Extraordinary winter warmth and dryness to persist as West Coast ridge dominates

Filed in Uncategorized by on February 1, 2018 5,156 Comments

Summer in January; Sierra Nevada snowpack nears record low

Well below average precipitation has been widespread so far this winter across most of the American West. (WRCC).

Remarkably warm conditions have persisted for most of the winter thus far across the entire American West, except for the far Northern Rockies. (WRCC)

Despite the calendar, it sure hasn’t felt much like the middle of winter across California in recent days. While well above average temperatures and below average precipitation have been widespread throughout the state, recent warmth and dryness have been especially concentrated across Southern California. Immediately following the warmest autumn (and before that, warmest summer) on record, a legitimate mid-winter heatwave baked the southern third of the state this week, setting numerous high temperature records. In fact, anomalous offshore flow brought daytime temperatures near 90 degrees and overnight lows above 70 degrees near the Pacific coastline–temperatures that would be well above average in these areas in June, let alone January.

While temperatures in SoCal have now moderated somewhat, they’re still quite mild for this time of year (running a “cool” 10-15+ degrees above average).

Snowpack is at or near record low levels across much of the American Southwest this February.

Additionally, this highly anomalous warmth has now spread northward across the rest of the state–bringing spring-like temperatures to the Sierra Nevada and inducing unusual mid-winter snowmelt. The statewide snowpack has already been tracking near record-low levels for most of the winter (partly due to modestly below average precipitation but mostly due to far above average temperatures), but the ongoing warm and dry spell will likely melt what little snow currently exists below about 8000 feet in elevation. The lack of snow in California so far this winter is actually part of a much broader “snow drought” that currently extends across most of the mountainous interior of the American West, from the Cascades in Oregon to the Front Range of the Rockies in Colorado. Much as in the Sierra Nevada, these largely snow-less conditions are the product of both below average precipitation and above average temperatures across a wide swath of the Southwest so far this season.

 

“Severe drought” has returned to parts of Southern California

Today’s update of the U.S. Drought Monitor suggests that “severe drought” conditions have returned to parts of Southern California–most notably, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, where huge tracts of land have recently been burned by the nearly 300,000 acre Thomas Fire (in December) and/or the localized but devastating debris flows and flash floods (in early January). That might not come as a surprise to local residents–many of whom will point out that California’s multi-year, statewide 2012-2016 drought never really ended locally (where Lake Casitas, the only source of water for several communities, is running at about 35% of capacity). While the Northern California reservoirs are generally in much better shape due to carry-over from last year’s deluge (and California’s big cities, which are all tied into the state water system, are therefore unlikely to experience water restrictions this year), California’s wildlands and ecosystems will most likely experience more immediate adverse impacts from yet another warm, dry winter. The recent drought was a major factor in the bark beetle-linked mortality of well over 100 million Sierra Nevada trees in recent years. Despite last year’s wet and cooler reprieve, these drought and beetle-stressed forests have yet to recover from the intense multi-year drought that preceded it–so there is serious concern that forest mortality could accelerate once again during the upcoming dry season.

Los Angeles has experienced only a single day of precipitation greater than 0.33 inches in nearly 365 days. (NOAA)

Just how dry has it been in Southern California? As a current resident of Los Angeles, I found the following statistic especially striking: if the city reaches February 19th, 2018 without a significant rain event (as currently appears plausible), there will have been only a single day with more than a third (0.33) of an inch of precipitation in the preceding 365 days–a full calendar year.

 

A big West Coast ridge has returned…and it looks pretty resilient

GEFS and ECMWF ensembles both strongly suggest persistent ridge will keep West Coast dry for 2+ weeks. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

At risk of sounding like a broken record: a strong, persistent, broad, and anomalous ridge of atmospheric high pressure has yet again set up along the West Coast. All indications are that it will probably stick around for the foreseeable future (certainly for the next 10 days, and plausibly for the next 2-3 weeks). This may sound a bit odd to those accustomed to the typical weather prediction mantra that anything out beyond about 7-10 days is essentially unpredictable. But recent evidence suggests that under certain circumstances, large-scale atmospheric predictability can be much higher over longer periods. The present instance of prolonged, stable ridging near the West Coast appears to be one of these situations, given the remarkable multi-model ensemble agreement that the large-scale flow pattern is unlikely to change much through at least mid-February (and perhaps even longer than that).

One atmospheric dynamics-related reason for this high confidence: the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) yesterday reached its highest amplitude in recorded history, and appears to be be “stuck” in a phase that favors strong West Coast ridging and warm/dry California conditions. MJO-California weather linkages are a complicated topic that’s a bit beyond the scope of this brief blog post, but there are some good resources out there on the web for those who are interested in learning more.

The infamous precipitation “donut hole” over California will most likely persist for the foreseeable future. (NCEP via tropicaltidbits.com)

This doesn’t mean that it will be completely dry across the entire state, but it does suggest a very high probability of far above average temperatures and well below average precipitation during what is typically the wettest part of the year in many parts of California. This appears to be an unfortunate case where the seasonal forecast models–which predicted a warm and drier than average winter in California, especially across the south–did a pretty good job. As many folks have pointed out, California’s seasonal precipitation is often dictated by the occurrence of just a handful of strong storms each year–so it’s still possible that a robust storm sequence in late February (or another “Miracle March“) could bring a remarkable turnaround in short order. But while that possibility remains on the table, the odds are long.

 

Some brighter news: a Weather West milestone!

Recently, the Weather West blog hit a bit of a milestone: 10 million visitors since 2006! Even more impressive, I think, are the 250,000 (and mostly on-topic!) comments that have accumulated (occasionally over 5,000 per blog post!). That’s a real testament to the engaged community that has flourished here over the years. I want to sincerely thank everyone who has helped make this site what it is today!

Tags: , , , ,

  • March Miracle (SMX)

    Raindrops falling in Santa Maria.

  • matt
  • happ [Los Angeles]

    WoW
    Looks like February won’t be in positive departure territory unlike previous winter months https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e235d1f3c29a8876a593d3b1a752f4a88249804190d528a9af63c8adb7978713.gif

    • nunbub

      Brrr-ing it on!

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      Not surprising given the flow coming from the North. The long range models did not pick this cold up earlier

    • David Mata

      Finally some real winter temps!

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)
    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      Scratch that this thing might have something in-store for us tomorrow depending on when it ejects east…

      • Sokafriend

        So, this was initialized yesterday at 6:00 PM. No doubt, the gods must be crazy.
        All that precip is forecast basically from tomorrow through Saturday.
        I can’t discount it even in the face of all else, because well, last weeks models were exactly right on through yesterday-
        and absolutely nailed Running Springs snow/graupel way back then, in forecast run after run relative time.
        We’ve a cold S wind here already.
        http://met-wrf.cicese.mx/WRF/D02/PACC/animacion_wrf_pacc_d02.gif

        • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

          Sokafriend thank you for posting these, I truly believe the CoL is sticking to it’s original guns. We’ll see overnight and tomorrow, but there is already stuff showing up on radar currently over LA county.

          • Sokafriend

            Wow, that’s fantastic about the radar!! Seems these particular dynamics are an interesting little window view into awesome interactions we are not accustomed to.
            There is so much going on in the oceans that we don’t seem to be able to integrate or get a handle on now.
            Our skies are slowly building to the SW now with very occasional light gusts.

  • DrySprings6250

    I think I’m late to this party….I just watched Water & Power and now I’m depressed…but to do my part to make a difference I will now be drinking whiskey ? instead of water ? ….starting immediately.

    Thank You, Carp…

  • Dan the Weatherman

    I managed to pick up 0.10″ from last night’s little storm. It’s certainly better than nothing, and I am really hoping this is the beginning of a wetter period of weather that will last off and on into spring.

  • Harpo (Chico)

    Pitchers and catchers report today for training camp. That makes this the official first day of spring on my calendar. Still waiting for the first day of winter.

    • Yolo Hoe

      And inside sliders are pounding the Left Coast batters — what does it take to get that Ridge to move off the plate a bit to the West?

      • Cap’n

        We need a change up desperately.

      • matthew

        Inside sliders followed by a high heater.

      • AntiochWx

        Undercutter followed by spliterflow.

    • Boiio

      Remember, there are only two seasons: baseball season and baseball offseason!

  • Taz & Storm Master

    National Weather Service Sacramento CA
    312 PM PST Tue Feb 13 2018

    The pattern will become much cooler and more unsettled for the
    extended period. A trough will be dropping in from the north and
    it will drop 850 mb temps to 0 to -10 C early next week. This
    will possibly bring the coldest air mass of season so far and we
    should see highs run 5-10 below normal and lows 10-15 below
    normal. The GFS is about 24 hours or so slower with this trough
    but the coldest nights look to be Monday and Tuesday night and a
    frost or freeze will be likely in the Valley. This could be an
    issue as the recent mild weather has lead to some stuff to bloom
    already. Higher elevation showers will be possible Sunday through
    Tuesday but with a lack of moisture and weak forcing the showers
    should remain scattered and light. Snow levels will be low though
    likely falling below 1500 feet by Monday afternoon.

    wow snow levels below 1500ft

  • Shane Ritter

    SOI has been very negative the last week. The beginning of El Nino? At keast its tje end of La niña. Looks like a good setup right now for a big March. If we could get 200″ from now till Apr 1st, then another 30″ in April, the Sierra will at least be ok. Idk what to tell you Socal ppl , but at least if can hit 75% snowpack in the Sierra we will be in decent enough shape.

    • AlTahoe

      If we hit 80″ of snow by the end of March at the Donner Summit station I would be shocked. I don’t think we will hit 250″ there and will finish the season in the top 5 worst seasons

      • Cap’n

        As bad as it is/has been, I would be quite surprised if they Don’t hit 80″ by the end of March, but definitely not shocked. They’re at 68″ at the moment, so we would have to have one helluvah crappy end to winter, though that would follow the pattern of the winter to date, so who knows. So it sounds like you’re taking back your prediction of storms starting on Feb 19th?

        • AlTahoe

          I meant 80″ of additional snow from now till the end of March. I didn’t realize that they were only at 68″ currently, so 250″ for the season would be a stretch. Still expecting the pattern change to start around the 19th

          • Cap’n

            Gotcha. I agree I don’t think there’s anyway in hell we’ll hit 250″ on the summit. It certainly can happen as measurable snow is common into late April, but the way this winter is going I’ll be stoked if they surpass the 14-15′ total which was what about 135″. Fingers crossed for a massive March Al.

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      I am going to put money on ENSO neutral. Weak El Ninos arent necessarily going to give us wet weather. Need a strong one

      • Patrick from Stockton

        Not necessarily. Modaki El Nino’s have produced big rain years. I believe 2004/2005 was one. Remember the 2014/2015 year? It was a dry year over all but we had an over the top Dec. 2014 in Norcal that felt El NIno like, and I believe that was a weak El Nino if I remember. They were calling it the El Nino that wasn’t at the end of the season because they were talking about it being one going into it. And then with the “Official” El Nino the 15-16 season was Norcal’s 1st decent season for 4 years or so.

        • Bob G (Gustine)

          Modaki El Ninos can also be really dry and produce ridging on the west coast. Weak el nino’s are not bad. It is just they have less effect on the overall wetter pattern. As Daniel said there is a correlation between wet winters and super el ninos, not really with weak ones. The super dry 2014/2015 was a weak el nino as was the drought year 76-77.

  • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

    March is typically a month where our precipitation starts to taper down on average, and the spring pattern can start sinking it’s teeth in. (Normal or average can mean nothing now days though…) However, we can still get some good storms. “In like a lion, out like a lamb” As always it’s anyones guess that far out, but does anyone think March can throw a wrench in this stagnant pattern with the volatile nature of the jet stream? Maybe not even a miracle March but just an average or so month? Or could the ridge or ridges be more likely to take advantage of an early spring (drier) pattern? Why or why not?

  • tjimmel

    300 hours out looks like some relief, according to the GFS. But, that keeps showing up; no longer funny! It’s remarkable that the models really are frequently showing up with simulations of rain 2 weeks out, that repeatedly have to conform to actual conditions once time is shorter. The actual condition is drought.

    This current and upcoming cold weather pattern that flops dry air over the top of a Pacific high pressure is/was a stagnant pattern that I remember well from a few years ago (though it was colder then). Back then, we hoped for moisture from the north and the models often predicted it, but it just didn’t come.

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      Seems like a difficult pattern for the models to.pinpoint. if the storm is off just a bit to the east over land then the storms are pretty dry. Both the GFS operationals and the GEFS ensembles show the rain coming. But we have been down this road before.

    • Freddy66

      That storm on the 23rd has shown up for four days now

  • Tyler Price (Seaside)
    • Craig Matthews

      Nice shots!. Thank you for posting these.

  • Thunderstorm

    Day 12 and the MJO is still in phase 7. Doesn’t look to be moving out anytime soon. PV as forecast, slowly moving coldest air to the west. Looks to park itself in the west thru February.

  • Cap’n

    I’m a long time Howard follower but thanks to someone here who mentioned this guy, he has great reports. Interesting write-up today on how poor the models have been performing this winter. Hard to get excited about his update, though there are at least chances for minor snow events with the ever dangling carrot beyond the extended. At this point we’ll take what we can get.

    http://www.mammothsnowman.com/mammoth-mountain-weather-today/weather-guy-forecast/

    • Sokafriend

      That is a good write-up- thanks

    • Boiio

      I miss the days when he would post his updates in ALL CAPS.

      • Cap’n

        I never heard of him until a couple months ago. I wonder if him and Howard ever arm wrestle in the storage room of Schat’s for town bragging rights.

    • coldestsummer

      Wow, statistical evidence that the Candian ensembles are outperforming the GFS. Lucky for us, then, that the GEPS is depicting the trough axis further west, over the Pacific. The GFS ensembles have also been trending ever so slightly in that direction, with a more consolidated ridge over the pacific, allowing for a more over-water storm path. It still feels like we’re rearranging deck chairs on the titanic – no chance of miracle ARs with this type of pattern it seems.

      • Called it in November. The Poutine Pounder isn’t as volatile.

    • Patrick from Stockton

      Yes, very interesting, thanks for the link. I follow Howard too and love his updates.

    • Yolo Hoe

      Schlaepfer, BA and WW blog pretty much gives the best consolidated insights for California — no offense meant to Howard as I do appreciate what he’s trying to do and his local knowledge is impressive

    • gray whale

      au contraire mon frere his last few sentences are right in line with what our own CHeden is optimistically predicting. there is hope

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      Wow! Just saw this, that’s really something!

  • Boiio

    GFS showing 925mb temps around 0C over the Bay Area early next week. EC showing temps at 850mb around -5C or -6C. Just what we need! Warm temps to encourage early budding followed by a couple days of a sub freezing temps. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2d85329687f2792ea72c7f4fd1d41714ce0d61fa8d708cc8308a5b8de5bcd043.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/535f8a1aaad943577f6f2c6469d87123857fa6c7a6edf219ceec5be848a0174a.jpg

    • Idaho Native

      Doubt freezing temps will reach the coastline (looking back at records that’s never happened in SF proper this late in the season). But a lot of the central valley spring blooming shrubs and trees are going to take a hit 🙁

    • Nathan

      on the plus side we’ll save a lot of water because all our crops will be dead.

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)
  • For those of you in SD check this out, HRRR shows the cluster of thunderstorms coming on shore fairly intact tomorrow evening. Something to keep an eye on.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/288319d85b6407fd78cdcdf77051cbc42ac77a1b478052f809d5f02a88ac55a0.png

    • Sokafriend

      Very cool surprise, huh?
      I’ve been betting on that since last week. It may, maybe keep up after tomorrow, too.
      I posted a link to 805 a few hours ago- check it out.

  • Thunderstorm

    SW enough said if you know what I mean. Awesome!!

  • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

    Does anyone know how to look up past noaa weather warnings for the Mammoth area specifically?

  • Nate
    • Twitter thread is a font of scientific knowledge then a moron at the end chimes in saying “oh yah this is a great valentines day all the climate engineering and chemtrails caused the polar vortex!”
      6.71×10^8 Facepalms.

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    Wish we had more snow…this would be the weekend when everyone under 30 headed to the Sierra because they think they’ll be Shaun White or Chloe Kim….everyone over 30 wishing they could still be that nimble and telling stories of when they were young…

    • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

      Wellllll that’s correct.

      I’m heading up to Tahoe hoping they all stay home cause the snow sitch is garbage so the Bay Area terrorists, errrt I mean tourists, and by that I mean Bay Area locals ( those you describe) …. ya I hope they stay away.

      Cause if they don’t come en mass, Tahoe may actually be ok this weekend, that is not overcrowded.

      My kids will be happy to throw an ice ball and make a little snowman, we are meeting family at sugar bowl so hopefully there is some snow at the base.

      Man what a crap winter!

    • Thunderstorm

      SW looked awesome as usual! California olympians getting most of the medals.

    • ….or Candide Thovex

  • Craig Matthews

    Here are 2 pictures taken of Mt Lassen. One was taken from an angle looking from Lake Shasta toward Lassen in July 2017, and the other taken from HWY299 toward Lassen 2 days ago. Hopefully I’ll be posting pictures of this mountain buried in snow by Spring… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2ecea42179d706c0b154ed7a17dfc5c111642a6a4bd00530d5fc27edbf9b3419.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/730285754a253f076a06c9a9dd8fc3256b5c6a16cc0086a91e22d968bea03d53.jpg

    • Yolo Hoe

      If not this year, then next year or the year after that — patterns may indeed be different in the anthropogenic, but boom/bust will continue in NorCal

      • Craig Matthews

        Indeed. That is the way it has always been, precip-wise, in CA. Rising temperature, on the other hand, is taking its toll, making dry periods and droughts all the more harsh on Ca environment.

  • Jason Jackson Willamette

    Tonights sat. image, first one. Second, the graphic of what happened this time 32 years ago, February 14th 1986. That event was remarkable. Maaaaybe it could happen again?

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6cfc08e6b0db22d74b34d7d7f94efff0154abae19107f219c31833239bc60ccc.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b8409c6066c013b4a3c9fa18c986c213b88ddda65aa10b8e159b0edbf89bb615.jpg

    • Yolo Hoe

      I like it — just like SW’s third run down the pipe??

      • Jason Jackson Willamette

        Wasn’t that amazing! That guy has the true heart of a champion!

    • David Mata

      That looks similar to the Dec. 2014 pineapple event.

  • MetaGhost (Berkeley)

    “Trump proposes slashing National Weather Service budget despite record-setting weather disasters”
    hill.cm/yafFWAT

  • MetaGhost (Berkeley)

    248 forecasters
    Trump proposes slashing National Weather Service budget despite record-setting weather disasters
    hill.cm/yafFWAT

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      Surprised? Not. The R’s see no public service role in maintaining and protecting the commons. Everything must be for profit, there is no role for government other than the military, and even that has been handed over to the well connected contractors. I’ll stop now….

    • molbiol

      I doubt this budget as proposed has any chance of coming to fruition so no need to worry at this point. BTW, this may come as a shock but based on what I see on some of the twitter feeds, quite a few NWS meteorologists are right leaning and voted for him..

  • Bob G (Gustine)

    Interesting pattern on the 18Z. I like the trend of the HP retrograding NW. Hope it continues. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dbe1c19a79fca9f01cebdfb970552d221dc875c9b182133d8627603960550d55.gif

    • jstrahl

      Damn, that looks even better than a Kelly Rowland video. 🙂

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      The Euro ensemble members are seeing the same thing :)…

  • Fairweathercactus

    Time for a Cactus story. Weather related so I hope it stays up. V-day edition.
    So in grade school we would have on V-day this thing called jump rope for heart. The whole school was required to go outside and jump rope for 3 hours. I hated it being lazy. Also I just am real bad at jump rope. I am still am to this day. I remember I would pray that it would rain as hard as it could for the event to get canceled. I think out of the 5 years we did it it was only canceled 1 1/2 times from rain. Once during the El Nino season 4th grade and again in the 94 season (I was in 2nd grade?) It rained half way through and the other one poured buckets.
    I also remember once being mad when we had a huge flop system when I was bragging it was going to rain and it just turned into an inside slider where we got a few drops in the morning and it cleared out by the time to start.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      3 hours of constant jump rope?? I didn’t have to do that during my elementary school years, and if I had to do such an activity for that long, I think I would have wanted it to rain on that day as well! I think there were some who jump roped during recess, but it wasn’t an activity the whole school had to participate in.

      • Pfirman

        You would jump rope through hoops for a week to get some rain at this point I’m thinking.

    • matthew

      Three hours of jump rope for elementary school kids? It would be interesting to see a long term study of the incidence of ankle and knee problems among those kids as they get older. That is just plain dumb.

  • redlands

    What a flop of a storm – for the Redlands, Ca — Southern Ca — no measureable rain —- looks like Ian up in Running Springs, Ca got some rain/snow. Looks like February is gonna be another shutout — looks like it will be my first 0.00 for February — records since August 1981 — not good

    • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

      No measurable rain here either…. (Lake Mathews)

  • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

    Pretty sweet how far south the shortwave trough is pushing. Really liking the fact this was a much further dig south than expected… May be a sign of things to come. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7267cd5c15f5e20d543ceaadce57250e765db31a1842d8d0cefb7694e0e3016e.gif

    • Noticed that as well.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      We are due for a change in the pattern from what we have had for most of this winter!

    • Nathan

      It’s a classic Santa’s Fart low

  • Steve Paulson KTVU

    Kudos to the GFS for nailing the SSW/PV split.. I believe a first PV split to favor the West and not East of Rockies in recent PV history? Some of you are much sharper than me on PV data. Past climate PV splits were all east:

    Dec. 1984 to Jan 1985, Dec 1998 to Jan 1999 and Dec 2011 to Jan 2012.

    Pattern over the West looking cold into early March. What we need are Lows to have an over water trajectory so we can get some rain. GFS shows that after the 24th. Let’s hope so.

    For a cool animation of the recent PV split, check out Zac Lawrence on Twitter.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b90c0cea79aec9301dfa391eb12b5d11b9f1e1cc8a69e0fb23002e380be7da97.png

    • 82/83 El Nino baby (San Jose)

      Wow. Did not realize how rare a SSW was in general. Thanksl for the info. Do you think a SSW van reorganize global patterns? Meaning, get us out of he stagnant regime of the last 6 year? I know it brought the rain last year, but that seemed more like the same stagnant pattern, but shifted west 1000 miles.

      • Since they were discovered in 1958 there have been 37 (including this one). They have occurred in the same season three times. I think vortex displacements are common and final warmings happen every year.

