The Ridiculously Resilient Ridge Returns; typical winter conditions still nowhere to be found in California

Filed in Uncategorized by on February 16, 2015 3,663 Comments

Summary of recent conditions

Well, it has certainly been warm out there. Record warmth, in fact, has occurred on most days so far this calendar year somewhere in the state of California.

California has experienced exceptionally warm temperatures in recent weeks. (WRCC)

California has experienced exceptionally warm temperatures in recent weeks. (WRCC)

A veritable February heatwave occurred over the recent holiday weekend, bringing record highs from the Mexican border all the way up to Oregon. And the calendar year to date, in some spots (including San Francisco), is currently the warmest on record. 2015 thus far is certainly among the warmest calendar years to date on a statewide basis, and will likely surpass (by the end of February) the previous record…set just last year (in 2014). This extraordinary warmth has been especially pronounced over the past 10 days as clear skies and shirtsleeve weather allowed many Californians to get outdoors and enjoy the strangely balmy February conditions. But those spending time outdoors over the past weekend have likely noticed signs that the present situation is far from typical for mid-winter in California. Vegetation–native and otherwise–has already begun to show signs of growth and flowering that typically aren’t experienced until well into the spring. Despite the green hillsides, streamflow in most of California’s creeks, streams, and rivers remains well below average for this time of year. Sierra Nevada snowpack–already at near-record low levels before the mid-February heatwave which brought temperatures above 60 degrees to the Tahoe Basin–has declined even further in recent days.

While parts of NorCal have seen near-average precip this winter to date, most of the state is below average. (WRCC)

While parts of NorCal have seen near-average precip this winter to date, most of the state is below average. (WRCC)

Early in the month, a very brief sequence of strong and moist storm systems brought widespread significant precipitation to the northern 2/3 of the state, with a focus on northern coastal areas. This intense rainfall did result in rapid rises on certain rivers in NorCal, and resulted in temporarily strong inflows into many of NorCal’s major reservoirs. Remarkably, however, this storm sequence ultimately resulted in little or no lasting snow accumulation below 8000 feet in the Sierra Nevada. Extremely warm temperatures dominated the event–not surprising, given the subtropical origin of the moisture. Interestingly, this event was quite similar to the brief but intense warm and wet storm sequence experienced in NorCal back in December 2014.
The Ridiculously Resilient Ridge has returned…with a twist

Over the past year, I’ve received numerous questions regarding the purported re-appearance of the Triple R. Typically, my answer has been that the Ridge had not returned, since according to its original definition in 2013, the anomalous high pressure needed to persist across multi-month averages to technically qualify. That longevity–that incredible persistence over months–was what made the atmospheric feature so remarkable in the first place.

Well, folks, we’ve now reached that point once again: a distinctly positive geopotential height anomaly is now present in 2-3 month averages across the far northeastern Pacific and West Coast, signaling that the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge has indeed returned.

Animation showing multi-month geopotential height anomalies in 2013-2014  and 2014-2015. The entire anomaly structure is similar, but shifted eastward slightly. (NCEP via ESRL)

Animation showing multi-month geopotential height anomalies in 2013-2014 and 2014-2015. The entire anomaly structure is similar, but shifted eastward slightly. (NCEP via ESRL)

The overall situation, however, is a bit different this year. While 2013-2014 brought the lowest calendar year and 12-month precipitation on record to the state of California, 2014-2015 is trending quite a bit wetter on a statewide basis. This is particularly true in the north, where some spots are currently hovering right around average for the water year to date. Amazingly, this has occurred despite the fact that some of the same regions in NorCal have been setting records for their driest Januaries/longest mid-winter dry spells. Most of the precipitation that has fallen in NorCal this winter has occurred as the result of the two brief, warm, and intense storm sequences in early December and early February. In fact, in a few spots around the Bay Area, the vast majority of the precipitation so far this winter has occurred over the course of just 3-4 calendar days (!). Together, these data suggest a remarkable temporal concentration (intensification) of precipitation in California this winter.

There is a common cause of the extreme warmth, record-setting precipitation variability, and exceptionally low Sierra Nevada snowpack: the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge, Redux. This persistent feature near the West Coast has set up a little further east this year than in preceding winters, allowing the subtropical jet to make occasional incursions along its western flank. As this persistent ridge has wobbled around, conditions have remained very warm during both wet and dry spells. In addition, the Western ridge is forcing Pacific storm systems to take make a sharp poleward turn 1000-2000 miles west of California, advecting copious warm/moist subtropical air toward much higher latitudes in Alaska and British Columbia. Because the ridge is slightly further east this winter, California has been able to benefit very occasionally from this constant northward stream of moisture–meaning that what precipitation has occurred has been of the warm and wet variety.

A poleward flow anomaly at jet stream level shows how warm, moist subtropical air is bring transported into Alaska and B.C.. (NCEP via ESRL)

A poleward flow anomaly at jet stream level shows how warm, moist subtropical air is bring transported into Alaska and B.C.. (NCEP via ESRL)

In this sense, the Triple R of 2014-2015 is notably different from 2013-2014. California has certainly received more precipitation this year on a liquid equivalent basis, though we’re once again falling rapidly behind average as February turns out to be mostly dry. The extreme warmth and low snowpack, however, are very reminiscent of recent winters–as is the occurrence of infrequent but intense warm storms. It’s interesting to note that nearly the entire western United States has been exceptionally warm in recent months, while the eastern part of the country remains locked in a recurring nightmare of extreme Arctic outbreaks and almost inconceivable snow accumulations in parts of New England. This overall setup–with a big Western ridge and a deep Eastern trough–has become known as the “Warm West/Cool East” dipole pattern, and it has been a common feature of recent winters in North America. There are a number of hypotheses currently being investigated regarding the causes of an apparent recent increase in the occurrence of this pattern, though there’s not yet compelling evidence pointing to a singular cause (that’s a topic for a future blog post!).

What is more certain, at least as far as California is concerned, is that our severe long-term drought is unlikely to improve substantially until this newly-invigorated pattern of persistent West Coast high pressure is no longer dominant.

 

Medium-term outlook

Unfortunately, the large-scale pattern appears to be locked in place for at least another 10 days, which brings us close to the end of February.

The GFS suggests that our recent episode of high-amplitude flow over North America will continue for at least 7-10 days. (NCEP via Levi Cowan)

The GFS suggests that our recent episode of high-amplitude flow over North America will continue for at least 7-10 days. (NCEP via Levi Cowan)

While certain model solutions are indicating that a “Rex” blocking setup could evolve–with some sort of weak low pressure near Southern California potentially generating showers over the mountains–prospects for a breakthrough of the Pacific jet (and a return of widespread, meaningful precipitation) appear slim. It is possible, however, that such a pattern would be less anomalously warm than the absurd mid-winter heat California has recently been experiencing. The dynamical models–which historically have had a tendency to break down blocking ridges too quickly due to numerical instabilities–have been consistently underestimating the longevity of the present ridging event (just like they did in 2014 and 2013). Thus, it’s hard to say when the next big pattern change will occur…except to say that it’s very unlikely to happen in the next 7-10 days. Stay tuned!

© 2015 WEATHER WEST

 

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  • alanstorm

    Headed to Fresno today down I-5. Surprising how green & vibrant everything looks. I could see how one could be lulled into no drought worries.

    • Bob G

      We had alot of rain along our corrider north of los banos

      • alanstorm

        When its this green, it looks a lot like central Thailand with all the mega- farms & agri- buisness. Give it a month or 2 & it all goes brown.

        • Bob G

          The ground is still wet, despite the recent dry spell. The hills will go brown for sure, like always. East of I5 will still be green

  • MuzikmanZero

    My earliest memories are distant, muddled, and rather dark – screaming and cackling as I watched the trickling orange and red creep it’s way across my Tablet.

    Now I am where I am now, in the desert, caught in the vortex between yesterday and tomorrow. I do not know how I got here.

    And so my westward trek begins.

    The other day, through the billowing sandstorm, I thought I saw myself – only it wasn’t. He wept over the tattered corpse of an inanimate figure, and when he saw me, he clenched a staff with his hands. His eyes darted in the other direction. His hair was wild, his skin pale.

    He looked scared.

    Soon, another sandy veil blew through. When the dust cleared, he, or should I say it, was gone.

    Oh, Muzik, what have you done?

    My Tablet is on. I am fully clad in my flame-red unitard, my Satanic nutcrackers are beside me, and I have shaved my head to avoid recognition from those I may concern.

    Tahoe here I come. Hold on tight.

    It’s gonna be a wild ride.

    • Bandini

      Nice try. The real Muzik will be on hiatus now.

      • Skye H.

        Are you saying you are the real Muzik???

    • AlTahoe

      I like the fact that you included the word unitard in your write up, but that was about it. There was not enough pole twirling or Doppler watching in a shed for this to be a real Muzik piece.

    • Quagmire Cliffington

      This is just extremely poor. In your efforts to recreate the tone and writing style that Muzikman1 delivers, you have made a fool of yourself. You probably wasted a good 30 minutes of your life putting that together. What a shame. Go crawl back into the hole you came from and don’t come back out.

  • thlnk3r

    Wow! 90F for Southern California next week? Time to fire up the AC:

    Latest from Los Angeles NWS Discussion:

    .LONG TERM (MON-THU)…THE LITTLE INSIDE TROF THAT BRINGS A BRIEF
    ONSHORE FLOW RETURN SUNDAY WILL SHIFT EAST MONDAY WITH THE RIDGE
    RE-STRENGTHENING LATE MONDAY AND TUESDAY. SO AFTER A BIT OF A “COOL
    DOWN” LATE IN THE WEEKEND TEMPS SHOULD AGAIN TREND WARMER MON/TUE,
    POSSIBLY CLOSE TO 90 IN SOME OF THE WARMER VALLEYS WHICH WOULD BE A
    GOOD 20 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL. THEN TURNING COOLER WED/THU AS THE
    RIDGE BREAKS DOWN AND A WEAK TROF MOVES INTO NRN CALIFORNIA. WE`LL
    SEE A BIG INCREASE IN HIGH CLOUDS WITH THIS AS EARLY AS LATE TUESDAY
    BUT IT`S NOT LOOKING REAL GOOD FOR RAIN THIS FAR SOUTH. SOMEWHAT
    BETTER CHANCES NORTH OF PT CONCEPTION BUT EVEN THERE ANY AMOUNTS
    WOULD BE INSIGNIFICANT. THE RIDGE RETURNS QUICKLY AFTER THAT FOR A
    WARMING TREND GOING INTO NEXT WEEKEND.

  • Bob G

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/814day/814prcp.new.gif
    The CPC is slowly retreating on their 8 to 14 day forecast. Went from all green to all white. The attached pic is not accurate. You have to click on it

  • Bob G
    • Obsessed

      It seems to indicate a weak El Nino, which doesn’t have much of an effect.

      Here is a link to some info:

      http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/glossary/soi.shtml

    • jstrahl

      I thought this was significant:

      “Note the exception -7.3 sigma value of SOI on Day 15 by today’s 12Z GFS op forecast. Now of course this -7.3 sigma value would shatter the all time low -SOI value of -4.85 sigma set back on May 31, 1997 (prior to the 1997 Super El Nino). That being said, the 12Z GFS op forecast is way too low and suggests that we may see some large changes in the 11-15 day period throughout the next few GFS op runs as the model begins to resolve the deep tropics better.”

      Later on, the MJO is mentioned as well. Focus is on future El Nino, but this also suggests the GFS models are having a hard time figuring things out.

