As has been noted frequently in recent weeks, this fall has thus far been a remarkably uneventful season (with the major exception of the the record-breaking October storm in NorCal generated by the remnants of Cyclone Melor). While there are no specific indications of any significant change in the prevailing pattern, there are signs that the flow over the far East Pacific will become highly amplified over the next 1-2 weeks. Though the models currently keep CA under a strong ridge for most of that interval, this is the type of blocking pattern that will inevitably be undercut by the jet stream at some point. In a strong El Nino year, there is a good chance that it will be the subtropical branch of the jet that breaks through when this finally does occur. It is also important to keep in mind that the numerical models are uniformly terrible at predicting a “breakthrough” of the westerlies under a blocking ridge–often, there is only a few days to a week of warning, and this type of shift is completely missed when it remains in the 5-15 day forecast period. Therefore, I do expect a significant change in the pattern for the state at some point…probably before mid-December. I have updated the Seasonal Outlook (https://weatherwest.com/outlook.html ), which is more detailed than in past seasons. I do still expect the pattern to become very active eventually, and to bring significant periods of precipitation to all of CA this winter. The rainy season is yet young–especially in SoCal, where significant rains do sometimes hold off until after the new year begins. Again…I think we’ll see evidence of this sooner than January, but it’s important to keep things in persepctive.
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