Powerful, potentially damaging storm to bring very heavy rainfall and high winds to Northern California

Filed in Uncategorized by on December 8, 2014 1,507 Comments

Summary of recent conditions

This section will be very brief, as the main focus of this post is the imminent very strong storm system slated to affect most of California later this week.

A very strong jet stream now extends across nearly the entire North Pacific Ocean. (NCEP via Levi Cowan)

A very strong jet stream now extends across nearly the entire North Pacific Ocean. (NCEP via Levi Cowan)

Over the past week or so, significant and locally heavy precipitation has fallen across most of California. Soils in many parts of Northern California are now nearing/at saturation due to recent rainfall, and regional rivers and streams have begun to respond to recent precipitation. Thus, antecedent conditions are now conducive to an elevated risk of flooding and mudslides (despite the ongoing extreme long-term drought), and additional heavy precipitation (as is expected this week) will result in rapid rises on waterways in Northern California.

 

Very strong storm–perhaps strongest since 2008–will arrive in California late Wednesday

The numerical weather models are now in strong agreement that a powerful Pacific winter storm will slam Northern California later this week, bringing very heavy precipitation and very strong winds. In many ways the upcoming event is a textbook major storm setup for Northern California, with an impressive strengthening of the East Asian jet extending clear across the Pacific Ocean and driving a rapidly-deepening surface low pressure area off of the coast of far northern California.

Numerical model depiction of approaching strong atmospheric river event. (ESRL/PSD)

Numerical model depiction of approaching strong atmospheric river event. (ESRL/PSD)

Associated with this well-defined trough and strengthening low is a rather impressive atmospheric river–or narrow region of highly concentrated atmospheric water vapor transport–a phenomenon that is often linked with extreme precipitation and flooding along the West Coast of North America when other atmospheric conditions are favorable. This week, it does indeed appear that all the ingredients may come together for a very high-impact storm event, especially across the northern half of the state. Preliminary indications suggest that wind speeds with the upcoming system may be of a similar magnitude to those experienced during the noted January 2008 event, which brought widespread significant impacts to a broad swath of NorCal. Precipitation from the upcoming system may be even more impressive than that experienced during the 2008 storm, as some of the models are spitting out very impressive 36-hour totals for California’s lowlands and urban areas.

 

A bit of meteorological context

The Wed/Thurs system will be notable not only for its copious moisture content (associated with the strong atmospheric river), but also for its impressive dynamical/large-scale characteristics. Recent model solutions suggest that the surface low will be deepening rapidly as it approaches the coast, which is historically a favorable setup for major wind events in Northern California. In fact, some of yesterday’s model solutions deepened the surface low to around 976/977 mb–which would be quite strong for this part of the world.

NAM depiction of very strong 850mb winds over Northern California early Thursday. (NCEP via Levi Cowan)

NAM depiction of very strong 850mb winds over Northern California early Thursday. (NCEP via Levi Cowan)

Today’s model runs are not trending quite as deep with the surface low, though they still depict a sub 990 mb low near the California coast by late Wednesday. It’s worth noting that the global numerical models sometimes underestimate the rate of strengthening of rapidly-deepening extratropical cyclones such as this one, so it remains possible that yesterday’s deeper solutions may end up being closer to the truth. Either way: 850mb wind speeds in excess of 65-70 kts suggest the potential for strong and potentially damaging winds at the surface, and especially in the hills/near the water.

In terms of precipitation: heavy rainfall is likely across essentially all of NorCal during this event, since large-scale ascent will be quite strong ahead of and near the time of frontal passage. In addition, highly efficient orographic enhancement of precipitation across elevated terrain will occur as southerly winds impinge on the Coast Ranges and Sierra foothills, especially as the atmospheric river moves ashore. Thus, very heavy 3-day precipitation totals in orographically-favored areas are likely. Of potentially greater concern are the very high rain rates which may occur around the time of frontal passage. Large-scale upward vertical motion will be quite strong during this event, and there will be enough instability for some embedded thunderstorms along/behind the front. Thus, there will likely be the potential for some flash flooding across a broad swath of Northern California, focused particularly on urban areas and streams/small rivers draining the foothills/coastal mountains (which will respond quickly to torrential downpours). Burn scars from summer wildfires in the Sierra foothills will also be at considerable risk of landslides and debris flows throughout this event. Additionally, there is a small chance that the rapid deepening of the surface low will cause the cold front to stall out for several hours somewhere near the I-80 corridor, which could locally enhance the flood threat there.

One additional thought: near-shore ocean temperatures off the coast of California remain exceptionally warm, which has been contributing to California’s record warmth this year. As witnessed during last week’s storm, these warm ocean waters have also led to a local increase in near-shore atmospheric instability during convective regimes and may also be acting as a source of additional lower-atmospheric moisture during storm events this winter. Thus, it’s possible that these exceptionally warm ocean temperatures could modestly boost precipitation rates associated with the upcoming heavy precipitation event, especially near the coast.

Near-shore ocean temperatures remain greatly elevated near the California coast. (NCEP/EMC)

Near-shore ocean temperatures remain greatly elevated near the California coast. (NCEP/EMC)

 

Primary storm impacts: very heavy rainfall (and likely flooding); very strong winds (possible wind damage)

The National Weather Service has already issued a Flash Flood Watch and High Wind Watch for most of Northern California. As noted above, very heavy precipitation and very strong winds are possible. Widespread 3-day rainfall totals of 2-4 inches are expected, with totals in orographically-favored areas possibly exceeding 10 inches. Precipitation intensity will be quite high–this will not be a gentle, soaking rainfall–which enhances the flood threat considerably. In terms of wind: there is still some uncertainty regarding whether winds will be merely strong or perhaps damaging. While recent model solutions have come in slightly weaker, some solutions from the past several days suggest the potential for gusts in favored areas near or in excess of hurricane force.

The GFS is suggesting widespread very heavy precipitation totals across all of NorCal, including urban corridors. (NCEP via Levi Cowan)

The GFS is suggesting widespread very heavy precipitation totals across all of NorCal, including urban corridors. (NCEP via Levi Cowan)

Winds in urban areas will probably remain below these rather severe levels, though given the prevalence of drought-weakened trees the observed impacts of widespread wind gusts in excess of 50 mph could still be quite high. If the surface low attains a depth closer to what was being suggested yesterday by the models, damaging winds could become more widespread across Northern California. Finally, heavy snowfall and possible blizzard conditions will occur in the high Sierra, with snow accumulations likely being measured on the order of feet before all is said and done. This will not be a particularly cold storm, however, so below 7000 feet or so some of the precipitation may fall as rain rather than snow (though snow levels will drop pretty quickly after frontal passage and bring snow to most of the Sierra Nevada range by the end of the event).

It’s worth noting that while the entire state is likely to see wind/precipitation from this event, the most significant impacts are likely to be centered on Northern California. Southern California will probably not be at a significant risk of flooding/wind damage from this storm, as it does not have particularly low-latitude origins. Geographically speaking, though, this will be a very significant event for most of the state, and will have substantial implications for the state’s largest and most important watersheds.

