinteria have relatively flat areas or coastal plains before their creeks enter the ocean. A true coastal plain does not occur in Montecito where a creek may lose a lot of it’s energy and allow the speed of flow to slow down. Think about the velocity that had to be maintained for cars to be dumped all the way into the ocean as they did in Montecito.

        • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

          Excellent breakdown celo…I’m grateful you and your family are safe.

        • John

          I don’t know if this has been commented on as well, but, in thinking about the intense heat from the fires, could it be that they were so hot they killed seeds that may have survived less intense fires? That is, might it be true that natural selection has occurred so that a plant’s seeds and roots/stems can survive the normal fires; but, the hotter a fire gets, the less the vegetation will be able to reproduce, or, it will take longer to do so?

          If so, vegetation after fires like the Thomas would need more time to come back.

          • Pfirman

            Read that John McPhee essay posted above by Daniel. Very informative about chaparral and burns.

        • BP (Ventura)

          Excellent write up Celo. Thanks for providing this explanation of your home town’s disaster and what led to it. Godspeed on your recovery.

        • sectionmaker

          Howdy neighbor!! thanks for this, we had no power here for awhile, so I missed most of your postings. Do you have elec or water and gas up there?
          Are you staying through the lockdown? ok down here, barely, Im down from Casa Dorinda/Olive Mill, and the mess stopped northwest of us. All right stay safe.. Thanx for those pics, I shared the with the Google group(only has 3 members, but one is a pilot. he posts to Edhat often)

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      I’ve briefly had a higher rain rate than 6″. It takes a special type of storm

  • Gary

    Total for Duarte 2.75 inches.

    I am confused.
    Watching Weather Channel right now.
    Our storm now moving east.
    They are now referring to it as winter storm “Hunter”.
    Is that the same storm?
    If so at what point does a storm of this type get a name?

    • PRCountyNative

      When the bean counters decide you will watch more ads if that’s what they do. As they only consider the east coast as USA, probably about the time it starts to clear The Rocky Mountains.

      • Gary

        Thanks,
        I was just wondering if there was a “official” list of names they use like hurricanes or they just pull a name out of a hat.

        • PRCountyNative

          Welcome. I get cranky about the media, BTW. I bet they blow it one of these days with an insensitive name.

    • CHeden

      Winter-named storms are specific to the Weather Channel, and not part of the “official” forecasting system like hurricanes/typhoons are.
      Therefore when a storm get it’s Weather Channel name, it’s up to the Weather Channel to decide when to name it.

  • 82/83 El Nino baby (San Jose)

    Tweet on dry areas and how they tend to get there rain. May apply to SoCal moving forward.

    https://twitter.com/joshtimlin/status/950885513774485505

  • Tuolumne

    Death toll now at 15. Unfortunately I fear they’ll be finding bodies for some time hidden in mud and collapsed houses. 🙁

  • Shannon Childs Guerrero

    I was watching the morning news and they “reported” 9 in if rain in 15 min in so cal. I just shook my head. It was a national news

    • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

      Yeap… totally inaccurate. Most of Montecito proper received less than 2” of rain total from the storm. The foothills did get more rain, but the most rain they could find at any station was ~4.5 inches.

    • malnino

      Looks like they got the decimal in the wrong spot (again).. The 2:30 am downpour that started it all was recorded at .86 ( rounded up to .9) inches in about 15 min .. still a crazy rate

  • RunningSprings6250

    Skies have cleared and temps are hovering above freezing, gorgeous morning.

    There is 3”-4” snow on the ground but so much slush and ice fell and melted right in the gauge I just counted the liquid portion for the total until the snow stopped being so wet…so for the Running Springs official record books our first winter storm brought us:

    6” rain and 2” snow

    I’ll melt the solid snow in the gauge to see the total liquid.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8add82f9cd5fb7199c77230ef8f121ac7cfafb3842563c038d1af313151d514d.jpg

    • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

      I was way off. Sorry. I saw all the yellow and dark green headed your way and thought you would be good.

      • RunningSprings6250

        Apology accepted lol totally cool with the liquid and a nice solid snow cover for the next few days to help penetrate the dry soil beneath!

