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

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

Record SoCal dry streak February 2017 – January 2018

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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  • Cap’n

    I just cried watching Dirty Dancing when Baby confronts her dad on the patio. I really hope it snows soon. Goodnight everyone.

  • alanstorm

    WAAAAAAAAAY out in Fantasyland, I think the 0z is trolling me!
    I keep asking when a HIGH gets established over the Aleutians with a trough along the west coast & VOILÀ!
    THERE IT IS!
    Now it can force transiting lows south to pick up some Hawaiian subtropical moisture for a MONSTER STORM
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/db2acd1561ebab7d499b59334c438be9e688e13ee56e0a026c55b03ad9ed9210.gif

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      The GFS starts to unload on Nor Cal starting the 22nd and keeps the rain coming until the end of its run. A ways out, and after all, it is the GFS, but still, all models point to significant rain later in the month.

    • Yolo Hoe

      Who’s driving the bus? YOU — and I’m on it — looking forward to the visuals

    • The GFS needs to be its own Alt-Coin. So we can buy/trade outcomes.

    • thebigweasel

      No. A monster storm is the absolute last thing we need right now.

      • alanstorm

        We need several monster storms up here to get to normal precip/snow pack levels to avoid going back into drought mode yet again..
        Nobody here is wishing for catastrophe, obviously. Geez

        • thebigweasel

          What we need are a series of small, mild storms. Monster storms will destroy thousands of lives.

          • alanstorm

            You’re right. An endless series of small, mild storms would be nice, but Ca tends to get the bulk of its rainfall from those monster AR events.
            We had at least 2 monster storms last winter, record rains, some flooding, & a spillway scare, but no fatalities other then car accidents.

            If you mean what just happened in Montecito, that had more to do with a burn scar directly above a mudslide prone city & lack of proper evacuations.
            Just saying……

          • thebigweasel

            Yeah, one of those “events” dropped 8.3″ of rain on the bottom of San Marcos Pass, one of the wettest days I’ve ever seen–and I’ve lived in the Siskiyous and the Sierra.

            The Thomas Fire was absolutely the problem in Montecito. That, and the fact that only 15% of the people in the mandatory evacuation zone actually evacuated. (I strongly suspect that the next such warning will have a much higher level of compliance).

            I’ve seen winters in SoCal where the rains were light and frequent. It can’t hurt to hope this will be such a winter.

          • alanstorm

            Siskiyou Co. What a place!
            I imagine the snow on Shasta this year is dismal

        • AlTahoe

          Even Oregon’s snow-pack is dismal right now. To prevent a 1976-1977 type season we are going to need some major storms.

          • alanstorm

            It’s the start of the 3rd quarter and were down 24-3..
            Yes, we need big play touchdowns with 2 or conversions

    • AlTahoe

      The super long range has been hinting at a potential AR setup for like 4 days now. It’s pretty unusual for the fantasy range to be that consistent. Something to keep an eye on for sure.

      • Thunderstorm

        Believe strong AR’s do happen on occasion in La-Nina years.

        • alanstorm

          Don’t get me going on big AR floods during LaNina…..

    • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

      Is that an odd place for the high pressure to set up North of Hawaii or just the flavor of things?

      • alanstorm

        I don’t think it’s odd, just a matter of perfect timing with winter, Jetstream & trough off the coast, a setup during quite a few prior big Pineapple Express rain events
        It’s probably already gone from the next run anyway….

  • Nathan
    • thebigweasel

      Eight people still missing, so the death toll will climb.

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        *41

        • thebigweasel

          Last I heard (this am) 17 dead, 4 in critical condition, 8 missing.

  • AlTahoe

    Well the 6z is interesting. Maybe goofus will keep trending in a better direction.

    • Cap’n

      Been riding yet? I’ve got 5 days in on the trail. Gonna go see if Jackass is rideable tomorrow (I think it will be). Embrace the Change.

      • AlTahoe

        All the trails down this way are good to go. I broke my drive train on a Dec ride so I am going to wait till spring to replace it. That decision is blowing up in my face currently but I am stubborn and cant go back on it now 🙂

        • Pfirman

          Go back on it or you will be FlabTahoe.

  • Taz & Storm Master

    wow the 0z and 06z GFS is bring in a lot of cold storms

    • AlTahoe

      And now the 12z has taken away most of the fun again. Back and forth we go.

      • TahoeCard

        Wouldn’t say that. The 12z still shows the same general pattern in fantasyland with the lows wobbling around the coast brining in storms. Needless to say, it’s not worth paying to much attention to details of each storm that far away, just the pattern. The 12z is actually an improvement on the Tues small storm and the Thurs storm in the short term too.

        • Bob G (Gustine)

          I agree it is all about timing. Love BA’s long range forecast today. Be great if it happens

  • Howard Goodman
    • AlTahoe

      Do you remember what day that graphic was from? It says since Saturday. Is that a 3,5,7 day total? Either way it is an insane amount of rain.

      • Howard Goodman

        1/7/17 to 1/11/17 and it just keeps going from there , that’s why I recorded 190 inches last year , not exactly because I lost my snow bucket for a while , but close

        • Howard Goodman

          Stirling City’s about 5 miles as the crow fly’s , Four Trees about 9 and Bucks lake about 15

          • Howard Goodman

            Last January I got 51 inches for the month

          • alanstorm

            How much so far this month?
            I’m at less then half the average

          • Howard Goodman

            A whopping 7.22 last year I got more than that in one day, got 36.68 for the year

          • alanstorm

            Friggin pathetic.

  • Cap’n

    I’d bet the shed this Truckee forecast won’t pan out but it does wonders for my mental health. Meanwhile I see a forecast high of 57F for Donner Lake on Sunday, a nice late spring day.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/50386369159fa744790b985bdc1b495ef167169fe94811eff63fbef71d36184c.png

    • AlTahoe

      I saw 57F for South Lake as well on Sunday. Will be a good day to get out to fallen leaf lake or Nevada beach.

      • inclinejj

        The weather guy on KRON 4 said, a very nice 57 degrees in Tahoe go up and and enjoy the slopes. He’s the lead meteorologist.

        • AlTahoe

          Our old record high for January used to be 62F. Then Jan 2015 happened and bumped it up to 66F. Upper 50’s is pretty unusual. The lack of snow cover makes it much easier to reach.

  • Shane Ritter

    What’s promising to me is the Ensembles still show a trough 360 hours out. All season they have shown lots of ridiging, so at least there not showing that.

    • gray whale

      Thanks, Rane

      • alanstorm

        Rain

        • Pfirman

          I forget now who invented Rane Shitter. Was it not you?

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

    I’ll be on a little after 12 this afternoon to give some thoughts on the upcoming pattern. I’ve created over 30+ graphics that will hopefully be of substance for all of you here. 🙂

    • CHeden

      Interesting choice of words.
      30+ graphics sounds like substance “abuse” to me, LoL 🙂
      Will be watching for yer post. Sure it will contain lots of interesting info.

      • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

        I wanted to be thorough for this one of course ;).

    • Yolo Hoe

      Bring it on!

  • cthenn

    Man it’s foggy today.

    • alanstorm

      Pee-soup every day till around noon up here. Stagnant weather

  • AlTahoe

    12z has taken the fun away again. Shows one little dying cold front over the Sierra for maybe 6″ of snow in my area and then nothing till the very last runs per usual. so 8 bad runs, 2 good runs and now back to bad.

    • matthew

      Oh, but hour 384!!!

      You need to start following the WW tradition of model shopping. If you do not like the results of the GFS, go find a model that gives you what you want.

      • AlTahoe

        Hour 384 shows the cold air retrograding away from us and pumping warm tropical moisture up which will melt my 6″ of snow 🙂
        Luckily the Euro is sticking to its guns of setting up a cold trough offshore for a while with impulses coming in.

      • jstrahl

        Is there a reason to give preference to the GFS?

        • AlTahoe

          I always forget where to check the Euro at is the only reason 🙂

        • matthew

          Nope. I just find that for the 5-7 day window it usually does a good job. Beyond that…well you know that story already.

    • Jim (Watsonville)

      This should throw Stormmaster into a tizzy…

      • Unbiased Observer

        Don’t worry, he’ll just declare it the outliner and all will be good.

    • SacWx

      CMC still looking good for Friday/Saturday

    • Nathan

      Are you really going to update us on how disappointed you are every six hours for the next two weeks?

      It’s like talking to my mother!

      • PRCountyNative

        Thank you Nathan!

      • I don’t mind, I would rather get little snippets of the snow on the horizon than torture myself with dry-heaves from dry runs.
        Hasn’t been a powder day all season, and I don’t count the November blaster as a powder day, too warm even at Mammoth.
        Let him torture himself for the rest of us skiers ha.

        • Westside

          The closest thing to a pow day for me was after a fresh 5″ at alpine meadows in early December. It felt bottomless. Looking forward to something at least.

      • tomocean

        Like the Fairweather Cactus of the north.

      • malnino

        Oy. Look at you, my little low-pressure system. The grief you bring me! You never drop by and stay, always somewhere else to go! You’re weak, look at you. You should get stronger and stand up to that big bully next door, RRR, you should. When you gonna marry that nice plume of subtropical moisture down the street & bring me some rain & snow? You disappoint me, you do. Breaks my heart.

        • Nathan

          I’m all verklempt!

      • AlTahoe

        The trend is the important part of the OP runs. So far the trends haven’t been wrong this season. We almost turned a corner away from the bad trends the last 3 days but this morning it came back. You can still wish cast all you want.Meanwhile in reality land we are off to the worst snow start in 150 years of record keeping in the Sierra below 7k.

        • Nathan

          We all totally agree with you. We agreed with you the first time. We don’t need reminders every six hours.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      The fact that we are seeing this kind of run to run inconsistency means we should trust the solutions of individual runs less. The overall pattern looks like it will be conducive to some good storms though. Don’t lose hope!

  • RandomTreeInSB
    • Thunderstorm

      Change the best to beast!

      • RandomTreeInSB

        oops, bad typo

  • Bob G (Gustine)

    BA’s update. Love his long range forecast. Sure it is all long range and subject to change. But one can only hope

    http://opensnow.com/dailysnow/tahoe

    • gray whale

      He really lays it on the line! He is definitely one to hedge his bets so a full-throated endorsement of a pattern change is a big statement from him. Can’t wait for it to be correct.