    • I haven’t heard any dates to dispel your notion this is the first of its kind in recent history. GFS gets just one kudo for this PV flip, still not forgiven for lagging behind GEM/ECMWF as of late. With that in mind, I took a look at the aftermath of the 06z and since all the precip falls as snow, 3-5 feet but if it’s PV-cold, then maybe 6+…since the Poutine Prognosticator has been doing a good job you’ll enjoy the latest GEM ensemble, even wetter than this GFS Op run above:
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4aaf311b647f36079dff6efe40db1d547e5121cb480ea8e86ec24a020f3dda7c.gif

      • David Mata

        Even Baja California will be getting some action.

    • David Mata

      Feb. 2001 involved some HEAVY persistent precipitation with very low snow levels here in Southern California. In fact, the south-facing side of Mt. Wilson had snow for about two whole weeks. Is this what we’re looking at here? Or is it more like Mar. 2006, where we got persistent but LIGHT precipitation with very low snow levels?

    • Chris

      Does the polar vortex contain deeper colder air than usual?
      Meaning it would have an easier time crossing the mountains to our NE and to the West Coast?

      • CHeden

        I think you’ve made a very good point.
        Currently, high pressure ridging/bridging (twin high’s) is over the SE US on up the coast past Nova Scotia.
        This ridge is defined by the jet stream and is preventing cold air from the PV from dropping south like it usually does…so it must be pooling up (deepening in depth).
        Also, it’s interesting that you’ve noted that continental air is draining out of the Great Basin over NE California where the mountain crests are significantly lower than the northern/Central Sierra. This is a key observation, and may be an indicator of how much/how cold the air will be by the time it gets into California proper.

        • Chris

          I think we might be in for a surprise then.
          The Dec 1990 freeze was a shocker.
          Also of note was the unusually low snow cover upstream of that year’s freeze.
          Could have been colder I think!

          • Pfirman

            It was indeed a shocker. 15F here in Woodland and frozen pipes all over the region. Some commercial buildings lost their roofs in Sacramento when pipes burst.
            It will just lead to another round of ‘what climate warming’ from my neighborhood dodos.

          • Maybe helpful that we are almost two months forward than in the middle of December. Bougainvillea have been thinking it’s the middle of spring. Yikes may have to cover them up again.

    • CHeden

      IMHO, the central axis of the North American PV @ 500mb is pretty much located where it usually sets up…however anticyclonic flow around a massive/blocking Bermuda High that’s extending across the SE and offshore past Nova Scotia is hindering the typical “east coast” blast of cold air from dropping down…so that explains the lack of “bite” in the east. However, all that cold air that’s pooling up eventually needs a place to go, and the easiest escape route is now to the SW.
      Given the downstream blocking pattern, our persistent ridge in the NEPac has been gradually evolving into a pseudo-Omega block as it slowly retrogrades to the NW, with the current CoL off SoCal being the most recent incarnation of a CoL setting up on the SE quadrant of the High/block.
      Since the Omega block in turn is syphoning off a virtually endless supply of cold air from the PV, a continuing/repeating cycle of NE-SW oriented troughs of cold air feeding into the backside of the High seems likely.
      So, what we’re going to see is not so much an anomalously located PV (hence your comment), but rather two anomalously placed HP systems that’s working together to drive/drain the PV’s cold air SW instead of mostly due S.
      As we’ve been seeing for many years now, once these type of blocking patterns get fully entrenched, they can disappear briefly then reform….and in the LR that may indeed be the pattern we’ll be seeing….but that’s a real pipedream at this time.
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e281f0f4d7eb59ee625c6899db41ac99c433540bd6789568cb442ac7b9fe1098.png

      • Sokafriend

        Thank you, Cheden.

      • Pfirman

        Pipedreams is all we have had, except for January, which was an actual dream by comparison to the rest of this godforsaken winter so far.

    • CHeden

      Interesting to note that your analog years all came immediately on the heels of an El Nino?

    • When you say west vs east you are referring to hemispheres?

  • Yolo Hoe

    32F in far southwest Davis — barometer 30.12 and falling slowly — clear and cold

  • Taz & Storm Master

    brrr its cold this AM and it overcast here 36 it feels like it could snow this AM

    • Admode (Susanville)

      18 degrees when I left my house this morning!

  • Cap’n

    13F this morning, 18F yesterday.

    • AlTahoe

      23F down at this end as a slight breeze has kept the winds up. Livermore is 26F

      • Chris

        Clouds in Morgan Hill. 37 today, 31 yesterday

    • Do you have new mittens?

      • Cap’n

        Duct tape works wonders.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    High 30s this morning on the peninsula. Strong signal in the long range for colder than averages temperatures and possible setup for undercutting. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fe1abb68827ee3e666753d69bf3f0c9817d7d1e29d970ce68b53ff9d4d7be8d4.jpg A complete reversal of the West East dipole we’ve been stuck in for almost all of the last 3 and a half months.

    • AlTahoe

      So if this happens and we get a stormy March the only other similar year would be 1990-1991. Interesting that Dec 1990 had an arctic outbreak and we just missed having one this December.

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        There was a shown record Artic outbreak by the Canadian model in December in the 8-10 day range that never materialized so there was the thought of one atleast.

        • DrySprings6250

          And it’s the thought that counts! ??????

      • jstrahl

        Almost 30 years ago. It’s like trying to rekindle a failed romance after almost 30 years. 🙂 (I did get divorced in ’91).

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        This kind of happened in January but the southwest ridge played some havoc with us

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      This kind of happened in January but the southwest ridge messed with us.

  • tomocean

    Here’s a few snow fantasy pics from British Columbia. Nice storm last night. Apparently, they got a pineapple express here a few weeks ago. Didn’t realize they come this far north. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/284b877051b034c8e971ae070cdaad933ccd1da4cd917c8bff884c3980f6b0b1.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/98e3d05d11490fc4b2f040e4a9a5c382c374d836e156dc9a77d73e2ee571a13c.jpg

    • AlTahoe

      There were multiple pineapple expres’s into Alaska this December.

      • tomocean

        I suppose I figured they would drop precipitation as more frozen than liquid as they went north.

  • Taz & Storm Master
    • Atmospheric_River

      East Coast would be happy. They’ve been in the freezer for a good portion of winter.

    • weathergeek100

      They’re probably excited.

    • jstrahl

      Right, let’s celebrate that the east is baking, never mind that this has done nothing for us rain-wise, contrary to predictions.

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        I think what happens on the east coast does affect us. If our rain forecasts at the end of month come to pass no doubt what is happening there is an influence.

        • jstrahl

          Yeah, there is an influence, my comment was about the immediate forecast in question, the high temps back east are coinciding on this forecast with low ones in the west but NOT with meaningful rain.

  • Fairweathercactus

    Radar showed yellow over my area yet not a drop fell. This winter just keeps on giving.

  • Hollow Scene (The Desert)

    Redlands, did you get anything last night or this morning??

    • redlands

      nothing measureable — the shutout continues

  • matt

    Getting a little rain here in the high desert Lancaster area.

  • DrySprings6250

    Fulfilling our 20% chance right now with some snow flurries…

  • CHeden

    Solid overcast and 34F at my house here in Cottonwood this morning. Noting some light virga ATTM that looks to be mostly snow down to ~ 3,000′ or so before evaporating.
    This is I believe the 5th slider I’ve had over the last 10 days or so..and each one is tracking a little further west along with heavier cloudiness…a good trend but still no precip. Here’s a look from my place over the Redding plain. Methinks CM in his new digs may get a flurry or two?
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d8bb34a3efde76c62dc8535a945247ca0c7fee489ed65b681e941bce6132c5f3.jpg

    • Craig Matthews

      Same temperature here with a 5-10mph west wind. Me thinks it could snow here too with the fact that we have wind mixing the inversion out with a temp this low, and low dewpoint, but clouds aren’t thick enough overhead, and I’m seeing clearing skies to the west an north of me.

      • CHeden

        Same here.
        But, you live where things can change in a hurry.
        BTW, I’m coming into town (Redding) today, got time to hook up?

        • Craig Matthews

          Unfortunately not today. I have to do a small deck job over in Weaverville. Got to do finish these outdoor jobs before it rains or snows, (hopefully). Should have time next week.

          • CHeden

            Great. Keep me in mind.
            Definitely got an itch to try my new camera out on something more than the birds and bees.

          • Craig Matthews

            Yes, some atmospheric physics in action would sure do(not that it isn’t always in action, lol). BTW what type of camera?

          • CHeden

            SONY AR7iii with 24-105mm G-OSS lens.
            Too cool (so far!).

          • jstrahl

            Weaverville? Nice town, i remember a great breakfast when we emerged from several days out towards Steuart’s Fork in the Trinities.

  • Tangocity

    Got three gallons of runoff from this mornings light drizzle here in the Oxnard plain. #SmallVictories

  • V-Ville

    So anyone want to hazard a guess how cold next week will be and how long it will last? I’ve got Chardonnay starting to push shoots very early due to recent warm weather and my old-school method of using Xmas lights to protect citrus may not cut it. NWS Sac extended says 50’s with lows 20’s-30’s.

    • CHeden

      Sounds about right. Note the thread below about cold air now spilling over the mountains in NE California….which will be hugging the valley floor until something comes along to mix things out. Unfortunately that may not happen for quite a while. Up here in the north Valley, things may get even colder as the coldest air tends to pool up here at the tip of the valley, so Ag interests are on high alert….especially the fruit growers. It’s interesting to note that these type of setups can sometimes bring our heaviest snows should enough moisture get pulled up from the south then overrides the colder surface air. Such a setup was responsible for over 8″ of snow in Redding about 15 years ago (the exact year escapes me).

      • V-Ville

        Thanks. Read the thread below and while I’m happy for the pattern change it prompted some concern. Just hoping we get some good rain so I hold off irrigating a little longer. It will be what it will be.

    • gray whale

      Unfortunately most of my grape friends and I see more extreme frost seasons as part of our new reality. We lost about 40% of our fruit last year to a frost that was not stratified like usual, but had a very deep cold pool so it crept way up onto the hillsides. Damage aside it was actually a fascinating event. We don’t have any frost protection, so I’m double pruning and pruning lower areas (and I’ve expanded the definition of “low”) as late as possible. On the citrus front….yipes.

      • V-Ville

        Yikes 40%. I’ve rough pruned already and have 50% that just needs some tweaking for final. I’m stopping til I get more info. Our vines are also on a hillside about 250ft above the valley floor so I’m hoping that will help if things get ugly. Yes I agree while it is a worry, these events are fascinating.

  • Chris

    Annual precipitation totals often vary greatly in California from year to year. I believe we are the most extreme in the country.
    However, looking back at some of my data, similar seasonal totals seem to travel in pairs.

    This is for Morgan Hill;

    86-87 14.09
    87-88 13.79

    90-91 20.18
    91-92 19.46

    95-96 31.16
    96-97 31.38

    00-01 17.59
    01-02 18.79

    09-10 32.70
    10-11 31.85

    11-12 16.05
    12-13 16.95

    …… and now it’s bipolar ?

    • Bombillo1

      What were your 15-16 and then 16-17 numbers?

      • Chris

        25.11 and 51.38
        Currently 8.07 for this season.

  • VC_AvocadoGrower (Santa Paula)

    Had a nice shower sit over my location for about 45 minutes this AM. A nice, steady light rain was good for about .14 inches. Cautiously optimistic for additional rainfall in late Feb/March with this pattern change. Looking forward to the colder air, but not the potential frost hazards for the already very confused/stressed orchard trees and garden crops.

    • BP (Ventura)

      Wow, over a tenth of an inch this morning in SP!?! Good for you. We too on the coast in VTA had a nice hour or so shower around 0530 – 0630. Funny, how just a little bit of moisture brightens my overall mood and outlook on life! Please let there be more!!!