 

More on the horizon?

More rainfall may be on tap following this week’s powerful storm. While subsequent storms are unlikely to be as strong as the one currently forming off the California coast, a progressive flow pattern over the Northern Pacific will bring periods of active weather to California over the next couple of weeks. Rainfall and snowfall of this magnitude will bring considerable short-term drought relief to much of California, though (as I will discuss more extensively in a future post), we still have a very long way to go in order to mitigate our enormous long-standing rainfall deficit accumulated over multiple consecutive very dry and record-warm years.

Note: I will provide micro-updates on this week’s powerful storm on the Weather West Facebook and Twitter pages.

 

© 2014 WEATHER WEST

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  • Ian Alan

    Snowing heavily again – tstorms would be a nice addition for sure.

    • Blaze202

      It would be nice if we had them more often though. Its hard being weather enthusiast in Southern California. We do get good storms, but are very rare and do not even compare to the Midwest. I am tempted to travel to the Midwest for a bit. Who knows I might decide to stay there =]

  • Quagmire Cliffington

    10 day total snowfall forecast from GEM thru 22nd. Would set up nicely for the Christmas holiday.

    • Aram

      hey quagmire…. calling me a kook for agreeing with someone who doesn’t enjoy being berated for not being a “local” from Tahoe is not smart…. think you need to re-read that post from open snow before you go acting a fool.. sharing the slopes with “out of towners” was the gist… my comment was related to the economic effects if those out of towners decided to spend their money elsewhere :/

  • Aram

    10 day total precipitation from the GEM…. this is a 10 day period starting today and ending on the 22nd….. appears we may be receiving more precip than the nws is forecasting !!!

    • Xerophobe

      00Z is 4PM PST the day before. You are right though more is forecast on the way!

  • Grant N

    Final end of storm update from the Central Coast. At my home in Nipomo (just north of Santa Maria) I recorded 3.6″ between 9pm last night and 3am. Woke up this morning to this – lost one tree.

    • Aram

      yikes are those broken at the base or are the roots uplifted?? Looks like a gangsta lean if you ask me

      • Grant N

        Just Roots uplifted – combination of rain and wind – usually takes down the Eucs. The winds were very strong, about as strong as they get in our area, maybe 50 knots or a little more.

        • Aram

          Yea my parents have their property lined with eucalyptus in Sonoma county …. I’ve lived to experience a couple of those fall… And were talking 60-70 foot eucalyptus …. A couple of them came down during our mid 90’s mega El Niño and it scared the crap outta me

          • TheNothing

            My parents property is also lined with eucalyptus and I can relate to what you experienced. These trees grow fast and come down faster in heavy winds. Plenty of firewood though.

        • Guest

          Just a thought. Replace the fallen Eucalyptus with something more native. Eucalyptus trees suck water quite a bit..

    • Mark

      Those don’t look like any kind of Eucalyptus I have ever seen before…almost look like a pine or fir type…not the bark of a Eucalyptus

      • Grant N

        yes, Mark, it’s a pine. It *usually* takes down the Euc’s, but this time it was the Pine that got taken. So I’ll replant with another pine. Although I’m not sure the Euc’s are too thirsty – they do pretty well just living off the morning fog, because we go for 6 months without rain sometimes and we never water them. And they’re huge.

        • Mark

          Ah my mistake I looked at the “guest” comment …the Eucs must have loved the dousing they got…and you can’t beat the distinct smell esp after a rain!

  • Bandini

    Donner Summit: 19.0″… Squaw Valley: 16.0… Alpine Meadows: 14.0

    Talk about a let down. Significantly undershot the mark. It rained like hell for 20 hours here and I woke up with an inch of snow and flurries. I heard kirkwood got a whopping 15 inches (someone here was confident they’d get 5 feet).

    The rain was great, and I would think it goes without saying that it’s better than no rain. But snow is what we need, and lots of it. As for now, the Tahoe curse is still going strong, here’s to colder storms!

    • Neil Bhatt

      But I want to go snowboarding NOW!! 🙁

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      I will be doing a snow dance for you guys up in the Sierras. Hopefully next week’s storms aren’t as stingy with the white stuff.

      • Bandini

        Yeah the ones next week look colder. I actually went and got gas for my snowblower yesterday. What was I thinking!?

        • Quagmire Cliffington

          You jynxed the whole system! 😉

          • Bandini

            Wrong! It was a reverse jinx because I had knee surgery and won’t be on the hill until January, which means we should be getting snow measured in yards while I can only watch!

          • Quagmire Cliffington

            Well at this rate, it may be that we are waiting until January to measure in yards in the basin. In which case, it will be because of your return to the slopes that fortunes change.

    • Ian Alan

      Did those areas see any rain before the snow?

      • Bandini

        We recorded 2.45 at work in Truckee so you could probably double that, roughly, up at the summit. But I’m really not interested in rain gauge measurements in December.

        • rob b

          I had more rain in Concord/Clayton than snow in Truckee with this storm. 3″ of snow 3.5″ of rain…

          BA did post he felt next weeks storms should be better for the Tahoe/Truckee area, hopefully at least another foot or so with them.

        • Ian Alan

          I am ???? thank you

          • redlands

            me too — how much rain

  • Cachagua1

    A before and after picture of the bottom of Los Padres dam spillway.

    • Cachagua1

      And a front view!

      • Xerophobe

        I’m guessing the Carmel River has breached? If so was it a natural breach or the Army Corps scooping some sand? I’m lazy. One more ? if it did breach north or south side? My guess is South side.

        • Cachagua1

          My Dad say em out there opening the sand gates.

          • Cachagua1

            I’m going down there to check out the Lagoon. I’ll get back to you on that.

          • Robert T.

            Great pics. Thanks.

          • Xerophobe

            Thanks I read yesterday they were contouring the sand bar which means a south side breach.

      • Stormy’s Mom

        Wow!!

  • Crouching Dallas
  • Dogwood

    If the latest GEM 10 day rain forecast is to be believed San Jose will just destroy it’s all time wettest month record.
    Now granted, the city holds one million people, not one million acre-feet of snow melt reserves, but still the turnabout on our situation is from dreams. Is this all about +PDO and warm SST, with MJO hitting just the right phase? Guarded optimism that this year would trend favorable despite no real assurances didn’t even hint at the outcome so far. Sierra exclusion notwithstanding.

  • Crouching Dallas

    This looks promising! And thank goodness that my semester just ended – otherwise I would have totally skipped out on class to stare dumbly at this thing.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      There are some heavy showers up in those hills.

    • Quagmire Cliffington

      That pic screams socal! I need to get back and visit soon.