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        Yes. I am hoping he is right going into the February. The CFS height models for February did not look good. I hope the CFS is off. It is do or die time as far as our winter is concerned.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      I’m amazed that any of it could still have been burning after that downpour on Monday. Impressive.

  • inclinejj

    From Brian:

    We have a condition I believe should be studied by mental health professionals called “snow obsession disorder”. We have no control over not trying to find the next storm. Watching run after run on model after model and reading everything out there about the global patterns that could affect our weather. Unfortunately our emotions are sometimes tied to it as well. The good news is that we are now within a week of the pattern we have been hunting all season. Could we finally be in line to receive our snow therapy?

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      “Rain obsession disorder” seems to affect us across the state each winter

      • alanstorm

        I was fine until Jan ‘2013

        • Tuolumne

          That was the year of massive trauma…

  • SoCalWXwatcher
    • happ [Los Angeles]

      Hoping some of the moisture reaches us in SoCal also

      • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

        Well at least we racked up more than an inch so it’s not a “shut out” ?

        • happ [Los Angeles]

          More is better

      • tomocean

        Me too.

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        The pattern setting up looks to be favorable to storms for California, so I’m not going to worry about this just yet. The storm “door” will be open, so hopefully multiple systems will get through. It looks to me like that “door” will close after the 1st week in February, so any storm(s) we manage to get before them will be extremely important.

    • Nathan

      I’m not sure that snow chart is correct unless ratios are literally 1:1

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        Yeah it looks low to me, considering the Precipitation totals in the first chart.

        • Nathan

          I think it might just be saying “water equivalent that falls as snow”

          • SacWx

            This is what it means. Assume 10:1 ratios to get snow totals. In other words, multiply those precip figures by 10.

      • Crouching Dallas

        I’ve encountered that issue as well. Usually use the “change in snow depth” one instead.

        • Charlie B

          I recall you mentioning you were in law school. Where?

          • Crouching Dallas

            Hey Charlie! I’m at Loyola, in LA. Really enjoying it thus far, though it doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for WeatherWest’ing, of course.

            Am I right in thinking that you’re an attorney? Feel like you’ve said as much in the past, but I’m not entirely sure.

          • Charlie B

            Yup. Loyola is a good school! A couple of my Las Vegas partners went there. Law school must have changed, because the word “enjoy” does not come to mind. Endure? That is what I recall.

      • What’s funny is I was going to write that but figured I just wasn’t paying attention – it’s definitely fubar, hasn’t shown totals anything close to any of the other models at all for a while.
        What made me second-guess myself in even replying is that the GFS was showing some storms that put a good amount of water in the Sierra but also were quite warm with high snow levels so I figured that’s what it was showing.

  • JOHN CURTIS

    NEW RULE:

    ALL POSTS MUST BE RELATE TO UPCOMING STORMS.

    THE WORDS (OR ANY VARIATION THEREOF) “RIDGE, HIGH PRESSURE, WARM, HOT, DYING FRONT, UNDERPERFORM, BUST”. ARE HEREBY BANNED UNTIL APRIL 30, 2018.

    JOHN CURTIS
    BLOG COP

    • Taz & Storm Master

      Bust

      • You dun goofed I’m calling the cyberpolice!

        • AlTahoe

          I am back tracking his IP as we speak. 🙂

    • alanstorm

      Uli Roth has spoken

      • Wolfpack

        Scorpions or U.F.O? Scorps right?

        • alanstorm

          Scorps

    • SoCal Al (El Monte-SGV)

      DILLY DILLY !!!

    • Drought Lorde

      The RRR ridge of high pressure will create warm air across the west, that will cause the dying cold front to underperform and the storm to be a bust. There I used them all in one beautiful sentence.

    • MakeSoCalWetAgain (SMX)

      I accept this post.

  • happ [Los Angeles]

    Back to the default temps: 70’s/low 80’s. Only 3 days in the 60’s so far this month. Last Jan was very cool & rainy. Good memories.

  • Thunderstorm

    If I lived in the mudslide area I would do my own home work. Hike up into those hills and evaluate whats up there for yourself. Dig into the soil and see what it’s doing. Did the water penetrate or just run off. Did mud start to flow, are new gullies starting. Get the big picture. Basically trust no one but yourself. Information is the ultimate power. Only a fool would trust. Are any reports available? If not, why not? If yes are they current? Look no further then Oroville!! To me it is obvious that there is currently a very, very unprofessional attitude.

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      People in Montecito were exhausted by the long fire. Evacuated for days, they wanted to be back in their homes. Insurance doesn’t cover mudslides. Horrible situation.

      • Why on earth doesn’t insurance cover mudslides? That’s pretty dirty of them no pun intended.

        • 82/83 El Nino baby (San Jose)

          What the hell does it cover. No floods, mud, earthquakes….

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            Flood insurance is always separate from regular homeowner’s insurance. I think Earthquake is too

          • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

            The question will be: since the flood was caused by the fire, should it be considered fire related?

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            LOL, my best guess is that will never fly

          • Nope.

          • Neither of the three cover landslides, mudslides, debris flows.
            Mudflow as defined by NFIP
            18. Mudflow. A river of liquid and flowing mud on the
            surfaces of normally dry land areas, as when earth is
            carried by a current of water. Other earth movements,
            such as landslide, slope failure, or a saturated soil mass
            moving by liquidity down a slope, are not mudflows.
            F-123 General Property SFIP 102015

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            Are landslides or mudslides covered by flood insurance? I know I have been notified by my insurance company in the past of the option to purchase both flood and earthquake insurance. I never looked at flood insurance policy to see what it covers

          • Landslides and mudslides are not covered under a flood policy, not covered under an earthquake policy and not covered under a homeowners’ policy.

          • Pfirman

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

            The fancy way to say ‘Act of God’, which does resonate well with atheists.

          • Acts of God imply no liability or negligence on a person or entity

          • Pfirman

            Once many years ago a neighbor’s tree fell on my property and did much damage. I had arranged with him to procure an arborist as it already had dropped one large trunk to ill effect and I did not want the other two to fall on me. It was a Molesto Trash tree. Anyway, a major windstorm erupted and damn if the two trunks proceeded to fall and obliterate most of my back yard.
            His insurance company was saying sorry, act of god, until I said I had procured an arborist and was doing due diligence and had the paper trail to prove it. Then they changed their tune and cooperated, but were very parsimonious in their awards.

          • Exactly neighbor was negligent. Tree was known to be drying or compromised. If it was healthy and blew into your yard that’s an Act of God

          • Allen Dodson

            No, that’s not necessarily so. They are covered under flood insurance if the area they covered is normally dry: see https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1620-20490-4648/f_679_summaryofcoverage_11_2012.pdf
            There have been cases where companies tried to avoid paying though claiming the area wasn’t ‘dry’.

          • Mudflow as defined by NFIP
            18. Mudflow. A river of liquid and flowing mud on the
            surfaces of normally dry land areas, as when earth is
            carried by a current of water. Other earth movements,
            such as landslide, slope failure, or a saturated soil mass
            moving by liquidity down a slope, are not mudflows.
            F-123 General Property SFIP 102015

          • inclinejj

            Regular is one policy, earth quake is a separate policy. I know flood insurance is based on the Fema maps . I’m not even sure if you can buy it if your outside mandatory flood insurance.

          • inclinejj

            We pay about $1,200 bucks for insurance Guaranteed Replacement cost. $1,800 on Earthquake. That’s $3,000 a year for a house worth $1,300,000. A small price to pay to sleep well at night.

          • malnino

            Zombie apocalypse ?

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            Liability for one. We had a water pipe burst once, they covered the damage from that too.

          • Fire, lightning, vandalism, wind damage, water damage from broken pipes or sewer back ups, and as mentioned above liability for injuries to others.

        • Charlie B

          Earth movement exclusion, I suspect. Pretty common. Most people don’t read their policies.

          • inclinejj

            Insurance companies went “al la Carte” back in the 1980’s. You want that covered, sure pay more.

            They are one of the few entities that can sell you a policy and make change at will.

          • Pfirman

            They make more than change, heh.

        • Mudslides are considered floods by insurance companies and excluded (vs earth movement such as an earthquake). You would have to buy flood insurance thru NFIP to get coverage.

      • alanstorm

        The fire insurance is hardly covering people’s losses in the Santa Rosa.
        Many are selling their burnt lots

        • inclinejj

          Actually if you have Guaranteed replacement cost , you get 100% of the current cost to rebuild your home. No one reads their policies. 100% of the building code when you rebuild. People need to be on top of their insurance. The Oakland Hills. is the example. Many people chose to sell and never go back.

          • alanstorm

            100% cost replacement with all the new codes & fire requirements like sprinkler systems?
            Many of the homes in Coffee Park were older, substandard code wise.

          • inclinejj

            Yes!

          • Depends on the company. Some include code upgrade coverage, others offer it as an option. If you have an older home, buy the upgrade if not included.

  • SoCalWXwatcher
    • happ [Los Angeles]

      Haze is being reported in the Basin/ Orange county coastal plain but visibility is 50mph inland just a ways

    • saw1979

      I can confirm, yes – very foggy here this morning, now solid cloud deck.

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      Yes, it was pretty thick last night and this morning in spots. I drove back from my girlfriends place after midnight and I had to drive through thick fog in some places. Not fun

    • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

      I believe it. It was low dense fog in Orinda this AM, it almost burned off, but now its back….and the surface winds are blowing from the east, so my guess it the fog in the low valley is pushing up against the hills, exaclty as your image shows. I was hoping for a sunny calm wind afternoon, but not looking likely at this time. Instead a chilly overcast 50. It is winter i suppose. 🙂

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        We dont get wind chill. We get fog chill, lol. My face is freezing taking a walk, lol

        • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

          Its now gloriously sunny, 55F, just took a bit longer. Still fogged in the valley I take it?

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            Yes, the fog has retreated just a bit but it is still hovering just above the tree lines. It won’t burn off at all today and unless some winds kick up we will really get socked in tmw

  • happ [Los Angeles]

    It is bad enough that stingrays are active but now sea snakes!
    “Rare, venomous sea snake found slithering on Southern California shores. Are more coming?” http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-sea-snake-newport-beach-20180111-story.html

  • MakeSoCalWetAgain (SMX)

    Enjoy the January heat wave this weekend. Slight chance coming next Tuesday north of Pt. Concepcion. Slightly better chance a couple days later. Even better on the 21st. Let it brew. Let it brew. There will be a system. Let it brew.

  • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

    https://www.noozhawk.com/article/storm_causes_major_damage_montecito_water_distribution_south_coast_conduit

    There is discussion right now that the reason the flood was so severe is that the main water storage facility in Montecito was damaged and drained during/immediately after the heavy downpour we had. This would be similar to a dam break and would explain the severity of the flash flood.

    It would be devastating to hear so many lives are lost due to an infrastructure failure and not purely mother nature.

    • alanstorm

      More then 1 gully, hillside & creek did all that destruction
      Maybe a small contribution, but the volume of water & mud were far beyond that.
      Likely the flash flood/mudslides were already occuring when that was busted loose.

    • I understand what you are saying but was the infrastructure supposed to withstand what happened? Hindsight might have a different outcome.

      “The storm’s debris flows sheared off at least 20 hydrants in the district, which were later manually shut off,’

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        I bet the bullet train infrastructure would have held up fine

        • inclinejj

          I almost spit my coffee out all over my desk laughing.

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            LOL. You are outside of Oakdale?

          • inclinejj

            Me? No Im in Pacifica.

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            Ok, someone else was. I bet your weather is nicer out there today than it is here.

          • inclinejj

            No fog today! It’s really nice.

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            There were winter days I would leave the valley for Monterey. The weather was so much nicer. Back in the days where we would get stuck in fog for weeks at a time

          • Tuolumne

            I was amazing to go from Fresno, foggy at maybe 38 degrees, up to Kings Canyon-Sequoia, sunny and in the 50s.

      • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

        It is sounding like the debris flow was caused by the infrastructure failure.

    • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

      Did you hear the “water main break” off Alston Rd which contributed to the freeway flooding? I remember that topic was going around right after the incident but haven’t heard much details on it since. Maybe connected?

      • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

        Yep, I think connected.

  • Bob G (Gustine)

    Supposef to be 5 to 10 degr÷res warmer but with this fog cover it doesnt feel like it. Nippy best describes it. Chill hours are ok so far. We are ahead of last year

    • Pfirman

      Great to hear about chill hours. I don’t know where to track them for Yolo. How do you track them?

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        We had our industry safety meeting yesterday. Our packing shed company tracks them for us. They have them by various growing regions. We were okay. So is the Stockton area. I suspect Yolo is okay. The southern districts, Tulare, Bakersfield, are not doing well. They are pretty far behind. They also track (I can’t remember what it is called) the amount of hours of sunlight. That is a number you want less of and that number is up from last year because of the lack of rainfall. But overall they are cautiously optimistic about the chill this year. I bet the UC Coop extension in your area tracks that information also

        • Pfirman
          • Bob G (Gustine)

            We had quite a few cold days in december. These foggy days we are experiencing now are good too

          • Patrick from Stockton

            The fog we had today reminds me of how it used to be years ago in Dec and Jan when the tule fog would hang in the valley for days and sometimes weeks. The temps would fluctuate from 42 over night to 46 during the day. That trend seems to have disappeared.

  • matt
    • holding at -4:00 as of 12:59P

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        What are they launching? Is this a return gift to rocket man in NK? LOL

        • SoCalWXwatcher

          Spy Bird.

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            LOL, I can’t see anything here but gray

    • Robert T.

      14:11 launch time now.

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

    Running late on that post due to a mix of things today, but will have it together by 4PM or sooner. In the meantime… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7905181210c5d4791cfafc5834b8bea9d6f814abc70177a4c7d8aa4f48da2704.png

  • Chris

    **FUN FACT FOR THE DAY**

    This is for Morgan Hill

    1983-2003 30 year avg is 24.34”
    2002-2017 15 year avg is 23.65”

    Despite the drought, the very wet years in between only reduced our average rainfall by an inch.
    Last seaon’s 51.33” played a big role obviously.

    • okay now do that again and toss out last year, and this one. Then what do you get? Because preparing for the worst is a better way to assess things, what if last year was an anomaly heading forward…

      • Chris

        I knew someone would ask this!
        Give me a few…..

        • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

          Thanks for sharing. Very interesting.

          That inch is ~ 5% though. Not huge, but still. But I thought Nor Cal was supposed to be more or less the same (on average, but with more extremes) as we heat up….so maybe the 5% is just noise / not significant.

          • 82/83 El Nino baby (San Jose)

            What we should find out s how much more it needs to rain to counteract the increased evaporation from higher temps. I don’t think 24 inches goes as far as it did 30 years ago.

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            LOL, that is your homework assignment for the week.

          • Pfirman

            Plus warm air hangs onto its water better than cold air. Factor that in as well.

        • Bob G (Gustine)

          That is what we are talking about with climate change? More extremes with feast or famine winters?

      • 82/83 El Nino baby (San Jose)

        If he does that, he would also need to remove the driest year as well. Otherwise its not clean data.

        • And I want to see how much the recent activity skews said average. If we had a chart this would be easier.

        • Like figure skating?

      • Chris

        Here you go….. taking it the 51.33” last year, the 14 year average is 21.85”.

        • Hmm…since this is one spot it’s impossible to develop a concrete conclusion but sampled amongst many stations, we have something…this is your final term homework for the remainder of the winter and spring semester, I expect the thesis by next week and the full paper by April. Also full citations and you must write an accompanying bill for the senate banning lobbying and citizens united that will pass unanimously and save CHIP.

          • Chris

            Hahahaha!!!!
            Yesssssirr!!!

    • Here’s something to ponder or dismiss as cherry picking! 🙂
      There are other NH teleconnections and idiciess that have gone caddywhompus but my ideas are only speculation and unscientific.
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ef0567eb573613b036ac1438466dc81caa9235e78e46a2d482a2e421e4478c6e.jpg

  • Osse (Redondo)

    Folks already mentioned below that the launch from Vandenberg is now set for 2:11 PST. But some links are below in case you want to follow:
    _______
    Preparations appear to be under way for today’s launch of a Delta IV rocket from Vandenberg AFB. Liftoff is currently scheduled for 2:11 p.m. PST from south base.

    For countdown status and a video feed of the launch, go to:

    http://www.spaceflightnow.com

    http://www.ulalaunch.com

    http://www.youtube.com/unitedlaunchalliance

    If the sky is clear, the early portion of the launch should be visible for more than 100 miles. To see the launch from outlying areas, you will need to determine exactly where to look and have an unobstructed horizon.

    • It’s slated to fly West right? Or South West? I know I’m in the visibility zone for Delta launches when the fly West but Southern launches aren’t favorable.

      • Up

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        Spy birds are usually in a Polar orbit, which means it would most likely head South. I think it is unlikely that the major Metro Areas of LA/OC will be able to view this one. If it were launched around sunset that would be a different story.

        • This one’s out of reach for most then ;/

      • Osse (Redondo)

        South-ish. We can see these sometimes from Redondo depending on the launch vehicle. But it’s foggy here now. 🙁

        On schedule for 2:11 pm.

    • Osse (Redondo)

      Launched!

    • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)
      • Osse (Redondo)

        Great!!

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        I’ll bet night-time launches are spectacular from your vantage point!

        • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

          Ya I’m mostly accustomed to the early evening launches with the spectacular light show…

    • Osse (Redondo)

      Adding link to appropriate tune.
      https://youtu.be/BHIo6qwJarI

  • Good news! It did not blow up. The first few seconds of fire however made me drop some expletives:
    https://youtu.be/unspgY0e3q0

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      I’m told by a friend in the aerospace biz that Delta IV’s “always look like they’re on fire” when they fire up the engines at launch.

      • Having not seen many Deltas twas alarming ASF.

  • Taz & Storm Master

    18z was a good run

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    GFS now in agreement with Canadian for a stony cold storm 8-10 days out

  • Bob G (Gustine)

    Anyone have a look at what the latest Euro runs look like?

  • honzik

    It strikes me looking at both the forecasts and the GFS that the models are starting to turn around and trend wetter.

    • Pfirman

      Did you sacrifice a goat?

      • Goats don’t work. LOL

        • SoCalWXwatcher

          What if you can’t find a sacrificial lamb?

      • Idaho Native

        Maybe he sacrificed Drought Lorde?

        • Taz & Storm Master

          since we have a Drought Lorde can i be flood Lorde then

          • 82/83 El Nino baby (San Jose)

            Only if you can guarantee a flood.

          • Sure.

          • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

            There’s still time for a wild ride the rest of winter. Flood Lorde has a green light!

          • Pfirman

            And I can be Lord of the Flies. Oh, wait. Not with this crew.

          • PRCountyNative

            Yes!

      • honzik

        No, but maybe I’ll trim their hooves this weekend. Would that work?

        • Pfirman

          Hell if I know. Maybe if you burn the trimmings with sage.

  • Cap’n

    Best trend I’ve seen this season on these outlooks, who knows maybe our only chance of building a snow pack this winter. Cross your fingers, toes, eyes and any other dangling members. Huff glue til your face turns blue. Whatever you gotta do to make it come true. Call your reverend brethren and I’ll thank Buddha from the top of Mt Judah positive vibrations .

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d70a375eebb22f85efa2dfa1e22b4277dc63744acc27e262dc2a619793a337ff.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b09dfd550b2edc57892ace0203655052c66b0743e1dbcdad3e5e4f6801e735da.png

    • Best trend I’ve seen this season is Stormy Daniels *rimshot*.mp3

      • Now we are discussing Stormy Daniels on Stormy Daniel’s blog.

        Slinking away now…

    • I’m more excited for the blue than the green. Thanks for posting the temperature probs

    • Pfirman

      Hopefully you’ll be waxing skis as well as poetic.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      If these outlooks verify, it appears Socal will be in on the action, too!

    • John

      Looks like you need to recharge you phone/ipad.

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

    Disqus messing with my update will have it up by tonight. ?

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      It’s positive though.

      • Pfirman

        We know you well enough you could probably just leave it at that. But on with the report, eh?

  • Taz & Storm Master

    any one see the 12z CMC ???

  • AlTahoe

    From hour 300 – 384 the 18z GFS has the HP cell in the spot I thought it would be in early this winter but it never materialized. Hopefully it stays there in future runs as we can score some great cold storms in that setup. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a1b6a925d1a21bfff89e0fbad2ac5e7a92432aa20bd3d44a485ba79d8e34371f.jpg

    • Pfirman

      How tall is that fence you put around it?

