Dry and mild weather for California; pattern change, though, already on horizon

Mild and dry weather has already begun across much of the state of California. Outside of a few light showers at times in the far north this week, dry and rather warm conditions will continue through most of the coming week. Coastal Southern California may approach 80 degrees or so, while interior northern California will approach 70. A spell of mid-winter warmth and dryness in between the main stormy periods of winter is quite common around here, so by no means will this week’s pleasant conditions mean the end of the wet season


The models–especially the GFS–have already begun to indicate the strong potential for a shift back to wetter and more active weather beginning on day 7 or 8. In recent runs, the GFS has been fairly aggressive in breaking down the ridge over the West Coast and allowing fairly significant storms to roll in from the west and northwest thereafter. As is well know, though, the models usually overestimate the ability of “breakthrough” systems when there’s a strong and persistent ridge in place. With this in mind, it seems likely that the transition back to active weather in California may hold off until next weekend. As a side note, the MJO signal remains fairly incoherent and relatively stationary over the Indian Ocean, so there’s not much of a teleconnection to speak of in that regard. Historically, however, significant El Nino winters are often associated with significant storm activity in California in February and March. Despite the recent weakening of SST anomalies in the Eastern Pacific, I still think there will be above average precipitation across much of the state for the rest of the wet season. Stay tuned!


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