  • weathergeek100
    • Fairweathercactus

      I honestly think it will wash out before it hits land. Much like you see in the summer.

      • weathergeek100

        Probably. The low is supposed to weaken, anyways. But I think south San Diego still has a decent chance of some showers.

        Of course, I wouldn’t be surprised if absolutely nothing falls. I mean, let’s face it- I wouldn’t be surprised if a drop of rain doesn’t fall until next November.

  • thebigweasel

    Another tenth of an inch for SB today. Exactly what we need.
    Spousel unit reports snow is gone, but it dropped to 19 yesterday morning. Change is in the air.

    • Tangocity

      Santa Barbara?

  • AlTahoe

    I like the trend in the GFS to keep pushing the ridge further west. I don’t like the trend that the GFS keeps pushing the storms further and further out into Fantasy range.

    • matthew

      On the bright side – at least it is showing some storms in the long range. I am not expecting much, but a few season ending blasts would sure be nice.

      • Nathan

        Sure beats the outlook for now, from two weeks ago

      • Yolo Hoe

        We’re going to have some absolutely great days upcoming in Tahoe during March/April — solid Spring skiing with relatively few people

    • jstrahl

      Storms in Fantasyland is what keeps viewers looking and coming back for more. 🙂

      • weathergeek100

        This is so true and sad at the same time because the fantasies never become realities.

      • janky

        Hour 384 has been AMAZING all winter long

        • Bob G (Gustine)

          LOL, that is not true. Fantasyland during most of late January and until this week have shown nothing but a ridge in the west and trough in the east. Fantasyland through much of December wasn’t all that impressive either.

        • jstrahl

          Not quite, much of this winter it’s been dry right through 384.

    • Patrick from Stockton

      Actually it’s being fairly consisten with starting the action right around 2/24 as CHeden was mentioning in one of his posts. I see weather.com is now picking up on this and showing rain icons for Stockton from 2/24 on. A good sign for sure of a pattern change coming…hopefully

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        The polar vortex pattern is breaking up. That helps

        • Patrick from Stockton

          I wonder if the MJO is being seen in the long range as going to phase 1-2-3 and is helping with this pattern as well. I remember Howard mentioned that fact alone could bring storms back to CA in one of his updates a couple weeks ago

  • Calling it right now i bet now through the end of march I get 5″ of rain and Runnings Springs and a lot of other mountain regions finish with a hefty 2-3′

    • DrySprings6250

      That would be awesome! But if even the better valley locations like your area receives 5” that would put me at ~15” rain or up to several feet of snow – let’s just go all in and say 5 feet of snow here by end of March! ???

  • Craig Matthews

    On a tropical ENSO + MJO note. It has been interesting to watch the highly amplified enhanced MJO wave propagate from the far western eq Pacific into the central eq pacific in the last several days(from phase 6 into phase 7) and how that wave is affecting both anomalous winds and convection in the tropical pacific, and other tropical basins. The rising motion associated is a strong area of convection associated with this latest enhanced MJO wave has drawn into itself a strong westerly wind pulse, (or wwb) from Indonesia to the central eq pacific east of the dateline. Looking at the first image I posted here, you can see the strength of the anomalous westerlies from Indonesia toward the central eq Pac. Even though the WWB is slightly off equatorial to the south(likely due to seasonality) it will still have an effect on the ocean, likely producing a strong Oceanic Kelvin Wave(OKW) in the coming weeks. The second image I posted shows that there has been a frequency to these westerly amomalies on a timescale, with the latest anomaly being the strongest, linked to ongoing MJO frequency. Whether or not this may help determine our next WWB is left to be seen though. The third satellite image is showing, what I believe to be the anomalous convection in the central eq Pacific associated with the MJO(red circle with arrows indicating drawn-in low level flow), and it’s squelching effects on the Walker Cell in the eastern eq Pacific. The reason I find this most interesting is because there is a growing consensus amongst mets of a potential for El Nino to develop latter this year. However right now, it is way to early to determine this(as noted by these same mets), as the atmosphere could easily snap back from a short lived El Nino-like mode( induced by the MJO amplitude and location) to a La Nina like mode, as the MJO wave could return to the Indian Ocean and amplify in that location(left to be seen). There is, also, an Oceanic Kelvin Wave that was generated by the last weaker wwb in December, along with what could be a renewed Oceanic Kelvin Wave with the recent stronger WWB. It is left to be seen what these OKWs will do when they reach the coast of South America, how they will warm the surface ssts in that area, how that will affect the atmosphere, and how that will correspond in tandem with the state of the tropical atmosphere at that time the OKW affect the surface ssts in the future. Anyway, as for our weather for the rest of this winter and spring, we desperately need rain and snow, and my hopes is that whatever the SSW and the tropical patterns do in the next several weeks, one can only hope that the tele-connetic translation to the NPac-NAtlantic will favor a deep West Coast trough. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5a40b0b1d8e1aa0e89c047fda150fe97c1a02269c4b6cd53f7344764069cb3f7.gif https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/084a651266a0613a58ef208045b5a2cbc77a380b674345714ae86482503ad93a.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1feee520fb6c71b695409c284fa1878992ef94eddfc14e17d450c73030f45a98.gif

    • Anomalous u850 wind is on a tear with MJO is doing some very serious hang-time in Phase 7. OLR forecasts and wind anomalies look favorable with CFS forecasts for February 25th or so and others possibly following into March. Similar is seen on TT for the 25th~ish

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        Precip wise CFS still hates March but still two weeks out.

        • I’m not looking at the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome stuff. LOL

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            I always like to start looking about a week out. The CFS seems to pick up on patterns around that time

          • SoCalWXwatcher

            CFSv2 & EC Weeklies really are the fortune cookie forecast tools aren’t they?

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            LOL. It would be interesting to see how these long range models work and what factors it uses to come to its forecasts. FY2014/2015 was a weak el nino year. The CFS seemed to have a bias to wet monthly forecasts that would trend dry toward the end of the period. Last year was a weak La Nina year and the CFS would start the period with dry forecasts only to flip to wet the last week

          • I think all models did have a wet season for 2014-15 and most of it came in December 2014. For v3 it’s one area they are trying to correct. Imagine an accurate seasonal forecast??!!! It’s coming but maybe not from CFS or other conventional world models.

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            Yep. I don’t even bother with the seasonal forecasts. I was referring to the CFS monthly forecasts. They start the daily runs on the 1st day of each month. They would often trend wet during the first 1/2 to 2/3 of the month then trend dry near the end. The Jamstec is another big fail. It got it right this year but a big fail last year and 2014/2015. I think if there is any kind of El Nino Jamstec will forecast green and if there is any kind of La Nina Jamstec will forecast brown

      • Craig Matthews

        I’ve looked at a few different MJO forecasts and some have it dying off from phase 7 into COD, with another model, I think NCFS?, has it continuing into phase 8-1-2, which might be good for us? Yeah, I’ve seen that CFS w/ the OLR. Hope we get locked into a trough to close out, then maybe after the Spring Predictability Barrier we’ll be talking about El Nino of some sort. Eric Webb @webberweather had a few interesting comments on the potential for El Nino via twitter and theweatherforums.com.

        • Isn’t much forcing in phases 8-1 anyway but rather leaves whatever base state there is alone to fend for itself. Hey it’s been OUT of the COD since late November. I’m rounding up a couple of days in December .98 and .91 LOL.

        • Yes GEFS does and ECMM. Most others skip the COD

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      I really missed your in-depth analysis on here, thanks for posting such great notes Craig!

      • Craig Matthews

        Thanks for reading it. As you can see I’ve been taking notes 😉

    • CHeden

      Solid summary, CM.
      Hard to argue with any of the potential scenarios yer painting.
      I think the depth of the cold water in the Eastern equatorial Pacific has been a bit of a thermal hurdle for any OKW to fully dislodge (so far)…but as you said, there is the possibility of more WWB’s which should help push another OKW our way? TIme will tell.

      • Craig Matthews

        Good point about the cold water hurdle in the eastern eq Pac. Yeah, seams that will make it more difficult for an El Nino to get going, as more atmospheric support-OKWs would be needed to overcome that “hurdle” to obtain an ssta/sst gradient more conducive for a self sustaining ocean-atmosphere El Nino feedback system into next winter. Just a watch n’ wait from now through spring/early summer.

  • gray whale

    Loving the optimism today everybody. A welcome change of tone

  • happ [Los Angeles]

    Around 5:30am I watched channel 5 show radar of heavy showers moving north through Orange county/ LA but they failed to mention that very little rain was reaching the ground. Woke up several hours later looking forward to evidence of nothing.

    Tuesday: 66/ 48

  • SoCalWXwatcher

    Just outside the 10 day window. If Models haven’t backed away from this by next week, it would be a good sign.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7109c1f20ed43aed2edbc1c69d913c6816f0a2646a6dbaf619153a004254e72f.gif

    • 82/83 El Nino baby (San Jose)

      Where is this storm coming from> I thought the patter would only allow inside sliders from due north. I hope this model comes to be.

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        The forming HP area in the east is forcing the pattern to shift west. The ridge is retrograding NW alliowing the storms to move over water thus juicing them up. The polar vortex is gone

      • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

        As Bob notes-this is from BA at Opensnow.

        “As we get to the last week of the month the ensemble mean runs have been showing the ridge in the East Pacific backing up out towards 150-160w.That would allow these cold storms dropping down the East side of the ridge to have some over water trajectory and pick up moisture before moving into CA.”

        • Yup. Up, over, down, through. I think we might see an honest to goodness GOA storm. I remember a good one (several) in December 2012 but none since.

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            If only there was a big plume of subtropical moisture for one of these lows to tap into. Wouldn’t it blow up with the cold air coming down from the north?

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      better run to run consistency so far too

    • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

      It does seem they all are hinting that March should be good for the state, hopefully it’s not just a week or two but the entire month into April with storms rolling through.

    • Chow

      If the models haven’t backed away from this by the 26th, it would be a good sign.

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        Yes, that would be even better, but I didn’t want to set the bar there. LOL.

        Actually, if it *Verified*, that would be the BEST sign.

  • Shane Ritter

    One of the few times this year where GEFS has a trough over the West for basically the next 380 hrs. Decent agreement by all 3 ensembles of something happening in the 20-23rd.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      GEFS Ensemble not looking too shabby heading into March right now. We have sooo much riding on a productive March.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/69215117cda553e74e61beda74b135279b1d1cec8d1666de39ab0c4588203166.gif

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        Wonder what the Euro looks like for this time period?

        • SoCalWXwatcher

          Euro EPS Ensemble charts beyond 10 day time frame are all behind paywall/subscription sites now. Maybe someone will share.

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            Sometimes Ryan Maue posts them on twitter

          • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

            Hehe… 😉 I might be nice this evening.

  • janky

    How many atmospheric rivers have we had hit NorCal (let along SoCal) this year? I think I counted one in November. That’s it. Anyone else have the tally? Last year I think it was 10+.

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      Did we even have one? Lol

    • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

      one in NOV and one in JAN hit the bay area

  • I’m kinda waiting for an update. Everyone has seen systems or patterns disintegrate this year. IMO his forecasting has merits. http://www.tahoeweatherblog.com/

  • We had the monster or something in 2014 that turned out to be a dud. It was one of the bigger if not biggest. 2015 the Pacific was primed and there wasn’t such a big push from far west Pacific. This year may be different. The dates within the year are different because I want to show the position of the 2014 monster vs what is there right now. As the Kelvin moves East it doesn’t warm up on it’s own, it gets relatively warmer than the surrounding water. I like the shape of it and there isn’t an upwelling wave under it yet. IMO this one looks pretty significant. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/193ce890e20ce19dc3041357575a08a983c169bc58d469a1a6662eb0a227db3f.png

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      Better idea by mid summer maybe?