      • SoCalWXwatcher

        The CFS is expecting quite a bit of westerly wind bursts over the next 3 months, and that would contribute to negative SOI numbers. We also saw strong WWB’s last Spring though, and in very early Summer it really looked like we were on our way to a ’97-’98-style big El Niño, but it fizzled by Fall.

        • Kamau40

          There are early suggestions that El Niño will make another run by Fall.

          • SoCalWXwatcher

            Yup, If one gets started I just hope it doesn’t die on the vine like it did last fall. If it were to be 1997-98 caliber, it could really help matters.

          • Aloha12

            It looked real promising last April with that huge Kelvin wave moving west but more (waves) were needed and the atmosphere never coupled. Bastardi even in April was saying there would be no big El nino (maybe modiki) and it pissed me off at the time but he was right.

  • yenlard

    We’ll I’m ready for next winter….who’s with me?

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      You think we’ll have a “winter” next year? I admire your enthusiasm!

      • yenlard

        It has to turn around sometime….no? I find it hard to believe were headed for a ten year drought. If that happens…people will be packing up and heading elsewhere.

        • SoCalWXwatcher

          I was kidding a bit. I do think we are due for a major El Nino at some point, and there are theories that our West Coast climate is going to consist of multi-year periods of major drought followed by consecutive years of major El Nino type seasons.

          • thunderstorm98

            That make sense.

          • yenlard

            Can those start immediately?

          • SoCalWXwatcher

            I wish. But no.

        • dylan

          I’m already packing up! The multi-year droughts sound awful to me, I definitely don’t want to live through them

      • http://icefallsfnovel.webege.com Zepp

        Well, the days will get shorter. We can be certain of that…

    • Kamau40

      Well, this time last year people on this blog were saying the same thing about this year and look at where we are. One challenging question though, how do you know that it will rain/snow next year?

      • yenlard

        I don’t…. If the ocean temperatures don’t cool down then we may be in trouble again. Those elevated temperatures have to be somewhat connected to this horrid weather. If next year is a neutral year then yeah…it could be ugly again.

        • Kamau40

          You said it correctly. I would further add and say that one significant player indeed that has contributed to the record drought in the West are the warm phases of both the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans.

          • yenlard

            So what’s it going to take to cool down…if that’s possible?

          • dylan

            He certainly doesn’t know any better than you do

          • Boiio

            Only God knows.

          • Ian Alan

            Simple – according to my daughter.

          • Weatherwatcher

            The cold never bothered me anyway..

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/28769541@N07/ Geomagnetic_Storm

            LMAO!

          • SoCalWXwatcher

            I think my daughters would concur.

          • alanstorm

            Volcano eruptions

          • Dan the Weatherman

            I don’t really believe that the +PDO is causing our drought conditions, because +PDO is usually more favorable for rainfall in CA, but +AMO I believe leads to drought under certain conditions, when coupled with a -PDO. When -PDO combines with ENSO neutral or weak ENSO, then it can be really dry like it was in 2013.

      • SacWest

        did you leave California and move to another State.

      • craig matthews

        Left Napa Valley eh?

      • Tuolumne

        Oh, it will- perhaps even in inches. Beyond that I have no idea.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/28769541@N07/ Geomagnetic_Storm

      Eh….Probably the same Sh^t as the past 2 winters.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        Make that the past 3 winters, starting with 2013.

        • Nick W.

          Or 4.

    • Angel Rocket

      i been ready for next winter for 3 years now

    • Nick W.

      Same here. If the next winter is like the last 4 including this one, I’m leaving California for New England.

  • Jose Mota

    My wife has make argue but I putting all my family into van. Now we left to New York for follow snow. I tie down to the roof 5 sleys for sleying.

    • I am the white devil

      Parts of Alaska will have snow all year. Please watch for Yeti, bring bludgeon for protection just in case

    • yenlard

      Shouldn’t you be at spring training practicing bunting?

  • thunderstorm98

    High of 75 and rain? Definitly not a cold storm but feels more like summer! :(

  • Bandini

    I respectively bow out, the emotional roller coaster is too much and life is too short. I surrender to King High Pressure. Perhaps I’ll report on conditions in the Sierra in my neck of the woods if we get a real storm or if there’s a Muzik sighting. Until then, good night and have a pleasant tomorrow.

    • Ian Alan

      Ditto

    • Tuolumne

      Hey, I’ve really appreciated your contributions here!

    • alanstorm

      I could see some Sierra snow WAAAY up top from 99 while driving to Fresno today. It’s there, but man, its only on the higher reaches.

    • jstrahl

      Do hope you stay in touch, i’ve appreciated the mountain reports.

  • MuzikmanZero

    My earliest memories are distant, muddled, and rather dark – screaming and cackling as I watched the trickling orange and red creep it’s way across my Tablet.

    Now I am where I am now, in the desert, caught in the vortex between yesterday and tomorrow. I do not know how I got here.

    And so my westward trek begins.

    The other day, through the billowing sandstorm, I thought I saw myself – only it wasn’t. He wept over the tattered corpse of an inanimate figure, and when he saw me, he clenched a staff with his hands. His eyes darted in the other direction. His hair was wild, his skin pale.

    He looked scared.

    Soon, another sandy veil blew through. When the dust cleared, he, or should I say it, was gone.

    Oh, Muzik, what have you done?

    My Tablet is on. I am fully clad in my flame-red unitard, my Satanic nutcrackers are beside me, and I have shaved my head to avoid recognition from those I may concern.

    Tahoe here I come. Hold on tight.

    It’s gonna be a wild ride.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/28769541@N07/ Geomagnetic_Storm

    My Allergies have been killer the past week. Will rain keep the Pollen at bay?

    • Mike Stephenson

      Same here. They finally made flonase over the counter so I am excited!!!

  • Weatherwatcher

    Weak el-nino annouced by NWS. probably too late to do anything but hopefully it will at least enhance the monsoon season for socal like last summer. http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2015/20150305-noaa-advisory-elnino-arrives.html

  • Ian Alan

    It’s gonna be Mid March and we’re scrambling in search of the elusive Miracle like Jose Mota at the top of the 9th in a losing game….I hope he hits better than he make sleys.

    Even last season brought two small snow events in May…

    I was just thinking, last July and August brought more precip than January and February…..

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Hey, Monsoon Season starts in 4 months! 😉

  • click

    I know we still have some “winter” left before it really becomes spring, but I am new to the whole weather watching thing and I am curious about what kind of atmospheric changes occur at that transition for California. What are the hallmarks of the season change? I have heard that summer is dominated by an east pacific high, bringing us warm weather and sunny skies. How does the jetstream behave etc? Just looking for information, would like to be educated about the weather here year round.

    • tomocean

      Spring here seems like the slow turning off of a faucet in most normal years. The storms become less frequent and less severe. Summer weather in most of California is dull, in my opinion. Clear, windless, hot days stacked on top of each other like something cranked out of a perfect weather machine. Generally, the monsoon driving moisture from the tropical Pacific comes out of the south starting in July and running until mid-September in some years. That will bring thunderstorms to parts of southern California and the Sierra Nevada mountains. Those are the only events that generally break up the monotony.

      • jstrahl

        Well, the coast, especially further north, gets the “fog,” which is really low clouds rather than genuine fog. There are locations in the Bay Area, such as western San Francisco, which can go weeks without seeing sun. Here in Berkeley, we often start days with the summer overcast, burns off by noon, very mild temps, high near 70.

        • tomocean

          Yes, my apologies. Forgot all about the June gloom.

          • Mike Stephenson

            lol… March: In like a lion, out like a lamb, and April showers bring may flowers

    • Mike Stephenson

      The jet stream also slides north as spring approaches. In summer there is a high pressure that wobbles around the midwest I think, but when it lands on the 4 corners region, there is a South easterly flow that gives us our monsoon transport

  • tomocean

    An extremely sobering, and alarming article about droughts becoming the new normal for California. These last few years have been such an epic shift from what we’ve seen in the past, as far as temperature and precipitation anomalies, that it’s becoming difficult to refute this idea.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/03/02/californias-terrifying-forecast-in-the-future-it-could-face-droughts-nearly-every-year/

    • click

      The study cited in that article is (co-authored) by weatherwest’s own Daniel Swain

      • tomocean

        Didn’t know that. Thanks for enlightening me (and others).

    • Dan the Weatherman

      Excerpt from the article:

      “Earlier scientific research suggests that the extremely dry and hot period between 2012 and 2014 might be the worst in a millennium, the study said. But even that can’t hold a candle to the droughts expected 35 years from now.”

      In that case, a drought 35 years from now will mean that California will hardly get a drop of rain and will become the Atacama Desert of the North, if this really comes to pass.

      • tomocean

        Yes, California will become an uninhabitable wasteland if this were to come to pass. I have to be honest though. I have very little faith that anyone really can predict with any level of confidence our future climate. Our most accurate computer models can’t predict weather with any certainty more than a few days out.

        • dylan

          Why do you think so? Predicting future climate is entirely different from predicting weather 10 days out

          • Mike Stephenson

            Our climate is a very chaotic system. This is not at all meant to be a stab at global warming, but many of our global warming models were horribly wrong. We can find links and correlations like Daniel said with CO2, high temperatures and lower rainfall, but there are many forces at work. For all we know the next ice age could begin within 50 years!

          • alanstorm

            I agree. All we need is for 1 major volcano to pop its cork, & WHAMMO! You got yourself some serious global cooling!

          • Socal

            If Yellowstone erupts we could get inches of Ash.

          • Mike Stephenson

            That would be devastating! But whats more realistic is one of the west coast subduction volcanos like Mt. Rainier and Mt. St Helens.

          • alanstorm

            No, we don’t want a Yellowstone eruption for obvious reasons! I’m just saying stratospheric aerosols can cool global temps.

          • Mike Stephenson

            No i realize this lol! Just meant a west coast volcano is a little more likely to happen in our lifetime, sorry

          • alanstorm

            Pinatubo 1991

          • Tuolumne

            Briefly- a few years at most. Then it’s back to warming again.

          • jstrahl

            The only mistake global warming models have made so far is in UNDER-estimating how fast the changes will be taking place. Worst-case scenarios have repeatedly been shown to be way too optimistic over the past several years.

          • Mike Stephenson

            Very few of them predicted the general pause in global warming we have seen in the last 10 -15 years. Not at all trying to advocate against global warming, just stating that the climate is very difficult to predict. Check this out

          • jstrahl

            There has been no “pause” in the last 15 years, this notion is one of the most pernicious myths out there. Land temps have not gone up as fast, because the vast majority of warming has gone into the oceans.

            See https://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2015/02/26/bad-climate-outcomes-atmospheric-warming-to-ramp-up-as-pdo-swings-strongly-positive/
            and
            http://motherboard.vice.com/read/we-may-see-a-supercharged-surge-in-warming

          • Mike Stephenson

            The temp graph in the first link even shows this. The temp climbs rapidly from 1970 until 1997 and then GENERALY levels out. I realize its still EXTREMELY warm, and a lot of this heat is going into the oceans, I understand. But still no one predicted that. Just emphasizing climate variability thats all.

          • jstrahl

            As Dylan points out re the wunderground article, and as Robert Scribbler points out in the first article i linked to, the PDO is an explanatory factor. Scribbler in fact points out how in the past, episodes of negative PDO have actually led to a pause in the warming, but the most recent ones increasingly show simply a tendency to slow the rate of warming, and able to do it less and less so.