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    Ok I am doing my part…..I bought new bbq and set it up on my deck in Truckee. Plan to do a rinseless car wash tomorrow…raked up pine needles today. I hope mommy nature is listening!

    • matthew

      Washed my car when I was in Reno today. Truckee is doing its part.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)
    • Meh…

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      The cpc outlook is great to use as toilet paper

      • You use a jpg for that?

      • matthew

        Except when it shows what we want to see.

        • Bob G (Gustine)

          Lol, not me. I never look at it.

    • Bombillo1

      What is there to be unsure about? That thing sucks to high heaven.

  • Jasmine Myers

    Can anyone point me to any resources for air quality? I already check the air quality from AQI and the EPA’s air data, but I’d really like to find a place that discussed *why* the air quality is bad on particular days. Today, for example, the air quality is “unhealthy if sensitive” with PM2.5 around 130, but there aren’t any active fires burning and the rain earlier this week cleaned out the PM2.5 that had been lingering. I also wanted to see if anyone had any insight into Wunderground’s air quality measurements from “nearby pollution monitors.” For their official data, they use the EPA’s numbers, but the nearby monitors are updated more frequently and the numbers are usually much much lower. Thanks in advance!

    • Tuolumne

      This time of the year people like to have wood fires. When we get still air and temperature inversions the resulting pollution is trapped close to the ground, particularly in valley areas. In many places that’s a big factor behind winter air pollution. I’ve run into some amazingly strong wood smoke smell just driving down the freeway on a winter night in the Bay Area.

      So there are “fires” after all, just not obvious ones showing up in the news.

      The same also applies to other kinds of pollution. If we’re having temperature inversions then car exhaust, etc. is trapped close to the ground and concentrated. This time of the year we don’t get so much of the photochemical smog caused by sunlight, just the raw ingredients of particulates, carbon monoxide, etc.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        It was rather smoggy here in Orange today, and I believe it is because there is weak offshore flow driving all the pollution from inland areas toward the coastal areas.

      • Jasmine Myers

        Thank you very much! I didn’t realize that wood fires could have such a big impact on the air quality.

    • CHeden

      Mostly due to the formation of inversion layers…which can be very localized elevation-wise this time of year. That’s why “broadbrushed” air quality data can be misleading. Up here in Cottonwood, you can be in trapped smoke and haze, but 500′ higher above the inversion layer the air is crystal clear.

      • Jasmine Myers

        Thank you very much! That helps a lot. My family and I like to go on long walks in the evening, but we’ve been staying in a lot more often due to air quality reports. I’ll try to rely more on my own senses going forward.

      • Jasmine Myers

        Also… I feel very ignorant asking this, but what connection is there between inversion layers and fog/marine layers? Is fog inversion?

        • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

          When you see the fog in the winter you’ll probably have inversions and wood smoke issues from fires. Depending where you live you can pretty much bet that’s a no burn day.

        • CHeden

          An inversion layer occurs when the air aloft becomes warmer than air closer to the surface. Normally, air temp cools as you go up in elevation (adiabatic), however there are set-ups where the reverse is present.
          In Summertime, cool Pacific/Ocean air, being heavier and denser than hot inland air, gets sucked inland underneath the hotter upper air, thus forming an inversion layer where fog and smog tends to concentrate.
          As a result, air (and pollutants+moisture) near the ground can’t rise and disperse which leaves the air “dirty” and foggy (if the moisture content is high enough to push humidity towards 100%).
          In Wintertime however, the colder surface layer forms not from in-rushing ocean air, but when the ground cools faster than the air above it (such as nighttime), thus fog and pollutants are trapped…sometimes even closer to the ground than in Summer (i.e. Tule fog).
          Hope this helps.

          • Jasmine Myers

            This helps so much. Thank you!

        • Tuolumne

          Fog, whether summer or winter, tends to happen in association with a temperature inversion. Our summer marine layer is always associated with a temperature inversion.

      • Tuolumne

        Senses won’t always tell you when pollution is bad. Ozone pollution is invisible, though most of the time other pollutants tell you there’s a problem. Sometimes there is natural haze or mist, like from the summer marine layer, that looks worse than it really is. At night, depending on how far obstacles allow you to see, you may not be able to see pollution yet it can be really bad like on the west side of the Sierra where it stays high all night.

        • Pfirman

          So what was it that made my ten year old lungs hurt when I ran on the beach in Long Beach as a kid in the fifties? Whatever ti was seems gone now.

          • Tuolumne

            Of course your senses can tell you sometimes when air quality is bad, depending on what the pollutant(s) are. I’ve gotten asthma attacks twice when hiking in the San Gabriels when the smog rolled in.

            My point is that it won’t always be so obvious.

          • Pfirman

            Yeah, but what was the substance, or mess of substances?

          • Tuolumne

            That hurt your lungs or mine? Dunno. Pollution, of course, but the components and their relative proportions vary depending on conditions. Pollution was incredibly bad in the LA area in the 1950s and didn’t necessarily have the same proportions of different pollutants as it does today.

          • Pfirman

            Ok. It looked like you had some substantive knowledge. Thank god it is different, otherwise the health bill would be enormous. I wonder how China handles it. Oh, wait.

    • CreeKarl

      One of the best resources for real-time AQ is purpleair.com. This is a growing private network of PM monitors worldwide. Depending on your location it provides much more real time data than most of the air districts limited fixed monitors which tend to only display on an hourly basis (depending on the air district). Purpleair was very helpful in tracking AQ in the SF Bay during the October North Bay fires and the Thomas fire in SB. Outside of obvious wildfire sources, the reason for poor AQ can be a bit difficult to dtermine. Most of the recent poor AQ in the East Bay (I am in El Cerrito) has been local, fire places being used on non-Spare the Air days. But we also get advection of particulates from the Delta along with the tule fog. Its not always clear where the lack of clarity comes from.

      • Jasmine Myers

        Thanks for your reply! I will definitely check out purpleair.

  • Rusty Rails

    NWS Monterey has lowered the HYPE! Flag, folded it with respect, and put it back in its velvet lined case. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/049007cc3cb28cf8d39e7a3d5093b79b48b9498489c175506274716562ddddd0.jpg

    • Party begins after. You still wanna come?

      • Rusty Rails

        I’ll bring the Solo cups. It’ll be like high school when the ‘rents leave for the weekend.

        • matthew

          Kegger! (Stupid auto correct)

          • Rusty Rails

            I hear the GFS hangs with the wrong crowd and will probably bring some of that newly legal herb. It certainly seems to enjoy it.

          • RunningSprings6250

            Wrong, GFS is on crack.

          • Rusty Rails

            The GFS passed me a pipe hit of DMT at an underground rave the CPC was putting on so that doesn’t surprise me.

        • I was thinking like crashing Shadowbrook when Tyler is there.

  • Taz & Storm Master

    FEB in too MAR can some time bring some vary good low snow events

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      What about the month were in lol, mota wants to sley

      • Taz & Storm Master

        any models showing low snow levels down too at lest 1,000 too 1500 ft?

        • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

          nope

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

    Good evening, WW friends and fellow quiet guests in the back, hopefully you can make it though this and grip onto this analysis. After a the kicker storm that caused our progressive pattern to stir, we are back in a slightly above-average pattern under a ridge with temps generally reaching into the 80s inland at least here in SoCal, not that unusual for January… However after this brief period of generally pleasant weather, we get the ball rolling again & it looks like this is truly is as Bryan Allegretto noted, the pattern change we’ve been hunting down all season.

    A significant pattern change is in the works as the jet has been extending and strengthening off the west Pacific for the last week or so now. As the last storm released the anchor “baggy” Rex Block low across our region that released a better zonal floe for the pattern ahead. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1262a6d08e3c3a8bfcc34c83ef2b373d350255084cf892fd8d48e9235676cc1c.gif https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/97c9780c8c31944836368eae21b540354e3d176edbc2e97cfbd83217952fd8bc.gif

    A cyclogenesis event occurring over the west Pacific has also helped extend the jet simultaneously pushing low pressure into the North Pacific. This extension & the simultaneous movement of the low pressure area flattens the ridge in the subtropics while sending lows southeast. Progressive ridging occurs and the west Pacific wave train begins as a trough on the backside of the ridge sets up in the Northwest Pacific. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0fff505e79752000625674cde497c38fbf28a91ee4424505c54c78015f638654.gif https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/30c51f12180bdace596c28c9295ccdbde698680d4bf2be80c32e226a5bca3918.gif https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ba8bbdba930b83a80c2079a9979626ad53bb719c273404d6fb8403d45c99a751.gif

    This ridge gets our active pattern going downstream across the GOA/eastern North Pacific. & we then enter a period of troughing across the eastern North Pacific as modest rise by wave breaking occurs on the backside of the ridge and we see set of pretty potent lows moving into towards the PNW/CA. This trough becomes progressive, and cyclonic wave breaking is amplified on the western periphery as it mixes in with the ridges anticyclonic wave breaking. As others have noted it’s still is in question how deep these lows will be and how much cold Siberian air gets into the mix. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ec686031075f68e0dbeda90ee75503b07ca94581f38883437a30cb49073bda74.gif https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6c9a9c088eef811d6eae81a852ac4319990c868e5125ea2eab5277b648c9a16e.gif https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dffe4ead18d75fcdfcc64bcaac0cb69d5011b9f098d4902dc9f8bf715cd463a4.gif https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/714255a0c2f9b5ab54ad21329ac0a98235c946c827b05938ecbd7f78bd69aee6.gif https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ba8bbdba930b83a80c2079a9979626ad53bb719c273404d6fb8403d45c99a751.gif https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/30c51f12180bdace596c28c9295ccdbde698680d4bf2be80c32e226a5bca3918.gif

    With the block setting up in the mid-latitudes further west in the North Pacific, the jet forms a merional pattern as it splits causing a wave train to occur moving due east towards the west coast. As this unfolds a southern split of the jet still moves under the ridge to in North Pacific causing it to slightly strengthen downstream as it reconsolidates in the eastern North Pacific between Hawaii and California. Here are some graphics showing that classic push east… You can see the energy in the wave train here on the 500mb/850mb vorticity graphic’s from the 00Z Euro. The first is 500mb & the second https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/80ced0fa29e0928b6747269aecddeb05d2549833b6ddab838ea56872924ddf57.gif https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b2d46c10d12916243f0501efae51724439e304bbadbd810f83bb43507c8a0b19.gif https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f5f6afb3a6d4aa88c39b673f444e2e642ffd0f7a9e5004ba7d6c7b64fbadcf98.gif