      • SPD be damned! LOL Yes of course!
        CFS won’t hint at this for another ten days. It’s not because they are asleep at the wheel but they look at the prior ten days for ENSO graphs.

        • Bob G (Gustine)

          I think the community here would be pumped headed into next winter if a good el nino builds

    • These westerly wind bursts are definitely raising eyebrows; it appears that there would be at least the potential for a significant El Nino event to follow. But there’s no guarantee that the atmosphere-ocean coupling remains sustained in the coming months; we saw a big failure of the process back in 14-15. Time will tell…

      • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

        I always say check in around June, after SPB wanes… Regardless this is a noteworthy trend indeed.

        • You’ll be peeking. I know you too well. :))

          • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

            You got me.

      • Dogwood

        At a very minimum, if it does turn into a significant event, yet underperforms in ways similar to 14-15 and shows that 82-83 and 97-98 can no longer be thought of as analogues, then you have another data set to figure a bunch of stuff out re our present atmosphere.
        So that’s something to look forward to.

        • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

          I doubt that’ll stop him from analyzing the pattern with colleagues *IF* it does emerge later this year.

        • 1997 and 1982 were both east based SENs that had different ways of ‘getting there’. 1997 by brute force and 1982 with finesse.

        • Bob G (Gustine)

          For 14-15 Daniel was talking about the super el-nino not developing as it looked like it might in early spring. 14-15 was a weak el nino. Not sure if you meant 15-16 which was a strong el-nino. There were differences with that El Nino compared to 96/97 with the SST pattern

  • Rainmaker (San Jose)

    “Cry havoc and let slip the troughs of winter!” Pattern change is finally around the corner

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      Sounds good but I can do without the gusty winds

      • Pfirman

        For sure. One hand giveth while the other taketh away.

    • weathergeek100

      I call bs. The blues will disappear in the next run (only in CA of course) and then the greens will get lighter and lighter in subsequent runs until a nice big fat donut hole is opened up for us. Regarding temps, the dark blues will be soon switching to light blues and then oranges and then reds. Downtown LA 100 degrees by mid-March. Watch.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        It will do one of two things. We will either get a pattern change that will lead to wetter weather, or it will continue to be dry like you said above and Socal will absolutely fry from March to May.

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      What do you think? Does the ridge that is positioning itself over Canada affect this pattern in any way?

      • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

        The origin of the pattern goes back to the PV split/SSW… When a strong SSW occurs it is known to switch the zonal wind component in the lower stratosphere (10mb) from westerly to easterly… I noted this the other day with a tweet from Sam Lillo showing this reversal, I’ve added the tweet below again for reference. This trickles down into the tropopause as a “slow down” or full reversal of the westerlies switches to easterly generally in the upper latitudes where the strongest effects are felt with SSW events especially of strong ones like this. Once this trickles down into the tropopause, the “slow down” or reversal can give off an easterly movement of upper latitude teleconnections such as one you are pointing out… This is also indicated by the reemergence of the -NAO pattern which has been “kicking it in the back” most of this winter while chaos continued to unfold across North America, now to possibly bring a strong ridge to the North Atlantic while the southeast ridge also “corners” the trough over the west coast. Another possibility for this “slow down” or reversal is that it’s partly the cause of the retrogression of North Pacific blocking pattern. https://twitter.com/splillo/status/963283336402784256

        • This might be a one of a kind (since SSW events could be measured). QBO and SSW events are only 60+ years of data. Plotting MJO wasn’t until early 1970’s.

          • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

            We sure might be seeing something very unique accompanying this one.

          • Pfirman

            You mean like precipitation?

          • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

            The pattern itself.

          • Pfirman

            That was a joke, sorry.

          • Charlie B

            Humor is lost in times such as these.

        • Craig Matthews

          Very interesting inputs and some things you mention that I surely didn’t know. Thanks, keep this up and keep us posted.

          • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

            Trying my best. Should be more active this evening after work…

    • Dan the Weatherman

      I hope the ridge retrogrades to between 150W and 160W that would allow the trough to set up a bit further offshore so these systems have more over-water trajectory, which would bring more significant rain and snow to the region.

  • Nathan

    Nice line of T-storms off Tijuana – wonder if anything will stick together onshore…

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      Looks like it’s about to be an active day for folks on the board from SD county… Seems like they’ve become quieter around this board so let’s welcome them back with thunderstorms and rain reports :).

      • Nathan

        Radar shows returns over me but streets are dry. I think the atmosphere is too dry.

  • Sokafriend

    Nice strong cells now right over water approaching on far SW San Diego coast- heading ENE- bulk is heading in overland further south. but it looks like SD/La Jolla may pick up something.

    https://radar.weather.gov/radar_lite.php?rid=nkx&product=NCR&loop=yes

    • Pfirman

      It is nice to see SoCal getting some action.

    • weathergeek100

      Looks like a lot of chaff on that radar mixing in with whatever rain there is.

      • Sokafriend

        We actually had a few brief sprinkley showers.
        Funny drops- they didn’t splatter or roll even though they fell lightly, but instead broke into uniform daisy-like petal patterns.
        Maybe it’s the windshield cleaner, but I’ve never seen anything like it. I should have taken a quick ohoto.

      • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

        Darn…

  • AlTahoe

    This GFS run is garbage. Nothing but a few snow flakes for the Sierra for the entire run. It has that Pineapple Express back for Alaska which pushes the ridge closer to us. I hope it is an outlier but that has been my fear for the last couple of days.

    • Cap’n

      Warning: model riding may cause nausea and severe diarrhea.

    • weathergeek100

      The backtracking will begin. We’ll be ending up dry for March….and probably warmer than we first thought. Time to close the ski resorts.

      I hate to be so pessimistic but worst case seems to be the likeliest scenario as it has been all winter.

      • AlTahoe

        It wouldn’t shock me at all if all we get is some inside sliders before the high pressure moves back in. I hope that doesn’t happen but this year feels just like 2014-2015

        • Thunderstorm

          More like 1976. Lots of wind and lots of inside sliders.

        • Patrick from Stockton

          That season we had a stellar December 2014. We have not had 1 month even close to that.

        • Dan the Weatherman

          This year is worse than 2014-15 in Socal. At least we had a series of good storms that brought rain to Socal during December but for some strange reason didn’t bring snow to the Sierras.

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      It is one operational run. These can flip flop all over the place from now till the end of the month

    • DrySprings6250

      The donut hole has condensed to Redding…not sure what to think of that…

    • Probably a Outliner.

    • Craig Matthews

      Just once, just once, can we can get a deep and persistent west coast trough during our winter with one cold wet storm after another!! Got to give credit to the gfs. Even though its such a downer, the trend with this model in recent winters is to forecast a deep persistent west coast trough in the 8-14day, then in subsequent runs be the first to pick up on either pushing the ridge closer to us by too much NPac jet energy in the wrong place at the wrong time, not allowing the NPac ridge to set up further west, or, by sub tropical ridge amplification over socal shunting the deep cold trough to the northeast via Kona Lows that lift to the northeast off rhythm to the northern stream wave guide. This has been so frustrating.

  • RandomTreeInSB

    People…Calm down. We give the operational runs too much credit.
    If you watch closely, on the 18z the position of the second low while it’s just south of Alaska differs only slightly from the 12z, but that little difference is enough to drop the low much closer to CA by hour 180, while 12z has the low missing us, but that in turn works to push the ridge further west compared to 18z.
    Just that tiny difference is a huge deal. Like many other have said, instead of checking the op runs from one model, check all models and ensembles to average these differences out.

    • AlTahoe

      My concern is the AR showing back up and Splitting the HP into two pieces. That pushes the HP cell further East and lowers our storm chances. The GFS had shown this setup last week before going 8 runs in a row with the HP cutting off that AR. That cutoff of mositure is what allowed the HP to slide further west. The fact that is just showed back up is not a good sign. Hopefully it is gone again by tonight’s run but if it sticks around for 4 or more runs I would say our chances of a meaningful wet pattern in the long range is not good. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e42c930541258443a1f0ef7dba956e0f651d8c3a193b9db5ed5a8559a3564cb6.jpg

      • RandomTreeInSB

        If you look closely 12z shows something similar, just further west. IMO I still think the position of the low coming after the first cold blast matters more. 12z has it further East missing CA altogether but at the same time it forces the ridge west.

      • Atmospheric_River

        Did I hear someone say AR?

  • flyboy45

    Moderate rain falling in Sedona, AZ, almost an inch in the last three days. Inside sliders have some benefit here in the SW where we suffer from the same effects of the west coast ridging.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e76f321917b145fe47d50e085a3dd01b17f162271ab7f55951a0b828d168b75e.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a999532c0403d4de62616f46522ea51e17c46ea0eedea40d2c12532ab368e718.jpg The whole state in Moderate category, two-thirds in Severe, new patches of extreme showing up in the last few runs.

    • Pfirman

      Well, bully for you. Maybe it will be contagious.

    • Jason Jackson Willamette
    • alanstorm

      If I have my way, that’s where I will be retiring, drought or no drought.
      Sedona or Flagstaff

      • Yolo Hoe

        Going to Sedona for first time next week for a few days — will check it out

        • alanstorm

          It’s absolutely a stunning, magical place.
          Up there with the Humboldt giant Redwoods

          • DrySprings6250

            No shit? I’ll have to make a visit….

          • Cap’n

            Mystical place.

        • AlTahoe

          I want to mountain bike there very badly. Scope out the trails for me and give me a full report when you get back. K thanks 🙂

        • saw1979
        • CHeden

          Lot’s of crazy “energy” down there.
          Kinda like the same vibe being around Mt. Shasta, if you know what I mean.

          • Jim Yerkes

            Vibe around Mt Shasta must be the UFO’s. Aliens have inherited the Mt Shasta area long before Columbus discovered America according to local legends. I one time heard a really funny one liner that stated if you took,all,of the UFO sightings in the Mt Shasta area it would clog up the 405 in Southern Cal !!

        • Charlie B

          Mrs. Charlie B and I went there a couple of years ago. Beautiful. We went to dinner one night and she wanted mashed potatoes as a side to go with a pork chop. They were lobster mashed and cost 20 bucks. And it wasn’t even Valentines Day. Check menu prices carefully. And the main drag is crawling with cops. We did catch a glorious thunderstorm which made it worthwhile.

        • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

          Sedona is great. Stay away from tourist zones and try to find the natural beauty. Hint: it’s not to hard

        • annette johnson

          I think you will really like it there, and you are going at a good time…gets pretty congested in summer.

      • Live in Flagstaff. Sedona is $$$ and is an amazing place. If I could afford it, Sedona hands down.

        • alanstorm

          No kidding, of course not unreasonable
          compared to the Bay Area!
          My Uncle was a bronze artist in Scottsdale & his “weekend getaway” was in Sedona right next to Bell Rock. I was lucky to visit quite a bit until he got dementia & lost everything

          • Bombillo1

            But he gave you this artistic skill….

          • alanstorm

            Didn’t really get to know him until later years, but always was aware of his success, & inspired me as a kid to do art.

        • jstrahl

          Flagstaff is dry, re secure water supply.

