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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  • Chris

    My report for Morgan Hill.
    I remember that big storm in 1995.
    Big floods that day.

    As of 8:00am 1/10/2018

    Today .45
    Record 3.26 in 1995
    Month 3.23
    Year 7.34

  • Idaho Native

    After receiving 4 1/3″ here in Southern Marin during this past storm, the smaller local streams have a small, barely noticeable trickle. The ground must’ve been extremely dry to have absorbed that much rain. Light showers have just resumed from the small system clipping the central coast.

    • matthew

      Different area (Truckee) but what I have noticed is that it seems to take 6-8″ of rain to really saturate the soil and get runoff going in my neighborhood. I have read that, depending on your soil type, 1 foot of soil can absorb 1″ of rain.

      • Idaho Native

        Interesting. I imagine it also has to do with how fast the rain falls. If I remember correctly from my Pedology classes in college, sandy soil can absorb something like 5 times the amount of water than clay soil with most of the Bay Area sitting on very clay heavy soil.

    • alanstorm

      Here’s Corte Madera Cr.
      Got a decent rise out of it, basically, the first runoff of the season, which for Jan is pathetic.
      If this storm had come in during a normal wet winter, 4″ would have had it twice as high & as you can see, it recedes back to a trickle rather quickly.
      Rivers & streams all over right now are at extremely low levels, still living of last year’s record precip
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2089a96666613bcf78a580405d0a9304d85a2e126816b311c08e40a0131ba3dc.png

  • Fairweathercactus

    …PRELIMINARY PRECIPITATION TOTALS…

    THE FOLLOWING ARE 2 DAY RAINFALL TOTALS IN INCHES
    FOR THIS EVENT THROUGH 400 PM TUESDAY AFTERNOON.

    .TOP RAINFALL AMOUNTS FROM ALL LOCAL AREAS
    ORTEGA HILL (VENTURA COUNTY)…………….. 5.90
    OLD MAN MOUNTAIN (VENTURA COUNTY)………… 5.55
    OPIDS CAMP (LA COUNTY)………………….. 5.13
    ALAMO MOUNTAIN (VENTURA COUNTY)………….. 4.51
    CRYSTAL LAKE (LA COUNTY)………………… 4.41
    WEST FORK HELIPORT (LA COUNTY)…………… 4.21
    EL DESEO (SBA COUNTY)…………………… 4.09
    SAN MARCOS PASS (SBA COUNTY)…………….. 4.00
    MT BALDY (LA COUNTY)……………………. 3.90
    ROCKY BUTTE (SLO COUNTY)………………… 3.50

    .LA COUNTY METROPOLITAN
    MONTE NIDO…………………… 2.56
    HOLLYWOOD RESERVOIR…………… 2.03
    BEL AIR……………………… 2.01
    GETTY CENTER…………………. 1.83
    BEVERLY HILLS………………… 1.83
    SANTA MONICA (KSMO)…………… 1.52
    LA DOWNTOWN (CQT)…………….. 1.49
    LONG BEACH (KLGB)…………….. 1.46
    SOUTH GATE…………………… 1.44
    REDONDO BEACH………………… 1.43
    CULVER CITY………………….. 1.40
    LA AIRPORT(KLAX)……………… 1.28
    HAWTHORNE (KHHR)……………… 1.08

    .LA COUNTY VALLEYS
    PASADENA…………………….. 2.83
    NEWHALL……………………… 2.72
    PACOIMA DAM………………….. 2.60
    AGOURA HILLS…………………. 2.56
    HANSEN DAM…………………… 2.54
    NORTHRIDGE…………………… 2.50
    BURBANK (KBUR)……………….. 2.30
    LA VERNE…………………….. 2.28
    EATON DAM……………………. 2.20
    CANOGA PARK………………….. 2.20
    CLAREMONT……………………. 2.14
    WHITTIER…………………….. 2.09
    SANTA FE DAM…………………. 2.04
    CHATSWORTH RESERVOIR………….. 2.04
    WOODLAND HILLS……………….. 2.03
    DEL VALLE……………………. 1.90
    EAGLE ROCK RESERVOIR………….. 1.89
    SAUGUS………………………. 1.83
    VAN NUYS (KVNY)………………. 1.78
    ALHAMBRA…………………….. 1.72
    POMONA………………………. 1.50

    .LA COUNTY MTNS & FTHLS
    OPIDS CAMP…………………… 5.13
    CRYSTAL LAKE…………………. 4.41
    WEST FORK HELIPORT……………. 4.21
    MT BALDY…………………….. 3.90
    SAN GABRIEL DAM………………. 3.46
    INSPIRATION POINT…………….. 3.35
    CHILAO………………………. 3.30
    SAN ANTONIO DAM………………. 2.62
    CAMP 9………………………. 2.57
    TANBARK……………………… 2.45
    MORRIS DAM…………………… 2.43
    WARM SPRINGS…………………. 2.41
    WHITAKER PEAK………………… 2.37
    SIERRA MADRE…………………. 1.46
    MILL CREEK SUMMIT…………….. 1.34

    .LA COUNTY DESERTS
    POPPY PARK…………………… 1.69
    VALYERMO…………………….. 1.60
    LANCASTER (KWJF)……………… 0.94
    LAKE PALMDALE………………… 0.78
    PALMDALE (KPMD)………………. 0.58
    SADDLEBACK BUTTE……………… 0.24

    .VENTURA COUNTY COASTAL
    LA CONCHITA………………….. 1.86
    LEO CARRILLO…………………. 1.52
    VENTURA……………………… 1.36
    CSU CHANNEL ISLANDS…………… 1.22
    SATICOY……………………… 1.17
    OXNARD – NWS…………………. 1.04
    CAMARILLO (KCMA)……………… 1.02
    SILVERSTRAND BEACH……………. 0.87
    OXNARD CIVIC CENTER…………… 0.57

    .VENTURA COUNTY W. VLYS
    STEWART CANYON……………….. 2.73
    LAKE CASITAS…………………. 2.46
    OJAI………………………… 2.25
    FAGAN CANYON…………………. 1.57
    SOUTH MOUNTAIN……………….. 1.51

    .VENTURA COUNTY E. VLYS
    CIRCLE X RANCH……………….. 2.36
    PIRU………………………… 2.10
    ROCKY PEAK…………………… 2.01
    FILLMORE…………………….. 1.99
    CHEESEBORO…………………… 1.86
    SIMI VALLEY………………….. 1.47
    MOORPARK…………………….. 1.46

    .VENTURA COUNTY MTNS
    ORTEGA HILL………………….. 5.90
    OLD MAN MOUNTAIN……………… 5.55
    ALAMO MOUNTAIN……………….. 4.51
    HUNGRY VALLEY………………… 2.24
    LOCKWOOD VALLEY………………. 1.99
    CHUCHUPATE…………………… 1.49
    APACHE CANYON………………… 0.75

    .SBA NORTH CST & VLYS
    LOS PRIETOS………………….. 2.98
    SOLVANG……………………… 2.64
    VANDENBERG (KVBG)…………….. 2.55
    BUELLTON…………………….. 2.25
    LOS ALAMOS…………………… 2.11
    SISQUOC……………………… 1.97
    LOMPOC………………………. 1.82
    SUDDEN PEAK………………….. 1.78
    TWITCHELL DAM………………… 1.53
    SANTA MARIA (KSMX)……………. 1.51
    NEW CUYAMA…………………… 0.60

    .SBA SOUTH COAST
    KTYD TOWER…………………… 3.17
    MARIA YGNACIO RIDGE…………… 2.72
    SANTA BARBARA(KSBA)…………… 2.52
    CARPINTERIA………………….. 2.41
    GAVIOTA COAST………………… 2.08
    SANTA BARBARA………………… 1.73

    .SBA MTNS & FTHLS
    EL DESEO…………………….. 4.09
    SAN MARCOS PASS………………. 4.00
    REFUGIO PASS…………………. 2.63
    WEST BIG PINE………………… 2.08

    .SLO COUNTY COAST
    CAMBRIA……………………… 2.17
    SAN LUIS OBISPO(KSBP)…………. 1.83
    OCEANO………………………. 1.77
    NIPOMO………………………. 1.34

    .SLO COUNTY CENTRAL
    ROCKY BUTTE………………….. 3.50
    UPPER TORO CREEK ROAD…………. 2.44
    SANTA MARGARITA………………. 2.32
    LAS TABLAS…………………… 2.15
    PASO ROBLES (KPRB)……………. 1.78
    ATASCADERO…………………… 1.69
    BALD MOUNTAIN………………… 1.34
    LAKE LOPEZ…………………… 1.22

    .SLO COUNTY EASTERN
    BLACK MOUNTAIN……………….. 2.00
    SHANDON……………………… 1.58
    BRANCH MOUNTAIN………………. 1.11
    LA PANZA…………………….. 1.01
    CARRIZO PLAIN………………… 1.00

    DATA COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE…US FOREST
    SERVICE…LOS ANGELES CO DPW…LOS ANGELES CO FIRE…ARMY
    CORPS OF ENGINEERS…VENTURA CO WATERSHED PROTECTION
    DISTRICT…VENTURA COUNTY APCD…SANTA BARBARA CO FLOOD
    CONTROL…AND SAN LUIS OBISPO CO PUBLIC WORKS.

    $$

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Whittier got 2.09″? That was more than I got in Downey (1.79″)
      I demand a recount!

      • Fairweathercactus

        It was that afternoon downpour. I saw it was raining so had for a few min that people pulled over on the road.

  • Fairweathercactus

    Looks like mid 80s are going to return quickly to some areas. Models tend to under predict warm snaps at late so would not be shocked to see a few low 90’s for So Cal.

  • AlTahoe

    GFS keeps kicking the can down the road. The storm for the 16th has been gone for 8 runs now. The first storm on the 19th is pretty weak and would give the mountains maybe a foot at best. Then it is followed by a ridge with a couple more weak systems after that. The bigger systems keeps showing up at hour 384 for the last 8 runs. Hopefully the Euro sticks to its guns and out performs the GFS

    • Fairweathercactus

      I am sticking with the guns and saying one and done for this month.

      • AlTahoe

        For your area that seems like a safe bet. I think the big pattern shift will occur around the super bowl for the entire state.

        • RunningSprings6250

          I want a solid late February through March for SoCal, trickling into April.

          It’s been so long since we’ve had a good end to the season, I think we deserve it huh? LOL Considering feb/March should be our wettest months to begin with…

          And those March snow storms usually are accompanied by THUNDERSNOW and big pileups of GRAUPLE.

          • AlTahoe

            During the bad drought years our only precip was falling in late April and May. I want to see all of our cold snow storms fall in the Dec-Feb months to keep the powder in primo shape on the mountain. Once we get into Mid March the sun bakes the powder by 11:00am. So we are really down to about a month of good skiing if the storms start by early Feb since we wasted Dec and Jan.

          • RunningSprings6250

            Well, skiing is the absolute last thing on my list of when the snow should fall ?????? actually it’s not on the list at all.

            What is on the list is ample moisture going into late spring/summer for solid plant growth and keeping the year round creeks actually flowing year ‘round again, lol! The dogs, the kids and myself – we miss our summer swimming holes!

          • AlTahoe

            Lake Tahoe will always have water so all I care about is nice powder skiing conditions 🙂
            But yes for everybody else in the state everything you said is a legit concern

          • RunningSprings6250

            Haha man you’re spoiled! Aaannnnd that’s why I’m heading north hopefully sooner than later! LOL!

          • inclinejj

            Did you know at one time they wanted to connect Lake Tahoe to the California Central Valley Water Project and ship Tahoe’s water South?

          • Dan the Weatherman

            I’m with you as far as wanting an active late February through early April. For some strange reason, our rainy seasons have been ending at the end of February and March has been a very warm bone-dry month in recent years. February used to be one of our wettest months, but that seems to have changed with the drought starting in 2012-13.

            When the rainy season ends early, such as late February, it makes the spring season (especially April and May) prone to extremely hot spells for some reason. It adds an unpleasant element to what is otherwise a very nice time of year for outdoor activities.

        • inclinejj

          I am looking at what’s going in over in Japan. Not really to go “all in yet.”

      • Cacti can stick it almost everything.

    • TahoeCard

      Are you looking at same GFS? It has the storm starting the night of 17th and lasting for 2 days and is not “weak”. Euro still has storm for Monday and GFS is trending a bit that way. Read BA’s update as he blends all the models and info nicely.

      • AlTahoe

        Yep the only frame that shows an actual cold front swinging across the Sierra with cold air is hour 216 and it is still not a strong cold front. You can tell because there isn’t a consolidated front out over the ocean. Everything before that is weaker warmer that falls apart. Hour 192 just shows some 7k light snow. Also for reference the front shown on the final frame would be an actual strong cold front if the run went on longer. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e99e1fda93ab07699e0d46f2b34226b3dcd2854db4ec18adfe7b5fa127924830.jpg

        • TahoeCard

          Sorry but I’m going with BA’s assessment that looks at everything.