    Here is are two graphics that are depicting the lows moving across the North Pacific, and the northern influences becoming more dominant suppressing subtropical/tropical southerly influences in the eastern Pacific derived from the Euro 00Z as well… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8aef973adb79d46466470a594c1ab124bf2b8fe2d348a0aaf5e8c08d69c3e9d7.gif https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6635475115fa84ae3a74463d1f6a5b9f06dc239f59412790568c4d1008176990.gif

    Finally, here are graphics showing the extended forecast… As can easily be noted here in Euro fantasyland (ensemble control run) a possibly active west coast setup looks to hold the state at least towards the end of the month. So let’s see how the week ahead plays out… The western US’s winter is finally rolling itself out of it’s grave. ttps://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5e28251d1a50ca9a890fea50b8ded535c3a8f7be3ca879cca04f36522ed5e6e7.gif https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cc7d7776a8bacff2a5267850995183f79b6ac80a9b5f70dcbe16813450dea8eb.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/aa74eb6033cf6a3b3a3862ae044e3bc898e951dd9a7fdb8a1c8d691db2d50f83.png

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      Side note IRT Thomas Fire & the possibilities to come ahead. Knowing the region that burned so well, I see some much worse problems arising possibly next week than what this system did, especially if any of these storms are like what we just had there could be further implications to already impacted areas. Something else that can happen possibly I’m favor of the burned areas is a low snow event that brings snow levels down to 4K & up (keeping in mind how rare this is for these mountain ranges when I speak of this) benefitting to a layer of fresh snowfall on the burned area instead of heavy rains. This is why I’m intently watching for cold air as it could help out in efforts down below. There is however a problem with such a thing occurring this early in the season so technically it’s all bad, but here’s the other scenario. Say Thomas Fire’s burn scar does receiver low snow levels and heavy snows in the areas burned. If snows fall and the accumulations sticks long enough for a warmer storm to follow, a hydrology issue on disaster our proportions could careen down the watershedsfurther creating intense runoff problems. They’re going to be fighting these problems for quite awhile…

    • Yolo Hoe

      Thanks for this 805 — really enjoying the visuals and much appreciate the synthesis!!

    • alanstorm

      So, from what I gather, a fairly benign pattern so far, with no super cold Siberian mixing & a lack of obligatory subtropical ARs that we get several times per winter.
      Wouldn’t be quite an issue if we hadn’t just had one of the driest Decembers on record.
      We need something big to shake things up

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      I think this write up deserves an A+ well presented and all the facts to back it up……oh wait I thought I was back in college with someone’s final project. Well done 805!

    • alanstorm

      805, thanks. Read it twice.
      Can’t wait to see your write up when things get really active!

      • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

        I’ll for sure have something to say if it comes in the 5 day…

        • alanstorm

          Some of us just post pics & make smart-ass remarks.
          (cough cough)
          It’s good to have some Meteorology school on this forum. Forces me to learn a bit

          • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

            A couple of us have talked about getting the board to behave like that again (nobody wants to act like an HOA around here though for good reason.)

          • matt

            i usually write in my weather journal. than other people learn from me.

          • Hey now that only comes when there’s nothing WX related.

          • alanstorm

            I’m referring to myself ?

          • Ha wasn’t sure. Resume duties!
            https://imgur.com/gallery/D6q3UMU

    • I’m a visual guy and didn’t need graphics (reading this on my phone) well done!
      Make it so Number 1

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      Thanks for the thorough & promising analysis

      • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

        No problem, it’s really beneficial to exercise forecast potential for me so I enjoy sharing my thoughts here as long as they don’t conflict others.

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      It’s worth going a hat-tip for sure to CHeden, as he was the first to mention the possibilities of a”Zonal Wave Number 3” set up forming hemispherically during this pattern change. That being said, if we do end up getting a wave #3 pattern, the potential for this pattern to hold on longer than normal may be a bit raised due to the locking in of the 3 ridges/3 troughs positioned meridonally over the northern Hemisphere. On the other than sometimes these wave #3 patterns can put us in the not so nice spot and under a stalled out ridge. So only time will tell how that synopically gets into position.

    • Sokafriend

      Man. 805 this is a great presentation- thanks for taking the time.

      • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

        Thanks for reading!

    • CHeden

      Superb roundup, 805!
      Well worth the wait while you figured out the Disqus issue(s).
      Here’s a couple more graphics to add to your analysis. The first shows a pseudo-wave#3 pattern starting to set up as I write. Note the Pacific-side offset to the mean circumpolar circulation, which is due to strong blocking (Rex) out near the dateline in the North Atlantic. Once this block shifts east and weakens, the overall hemispheric circulation should unlock with the wave#3 pattern briefly evolving to a wave#4 setup.
      One thing to note though, is while the generic NH pattern does get’s balky at times, there is an overall long-term trend in keeping the pattern sorta-progressive as your other graphics seem to indicate.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/df3ca53d28deb5dcc8c6018955985936617c7f52f1ddebfb5033fed40ed3865f.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/57c82775b1613b53b732b8779977f84883498391a924f0ee15193ab9bdfdc530.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c7e4db9080f38aad374dd66754d6f92f0e627dcce79f078391160afd4681c34a.png

      • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

        Awesome additional input, in fact I agree about the NAO. A few of us have talked about how that may be a bigger player on our weather than some may currently think, even though it’s set up downstream.

    • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

      Thank you for the effort 805! Much appreciated and throughly absorbed…

    • Craig Matthews

      Thank you so much for putting this together. Really much appreciated the work you put into bot the analysis with the maps. This looks like one of the best set-ups for classic GOA-type storm sequences I’ve seen in a long time, and really hope it pans out.

  • Nathan

    Unbelievably dense fog here in La Jolla… could barely see the other side of a basketball court!

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    @StormPower:disqus will enjoy the 00z GFS. That’s the cue for a good run

    • Unbiased Observer

      That was a damn near perfect run.

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        Your damn right!

        • Unbiased Observer

          Paging AlTahoe….

          • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

            AKA CactusTahoe

        • Nathan

          In other words normal winter.

    • SloTruckeeJohn

      Could be a parade in our future.

      • Yolo Hoe

        1938

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      The 00z rocks

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      That low sits out in the pacific and just spins

    • matthew

      I hate to be “that guy” but I will believe it when it is in the 7 day window. One week at a time.

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        We all understand

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      I think that deserves a “holy we cows.”

    • Taz & Storm Master

      wow 0z had a ton of low snow events the 06z was not bad has well

  • alanstorm

    Thought I’d share some pics of the dense fog situation we’ve been dealing with the last few weeks.
    Ukiah clears up but Willits stays enveloped all day.
    Pics at 3pm
    Climbing north on 101 summit between Ukiah & Willits.
    Right side of 101 is scorched Redwood Fire burn area, Caltrans still frantically repairing destroyed drainage, etc. Fog on the left is 2000ft summit & Willits on the other side.
    Blue sky pic near top shows new metal guardrails replacing melted ones, my fog-bound neighborhood is behind that rock on the next ridge.
    Fog pic dropping into Willits visibility is worse at night.
    Where’s the cold north winds?

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/138bb2da9e6dbb32f11e88a4b8af58aa810cb9e31c3014c8de0ec3bd25034263.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ce2cebe612556b5889c1b4c99fe222a0a2cd89e26b187f0000516e2376a5e287.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9c1dc2aa0629eb284d59a51f45a03306a5235873fc02eb6a9f4705a63a6e0e8e.jpg

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      That aint bad. Ill.show you some dense valley fog 🙂

      • alanstorm

        Haha. You win in already!
        I’ve driven thru your area in the fog before. Friggin 99!!

        • Bob G (Gustine)

          Lol, ine time it was so thick.on a two lane country road at night i started suffering spatial disorientation.

    • Duane

      That is one of my favorite parts of the world. I try to spend a week hiking around in the King Range and Sinkyone State Park every year, but it’s been a few since I’ve been able to get up there.

      • alanstorm

        Well, it will always be there for you.

        Winter is always crazy up there, with the rivers & streams going nuts.

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)
  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)
  • Yolo Hoe

    Seems like a WY of 80 – 85% + a few legit powder days and almost good spring skiing snowpack is a reasonable expectation given upcoming pattern change — which is a damn sight better outcome than the looming specter of ‘14-‘15 redux we were looking at a few weeks ago.

  • Huff (Anaheim Hills)

    A toasty low of 72 with a strong and warm SA wind last night. Had a gust up to 28 mph that rearranged the patio furniture and woke me up.

    • RunningSprings6250

      Usually after a snowfall with complete ‘coverage’ it forces night time lows down….not this time. A low of 48 the night after the storm exited! Yesterday morning it was 54 and windy by 8am, today a tad chilly at 42 LMAO!

      WTF is happening to our low temps? They’ve averaged 15-20 ABOVE average our entire fall/winter and probably 10-15 above average for the last few YEARS.

      That’s the biggest glaring problem in my neck of the woods alongside the drastic reduction in precipitation going on 7 years….

      • matthew

        I am not a meticulous record-keeper, but my sense is that so far this month we are running 5-10 degrees above normal on both highs and lows. We are forecast for 52 today and 56 tomorrow. That is more what I expect in mid-March not mid-January.

        • inclinejj

          In Pacifica there only has been a couple mornings when I walked out and said chilly. But then again I am more cold tolerant than most people.

          • matthew

            I thought that the chilly weather in Pacifica started in June.

            One other thing – no sub-zero lows yet this season.

      • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

        Last year and the year prior had consistent lows around 28-30 on those clear nights after the storms but this year the exact thing you all are mentioning is happening here as well.

        Even with clear nights nearly every day in DEC there was only one day sub freezing, and again only around 30f

        All other days including this morning which is clear unlike the heavy fog past few days…. lows in the upper 30’s in the cooler valley area I am in.

        Maybe I’ll try an avacado tree in this new weather.