          • Cap’n

            Not as dry as you’d think. I love both of those places, Flagstaff is probably more realistic, or more options. I was in a heck of a blizzard in Flagstaff around 2001 or so.

            https://wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?azflag

          • Charlie B

            Check out the December 1967 storms. Sedona received 35”, Prescott 46” and Flagstaff 84”. Other areas more.

  • palmsprings

    Too far E for any rain Monday and too far NW for any rain today. At least it’s partly cloudy and cool…

  • molbiol

    I used to see these all the time in Oregon and now they are heading south…

    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-nutria-invade-california-20180209-story.html

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      They are showing up east of me around the duck clubs and wildlife refuges where there is a lot of water

      • molbiol

        I doubt they’ll make down here to the desert. However, coastal and inland areas of Socal may have to deal with them if the spread continues. Many people mistake them for Muskrats or Beavers

        • Pfirman

          First I heard of them. Where in Oregon? Also, I don’t recommend reading the comments in that link.

          • molbiol

            They are actually present throughout the PacNW. They were deliberately introduced to the area from South America as a source of fur and game for hunting etc. As is typically the case, they became invasive and are now a major pest problem. Yup I read the comments and as is typical they quickly turned into political jokes and racial insults. One comment mentions that they are a threat to the levees but I am not sure if that is true

          • matthew

            I have read that they like to burrow and can weaken the levees. They are trying to eradicate them in the cv.

          • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

            My understanding on this species is they burrow and dig and generally wreck mayhem like a rat but x1000 or so bigger, so ya they can cause some large scale infrastructure problems if not controlled.

            And ya once they are populated in CA controlling or eradicating is probably impossible.

          • molbiol

            didn’t realize that levees were that vulnerable. could be an issue given that these rodents are prolific breeders

          • Thunderstorm

            Read in the newspaper that one female can produce four litters a year with 6 in each litter.

          • Bombillo1

            Very nutritious.

  • alanstorm

    A cold, windy NW flow now established for the North Coast with lows dipping in the 20’s for Willits. Could be the coldest night of the year, so bringing in the Brass Monkeys 4 sure.
    So much for abnormal warmth!
    Not sure if these clouds are simply marine-layer or possible showers
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b5a15fb569cdebcb264fccd285511a4c380127c262453bb085293b81be7dc7c2.jpg

  • jay8484

    The last year that was this dry through February was in the 1990-91 rainy season. Then came the 10+ inches in March. It even snowed down to about 2,000 feet.

    • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

      March miracle. Kinda the last hope for this year right?

      • matthew

        At this point I am hoping for a wet spring and early summer to keep fire season at bay. I have pretty much given up hope for anything big enough to impact the watershed.

  • Pfirman

    Well, I started watering orchard trees today and come here and notice the tweet about stone fruit being watered in the San Joaquin.
    The crossroads of Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day have me on edge. Then I find out Easter comes on April Fool’s. Gave up alcohol for Lenten water rites so we will see what the next six weeks bring.

    • V-Ville

      Yep irrigated one vineyard last weekend and will hit our fruit trees Friday. Ground is pretty dry. It’s just wrong having to irrigate during the winter.

  • Taz & Storm Master

    Area Forecast Discussion
    National Weather Service San Francisco Bay Area
    425 PM PST Wed Feb 14 2018

    Precipitation chances still look minimal at best, however with snow
    levels expected to lower to locally under 1,000 feet, attention
    will turn to the possibility of snow at low elevation locations.
    Due a big disagreement for the potential for any precipitation, it
    was mostly kept out of the grids for now with just some lower
    values indicated for the North Bay.

    you dont see under 1,000ft all the time

    • Nice catch. Yes, there may be a chance of some very light but very low elevation snow at some point next week. Stay tuned!

      • Taz & Storm Master

        thanks

      • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

        I saw this also this afternoon, but it seems like the possible precip, both with this event and going into the end of feb, is still dicey.

      • molbiol

        I am not going to be holding my breath at this point; its so late in the season and the high sun angle and antecedent warmth presents a big obstacle to low land snow

        • Dan weather maniac (ORINDA)

          There were snow showers last year, in orinda, east bay, in early March, elev 600ft (my location). It can most certainly happen.

      • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

        For the love of God please happen!

        • Thunderstorm

          If the flow is from the NW then best area for snow is the higher area just to the east of Monterey. Ocean enhancement. It has happened there in years past.

    • Great!

    • AlTahoe

      I saw a tweet from the NWS Bay Area that 850’s might approach -5 to -10C which would be an all time low for this late in the season for the Bay Area. To bad there is no moisture being shown.

      • True torture. “Oh you want some snow? Here’s a couple snowflakes, enjoy the deathly cold for no worthwhile benefits, SUCKERS” -Mother Nature while she’s sitting on the can filing her nails, the bone dust drifting down to us circling the bowl, waiting, just waiting for the constipation to finally end.

        • Cap’n

          LOL I like that mental image quite a bit, I like your style you sicko.

  • Taz & Storm Master

    i think the 18z was a outliner the new 0z now starting so whats see what it shows and will no if the 18z was a out liner or not

  • Taz & Storm Master

    any idea on what ECMWF shows dos it have 1,000ft snow levels

  • Windy and cold right now. Hopefully a precursor to next week.

  • Whittier weather dude

    Once again we get boned in so cal.

  • I have an order from the Imperial Council of European Weather Goods. You eyebrows are requested to raise approximately 7mm and your brow is then needed to furrow.
    What little there is on the Euro precip map…almost all falls as snow. Basically the map for H2O falling as a…H2O…is the same as the map for H2O falling as snow.
    I can’t recall this happening in recent times.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ebd4b58bbb5b69e506bf76b991f8631bb2ec342f2ff1549b672ea5dbd50c8483.gif

    • matthew

      Pretty meager amounts no matter how it comes down. Rapidly losing hope.

      • 1. for once snowpack won’t degrade at least.
        2. could juice up, going to flip flop for a while as we are dependent upon getting a glancing blow from a PNW system, if I recall from earlier discussions.
        3. I really hope this completely trashes the mosquito and tick population. Probably won’t the latter, but fingers crossed.

        • Yolo Hoe

          Your second point is the critical one — we all love the rush of seeing the blue blobs coming on shore on the model runs — but we also all know that the precipitation amounts associated with this kind of set up will depend on the trajectory tracking something like a hundred miles west or east — thus we’ll only have a good idea of big dump versus dusting within 3 days out or so — feels like the same sort of roulette as a cut off low and where it wobbles — and yes, I’ll be saddling up every 6 hours to gaze pointlessly into the crystal ball — but with a grain of salt until we get closer on this particular series.

      • Cap’n

        Agreed. The force field is strong, so much like 14-15′. I too am losing hope, we need a freakin’ miracle just to get out of the category of horrendous winter into the category of very bad.

        • Thunderstorm

          Everyone will get tired of the wind the next couple of months. I mean real tired just like 1976.

    • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

      Old news

  • Craig Matthews

    Rather large plume of smoke in the mountains to the northeast of Redding as I was driving down 299 very late this afternoon. I don’t know the area that well, but to me the fire looked like it was somewhere in the mountains east of Shasta L, between the Squaw creek and Pit River arms of the lake, not to be confused with the arm pit of the lakes, sorry bad joke. Anyway, whether this prescribed burn or not, it looked pretty large to me, and wondering if anyone has heard any news about a fire in this area?? I know I know folks are tired of talking about fires, but I just gotta ask. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3c2329c06ab408e329aae5c37ef7ab95719d694f51f21710c0a6b9f0d98c4ce5.jpg

    • Bombillo1

      I am on the Pit River, 15 mi from the lake. Windy, even sprinkled a bit earlier. Odd to read your own obituary on a blog.

      • Thunderstorm

        Very poor comment on a day like today. Surprised others haven’t given you a earful. Trump talk!

        • molbiol

          I’m lost

          • Bombillo1

            Me too.

          • Cap’n

            Me three.

          • Bombillo1

            Apparently 2 others thought Thunder made perfect sense. The most baffling thing of all.

          • I upvoted for the heck of it.

          • Jason Jackson Willamette

            I was lost. Then I was found, wandering beside the road, looking for answers, the meaning to what life was really about. I asked, I listened, and I heard. Life is about a map, imprinted on the soul, which shows us the road, which we see in our minds eye. Take the road until you reach the fork. One way offered the easy way, the other a great challenge. Choose the easy way and much will be said, but very little done. Choose the challenging way and you will grow into a man, a man who accomplishes much and lets his work speak for who he became. Not seeking credit nor renown, just relishing the profound satisfaction in leaving a place better than it was found.

      • Craig Matthews

        Yup I’m gone.

    • justsomeguy

      Looks like a prescribed fire to me.
      https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5636/

    • Admode (Susanville)

      The lassen and modoc took advantage of conditions yesterday to conduct a bunch of prescribed burns. Calfire and county agencies were also burning in the front country yesterday. Glad to see everyone being proactive.

      • Craig Matthews

        Good news, thanks. Looks like it burned pretty hot for a few hours being the size and altitude of the smoke column late yesterday afternoon. The smoke column got bigger after I took that shot and turned darker for a time. But there is barely any smoke over there today, so it looks like that prescribed burn went well, I suppose. Just hope that it was mostly the fuel loading and thicker understory/fuel ladders that burned, and not to many of the bigger trees.

        • Admode (Susanville)

          If it’s a forest service burn they actually shoot for a certain percentage of mortality of larger trees, but burning in these conditions will help reduce the risk of losing any old growth trees. Losing a few medium sized trees is good for the environment, many animals benefit from dead trees. Certainley things can go wrong, but it is a very necessary ecological tool needed in California. And yes, the primary goal is to reduce not only brush and small trees, but pine needles and duff too.

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    Models taking a bad turn, please be tempeorary, Iv ant deal with this anymore

  • Great Winter of 2017 (SMC)

    Not expecting any low elevation snow event now (atleast for the Bay Area), models are shifting the coldest air east along with less moisture

  • Bombillo1

    Now would be an excellent time to check the efficacy of your favorite headache medicine. Take 2, look at the Rainbow Loop and see if your head still explodes.

    http://www.goes.noaa.gov/dml/west/nhem/weus/rb.html

  • Fairweathercactus

    Cactus said it a few days ago and is sticking with his guns about the cold air shifting East. It has been like that all season why would it shift to anything different .

    • jstrahl

      Different conditions, such as the splitting of the PV? Yeah, to know the future, just look in the past. This really gets you far. 🙂

  • Admode (Susanville)

    Got enough leaf blower snow to cover the ground last night. It is currently 1.8 degrees at Bogard. Yikes.

    • Temps up there and Truckee are indeed low, just as forecast, I wasn’t able to find Bogard but there’s a series of stations near Mammoth that are reporting temps not far from negative!
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/147dd6c180daf5844662248da6df958d669cdbcb71aa31b705e3667eea515239.jpg

      • Admode (Susanville)

        Here’s where I saw it. Warming up! http://caltrans.ca.gov/dist2/rwis/sm_bogard.php

      • AlTahoe

        I havent dipped below 23F. Lake must be really warm for this time of year. I haven’t recorded a temp in the teens in a really long time.

      • Cap’n

        15F here this morning, third or fourth morning in teens, possibly some single digits next week, haven’t seen those since the December inversion which was really the only time it has been cold this winter.

    • Bombillo1

      Funny place Bogard. Good indicator location yet no one really lives there. About 5,000′ feet, no?

