Perhaps a few showers, but overall dry pattern continues

We residents of NorCal are not accustomed to seeing grassfires in January, and yet that’s exactly what I have witnessed each afternoon for the past three days. The Ventura County Star published an article two days ago about the aftermath of the Day Fire. The extremely dry weather and lack of any accumulating precipitation has allowed the deeper tree roots to smolder all the way through January, and occasional flare-ups in islands of fuel have apparently occurred as recently as two weeks ago. Remember that the fire was ignited in September (Labor Day) of 2006… 

Is there rain in sight? Well, sort of. The models are having a hard time resolving two weak-looking cutoff lows that will undercut the ridge during the next 7 days. Some runs bring wetting rains to NorCal (but still less than 0.25 in), and others keep the entire state dry. Needless to say, this will do very little to alleviate water shortage concerns, but the wettest scenarios might exclude northern cities from having the absolute driest January on record. We’ll see–there still a very good chance that no rain will fall at all. As for the two week period: the models are obviously struggling. Some try to undercut the ridge, some try to break it down, but all of these attempts are very half-hearted and there is, unfortunately, no strong indication of any substantial change anywhere on the horizon.

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