      • Freddy66

        Disturbing

      • Farmer47

        I’m guessing the relentless east winds we have had must play some part in this. Some days they are stronger than others but seems like they are always there. Take today for example

      • AlTahoe

        Somebody in northern Oregon was saying that the 528 thickness line still hasn’t made it down to them this winter. So no cold air for anybody on the west coast so far this pathetic winter. Every morning since mid December my lows have been between 29 and 35F. Normal would be 18F

        • AlTahoe

          Also in a normal drought year heavenly will turn the snow guns on the gunbarrel run so that you can ski back to the parking lot. It hasn’t been cold enough to run the guns yet on that part of the mountain.

        • RunningSprings6250

          That’s crazy.

          My normal would be 25-30 on my hillside location, we’ve been 40-45 average. One day this whole season we had a high below freezing at 31.

          I use to manage the odd month here and there with the overall average below freezing!

        • Steve Taylor

          I was down to 5 at my house at 8200 feet several times since mid November…

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      Warm & windy all night here as well but periods of calm helped lower minimum to 63F

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      76ºF here 6 miles from the coast.

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)
    • Yup in December it was doing number too (a bad one). It appears to be holding a while in phases 2 and 3 with good amplification and slow migration into 4.

      • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

        This really looks good keeping it amplified in the Indian Ocean…

    • Thunderstorm

      As is usual MJO a big player in California precipitation.

  • Shane Ritter

    Teleconnections hinting at an AR after the 21st. Watch to see if the models start picking up on.

  • Freddy66

    The parade of storms has fizzled on the 6z

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      Not really. The progress of storms hasnt changed. In the lstest run, instead of the storm stalling. If shifts south so everyone in CA is getting rain now

    • Thunderstorm

      Sounds like a comment from POTUS.

  • inclinejj

    Heads up Tahoe people. People driving to Tahoe. 267 closed due to a major injury accident.

    CHP – Truckee
    1 min ·
    Traffic Alert:
    SR-267 is closed in both directions at Highlands View due to a major injury vehicle accident.
    Right now there is no estimated time of reopening the roadway.
    Use SR-89 to get to or from North Lake Tahoe.

  • sectionmaker

    just checking in from the evac zone…kinda crazy bad down here. Im sandwiched between 2 of the slide areas. Maybe the next rains could be spread out over a little longer time frame?
    805Weather, great postings below…thanx

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      Thank you, I am sorry to hear you’re still in that mess, it’s more than a hassle and tough time.

      • sectionmaker

        yes, thank you. We lost good people here.

        • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

          That’s saddening to hear. Stay up! #805Strong

    • inclinejj

      Stay safe.

  • CHeden

    Superb roundup, 805! (see below).
    Well worth the wait while you figured out the Disqus issue(s).
    Here’s a couple more graphics to add to your analysis. The first shows a pseudo-wave#3 pattern starting to set up as I write. Note the Pacific-side offset to the mean circumpolar circulation, which is due to strong blocking (Rex) out near the dateline in the North Atlantic. Once this block shifts east and weakens, the overall hemispheric circulation should unlock with the wave#3 pattern briefly evolving to a wave#4 setup.
    One thing to note though, is while the generic NH pattern does get’s balky at times, there is an overall long-term trend in keeping the pattern sorta-progressive as your other graphics seem to indicate.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/df3ca53d28deb5dcc8c6018955985936617c7f52f1ddebfb5033fed40ed3865f.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/57c82775b1613b53b732b8779977f84883498391a924f0ee15193ab9bdfdc530.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c7e4db9080f38aad374dd66754d6f92f0e627dcce79f078391160afd4681c34a.png

    • Bartshe

      Better than nothing, but no significant snowpack building signal for Sierra.

      • TahoeCard

        Not sure what you are looking for. This is the best set up for Sierra storms we’ve seen in awhile.

        • Taz & Storm Master

          agreed we could even see some foothill snow at times has well down too has low has 1,000 too 2,000ft at times

          • Yep some vary low snow lvls.

          • Taz & Storm Master

            low snow levels is like 1500 too 3000ft vary low snow levels is like from 1,000ft and below

        • Bartshe

          Looking for a reasonable chance to avoid another dismal drought year.

      • steven ross

        There’s some positive signs per GFS of much colder systems next weekend into early next week. 540 heights over Sierra will add snow.

      • CHeden

        ????
        12Z GFS still showing 2-3′ for the northern and central Sierra crests by 10 days out, with 2-3 more storms/fronts due after that. With the colder air due in later next week, the areal coverage of snow will increase as well.

      • AlTahoe

        Yep people are miss reading the gfs storm for next weekend by a mile. It shows a pretty weak to average cold front and Nws reno says the same thing this morning. Obviously it is the best setup we have seen this winter but it is still really weak and not the block buster signal we need.

        • matthew

          I was wondering what I was missing – glad I am not the only one. Next week’s two storms look weak to middling. It is not until you get out into fantasy land that it starts looking like it could get fun.

          • AlTahoe

            Yep fantasy range keeps showing the goods but keeps pushing it back as well.

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      How’s your personal confidence level looking? Mine is getting good.

      • CHeden

        The progs for the initial sacrificial lamb ~16th, which I’ve been mentioning as being a possible bellwether event that will help trigger the demise of our blocking ridge has been “trending” a little wetter….. with the low digging a little further south and closer to the coast before recycling back into the NE GoA. In turn, this should establish the storm track a little more southery (a good thing) for the subsequent Thurs/Fri system.
        ATTM, I’m 60/40 that the SL/cold front stays intact as it breaks through the ridge. If it does, then I’m 80/20 we get some serious goodness 48hrs later as the onshore flow and associated dynamics becomes more progressive.
        Sorry no pics….gotta run. Will provide more detail later tonight.

        • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

          With you there.

          • Pfirman

            I like how he gets lamb and bellwether in the same metaphor.

    • I’ve never quite understood what I can derive from looking at a blocking hovmoller. I guess one could look at a pattern over time? Or would it suggest how strong the blocking is regardless of the GPH anomaly?
      I’ve got the CPC site on blocking. I just need a little help from a sage to understand it a little better.

      • CHeden

        The chart shows where blocking is (longitudinal), and it’s relative progress both directionally and in strength. If you look at the chart I posted, you can see blocking out around the prime meridian emerging around Jan 6, then gradually shifts progressively eastward to ~60E by Jan 11.

    • Yolo Hoe

      Great info CHeden — especially like that blocking strength chart as hadn’t seen that one before.

  • Unbiased Observer

    Cold, foggy, and damp here in the south valley with temps holding near 47F….just like it should be this time of year.

  • 805 Weather…thank you! Always look forward to reading your analyses. Santa Ana winds beginning to pick up a bit here but not as gusty as forecasted. Seeing everything start to dry up now, at least here in the canyon.

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      No thank you, for being a part of this board & Daniel as well for letting me put my 2 cents for those to discuss & ponder! Light Santa Anas here today as well.

    • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

      Hmm, Tule fog and NE winds in socal sound like a classic transitional intermission of storm cycles.

  • Thunderstorm

    Lots of people will get stuck in Tahoe next weekend. Too much snow and unprepared.

    • AlTahoe

      Nws reno is saying up to 12″ at the crest and maybe 2-6″ at lake level? Gfs shows similar amounts. I think Caltrans can clear that in like 2 hours. If we were going to get 36″ plus like last Janauray then yes there would be big issues

      • inclinejj

        Thus the reason why the smart flatlanders will be watching football in the flat lands. Head up mid week!

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

    If next week’s storms do materialize the race against time for crews trying to recover people & relocate mud/debris needs to pick up… I see the timeframe for more reoccurring debris flows & mudslides with this next chance of storms. That could further impact travel conditions for the 101, & if the systems are cold enough they could impact travel across the Grapevine & HWY 58 further cutting off travel down here & from the north to the south. There is a lot of issues to watch ahead as we move closer to the event in forecast.

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      This was posted earlier by CalFire….over 2000 personnel now working in the Montecito area.
      https://twitter.com/cal_fire/status/952210106627760129

    • weathergeek100

      I don’t see much hope, if any, for precip next week for SoCal. This is a blessing and a curse at the same time.

      BTW, really enjoyed reading your analysis last night.

  • A suggestion for those who want to find 805’s analysis is to click on sort by “best” and then collapse each post.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/62db53e5d12c9210dc151aa3b3d6a41820db5287e5b8e2d79442c11b90dc58b1.jpg

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      Thank you!

      • Craig Matthews

        Here’s an upvote ^ for that outstanding analysis down below b/c you surely deserve many for that. ….disqus wont allow me to upvote any comments that are past 10 post down for some odd reason. Anyway, the nature of these storms depicted by latest GFS runs reminds me of the Feb-March 2001 storms, in how they dug down the West Coast and curved inland over Socal, with strong/deep surface Lows developing off the central coast placing the SBA/Ventura area in strong southerly flow component with incoming strong cold fronts. Which, as you have noted, needs to be closely monitored in the coming days-weeks. Hopefully, as what occurred during the late winter 2001 storms, snow levels will be lowered into the foothills, as more cold air from the nw is pulled into the mix.

        • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

          Great points, thanks Craig & I agree I hope they are low as well.

  • Thunderstorm

    Have a interesting comment on inversion layers. Back in the 1970’s while scouting out locations in the Sierras for gold on the creeks. Came upon a location where the ladybugs were sunning themselves on a bank and they were about 4-6 inches deep over a area the size of half a football field. Absolutely stunning to see millions of dark red lady bugs. Never told a soul the location and never will!! Was a uniquely warm and sheltered location.

  • tomocean

    It seems like it’s been quite awhile since we’ve seen this much fog in the Central Valley! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ab63877fdb96225baaaeff444d7fc69f8a08c60492c4c724c138c488f00ba528.jpg

    • Jim (Watsonville)

      Talked to a friend in Los Banos…said its a high overcast…not on the gound

    • Chris

      It’s a picture from the 1980s I’m sure ?

    • Yolo Hoe

      Great for the trees

  • happ [Los Angeles]

    California will be the warmest state outside Hawaii again today. Ridging is producing one of the warmest winters in decades. Looking forward to predicted cold later this month.

    • Freddy66

      Warmer than the RRR years of 13-14 14-15 ? Those were some warm January’s as well

      • happ [Los Angeles]

        Yes, you are correct but Dec 2017 was the warmest I have ever recorded. It’s interesting that both South Texas/ Florida are experiencing freezing temps this weekend.

  • Steve Taylor

    Cheeseburger bird was heard in Mammoth yesterday about 90 days to early… ughhh

    • AlTahoe

      Wow. I haven’t seen any bears in my neighborhood since Nov so that is better than the winter of 2014-2015 When they never hibernated

    • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

      I heard those guys on Dragons Tail a couple days ago…what is it corn season already?