      • Admode (Susanville)

        Yep, it’s around 5000. Pine creek valley gets its cold air dropped in from the bogard buttes (And probably lassen) to the west/north west, and a bunch of cascadian mountains in every other direction trap and hold that air. There are barracks there that people live in during the summer, as well as two engines and a hotshot crew stationed there year round.

  • AlTahoe
    • Cap’n

      Utah slowly trying to tiptoe out of snow starvation. Nice snow there last night and more coming. Donut hole getting a little smaller, but will the California force field continue to deflect? Of course Montana just keeps getting snow. I Really screwed up cancelling my trip there earlier this winter, hoping for southern Utah redemption.

      • Thor

        Yes, its just shortwave after shortwave traversing the state all winter long. So, far MSU campus has received 95 inches already- twice the average. The Snotel site outside Cooke City is currently reading a snow depth of 10 feet. Makes for great snowmobiling I guess: http://cookecity.net/webcams/

        • Cap’n

          Buddy I used to teach with has a son doing patrol at Big Sky, sounds like a great winter. Like you said, just continual short wave snow falls nearly non stop. He’s going to visit him next week, forecast looking snowy.

          • My pass covers Park City, they aren’t inundated but they have more than we do, road trip? Or do you dislike PCMR?

          • AlTahoe

            It’s so hard to go to PCMR when you have to drive further than Snowbird and Alta 🙂

          • Not when the gas in your tank would be diverted to lift tickets! Aren’t you Vail like me? I know you’ve been getting some action at Heavenly but I’m sure not much, lets blow this popsicle stand and piss off some Utahns by stealing their pow.

          • AlTahoe

            I do have a Vail pass, but the skiing at Snowbird and Alta is so much better than PCMR. It’s like if you drove 10 hours from SLC to Tahoe and had to drive past Squaw and Alpine to get to N*.

          • PRCounty (Santa Lucia’s)

            I was there 2 weeks ago I loved it. Huge place. Base was minimal but had fresh snow on top.

          • Cap’n

            I’ll be in southern Utah mid March, bringing gear, hoping for the goods but not expecting it.

          • Thor

            Its been fascinating to watch the push and pull of the arctic air as it tries to spill into SW. Montana from the plains. We have had several storms that started out near or above freezing and then temps plummet as the front passes- resulting in huge ice build-ups on roads/sidewalks etc…its a real hazard. its been in the single digits in Livingston and yet in the 30s at the BZN airport 30 miles away. We had one day of solid melt at 45 degrees and then the temp dropped to 10 degrees in about 3hrs and flash froze everything…and then got covered up with 2 inches of snow. almost broke my neck. 🙂

        • AlTahoe

          This last 7 out of 8 winters here has me seriously considering a move to Bozeman. At least Bozeman has consistent winters with cold and snow.

          • Thor

            but keep in mind, we have had snow on the ground since Nov 1st (first snowfall Sept 15th). We are halfway thru our 4 month of winter already with still the wettest month historically (March) yet to come- easily looking at 6 months of “winter” – thats a lot of winter for anybody.

          • AlTahoe

            We had snow 10 out of 12 months last year here in Tahoe.

          • Thor

            yes- as did we. but we are looking at 6 months of snow on the ground…in town…not just in the Mts. I picked quite a year to reintroduce myself to a Northern winter.

          • I almost moved there to work at a resort this year…this was before the spectre of a snowless winter, what a mistake that was. If I had known I would have spent my pass money on a move East.

      • AlTahoe

        I know Utah was near all time record lows as well. Further south Telluride, Taos, Crested Butte, and Silverton are all at all time lows. Vail added Telluride to the pass for next season and I have been wanting to go there forever. Hopefully next season turns out better.

        • Cap’n

          You’re right they’ve been having a horrible year too, but as of late they seem to be at least getting in on some more action, like the donut hole is getting smaller. Will it finally include us? My gut says outlook not good.

    • BP (Ventura)

      If your 2 pictures don’t tell the story of how screwed we are this winter, then I don’t know what else will….Thanks for using your 100lb Lab as reference!

    • matthew

      Anything to get a dog pic on the board…

    • Thor
    • Yolo Hoe

      Great pic — and also indisputable proof that it still can snow quite heavily in Tahoe given that was just 12 months ago — The Storm King shall return!!

      • AlTahoe

        After this season we will be running a 600″ snowfall deficit since the 2010-2011 winter. If this keeps up for two more winters I wouldn’t be surprised to see our 30 year average go from 150″ to the 70-90″ range during the next 30 year adjustment.

        • Yolo Hoe

          Good point and obviously a massive problem — bark beetles are one painfully visible symptom of that deficit — I’m definitely praying for snow

    • DrySprings6250

      Don’t lie, that’s a chihuahua….

      ?

      • AlTahoe

        A chihuahua would have him running back to the safety of his dog bed on the porch. He is not a big fan of small dogs. Lol

        • DrySprings6250

          Haha! Those little yappers are fiesty!

    • Bartshe

      hang on to that picture, good chance you won’t see another year like that (at that elevation) again

      • AlTahoe

        Sad part is that we were only 10″ above average last season with a 160″ total. 2010-2011 we have over 300″

      • Auction date: October 23rd 2028
        Where: South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce
        What: 6x used CAT 930M loaders with snow blades and ZAUGG attachments, 15x Salt Trucks, 4x Spreaders, 17x snowblowers, large and small
        All auction lots haven’t seen any use since 2017, all kept in outdoor storage – minimal rust due to the total absence of moisture and the end of salt usage in the Sierra.

  • Martin Pettet

    Was I having hallucinations? I peeked at the 10 day this morning (usually never do, it’s bad luck) and saw SHOWERS for the weekend after next????

  • nunbub

    With the current shutout forecast for the remaining two weeks of February, the climate statistics for the Sacramento area are simply amazing. This may be the first completely dry February in my database going back to the year 1900.

    Normal precipitation for February: ~4 inches
    February 2018: 0 inches – and a few record daily high temperatures to boot

    Weather whiplash anyone?

  • Nathan

    That would be quite the gut punch if that system on the 23/24 missed us to the _south_.

  • AlTahoe

    GFS and Euro have both removed the record arctic cold for us as the HP is to far East now like I thought would happen. It appears that we might get one storm in the 384 hour window

    • nunbub

      The entire northern hemispheric weather pattern shifted with this polar vortex split. Westerly winds shifted east. High pressure surged on the east coast, and it seems like the Northeast Pacific/west coast was like, “nah, I’m good”. When will this curse be broken?

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        It seems the pattern is still evolving into March. The ridge in the models has started to slowly retreat NW. We’ll see how it ends up

    • TahoeCard

      The total precip is actually better than the other recent runs. It consolidates the 2-3 smaller storms into a bigger one with one on board.

      • AlTahoe

        Problem is the storms keep getting pushed out of the 240 hour window where the resolution is lower. Once it gets inside 240 it will be gone or pushed further out in time. Hopefully that one big storm will keep showing up but I have my doubts.

        • We’ve had notable storms inside of 240hr? The 23rd that someone saw for a run or two was outside of 240hr. We were hoping the ridge would move further west and it appears to be doing that. It won’t park itself because it’s too late in the season. It shows signs of being there more than over us.

      • Bob G (Gustine)

        Yep, the precip is better and we don’t have to have record arctic cold

      • jstrahl

        Consolidate into one, then drop completely. Seen this movie before.

    • Flow may be more zonal which would improve precip chances by increasing probability of storms forming over water than sliding down. This is a good sign.

    • Jim (Watsonville)

      All this is meaningless until StormMaster has rode in on the GFS horse to proclaim his forecast

  • rob b-Truckee/East Bay

    From Steve Paulson- think of the words from Aaron Rodgers “RELAX”
    https://twitter.com/SPaulsonKTVU/status/964189189330776064

    • jstrahl

      So, why relax? The one February with 0 turned out to be part of a very dry water year.

    • nunbub

      Yeah, okay. They had one (!) Feb with zero precip and it was over 150 years ago. Not great season total either 🙁

  • Thor

    Apologies if its been mentioned already but Daniel is in the NYT today (well the byline is 2.13 but it showed up in my email today)

    ““We are now seeing another year that looks like one of those drought years,” said Daniel Swain, a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at the University of California, Los Angeles, who during the drought coined the term “ridiculously resilient ridge” to describe the atmospheric pattern.

    “This one is definitely a resilient ridge, but we don’t know if it’s quite reaching the ‘ridiculous’ threshold,” said Dr. Swain, who blogs about California’s weather.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/13/climate/california-drought.html?emc=edit_th_180215&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=25300769

  • Bob G (Gustine)
  • TahoeCard

    The 12z GEFS looks pretty darn good with respect to where we see the ridge form Feb 22 on into March, right? Just west of 160w.

    • jstrahl

      Go west, young ridge!

      • Go Honey West

        • Go Mae West, covered in honey…

          • nunbub

            Get outta here, ridge! Go on, get! Can’t you see we don’t love you anymore?!

  • Socal

    12z GFS ensemble is wetter than the past two runs, and that weird low from the south on the deterministic doesn’t show up at all in the ensemble.

  • thlnk3r

    Record-shattering unprecedented extraordinary significant cold weather

    https://twitter.com/MJVentrice/status/964156324262154242

    • If this pattern was reversed he’d get maybe 100 more ‘hearts’ LOL

      “Record shattering hearts broken after SSW ‘promised’ another Arctic outbreak to devour I-95 under heaviest blanket of snow ever!”

      Reported bounty on Punxsutawney Phil’s head by east coasters! Left coasters reportedly on way by foot to protect and secure.

      I’m fully admitting that if I was back east I’d be a big weenie and so would most of you, too. :))

    • nunbub

      Yes, east coast, feel the burn! I hope D.C. gets +20F temp departures.

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      The first CFS flip occurred today. Check back in a week to see where it is

  • Michael Sinks

    The Texas Panhandle is suffering from over 100 days of no precipitation. We are breaking records of 100 years!

    • 82/83 El Nino baby (San Jose)

      The streak looks to end next week per this post: https://twitter.com/MJVentrice/status/964218816145354753

    • Bartshe

      please elaborate with some data, we’re interested

    • Chris

      As bad as our drought is here, it’s obviously worse in the desert Southwest AND company.
      However…… they could have a blockbuster monsoon where here in CA we have to hold our breath until next season. ??

  • Here in the East bay, last year we got I think 62-64 inches in Orinda? At the higher up orographically favored station this year we are at 15.86 so far. Yearly average is 33.5, so 47% of average to date, the lower elevation station that doesn’t get the elevation needed to wring out the weaker events and averages at 29.21 yearly, only has 10.54 to date, so 36% of average. If we were sitting closer to normal the disparity wouldn’t be so bad but that 36% is actually likely cherry picking the situation, nearby Clayton has 29% of average and there’s other spots with less.
    Brown grass in 3, 2, 1…
    Also they are lighting up the East shore preemptively judging by the cam. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/def2ffd648f3d6282e0ec31db55fdf06e641302d5b3e5c82b4c98d31a03377ff.png

  • Ladies and gents we have some models to ride, now don’t get thrown off! Some bulls out there ready to take our red flag warnings and charge right through them. This animation was a PITA but the pattern should raise eyebrows – If the Euro went to 384 I would have even more ammunition, but so far Euro doesn’t rebuild the ridge at the end of its window either. Note that the H2O flies into the animation on the GFS, and just builds up on the ensemble, this is due to a small spread in when it comes, however the signal for this event is quite strong.

    https://imgur.com/fWlH0EU

    • coldestsummer

      Another thing for us model riders to keep an eye on is the Sunday-Monday storm, which is creeping into the range of the mesoscale models. NAM is showing a more robust storm in the 18z than the GFS, and it has the support of our favorite model, the maple staple.