          • dylan

            See here too http://classic.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2923

            Certainly not a pause, according to him it could be due to the PDO

          • tomocean

            Because there are so many complex variables that come into play when you try to project what will happen with such a dynamic system as global climate decades from now. I am, however, looking forward to hearing from Daniel on the methodology they used to come to their conclusions. I think it will be fascinating and I am ready to be convinced otherwise!

          • dylan

            Yes, you guys make valid points. Only a climate scientist can really answer you there – I don’t work in the field myself so I don’t know how it works. I just think that if they make predictions, they must have some confidence in the them. But even so of course they are still theories.

      • Mike Stephenson

        To say we may be in the beginnings of a mega drought is entirely possible, but to say that it won’t rain like in the Atacama desert is just not realistic. There is no major rain shadow along the west coast. It rains even in megadroughts; enough to sustain life. There have been plenty of mega droughts in the past. In fact, there are bristlecone pines that are 5000 years old in california. There are rings of creosote bush in the mojave desert that are over 10,000 years old! It will be horrible but things will not be wiped clean. Most of the species around here have been here for hundreds of thousands of years, even surviving the wild temperature changes of the ice ages and interglacials, when temperatures were briefly much warmer than today!

        • jstrahl

          I would tend to agree with you, given that climate models have also predicted that El Nino episodes may also become more frequent, meaning years of drought alternating with years of flooding. But in reality, i think 35 years is academic. This is because i think the changes already underway in global weather, if not arrested by a DRASTIC cutback in greenhouse gases emissions, will trigger changes which will put an end to life, at least human life if not most or all forms of life, in as little as 25 years, via triggering “the methane bomb” and runaway warming, which will make growing food impossible. I tend to agree with others sounding alarm bells, such as meteorologists Jason Box, Paul Beckwith and David Sprott.

        • alanstorm

          All that needs to happen is for that silly amplified wave pattern to shift a bit eastward and we could get stuck in a mother of ARs & get 2 years of rain in a month. Maybe it will get so warm & humid well get 24/7 convection downpours. Geeez

          • Mike Stephenson

            It will be interesting to see if that happens in the next few years! The east coast could us a little dry spell

        • Dan the Weatherman

          I was just saying that because the article is stating that droughts 35 years from now are expected to be worse than today’s drought. If Los Angeles is averaging between 5-7 inches of rain during this current drought, when the average (really the average of wildly varying year to year rainfall totals) is about 15 inches, then that could mean that rainfall totals could average between 1-3″ per year or some other ridiculously low figures less than 4-5″ that are more reminiscent of Death Valley than a coastal city that doesn’t lie in a rain shadow.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        Maybe I shouldn’t have said as dry as the Atacama, but this prediction being made sounds as if CA could be extremely dry like a desert region if this all came true.

        • Mike Stephenson

          I should have understood that, sorry. I just think that some people think that it will just stop raining entirely

    • http://www.weatherwest.com/ Weather West

      I am actually a co-author on this study, and will have a blog post on it and other related studies within the next month. That one really focuses on the role of temperature in increasing drought, since the precipitation question is still a trick one, indeed. But the emerging consensus surrounding increasingly temperature-driven droughts certainly has significant implications for California, irrespective of precipitation. Again–more in a couple of weeks!

      • Robin White

        Anyone who wants to see the controlling effect of temperature on climate and drought can look at annual rainfall numbers for, say, London, and Austin, Texas.

    • Obsessed

      Wow. Sobering indeed. I guess I’ll quit whining and just accept this and do my part to save water, energy, and recycle and stuff.

  • big_oil

    everyone talks about how temps in the Pacific – or certain areas of the Pacific – seem to affect California weather… unless I’ve missed it (and, believe me, I look very hard), what is completely missing from the discussion is speculation as to why these ocean temps rise and fall… my own theory (influenced, no doubt, by the fact that i’m a geologist) is that the ocean floor is riddled with connections to the mantle, which provides heat on a random (in human time-frame terms) basis… in the mid-Pacific, the Hawaiian islands are only the most obvious manifestation of these connections… but one only has to look at Japan, Indonesia, the Alaska Peninsula (and in the Atlantic, Iceland and the rest of the mid-Atlantic Ridge) to see that these connections are real, active and (usually) not part of what should be a curiosity about the cause of ocean temp fluctuations and their influence on our rainfall (or lack thereof)… thanx for any comments

    • alanstorm

      Volcanism heating the oceans…..

      • Dan the Weatherman

        I found an article recently about underwater volcanism, and that it can possibly have much more impact in the oceans and even the climate than originally thought. If anyone is interested in reading it, it can be found at the following link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/02/150205142921.htm

    • xeren

      Weather west has replied about this before, he pointed out that volcanism makes up an infinitesimal fraction of ocean heating, especially when you compare it to the staggering amount of energy that comes from the sun every minute

      • big_oil

        sure, the sun is very hot at its surface… but by the time it reaches the earth, its heat per area magnitude is far less than that produced by volcanoes and other mantle connections… yes, you can get a nice suntan in Hawaii but I don’t recommend walking into a lava flow

        • xeren

          We aren’t talking about people, we are talking about oceans. Your analogies don’t hold water, no pun intended

        • http://icefallsfnovel.webege.com Zepp

          Sunlight accounts for 12,211 gigawatt/hour. energy entering the Earth’s heat cycle. Most of that is reflected, of course. Most of the remainder goes into the oceans. Ocean albedo varies enormously by angle of light striking it, but over all, it has an albedo of about .15. And it covers 70 of the Earths surface. So call it about 7,250 gigawatts/hour being absorbed by the oceans.
          How much vulcanism would you need to produce that much energy?

          • big_oil

            excellent analysis – but “straw man” final question… i’m not arguing that volcanism (or I would call it mantle leakage, since only a bit of it manifests as surface volcanic activity) everywhere exceeds solar contributions to ocean temp… my original question was how to explain the origin of LOCALIZED (in time and space) ocean temp anomalies that some meteorologists call upon to predict so-called El Nino, La Nina, etc “events”… how does highly diffuse solar energy arrive at earth’s atmosphere and then concentrate at specific areas of the Pacific ?… I would suggest that the randomness of these “events” doesn’t reflect the constancy of solar energy – but would instead possibly correspond to more random sub-continental crustal activities… thanx again for your serious response (unlike others)

          • http://icefallsfnovel.webege.com Zepp

            That one I’ll leave to anyone better versed in large-scale fluid dynamics. In a nutshell, as with the atmosphere, the oceans have an unequal allocation of energy input, combined with Coriolis force from the Earth’s rotation, so you have areas of warmer and colder temperatures, higher and lower salinity, and (on a somewhat lesser scale than the atmosphere) higher and lower pressure.

          • big_oil

            thanx… good discussion… let’s leave it there

    • Bryan

      Xeren and Daniel are right. Volcanism, or global heat flow in general, is insignificant compared to the energy input into the system by the sun.

  • thlnk3r

    Some good talks here tonight about the drought ect..

    The EC 500mb 00Z Mar 06 2015 runs are available. Looks dry through March 16th: http://tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/ecmwf/2015030600/ecmwf_z500a_namer.html

    The GFS and GEM 00z Mar 06 runs are pretty much the same. Those that follow Joe Bastardi at Weatherbell.com, he did have a small comment recently about April for the South West: https://twitter.com/BigJoeBastardi/status/573703234549841921

    • Dan the Weatherman

      I don’t think I can trust the CFS anymore. It has given us false hope too many times this season!

    • Xerophobe

      Emphasis on the word “small”. The guy gets giddy about snow. It’s tough to stomach, but we’d all be giddy too if we had drought busting snowfall and rain.

      • thlnk3r

        “Small” as in he hardly mentions anything about the West Coast. Same goes for the WSI blog. Probably because our weather has been extremely boring.

  • Crouching Dallas

    00Z Euro finally flipped to the dark side. No trough, no low, no dice.

    Oh well. At least we’ve got the MJO and maple syrup.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/28769541@N07/ Geomagnetic_Storm

    Yeah….This is really an El Nino type of weather pattern……Sarcasm.

    • Mike Stephenson

      We can only pray it is a precursor to a major El Niño next year since we are due!

  • lightning10

    Not sure why the weatherbug is still showing 50% chance of rain and thunderstorms in the long range. Its holding on hard to that solution.

    The GFS is a having a year to remember so no reason for it to be wrong showing a monster ridge.

  • Obsessed

    Our “winter”:

    Pattern shift Jan 8!
    Late January!
    February for sure!
    Mid to late February!
    March Miracle!?
    March 11 AR EVENT!
    March 11 Rain
    March 11 Scattered Showers!

    BWAHAHAHAHA!! Like it was discussed below it’s time to get used to it. My one question: if we can build a long pipeline for oil (like Keystone and the one in Alaska), why not one for, I don’t know, WATER?? Just look to the East! We want their snow, and they are more than happy to get rid of theirs!

    • RSpringbok

      In the early 1970’s the Feds studied the idea of building an underwater pipeline from the mouth of the Columbia River and shipping the water south to California. Might be time to dust off that report. Putting the pipeline undersea is brilliant, as it eliminates all of the costly real estate issues.

      • Obsessed

        Unfortunately we’ll have to depend on politicians.

        • RSpringbok

          Yeah well if the Western drought keeps up, a water pipeline from the Columbia would do a lot more for the US economy than the Keystone XL ever would. Politicians as always are way behind the curve…

          • Obsessed

            Yup, think of all the jobs that would create.

          • RSpringbok

            … and all of the jobs and farms in Calif it would save!

    • Bob G

      Great weather rimeline. Lets ditch all weather models and climate forecasts for good. Almost bettter not to have them

      • jstrahl

        I already suggested replacing them with supermodels. You’ll never get mad at them no matter what they say.:-)

  • Ian Alan

    It’s comical! 06Z GFS now gets the whole state wet…..starting in 10 days right through 16 days!

    • Obsessed

      lololololololol.

    • yenlard

      it has a hard time getting a handle on the situation…or so I’ve heard

    • Kelley Rogers

      None of us are quite right here on this blog. We should all rent an RV and hit the road. We could travel to towns and talk about the weather. We probably can make some $$ LOL

      • Ian Alan

        Jose Mota already has a van – we can caravan and follow the rain/snow. Someone just needs to convince him to toss out the sleys, maybe a kid or two and definitely the wife… LMAO!!

      • dylan

        I agree, or get on a plane to the east coast! Weather from hell here in Santa Barbara – 26 C today, a return to summer temperatures for the next ten days, nowhere near average!

    • http://icefallsfnovel.webege.com Zepp

      The Weather Channel has already named this approaching storm “Godot”.

      • click

        Appropriate (i admit i had to look up the reference)

        from Wikipedia: “Waiting for Godot is an absurdist play by Samuel Beckett, in which two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, wait endlessly and in vain for the arrival of someone named Godot”

        • Guest

          E: Oh yes, let’s go far away from here.

          V: We can’t.

          E: Why not?

          V: We have to come back tomorrow.

          E: What for?

          V: To wait for Godot.

          E: Ah! (Silence.) He didn’t come?

          V: No.

          E: And now it’s too late.

          V: Yes, now it’s night.

          E: And if we dropped him? (Pause.) If we dropped him?

          V: He’d punish us. (Silence. He looks at the tree.) Everything’s dead but the tree.

      • Xerophobe

        ^^^^ This is the best LOL post on this board since someone posted a pic of the wicked witch of the East dead under Dorothy’s house. ++++

      • Dan the Weatherman

        Godot what? Godotcom? They must have run out of storm names for this season to have one at this point start with “G”.

    • Bob G

      Why cant u believe it? (Sarcasm)

      • jstrahl

        We only believe the GFS when is forecasts dry conditions.:-)

    • jstrahl

      And the 12Z takes it all away.