  • Y. Pestis

    Been awhile since I stopped by to report any rain accumulation here.
    My little corner of Lytle Creek got 7.2″. A pleasant over performance unless you were the idiot who thought he could cross a water flow on his way to the gun club…

    https://www.dailybulletin.com/2018/01/09/flooding-in-lytle-creek-leads-to-swiftwater-rescue/
    Apparently he figured safety warnings about crossing high water is just “fake” news.

    • RunningSprings6250

      Very nice!

      The rain not the idiot!

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    A very informative and interesting discussion on the long range weather in the NWS RENO AFD

    There are strong signals that region will return to a wet, and potentially colder, pattern by the end of next week. A large scale low pressure anomaly is forecast to develop along the West Coast for the first time this winter. This is a very different pattern than we have spent most of the 2017/18 winter season in, with most of the winter so far dominated by a strong high pressure anomaly along the West Coast. Atmospheric river tools are forecasting high likelihood of 1 or 2 ars reaching the West Coast in the 15-18th time period with the highest chances from northern California into the Pacific northwest. The best chance for winter weather to return to the Sierra would most likely be near the end, or after that. The strengthening jet stream along the West Coast is forecast to slide south by the end of the week, finally allowing cold air to move into the Sierra.

    By midweek there is a chance we could see an initial wave of precipitation as the nose of the strengthening jet stream reaches the West Coast with the ec is much more bullish for midweek. This will still be early in the evolution of the large scale pattern, with the best chances to see storms making it into the Sierra during the end of the week.

    This is the best signal for a winter weather pattern setting up in the long range forecast this season. Of course, that doesn’t guarantee a wet, snowy pattern, but considering all the signals it raises the possibility to “more likely than not”. Or another way way to put it is that at least 3 out of 5 times we see signals this strong 7-10 days away, the Sierra will end up in a stormy weather pattern. -Zach

    • Rusty Rails

      H-Y-_-_

      It’s the weather office version of Horse with these 7-10 day discussions coming out.

      • Westside

        I like when they go into week 2. They even go so far as to give a confidence of 60%. Hype? I think not. Hype is cherry picking one operational run and saying its going to snow 10 ft Friday after next.

        • Cap’n

          That sounds familiar. Hey I’d think Blackwood Canyon should be open though I guess once that gate is locked it’s locked til spring.

        • Rusty Rails

          No

    • janky

      Really hoping for snow.

  • Al (VictorValley)

    1st time I seen the North slopes of the San Gabriels snow capped this season (taken from a member in VVNG) https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6bf65cc705c65e535b2c7d24f0d6282a3d2ab0f48191981a9c993fab2b2cb667.jpg

  • Taz & Storm Master

    my 2 day rain fall from this event is 2.51″

    1.80″ on JAN 8th

    0.71″ on JAN 9th

  • RunningSprings6250

    Interesting that the Palm Springs total isn’t ‘shattering’ the old.

    …DAILY PRECIP RECORDS BROKEN OR TIED ON JAN 9 2018 …
    …UPDATED FOR UP TO MIDNIGHT AMOUNTS…

    LOCATION NEW RECORD OLD RECORD PERIOD OF RECORD

    SAN DIEGO 1.57 1.25 IN 1866 1850
    OCEANSIDE HARBOR 2.70 1.19 IN 1980 1909
    VISTA 2.17 1.24 IN 1980 1957
    CHULA VISTA 0.90 0.62 IN 1930 1918
    ESCONDIDO 2.12 2.09 IN 1905 1893
    ALPINE 2.53 1.02 IN 1980 1951
    IDYLLWILD* 2.65 1.91 IN 1980 1943
    PALOMAR MOUNTAIN* 3.80 3.79 IN 2005 1901
    CAMPO* 1.63 1.29 IN 1980 1948
    PALM SPRINGS 1.40 1.13 IN 1980

  • Cap’n

    Still some light rain falling over here and actually some confused flakes drifting over from the summit. It occurred to me that this is the first time I’ve seen it snow since the last day of summer. At 2.1″ for this system.

  • Unbiased Observer

    Very heavy drizzle this morn netted another 1/10 in about an hour. Will take all we can get.

  • Taz & Storm Master

    am up too 3.56″ of rain so far in JAN

  • Bob G (Gustine)
  • Bob G (Gustine)

    06Z looks better for the Sierras