          • AlTahoe

            Again I am only going with the GFS OP run. I never said anything about any other runs. But I have found that if the GFS OP trends in one direction for a while the Euro sometimes follows suite. I am hoping that the Euro is correct.

    • Was looking at NH view of GEFS 500mb height anomalies in fanatasyland and GFS. IMO it’s taken until January to finally get a sniff of whatever winter will bring. That meridonal wave setup seems to raise havoc in fall and spring.
      Folks who are anticipating things to get back to ‘normal’ are going to be very disappointed. My biggest concern is some kind of respectable yet still below average snow pack from 5k and up. Which translates to an obvious concern about our temps that seem to be moving in a ladder

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        The long range EPS has been looking good for late January through 1st week of Feb, but after that, Feb doesn’t look good, assuming we put much weight in ensembles 30 days out.

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      BA’s update was positive this morning, hopefully things hold together and we see storms before The Olympics.

    • inclinejj

      I have always looked at storms like this:

      under 3 inches=Blah
      6 inches=moderate
      1 foot=good storm
      over a foot=be first in the lift line.

    • Nathan

      AlTahoeCactus

  • Apollo
    • RunningSprings6250

      Woah blue skies!

      • Apollo

        Crystal Clear outside. Wish picture would show better contrast of pure white snow and the black burnt Mtns. And hillsides.

    • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

      When the topa topas are white, I’m alright.

  • RunningSprings6250

    2” of snow (further saturated with this eerie drizzle/light rain well into the night at 32F) melted down to .90” bringing the 2 day storm total to 6.90” liquid precip!

    Season total at 7.13” lmao

    • Yolo Hoe

      Ok, you’re safe to put the bong, er…….Starbucks, down — next session for you should be in 9-10 days — hopefully we’ll keep the party going up north ??

      • RunningSprings6250

        ???? I can dig it! Keep em coming! I’ll be waiting patiently until our next shot and at least get caught on work!

        If we get to 7 days though and nothing in sight for SoCal….I’ll have two upset puppies here waiting for their next snowfall, they’ve had a taste of the good life now and there’s no going back! LOL

    • Craig Matthews

      Higher mountains surrounding Big Bear must have done very well.

  • gray whale

    Significant leftovers this morning good for probably .15″ and seem to have taken the forecasters by surprise. Lower boiling point at low pressure made for PERFECT hard-boiled eggs, consistent soft-not-runny yolks. Just finished them but will be thinking about it all day.

    Storm total including this morning 3.02″ north of Placerville at 1400′

  • Whittier weather dude

    I got 2.37 in. My hood in Whittier pretty impressive to me

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      You must live in a different neighborhood in Whittier than Cactus does. He said the storm sucked.

      • Whittier weather dude

        Vantage vue doesn’t lie and it’s calibrated correctly ?

        • Yolo Hoe

          And cactus likely has a hydrophobic coating on his gauge

          • CHeden

            Lol! Good one.

      • inclinejj

        Microclimates!

  • SoCalWXwatcher
    • RunningSprings6250

      Screw you GFS! Let’s go Euro!!

    • MakeSoCalWetAgain (SMX)

      Go, CMC!

  • 82/83 El Nino baby (San Jose)

    Cool document on 2017 climate and weather research. Each section links to a loner writeup.

    https://indd.adobe.com/view/938af148-15e1-4f1b-97fe-681ae0a7e994

    • Most areas surrounding the Thomas Fire have had wildfire since 1998. Much of the area of the Thomas fire consumed hadn’t seen fire in 80 years. This might be one reason why the fire was so hard to put out.

      IMO the VOLUME of ash on those hillsides because the area hadn’t burned in 80 years was a catastrophe waiting to happen regardless of most favorable rain rates and favorable spacing of rain events one could calculate.

    • CHeden

      In a perverse sort of way, I guess this would be considered a “win”?
      Regardless, hopefully the general population will see this as reason to better trust the experts when life-threatening emergencies are forecast.

  • CHeden

    Looking ahead, after the currently building ridge starts to weaken in about 6 days, the GFS continues to seriously waffle on the strength of a system centered around the 16th….with the 12Z run now showing a weak front penetrating the ridge. This system will act as a “sacrificial lamb”, and as such, the model is having a hard time nailing down how fast the front weakens and whether it will have enough momentum to cross the NW coast.
    Regardless, the real interest is in the follow-up systems that have been consistently forecasted beginning somewhere in the 18th-19th timeframe. The GFS in particular has been showing this pattern change since it entered into the LR window almost a week ago, with only minor changes in intensity and track.
    These systems will also have good cold-air support as HP offshore will be directing cold air along with several fronts southward towards California. At times, the GFS has even been showing limited chances for snow as low as at my place, but it’s way to early to make any kind of educated guess given the rarity of snow below 1,000′.

    • PRCountyNative

      “Strung out along the San Gabriel front are at least a hundred and twenty bowl-shaped excavations that resemble football stadiums and are often as large. Years ago, when a big storm left back yards and boulevards five feet deep in scree, one neighborhood came through amazingly unscathed, because it happened to surround a gravel pit that had filled up instead. A tungsten filament went on somewhere above Los Angeles. The county began digging pits to catch debris. They were quarries, in a sense, but exceedingly bizarre quarries, in that the rock was meant to come to them. They are known as debris basins. Blocked at their downstream ends with earthfill or concrete constructions, they are also known as debris dams. With clean spillways and empty reservoirs, they stand ready to capture rivers of boulders—these deep dry craters, lying close above the properties they protect. In the overflowing abundance of urban nomenclature, the individual names of such basins are obscure, until a day when they appear in a headline in the Los Angeles Times: Harrow, Englewild, Zachau, Dunsmuir, Shields, Big Dalton, Hog, Hook East, Hook West, Limekiln, Starfall, Sawpit, Santa Anita. For fifty miles, they mark the wild boundary like bulbs beside a mirror. Behind chain links, their idle ovate forms more than suggest defense. They are separated, on the average, by seven hundred yards. In aggregate, they are worth hundreds of millions of dollars. All this to keep the mountains from falling on Johnny Carson.”

      Are these still there? Or are there now homes, full of people, who will say, when the debris flows inevitably come, “No one could have anticipated this!”?

      • Chrissy (Long Beach)

        You can see the debris basins on Google Maps. Just skirt the edge of home development up against the San Gabriels. They are still there and there is- surprisingly, not a lot of development above them. Mc Phee’s writing is so descriptive, you can find the Genofiles’ house from the New Yorker story on Google Maps too.

        • PRCountyNative

          Cool, Thank You! I thought I would leave the geography and the snooping to locals who know the area better. Now I’ll do some zooming in. I’m ready to be outraged that greedy developers put houses there, but maybe not…? I can find The Wedge if i can find newport, and that’s about it.

      • Andrew (Berkeley)

        Seems like they still exist. You can even find them on Google Maps:

        https://www.google.com/maps/place/Sierra+Madre+Villa+Debris+Basin/@34.1675987,-118.0753594,8492m

      • Y. Pestis

        We’ve got one up a side canyon (Sheep Canyon). Not so much a quarry as a dike. On USFS lands so not likely it will ever disappear. Bone dry most years, last year it was holding about 2′ of water behind it for a week when we were hammered with a couple big storms.

    • gray whale

      automatic john mcphee upvote

      • Nate

        “Assembling California” should be a required read for anyone living here.

        • Pfirman

          All four books are great. In order of writing……Basin and Range, In Suspect Terrain, Rising from the Plains, and Assembling Calif.
          The essay above is fantastic and only the first half. I want to read the second part but already have a new respect for the San Gabes and learned a new factoid….Sepulveda Blvd. is seventy miles long. Wow.
          And this quote: “Los Angeles is one of the least-rained-upon places in the Western Hemisphere. The mountains are so dry they hum.” Hum?

          • Nate

            Yeah, that quote caught my eye too. I have all four books in “Annals of a Former World”, definitely my favorite series of geology books, especially Basin and Range.

          • Tuolumne

            “Los Angeles is one of the least-rained-upon places in the Western Hemisphere.”

            Utter ignorant nonsense. Not even close to being true. 40% of California and almost all of Nevada is drier in terms of rainfall, just for starters.

          • Dan the Weatherman

            I agree that Los Angeles is not one of the least rained upon places in the Western Hemisphere. Like you said, the deserts are much drier than the coast and places in the Atacama Desert would definitely apply.

          • Pfirman

            Maybe he should have said ‘urban places’. McPhee is usually pretty careful but may have slipped up here.

    • CHeden

      A bit of preaching to the choir?

    • Bombillo1

      Interesting correlation but a thumbnail verification is not working for me. Arica Chile has horrific earthquakes but also is home to the western edge of the Atacama desert, one of the driest places on the planet. I’m having trouble with this…

      • Our extremely steep coastal topography is due to faulting/earthquakes, and that steep coastal orography happens to coincide at a favorable angle with incoming storms when they occur (the steepness defines the extremity of the orographic influence). Coastal Chile actually does have a climate very similar to the coastal plain of Central/SoCal; the Atacama Desert is in the rain-shadowed region east of the Andes (much as the inland desert plateau of California is much drier than the coastal mountains, despite the earthquake hazard actually being higher in the eastern deserts). The big difference is that the Andes are far taller than California’s coastal mountains, and can block a much larger fraction of precip (i.e., nearly all in the Atacama).

        • thebigweasel

          I heard someone (perhaps here?) claim that southern California’s ridges have the fastest rate of uplift in the world, even more than the Sierra or the Himilayas. Any thoughts on that?

          • Not sure if they official win the title, but they’re definitely up there.

          • celo

            The hills/cliff face along the 101 from Ventura to Carpinteria (La Conchita area) are on the backside of the Ventura Avenue Anticline and are part of the Red Mountain Fault structure. Mt Everest has a rate of growth is 4mm/yr and supposedly a mountain near by is 7mm/yr and is the fastest in the world.

            “The Ventura Avenue anticline is one of the fastest uplifting structures in southern California, rising at 5 mm/yr (Rockwell et al., 1988). We use well data and seismic reflection profiles to show that the anticline is underlain by the Ventura fault, which extends to seismogenic depth. Fault displacement increases with depth, implying that the Ventura Avenue anticline is a fault-propagation fold.”

            ftp://ftp.gps.caltech.edu/pub/junjie/TransverseRanges/Hubbard_2013_BSSA.pdf

          • thebigweasel

            Thank you.

        • Tuolumne

          The Atacama is *west* of the Andes and fronts on the Pacific Ocean! The Andes block tropical moisture-bearing winds coming off the *Atlantic* and traveling east to west nearly all the way across the South American continent. This is due to the latitude of the Atacama.

          The Atacama is analogous to other ‘horse latitude’ west coast deserts such as Baja, the Namib Desert, and the west coast of the Sahara. All of these have relatively cold (for the latitude) offshore currents that very much affect the lack of rain coming from the west. I think the Atacama is the most extreme of all these due to the outsize coldness of the Humboldt Current compared to the others.

          By the time you get to Santiago and the Mediterranean part of Chile, you’re poleward of the Atacama and into an analogue of California. Note how as you go even farther south, the moist side of South America switches from the east side (tropical forest in Brazil) to the west side (temperate rain forest in southern Chile).

          • Michael_T (West Oakland)

            Thank you for correcting the record on this!

          • Tuolumne

            There may be some confusion between the Atacama Desert on the coast and the Altiplano up high in the Andes (actually between eastern and western arms of the Andes). The Altiplano is South America’s version of Tibet. It’s vaguely analogous to the Great Basin of North America though far higher in elevation and much closer to the equator.

      • The Transverse range was formed from a huge bend in the San Andreas fault which makes them rather unique.

    • alanstorm

      Kings Range.
      Big quakes galore
      Big rains galore

  • MakeSoCalWetAgain (SMX)

    Short term forecast: Wednesday looks seasonable. Tonight, offshore winds will blow and will pretty much be nonstop until Friday night/Saturday morning. Don’t be surprised to see 80s over the weekend.

    BTW, rain chances look good for the 19th. Might bring some cold air, too. If only we can file restraining orders against high pressure ridges for the next 3 months…

    • RunningSprings6250

      Yea! Go Libby!

    • Pfirman

      Between Libby here and McPhee my day has slipped away, but wow, what cool information and great stories.

  • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

    My final tally for the 2-day storm was 2.54″ (0.51″ Mon & 2.03″ ystdy). That brings my total since last May to 2.59″…….lol. Looking into the LR seems we’ll be waiting at least 7 days before our next chance at precip. The good news for the folks who suffered damage from the debris flows, they now have a chance to dry out with high 70’s and low 80’s forecasted this weekend.

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      Very close to what I observed. The initial front produced over an inch but slightly over another inch occurred during the showers while the upper low was overhead later in the day. I was so happy to get additional rainfall from this storm.