      • Ian Alan

        You’re trippin – did one of Jose Motas sleys put big bump your head?!

        • jstrahl

          I admit to not having breakfast yet.:-)

          • Ian Alan

            I had my wheaties AND my wife’s coffee (I don’t drink coffee) so excuse my enthusiasm and nudging this morning. 😉 lol

  • Dan weather maniac

    GFS

    Good
    Fun
    Shenanigans

  • Ian Alan

    12z coming in strong with that 1-2-3 punch!! Too bad the RRRR is sure to win out, no question about that!

    • jstrahl

      Is your first sentence sarcasm? Or are we looking at different charts?

      • Ian Alan

        Here’s another frame at 312hrs – what are you looking at?

        • jstrahl

          BIZARRE! The charts i was just looking at don’t look remotely like either one of the two you posted, for the same time periods. Is the GFS showing different things to different sites? I was looking at Weather Online.

          • Ian Alan

            Someone pointed me to this site which I’ve been using for a couple months now. http://www.cnrfc.noaa.gov/weather_models.php

          • jstrahl

            Thanks. Still, one would think GFS models are the same no matter what site you see them at. Go figure.

    • rob b

      I am thinking the models enjoy teasing us….it’s their version of a “peep show.” The Canadian model still shows storms for next week in Nor Cal…Eh?

      • Dan the Weatherman

        The models have been absolutely terrible in the long range this year for some reason. It is as if they are constantly teasing us with a promise of rain, and then they take it away just as fast as it appeared. I think there is something very abnormal that is driving this weather pattern the last couple of years that the models aren’t catching on to, because nobody knows what it is and it isn’t been incorporated into the models for that very reason.

        • click

          Sorry, new here…
          How do the long range forecasts compare to previous years in terms of accuracy?
          Was the old GFS better at long range? i know the new one has nailed a couple storms from pretty far out, like the oddball baja bomb.

          • Dan the Weatherman

            The long range forecasts have at least been right about pattern changes in the past a good portion of the time, but the timing of the change and exact location of troughs often change before the actual shift takes place, which is normal when dealing with something as complicated as our atmosphere. This year, the pattern changes are forecast, but never seem to materialize at all.

    • click

      I guess i should pretend i didn’t see these frames, that way in another 6 hours i don’t get upset!

    • Obsessed

      The green areas are what I call fairy dust unicorns because they are just about as real.

      • Quagmire Cliffington

        I’ll believe that when me sh*t turns purple and smells like rainbow sherbert!

  • fr94114

    According to the Weather Channel, Miracle March is a bust? Hoping for an Amazing April.

    • Ian Alan

      An Amazingly Awesome April!

    • Obsessed

      An “Amazing April” just reeks of desperation.

      • fr94114

        Lots of trolls on this board lately.

        • Obsessed

          Not trolling, just being realistic.

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      Next month we’ll be crossing our fingers for a “Miracle May”, as we watch the GFS, Euro and GEM depict an AR, 240hrs out for Memorial Weekend.

      • click

        We can’t have that, it would ruin BBQs and make traffic a mess for all the traveling people do for the holiday!

        No Miracle May for me 😉

        • gray whale

          i see what you did there

      • thlnk3r

        Good lord. The next 10 days down here in the Inland Emire!

        • Nick W.

          Endless heat wave. Do not want.

        • lightning10

          I will 1+ you in Whittier,

  • Obsessed

    I’ve been following this meteorologist for the past three months and he believes in wetter pattern by 3/15-3/16…then again I attribute a bit of my pattern shift rant earlier to him.

    http://www.northstateweather.com/

  • thlnk3r

    Not a surprise here. Recent WSI blog post discussing the 11-15 day. Flip to negative EPO and the results (Warm West, Cold East): http://www.wsi.com/blog/energy/us-11-15-day-discussion-higher-forecast-confidence-todaycold-east-and-warm-west-pattern-may-return/

    • Xerophobe

      From what I see on WxBell that’s very temporary with forecast to move upwards in a couple of days. GFS similar, too. Hang in there!

      • thlnk3r

        No worries Xerophobe. As always thank you for your insight.

  • Xerophobe

    The SST’s were/are berzerk in the Northern Hemisphere not just North Pacific! I could find two other years will vaguely similar to SST’s for North Pacific – the double 86-88 El Nino’s – but the North Atlantic was not warm those two seasons, either. Kinda hard to blame CFS and JAMSTEC with this present condition. I don’t know what seasonals were for ECMWF, but my hunch is a dry west from what I gleaned off other blogs and websites. Data available throught Feb 2015 so had to be consistent

  • Crouching Dallas

    Howard’s now thrown in the maple-syrup stained towel re: AR for Central California, too, at least until “further notice.

    I’m taking the weekend off for blog posts and model runs – this stuff is too depressing. In the meantime: crouch long and prosper, fellow nerds!

  • Nick W.

    Weather looks depressing over the next several days despite a glimmer of hope next Wednesday. Time to pray for a cold wet winter next year. I’ve had enough of this “winter” now.

  • Quagmire Cliffington

    I’d like to propose a week long fast from any forecast models. I tried something similar with the system from last weekend and Tahoe was whallopped. Perhaps, if we turn our eyes away from it all, MN Mother Nature will think we don’t care anymore. I, Quagmire Cliffington, pledge to not look at a model run until Friday, March 13th’s 12z. Who is with me?

    • Nick W.

      I pledge not to look at any long range models for the rest of my life.

    • Obsessed

      I blame the internet! I was just fine with the 5 day forecasts on the news back in the day. Damn this miraculous, amazing technology!

    • Xerophobe

      I hope I can read about sleys and Shaun (or spelled Shawn?) White bobble heads in the mean-time. More creativity in those posts than I can dream up.

    • Bob G

      I keep making myself a promise to do just that and then I end up breaking it. Maybe this can be like an AA thing and we all promise together not to look at any long term models.

    • He Who Must Not Be Named

      Second. Lets open the floor to alternative blog topics that can be discussed for the length of one week.

      • Quagmire Cliffington

        Let’s go with Whether West – we can discuss whether without bringing up weather!

      • Obsessed

        First topic idea: Another Spider-Man reboot? Really??

      • Boiio

        How bout politics and religion?

        • dylan

          Please no

          • Boiio

            lol there should be a font style for sarcasm

        • Quagmire Cliffington

          annotated weather maps and radical right wing topics only please. we need to bring kenny and kamau back. or are they one and the same?

          • Joseph B.

            I don’t think they’re the same. Kenny is not a climate change denier….Kamau is.

        • He Who Must Not Be Named

          add your mom to the list!

      • alanstorm

        How about man-made global warming vs natural cycles, chemtrails, HAARP, geoenginerling, & whether Kenny was full of it or not??

        • dylan

          The chemtrail/HAARP people have been surprisingly absent lately!

    • Angel Rocket

      I had to do an intervention on myself earlier in the season , it actually felt good ,it lasted about 5 days then I fell off the wagon

    • Skye H.

      I have done that many times before this season including right before the mega AR in December. Or was it February? All the **** weather is blending together in my mind. Sure, I’ll give it a go, can’t guarantee I’ll make it though.

    • Ian Alan

      Yesterday mine lasted from 18z until 00z – epic fail….. :(

  • Utrex

    Just so you all know, the El Niño is an El Niño modoki.

    • Bob G

      At the Pacific Surf website, they are predicting a multiple year Modoki event. I hope not.

      • Xerophobe

        I’ve seen that in more than a few blogs. YUCKKKKKK

    • lightning10

      You would think that setup would bring big rain into the area…

      • click

        My understanding of the modoki is that because the centered further west, it disrupts the walker circulation but keeps the rainfall too far west as well, over the ocean.

        • Xerophobe

          Walker Cell kinda sorta didn’t do much. I was reading on another blog that atmospheric teleconnections for El Nino need to be in play. I really don’t know for sure but I read it somewhere on the internet. On an arctic sea ice forum…so it must be true.

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/28769541@N07/ Geomagnetic_Storm

        I think the opposite.

        • Xerophobe

          It alone can help late season but the probabilities are very low…

    • dylan

      Yes, we know. Been discussed a thousand times below

      • Utrex

        Nobody mentioned a modoki below!

        • dylan

          Yes, but it’s weak! Weak El Ninos aren’t really correlated much with California precipitation. So why does it matter at all?

          • Utrex

            It’s high-end weak. It still affects our weather.

          • dylan

            Oh, sorry, I didn’t know that. I thought it was just barely high enough to even be declared El Niño. Sorry, El Niño is a trigger phrase for me these days after last year’s BS El Niño.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      We have had wetter winters in Modoki El Ninos before, but this one is on the weak side.

  • Bob G

    http://opensnow.com/dailysnow/Tahoe

    Bryan’s update. How often have we heard of the ridge shifting north this year and storms coming underneath? Like a broken record.

    Long-Range:

    The models continue to toy with us in the long-range but at this point the long-range discussion is like the comic strip section of the paper. The ensemble runs show the ridge shifting North week 2 and the jet stream trying to extend under the ridge into the West Coast the week of the 16th.

    • Xerophobe

      This is really the only thing different all season. Only other active MJO phase that may have helped was an active phase 3 in late November – which may or may not have lead to the — December 12th AR. The rest of the propagating MJO this season was of no help. This forecast may or may not happen or have an effect on our weather. If it has no effect and weather is still like it is today, bring out the fat lady.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        Looking at that phase space diagram, it appears the MJO has been very weak lately as it has been near the “circle of death” until just a couple of days ago when it went into Phase 5.

        • Xerophobe

          Was it last week the ECMWF was going to the right and GEFS to the left? Anyway MJO can be inactive and it can rain or active in a ‘good phase’ and not rain. MJO is becoming less of a factor and a late March signal in phase 7 is do or die. I do so far like the forecast showing the signal spend five or more days there rather than just racing around
          This link gives you an archive.
          http://cawcr.gov.au/staff/mwheeler/maproom/RMM/phasediag.list.htm

      • craig matthews

        That fat lady is already out and she might need a drink of water

        • Xerophobe

          Let her sweat.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      I was thinking the same thing when I read Bryan’s update a few minutes ago that this advertised pattern change in the long range only to back off later has been like a broken record.

  • SFBay2

    In football terms, we’re down by 14 points at the start of the 4th quarter, and the other team has possession.

    We could still win – a Miracle March or Amazing April. But something positive needs to happen soon.

    • click

      Time to put Tebow in!

    • Quagmire Cliffington

      Or, SFbay2, it’s like you’re down 26 points at half time and you come back and win. Unfortunately we don’t have a Stephen Curry on our team to combat the ridge. Or do we?

      • Nick W.

        We need a 37-point quarter a la Klay Thompson. Give us a Pineapple Express in the last week of March, please.

    • Tuolumne

      Plus they have an unstoppable running game that’s just eating up the clock.

  • weathergeek100

    If anyone remembers, the “driest ever January through March” record fell in 2013. What do you think the chances of breaking that are this year? I think there’s a decent chance we could get very close.

    • Nick W.

      It’s a long way to the end of March. There might be a chance.

    • jstrahl

      Jan-March ’13 i measured 2.17 inches. This year so far i’ve already measured 2.37 inches. True, it all came in 3 consecutive days, almost all in the first and the third days of that streak, but total is total.

  • Azmordean

    A storm is back in the GFS. Pushed out a bit of course. I think it will happen though, eventually. This has been the pattern all year.