      • Darin

        Same, saw the red tile roof, the palm trees, teh blue tile, the lattice fence, the dry foothills. Somewhere along the 101 east of San Fernando, south of Santa Ynez I bet.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        There are Queen Palms in the foreground and a Washingtonia in the background (either a Mexican Fan Palm or a California Fan palm), and both of these palms are extremely popular in the lower elevation regions of Socal.

  • Kamau40

    Howard does an excellent job of explaining the details of the exiting storm weeding through all of the hype of the media. He also explains why the storm stalled out.
    http://mammothweather.com/2014/12/12/storm-system-winds-down-over-ca-drops-between-1-and-2-feet-over-upper-elevations-the-next-storm-tuesday-although-weaker-may-bring-more-snowfall-than-todays/

    • SlashTurn

      I knew there was some sort teleconnection issue with the main front..it seemed to suddenly hit a brick wall in the upper levels…

    • Bartshe

      I wonder what he means that “there was no pineapple connection”. I thought there was a clear AR connection as the storm arrived along the CA coast?

      • SlashTurn

        He explained the content of this low was subtropical in origin and NOT a classical PC or AR.

        • That’s not really accurate. This system did have a continuous “integrated vapor transport” corridor all the way back to the Hawaiian Islands, though (as is almost always the case) most of the moisture that actually fell in California was the result of more local moisture convergence. Not all ARs are “Pineapple Expresses,” but this one was:

      • Quagmire Cliffington

        A true pineapple express has moisture that originates near Hawaii. This recent storm was indeed an atmospheric river, however, the moisture did not come all the way from the islands.

        • ARs rarely transport water advectively–it’s actually almost always local moisture convergence. On the other hand, this was as classic a “Pineapple Express” as you can get–this AR actually did extend all the way back to the Hawaiian Islands.

      • Kamau40

        He is right, this storm was not a “Pineapple Express.” We usually don’t get those until Feb or sometimes in Mar. The storm was an AR event though given the fact it was associated with lots of subtropical moisture.

  • Stereolab

    Someone please explain exactly why it’s important that so much precip fall as snow. I don’t get the whole “so it can melt and fill the reservoirs in the summer” argument. It’s still the same amount of H2O, what does it matter if it goes into the reservoirs now or 6 months from now?

    • There aren’t enough manmade reservoirs to hold all of the water that is usually contained in snow. Snow functions as a sort of “frozen reservoir” that discharges slowly.

      And in the context of the mountain environment, the living things in those places are adapted to the yearly cycle of snow, melt, growth.

      • Stereolab

        So your second argument is an environmental point; important, but not immediately relevant to the drought.

        The first point matters only when the reservoirs are 100% full. Then, any additional rain would have to be let go, but if it fell as snow it could still help refill them during the summer as they are drawn down.

        However, we are near-infinitely far from the time when the reservoirs are full, so I’m not going to worry for the moment that we aren’t getting snow.

        • We have a long ways to go before all reservoirs are full and especially before all major reservoirs are full or near capacity, but some smaller dams are actually topping their spillways now — though this is not to diminish the need for more precipitation.

          Defining drought purely in terms of how much water humans have in reservoirs only tells part of the story. While reservoirs may not fill right away, from the perspective of, say, cattle or birds that live on the land, the lessening of the drought effects can be almost immediate with a season of normal or slightly above normal rain.

          • Ian Alan

            I think we can all agree that california NEEDS Precipitation and we will happily take whatever the chaotic weather patterns decides to give us! ????

    • As mentioned below–there are storage infrastructure implications (also: even in a drought we don’t let the major reservoirs fill to near 100% for flood control reasons).

      More importantly: rapid rainfall does not allow for nearly as much groundwater aquifer recharge, which is critically needed during the current drought.

    • Bartshe

      It matters a whole lot. There is not enough water in the full reservoirs to serve all the water rights/needs downstream. You want your reservoirs to be topped off by spring runoff and then a healthy snowpack above to melt, runoff, and replace that water as the reservoir is rapidly used through the summer and fall. You not only serve water rights holders, but you also maintain fish (a Public Trust resource), hydropower needs, recreation needs of the reservoir and downstream river, and groundwater recharge (for agriculture). Without a snowpack above come May/June there is not enough water.

  • Probable tornado in Los Angeles:

    http://t.co/2DlSyAvtyt

    • Utrex

      So much censoring lol, but wow that was probably a tornado.

      • Robert T.

        Agreed. I can totally understand that guys surprise.

        • SlashTurn

          That was pure emotion south LA style…comedy!

      • Ian Alan

        I recorded that ship yo!!!

        Best video ever!

      • It was a [bleep]nado, of course…

    • Oh snap! At least it didn’t take out the Hollywood sign.

    • Sharknado?

    • Utrex

      It’s official – NWS has added the tornado to their list of official tornado reports. Makes me wonder if any other tornadoes were spawned…

      http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/today.html

      • Dan the Weatherman

        The tornado occurred in Inglewood and was rated an EF-0. Dallas Raines (KABC) showed some footage of the tornado that someone recorded and you could see the debris being blown off the roof of a structure.

        • Kamau40

          I saw the video. Thank goodness there were no injuries despite the fact there were some structural damage from the tornado.

  • kipling

    Latest NWS 7-day: Looks like even more of a dent will be made over the next week.

  • SBMWill

    2.5″ today at 3000′ in San Bernardino mtns. This storm trend has got me really excited. It was cold today much colder than the last system. Loading the skid steer and snow plows on the trailer to go up elevation today was not the funnest thing ever.

    • Ian Alan

      It’s hailing and snowing like crazy right now – hasn’t stopped at all today, rain, snow, hail, ice – all we need is thunder! Roads are a mess from berms blocking water still running.

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        How much snow accumulation have you managed to get so far?

        • Ian Alan

          I haven’t checked if it’s even snowing anymore for a couple hours, but this am after the rain we got a solid 3″ then it went back and forth rain/snow/hail/ice all afternoon so that gets real convoluted and we had a downpour of snow/graupel that added 1″ in ten minutes. So take your pick lol but I’m going with 4″ total and it’s heavy wet water logged snow! Everything’s winter white though which is a pleasant change!

          • Ian Alan

            I hear the rat tat tat of ice hitting the windows so something is falling from the sky still!

  • StormHiker

    The creeks in the East Bay hills are flowing again! This was bone dry yesterday!

    • Weatherwatcher

      Beutiful. Reminds me of the redwoods. Which I want to go too. It’s a bit of a pain though since I live in Socal though.

    • Nick W.

      How lovely.

  • Thunderstorm

    Best rain gauge that I could find was Stratus Manual Rain Guage. 4″ wide measures in hundredths of an inch. Probably better then the ones that tip with.01 inches. About $30.00 on line. Seen pictures of gauges in the blog here that are rather lacking. The tippers have to be extremely level to be anywheres accurate. And if moving on a pole not likely accurate at all. The figures of rainfall shown in newspapers are all suspect. Probably no standard out there for continuity. Whats the location,type,etc.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      A wise choice. I have the Stratus, and also a digital gauge with a wireless link (yes it is a tipper) but I find it pretty much mirrors what the Stratus measures. (plus I often don’t feel like going outside in the middle of the night to see how much rain has fallen, so the digital has a little advantage in that regard.)