      Hope you’re feeling better SM!

  • AlTahoe

    From NWS RENO below. The key being that the cold air is behind the cold front for the Thursday Friday storm. I am gping with 1-3″ for lake level.

    “Snow levels will drop Thursday night behind the cold front,
    dropping snow levels down to most valley floors by early Friday
    morning. Snow amounts of up to a foot or more are likely in the
    High Sierra above 7000 feet, along with several inches of snow
    down to Lake Tahoe level and even to near 5500 feet. As the snow
    levels fall to the valley floors Friday morning, light snow
    accumulations may be possible for the Friday morning commute.”

    • SacWx

      I know you are being conservative – but both the euro and cmc show well over a foot of snow for lake level through 240 hours.

      • AlTahoe

        Did you read above? Even NWS Reno says several inches of snow for lake level. The snow doesn’t come in till the cold air does which is after a majority of the precip. The snow maps never pick up on that detail. The euro has shown 144″ for sit airport before and we ended up with 1″

        • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

          Besides that al lives in the San Jose of Tahoe, that is a micro donut hole….

          • 82/83 El Nino baby (San Jose)

            I think he moved from San Jose no less. Poor guy.

        • SacWx

          It’s definitely marginal. The snow levels as depicted on the euro have it between 6000 and 6500 feet for the thursday/Friday event. Regardless, at least the resorts should be ok.

          Are we getting in the habit of throwing in the towel before an event has even begun?

          • AlTahoe

            Only if it being depicted as such

          • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

            I don’t see how it could get warmer

    • Cap’n

      You’re being bold with 1-3″. Once the dreaded “… depending on how much precip is still available by the time the cold air arrives…” is thrown into the discussion I tune out. The smaller our expectations are for this winter, the less disappointed we will be. You’re going to need your own grief counseling page at this rate. Get that bike fixed Al!!! I’m heading out in 30 for a ride on Jack Ass I got confirmation yesterday that it’s good to go. By the end of this winter I might get good enough to keep up with you next summer.

  • Snow-related thread, inspired by recent comments on the blog:
    https://twitter.com/Weather_West/status/952258275696787456

    • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

      Well thanks for confirming what much of our anecdotal observations have been with more broad actual hard data.

      I guess I’ll go enjoy this glorious mid March feeling weather! Errr.

    • Thor

      No snow drought in Montana. All major river basins are reporting above average SWE. Snow pack running 130-160% of normal in Yellowstone area.

      https://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/ftpref/data/water/wcs/gis/maps/mt_swepctnormal_update.pdf

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      Why us…

  • weathergeek100

    Not sure if anyone has noticed this, but the Santa Anas are bringing dewpoints that are no where as low as they were in December. They’re mostly in the mid-30s instead the below zero values we saw last month. My guess to this is the high soil moisture thanks to that savior of a storm (well, and deadly storm too unfortunately).

    Hopefully you SoCal folks get some of our NorCal rain next week or that soil will dry up in an instant. I wish there would just be a succession of light to moderate rain events every few days instead of 3” storms interluding a season of non-stop Santa Anas. It would certainly at least reduce the risk of killer mudslides.

    • happ [Los Angeles]

      The ground is still damp in shade.

  • Taz & Storm Master

    the 12z CMC was grate

    • Bartshe

      12z GFS was sewer grate

  • alanstorm

    6 day precip map looking more like January-Normal, much improved over the last few days with
    the tail-ends of these weak
    storms mercifully venturing further south, finally retreating from the Oregon Border.
    The good is these are coming every other day for optimal saturation.
    The bad is I will have to cancel a big tree carving job in Alamo this week.
    I’ll take the rain, the job can be postponed 🙂
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/297bb78bdff52009c88bb224a0b0afd5227e516f75a76e915bbc2002c49489fd.png
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b462e5f95ed7e09d6768247e10717fab3dc95e584257ab06ccd1c13babeaaa56.png

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    BA’s forecast for next Thursday/Friday! 1-2 solid feet of snow! https://files.opensnow.com/Tahoe/2018/January2/113006friforecast.jpg

    • Yolo Hoe

      Hallelujah

  • hermit crab

    Nice hot January afternoon, sigh. But maybe it will help dry us out. 101 still closed; no estimated reopening date. Of course what is most important is better conditions for search and rescue.

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      What’s the temp?

      • hermit crab

        Exactly where my neighbor is (I still can’t get home; fwy blocked) it is 82.

  • inclinejj

    Pacifica. 1:48 pm. 73.0 degrees 36% humidity. 29.91 and the rain gauge showing rain.

    • Atmospheric_River

      73 degrees? I live further inland than you do and I am experiencing a temperature of only 63 degrees. That’s a little strange. By the way, did you get fog earlier this morning?

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        Same 62 here, you in the Bay?

        • Atmospheric_River

          Yep.

      • Jim (Watsonville)

        Off shore flow…not uncommon for the coast to be warmer

      • inclinejj

        It’s actually really common between storms for us to warm up like this. I notice the high for the day only lasts a few minutes before it starts to cool down. 70.5 3:08 pm.

    • Maybe you bought the wishcaster model? ?

      • inclinejj

        I haven’t set up my new weather station yet. Tomorrow afternoon.

    • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

      Damn you got up to 73! That’s pretty amaIng!

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)
    • Taz & Storm Master

      we could be makeing up are lost time with snow in a vary vary big way

      • Westside

        I hop yur rite

  • Hopefully snow analysis later today but January 23rd might be a date worth making a note of for SoCal skiers – 12z shows action impacting your slopes making the air a tit bit nipply out as up to a foot will drop for your mountains. Keep all digits crossed as the 18z is comiing, upcoming Sierra dump is rendering now.

    • Taz & Storm Master

      18z this now comeing out

  • 82/83 El Nino baby (San Jose)

    Did not know La Nima shifted the Hadley Cell north…

    https://twitter.com/gensiniwx/status/952028623854342145

    • Internesting thread in this tweet WRT ENSO and MJO for those who have an interest

      • Craig Matthews

        Yeah, that is great exchange of insights esp between @PaulRoundy and @dgoldwx2112. Also, in regard to MJO, its interesting to see that strength of the 850mb westerlies associated with the enhanced MJO wave as it is moving through the Indian Ocean, and also, how far west the enhanced trade winds are being drawn from the WPac into the enhanced MJO wave in the IO, as seen here…..https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1ba22e32b0760c3d78ce5cf15d2d8db63a7318db3b1dc6beaa2a0342abeb73ea.gif

        • The wave in the SH in the IO sure is interesting.

        • Craig Matthews

          also interesting to see, per 850mb wind anomalies, how the Walker Cell Circulation has been drawn so far west in the WPac by the enhance MJO wave in the IO, that it appears that the descending motion side of the Walker C. is now displaced further west into the central tropical eqPac, and thus forcing a low level 850mb westerly anomaly into the far eastern tropical eqPac, making it so that the very far eastern tropical Pac is acting sorta like a very far east based atmospheric El Nino….or well, that is the way it looks to me.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      I didn’t realize that either. I just thought that certain high pressure systems were more dominant at times during La Nina patterns and that the subtropical jet is much weaker or almost nonexistent.

      This means the Baja high is further north than usual during these type of patterns and does explain the longer dry spells that Socal tends to get in some of these types of years.

  • 18z short range concluded now, here’s a short range analysis.
    Beyond the 20th things look interesting but this comment focuses on UP to the 20th, so shorter range, don’t flip out over the lowered numbers.
    GFS exhibiting classic flip flop good/bad cop, shifting North. The trend of 12 runs below still shows healthy numbers but I don’t trust it, GEM even with the fewer runs averaged out looking far less volatile, as usual. SoCal snow might be a gamble this far out, I would hold my breath until 4 days range. Comparison focused on same point:
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/087648752cd527b88ef2f82e9f82b7ad7fab629d4bfa6a4bf584f8863f98bdbf.gif https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b68569a5af8172040d5f5307f500ad0bc98f858390da59985428c4a621be4208.gif

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)
    • Freddy66

      Looks like so cal gets in on the action later….more importantly the snowpack hopefully gets a big boost

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)
      • Tyler Price (Seaside)

        Looks like the monterey bay just barely makes it into the 80 percent probability contour. Getting really excited for this upcoming pattern change to consistent storminess across the west coast! Its looking more promising i think Personally January is going to be a great month alltogether ans catch us up maybe even get ahead YTD precip and maybe even snow wise!

      • I find the weekend runs, with no forecaster input, tend to me more extreme than daily runs.

      • Chris

        Is this graphic from the 2010-11 year??? ?
        Nice to see rain AND cold again.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        The long range outlooks have been showing above normal rainfall as of late. Hopefully this comes to fruition!

    • Taz & Storm Master

      18z was a good run

    • Craig Matthews

      Looking at the latest height/thickness projections per GFS, a lot of that precip would fall as snow on the higher peaks of the Santa Lucias in Monterey Co. Hopefully this will come to fruition.

  • Taz & Storm Master

    Hazardous Weather Outlook
    National Weather Service Eureka CA
    230 PM PST Sat Jan 13 2018

    CAZ102-105>108-142230-
    Del Norte Interior-Northern Humboldt Interior-
    Southern Humboldt Interior-Northern Trinity-Southern Trinity-
    230 PM PST Sat Jan 13 2018

    This hazardous weather outlook is for northwest California.

    .DAY ONE…This afternoon and tonight.

    No hazardous weather is expected.

    .DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN…Sunday through Friday.

    A cold front will bring gusty winds to 50 mph over the coastal
    ridges Monday afternoon.

    Tuesday snow levels are expected to drop to around 4000 feet,
    several inches of snow is possible.

    Heavy snow as low 2,500 feet possible Thursday and Friday.

  • Taz & Storm Master

    any one have the new 12z ECMWF

  • Atmospheric_River

    Deviating from the upcoming pattern change, I have one question. Does the weather influence people’s moods or behaviors? For example, when I was in 6th grade, an extremely strong storm was poised to hit the entire state. The day before the event, my teacher was in a very bad mood. She was getting mad at even the smallest misbehavior. The kids were also more chatty than usual. On the day of the event, however, everyone was back to normal. A similar pattern occurred during a lot of other storms. In fact, my teacher did say the weather influences people’s moods. More recently, last Tuesday, after the storm, I noticed there were a lot of crazy drivers who were paying no attention to the road rules whatsoever. So this makes me wonder: does the weather have an influence on this, and if so, how?