    Models show a storm, then lose them, only to show it again a while later. Eventually it happens. We’ve been, basically, having one event every month or two. So I do think mid-late March, or early April, will bring another significant event to the Bay Area. The models are just too fast with these changes and these storms.

    Will it be enough, undoubtedly not. If it happens, will it make me feel a little better going into summer… yes, if for no other reason than the redwoods might stay alive a while longer :).

    For next year, I think it’s key to watch the SSTs off the coast. If they stay this warm, I suspect the drought will continue. If they cool closer to normal levels, we may get something that is actually worthy of being called a winter. Right now, the CFS seems to show continued warm water off the coast for a long time to come. Another model I looked at shows it moderating. Who knows, something to watch.

    • craig matthews

      Yeah, hopefully the gulf of Alaska cools off to below average sea temp anomalies, and then if El Nino develops more strongly, it will be focused over the east basin toward South America. Then that would help create a better environment over the eastern North Pacific basin for the polar jet to extend further east into the west coast(hypothetically).

    • inclinejj

      So in theory the warm SST’s should give the coast less summertime fog, correct?

      • Azmordean

        Not really, even with the anomalies, the ocean is still vastly colder than the inland areas. So fog will still form and still be pulled inland, but the marine layer may not be quite as cool as it usually is. We saw this this past summer with warm overnight lows.

        Now, the RRR does tend to lead to less fog, in that it results in more offshore wind events than usual.

    • Weatherwatcher

      I think warm ssts over our coast might be beneficial. The only problem is the whole pacific is above average and we need that water temp difference to make storms. If the water only cooled off around Alaska, I think it would get rid of the RRR and alow more powerful storms to enter.

      • Azmordean

        I’m not sure — warm SSTs tend to juice up storm systems, but they also tend to support a ridge. So you can end up with a pattern like this year’s — a few very wet events, but overall a prevalence of a ridge and drought.

        Of course, much of this is conjecture on all sides.

        • Dan the Weatherman

          We have seen this configuration of SSTs before and it is called a +PDO. I am wondering if they are just too warm in certain areas such as the Gulf of Alaska. +PDO is not known for producing or sustaining terrible dorught conditions in CA in the past.

  • craig matthews

    The western tropical pacific is becoming very active from the looks of this satellite image.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      I wonder if that is good news for CA or will that result in more ridging?

      • craig matthews

        Hopefully this will energize the polar jet and allow it to extend further east to the west coast at some point this month. Right now it looks like more ridging right up the Ca coast. But with such powerful forces in the tropical pacific, who knows.

    • http://www.weatherwest.com/ Weather West

      Last few years, an active West Pac has not translated to wet conditions in California. There have been plenty of storms out there over the Pacific the whole time, but they keep getting deflected northward a 1000-2000 miles to our west. Unfortunately, looks like this trend is continuing this month…

      • weathergeek100

        Yeah and correct me if I’m wrong, the STRONGER those storms are in the western pacific, the more tendency they have to pump up a ridge in the eastern Pacific, right? And the stronger that trough is, the stronger our ridge is.

        Basically, same situation as the west coast ridge/east coast trough.

        • Dan the Weatherman

          Have the storms in the western Pacific been stronger than they used to be during the last 3 years?

      • craig matthews

        Do you think this tropical activity that is occurring right now near the dateline is linked to a very weak El Nino Modoki,? Could this be the atmospheric response, with developing negative OLR near the dateline? Even though active WP has not translated to wet conditions in Ca the last few years, does that mean the same applies now? Sorry to overload you with these questions. I will gladly wait for the update you have been talking about:)

    • Xerophobe

      Craig that area of convection doesn’t do much for us at any time of year unless the Walker Cell is displaced in a real live El Nino and the convection shifts eastward near or just east of dateline

      • craig matthews

        I was thinking more along the lines of El Nino development. But that makes sense, thanks.

    • Quagmire Cliffington

      Inside the black sabertooth area between 0 and -15 is the key to finding out how to move the RRR

      • craig matthews

        If we find it, castrate so it doesn’t re produce.

    • SlashTurn

      WWB?

  • jstrahl

    So i did go to the site Ian Allen suggested, and the 12Z GFS did indeed show a series of storms moving into California, as he posted earlier today (maps). And now, the 18Z has taken it all away. So i was basically right, just 6 hours off.:-(

    • HadleyCell
      • jstrahl
        • bystander

          Only the first few frames are available as far as I can tell and they just run through tomorrow…so you wouldn’t see anything yet I don’t think…I may be wrong.

        • HadleyCell

          that only has the first 36 hours of output, right? i think the model is still running.

          • jstrahl

            ??? I saw the date change trough around March 20th. WEIRD!
            Just checked again, i get it through 3/21.

          • Xerophobe

            NCEP servers have been coughing up hairballs for about a week. Probably due to all the OCD we have about checking them…we are insane. Well I am, at least

          • jstrahl

            Are you saying that what i saw was hairballs? Or that the site offered by HadlyCell coughs up hairballs? Which one is the coughing cat?

          • Xerophobe

            Head-slap!

          • jstrahl

            So i needed humor colors?:-)

          • Xerophobe

            Dang your wit is a drier than my asphalt driveway. :-)

          • He Who Must Not Be Named

            Hey Bill, what is your preferred source for getting the GFS output the quickest? Not that we want to look…

          • Xerophobe

            Usually Levi’s site for convenience otherwise the NCEP C.O site

    • dylan

      Yeah GFS is corrupt. Anyway, wunderground has also ripped away all the precipitation next week for SF and for Santa Barbara. Ugh

    • Ian Alan

      Long live King RRRR!!!!

      • jstrahl

        It’s brutal, you can see one juicy storm after another approach the coast and get shredded by the ridge.

      • He Who Must Not Be Named

        Sounds like a good pirate name

    • yenlard

      18z showing juicy storms after the 19th….which means nothing.

      • alanstorm

        Yes, like in the beginning of your typical Gilligan’s Island episode when they might possibly get rescued, only to have stupid Gilligan screw it upin the end. Like the GFS, you still watch anyway

        • yenlard

          I need help

      • jstrahl

        There were juicy storms,… out in the ocean. Didn’t see any coming into California, they either got chewed up or went north.

  • Weatherwatcher

    Could we possibly have a monsoon season in the south like last summer because of these warm ssts?

    • alanstorm

      A repeat of last summer’s due-north monsoonal flow would be good- for SoCal & desert SW anyway

      • Ian Alan

        I’d go for that again – because of so many days of cloud cover my summer temps were actually cooler than normal (maybe not the lows though) and received over 200% of normal precip July-September.

        It’s still very hit and miss I just got lucky a couple times with heavy downpours.

    • Xerophobe

      ask the CFS anything is possible.

    • weathergeek100

      Yeah but it’s not going to do much good. A strong monsoon season will bring one thunderstorm or two to the coast vs the average of zero. There’ll be more in the mountains, but mainly in SoCal.

  • Quagmire Cliffington

    Step 1 in our week GFS Intervention folks… Resist the urge to check the 18z. We can do this. Our collective cheek turning can either turn this season around or it will cause less GFS induced depression. Stay strong fellow weather observers! Resist the temptation! The ridge wants you to look! Keep your eyes SHUT! (Indiana Jones reference at the end there…)

    • alanstorm

      Screw it. I’m going out there in a boat and melting that thing with my mind

      • Ian Alan

        Not if you don’t take at least 5g psilocybin first. Otherwise ain’t nothin melting, 😀

    • Obsessed

      Or our faces will melt like those Nazis.

    • weathergeek100

      This is getting truly hilarious.

    • SlashTurn

      Damn good stuff sir…im legitimately delirious from this latest downer. I felt so strongly that the Euro model would trump.

    • TahoeCard

      Will be a good break from my wife asking what I’m looking at on the internet. My response being “watching the models running” and getting a funny look.

      • Ian Alan

        Topless models? 😛

        • craig matthews

          LMAO!

  • TahoeCard

    I made my own model. It’s just frames for two weeks of ridge and above normal temps. I did one run. Jan. 2013 z and just never touched it. Way more accurate than the GFS.

  • Jose Mota

    I drop my wife and kids to the depot station for make trip back home. They continue make complains on trip last night and in to the today. Now I keeping to go and they can make train to the home. I want to sley!! And is going to follow a snow for sleying agen until have am got there!

  • He Who Must Not Be Named

    The Twelve Steps of WeatherWest Anonymous

    Step One: We admitted that we are powerless over the weather, that our lives will go on regardless.

    Step two: We came to believe that a Power greater than the GFS can restore us to sanity

    Step three: We made a decision to stop checking the model runs, and allow that Power determine the weather.

    Step four: We stopped checking all other models, regardless of past accuracy

    Step five: We admitted to WeatherWest, to ourselves, and to another (non-posting member) human being the exact nature of our obsession

    Step six: We were entirely ready to let nature run its course.

    Step Seven: We humbly watch the Croucher’s 5 day forecasts on the local channels.

    Step eight: We made a list of all the persons we had trolled, and became willing to listen to their point of view (except for KM)

    Step nine: We engaged in well educated, intellectual debate with such people wherever possible, except when to do so would bring no one to a better understanding of the weather.

    Step ten: We continued to forego the model data, and if we looked we promptly admitted it.

    Step eleven: We sought through blogs and each other to better understand and accept the fickle nature of mother nature, asking only for rain when it is needed most.

    Step twelve: Having a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we try to carry this message to weather fans who still suffer model fatigue everywhere

    • click

      I relapsed :(

      • Socal

        Was it worth it? I’m asking for a friend

        • click

          You should probably ask Ian Alan for some of those mushrooms instead. The charts would look a lot more colorful and exciting then. You know, for your friend.

    • http://icefallsfnovel.webege.com Zepp

      May it be raining on the day you receive your thirty-day button!

      • He Who Must Not Be Named

        we should come up with something other than buttons or chips as a reward, perhaps snowflakes?

        • http://www.nofriendsonapowday.com/ CrashingOut

          How about a free glacier?

    • Angel Rocket

      im already having withdrawls

  • Charlie B

    It will storm again in California when the Cubs win the series. Take that one to the bank.

    • Obsessed

      Or the next passing of Halley’s Comet.

    • Unbiased Observer

      Or when hell freezes over….

      • Emerald

        Hell did freeze over last winter (The town in Michigan, that is)

  • alanstorm

    Saw a sign on 152 yesterday: “STOP THE OBAMA DUSTBOWL!”
    It was surrounded by standing water

    • SFBay2

      Want to see a conservative defend socialism? Just throw out this suggestion:

      “Sell the water in the aqueducts to the highest bidders!”

      • alanstorm

        I was just talking to a tangerine farmer here in Fresno. Said even though water deliveries were cut off, they still have to pay for them. Then I told him Pelosi was my aunt & he walked off

        • Scott Turner

          Why are we blaming the government for what the weather is doing?

      • Bob G

        Then maybe when LA pays twice as much as SF for the water, SF will go dry.

        • SFBay2

          I can outbid any farmer for an acre-foot of water. And since the Bay is wealthier than SoCal, I doubt we’ll go dry.

          • Bob G

            How do you know how much thay water will cost by the time iit is suitable for residential use?

    • Bob G

      The water districts hit hard are the federal water districts that have no historical water rights. The best they ever get is about 75% allocation, and that is everything is overflowing. Average year they would probably get 50%. Even if we had normal or better snowpack this year, they were looking at a 25% allocation

    • Bob G

      I forgot to add, to be fair it is misleading to call it the Obama Dustbowl. While Obama may not want to modify existing law, the laws that lead to persistent water shortages were signed by George Bush Sr. The laws he signed were under the endangered species act. I would imagine the Bush Admin back then never imagined those laws would have been used in this way.

