Record January dryness continues

Today was dry and warm across the entire state. The distant grass fire that I witnessed today is a testament to the extreme mid-winter dryness across the state, even in the north. The weak cutoff low that is forecast to graze the state later in the week could bring some scattered shower activity, but even this minimal rainfall scenario is indicated only by the operational GFS. The other models bring either sprinkles to NorCal or no precip. at all. We shall see, but it’s not even going to put a dent in the rainfall defecits we currently have. Looking at the maps as of today…much of the Sierras has received only 25-50% of normal snowpack water equivalent for this time of year. And the 16 day GFS isn’t too promising, either. Some runs produce a decent-looking system for day 16, but we all know how that can (and almost certainly will) change over time. The overriding theme here is the persistent blocking ridge, and, as I’ve mentioned before, it’s going to take a lot to break down this pattern and finally bring some significant rains to CA and the interior states.

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