  • I have no honest benchmarks for this new high resolution model, but it has differences – while reading the documentation I found that “If a snow cover is present, snow water equivalent and snow density are predicted in addition. The sea surface temperature over ice-free ocean surfaces is analyzed once per day from observations and is kept constant during the ICON forecast. (Crashingout: next part would be bolded if disqus allowed) For ice-covered parts of the oceans, the sea ice fraction is analyzed once per day from obser­vations, whereas the ice thickness and the ice surface temperature are predicted with a simple sea-ice model.”
    What do the other models do with sea ice? I would be curious to see how they deviate in this parameter.
    Anyhow, ICON showing several smaller snowfall events bringing nice accumulations, please oh please let this outcome be true – NAM 12km shows up to half a foot beginning to accumulate right at the end of the window, ICON 2.5km ups the ante and says yes to the mess:
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/724b4189c289f7e0a2d0ec0d92a510cb68182b022dec80e60efe0da631d2d363.gif

    • K?ros

      love that Big Sur snow

  • matthew

    “Before the storms” picture from the Donner Summit Trail looking east this afternoon. Hopefully I can post another in a couple weeks that looks substantially different.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b5bb85200b7d69b1f445efafd4acef49c88339bd50b265a79bff652e13d3276a.jpg

    • Boiio

      Looks like a nice, mid-October afternoon hike. Oh wait…..

  • AlTahoe
    • matthew

      Awesome day to be outdoors today!

    • Dog pictures = Snow and Rain on the way.
      100% correlation 🙂

    • You should stop abusing your dogs 😉

      • Bombillo1

        Under fed too.

    • Lovely dogs?

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      Looks like they got wet!

    • RunningSprings6250

      It’s more than a bit unnerving…

      • Dan the Weatherman

        I think this warm weather has become more frequent ever since the Arctic sea ice started setting record low extents back in 2007. I still believe the recent industrialization of Asia and China during the last 20 years or so is playing a large role in the melting of the Arctic and that the warming Arctic is at least partially responsible for changing our weather patterns in the last few years.

    • WXPhotographer

      I’m in shorts and t-shirts most of the time during the winter now. I rarely wear jackets or sweaters anymore. That wasn’t the case 10-15 years ago.
      (Sacramento area).

  • Black Cat

    Took a picture of Turkey Vultures chilling on the powerline pole near my house. They look liked they enjoy the weather today.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f9285715d9c820a957a521dbb6dbecaf7eb1ddf5ee8e17667de11140fcab496b.jpg

    • matt

      we had those here in Lancaster area couple months ago.

    • Right next to Waller Park?

      • Black Cat

        Nope, inbetween Lakeview and righetti area

      • RunningSprings6250

        Who remembers monkey island?!

    • PRCountyNative

      Good weather tie-in right there at the end.

  • @mattmlTruckee:disqus : January 24th 2017.
    “Do not stand at my grave and weep;
    I am not there. I do not sleep.

    I am a thousand winds that blow.
    I am the diamond glint on snow.”
    https://imgur.com/fo7Y9vV
    https://imgur.com/LdAdBD0
    https://imgur.com/N8CLqdG
    https://imgur.com/A9GVaPC

    • matthew

      Those were some insane days. Feels like a decade ago right now.

  • Microbursts
  • Boiio
  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    https://youtu.be/K-CmaL9RkOA This is one of the coolest videos I ever seen. First saw it several months ago; basically it’s a guy who hikes up to Cone Peak ( 5155′) in the Santa Lucia’s above @disqus_VTWD2uigSe:disqus when it snows (he did this on Jan 21st and 24th of 2017). In this video there is as much as 1.5′ of snow on the ground while he looks out at the Pacific and surrounding mountains and valleys. What a dream! Here’s his website https://pantilat.wordpress.com/2017/01/30/the-science-of-snow-cone/ and some photos. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ec71758b9c15dfff7bbdff021aa9c400fc107e48e0b92ffd5edfa64f5739d0fc.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/873f94d8aa2789508cb99fa341ab06ece7aa856a7ee651e3f41ae1637e043ff9.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/17efb5d8a8c7e59cc78c514ed07109bb92d0bd5d98fb671bd2e970fd80e1e280.jpg

    • That’s right after the storm in the pictures I posted just below, currently editing a timelapse I filmed of the snowfall from that storm where you can see waves of snow falling like shifting sand dunes heading skyward. Trying to figure out how to deflicker the frames in after effects right now.

    • Craig Matthews

      Cool you found that link. This guy has awesome photos. That is the only place on this earth where you see Santa Lucia Firs(the Ventana Wilderness in the LPF), and its especially cool when they are covered in snow like that.

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        I need to go up there

  • RunningSprings6250
  • SoSocal (Chula Vista)
    • Don’t you love fantasy land!

    • SloTruckeeJohn

      We’re back on the train!

    • alanstorm

      Trying to slow that thing down…
      Several Bullseyes AND cold with snow.
      EVERYBODY WINS

    • weathergeek100

      Will the fantasies become realities???

  • Craig Matthews
    • Stunning!

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      Our endless summer?

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      Wasn’t ready for such a stunning picture Craig. Superb shot!

      • Craig Matthews

        Neither was I. Thanks. Me n’ my bro( in the picture) decided to try out Carmel Beach yesterday afternoon late. As be both went our separate ways at sunset, which that sunset suddenly turned brilliant, I caught a good shot of him carrying his board to his truck as I was headed toward mine. Was perfect timing…

        • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

          That was an awesome point of view, & it turned out spectacular!

    • Black Cat

      Still?

      • LA Times has a lot of details, but yeah it’s taking them much longer than they expected, delays are insane apparently 10 hours to get around it from LA.

        • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

          Pictures from earlier today showed a line of semi vaccum trucks on 101 as they try to suck up all the debris. Who knows how much is damaged underneath that mess. Lots of infrastructure will need to be rebuilt I’d imagine.

    • alanstorm

      I guess the commute from Oxnard to Santa Barbara would be via 5 over the Grapevine, 166/Maricopa Hiway west to Santa Maria, then 101 south to SB.
      300 mi?

      • BP (Ventura)

        Yep….its so gnarly down here right now. You guys not from here have no idea what we are going through. Death of vta and SB counties continues…

        • alanstorm

          Not true.
          Bay Bridge collapse &
          I-880 pancake cause immense, long term commuting nightmares for millions up here.
          I’m pretty sure the people in Ventura County understood what we went thru. (??)

          • Candleman (Santa Barbara)

            Always the one up, eh? It was 28 years ago and there are multiple paths to SF. Only one way to SB from the south.

          • alanstorm

            Haha! I guess so.
            I just remember trying to get from Oakland to SF after the quake.
            ALL alternative routes were completely gridlocked for a solid month. Daily commutes from East Bay to SF which normally took 20 minutes ended up taking 3-5 hours each way because of accidents & backups.

            Not a fair comparison?

          • Pfirman

            Fair. To say we have no idea is not fair. To say it was long ago is pointless. If it happened to you in your lifetime you certainly have an idea.

          • It’s mixed, routing more effed for SB but damage more easily fixed for arteries, Bay Area damage took a long time to fix more extensive damage, but many more alternative route options. It’s a tie for terrible! @disqus_8g4C7NJ5ST:disqus you win a Toaster Oven @brandon_pearce:disqus you win a Shake Weight.

      • celo

        Or take Amtrak from ventura to Santa Barbara which is only 3.5 hours

        • alanstorm

          I bet those coach cars are PACKED

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      Latest update from CalFire as of 7pm. Still five people missing.

      https://twitter.com/cal_fire/status/952385091778457602

      • Pfirman

        Yeah, I heard whale watching boats were taking people from Ventura to Santa Barbara so they could work.

        • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

          This is true, a company I used is aiding.

    • hermit crab

      Someday, I will be able to go home…

  • alanstorm

    In the spirit of Hawaiian false missile attacks & evacuation orders being issued AFTER mudslides occurred, I remembered what happened to my neighbors in Redwood Valley:
    https://www.google.com/amp/www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-redwood-alert-20171110-story,amp.html

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      A lot needs to be reexamined after this years deadly fires, that’s for certain.

      • alanstorm

        People basically will have to rely less & less on local authorities & more on info from their own mobile devices to save themselves.

        That is if the networks don’t go down as they did here for 3 days

        • Pfirman

          Yep, lines go down, cell towers burn up, trees block roads, the car runs out of gas, fires blow up in the middle of the night, some people are handicapped. It can be a mess.

          • alanstorm

            Need to bring back what people did in the “old days”, whatever it was….

          • Thunderstorm

            Work is what it was. People are LAZY now. Robots will make the lazy people obsolete.

    • Pfirman

      That was a hellish deal that happened there. Hope a new system is worked out where a certain pattern means evacuate, another means fake missile alert, etc.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    If you can believe a rain shadowed Owen’s Valley town holds the unofficial record for most snow in a 24 hour period! https://s.w-x.co/wu/snowfall-records-by-duration-640px.jpeg

    • David

      My sister was born at McCloud hospital on Feb. 20, 1959, the day after the official single storm record at Mt. Shasta Ski Bowl. Sixteen feet of snow in six days!

    • HighWater

      Crestview is not a town in the Owens Valley

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        I saw on wikipedia it’s an unincorporated community, but I’ve never seen houses there. Makes sense

  • Dry Bones

    Summer in winter. Too bad it doesn’t work backwards. Summer in winter, summer in spring, summer in summer for 6 months, and summer in autumn. Strange and repulsive to someone not from SoCal. Hopefully this is it for our annual January heatwave.

    • Tuolumne

      If summer now happens in winter, then what happens during the former “summer”? Supersummer?

  • Bob G (Gustine)

    18z looks good. Alot of Barney purple

  • happ [Los Angeles]

    Lake Forest was hottest station in the nation today: 90F

    • Dan the Weatherman

      It was 90 in Lake Forest?? It didn’t seem THAT hot down here today, although it was warm. I was thinking it was only in the low 80’s, possibly mid 80’s max.

    • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

      Where did you get that info?

    • Dry Bones

      Yep, saw that on WU. I remember a time when the nation’s wintertime highs were always in Florida or Hawaii.