  • The_Dumb_Money

    I for one could do with a post from Weather West more than about once every three-weeks to a month.

    • TheNothing

      I hate to say it but this blog is really hard to follow because of the enormous amount of posts that take place, and what I mean by that is, every thought that pops into everyone’s head is posted here and clogs the thread. I then spend a good amount of time trying to find Daniels post for the real scientific insight for our current patterns and future.

      • Bob G

        If you want to read Daniel’s info, why come to the comments section? Daniel does post in the comment section, but most of his material are in his posts above. If, you haven’t kept up on his blog posts, just go through the older posts. There is a lot of great information in the archives. I recently reread his old posts from last year on the RRR

        • TheNothing

          I think this blog has outgrown its britches to tell you the truth and only sub categories will thin it to a manageable web page.

          • redlands

            Recently there has been a big increase of people posting on here — I would have to agree with – TheNothing

      • jstrahl

        Daniel’s posts are at the top of each topic. To find his comments and response to other posts, you can do “find” and look for “Weather West.” Shouldn’t take a lot of time.

        • TheNothing

    • David Thomas

      well that how weather W dos things and if you dont like it you dont have too be here weather W olny dos updates if and when there is some in too talk about weather W has other life other then makeing upodates too this blog evere 2 too 3 days you sould be happy that he is even doing this at all for us am sure weather W has lots of stuff going on druning the work week so it hard too find time out of the day too do a blog update for us so be thank full that you get what you get on here and when the timeing is right weather W will do other update for us about EL Nino but in tell then in joy the blog we have now

    • He Who Must Not Be Named

      Unfortunately, especially with the weather the way it is, there’s really not a whole lot to say on the topic. It’s dry, it’s going to be dry. Considering all he is doing at Stanford, which we will all someday reap the benefits from, I am grateful he posts.
      He also comments here with us, and with the shear mass of people that enjoy and participate I am grateful that he does.
      There are a lot of informative people on this blog that, although not Stanford educated in meteorology, have a lot of great insights.
      Just my thoughts

      • dylan

        Yes that´s true. First of all, he’s a busy PhD student. Second of all, there isn’t much new news from what I’ve heard.

        • He Who Must Not Be Named

          He said he was going to try and make a post this weekend

      • Bob G

        Yea, there is only so many times I want to hear this is the worst drought in history. Unfortunately, there isn’t much else to say at this point.

      • jstrahl

        Well-said!

  • David Thomas

    can we may be get back on topic plzs may be weather W can make a new topic about EL Nino and then we can have a nic clean new blog and it will give us some in too talk about all soo things really start too warm up has we had in too next weekend and going in too the following week we could see are 1st wide sprade 80s of the season may be even mid 80s

    • He Who Must Not Be Named

      Maybe it is time to get back on topic, I think we broke the advert system on the blog.

      • dylan

        Alcoholism Rehab Center? That’s never come up on mine. Weird

        • Dan the Weatherman

          I believe that at least some of the ads that are displayed here on this site are based on recent websites you visit. As a result different users will see different ads.

          • tomocean

            Don’t feel bad He Who Must Not Be Named…this winter has driven all of us to drink. :-)

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/28769541@N07/ Geomagnetic_Storm

        Lol! My Ad is a meet Arabian singles. Lol

  • Cachagua1

    The wildflowers are really beautiful. More then I have seen in quite a while

    • Dan weather maniac

      Beautiful.

      Nature is silent.

      Survives forever.

      Noted.

      • Emerald

        Went to Filoli Estate recently, the flowers are beyond gorgeous.

    • SFBay2

      Where were these pics taken?

      • Cachagua1

        Carmel Valley Rd. I think somewhere 18 miles or so from Carmel heading east. There are some places where it looks like the hills have been painted, with so many flowers. There are mostly poppies and shooting stars right now, but the lupins are blooming too, so in the next week or so I think its going to be extraordinary in this area.

        • SFBay2

          Thanks!

    • dylan

      That’s beautiful!

  • Martin Pettet

    Well I think its just about over, isn’t it. Another 10 day 50% chance declines to nothing; the clocks change this weekend, and in a couple of weeks winter is officially over. The great 2014/15 winter that never was, with the exception of one crazy week in December. Meanwhile the other side of the country once again experiences a mini ice-age. Something is going on. That bothers me a great deal. What bothers me even more is that no one, even the experts quoted in this blog, seems to have any clear and certain idea even now just what it is. Doubt if I’ll stay around here much longer. What’s the point? I know exactly the weather that my area (Northern California) is going to get over the next six months. I may return to these pages sometime in October, if I haven’t died of thirst in the meantime. Will start the hope clock running again then.

    • jstrahl

      What it is? It’s called “climate change,” “global warming,” and the like.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      I believe there is something going on that is causing this pattern to persist the way it has been doing so for 3 straight years and I am trying to figure it out, too! This weather pattern over the last few years is really bothering me as well. A theory of mine, that I have mentioned on here before, is that the intense pollution coming from China and other parts of Asia may be modifying the upper air pattern over the north Pacific, and that the soot from all the coal burning in that region is aiding in the melting of the Arctic ice. This may ultimately be leading to the weakening of the polar jet because the temperature gradient is lessening between the Arctic and the equatorial region. There may be other processes going on as well that is melting the sea ice.

      • weathergeek100

        But why would this be happening only along the west coast? The east coast is has been in a freezing non-stop blizzard pretty much all winter.

        • Dan the Weatherman

          I think it is causing a stuck weather pattern, and it isn’t just the West Coast; we are stuck under the ridge and the East is stuck under a cold trough that is allowing round after round of Arctic air and snowstorms to hit the region. They are getting everybody’s storms.

        • jstrahl

          Weather all over the world is being disrupted. The last couple of years, temps in the Arctic hit record highs. One manifestation is the craters which have been getting a lot of discussion in the media, probably the result of explosions of methane that’s being released as the permafrost melts.

        • dylan

          Not just the west coast! Europe had a very mild winter last year. I don’t know about this year but that was strange. Northern Europe was especially mild. Also Israel had a terrible drought for a while, although that may have recently ended. Record breaking temps, essentially no rainfall for consecutive winter months. And Brazil is in a disastrous drought.

      • jstrahl

        Yes, global warming is melting the sea ice.

        • thlnk3r

          Contrary to popular belief, “sea ice” is always melting. It’s a natural occurring event. To say “global warming” is melting the sea ice is hard one to prove. Unless of course you have Satellite data going back 100 or more years? 😉 Now is it possible to say “natural” climate change is one of the main drivers for the record low levels in the Northern Hemisphere? That could possibly be one of the contributing factors..

          News, Data, pretty pictures ect for the Ice extent is here: http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/. In short, North is at it’s 3rd lowest and the South is at a high minimum.

          • Dan the Weatherman

            I have seen snippets of information on the Internet that sea ice extent has been very low in the past, such as possibly in the 1930’s and/or the 1950’s, but I haven’t seen any really comprehensive data for any length of time before 1979 to compare any of that period to today or even prove that the levels were low back then.
            If anybody has a link to past data prior to 1979 on Arctic sea ice extent (if it exists) feel free to post it.

          • jstrahl

            See https://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2015/03/02/arctic-sea-ice-flirts-with-new-record-lows-dragging-global-coverage-inexorably-down/
            and lots of other entries regarding the polar regions in that same blog. Satellite photos are a big help, but data are available via other sources. Sorry, it’s quite clear that global warming is creating unprecedented melting.

          • Kamau41

            You are considered brilliant in this day in age; an “out of the box” thinker. I’m glad to see another person who does not support the “man-made” global warming hoax as so many millions of people unfortunately do. You are absolutely correct that the melting and also enhancement of sea ice is very much a natural phenomenon.

    • weathergeek100

      I know I’m seriously trying to figure this whole thing out. Could it just be a once in a 500 year phenomenon? Maybe another year or two of record dryness and then we get back into our normal pattern. Who knows

      I for one am not expecting an above average, average, or even below average winter next year. I’m expecting a RECORD dry winter, just like this year….and last year…..and the year before.

      • jstrahl

        2012-13 was NOT a record dry year.

        • weathergeek100

          January through March it was.

          • dylan

            Yes, but Nov-Dec 2012 was VERY wet

          • weathergeek100

            True. I think the year overall was just normal “drier than average” but 2013 calender year was driest ever. You’re right. Thanks for the correction. The drought really began in January 2013.

          • jstrahl

            2014 calendar year was actually above average, due to extremely wet December and a very wet February.

          • dylan

            Misleading, though because Water Year 2013-2014 was VERY dry

          • jstrahl

            Very true, water year is a far better measure, true, but weathergeek100 brought up a calendar year, my point was that cherry picking can be a never-ending affair.

          • dylan

            I understand.

          • weathergeek100

            We did not have a very wet February 2014. We had an average February. Most reporting stations around the Bay Area show right around average precip. I’m not sure what the year was though. Looking for it right now, but it’s difficult to believe it was above average, even due to the wet December.

          • jstrahl

            “Normal” in Berkeley in February is 3.51 inches. I measured 7.92 inches during Feb ’14, including 2.63 on the 9th. I have no idea where you get the notion that it was “around average.” Now the 6th-9th of that year WAS an AR. WeatherWest even wrote about it.

          • weathergeek100

            http://www.weather.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=mtr

            There you go. SF downtown- an inch above average. SFO and Oakland- quarter inch below average. San Jose- 2/3″ below average. So about average overall. Yes, that storm saved us from another below average month.

          • jstrahl
          • weathergeek100

            I just gave you facts via NWS!!! No point in continuing this ridiculous argument cause I just gave you facts. It’s done.

          • jstrahl
          • alanstorm

            Dec 2 2012 storm was actually the last time we had high water on the big Northcoast rivers, Eel got over flood stage at 230,000 CFS

  • weathergeek100

    Right now I’m just waiting for more media headlines. I’m not sure why Sacramento isn’t screaming right now. THERE IS ALMOST NO RUNOFF FROM THE SIERRA FOR THE SUMMER!!! It simply didn’t snow. Well, ok it snowed….like 20″. All that runoff will be gone in a couple weeks or so.

    • tomocean

      I’m thinking that the dirty look will become very chic this Summer. Cars, clothes, bodies.

    • AlTahoe

      I read an article that said the politicians are remaining silent because they have no plan in place for this current situation. Everybody was counting on snow runoff this spring and now with runoff expected to be near 0 there is nothing they can do.

      I think situations like 1976-1977 when an emergency water line had to be run across the Richmond bridge will be popping up everywhere.
      I found a central Valley water site that said 945 ground wells have dried up this year already and the number is increasing rapidly. A lot of them were ground wells that have never been known to go dry since the early 1900’s

  • tomocean

    Temperatures have been 10-20 degrees above normal pretty much all Winter long. I wonder if this will continue into the Summer? If so, then the Central Valley can look forward to some nice 130 degree days. That will be fun.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      I don’t know if the Central Valley is capable of reaching that level of temperature or not. Even the low deserts rarely get that hot with about the only place that has reached it is Death Valley.

      • tomocean

        Would you have said that Lake Tahoe is capable of receiving 7.5″ of snow in an entire winter before this winter? I’m really just kidding though…at least I hope that I am.

        • Dan the Weatherman

          No I wouldn’t have ever thought that Lake Tahoe would get so little snow, and I think it is rather shocking! This is indicative that either something abnormal or something we haven’t seen before (maybe occurred in the past but not during the record keeping era) is going on with the pattern these days.