      • Dan weather maniac

        Guys I am old fashion as use a bucket and measuring stick, that usually being my finger. I go in quarter inch increments. Downside? Accuracy?

        • SoCalWXwatcher

          Accuracy – probably not great. Downside – wet finger. 😉

    • Sunchaser

      Tooo bad they don’t make a digital version of that….I have a Davis Vantage VUE and every year I have the calibration checked on it and it seems to be fairly accurate except when we have down pours like the other day I question the tipping bucket type accuracy. One of these days I hope to graduate to a ISO 17025 traceable weather station….Hope Santa is listening..lol

  • Thunderstorm

    Bernie Rayno from Accuweather.com explains what a true Pineapple Express is. Great explanation. Well worth the time to read.

  • Ian Alan

    Does everyone else get the ad here for the bloomsky smart weather station? Anyone tried to be a tester?

    My gauge is at around 5″ with the top 2.5″ looking like a cup of ice water lol….. It hailed about an inch in ten minutes just earlier….rain snow hail rain snow hail all day

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      I get the Bloomsky ad every time I go to this site. I have been tempted but haven’t bitten yet.

      • Weatherwatcher

        Ya I think its only for san fransisco.

    • Bryan

      I get the ad too, but I installed a Davis Vantage Pro2 Plus at the school where I work, so I can resist the temptation :-). It has a 0.01 tipper and rainfall seems inline with other measurements in the area.

  • Jon Bartel

    Ended up with 2.5″ in the gauge by 3pm today in Atascadero! Probably got more since it was coming in sideways for the first 1/2 hour last night.

  • Jeff

    Ended up with almost 6″ (probably slightly over 6″ once you factor in the initial downpour was sideways due to the wind) over a 36hr period in Hercules. That was a nice rain gauge to look at… 🙂

  • Bandini

    Forecast is now showing snow likely from Monday-Friday with actual cold temps. Looks promising and with the flurries going on now it feels believable. Took the Funitel up to Squaw today and it actually looks fun. The 16″ that fell on top of the 2-3 feet from last week has the upper mountain looking legit. Some colder storms this week to cover the base will be just what the doctor ordered.

    • Bob G

      Sounds encuraging

    • Kamau40

      Nice!!

    • Raindancer

      Bandini, please open your eyes to the reality of geoengineering. It is not a theory, but a fact. Mother nature is no longer controlling the weather. It’s the US air force/military who is controlling the weather.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-chameides/obama-takes-bold-step-to_b_5069973.html

      • Bryan

        You do realize that “article” is an attempt at satire, albeit a poor one.

        • Raindancer

          Sad to hear you aren’t ready to see the truth… yet.

          I would like your thoughts on this…

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XS8ahQgy5hM#t=113

          and also, this..

          and this..

          http://www.geoengineeringwatch.org/category/gw-weather-updates/

          • Bryan

            I’ll just echo what Dan says–extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I see none of the latter.

          • xeren

            Make sure to report it so Dan can just remove this embarrassing nonsense

          • Raindancer
          • Schneefall21

            I would like to start out by saying that, although I have been reading this blog for over two years now, this is my first comment on here. Between work and my studies as an undergraduate student of meteorology at San Francisco State University, I don’t have much free time these days. But seeing this highly uneducated, alarmist, insulting-to-the-scientific-community video has prompted me to create a profile and share some of my thoughts.

            I don’t know what this Dane Washington guy’s background is, but it’s clearly nothing close to meteorology. That becomes evident not long after he opens his mouth, when at 0:56 he says, “This map is a combination . . . visible and satellite infrared imagery.” What does that even mean?? I’m pretty sure it’s IR satellite with superimposed radar. And about that “canopy” covering most of the North American continent . . . I don’t know how he expects anyone who has looked at satellite imagery to believe that. IR imagery tells us the radiative temperature of cloud tops, and in the absence of clouds, the radiative temperature of the earth’s surface. So all that medium-gray stretching from Mexico to Canada — that represents a temperature range (if you look at the scale on the bottom) corresponding to that of low clouds / land surfaces. So if these colors are relatively warm (due to being at significantly lower altitudes than the bright white cumulonuimbus tops associated with the storms), then I guess the whole theory of “aerosolized clouds” from spraying ABOVE the storms goes out the window. Later in the video, he states how “meteorologically perplexing” it is for the South and Northeast to experience above-average snowfall, while the northern tier sees less snow than normal. I fail to see any perplexity in that. Let’s see, what else . . . Oh, I liked how the good old-fashioned noreaster is “meteorologically wrong.” Sorry, but Dane Washington and the whole Geoengineering Weather page are meteorologically wrong.

            But meteorologists just keep their mouths shut about HAARP altering the jet stream and creating droughts, because we’re in it for the money and want to save our careers . . . you know us 😉

            I know I’m pointing out what most readers of this blog already know, but it’s important that the majority of the population — those with little to no meteorological background — recognize lack of credibility when they see it.

            Well, I’m glad that in spite of the supposed “syphoning” of the moisture out of this last storm, many areas across California broke daily precipitation records and got an entire month of December’s worth of rain in a 48-hour period. And the sheer volume of water leading to manholes blowing their covers and shooting out 10-foot-tall street geysers in San Francisco, as well as flash flooding and the closure of schools, were all icing on the cake.

          • Raindancer

            I would encourage you to do research on geoengineering, instead of attempting to discredit people who have actually done the research. I am not sure what you mean by any supposed “siphoning” that you perceived during the last rain event for CA. Most school closures were predicated on the assumption that there would be 60+mph winds that did not come to fruition. I would imagine that geoengineering is not part of any syllabus, so given your busy schedule, you may not have time to do any research on the subject. If you have the time, it is a subject worth looking in to, especially given your focus in meteorology. Best of luck to you with your ongoing studies at San Francisco State.

          • Schneefall21

            The “siphoning” was referred to in the video, and I was merely pointing out that even if said “siphoning” had occurred (an extraordinary claim for which I would like to see some extraordinary evidence), it’s great that we still saw such widespread and continuous rain.
            Here’s a graphic from the NWS Forecast Office in Sacramento. I see lots of observed gusts near and exceeding 60 mph!

            I will admit that we saw pressure gradients weaken a bit faster than expected with this storm. So winds weren’t quite as big of a deal as the prolonged moderate to heavy rainfall with the cold front stalling over the area. Overall a fantastic storm!

          • Logan

            He may had done research but if its not published into a scholarly journal for the science community to read and critique its not legit. The issue with the internet is anyone can post a website but does the individual have education and knowledge of the subject in question.

            This guy talks about overlapping visible and IR satellite, you cannot compose two at the same time. Reason is visible satellite uses albedo which is mathematically ratio of reflectivity divided by absorption. So regions on Earth that have high absorption will have less reflection and appear dark while areas of high reflection appear bright.