      Storm: 2.23
      Rain Year [jul-jun]: 2.45

      Well below normal but a huge relief, nonetheless.

      • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

        You’re absolutely right……HUGE relief. The cold front that moved over us during the overnight hours dropped 0.91″ with additional rainfall of 1.12″ falling with the low.

        • happ [Los Angeles]

          Monday night was muggy/ warm showers; produced 0.22 before midnight. So happy the front occurred during daylight as well as several light/moderate showers. I intentionally ran errands so I could get “feel” of rain.

  • inclinejj

    This was a Pacifica mud/debris flow. This happened in the early 1980’s in one of our huge El Nino Storms. The storm stalled over the Bay Area to Santa Cruz and dumped a tremendous amount of rain. The 3 children were unfortunately trapped in the home at the bottom of the hill and passed away.

  • inclinejj
    • alanstorm

      Definitely makes you think about awareness of where you live.
      Along a floodprone river?
      A cliff over the Pacific?
      Below a dam with a crumbling spillway?
      Beneath burned mountains prone to mudslides?

      Or in my case, a bone-dry wildfire zone with questionable escape routes

      • I’ve seen this in the foothills. I think it’s super saturated soil that causes a mudslide

        • alanstorm

          How about that cluster of homes above Fremont that started slipping towards 680. Lawsuits, etc.
          Something wasn’t disclosed on the property title about landslide risks

      • Or in my case, not bone-dry Wildfire Zone but questionable Escape Routes with the mega bonus of being right next to an overdue active fault. So if it’s not going to be one thing it will be the other. Long overdue. Hopefully that recent earthquake wasn’t a sign of 2018 to come, there was that crazy article about how earthquakes should be on the up this year.

        • alanstorm

          Of course, that covers anywhere in CA with something heavy & rickity poised above your head.
          Also includes bridge & overpass heavy commutes, esp thru bad neighborhoods where you may be forced to abandon your vehicle & make it home on foot.

          I used to think that if you’re in a solid wood framed home on flat ground, you’de be ok.
          But my experience in the ’89 quake ruined that notion. Plenty of twisted up, collapsed wood frame homes all over Santa Cruz County

          • 2034: all new homes in California are mandated to be built with anti-russian drone snooping measures, full steel wild fire proof materials with liquid cooling channels, earthquake-proof monocoque box construction, capable of withstanding 240 mile per hour winds from the now frequent land-fall making hurricanes in California. Also Kevin Martin’s robot zombiecorpse will stalk the countryside, looking for hapless victims to drain of their brains life forces.

          • alanstorm

            I’ll be taking a dirt nap by 2034

          • SoCalWXwatcher

            Yowza. You mentioned He who must not be named.
            (Assuming you aren’t referring to the basketball player, but to the WX guy)

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        On a planet that occasionally gets hit by 6-mile wide asteroids.

        • alanstorm

          We’ve been living on Easy Street for the last 66 million years.
          ….that concept is lost on my wife, however

      • inclinejj

        There was a lawsuit and in discovery the developers/builders were required to put drain age in on that hill. They never did.

    • Pacifica weather observer

      I remember the storm that caused that mudslide. January 4th 1982. Here in Pacifica we had 7.14 inches of rain in 24 hours. The flooding in the front of the valley was terrible. What a tragedy losing three kids in that mudslide.

      • CHeden

        According to the park records, as I recall Pedro Park had 12+” in 26 hrs. Will never forget that day. Over 800+ landslides from that single event up and down the San Mateo coast. That’s when the south cliffs at Pedro fell, thus severing the road out to Shelter Cove.
        We also lost the Goat Trail on the south side of Mori point too, and many cliffs in the north end of town eroded over 30′ from the pounding waves.
        Glen knows what I mean.
        I slept on the floor at his house that night about two blocks up from the flood waters, watching Pete Giddings on the TV and wondering what had become of my house (and my life).

        • inclinejj

          Wasn’t that the start of the big slide North of Mussel Rock up on the hill?. Where the houses are right up against the cliff now with very little back yards left.

          • CHeden

            Yes, that too. Lot’s of damage (ongoing, BTW) up there. Plus, that’s exactly where the San Andreas exits land and moves into the ocean.

      • inclinejj

        I was at my Grandmothers house in Rockaway, was going to pick her up. The Water from the creek in Rockaway was flowing across Highway 1 and right down Rockaway Beach Avenue knee deep.

    • Tuolumne

      There are now trees in the way of a rerun. No telling whether they’ll be effective in stopping a new slide.

  • Jeff

    3 day total of 2.75″ for me in San Diego, 2.36″ yesterday

    significantly more than the 0.8 that WU was predicting a couple of days ahead of time

    nice change from the past several months of disappearing rain predictions in San Diego!

  • Cap’n
    • happ [Los Angeles]

      I can live with it

    • Yolo Hoe

      But will the bluesy color change your bluesy tune?

    • Juggernaut

      best post I have seen in awhile!

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      That shit outlook said warmer than average this morning

      • Cap’n

        They come out at noon everyday so you were looking at yesterday’s. But yeah, it will probably say warm and dry tomorrow.

  • Mark M

    3″ Monday Tuesday total in Yucaipa, CA

    • RunningSprings6250

      The banning pass area did great!

  • stormy10 (Paramount)

    2 day total of 1.41″ Didn’t meet the 2-4 inch forecast. I’m still happy that it rained though. I looked at radar returns and the heavy bands seemed to dodge me lol.

  • Farmer47

    Question for all the amateur weather professionals here.
    For the 2 week period leading up to our first rain event of the season, what model/site preformed most accurate? I realize it’s a long shot but I want to see if there is a clear leader this season

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      If I recall correctly the Euro model was very bullish on the storm, especially with regard to SoCal, and the GFS eventually trended wetter. Within a few days of the storm every model was nailing SoCal. Coastal NorCal fared better/wetter than models expected.

    • gray whale

      my business card says “recreational meteorologist”

      • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

        Does it also say you stay at a Holiday Inn last night?

      • Mine is embossed ‘Loose Cannon’

      • Nathan

        Waiting for that moment where someone calls out: “Is anyone here a recreational meteorologist??!” ?

        • Pfirman

          Who is not?

          • Nathan

            “The models were angry that day, my friends…”

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      I don’t think there is a clear leader. I remember back in 2014, the Euro appeared to be the winner and the GFS fantasyland was usually a bait and switch. Sometimes they are both inaccurate in terms of timing and precipitation amounts. When Brian A does his snow forecasts, he often uses the averages of the models rather than any one model

    • Sokafriend

      For S. Cal- MET-WRF at CICESE

  • SoCalWXwatcher

    Interesting. Little pockets of sub-1″ rainfall in OC around SNA/Newport Bay and up in Oxnard. In Oxnard that was likely due to some downslope winds that funneled through Ventura County late Monday night ahead of the man frontal band, but I think in OC it was just the luck of the draw.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/150aacff76bf31e6c05d41f8e3396566b1fbe2f978043cd55a096dfb3f58de4e.jpg

    • alanstorm

      Not often the Inland Empire gets 1″ in a day

    • Craig Matthews

      Interesting how low level flow can do that. San Diego Co. sure did well with this storm!

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      island effect

  • Shane Ritter

    Does anyone have the setup and/or the upper heights for the 2 Snow storms in Reno in late Dec-Jan 04-05′, that brought us 3-6ft of snow to the valley floor in a span of 7 days?

    • RunningSprings6250

      Drought Lorde erased it from memory.

      • Shane Ritter

        He’s been taking pleasure in how the models keep kicking the next storm series down road by a day or 2. It’s a bit worrisome really.

      • Tuolumne

        No foul language around here!!!

    • AlTahoe
      • Shane Ritter

        Much appreciated. I know where I’ll be for the next 12 hours lol 😉

    • AlTahoe

      I sent the wrong one previously. This one

      http://www.cnrfc.noaa.gov/storm_summaries/jan2005storms.php

    • Someone answered this for me last year but for my area. It was literally ‘the perfect storm’ set up. Have seen nothing close to it since…

  • Craig Matthews

    Northern Sierra 8-Station Index now up to 75percent of average… posted this morning by @NWS Sacramento. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3cfe36fe998af1623d1ce634cc3066e286421050c3d52407f92d0f3274dbff9d.png

    • Bombillo1

      Pretty good index Craig insofar as it corroborates what I have here (50 mi N of Redding 2450′). 20 inches since Oct 1st with average being around 25 inches. This next 10 days has a shot of getting us to average. Not in crisis mode. BTW, this last event was a yawner here, about 1.8 inches.

      • Craig Matthews

        Thanks for the report. Yeah, hopefully the next events will bring more lower elevation snow up in the mountains of the Shasta Drainage/Sacramento R. Watershed.

    • weathergeek100

      And snowpack probably 0.075% of average…

      • Craig Matthews

        Yeah, sadly, that’s mostly fallen as rain per reports. We need that as our snowpack reservoir.

  • Taz & Storm Master

    i wounder how redland CA area did since they all ways seem too have less rain then ever one else

    • RunningSprings6250

      Your favorite SoCal town!

      He’s been quiet, maybe he’s frolicking in puddles in the orchard…

      • Taz & Storm Master

        no its not

        • RunningSprings6250

          In denial, one finds truth…

      • malnino

        He has no favorites; he’s very fair – he hates all SoCal towns equally.

        • Taz & Storm Master

          i dont hate SoCal towns lol

  • alanstorm

    Dear Weather People:
    The GFS currently isn’t showing any huge blocking RIDGE after this weekend, (a few brief pop-ups further west) the jet is fairly zonal, & the GOA is rife with Lows. (which wasn’t the case during previous dry January’s.)
    Q: why is the rain-line NOT making it past Humboldt for any length of time during my rainiest month of the year?
    No subtropical jet?
    Where are those big ARs?
    I’m sitting on the 2nd lowest precip to date here, 10″+ below normal.
    Signed,
    Dry Eel River

    • RunningSprings6250

      The Baja high? Aka the most hated ‘entity’ in the SoCal weather enthusiast community…

      • alanstorm

        Is it currently strong enough push things this far north?

        • RunningSprings6250

          That piece of shit high seems to control the weather anymore and expands its influence outwards further and further…the real RRR….

          • alanstorm

            Ok.
            If that is indeed so, why is this, as you so eloquently put it, chunk of fecal matter, clogging our proverbial NorCal storm track?
            Why why why??

          • RunningSprings6250

            I second this motion.

            That MOFO sits and spins and as it spins it grows and grows, like an inverse black hole (?!)… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6a58485d0d3f0c947c410393ed57fa89e79c4959fbc428f2fe5575cf510b7579.jpg

          • alanstorm

            I see.
            & It’s shaped like a kite

          • Sokafriend

            Great question.

          • Pfirman

            Listen to that Libby Barnes podcast below. Talks to this.

          • Sokafriend

            How greatly do Ocean temps and southern current influence it?

        • Bob G (Gustine)

          The Baja high was a major player in November and December. The storms that are on models are coming into CA. It seems to me there just isn’t much storm activity happening right now coming through the Pacific. IDK why. Maybe these current La Nina conditions are responsible. Daniel would probably have a good answer for this

        • Sokafriend

          Heh- I‘ve found it’s worth perusing the unidata animated models worked out through the climate research center in Ensenada, especially for
          S. Cal- verging on Central.
          In relationship to the storms over the past few days, their models from a week ago,
          updated every 24 hours. showed what turned out to be a very accurate forecast
          depicting the more extended reach and intensity of the precip into S Cal coast and mountains. NWS SD folks did an excellent job all along the evolution, too. Kudos all!

      • Sokafriend

        Oh but the Baja low sure generated a lot of the extra rain and snow we- you- got. Don’t you think?

        • RunningSprings6250

          Extra yes lots no – I would trade 10x Baja lows for a solid GOA. ??

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      It’s not your fault….

      • alanstorm

        Inquiring minds want to know…..

  • Unbiased Observer
  • Craig Matthews

    Just shy of 4.75″ for the storm total since late Sunday night in Cachagua(up against the Santa Lucia Mtns). We received another .50″ between late yesterday afternoon and sometime late last night, mostly from continuous heavy drizzle with an occasional short burst of heavy rain. Local creeks are running again. Hills are starting to show a faint green as grass, that sprouted back in November, has come back to life. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/743ce12de53903d46c30bf4a434c6a6b4a7db1d0830e9489e146220fb3d1fa19.jpg

    • gray whale

      Such a classy gauge, Craig

      • Craig Matthews

        Oh yeah. The most accurate gauge in my neck of the woods, lol. Need a much taller one for Big Sur.

    • cthenn

      How does the red part work? Do you read the bottom of that ring? I find my gauge hard to read at times with that meniscus/surface tension effect thing.

      • Craig Matthews

        Its a plastic ring with a hole in the middle, inside of the rain gauge, and the amount is measured at the bottom of the ring. .

        • cthenn

          Homemade rig or did it come like that?