          • tomocean

            It really is a remarkable event. I know we look at events through the prism of our relatively short human lifespans, but I would have to imagine that this is at least a 500 year type of event we are seeing now.

          • Dan the Weatherman

            It very well might be a 500 year event to see such little snow. Do you know how much snow fell in Tahoe during 1976-77?

          • weathergeek100

            I’m not sure how much fell then but definitely more than 7.5″. The Sierras are now well below the driest year ever (1976-77). My guess is maybe they got 40″-50″. This disaster is truly remarkable. It’s incredible because it’s not only record breaking, it’s VERY record breaking….by far. And it’s LONG LASTING. And there’s no hope. I mean, we didn’t have winter after December! Temperature wise, we didn’t have winter this year, period.

          • AlTahoe

            Tahoe city has better records than South Lake Tahoe and the worst season I can find at lake level is 59″ in 1991-1992. 1976 had 70″.
            This year Tahoe city is at 18″
            South lake has been on the warm side of all the storms and only has 7.5″ at my house and 10.9″ at the airport.

          • tomocean

            It looks like in 1881 there was around 400mm (15.7 inches of total snow). That was the lowest I could find in the records. 1977 was slightly higher than that.

          • jstrahl

            And then, maybe it’s just plain unprecedented, off the existing weather charts.

      • craig matthews

        Red Bluff to Redding is probably the only place likely for that to occur, and maybe south of Bakersfield in areas not affected by the cooling effects of irrigation and the delta. I think July 2006 was the only time it came close up near Redding, but it was in the low to mid 120’s.

        • redlands

          I know I recorded 114 in July of 2006 — our local paper — Redlands Daily Facts – which maintains a weather station — records back to 1920 — recorded 118 in Redlands, Ca — Southern Calif in July of 2006. I think I might of gotten a bit hotter temp but thunderstorm/clouds kept it from going higher — the 118 was on the other side of the town of Redlands and father away from the mountains/hills

      • redlands

        Wasn’t in July of 2006 – in Southern Calif — we had high maximums – with real warm overnight lows — I averaged like 67 for overnight lows — and had lots of nights with lows in the 70’s — which is a record at my station — could be like that — July-2006 — this Summer 2015

    • dylan

      Wow, that’s like Kuwait City! Yuck

      • weathergeek100

        I’m pretty sure he’s just being sarcastic and exaggerating.

        • tomocean

          Yes, I am. But talk about a nightmare scenario if this summer does turn out to be extremely hot. No water and blistering temps. All we’d need is an extreme dry lightning event and the whole state would go up like kindling.

          • weathergeek100

            Yeah it’s going to be bad. I can see the potential for plenty of 100+ degree days this summer especially due to lack of soil moisture. Also, I wouldn’t be suprised if higher humidity and a “muggier” marine layer develops along the coast. Water temperatures reached 67 degrees off the coast of Monterey last August. Highs were in the 70s in SF and lows in the 60s for about a whole month or so (where normal is highs in the 60s, lows in the 50s). The SSTs show no sign of dropping. I wouldn’t suprised if SoCal got downright tropical.

          • C M

            Maybe Kenny will get his “wish” of a hurricane hitting L.A!

          • weathergeek100

            I kind of miss him.

          • Weatherwatcher

            I’m pretty sure he who must not be named with the kenny icon is kenny…

          • alanstorm

            Last summer was the balmiest I’ve ever felt in Ca. We had that extended due-north monsoonal flow, even flooding in the SW deserts. Hopefully no dry lightning storms.

    • C M

      I believe this summer will be similar to last summer; fewer extreme heat waves but generally warmer than average nights and some monsoon action in L.A and San Diego Area. Unfortunately, all we’ll see in the Bay Area is some monsoonal clouds and a few sprinkles if we’re lucky.

      • tomocean

        I hope you’re right.

      • Emerald

        I remember a heat wave last summer where the temp was 94 at 4:30 pm.You might expect that in Singapore, but it the Bay Area?

      • Weatherwatcher

        Yes but isnt it normally dry during the summer in the bay area anyway? At least the monsoon is helping your friends inbthe south from having thousands of acres burn down.

    • craig matthews

      That’s a scary thought. And fire season could be off the charts with no snowpack in the sierra, ugh. Hope those sierra thunderstorms are wet ones this summer.

      • alanstorm

        Story of my life: stressing about the fire season ahead of time

        • sdmike

          Last year, in MAY, we had 2 major fires within 4 miles of us, one was within a mile. In MAY, for chrissakes. We were one street away from mandatory evac. Spent the better part of two days with the car and truck packed. Did I mention it was in MAY? And this year …?

          • weathergeek100

            I remember that! I was in disbelief, mainly because it occured completely outside of Santa Ana season.

            I visited SD during the memorial day weekend and recall minimal may grey conditions and warmer than normal ocean water that was well into the mid to upper 60s at that point. These are the signs we need to be aware of. Something is going on here.

          • alanstorm

            Yeah, up here we had the Lodge Fire in Leggett that burned the redwood forrest for a month, not a common fire area. But last year we got lucky as far as what it could have been. I was up here for 2008, over 107 fires in Mendocino County alone. Apopcolyptic. Smoke was so bad for weeks you couldn’t see.

          • Tuolumne

            I was there when it happened. The next morning after the dry lightning swept through it was already extremely smoky in the Anderson Valley, with smoke all the way south to the North Bay. That whole summer the sunlight had an odd tinge due to widespread high-elevation smoke over much of the state, even when you couldn’t actually see any obvious smoke where you were.

          • weatherhead

            Yes, and all those fires were started by a huge thunderstorm. T-storms can be double edged.

          • Weatherwatcher

            Yep I remember them, we saw the smoke building at palomar airport fromthe lagoon. Thankfully though because of those monsoonal thunderstorms last summer vegetation was wet enough that we had no fires.

          • Scott Turner

            Also, the fire lookouts on Palomar have done a terrific job spotting fires so that calfire could jump on them right away. They reopened the tower in response the Cedar, Witch Creek, and Poomacha Fires. It’s not fool proof, but I know some of the folks that run them, and they take their jobs very seriously.

    • redlands

      I was thinking the same thing for Southern Calif

    • Tuolumne

      As long as that’s not Celsius… 😉

  • HadleyCell

    Do not look at the 00z.

    • Dan the Weatherman

      What does it show? Ridging ad-nauseum?

      • jstrahl

        Not the 00Z. Who knows what the next run will bring, though.

    • tomocean

      You will feel so much better once you finally accept that it’s over. Plan a trip to somewhere where it rains this summer. Our winter here is done.

      • weathergeek100

        Yup. I think there’s a pretty good chance that it’s going to be raining in Florida this summer!

        • C M

          I think this summer may be like last summer in Southern California so there’s also a good chance that if you further south than LA, you could get a monsoon thunderstorm or two. For us in the Bay Area, we’re SOL until October!

      • C M

        We are going to Nawlins in June; my wife thinks we’re going there to enjoy the French Quarter and its entertainment, explore Cajun country, and see Sugar Plantations. The real reason I planned this trip for our anniversary is for me to chase Gulf Coast thunderstorms during the day but shhhhhh; she doesn’t know that!

        • weathergeek100

          You have no idea how I crave heading to the gulf/east coast during the summer! Though it would be difficult to live in humidity, I crave that weather sometimes!

        • dylan

          Lol. Smart choice. I’m spending some time in Paris this summer, which isn’t a super rainy place but fingers crossed there will be some heavy downpours while I’m there!

          • Emerald

            If there are heavy downpours, use them as an opportunity to visit all the tourist attractions that are crowded when it’s not raining.

          • dylan

            Yes!

    • jstrahl

      I just did, It’s actually better than the 18Z, by far, starts a lot of action around the 17th. Of course, that’s totally schizophrenia, back and forth dry-wet-dry-wet…… If the GFS were a woman, i would not date her.:-)

    • Nathan

      Really? Looks fine to me…

    • weathergeek100

      Didn’t someone already talk about the GFS addiction recovery with it’s version of the 12 steps? Are we relapsing here or what?

      • Quagmire Cliffington

        Stay strong weathergeek.

    • Jose Mota

      Is confushion? What his model say?

      • Boiio

        Yes, is confushion.

    • HadleyCell

      I’m joking. It looks great after 10 days. But then: what’s new?

  • thlnk3r

    Per this recent post on WSI. Things are looking warm in the near future. +PNA/-EPO are the drivers for this one: http://www.wsi.com/blog/energy/medium-range-first-look-what-to-expect-monday/

    PNA Forecast: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/pna/pna_index_ensm.shtml

    • Xerophobe

      Later in the season they are less meaningful, still this winter has been a -EPO +PNA season and lest not forget +NAO a mostly +AO. Dang I was duped for March and Feb…Jan.

  • Ian Alan

    The first sentence here is all the discussion had to say, ad naseum.

    AGAIN WE HAD A DAY WITH NO CLOUDS AT ALL…AND TEMPERATURES AT LOWER
    ELEVATIONS IN THE MID 70S TO MID 80S…WITH ISOLATED HIGHER READINGS
    IN ORANGE COUNTY. ONE RECORD WAS TIED…83 AT NEWPORT BEACH…FROM
    1982.

  • palmsprings

    Just looked through my weather stats… out of 65 days this year, 51 have had above average highs. The lowest high for the entire month of February was a still toasty 71F. Ridiculous!

    • redlands

      how far back do your stats go back

      • palmsprings

        2006

  • thunderstorm98

    Pretty pathetic rain and snow coming.
    http://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/qpf/p168i.gif?1425741241

    • Canyon

      Something is better than nothing, but yes, pathetic is accurate.

    • craig matthews

      Didn’t yesterday’s QPF show a lot less in Ca in the 7 day? I just think about Texas and the South in that “red” plume. Wasn’t that area in severe-exceptional drought not too long ago?

      • Archeron

        Yup. A buddy of mine in Austin said theyre just pulling out of their drought in the last year or so.

        • craig matthews

          First it was the Southeast, then the South, then Texas and the Southwest, and now us. Almost seams drought is moving from east to west across the country over a period of 10 or so years. If that is even possible?
          That’s real good news for Texas. I heard the central and western parts of the state were hit the hardest.

          • Dan the Weatherman

            I wonder if that means that this drought will come to an end over the next couple of years as the drought pattern may end up further west over the ocean and a more favorable pattern sets up closer to the West Coast.

  • inclinejj

    From NWS San Francisco:

    WITH MARCH BEING THE LAST CHANCE FOR A REALLY WET MONTH ALL EYES
    ARE NOW ON THE SECOND HALF OF THE MONTH. ITS INTERESTING TO NOTE
    THE MODELS ARE SHOWING A VERY STRONG MJO SIGNAL OUT IN THE WEST
    PACIFIC BY MID TO LATE MONTH. NO REAL CONFIDENCE ON HOW THAT WILL
    IMPACT THINGS HERE BUT WORTH MONITORING. CFS V2 MODEL SHOWS PLUMES
    OF MOISTURE HEADING TOWARDS HAWAII IMPLYING POSSIBILITY OF SOME
    TYPE OF MOISTURE UNDERCUTTING THE RIDGE. ALL SPECULATION AT THIS
    POINT BUT AT LEAST SOMETHING TO KEEP AN EYE ON.

    • StormHiker

      And in February we were looking out two weeks to now, hoping for a miracle. I was hopeful a few days ago for the storms next week. Seems that hope is the first step on the path to disappointment :(

      • inclinejj

        Pessimistically Optimistic.

        Now, That sounds like a Yogi Berra quote!!