            IR satellites uses temperatures to detect clouds and Earth surface. IR satellite can be understood by the Stefan Boltmann Law which ties radiance to temperature. Radiance is the amount of power per unit area (Watts per meter squared). The higher the radiance the higher the temperature and vice versa for lower radiance.

            The weather is driven by the ocean and sun, the uneven heating on Earth by the sun and ocean currents ( and SST). The blocking ridge was most likely caused by the unusual warm SST near the Gulf of Alaska. The ocean has cooled in the Gulf of Alaska and PDO has enter positive phase and we had seen a huge difference in weather here in the west. I will not directly relate PDO to this sudden shift but it does become way more realistic to what Dane has said.

            Trying to connect the ionosphere to changes in weather will be difficult. The ionosphere is the outer atmospheric layer that under goes ionization because of high radiation emitted from the sun. This layer absorb and remits the radiation back to space. Lot of the dangerous radiation does not make it pass the mesosphere. I could go in dept on this topic but it will be a lot of atmospheric physics to discuss.

            This guy Dane, if he is going to use weather maps don’t use weather maps from the Weather Channel. That is just a bunch of journalists that want to be meteorologists. They name winter storms. A real scientist or even engineer would not use the weather channel. Weather channel is for the general public. If he wanted to least show proof what his background was he should had use NOAA. Yes he showed a few images from the CPC. Dane is a joke.

      • Bob G

        Twilight Zone music playing now.

      • xeren

        Everyone just report this garbage and move on

      • Good grief….

      • alanstorm

        Last time, the HAARP/Geoengineering guy said they were chemtrailing to STOP the rain. Whoops, I guess they screwed-up & loaded those C-130’s with rainmaking chemicals! (see potential Far Side cartoon)

    • Robert T.

      I hope that RX will be available for pick up. From your location to the Sequoia.

  • SoCalWXwatcher

    Some small but intense cells popping up here and there over SoCal tonight. Could happen anywhere in the area this evening. Some lightning strikes were detected around Interstate 5 just North of the Grapevine.

  • There is a cell over Monterey right now and I can see the Lightning all the way from San Jose!

  • Scott Turner

    I’m happy to see that there’s been a big swath of moisture just hanging out in the Southern Sierras, dropping snow throughout the whole day. At first, I was afraid that Sequoia and King Canyon NPS would get a trifle, but now they’re approaching more respectable 2″ levels.

  • Utrex
  • Bryan

    I know he can’t tell us how much revenue he gets from his ads, but I hope all the visits from us net him a few beers a week, if that’s his thing. I probably reloaded a few hundred times checking for new comments and filtered twitter updates.

    • Weatherwatcher

      It’s not about the money 🙂

      • Bryan

        Agreed. But I was a grad student once, every little bit helps 🙂

    • Mike Stephenson

      Everyone click on the ads as a thanks?

    • Stereolab

      I’ll turn Adblocker off for this site again, but if I start seeing those disgusting medical ads again it’s going back on.

      • Stereolab

        Just weather-related ads, good. Daniel must have fixed something.

  • Weatherwatcher

    Good shower about to hit carlsbad according to radar. Yellow in the middle of it. Hopefully a thunderstorm too.

  • Dan the Weatherman

    Downtown Los Angeles received only 6.08″ total rainfall in 2013-14 and 5.85″ for 2012-13. So far this year as of today’s Climatic Summary, this station has received 3.91″ and we aren’t even halfway through December, yet, so we are definitely on the right track!

    • Mike Stephenson

      What did socal receive average from just this storm?

      • Dan the Weatherman

        Most coastal and valley area stations in Los Angeles County received between 1-2″, and areas near the mountains received more than that. Most of Orange County received between 1″ and 1.5″, except for a few south county locations, which got .77″ to 1″. San Diego County coastal areas averaged between .75″ to 1.1″, except for Carlsbad, which received 1.41″.

    • Kamau40

      Dan-
      This is a very good start for the Winter. Everything is definetely going in the right direction. I do see signs in quite a few of the longer range models that we should be transitioning to an El Niño pattern in Jan.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        I just hope we get some good storms that drop more widespread and heavier snow in the Sierras. Even though this was a good storm for the lowlands, the trajectory of the storm (more southerly as opposed to southwesterly or westerly) wasn’t quite right for ideal orographic lift that would lead to high snow amounts in the Sierras, so some of the ski resorts around Tahoe and possibly Mammoth didn’t receive nearly as much snow as forecast.

        • Kamau40

          The snowpack is what counts in the bank. I believe the storms down the road will produce much more snowfall in the mtns. Still, with this latest storm, many places in the Sierra’s got 2-3ft of snow above 7000ft. Many places are way ahead of this time last year and for the season to date. We are indeed off to a great start to the season given the fact we are just shy of being only half way thru the month of Dec.

  • craig matthews

    Ominous towering cu’s off the coast this evening.

    • Robert T.

      That is an amazing pic. We had several that made over land and seems that they got blown out. A few good showers from clouds that looked like that east of Santa Maria. The clouds that were holding had stove pipes and flat bottoms. I love where I work and where I live.

  • Socal

    Some heavy showers returning to San Diego currently

  • Ian Alan

    Some of the higher snow and rain totals for today through 9pm per NWS SD:

    SRUS46 KSGX 130516
    RRMSGX

    RAINFALL STORM TOTAL SUMMARY…PRELIMINARY
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN DIEGO, CA
    900 PM PST FRI DEC 12 2014

    PRELIMINARY ONE DAY RAINFALL TOTALS AS OF 900 PM FRI DEC 12 2014

    .TOP RAINFALL AMOUNTS FROM ALL ZONES

    STATION PRECIP(IN) MILES/DIRECTION FROM

    1. LYTLE CREEK RAWS 4.11 4WNW DEVORE
    2. ORO GRANDE 3.73 1S VICTORVILLE
    3. LAKE ARROWHEAD NW 3.68
    4. SANTIAGO PEAK 3.09
    5. LAKE ARROWHEAD 3.07
    6. CEDAR GLEN 3.00 4ESE LAKE ARROWHEAD
    7. RUNNING SPRINGS 2.68
    8. KSOX RADAR SITE 2.64 7NW SANITAGO PK
    9. CITY CREEK RANGER STA 2.60 4SW RUNNING SPRINGS
    10.MT BALDY VILLAGE 2.50

    .SNOWFALL REPORTS (*INDICATES OFFICIAL)

    STATION TOTAL(IN)

    SNOW SUMMIT 8-11
    BEAR MOUNTAIN 8-11
    GREEN VALLEY LAKE 7-9
    MT. HIGH 6-8
    FAWNSKIN 6.5
    SNOW VALLEY 6
    BIG BEAR LAKE 5*
    FOREST FALLS 3-4
    RUNNING SPRINGS 2-4
    LAKE ARROWHEAD 0.5-1
    PINE COVE 0.5-1
    WRIGHTWOOD 0.5-1

    • Bandini

      Those are good totals! My grandma recorded 2.30 in long beach. Glad to hear snow is falling there as well. We’ve got some surprising snow showers lining up in Truckee right now, snowing good and I just heard the plow go by which is always a great sound.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      I just noticed the KSOX radar site mentioned above. I can see the dome of that radar from my living room window above my neighbor’s roof line. I don’t know the name of the peak in which the radar is mounted, but it is part of the Santa Ana Mountains.