          • Craig Matthews

            It came like that with the plastic ring already inside of the gauge. Got it at Ace.

  • Taz & Storm Master

    0.12″ of ghost rain today

    ghost rain is rain where it may be raining but not showing up on rader that why i call it ghost rain

    • Eddie Garcia

      lol… I got ghost rain last night too

    • RunningSprings6250

      That’s the kind Redlands gets.

      • Sokafriend

        🙂

      • Taz & Storm Master

        stop all ready OK i this asked a ? on how rain redland CA got from this event has they are all ways rain shadow with every storm and dont get has much has other places so please this stop and chill out if you dont i block you

        • Cap’n

          You should block him he messes around too much and makes trouble where trouble shouldn’t be made.

      • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

        Fake news rain (Virga)

  • Atmospheric_River

    The four seasons in California:
    -Earthquake
    -Flood
    -Fire
    -Drought

    • alanstorm

      -Earthquakes: 12 months
      -Flood: ’55 ’64 ’86 ’97
      – Fire: 12 months
      – Drought: declared “over”

      • Atmospheric_River

        You forgot 2017 & 2018 on flood.

        • alanstorm

          Maybe for the Spillway Debacle which would
          have been the biggest flood disaster ever!
          Pretty much run of the mill regional flooding, no disaster declarations, wiped out towns or bridges.
          Only extreme crests were in the Feather R watershed.
          Coyote Creek was a levee failure.
          I think Montecito was more of a fire scar-mudflow then a flood.

          But it’s your list, so put I’ll include it because of the Oroville Dam freakout!

      • PRCountyNative

        Drought’s back on.

    • HighWater

      Same has its always been

    • This is incorrect. You can now add “Oil Spills” to that list, thanks to the punitive behavior of the Trump administration. Seeing as Florida is vastly inferior to California but they have a Mar A Lago, they get a free ride.

      • inclinejj

        That’s ok that ruling to open up off shore drilling will get tied up in court.

    • inclinejj

      Boom & bust economic cycles!

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    Looks like Cal OES is sending USAR teams from Sac and Menlo Park to Santa Barbara County this afternoon.
    https://twitter.com/sacfirepio/status/951222922785341440

    • Jim (Watsonville)

      Looks like search dogs only

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    Looks like someone wanted to try out Caltrans new “car baths” along Donner Summit today. Sadly these are not set up to give cars baths but instead used to let water drain slowly and clean it.

    https://twitter.com/CBSSacramento/status/951217295833124865

    • cthenn

      Of course it’s a subie. Lemme guess, 23 year old stoner on his way to “shred” driving a wee bit too fast?

      • RunningSprings6250

        So savage. ??

        • CHeden

          Now salvage.

      • jstrahl

        Or a 23 year old drunk and sure he/she could muscle their way through this piddly puddle.

      • inclinejj

        Or they the driver was texting while driving.

      • Fun facts – some of the worst drivers I’ve seen in Tahoe weren’t Subaru drivers, but SUV and Audi drivers. For varying reasons. And then there’s those dudes that left their Jeep in the snow til springtime…

        • Rusty Rails

          Subie drivers vie with the Prius crew for the worst here in SC.

          • inclinejj

            Prius drivers and mini van drivers! Tied for worse.

        • inclinejj

          Ask any CHP officer why do they call the big sweeping turn between Donner Sumitt and Truckee, 65 mph curve!

    • Nathan

      He was just tired and sore, wanted a nice ice bath for the car muscles

    • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

      That’s a regular Subie Impreza. No wrx turbo to push through…

    • Tuolumne

      Best thing when you get into a car bath is to rev the engine and suck water into the cylinders to “rinse them out”. Cleans out your wallet, too.

  • Sokafriend
    • SoSocal (Chula Vista)

      All the rain in the morning was a pleasant surprise. Heaven on earth out right now!

      • Sokafriend

        Gorgeous day! And we’ve got our great air quality back, a super added benefit. Now for a few days of big warming.

    • annette johnson

      Nice pic Sokafriend? good to see you back on the board!

      • Sokafriend

        Hi you! Thank you! Where are your great photos?

        • annette johnson

          Lol. Posted some the other day when that storm came through, but other than that just nice but boring weather?

  • Dan the Weatherman

    1.72″ fell here in Orange with this latest storm. This was really a good soaking rain for the area, and it is certainly nice to see a high total considering how bone dry the fall was. Hopefully this is the first of many storms the rest of this winter.

    • Huff (Anaheim Hills)

      My Davis Vantage Vue got stuck on .52 yesterday. Needless to say I was pissed! Maybe all the dry dirt from the winds and fire clogged it up. Great to hear 1.72 down the road.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        Hopefully you can fix your weather station rain gauge. If you are unable fix it for some reason, you could always get a manual gauge to mount somewhere on your property.
        I use a Tru Chek manual gauge that I have mounted to a board on my fence.

  • Y. Pestis

    I’m going to predict an uptick in my Ixodes and Dermacentor collections thanks to this rain.

    All you hikers out there are warned!

    https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Tick-Borne-Diseases.aspx

    • Dan the Weatherman

      I had to look up Ixodes and Dermacentor collections to figure out what in the world you are referring to. I then realized you were talking about different types of ticks, and that hikers need to watch out for them!

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        LOL I was just about to post the same thing. What did we ever do without Google?

        • Dan the Weatherman

          It’s amazing how much you can find out by Googling. Of course you have to sort out everything as you can’t believe everything you read, but there is certainly a wealth of information out there!

        • PRCountyNative

          Or read the handy link provided? I caught one crawling up my leg on Sunday, haven’t had one latch on in about a year. I never know when tick season is. After the rain?

          • I haven’t had one latch on in I think 15 years if not more. Always at maximum vigilance if they are out. Once had to pull 42 off in a half hour East Bay hills two or so years ago, only place I’ve seen more was in the swamps of Mississippi.

          • PRCountyNative

            Ouch! They have thermal sensing, know you’re coming. And can smell amazingly well too. And motion detection. I think I read all that. I lost count on a hike at Molera in Big Sur, not long after one of the previous big fires, so many.

          • So far my senses have done quite well as I find the crawling sensation they give off when they are on you prior to latching quite distinct, I couldn’t even ignore it if I tried. f I ever get alpha gal allergy I’ll probably dedicate my life’s work to destroying every last one in existence…nobody takes the bone away from this dog.

          • PRCountyNative

            Is alpha gal an autocorrect? Sounds interesting. My latest theory is that ticks have Novocain in the their spit so you don’t feel them for a while as they are boring in. I tend to find them at a certain point, in a decent bit, you’d think immediately but not necessarily…

          • No that’s the tick induced meat allergy. Horrifying.

          • PRCountyNative

            My short term memory is a little slow… I did hear about that. That would be a disaster!!

          • Bombillo1

            Mosquitoes pack an analgesic, why not tics, and for the same reason?

          • John

            Tick magnet

          • Jim (Watsonville)

            He thought they said “be a tick magnet, not a chick magnet”…damn

          • inclinejj

            Eat lots of garlic. Fleas and ticks will leave you alone. Plus it keeps the flu and common cold away.

          • Tuolumne

            And pesky significant others. Unless, like mine, they love onions and garlic.

          • inclinejj

            Our joke is, we use more garlic than Siberian’s.

        • AOL silly

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    German models shows North Bay fires taking a massive hit from heavy rain in the next 180 hours

    • Atmospheric_River

      The German model always seems kind of overenthusiastic on precipitation, though. How accurate was it for the Moday-Tuesday storm?

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        Not sure

        • Atmospheric_River

          Actually, I just looked at the archive model data. It seems that the German model, like a lot of the other models, underestimated the totals for the storm a day or two in advance. A few days before, however, totals were actually pretty close to the actual amounts. It’s just that it seemed like kind of an outlier. No one knew that the storm would bring so much rain to the Bay Area.

    • 82/83 El Nino baby (San Jose)

      How did it handle the recent storm?

    • That one I don’t trust yet, and here’s a piece of Canadian Bacon that has done alright lately. Looks fantastic:
      https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/gem/2018011012/gem_apcpn_swus_40.png
      https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/gem/2018011012/gem_asnow_swus_40.png

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        12z Euro Op Run backed off a bit (for SoCal). Ensembles still look good.

        • If the CMC or GFS snow totals come true Dirtmaggedon will finally be averted slopeside.

          • Yolo Hoe

            Ironically, Northstar probably has the best coverage right now due to snowmaking ?

          • Nope, Mammoth, then Rose, then maybe tossup between Kirkwood/Squawlpine, hard to tell, but Northstar wouldn’t even be open without copious man made white stuff plastering the place.

        • Brazilian model is always telling me I’m in fantasyland.

          • SoCalWXwatcher

            Im going to do a search for “Swiss Super HD Model” next. This could be fun.

          • thebigweasel

            The Hungarian model tells me I’m in a porn movie.

          • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

            “There is this place in my brain where I go….it’s full of dreams that are hopeless I know”

          • Bombillo1

            “surrounded by every kind of girl”

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      I did a search for “German Model” but it led to a bunch of pictures of Heidi Klum.

      • White Lightning

        Around here we call that a win!

  • RunningSprings6250

    Curious if anyone wanted to comment on the notion of “rain comes from below” i.e vegetation / water vapor – not that rain literally comes from plants but that it obviously encourages / enhances rainfall and can also interact with dynamics/instability in instances where storms come in ‘dry’ but have dynamics….in relation to the loss of California’s once sprawling forests and oak woodlands heavily affected by the Spaniards and the introduction of cattle grazing and replacement of said forests with invasive grasslands and how this may correlate to the desertification of California…or in the least to how easily we fall into periods of drought…

    ? I know I know, a loaded topic!

    • Solution – litter the landscape with fractal solar trees designed to condense moisture as well:
      https://inhabitat.com/files/solartree1.jpg

      • PRCountyNative

        Litter is a good word. Were I a tree I would be insulted by that thing. Humans would end up making them in the shape of giant heads, or beer bottles, or Kardashians. Tree what?

        • Meh, those cellphone tower trees have gotten better, what if you could hardly tell it was there? What if you COULDN’T trell if it was there? We need to expect more of our technology, this is one thing due for improvement.

          • RunningSprings6250

            So that’s not an actual perfectly shaped sequoia tree standing tall and proud all by itself at the bottom of the hill?!

          • SoCalWXwatcher

            Ooohhh! those are supposed to be sequoia trees???

            I get it now. I thought it was a giant bottle-brush in case they found a giant bottle out in the desert that needed to be cleaned. (They probably have a better chance of finding a giant bottle in the Mojave than they do of finding a real giant sequoia out there.) LOL

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/25a191e2d81decd388af27ec2d1e0b70758042bd5f8de4ff50a48c8fb5240d3b.jpg

          • RunningSprings6250

            Lmao that’s the one!

          • thebigweasel

            Gotta be the least convincing young sequoia I’ve ever seen. They look more like this:
            https://www.123rf.com/stock-photo/sequoias.html?imgtype=0&start=100&sti=mtda8ojrk5bgehdm6n|&mediapopup=35241367

          • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

            They should have just made this thing a giant saguaro cactus disguise… I mean this is ridiculous… a conifer like that in a clearly deserty dry land. It’s probably the only tall thing around for the immediate area.

            It would be obvious it was fake as well, but at least more suiting to the land. More comical, in this comical joke of “disguised” towers.

            Is it not ridiculous how stupid things are?

          • SoCalWXwatcher

            It looks like they planted 2 little trees next to it just to make sure everybody bought into the illusion. LOL.

            “That thing looks fake. Hey.. there are some other trees around it. Must be real after all…”

          • Dan the Weatherman

            They should have used a fake palm tree instead. At least certain types of palm trees grow in desert areas, and it wouldn’t look so out of place.

          • tomocean

            Bwahahaha!

          • PRCountyNative

            I didn’t say it at first, don’t want to offend over trivial stuff (I’ll gladly offend people over serious stuff!), but why not just a REAL TREE? That’s my real problem with this stuff.

          • Those won’t grow in the carbon choked wasteland of 2034 though. These will grow…electrons?

    • CHeden

      Check out the Dust Bowl climate conditions, which coupled with vegetative alterations (actually vegetative stripping exposing unprotected dirt) to greatly exacerbate the drought.
      Increasing Saharan dust and atmospheric opacity change is another example that’s being tied directly to land changes caused by man….which some believe contributed to last year’s intense Atlantic hurricane season.
      Also, there are the well-known changes in evapotranspiration to consider, as well as changes in dust/pollen that get used as condensation seeds.
      So in these context IMHO, your question has merit (and precedent).
      But…our blocking pattern(s) which translates to the RRR/droughts/etc. often extends 1,000’s of miles in diameter, and I have a tough time extending a change in California flora to such a large area.
      But on a more local level, I’d agree that some portions of California have likely seen precipitation changes after man started doing “his thing”… …

      • RunningSprings6250

        Excellent! Thank you for taking the time – I have to agree, much larger ‘things’ at play well beyond California vegetation but I can only think it is certainly exacerbating the problem especially across the southern half of the state. It sure would be something to be able to appropriately revegetate large swaths of land and observe over the forthcoming decades.