      • jstrahl

        Was there an MJO signal in February? Er, no!

  • Bartshe

    Record warm temps and lack of snow force Alaska Iditarod organizers to shift course 225 miles north where Inhofe can make snowballs:
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/warm-winter-drought-forces-iditarod-dog-sled-race-to-change-course/

  • April Galanksy

    “April, what do you want for your big ol’ milestone birthday next week?” “Rain, I just want rain.” Pathetic.

    • craig matthews

      What is the temp up there?

      • Ian Alan

        A friend in coastal Ventura has 90 showing when it was forecast for 79 which is still nuts!

        • craig matthews

          Toasty. 78 here after a low of 54.

    • dylan

      Same here, but it never rains on my birthday in CA (my birthday is in mid-April). Blistering heat in Santa Barbara today, for the hundredth time this winter.

  • darrenking

    I would like to toss some terms around here: pathetic, horrible, terrible, horrendous, sickening… These are just a few terms so regularly bandied about in this comments section. At this point I just say “pass the popcorn” and watch the negativity pile up. Of course, in the back of my mind, I’m wondering, doesn’t anyone wonder about what all this compounded negativity does – to us, to the environment? Classical science might say – it doesn’t do anything, these are completely different domains. And I think it’s exactly that kind of outdated science that will be proven sorely compartmentalized and partial in future decades.

    • Boiio

      uhhhh what?

    • http://icefallsfnovel.webege.com Zepp

      Oi! You forgot ‘dismal’!

    • Jose Mota

      Frustrashen.

    • SlashTurn

      +1…the influx of conventional, simple minds that rely on emotional narcotics and mainstream media soon porn has infiltrated this formally constructive and scientific discussion.

    • Ian Alan

      Frustration about weather patterns expressed amongst a like minded group is quite different than the type of negative energy you are trying to correlate to.

      Be nice to everyone you come across, smile more and don’t road rage….but leave the drought weary posters of weather west out of it. :) :) :)

    • SoCalWXwatcher

      I definity know what you mean.
      Perhaps the moderator could set up a subforum for everyone to vent their frustrations, rants, anecdotes and dire doomsday prognostications, i.e., “the reservoirs are completely empty and we’ll all likely be drinking our own urine come August” type stuff, so that the main comments section could remain focused more on the technical aspects of the West Coast weather.

      Some have mentioned it has become cumbersome to sift through all the comnents for insightful technical discussion, and given how many new followers have discovered this blog and comnents section, it seems like that trend will continue.

  • supercell1545

    Could the Sierras be blowing up every single day with thunderstorms this summer? I’m going on camping trips up there and I’m just wondering.

    • tomocean

      It is not at all unusual to have extended periods of thunderstorm activity from July through September, but it is so localized that you can’t really count on it happening anywhere in particular. I’m not sure that you can make any correlation between current conditions and future thunderstorm activity.

    • http://www.gdanmitchell.com/ G Dan Mitchell

      What tomocean writes is true… to an extent. I’ve been a Sierra traveler for decades, spending a total time in the backcountry that adds up to years. The typical summer pattern is a number of days of pure blue sky conditions, often alternating with several days of thunderstorm conditions. Most of the time it is dry, but the wetter cycles can bring afternoon (usually) rain to areas of the range. It most often clears by sunset.

      While the winter changes have gotten most of the press recently — and they are striking — the summer pattern _feels_ like it has changed a bit, too. I was first alerted to it a couple years ago when I spent 9 days in a very high part of the southern Sierra backcountry doing landscape photography very late in the season. It was dry, as I expected, since this was the tail end of a drought year. But it was not nearly as dry as I feared. Several of the locals told me that greater than usual summer thunderstorm rain had saved some areas from worse drought conditions. If I recall correctly, something similar happened last year, too.

      I wonder if there is something to the notion that the current obvious winter season changes may also be linked to some such changes in the summertime pattern.

      • AlTahoe

        Last summer was the most active monsoon up here that anyone can remember. I probably had 20+ thunder days last summer. Multiple flash floods and hail so deep they had to use the snow plows on highway 50.

  • craig matthews

    ENSO Wrap-up from Australia: http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/

    • Xerophobe

      Wow maybe we can add a another dry year next year.

      • craig matthews

        Outta the frying pan into the fire? I sure hope not.

  • SlashTurn

    Such a tease…you’d think this southern jet streak and corresponding AR could bust underneath this ridge?

  • alanstorm

    All that needs to happen is for this amplified wave pattern to shift one way or the other. It shifted west & we got last weeks tstorms & snow. If it shifts east, we’d get a sweet AR.

    • C M

      What would it take for us to get a sweet AR WITH thunderstorms? That would be my dream come true!

    • C M

      What would it take for us to get that sweet AR WITH thunderstorms?

      • alanstorm

        Well if we could get some cold air to come down & mix with an AR, that would sure help. Theres usually some decent cells post frontal passage. Likely the later in spring an AR comes in, the better chances for that to happen.

        • Weatherwatcher

          I hate to be a downer but I doubt it will happen until it is too late.

    • Xerophobe

      I’m so excited that’s all we need! 😉 That ridge is not retrograding and not staying over the Aleutians.

      • Dan the Weatherman

        Whatever it is that is keeping this ridge parked in the same spot ad-nauseum needs to go!

        • BravoEcho240

          Isn’t it the ever warming Pacific waters and what’s happening to the polar caps??

  • thunderstorm98

    http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/qpf/p168i.gif?1425762748

    Precip more north now but heavier. Heavy rain continues in the southeast.

    • Ian Alan

      That area in the SE is larger than the state of CA. Could you imagine if the entire state recieved 4″+ rain with orographic enhancement in the appropriate locationd of course. A God send!

      Too bad so sad….

      • thunderstorm98

        That would be so much rain and snow!

        • Weatherwatcher

          The problem with that is there would be no snow due to the war air associated with that flow. Rain would be way better than nothing though for the Sierra though.

      • dylan

        Yup, that’s the power of the Gulf of Mexico..

  • Utrex

    Imagine what would happen to CA if the Eastern pacific was as warm as the Gulf of Mexico…

    • Xerophobe

      What latitude? 😉

    • Dogwood

      I used to kind of wish that were the case on a permanent basis, as I thought we’d have a more year round rain distribution and the hills would always be green. Like Kentucky or something.
      I don’t know what to wish for anymore.

      • Tuolumne

        It would mean sticky summers like back east. Uggghhhh….

    • Dan the Weatherman

      We would likely have tropical storms and hurricanes at times during the summer months in any portion of the state that would sit next to any 80 degree + waters if the flow pattern directs them onto land.

  • Weatherwatcher

    Been 83 last two days here in carlsbad and wunderground forecasting yet another heat wave by next week. I guess you can say goodbye to the temporary san bernadino ski season.

    • Weatherwatcher

      Mean to post this in last post.

    • Aloha12

      I went to Snow summit on Thursday…knew it would be last time of the year.

      • Weatherwatcher

        Yah that’s kind of sad but at least yo got to see it! I miss being able to go to Julian anytime during winter and there would be snow and no hours of traffic.

    • Ian Alan

      It was incredibly busy on the mountain today……

  • rainscout

    A lot of comments here about negative pessimistic comments..I fall in the camp of “realistic”..and there sure has not been much to be optimistic about if you are trying to climb out of what appears to be a historic drought..its is March..there is virtually no snow in the sierra…our one good rain event mostly coastal came in Dec. and a little more in early Feb. other than that ..incredibley warm and dry..on top of 3 years of almost the exact same pattern..yes ..we could all take a “scientific” view and just focus on all the atmosphereic tele-connections..but it does not make it any easier on people who actually love to see real “weather”..and know how critical it is for Calif to get what we remember as “winter” with rain on the coast and snow in the mtns….and oh ..maybe cooler tempts. than say summer..with that I know things can change but it is getting more and more difficult to keep positive about what appears to be possibly the “new normal”..with that.. good luck to all and I’ll sign off until something changes for the good….

  • http://icefallsfnovel.webege.com Zepp

    It was 79 here today, shattering our previous record for the date of 72. Might break 80 tomorrow.
    Winter is brutal. I see why the Starks were so afraid of it.

  • Thunderstorm

    Causes of the warmth. (1) Planet Nibiru. Yea believe it or not thats what some folks think. A gigantic planet out there closing in on our solar system causing dramatic waves (what type of waves they don’t say) to disrupt normal weather conditions. Supposed to culminate in 2017 as planet Nibiru pulls away from earth. (2) GSA caused by rapid melt of arctic ice. Colder fresh water on top of saltier warm water. Stratified ocean. Storms energy higher based!!! Already have roses in bloom,earliest by 6 weeks. Red flag warnings in numerous urban areas likely as early as june this year with inside slider wind events. El-nino will ramp up for spectacular light shows starting in late july for southern california and the entire sierra chain.

    • thlnk3r

      Messages of death, destruction, doom and gloom. You forgot to add number (3)…”Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster”.

      Until the weather improves in another week or two I don’t think anyone will be on topic 😉

      • alanstorm

        Well, it looks like it might actually rain is n Wednesday north of the Bay Area, a message of hope if you will.

        • thlnk3r

          That is good to hear. Looking ahead for my area (Southern Cali), 00z March 8th EC and GFS show the ridge sticking around through the 18th. We’re looking at 90F+ by next weekend. Ouch!

  • stocktraderjeff

    Quite an interesting article. Could El Nino’s actually become less common due to climate change? http://blogs.agu.org/geospace/2014/12/22/warmed-nowhere-go-missing-el-nino-2014/

  • Kelley Rogers

    I just watched the show Vice. They did a report on the West Antarctic ice sheet.. what I took from this and what did one scientist say…” We are doomed” and we are not ready for this..not at all. WOW.

    • SpookyDrought

      Watched that episode twice. Vice is killing it on story packages.

  • cabeza tormenta

    I found an interesting chart in an S.F. Chronicle story from wednesday 3/4, ‘state’s snow levels reach historic lows’, a bar graph showing average snowpack % from 1975 to 2015 for march 1. the second lowest average is this march 1 at 19% of average and the lowest was in 1991 at 18% of average, which just happens to be the year of the original ‘march miracle’, so don’t throw the galoshes away just yet!
    maybe the MJO will toss some FLUID over here. good article, if someone has a subscription for the online version.

    • cabeza tormenta

      should have added an ode to the GFS, especially for the last 36 hours or so they do all seem to be trending wetter in the 9-16 day period as they love to do… and the atmosphere and oceans are always.. how many steps ahead of them? let’s look for a wild card… a little low that can… meander…
      woops! hard science::::::]] I don’t know if it was a march miracle year but I recollect one year that was too dry, not even sure what decade but a juicy low sitting off of pt. concepcion or thereabouts for a week or so and saving the season, maybe ushering in more storms from the west. there I go again, cloud gazing.:-)

      • alanstorm

        Upgraded to 90? chance in Willits, NorCal for Wed, looks like its gonna RAIN somewhere in Ca…..

  • moh2o

    It has been heating up in the middle of the night, then cooling before sunrise. This is March 29th. Nor Calif. Many people have been noticing it ? Anyone know what is going on?

  • David G

    This drought could all indeed have something to do with the “Ridiculously Resilient Ridge” off the coast, that just keeps magically reappearing. Oddly, meteorologists have no explanation why the “RRR” always appears in
    the same place, over flat ocean. Folds in the jet stream everywhere
    else pop up in random places and random times, with no such correlation
    to a particular location. Most will dismiss the below, but perhaps will start
    to pay a bit more attention when water availability in California starts
    to reflect reality.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9D5QUrZIzc