    • Kamau40

      I’m so glad to hear you guys are getting snow in my favorite San Bernadino mountains. The mountains are always beautiful when they are covered with snow. It’s great of course for building up for the water supplies.

  • thunderstorm98

    Final rainfall total is 3.12″! 🙂

  • Bob G

    Amazing totals. We have received 7 inches of rain for the year near Newman CA. Our annual average rainfall total is 10.6 inches. Last year I think we received about 2.5 inches total for the year

    • Kamau40

      Excellent!! Those are amazing totals so far for the year.

    • redlands

      where is newman ca located

      • Tuolumne

        West side of the northern San Joaquin Valley in the rain shadow of the Diablo Range. South of Patterson and west of Atwater. Climate on the border of desert and Mediterranean.

  • Kamau40

    BA’s comments about the current pattern and future. We need to continue to build the snowpack despite record rainfall. There are signs the westerlies may break through a ridge after Christmas.
    http://opensnow.com/dailysnow/tahoe

    • Xerophobe

      I was trying to find a silver lining but don’t know how much rain has fallen in places where snow would be expected. If there has been a decent amount of rain that would still have some benefit? I’m all in for snow now.

  • SoCalWXwatcher

    I ended up with a storm total of 2.38″ at my location in Downey.

    • Sunchaser

      About the same here in SE Glendale too…4.50” total so far for this rain season..keep it coming mother nature !!!

  • Colleen

    We got 3.44″ in the West Valley part of San Jose. We’re up to 9.71″ for the year starting July 1.

  • RSpringbok

    New article explains how climate change enhances the frequency and severity of California atmospheric river events, like the one we just experienced:
    http://goo.gl/xFn4mN

    • alanstorm

      Yep. A no-brainer that we just experienced an early season AR. They can & will happen more often (duh) with this record warmth permiating everything. If this one would have arrived,
      say, in late Jan with a snowpack & saturated soils, WHAMMO- a catastrophic flood event.

  • What are the forecasts looking like for the next storm system? The commercial sites seem to be all over the map in terms of estimated rain amounts here on the Central Coast ranging (for Monday) from .2″ to .65″. This next system does not look to be a major rain maker here.

    • alanstorm

      I think we’ve lost that warm SW flow, so its back to normal cool, avg winter rains. (Not at all bad considering where we were a month ago!)

      • Dan the Weatherman

        Maybe we will have more snowfall in the lower elevations of the Sierra with a colder storm track, even if the rains aren’t as prolific as the last couple of storms.

  • Ian Alan

    Not sure what to measure as rain ???? – we had 3 separate bouts of snow 3″, 1″ and 2″ so about 6″ of straight snow fell but in between the 4″ in the morning and 2″ at night there was constant heavy rain/snow/ice/hail and obviously not all collected in the gauge lol. This morning it leveled out to 4″ of heavy frozen solid snow.. 29F overnight low and nothing over 39 forecast for the next 7 days with snow chances Monday night through Thursday. Other local gauges range from 2″-3″ rain and 2″-4″ snow…maybe I should record the day at 2″ rain and 4″ snow? If I went with that we’d be at 13.75″ rain and 4.5″ snow for the rain year.

    • Ben

      Whatever! It’s precipitation! Be thankful for that!!!

      • Ian Alan

        Yes exactly!

    • Bartshe

      Suggest you pick a time to empty your gauge every day and stick with that as your protocol for measuring. The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) typically goes for 7am daily.

      Also if you join CoCoRaHS (encourage you to do so if you are into measuring precip and contributing to weather data–and yes free except for getting a standard rain gauge) there are solid protocols for measuring rain, snow, hail, sleet, etc.

      • Ian Alan

        This is exactly what it would look like if I emptied it at 7am. I just like keeping records for myself and there’s nothing that could be done about how heavy it was snowing and switching back and forth to rain from noon till about 5pm. Rain total is convoluted with what snow and hail did manage fall in the gauge and snow total is convoluted by so much rain packing it down. 😀 I’ll meet somewhere in the middle and in the meantime look into the network protocols to see what’s standard recording procedure for a situation like this. Thanks!

      • Dogwood

        Thanks for the info.
        Interesting, 7am for this data. I guess sun-up to sun-up is a “day”. The SJ Mercury reports data ending at 4pm, that’s just weird.
        I like ending at midnight to correspond to dates.
        But yes, it all gets counted regardless.

  • StormHiker

    This is what we like to see!

    • Bandini

      I’m always impressed with the quality of that cam. What a shot.

    • Weatherwatcher

      Wow thats cool. Where is that?

      • Skye H.

        That’s half dome in yosemite! Beautiful!

  • megaranation

    How do you think these this will effect the drought monitor classifications of California? Down from D4 to D3 for most of NorCal?

  • lightning10

    That is a mega ridge on the 12z. Its at the end of the run but I sure hope that ins;t a trend.

    • yenlard

      Ouch that thing is huge….85 degrees on new years. On the other hand look how far that low drops into Florida. Hopefully once we get past new years things begin to change again

      • redlands

        Am tired of the warm weather — no 85 for new years day — I want cold weather —

    • Kamau40

      I believe that big ridge maybe related to the blocking pattern setup that will eventually lead to a strong undercutting of the westerlies either at the very end of Dec or more likely sometime in Jan(hopefully).

      • redlands

        I don’t wanna go a month between storms — we cant afford that

    • Nick W.

      No more mega ridges. I’m tired of seeing heat waves and month-long dry spells during winter.

  • Does look like a relatively wet week is in store for all of California (though nothing extreme) with colder temps + lower snow levels. In other words: an extremely typical mid-December week, for once! Does appear that a really big West Coast ridge will set up once again toward the end of the calendar year, though, with dry and warm conditions returning to California. Hopefully it won’t be especially persistent (since a week-long dry spell, by itself, isn’t at all unusual that time of year).

    • alanstorm

      Well, I will be holding my breath for sure! Friggin’ every January from now on will be met with suspicion. All the streams up here are receding VERY quick. Even after that deluge, they didn’t stay high very long.
      BTY: what’s the status of El Nino?

      • Kamau40

        The last I checked, El Niño has reached right at moderate strength.

      • Kamau40

        No need to worry about the upcoming ridge. It will give us a nice temporary break from the wet weather pattern before the next series of storms arrives sometime in Jan.

        • alanstorm

          Hope so! Thanks for the reassurance.

          • alanstorm

            & with your powers to see the future you should come with me to Vegas & we’ll hit the craps table!