        Side note/food for thought…Looking well back into the ‘cradles’ of man….all but desolate land….

        • PRCountyNative

          What if the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi were smack dab in the middle of SoCal?? Instead of 4 WalMarts and some CostCo’s?

          • RunningSprings6250

            I’ll take any bodies of water in place of Walmart’s Costco’s and parking lots!

            But let’s not make it another Salton ‘Sea’…. shudder….

          • inclinejj

            Hey Costco is my favorite store. Followed closely by Lowe’s.

          • RunningSprings6250

            Costco is doing great in the ‘organic’ offerings – I’ll give em that!

          • Nathan

            Wait, are you joking? Because Tulare Lake at times WAS the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi and it’s sort of in SoCal

          • PRCountyNative

            I am addressing the “rain comes from below” request for comments from RunningSprings.

            California use to be a very wet state, with millions (yes) of beavers and old-growth forests and, as you state, the largest freshwater lake around.

            Humans bemoan the state of things, while 1. Not copping to having caused the problem 2. Not knowing things were, and could be, different.

            “Drain the Swamp” Think about where that came from…

    • StefanoR99

      Is that why north bay around Vallejo, Fairfield etc are grasslands? Always wondered why. Thought it was too dry and trees weren’t native there unlike across the bay in Marin..

      • Tuolumne

        Too windy in the spring and summer months. Trees grow to a limited extent on the lee side by I-680 and in some canyon bottoms where they can get some shelter.

        • StefanoR99

          So that’s a natural grassland rather than we fucked it up at some point in the past?

          • Tuolumne

            Generally speaking, I believe so. There has been deforestation in parts of the Bay Area in the past but there has also been a surprising amount of regrowth in most cases.

      • inclinejj

        That Greenbelt between Vallejo and Fairfield has its own micro climate. The hills funnel the rainfall right in that little valley. Note the slippage on the hills on both sides of Interstate 80. The cows are grazing in that area. That area is a huge speed trap. CHP sits on the overpass at the top of the hill. Interstate 80 at 680 is another speed trap.

        • StefanoR99

          Yeah had my first interaction with CHP on that section after moving to the state ?

    • weatherhead

      I observe that even in my lifetime, the summers have gotten drier on the Mendocino Coast. The Koch brothers owned Georgia Pacific, and basically strip-mined the forests, then pulled out once they had plundered all the accessible and large redwoods. The redwoods used to make their own weather: The ground was more moist, and drew more moisture from the ocean winds, and the fog condensed on needles, dripped onto the soil, rinse and repeat. Old timers say it used to be even foggier than I remember.

      • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

        Noooooooooo.

        Sad but probably true.

        Our poor giant trees.

        • Nathan

          I don’t know if I’d worry too much about the redwoods – if the SC mountains are anything to go by they grow back FAST. What’s a lot more concerning is looking at all the low elevation pine logging at 2-4k feet from Shasta basically down to Sequoia.

          Those forests are going to take a LOT longer to recover.

          • Bombillo1

            Even in the heyday of redwood logging, clearcutting and broadcasting herbicides (to prevent non marketable tree regrowth) was not the methodology. Everyone now is doing “even growth management” and spraying, with the full blessings of Dept of Forestry.

          • Nathan

            True, but I still think they’ll re-grow much much faster than the pines due to a more consistent climate.

          • Bombillo1

            No argument with that. The great heat sink/swamp cooler out there masks much of the consequences of climate change for anything lucky enough to live within it’s influence.

      • ben

        Ive been in the redwoods on a foggy day where the roads outside are dry, but inside the forest a steady rain was falling.
        Conversely, ive seen a light steady drizzle outside the refwoods where the roads have running water, but inside the redwoods it was bone dry.
        Why transport water from roots to the crown of the tallest trees in the world, when they can just open stomata and drink straight from the sky.

    • Sublimesl

      Rain follows the plow?

    • Bombillo1

      I brought it up once and Daniel ordered me to the corner and told me to put on a cone shaped hat. I was arguing that decommissioning AG to water more people would aggravate out drought issues.

    • Nathan

      I would imagine the effect on actual weather is much more exacerbated on a very large spatial scale, eg the Amazon or the taiga of AK…

      But that said, I think an underappreciated effect of our changing ecosystem is groundwater usage. Two hundred years of intense groundwater usage all over the state, plus grazing plus timber plus fires plus sprawl has surely contributed to habitat marginalization on a localized basis.

      In San Diego, even after good rains I’m struck by how quickly things dry out once the sun is shining. Where once a forest stand might have “held” on to cold and wet, open grassland/scrubland by comparison would probably make 1″ of rain “feel” like 0.25″ to the environment due to more rapid transpiration and runoff.

      Great point to bring up.

    • Pfirman

      Deforestation of Amazon is drying up previously wet places.

      • RunningSprings6250

        Look at the birthplaces of man – all deserts….

        I wanted to stay fairly neutral in presenting this topic – but my personal belief is that the solution is in aggressive revegetation and soil building – increasing humus aka organic matter in our soils….

        • Pfirman

          Gardeners think like that. Here in Woodland and Sacramento there is talk of urban forests, but when I look around skyline trees are coming down. Me, I plant mostly fruit and nut trees, though if I had space there would be skyline trees too.

  • Wavis530

    Dying to share my Yolo storm total, but up against a broken laptop (so no Team Viewer), hectic times at work, the module to upload to Wunderground choked at some point during the storm, any my grandparents are out of town so they can’t tell me what the wx station says (station in Woodland at their house about 90 miles from me). . . . Stay tuned

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      Weather station problems…

      • matt

        My. Weather station rain gauge got tiny tree twig. Stuck in it. Ugh. So no good rain totals from me. And i still need to get an anemometer replacement. I think we got about half inch. Here high desert Lancaster area.

        • alanstorm

          I have a great Analmometer but every time stumble over to look at the readout after a monster gust, it says 15 or 20mph at best.
          WTF?
          Shoulda said 50+mph!.
          I have the propeller mounted on the roof with a tail fin to steer it, but I think it needs to be higher.

          So far this lame winter, there’s hardly been any wind

          • PRCountyNative

            Maybe a shot of grease?

          • RunningSprings6250

            Lubrication should solve the issue – and lose the tail fin…ouch…

          • Tuolumne

            This discussion is analogous to ???

          • Unbiased Observer

            My analmometer has the same issue, consistently under performs during heavy wind gusts.

          • inclinejj

            From what Lacrosse Technology tech support, the wind meter are the trickiest to place. They told me about 3-4 feet above the highest peak of the roof with zero obstructions.

          • alanstorm

            I could always get up there & point an air compressor at it. ?
            THEN I’ll get 50mph

          • It’s plumbing the depths of dark cavernous methane-infested spaces. Not enough room for the props to spin…

          • Jim (Watsonville)

            I know fire weather data uses 20 ft winds…not sure if that is the standard or what

          • 33 feet is what the NWS recommends for anemometers, with the temperature gauge 4-6 feet above ground, mounted above natural ground cover. This setup is nearly impossible unless you do not live in a subdivision. I just installed a Davis Vantage Vue on my roof, well about the roofline. Wind readings should be good, but temperature may suffer. We shall see.

          • inclinejj

            John, Where are you located? Go A’s!

          • Brentwood

          • Bombillo1

            I think I have spotted the problem with your wind measuring devise. Had the same problem with my step-father…

  • Unbiased Observer

    I snapped these yesterday on the way home between Wasco and Bakersfield toward the Greenhorns. Also saw a couple flashes of lightning from this cell. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0fe13311d7bcc187318d3e7def7e8b17dca6a1202570144da5319ec684009a33.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ac7e21074778bb794d5ad057f75c7db30fe1427d36bc6c5f1250f77c5d3d7cc0.jpg

    • Tuolumne

      Cool weather and nice shots!

  • Peter

    Missed the storm, was in Laughlin, nv. Rained out there like crazy though! Got home today, my weather station recorded .92 of rain. So an underperformed here , based on the forecast. Really not even that remarkable for a winter storm. Kernville/wofford heights, very south end of the Sierra foothills.

  • Juggernaut

    I just noticed that the Euro has trended significantly drier on their ten day forecast over the last day (last three runs). Any thoughts on what is going on?

  • tomocean
    • Tuolumne

      Love the view of the snowy Minarets!

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      Absolutely spectacular

    • matt

      Love pics of snowy mts. Awesome.

    • Nathan

      wow

    • cthenn

      amazing!

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    That’s a cold storm hitting the Central Coast and SoCal 9 days out on the GFS. Expect this to move around a lot obviously (or not). https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/gfs/2018011100/gfs_mslp_pcpn_frzn_wus_36.png

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Has a bit of a subtropical tap for SoCal too.

    • celo

      Can we get a cold front every week or so, that pushes through the state, drops half inch of rain on the coasts and 1 to 1.25 in the mountains in So Cal, snow level at 5000 feet with medium dynamics? No subtropical tap, as that adds too much instability. Just for the next month, keep rain rates under .25 inch/hour in the mountains.
      Thanks storm/weather gods/godesses

  • Sublimesl

    0z operational looks wetter, with a hint of that subtropical moisture breakthrough that the GEFS ensembles have been advertising.
    Snow in Sierra looks meh though.

    • AlTahoe

      Hopefully this run was a one off, as it is the first one to show our good snow storm on the 19th splitting and going south of Tahoe. The GFS North American view keeps showing an interesting setup right at hour 384 again. Potential is out there in the very long range.

      • Juggernaut

        What is the setup you are referring to? Can you upload an image and/or explain?

        Trying to learn more…

        Thanks!

        • AlTahoe

          Its showing cold air coming out of Alaska around a block and headed towards Hawaii where it runs into tropical moisture. The resulting AR is pointed at Washington currently. Something to watch

          • alanstorm

            We usually get one or two of those a year.
            Keeps showing up at the end of the runs

      • Jim (Watsonville)

        GFS always seens to show something interesting at the end of the run…almost never fails….

  • Charlie B

    Squaw Valley (8200) just busted through 10″ of snow for the month! I say: Dilly Dilly!!

    • Amy Cohen

      Like the rest of North Tahoe, Olympic Valley is finished. Ruined by ludicrous boomer corruption and greed:
      http://www.auburnjournal.com/article/1/03/18/hold-elected-officials-accountable

      And they have the temerity to wonder why they’re hated …

      • What? No, global warming is going to shatter all of this, snow levels going to soar to the moon over the next 10 years – the boom is irrelevant as this horse is near dead already from other factors.

      • inclinejj

        Actually since I’ve been in in Inclune Village (1988) I’ve been to Squaw Valley twice. The last time was probably About 15 years ago. We would go to Alpine and Homewood now and then. Northstar the same.

        People would laugh saying Incline everybody is old. There is nothing over there. Yep, that’s why I like it.

      • Bombillo1

        Good god, what an abomination. 90,000 sq ft indoor water park, how wonderful to go to John Muir’s Sierras and spend a couple days inside that…

        • matthew

          I see it as the last gasp of a dying ski industry. As others have noted, with the rising snow levels these places will need something to attract visitors. As this year is showing it will not be the snow.

  • Cap’n

    NOAA Reno has hired a new employee to sort out all of the confusion in the long range. First analysis around 2:30 am Pacific Time.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/476bc2704cf4ae2c77ff4e5b28e82559de0b02b573bcbffb151ec85edda3bba0.jpg

    • Rusty Rails

      Yaaassss!

    • alanstorm

      I remember him

    • Bombillo1

      Yes, as I recall Miss Cleo was a REGISTERED psychic.

    • inclinejj

      Nah some guy ran up a huge tab at one of the casinos. He’s working it off.

  • Thunderstorm

    Just read Howard’s blog and stormsurf.com animation shows the same thing. So next weekend should be very wet.

  • alanstorm

    Emergency cellphone alerts didn’t go out until AFTER mudslides began in Montecito
    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-evacuations-montecito-20180110-story.html

    • inclinejj

      My brother was saying last night the areas with the worst damage were not under evacuation orders.

  • redlands

    Awwww !!! Ian and Malnino you miss me !! Sorry to disappoint you – Ian but I wasnt frolicking in puddles . Malinino were you saying I hate So cal cities. Well I dont.

    Redlands , Ca. — Southern Ca. Rainfall Summary

    Jan-8. 0.50
    Jan-9 1.65
    Total 2.15
    Was a good storm. Wasnt expecting that much. Our electricity went out for bout 1 to 1.5 hours at bout 8am on Jan-9-2018. Had wind gust to 19mph. Didn’t take too much to knock out our electricity. Hopefully we get more and don’t have to wait another 300 days for more rain

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      Glad to hear you finally scored a solid two-day total!

    • Dan the Weatherman

      Is that more than you received in February 2017?