      • Euro 10 day for reference supports the other models, just really want to know what happens after 240 because that’s when some super sag soaking action starts. Anyone with paid support who wants to chime in?
        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b6af3e90cc41e8a7637fb18270e2e158c46085fdeceec0627c0f644e1b9cf5c7.gif

        • Just a two thoughts. North Pacific view is a good way to see what’s off the coast when looking at height anomalies and jet streams. North America view gives one the ability to see NAO as well as PNA in one view. If you think this crowd can handle it North Hemisphere view is nice to see, too. I like your comparo above a lot.

          • AlTahoe

            Good point! I only look at the North American view at first, then I watch the west view after for local details.

          • I don’t mind the the “inmybackyard” SW US view for precip though LOL

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            LOL, me too. My eyesight isn’t what it used to be. Can’t see ca rain on the North American map, lol

      • AlTahoe

        Euro and GFS were showing the Sunday – Monday system being wet earlier this week and then they both went dry with it and have stayed with the dry solution.

        • TahoeCard

          GFS never had the Sun-Mon system as wet.

    • Jason Jackson Willamette

      It’s time. Lord hear our prayer.

      Rain, snow, the glory of our mother’s tears, come stay with us until your rivers run full and your mountains glisten white. We, your children, with our tear’s, likening memories mirrors, put our trust in you. Bring us your miracle, bring us who you are, life, light and love in the form of clouds, pregnant with your blessing, washing us clean of our doubt, that we might cry no more… Om, Shanti, Amen

    • BP (Ventura)

      The “Nerd Army” is marching and kicking ass! Great GIF, thanks for putting this one out to share. Great to see these models side by side. Be careful, we are all going to be expecting this type of show from you for now on!

  • AlTahoe

    GFS is trending away from the extremely cold air that the Monday – Wednesday runs were showing in the sub 240 hour window, but now has the subtropical jet undercutting the high. I like this new direction as there is a chance for the subtropical and polar jet streams to merge which would mean more precip for everyone.

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      I would too. I don’t mind the cold but would be nice to tap into subtropical jet. As always these things have to play out

      • AlTahoe

        HP is way further west than yesterdays 18z run as well for the same time period. Hopefully this trend continues

        • Bob G (Gustine)

          I havent checked the 18Z yet. The CFS has started to change from a very dry march pattern. It is just a run but hopefully it is starting to pick up changes in our weather pattern

          • Patrick from Stockton

            That system on the 24th is looking like a good system for Socal followed by what could be state wide event. Last couple of runs showing this. 9 days out and a lot could change yet.

          • Bob G (Gustine)

            No doubt. Will be grinding teeth over the next several days

          • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

            Is that already not the case? LOL people are sweating bullets on this board today.

          • There’s a medical and meteorological term for that. LOL

          • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

            I’m just being entertained by the dance they make everyone do.

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      18Z is the best run yet. Everyone statewide gets precip

    • Quagmire Cliffington

      You already put away your skis Al don’t go back on your word!

      • Cap’n

        Every six hours this guy…

    • Cap’n

      I just got a pretty bitchin’ lead on a job in SLT, or perhaps a position where I’d commute down there once a week for case work. It would be a hybrid so I could kinda fit it and mold it.

      You got a shed?

  • Scott V

    This is my first and long overdue post on this wonderful forum. I’ve been following this site daily for years, probably since it’s inception. I have enjoyed following Daniel’s blog and everyone’s comments and come here several times a day to get my weather fix. I have mentioned WeatherWest to countless colleagues, friends and family members and I know many of them use this forum regularly.

    I’ve been working as a fisheries biologist (steelhead) on the Santa Ynez River for nearly 20 years, and the past 6 years (aside from 2017) have been extremely challenging to say the least. The remaining steelhead population is on complete and total life support and we really need to catch a break soon. Following the weather is critical to our daily operations and I consider myself a closet meteorologist like many of you. Most of my weather knowledge comes from reading this forum and I appreciate what all of you have contributed through the years.

    Now that I have taken the plunge and signed up I will do my best to contribute weather-related discussions/links/photos from my area (which covers eastern Ventura where I live to where my fieldwork takes me in Lompoc).

    This drought is breaking my heart in so many ways, both personally and professionally. I felt it apropos to include today’s post-Valentine’s day water vapor imagery.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d9f166092ea0839ce379744e578674082e07555a2d88b1e8770978f7af60cc61.jpg

    • Bob G (Gustine)

      Welcome. So Cal has been especially hit hard by drought as you know. At least we are at the initial stages of maybe getting some rain into March. I will take whatever mother nature will give us

      • Scott V

        Thank you Bob! I have high hopes for a wet spring. Fingers crossed.

    • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

      Hell yea! Another VC fellow :). I’ll be looking for your posts. Awesome job you have there, in fact I have a feeling I know where you are located, but won’t say out of respect for your business. Great to have you join in.

      • Scott V

        Glad to have finally joined the discussion. I have been lurking far too long. Wife isn’t thrilled that I signed up….she knows how much time was already dedicated to reading WW comments.

        • Dan the Weatherman

          Welcome to the forum! Your area certainly has been in the epicenter of this drought in recent years, and I am hoping all of CA gets some good rain and mountain snows soon!

        • 805 Weather (Camarillo)

          Oh dear, well you and Cap’n can chalk it up about the wives plenty, he’s got his hands full as well lol. Really though we WW regulars love a new contributor when it comes to info on local and regional status of climate/weather observations.

    • Craig Matthews

      Looking forward to your contributions here. As a kid I fished for steelhead in both the Carmel and Big Sur rivers. This was back in the 1970’s to the mid 1980’s. After the 1986-87 to 1991-92 drought(may be a different number for socal), the steelhead population almost vanished in both rivers. And it has never been the same. 2 wet winters separated by 5 dry winters on both sides since the late 1990’s, or mid 2000’s up to now just doesn’t cut it. And with the increase of water demands it only gets worse. Side not here; Apparently, various coastal watersheds up and down this state have their own unique strains of steelhead, so I’ve been told. Is this true?

      • Scott V

        Most of our local drainages still have their own genetic markers, but since steelhead stray more frequently in our region due to prolonged dry cycles, there’s definitely more mixing in this region. So cal steelhead survive by being opportunists (unlike salmon that always return to their natal streams). We have trapped anadromous adults in the SY from Arroyo Grande, SLO, and Salinas drainages in the past decade (confirmed by fin clips used for genetic sampling).

        • Craig Matthews

          Interesting about the genetic markers. Almost every winter prior to the late 1980s drought, the Carmel Bay would get muddy on a much more regular basis due to the silt and muddy run off from the watershed higher up in the mountains. The river would also run more continuously throughout the year into the pacific, whereas now the Carmel has become more of a seasonal river to the ocean. Now, it is only on occasion when we get a wet winter, when the river can run long enough throughout the year for the steelhead to do their “thing”. So much has changed just in the 3-4 decades I have known it. My dad use to tell me when I was fishing as a kid on the carmel in the 1970s of how much the river had changed in his lifetime. He would talk of how you could see a wake building in the river moving upstream when the steelhead would come up. Incredible amounts of steelhead in his day. Anyway, Thanks.

          • Scott V

            Amazing that in 1/2 an adult (human) lifetime the changes that have been observed on the Carmel! I was unaware the Carmel was still experiencing decent runs in the 70’s. There are countless efforts going on in SLO, SB, and VC counties to remediate barriers, remove non-natives, provide better flows, etc. that will all hopefully coalesce and start the recovery process….as soon as Mother Nature stops screwing us over!

    • Welcome, and I think I can say we all feel your pain, especially given the work you do. I must admit, I did not know there were steelhead left in the Santa Ynez river.

      • Scott V

        It has been very painful indeed, we we’re making some headway (population wise) from 2006-2011, then our big drought started. We we’re starting to see legitimate adults returning in 2006, 2008 and 2011 due to our efforts. We need to break this cycle and get a few decent rain years or we’re simply going to run out of water (Cachuma < 39%), and the few remaining refugias that are left may go subsurface.

    • SlashTurn (Santa Barbara)

      Welcome Scott! Nice to have a fellow south coaster with LPNF watershed knowledge…I was recently chatting with a local about the distant past when the Cuyama, Sisquoc rivers were year round flows spawning steelhead. What a tole the land/water table has taken here from misuse…I have hope that people like you with good intentions on repairing/sustaining, can engineer a version of native habitat/ecosystems…

      I hope all the effort on Quiota Creek (Santa Ynez) pays off eventually…

      • Scott V

        The National Marine Fisheries Service and State Water Board are finalizing new orders for the Cachuma Project, assuredly there will be much more water dedicated to the downstream fishery. Can’t give any details as these docs are in draft form.

    • jstrahl

      Hmm, you need to start in this forum with a post saying how everything sucks. 🙂
      Just kidding, welcome aboard!!

      • Scott V

        Not a lot of positive things to talk about ecosystem/weather wise in SB/VC counties. Hope this is rock bottom jstrahl!

        • jstrahl

          Rock bottom enough for now, though one is not firmly established here at WW till he.she gets tagged “Debbie Downer.” 🙂
          SB/VC counties are lucky to have 805 Weather, one of the several people here who provide intelligent discussions of what they see in near term weather.

    • Craig Matthews

      March 10-13, 2006 oh yeah bring that one back!! I remember a few back we talked about how great the March 10-13 2006 storm that dropped sse from the eastern GOA, or something to that affect. Oh how sweet would it be if something like that were to happen again late this winter.

      • Cap’n
        • As would I.

        • Charlie B

          I was going to post a link to “Living in the Past” by Jethro Tull but I figured Daniel would delete it so I didn’t.

      • I remember that like yesterday. It was hailing while we were running a mile in my High School PE class.

        • Craig Matthews

          That was one epic hail shower producer of a storm. Seamed like every shower or thundershower brought hail, and some with a lot of hail accumulation here and there that made it look more like snow with how white it was on the lower hills. Then there was that intense line of thunderstorms over Watsonville that trained for what seamed like hours. I always wonder how much hail could have fallen somewhere under that one. Snowed a lot on the Santa Lucia Mtns and stuck for many days after. Hardly ever see that anymore.

          • Yeah. It started snowing in Downtowmn Los Gatos in the night time and Highway 17 was just a huge mess! We haven’t seen anything like that here since.

          • Craig Matthews

            There was so much snow on top of Pico Blanco(Big Sur Coast) that it looked more like a part of the Alps at one time. Once the skies cleared, you could see the entire lush green coast of Big Sur from Nepenthe, with snow capped Santa Lucias as far as the eye could see. That made for a New Zealand-ish feel to the place for about 2 days after the event.

      • jstrahl

        Berkeley got over 7 inches of rain that month, about 2.5 inches coming in one day, almost as much as normal for the entire month.

        • Craig Matthews

          2005-06 ended on such a good note. We ended up at 130percent of average in Big Sur thanks to that wet march and some good spring storms. Hills stayed green on the coast all the way into early June.

      • Fairweathercactus

        We had hail mix with sleet that day. Never seen that much accumulation.

        • Craig Matthews

          That was one of the most memorable storms of my lifetime because of that amount of hail that came down with each of the convective showers. It was like ya just couldn’t miss out on getting the hail no matter where you were located in my area. Have not seen anything like that since then.

    • Quagmire Cliffington

      Vary!