          • Kamau40

            Some of the models do show a break thru of the ridge while wants to keep the ridge in place for awhile. But, still when look at the overall picture, as of right now the cfvs2 models continue to show precipitation being above avg for the month of Jan for much of Ca. Although I do like and understand you being cautious which we wisely still should be because we are a long ways from being out of the woods. No one knows nor can we predict how the rest of the season will turn out. We still just have to wait and see which is more of the humble approach to take.

          • alanstorm

            Seems like the with the new upgrade on the Borg weather computers, they were spot on with this last storm series. Seemed kind off the mark before. Did they accurately predict last January’s
            amplified ridge 3 weeks out? I don’t remember.

          • Bob G

            I don’t know if they predicted the ridge, but they were predicting dry weather

          • Xerophobe

            Yeah it think it will be fairly dry till after mid January. February has been consistently the wettest month in the DJF time frame forecast by CFSv2. I’m keeping an eye on their z700 anomaly forecasts as well. I’ll be interested though to see if an undercut happens. Being humble about the weather and everything is really a good thing to possess.

          • Boiio

            I’m generally skeptical of seasonal forecasts, but the CFSv2 was on the mark with the dry winter last year and then with the wet December this year. The JFM precip anomalies look very much like an El Nino pattern (as Kamau40 has been saying for a while now) and given how active the East Asian Jet has been this fall, it seems like undercutting of the ridge in January is a very realistic scenario. Fingers crossed!

    • Bob G

      I think sometime about three weeks ago people were posting models showing a big west coast ridge off of California and we worried about a long term blocking pattern that did not materialize. So lets keep up hope for more rain

    • Dan the Weatherman

      It seems like more often than not, especially for Socal that we have a dry spell after Christmas going into the new year, because it seldom rains on New Years’ Day itself.

      • Ian Alan

        Hasn’t January become notorious for being our dry winter month for several or more years now – id love to see a wet January again!

        • redlands

          yes I would love to see a wet dec, jan, feb , march and april — with some low level – down to 1,000 foot level. — A few days – like 3/4 – to no more than 7 days dry — then with rain/snow

        • Dan the Weatherman

          January and February have both been quite bad the last few years, with the exception of the tail end of last February.

      • CalNative

        Lucky for the Rose Parade.

      • In the olden days, those before 2001 or so, it was pretty common for it to rain the day after New Years on the Central Coast, sparing the Rose Parade by a day.

  • Ian Alan

    A whopping high of 35F after a low of 29 and already back to 29 now, with the solid blanket of iced over snow it should help temps plummet a bit. Coldest low of the season and the first high temp below 40 which is really late, like 6 weeks late, latest in the season since I moved here 8 years ago. Also the first November that’s gone snowless.

    • Skye H.

      Where are you located?

      • Ian Alan

        I sometimes forget to mention – Running Springs at 6250′.

    • Bandini

      Snow guns will be fired up. Low of 12F here tonight. Lets hope this next week stays on track for colder storms for both of us, the forecast looks good.

      • Not quite so fortunate for the Shasta Ski Park. Temperature here is rock-steady at 31.9 since 5:30. Doubt it will drop much below that.

        • Bandini

          I just looked up Shasta Ski Park, I didn’t realize your base elevation is as low as it is. I’m always checking Mt. Shasta weather on NOAA and it seems like the upper mountain where they forecast for has been doing good. Any confirmation? I plan on climbing it in the late spring so I’m watching and hoping it fills in nicely.

          • The higher parts of the mountain above 8,000 feet has been getting a lot of snow since it started in early October. Anyone’s guess what conditions you’ll find in late spring, of course. Lots of very granular snow, I would imagine.

            I just checked the Shasta ski park, and they have snow making operations going and are reporting a base temperature of 23, which is a bit of a surprise. Here, it’s still 31.9, although briefly it was 32.0 around 8:30. It’s been 31.9 for four hours, which is just plain weird. It’s not raining, and we have broken overcast.

          • honzik

            That has always surprised me too. For a hoot, Google Shasta ski bowl. It has long been defunct, but its parking lot used to be at 7800 feet and the top of the lift was at 9200 feet. The even planned a lift to go much higher, but couldn’t get the economics to work.

          • honzik

            Here are some old Shasta Ski Bowl pictures. Wouldn’t it be amazing if it were still up and running?

      • redlands

        where u located please state

        • Bandini

          Truckee

  • Xerophobe

    Anybody know when the Earth System Resource Lab at U. of Colorado (ERSL) will finish it’s updating and/or populating their site? They were to be offline for 24hrs starting sometime on the 12th doing updating or somethin’.

  • Utrex

    There lies potential for another “March 26 2014” type of event this coming Monday. Shear values are just like they were that day, and the trough shape is exactly the same. Just like March 26, instability is modeled very low, although if we get breaks in the clouds like we did on March 26 the valley will be seeing another severe event…

  • Bandini
  • Kamau40

    For those who are concerned about the ridge building along the West Coast starting the following week, here is what BA says about which is very much along my line of thinking:
    “A ridge will build along the West Coast next weekend into the following week bringing an end to the storms. The long-range guidance suggests that the ridge may shift North towards Alaska starting around Christmas and beyond. That may dig the Eastern trough further West in time bringing colder air beyond Christmas day. Towards the end of the month into January we may see the westerlies break under the ridge into the West Coast. The CFS is showing precip amounts increasing again in January.”

    • Bob G

      Kamau,
      About a month ago, people were posting model shots of a huge ridge off the CA coast and worrying about a dry december. It did not happen. I understand the apprehension as I get worried when I see the words large high pressure ridge.

      • Kamau40

        Yep, I have too read many posts about people worrying about a dry December due to a West Coast. I personally wasn’t buying into it. In fact, I wrote posts trying to counteract their views. The same can be said about Jan. Even if we do have a dry period in Jan lasting 1-3 weeks is not something to be concerned about.

  • Raindancer

    • xeren

      SIGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

      everyone flag as inappropriate and move on

      • Bob G

        How do you flag this post?

        • xeren

          in the upper right of each post, there is a litle flag symbol that appears when you hover over it – click on it to flag the post as inappropriate

          • Bob G

            Thanks. The problem with posts like these, is once they get a hold it invites more kooks over and then it starts a crap fest debate over this nonsense.

    • Bob G

      I think alot of people made it clear they aren’t interested in this crap. Save it for another site. We like discussing the weather here, not all this other garbage.

  • Canyon

    Looking up for the Geminids tonight, but a slight cloud cover just took over SB.

  • Crouching Dallas

    Hiked the Arroyo Seco today – glorious water flow and an incredibly wet dog, respectively. Also, hills around here are beginning to turn very, very green. Valley side of the Verdugos are taking their sweet time per usual, but the Glendale side of Griffith Park was positively emerald-green this afternoon. Such a wonderful change. All the hills around here have been brutally brown since I moved back to LA, and it’s been difficult to see the lack of color for the past few years. But man – one look up at the Wales-level of greenery on the backside of the Hollywood Hills, on one of those crazy clear perfect SoCal days, and the wait felt totally worth it.