    • RunningSprings6250

      Almost received more than Sonora. ?

      • Taz & Storm Master

        really you need too stop

        sonora CA ended up got same rain fall has we all so got 2.51″

        • weathergeek100

          Sheesh! These rainfall competitions get intense!

        • Jim (Watsonville)

          He said “almost”…geez

    • Kelley Rogers

      The last pic of the potential snow? Where do you find that at? Please and thank you??

    • janky

      Bring it. My only powder day so far this year was the first Sunday of December (!)

  • Reno NWS:
    “.LONG TERM…Sunday onward…

    Next week continues to look active with multiple systems progged to
    move into the west coast. There is still some question as to exactly
    where the systems and deepest moisture will make landfall along the
    west coast. The most recent model/ensemble trends have been hinting
    at the moisture feed working from the Pacific Northwest south into
    California and Nevada over the course of the week. Atmospheric river
    forecast tools would also indicate this potential, though still
    favor deepest moisture in the 40N-45N region compared to 35N-40N.

    The first of these waves arrives early next week, followed by a
    second wave the middle of the week, and a stronger system for the
    end of the week. Initially, snow levels will remain high with the
    region on the warm side of the jet, but there is decent model
    support for a cold area of low pressure to set up off the Pacific
    Northwest coast, with the trough elongating south. This could be the
    key feature to drive snow levels down toward the end of the week and
    does line up with a continuing moisture tap in many simulations.
    Longer range guidance shows that the series of troughs moving into
    the west will continue through the end of the month. This also
    agrees with the 8-14 day CPC outlook which is showing odds in
    favor for wetter and colder weather.

    Bottom line is this: While there is uncertainty in the exact details
    of these storms, a wet and potentially windy pattern is looking
    probable.”

    “!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” – My two cents.

    • NWS Sac Bonus:
      .EXTENDED DISCUSSION (Monday THROUGH Thursday)

      The upper ridge will weaken and shift eastward early next week as
      a series of frontal systems push into the area. The first of these
      should arrive late Monday or Tuesday. The GFS has fluctuated quite
      a bit with the timing and amount of precipitation this system
      will bring. The ECMWF has been a bit more consistent, keeping the
      bulk of precipitation north of Interstate 80 during the day
      Tuesday.

      CONFIDENCE REMAINS HIGH in a second, colder storm system moving
      through the region late next week and bringing widespread
      precipitation. With lower snow levels projected, this second
      storm system has the potential to bring greater snow accumulations
      over the mountains than most of the weather systems thus far this
      season.

  • Dan the Weatherman

    San Diego NWS:

    All extended models are depicting a pretty deep trough forming over the northeast Pacific Ocean and even bringing the next storm to Southern California sometime late next week. There are timing and strength issues, of course, and it
    remains outside our forecast window, but we`ll keep a close eye on it since it represents our next chance at hazardous weather.

    • Unbiased Observer

      “hazardous weather” LMAO

    • RunningSprings6250

      They don’t usually make mention like this unless there’s a strong signal, woohoo!

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    Early this morning both Alamda County Fire and Contra Costa Fire sent their Dozers to Santa Barbara County. Looks like there will be many more resources headed there today to help search for victims and clear debris.

    • I fear the area and others will suffer this winter from more mudslides and debris flow.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    Models are bouncing around even more than usual for upcoming systems

    • inclinejj

      The first system is the Full Back clearing the way!

  • gray whale

    Sac AFD at 3:20 am, gotta love the first three words:

    Confidence remains high in a second, colder storm system moving
    through the region late next week and bringing widespread
    precipitation. With lower snow levels projected, this second
    storm system has the potential to bring greater snow accumulations
    over the mountains than most of the weather systems thus far this
    season.

    • Pfirman

      I love all the words.

  • inclinejj
    • tomocean

      WTF was up with the Prius?

      • matthew

        Windshield wipers – check.
        Headlights – check.

        I thought that s/he was driving very safely.

        • cthenn

          A recent Caltrans message board had a slogan I haven’t seen before:

          “Wipers on, headlights on, it’s the law”.

          Good advice, because the number of idiots I see on the freeway without headlights during a “greyout” from heavy rain is just ridiculous. I prefer night driving to daytime in the rain because I just cannot see these fools behind me or in my blindspot with a shield of water blinding everything around me.

          • Pfirman

            Amen.

      • Jim (Watsonville)

        Sure gives some good perspective on the speed of the water…although I think I would have picked up my speed a bit !! Prius drivers either drive WAY too slow, or way to fast…there is no in between

        • If you look at the PPP as she goes out of site it appears that it is almost to the front of the flow. It looked like it wasn’t hydroplaning either.

      • Nathan

        He was driving like a Prius driver when at that point he should have been driving like a Hummer driver on crack to GTFO

        • Pfirman

          Can’t stop laughing.

    • inclinejj

      Does anyone recognize where this was filmed?

      • Tuolumne

        Country Club Drive in the Verdugo Mtns., northeast side of Burbank. I’ve been up that road and I was definitely thinking about what happens there in a flood.

        [duplicate post]

    • cthenn

      I thought all of the mud and debris flows were overnight? I’m not calling “fake news” on this, but I thought the timing was during the night hours? I hope that Prius driver found a clear path because once caught in that flow, there is no way to control where you end up.

    • And thus the sport of Prius debris-flow surfing was born.

      • GumbyDharma

        It’s like Pamplona, but with mud and boulders instead of bulls.

    • Rusty Rails
  • Osse (Redondo)

    Greetings from Austin and the American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting, where my mantra this week has been “fire weather is weather!” https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c231f87b5fc92db89118a3210b4d706d719571e26d7e4802ee23d3ee6224b120.jpg

  • AlTahoe

    I am really not liking the direction the GFS has been going for the storm on the 19th. It has been showing it pivoting to the south right when it hits the Sierra like the last storm. Would be a crest west storm with very light totals for anybody east of the crest.

    • TahoeCard

      The parent low heads towards Canada on the 12z instead of Seattle which is a pretty different scenario. Hope this is wrong or Tahoe gets screwed again.

      • TahoeCard

        The Euro actually moved the low further south from the 12z yesterday run to the 0z. We’ll see what the Euro 12z says.

      • AlTahoe

        Yep as it shows right now this would be another 0-3″ for lake level event and then we have to wait until the 25th for anything else. Hopefully the Euro is showing something better

    • RunningSprings6250

      Good for SoCal?

      • AlTahoe

        Yep looks pretty good for you guys and especially Mammoth.

        • RunningSprings6250

          Sold.

          I’ll be auctioning off snow by the inch to the highest bidder….hint hint.

    • AlTahoe

      Also of note is that brundage mountain in Idaho has closed this week due to lack of snowfall. The last time they had to close in winter was 1976-1977. This winter feels the same with the lack of snowfall all throughout the Western resorts.

      • SacWx

        Yeah its really been limited to the northern Rockies from extreme northern Idaho and Montana up into the Canadian resorts. I know Schweitzer and Bridger Bowl are both having decent to good years. It’s just that death ridge in December really set most resorts, especially southern resorts back.

        • AlTahoe

          In all of our drought years except for 1976-1977 Utah and Colorado do pretty well as the storms go up and over us and land on them. For all of us to have such a dismal winter is exceptionally rare. If things don’t turn around I might have to do a powder highway trip and hit up Kicking Horse.

          • SacWx

            I did Whitewater and Silver Star as part of my powder alliance pass in mid-December and conditions were great as it snowed every day I was there. Given the pattern, they seem to have just added to those good conditions. Sucks that it has to come to going all the way to Canada just to get some decent runs in. Troughing out east has really been something else this year.

          • AlTahoe

            One of these days I want to fly into Spokane, rent a car, and go to all of the powder highway resorts.

          • SacWx

            That’s what I did – Southwest added a direct flight from SMF to Spokane. You really need at least 2.5-3 weeks to hit up all of those resorts though, which I certainly didn’t have.

          • AlTahoe

            That sounds amazing!

          • Thor

            Skied a foot of fresh snow yesterday at Bridger.

            Not me but a vide from yesterday

          • AlTahoe

            Ha good timing. I am so tired of living in a Seattle climate lately (cold rain) that I sent in my resume to a great job based in Bozeman. I would most likely never leave Tahoe but if they decided to bring me in for an interview and the offer was right….

          • BP (Ventura)

            Me and the fam last December (2016) after Christmas drove from ventura to McCall ID. Got the opportunity to ski Tamarack. And wow, what an amazing mountain. The snow was incredible, and the people were super mellow. Truly a great place to ski. It was a 19 hour drive for us, broken up into 2 days. Way shorter for you, I highly recommend this place, lift tickets were less then $70!

          • AlTahoe

            Nice checking out their website now.

          • janky

            Literally just talked to a friend who is from near Kicking Horse and he said they’ve had a great year thus far with the pow.

      • Thor

        Snow pack in SW Montana from the Madison Range over to Northern Yellowstone is all well above average for this time of year- 130-160% above average so far…this article was written a couple of days ago Before the Mts in question just got another 1-2 feet yesterday. My unofficial backyard total is 5 feet of snow since Sept 15th at ~ 4800 ft,

        https://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/environment/snowpack-looks-good-for-southwestern-montana/article_627a4b2d-e93a-596e-ab59-c1ec56e359d0.html

    • matthew

      12Z is coyote ugly – again. Shows about a half-inch of precip in our area in the 10-day window, during one of our wettest months. Even fantasyland is bad.

    • TahoeCard

      Not depicting the northern shift of parent low on other models.

      • AlTahoe

        That’s good to hear!

    • Kelley Rogers

      That GFS is all over the place

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      I think the Canadian model is depicting something more along the lines of what you guys need up there. GFS is farther South and would be better/wetter for SoCal. At this point I wouldn’t trust any specifics with regard to the Op runs though.

      After all, just a couple days ago the GFS wasn’t really enthusiastic about this storm while the Euro was.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a37193cd62691d744c7b81faafa6eadb26f06e0879580925dc78a0255d85c0f8.png

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/96712d31da74d2b6dba9d372c38cc92cafe3b3504d0b401af4b02c4d60dae967.png

      • AlTahoe

        The Euro did come in line with the GFS for the Tuesday storm today. The GFS was showing nothing for like 12 runs and the Euro stuck to it’s wetter runs. So 1 point to the GFS so far.

        • SoCalWXwatcher

          Why does the GFS get a point when the Euro falls in agreement with it regarding Tuesday (drier) and GFS falls in agreement with Euro for the 19th (wetter)? Seems like a wash at this point.

          • AlTahoe

            Because the GFS is trending away from the Euro for the 19th currently. We have to wait and see which one follows the other.

  • RunningSprings6250
    • Wolfpack

      Love that pic with the palms in the foreground.

  • tomocean

    Awesome! What an experience that would have been.

    The powerful 199 mph gust whipped Ward Peak in Alpine Meadows ski resort on Feb. 20, 2017, at about 11 p.m. during a fierce storm driven by an atmospheric river that pummeled the northern Sierra Nevada mountain range.

    http://www.sfgate.com/weather/article/California-wind-record-fastest-gust-Ward-Peak-199-12488795.php

    • I remember that report. Weren’t they questioning that the wind may, in fact, have been greater due to the anemometer possibly topping out at 199 MPH maximum reading? I hope I never see gusts past 180, because that is the max on my Davis unit lol

      • tomocean

        Definitely could have been higher. Hard to imagine how an electronic measuring device would withstand the force of a gust that high.

        • There are ultrasonic anemometers that do not have any moving parts, but I am not sure of the accuracy or range of measurement.

        • Bombillo1

          A Pitot tube does just fine. Planes, jets, boats use them. They don’t have a wind vane hanging out the back end…

      • I was living at 7200 feet nearby at the top of the Donner Summit in the wind gap. We opened the door to the building a few times during that week and reasoned if anyone had a cape they could have flown down to Donner lake. The wind was so strong siding ripped off the building and people were getting thrown off the stairs into a snowfield.

  • Apollo

    FYI, Vandenberg AFB to launch a Delta IV @1:00 p.m. this afternoon. The weather conditions look good. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9560fb83b3a8c473cb10f8a925a8d4f7081b8144d557fa23c93b79fc1e5d2e57.jpg

    • Rusty Rails

      Tech issues with the safe & arm system are pushing it back beyond 1pm.

      • I hope its pushed towards sunset, I missed the spectacular SpaceX launch.

        • Rusty Rails

          Looks like around 1:43pm now.

          • Apollo

            Thank you for the updated time. My launch schedule clock is still showing it to launch on time by AmericaSpace live launch.

          • Rusty Rails

            Now 1:55pm

          • Bummer, even if it was at 7pm the clouds are uncooperative today.

        • Harpo (Chico)
        • Apollo

          You may get that. A sunset launch @5:00 p.m.,

  • CHeden

    Some interesting developments showing up on all the satellites this morning.
    Low pressure west of the Wash/Ore border has picked up some W-E momentum in the last couple of hours, with the trailing cold front now starting to interact with a dirty ridge/WF between roughly Pt. Arena and Cape Mendocino. It’s possible an occlusion is taking place as IR is currently showing cooling of the leading-edge stratus deck..and if so then we might see a bit more rain than forecast during frontal passage later today.
    Also of note are two disturbances in the sub-tropics, both of which are tracking generally ENE within a macro-scale W-E flow that’s heralding the long-ballyhooed pattern change to a more (and typical) progressive one.
    Of the two disturbances, the eastern one near -130W is tapping ITCZ moisture and flinging it NNE where it looks like it’s starting to enter into the juicy SW-NE flow near 30N.
    How this influx of moisture will affect the CF over the next 24 hrs is still unclear…and it may even be possible that a weak/brief AR focused north of the Bay Area will set up along with some orographically enhanced precip (especially near the coast).
    Or……..if the CF fizzles, all we’ll get are a bunch of high clouds with fog/light rain underneath. We shall see. My bet is because I’m seeing increasing enhancement off the coast, I’m going with the wetter forecast.
    Will be interesting to track these sub-tropical systems over the next 24hrs or so…as they should provide some insight into how progressive the pattern will become and how dynamic subsequent disturbances will be….especially the sacrificial lamb expected around the 16th….which is still posing a challenge for models as to how robust the front will remain after busting through the ridge. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/53584f8b1b589199939cb98aef69dfe872d5c35024070972e577b04f76a3259c.jpg

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4de8c31b322342b23d2d6d0135be6b8f2ccdcbf04825c2d468bd938139f93cfe.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/618004d13484beb1d85f61df84da01b06925e11c0fc54005be560510684556ed.jpg

    • Forgive me but wasn’t the lamb sacrificed a few days ago?

      • CHeden

        No. The SL storm I’ve been mentioning is the one that breaks down the ridge that will be building over California later this week into the weekend. After that, if everything goes as hoped with the SL doing mortal damage to the ridge, the storm door opens and Wintertime begins in earnest for NorCal.

        • inclinejj

          The first storm is the full back clearing the way!

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      Great observation as usual professor.

      The rains we’ve had thus far this winter season have been the result of subTropical moisture lifting north with some interaction of low pressure circulation developing along the margins, and not classic cold fronts descending from the north. Things are upside down.

  • Yoda

    Sense a disturbance in the Force, I do. More precisely, a disturbance in the climate I sense. The planet, rapidly warming it is. Allows the rise of natural disasters and menaces like Drought Lorde, this does. However, in the grip of denial we are. Though know humans are causing climate change we do, doing something about it we are not. Carbon emissions, rising they are, and those among us there are who refuse to accept it. Why? Power and money they crave. The fossil fuel industry, lucrative it is, and deny climate change politicians do simply to gain some cash. So urge you I do, to bring balance to the climate and stop climate change.

    • Drought Lorde

      Our savior the RRR brings bountiful sunshine, perfect for tanning, bike riding, and overall enjoyment. He also guarantees a savings in wasted money raincoats, car washes, and umbrellas. Enjoy all he offers us :). Also, you’d think the GFS was a poor child with no toys from 1900s, with how often it’s kicking the can down the road on these “upcoming” “storms”.

      • Jason Jackson Willamette

        You like sunshine so much?

        Move to the planet Mercury….

      • Yoda

        Clouded your sense is. Great fires and water shortages the RRR brings. In a snowless mountain, ski you cannot.

      • Atmospheric_River

        You know, there’s something I’ve been intending to ask you. How did you keep yourself busy during the statewide soaker Monday and Tuesday?

        • Bob G (Gustine)

          He plays video games on an old television set in his mom’s basement.

    • Sublimesl

      Until we get serious about dealing with exploding populations, then we arent honestly confronting this.
      Ill bet you dont want to talk about that

      • Quagmire Cliffington

        Lets talk about it.. How do you suppose we go about dealing with the population problem? Limiting access to birth control for religious/political reasons seems counter intuitive for starters.

        • PRCountyNative

          You are hitting on the crux of it: In a free society, how do you tell people what to do?

          If there’s a fire coming you can have mandatory evacuations.

          What about a prolonged drought? Can CA tell 5 million people they HAVE TO leave the desert formerly known as SoCal, in the face of the coming megadrought?

          Talk is cheap. Some take consolation is lowering birth rates, but those come with affluence. Affluence = end of the world, resource depletion, pollution.

          In hard times birth rates go up. In good times, consumption rises.

          Not all problems have solutions.

        • PRCountyNative

          Reduce and simplify. Scale back the economy. Stop growth. We (or future us) could all live in paradise, with what we know now, and less people.

          Or, look for high-tech solutions. Geoengineering! Fake trees that make water! The hyper loop. This is what Einstein realized: You can’t solve your problem with the same thinking that created it

        • Sublimesl

          Africas population is slated to triple. Yes free and ubiquitous family planning always helps, in every past situation

    • Sheev P.

      Your arrogance will be your undoing.

      • Yoda

        Duel on that, do you want to?!

  • cthenn
  • SolarWinds56

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/827e10d2aee8ed0bcddbff4fbef2fff8116629fa54b9563c9051dc5984252d49.jpg Here’s a few photos I took right as the low was passing over Los Angeles and San Diego. The first few photos were taken at Carlsbad, and the last few photos with the Palm trees was taken at Swamis in Encinitas.Very heavy rain fell on my way home. Was exciting to drive through!!

  • Jason Jackson Willamette
  • SolarWinds56

    Here’s a few photos I took Tuesday evening as the low was passing over Los Angeles / San Diego counties. The first few pics were taken in Carlsbad, and the last couple with the palm trees were taken at Swamis in Encinitas. On my way home I encountered very heavy rain and lots of wind. Was exciting to drive around in!! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/aa19e00b51dd9f0f356f318d2684bceea8635b85f7a763a7f6f95fd7be19580f.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f88832c16904de199a64ea4e97d9c6d327362cba27da22607f0415bf1cff4c47.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3e13df8058d4e600b9ecfb5381369703504c61a483e20234b998682eeb9578db.jpg

    • Pfirman

      What is that purplish line in the upper left quadrant heading off northwest from the coast?

      • AlTahoe

        Looks like a jet contrail.

    • celo

      Amazing picture. You can see the where the creeks ripped through Montecito and never really formed an alluvial plain. Just kept momentum all the wey to the ocean

      • My son went to Westmont. I have some familiarity with the area. It blows me away to see the devastation in areas that I have seen before the fire and flood. Next time it rains I fear more will come down. If you have a home there and have a concern for your own property. I suggest getting in touch with a insurance broker and see if you can get a policy called a “Difference in Conditions” – insurance lingo a DIC policy. It’s tricky how flood insurance defines mudflow vs mudslide.

    • Admode (Susanville)

      Man.

  • CHeden

    Quick update to this morning’s round up. VIS satellite confirms low pressure continues to quickly march directly due east towards the Wash/Ore border.
    Definitely seeing some signs of emerging turbulence off Oregon ATTM, which should track eastward parallel to the track of the low. (image 2).
    Once the low crosses the coast, the mean flow shifts to a more westerly direction over most of far NorCal with a long fetch of clouds/weak AR? stretching to Hawaii (see the blended TPW product…image 1). https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2cf4e9f9e527ec65dcc70f1bbc11ead5fead2a90caa213014998c2940423fa65.png

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c421d02902a2cb9f8b398a49818cd4320cb3000580234791fc8793f38c231964.jpg

  • Arjun Mukerji

    snowing hard at the base of Alpine (6800′). didn’t expect this!

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      looks very scattered-Caltrans cameras showing rain around Crystal Springs and dry over the summit and in Truckee. Rain falling along 89 at Squaw.

  • Thunderstorm

    Moderate rain in Sierras by Tahoe.

  • AlTahoe
    • Boiio

      Crazy. Even during the drought years of the early 90s and 13-15 there was SOME snow in the Tahoe basin. These warm storms are something new.

    • Pfirman

      Tied with Mobile on the Gulf. Climate chaos.

      • Yoda

        An imbalance in the Force.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Sahara Desert beat all those places. Up to 15″ in some places. I don’t think they get that much snow every year…

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

  • Lots of snow in California’s mountains. Fake media is trying to spin global warming.

  • Robin White

    Lots of fake snow in California’s mountains. Media is trying to spurn global warming. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b15d6fed73b90ee7bef74dbea6c9626ef5a0ac8b3c1f1495fdf6bf2032b41f2b.jpg

    • janky

      Squaw Valley sent out an email telling folks they had 6″ of new snow but failed to mention snow levels were at 9000′ for most of the last storm and that snow fell over a week. It’s rough this year when that’s the marketing going out. I get it.

      • I fecking laughed when Sugar Bowl my former employer sent me an email saying they had a whopping FIVE INCHES OF POW COME ON OVER CHUCK YOUR $$$. I was like what world do we live in now, is Tahoe the new SoCal and is SoCal the new Mexico? I wouldn’t even say New Mexico, as they are probably sucking just as hard.

        • RunningSprings6250

          SuckCal!

        • cthenn

          I think they called it “creamy pow” on their FB page. Regardless of how much it is, that’s kind of a gross term.

  • 82/83 El Nino baby (San Jose)

    Can we stick to weather and the science of climate change and avoid the discussions on the media, politicians, response to it, ect?

    Daniel mentioned last year that this site is not the place to discuss possible solutions to climate change and to stick to the science.

    Otherwise this site will cease to be a fun and welcoming place for weather enthusiasts.

    • Chris

      Agree!
      Emphasis on education of climate change.

    • David

      Totally agree.

    • PRCountyNative

      Thank you for the feedback it is helpful. You are correct too much is awful. I agree. I’m prone to go off on such tangents, but really do restrain myself 99% of the time. Major plaudits to Daniel for his light-handed yet effective leadership from the top.

      I’m all for science. Human behavior in the face of weather, and climate… uh oh, another rant coming.

    • matthew

      I respectfully disagree. We are facing a tremendous problem and by-and-large have a pretty educated, thoughtful and respectful group of participants on the board. If we can keep the dialog thoughtful and respectful then all aspects of climate change should be open to discussion.

      Plus, your suggestion would mean no more dog pictures.

      • 82/83 El Nino baby (San Jose)

        Good point. I should have said we should not get too far into the details of climate change to where we get into the related politics, social issues, finances, etc. All of which can cause arguments. For example, I mentioned last year that even after we end use of fossil fuels, bigger changes in how society functions will need to be made. Things like population control in some form, stricter rules on what you are allowed to consume, etc. Daniel replied asking to avoid these topics as his site was not the place for the discussion.

        I am all for dog pictures! 🙂

      • Bombillo1

        If we are afraid, intimidated, muzzled, who exactly is going to cary on this crucial dialogue? I really can not see how silencing those who understand what is taking place with our climate/atmosphere helps our non science oriented co-travelers to have meaningful conversations about this subject. Has censorship ever benefited society? Is there such a thing as benign thought policing?

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      Climate change talk seems to go well with the regulars. Tge problem is when others come in it can get out of hand and turns ugly

      • 82/83 El Nino baby (San Jose)

        Very true. I think its the non regulars that tend to cause the most issues in general.

  • CHeden

    Not entirely sure, but what appears to be a baroclinic leaf structure is hanging over the northwest Valley ATTM. There’s some decent light rain up near Redding that’s not showing up on radar, but overall it’s just a mass of thick stratus (for now). https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a4b8b1c7d68f3a2891b443fddf10deb6a26f8880c2719d370a9c9208baab22f9.jpg

    • inclinejj

      This morning we had the popcorn overcast and it looked like rain and a front moving in. Then the fog rolled in. A bit chillier this am. Pacifica.

    • inclinejj

      CH

      The house just south of the post office was demolished today.

      http://abc7news.com/realestate/pacifica-home-on-cliffs-edge-being-demolished/2925264/

      • CHeden

        Saw it. Been only a matter of time for a while. They did everything they could to save it….but alas chalk up another one to Mother Nature.

        • inclinejj

          Lot’s of work by the Post Office. Dumping tons of rock. They thought moving the house 20 feet towards the street but that didn’t work. They couldn’t find a lot to move the house.

    • PRCountyNative

      Crazy Pops!

  • hermit crab

    LOX forecast discussion mentions possible rain Friday next week but doesn’t say where. For obvious reasons those of us in Montecito Summerland Carpinteria would like to know if this possibility exists for us.

    • RunningSprings6250

      Simply stay tuned – no one can say just yet…

    • Bombillo1

      Ketchikan Alaska.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      San Diego NWS is also mentioning the possibility of rain for Socal during that time period, so I would assume that most of Socal including the flood ravaged areas of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties would have a shot at rain. It is impossible to predict amounts this far out, but everyone will have to stay tuned and see what is forecast when that time period draws closer.