    So yeah, plenty of “greening” left to take place, but I definitely had my “ITS HERE” moment today. Any similar stories? I know that you guys up north are waaaaay ahead of us on the color front, but it’s great to be joining the party.

    • Quagmire Cliffington

      I absolutely love that hike. One of the best in California. I did it on the spring time and swam all the way to the waterfall at the end. Lots of cliff jumps on the way too!

  • Dan the Weatherman

    My area here in Orange received 1.95″ of rainfall from this last storm, which is pretty impressive! That brings the total to nearly 4″ from just these last two storms alone, which is probably not too far from my 2013-14 season total.

  • Joseph B.

    Took this on Friday at Briones Park.

    • Ben

      Wow! That’s so crazy I was hiking there YESTERDAY, exactly on THAT TRAIL! We took the Alhambra creek trail through the oak woodlands on up to the Diablo view trail. We wanted to make a left but it was wayyyy too muddy. This trail was gravel so it was better. It’s beautiful to see the back county get so green. I should probably post my picture.

      • Joseph B.

        Haha that is crazy! We also picked the gravel trail because of the mud. You should post your picture!

        • Ben

          There you go!

        • Ben

          And here’s a couple more-pics of some of those majestic oak trees:

          • Joseph B.

            Great pics! Love the trees there. Btw the second picture is a bay tree, if I’m not mistaken.

  • SBMWill

    4″ out of the Friday storm (2 inches in 2 hours from 5pm to 7pm) bringing December up to 11.75″. Last Years total 13.50″ I imagine by next Sunday we should surpass this. South slope San Bernardino Mtns 3000′.

    Walked up to 9500′ on San Gorgonio 2 plus feet of wet base building snow.
    Going back up Tomorrow Morning to Wednesday will report back then.

  • Bob G

    http://opensnow.com/dailysnow/tahoe
    Intertesting, Bryan points out this morning during the past eight seasons, January was often times drier then December, February, and March. I didn’t know that. I was that January has been one of the wettest months

    • honzik

      On average January is the wettest month, but there is a huge amount of statistical variation.

      • Weatherwatcher

        Feburary is the wettest month here in socal.

        • Tuolumne

          There’s a progression along the northeastern Pacific coastline, from October being the peak month of precipitation in southeastern Alaska to February being the peak month in most of southern California.

    • Quagmire Cliffington

      Let’s hope that trend doesn’t continue. Also would be nice if his thoughts on the last week of the month pan out. Would love a little more snow by the end of the year!

      • Bob G

        The CPC will be issuing their next 90 day precip outlook later this week. Lets hope they continue to see wet weather for January and beyond.

    • I heard someone say this similar during January 2014 with the hopes that the pace would pick up in Feb and March, and it eventually did. While the quantities were low, compared to 2013 and January, it was pretty good..

  • Mark

    Muddy swollen Sacramento River at the Tower Bridge in downtown Sacramento Sun 12/14….haven’t seen the river flowing like this in 2 winters…and of course with the after rain tule fog gloom if really does feel like a normal December in the Central Valley.

  • AlTahoe

    Remember that an extended dry period in winter is normal. http://ggweather.com/enso/winter_dry_spells.htm
    I don’t think the ridge coming up will be the main dry period. Hopefully the Jet undercuts to start January and then the normal mid winter dry period will start around the 4th week of Jan. Once the dry period ends, hopefully we get a good finish to Feb and a great March.
    Even though this El Nino is marginal most of them don’t get going till Feb-March anyway and extend way into spring.
    I remember that even in the 98 El Nino snowpack was just below average until the crazy storms of Feb changed the entire season. Then it didn’t stop until June!
    Current Sierra snow pack is only 35% of average for this time of year according to BA so lets pray for the Jet undercutting in Jan!

    • Kamau40

      Exactly! I agree with your analysis and I believe that is the weather pattern we will most likely experience. It would be very important for the storms with heavy snow/rainfall to continue well into the Spring months.

    • Skye H.

      http://northstarsnow.blogspot.com/2011/01/stuck.html This during mid january of the mega year…

    • Joseph B.

      I’d prefer a foggy dry spell to a warm one. Last season I don’t remember getting any fog…

    • Ben

      Yeah, I don’t mind a couple of winter dry spells. We could actually use one right now so the soil can dry up a bit and future rains will let the water soak back into tree/plant roots instead of running off like they will with this next series of storms for this week coming up.

      The thing I hate though, is that these dry spells sometimes take FOREVER to get through. They’re not just 1 or 2 weeks long, they can take a month or more to get through because of stalled high pressure “blocking” systems. It’s sooooo annoying. And then models keep forecasting storms to break through the ridge and they over estimate their strength, or push back the timing, or both, or they just completely fail their forecasts. And we have to wait another week, and another and another….and it just goes on and on and on…..

      Our rainy seasons are so irregular. It’s not like the monsoon rainy seasons of the tropics. April could be 10x wetter than January. It’s crazy.

  • TheTruth

    I have a question for Dan or anyone else who has an understanding of snow level forecasts. What are the various indicators used in determining a storms potential snowfall elevation level? I understand that cold GOA lows with all the cold speckled clouds trailing the frontal passage are indicative of a cold system but I want to know how forecasters are able to say “snow levels will be between 3500-4500 feet” 3-4 days before the storm hits

  • Xerophobe

    Dan the Weatherman…this is in your wheelhouse. 🙂

    http://www.nature.com/srep/2014/141017/srep06651/full/srep06651.html

  • SoCalWXwatcher

    12UTC GFS hinting at a cold storm moving quickly through California on Christmas eve, with a cool, crisp offshore flow in its wake on Christmas Day. Obviously too many days out to have any confidence, but would be great if it turns out that way.

    • Weatherwatcher

      Would be great for snowpack.

    • Nick W.

      Sierras need more snow. Hope we’ll get a chilly Christmas. Don’t mind a wet one, though.

  • craig matthews

    The new 18zGFS hints at a slowing/or stalling cold front over the central coast early tomorrow morning through about noon as energy digs on the backside of this incoming trough. Could be more impressive totals.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Interesting, this would be the third significant system to dig like this so far this Fall, but not an optimum setup for snow accumulation in the Sierra.

  • Ian Alan

    NWS upping the precip totals for the series of short waves moving through Monday through Thursday. Showing “snow likely” Monday night through wed night with a total snow estimate of 8″-18″. A break on friday and one more on sat/sun.

    • Bumgarner40

      In what region does this apply? Norcal / Tahoe??

    • Joseph B.

      Good article. Thanks for sharing!

  • Weatherwatcher

    Hard to see because of glare but cloud rainbow in Carlsbad.

  • Quagmire Cliffington

    Parallel GFS showing a nice little inside slider system for Christmas Day!

    • Nick W.

      Cool.