  • Bob G (Gustine)

    From NWS Sacramento

    .EXTENDED DISCUSSION (Monday THROUGH Thursday)

    The upper ridge will weaken and shift eastward early next week as
    a series of frontal systems push into the area. The first of these
    should arrive late Monday or Tuesday. The GFS has fluctuated quite
    a bit with the timing and amount of precipitation this system
    will bring. The ECMWF has been a bit more consistent, keeping the
    bulk of precipitation north of Interstate 80 during the day
    Tuesday.

    Confidence remains high in a second, colder storm system moving
    through the region late next week and bringing widespread
    precipitation. With lower snow levels projected, this second
    storm system has the potential to bring greater snow accumulations
    over the mountains than most of the weather systems thus far this
    season.

    Dang

  • AlTahoe

    Newest GFS continues the trend of shredding the storm on the 19th and then building high pressure in right behind it. Not a good trend but I am not surprised anymore. At least it has cold air so they can start making snow again.

    In a continuation of kicking the can down the road the storm on the 23rd looks good. 🙂

    • Kelley Rogers

      I seriously hate the GFS, why does it show big storms then kills them? Yet, I still look everyday. Lets get to Summer LOL

      • matthew

        If you are looking past 7-10 days, then the problem is not with the model, it is with your expectations.

        That said, even if the 18Z GFS is correct all the way out in fantasyland, we are still in pretty bad shape. Looking only at my neighborhood (Truckee/Tahoe) we would be getting 1.5-2.0 inches of liquid by the end of the month. If that all came down as snow it would add at most 2 feet, which would give us a cumulative base of … at most 2 feet.

        • AlTahoe

          I am willing to bet the farm that we finish Jan with less than 12″ of snow for SLT.

          • matthew

            Pretty safe bet, IMO. I am at 1.55″ rain, 0″ snow for the month IMBY. The systems shown on the GFS look like dusters not dumpers.

          • AlTahoe

            .75″ rain 0″ snow down at this end.

        • Kelley Rogers

          Ya I hear ya. My expectations are low trust me. I suppose I just don’t understand why it fluctuates so much. We are in very bad shape, that is true.

        • gray whale

          If you are still responding to others’ response to the LR models, then the problem ….. kidding!

          I agree with you of course, but everyone has to learn it on their own: low expectations are the key to weather satisfaction.

          • Pfirman

            …’low expectations’…. Correct. Nice pun.

      • alanstorm

        I STILL keep getting suckered in-
        those dark greens look so convincing as if it were a window into the future.

        Remember the Peanuts strip where Lucy pulls away the football EVERY TIME before Charlie Brown tries to kick it?
        -CLUNK-?

    • Pfirman

      Thinking this can you speak of often is the kind called a brick shithouse.

    • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

      Wait for Howard’s bombogenesis off Japan to go down before looking at downstream projections with the GFS op…

  • RunningSprings6250

    I’m fine with it!

    NWS SD:

    Long Range Outlook for Next Week: The upper ridge holds on through Monday for another warm day, then the ridge breaks down under the weight of a stronger pacific shortwave that will move across northern California. This shortwave will bring cooler weather, gusty west winds in the mountains and deserts, and the return of a shallow marine layer west of the mountains. The ridge rebuilds Wednesday and Thursday for dry mild weather, then a stronger Pacific trough will move into California. The past 3 model runs have shown consistency with the track and strength of this stronger shortwave which looks to be our next best chance for precipitation Friday into Saturday.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)
    • My money is on the 18%.

    • alanstorm

      Keep that high way up in the Aleutians

      • Pfirman

        How high? The bottom of the arc matches up with Vancouver.

        • alanstorm

          High enough to push incoming lows down to the Hawaiian islands to grab some moist subtropical airmass

  • SoCalWXwatcher

    Anybody up near Vandenburg trying to see the launch?
    They’re still holding at T – 4:00

    • I am 200 miles north but it looks like clouds will not permit viewing https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1c1d9a563e7b078847cb6c79a35d0c82bed9d47b310d02e1ac9a2adefc6cd0c6.jpg

      • Pfirman

        Wow, all the habitations don’t really show up until enlargement.

        • A very good thing, building codes do make sense here.

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      It’s happening rn?

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        It’s holding at t-4. Supposed to go up at 4:10pm

        Edit, now they’re launching in 3 minutes,

        • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

          Could I see it from here?

          • SoCalWXwatcher

            I don’t know if we can even see it from LA.

          • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

            Why could we see the last one?

          • SoCalWXwatcher

            It was launched at dusk. Sun angle hitting the plume.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    If already haven’t seen this video https://twitter.com/weathertap/status/951302889137426432

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      New California Winter sport: “Mud Luge”.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      I saw this footage earlier today on KCAL 9 news. I believe they said this was from somewhere in the hills either in Burbank or above Burbank.

      • Tuolumne

        Country Club Drive in the Verdugo Mtns., northeast side of Burbank. I’ve been up that road and I was definitely thinking about what happens there in a flood.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    Sorry for the spam, but this east trough BS is pissing me tf off. This the EPS change over the last 5 days https://twitter.com/wxmvpete/status/951443130565513217

    • Why does this bother you? Find your German model to snuggle with.

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        Cause I want more rain and they’ve got there winter weather they’ve asked for

        • RunningSprings6250

          Didn’t you just go visit back east somewhere where it was very cold and snowy – bragging that you were leaving all of us in the dust. ??

          • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

            I did not brag, but yes

        • thebigweasel

          Folks downslope from the Thomas Fire might not agree with you.

        • I want more snow in the Sierra. That progression you showed isn’t all that bad. Most of the twit mets we follow or find have an east coast bias (ECB) and will show something (anything) if the focus is on the Midwest or East Coast. Almost all the time anything weather mentioned impacting the west coast by EBC twits has everything to do with what this may mean for them three-5 days down the road. That tweet would never have been posted by a twit met who focuses on the west coast. All the energy met tweets are ECB as they should be. I’m not picking on you it’s something to consider when we all look at these tweets.

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      The models are pretty coinsistent to the end of the month. They look ok. February looks scary on the CFS weeklies. They show a return to December’s pattern with the ridge over the west coast and trough in the NE. Man I hope not. Winter will be over it that happens

  • matt
    • SoCalWXwatcher

      If they can delay it until 5pm we may get to see it in the sky down here.

      • That was my thought exactly but now I’m hearing scrubbed

        • SoCalWXwatcher

          Yup. Done for the day.

    • 4:59 scheduled liftoff now

      A launch time 5 mins before sunset, so I may get partially what I was hoping for!

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      New launch time: 4:59pm. We may get to see the plume!

    • Scrubbed, next try: 24hrs

  • Jose Mota

    She was point to me “Dad you poop your pant!” and laffing into my face. We came into Big Beer last nite to make sley this morning. Then we sea what is most lee mud now. Still we sley now the pants look to have poop onto them. Even this has bring laffter to my dotter face, deep inside to my sole I have a dark depresshen.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    So is the launch happening?

    • matt

      tomorrow at 1pm pst. hopefully ill get to see this time. i hate missing launches.

      • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

        Can you see it during the day?

      • Rusty Rails

        Window opens at 1 but launch will presumably be a little later. The long holds today resulted in 2 northbound Amtraks holding at Goleta for 4 hours. Nice view at least I suppose.

    • Admode (Susanville)

      Is it launching from vanderburg?

  • Cap’n

    Grief counseling starts at 8:00 pm Pacific Time.

  • Harpo (Chico)
    • Pfirman

      Ha, Oroville made it. Overall, stunning and depressing at once. Is T-rump natural?

  • 82/83 El Nino baby (San Jose)
  • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

    Amazing how a single storm can shift ones whole perspective on the season…Gorgonio looks pretty legit right now! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1c4e91f2a385a03420cefc50bcbe7b3413a6a5483bb6d823c532d6e600957114.jpg

    • Pfirman

      †. Gorgonio’s origin is Old Greek. The name means violent one.

      Who knew?

    • Nathan

      beautiful.

      every bear: “what the f#$%#@ just happened?!?”

  • Bob G (Gustine)

    00Z bumps up rain totals

    • SacWx

      Fantasy land special now showing at 264 hours.

      • mogden

        I always feel good about that, even though I know it’s a lie.

    • tomocean

      And we get the cold, the east gets the heat. Looks like the wet and cold lasts until at least the end of the month. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bfc45ad62150bab861f281f0b1110134ebf741ac087d433f65ebc4fd8eef57df.png

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        The CFS weeklies for February are ugly. Hope it doesnt happen. The 00Z keeps the low spinning off the coast awhile.

    • TahoeCard

      Both the 0z GFS and 0z Canadian show a good change next weekend

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        You a mean a record storm on the Canadian 9 days out lol

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)
    • Cap’n

      You gotta put it in all caps: RECORD STORM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TO maybe COME SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        ARKSTORM! DAME BREAKER!

        • Cap’n

          Dames break me I’m pretty fragile.

      • Rusty Rails

        HYPE!

        • Cap’n

          Was sagt das deutsche Modell?

          • Nate

            Viel Schnee!

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        Don’t forget “unprecedented”!

      • alanstorm

        Announced by the guy on the Monster Truck races:
        “SEE THE RECORD STORM STOMP TEN TOWNS!!!
        BE THERE! BE THERE!
        GET YOUR TICKETS NOW NOW NOW!!!

        • Cap’n

          I’m glad I’m not the only that remembers those! It’s what I think of when I see the all cap NAM NAM RECORD SNOW that will end being a DUSTING DUSTING DUSTING!!

          • alanstorm

            I read that those announcer dudes, the ones who so the movie trailers too, are chain-smokers.
            That’s why they have those low voices

          • inclinejj

            Be there Fremont Raceways! That guy cracked me up every time I hear him on TV

          • alanstorm

            Baylands Raceway in Fremont??
            It closed before I started racing, but I hear all kinds of stories about wild 150 car enduro races where you could drive a car to the track, knock out the glass & GO RACING!!
            Oh, the days before liability …..

      • Does this qualify as SUPERMEGAMONSTERSTORMOGENESIS?

        OK, too much caffeine…

        • thebigweasel

          You left out “BOMB”.

    • alanstorm

      Well it’s ABOUT TIME.
      What kind of record?

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        Maybe a 24 hour all time snowfall record and a 24 hour all time rainfall record for the Bay

        • alanstorm

          Would have to beat 16″ in Marin & 20+ for Santa Cruz in Jan ’82 .
          Are all the factors there to create such an event?

          Am I right in reading the snow map showing snow in Eureka?

          • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

            I mean for more like urban areas like Fremont or Palo Alto getting 6-8″ in 18 hours has not happened in record keeping

          • alanstorm

            Did you check the Jan 3-5 1982 & also Dec 22 1955?

          • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

            RWC gets more than them and there record is 4.8 inches so I’m pretty convinced

        • inclinejj

          Ever hear the song: When the Levee breaks?

    • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

      I wonder if that low is hanging around there after the last frame…

    • Bartshe

      Move along, just more agonal gasps.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        What do you mean by agonal gasps?

        • thebigweasel

          Death rattles.

    • Nathan

      You won’t BELIEVE what this Canadian model shows…”

    • I’m not seeing anything in that output that looks remotely record-breaking. Looks like a robust but otherwise unremarkable NorCal cold front on day 10?

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        5″ in 18 hours over the Bay isn’t record breaking? The most rainfall I’ve gotten in 24 hours on the Penninsula in the last couple years was this last storm

        • Bob G (Gustine)

          I dont think we want to see 5 inches over the bay. More damaging then benefit. We need record snowfall in the Sierra right now.

          • SacWx

            As depicted on the CMC – would be exactly what the Sierra needs. Likely won’t verify though.

        • alanstorm

          San Mateo County reciever between 6.4″ to 8.7″ Jan 3-4 1982, likely in a 36 hr period.

        • e e

          San Francisco got over 7″ over a 36-hour period during the first weekend of November 1994.

        • The Canadian model has coarse spatial resolution; the entire Bay Area is being represented by a couple of gridboxes. So those precip totals are not representative of what would actually fall from the sky in most places, given that storm taking place in the real world. Instead, you’re getting mountaintop totals smoothed across the valleys. (5 inches in 18 hours is not uncommon in orographically-favored regions of the Bay Area during big winter storms).

          I’m guessing a storm like that would net a cool 5-10 inches in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and maybe 1-2 inches in rain-shadowed parts of the Peninsula. Day 10 model output like this is not too unusual during the wet season in California.

          • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

            Thank you for the explanation, and yes so true about the oragraphic-favored areas

    • SacWx

      Also FWIW – Euro agrees more with the Canadian than GFS on storm timing but it’s not quite as robust as what the Canadian shows.

    • March 2017 – 45 inches fell in one day at Sierra at Tahoe. So ’17 reduxeroo.

      • gray whale

        too much of a good thing — i burned two days off and they stayed closed 🙁

    • weathergeek100

      What is record breaking in this? It’s not even bringing rain to SoCal!