California Long Range Forecast Update, April, 2018
Most of California has been average to drier than average for the past two months. The far southern part of the state has been quite parched, with less than 10% of average moisture in many areas. The map below shows precipitation departure from average for the past 60 days. What does that mean in terms of drought? Much of the state is dealing with dryness, but the worst of it is across the southern part of the state. La Niña Update As you can see above, the sea surface temperatures off
California Long Range Forecast Update, February 6th, 2018
La Niña has been ruling the roost, as we expected it to back in the fall. It is alive and well in the Pacific Ocean, as you can see from the map below. All of that "blue and green" off the West Coast of South America is water that is cooler than average. This represents the La Niña from a sea surface temperature anomaly perspective. Another area that I think has gotten far less publicity than the La Niña, is the warmer than average water off the west/southwest coast of California. It is warmer
California Long Range Forecast Update, November 1st, 2017
A look at the oceans shows that the Pacific has cooled considerably in 2017, and we have technically entered a La Niña episode. All of that "blue and green" off the West Coast of South America is indicative of cooler than average water and represents a developing La Niña. It looks like a weak La Niña episode is going to be an influence for this upcoming winter, and possibly last into spring. The graphic below shows several models and their ENSO forecast. The yellow line is the mean of all of
California Long Range Forecast Update, September 1st, 2017
The past few months have been the dry season for most of California. This comes after an epic winter and spring of moisture. So while there hasn't been much in the way of moisture lately, there really isn't supposed to be. The last 90 days shown below... Here is the latest Drought Monitor for perspective... Bottom-line, there are many areas north of I-80 that could certainly benefit from a wet fall. ENSO Status Right now, it looks like we will likely be in neither El Niño or La Niña fo
California Long Range Forecast Update, June 2nd, 2017
The winter was obviously epic in California, essentially erasing the drought. The last 60 days have also been quite favorable for the Sierras and the northern 1/3 of California. Here is the total precipitation for the last 60 days: Currently, we aren't seeing any major drought issues for most of California. The far south/southwest part of the state is still dealing with some drought, but the state is in MUCH better shape: This is important as the dry season sets up for most of California,
California Long Range Forecast Update, April 15th, 2017
Current Status It has been a pretty amazing 6 months for much of California. Incredible amounts of rain and snow hit the state. Check out the total liquid precipitation that has occurred during the past 6 months. The active weather pattern has pretty much eliminated drought for most of California. Granted, the far southern parts of the state are still dealing with drought, but nothing like it was. Great news! The Oceans and El Niño The map above shows current sea surface temperature ano
California Update, March 20th, 2017
California weather looks to get pretty active once again, as several storms move in from the Pacific. Forecast as it stands right now... EURO Model Upper Level Weather Pattern Tuesday Morning Wednesday Morning Thursday Morning Friday Morning Saturday Morning Notice the two big storms that move in off the ocean between now and Saturday. GFS Model Total Liquid Precipitation Through Saturday AM GFS Model Total Snowfall Potential Through Saturday AM This pattern change will mostly
California Update, March 9th, 2017
Northern California just got through having the wettest winter on record. The two maps below tell the story... Drought Monitor Total Moisture Anomaly Drought has all but been erased from California, with some areas still struggling in the far southern part of the state. Pretty amazing news, considering that we were still concerned about drought being a problem back in the fall. The next 10 days remain favorable for moisture in Northern California. The GFS Model clearly shows that... 10 D
California Update February 13th, 2017
While we are seeing a break in the wet weather right now in California, that break isn't going to last long. Starting Wednesday, another bout of heavy rain and snow will hit the state. This round will cause more flooding, and enhance already high flood potential. Obviously the situation will only create more troubles for the Orville Dam. GFS Model Total Expected Precipitation Next 7 Days GFS Model Total Expected Snowfall Next 7 Days While Northern California will see more rain and snow than
California Update February 6th, 2017
After a short break from the very heavy rain and snow that has impacted California lately, it looks like another significant round of moisture is coming. The maps below are courtesy of the GFS Model from now through Saturday morning. GFS Model Total Expected Liquid Precipitation: GFS Model Total Expected Snowfall: More gigantic snow totals for the Sierra and some pretty substantial rain for some lower elevations. Granted, Southern California gets shorted a bit from this storm, but there is
California Update January 21st, 2017: February, March, April Outlook
The weak La Niña episode that prevailed since late summer has all but been erased. Not that there was ever a very strong La Niña signal, and it struggled to couple with the atmosphere, but it is done. The sea surface temperature anomaly map below clearly shows no pronounced La Niña episode occurring. However, there are some slightly cool anomalies just west of South America: The other thing I would like you to notice is that the sea surface temperature anomaly pattern in the North Pacific is
Tropical Flow of Moisture Delivers Huge Quantities of Water to California
While El Niño disappointed California last year, La Niña – a weak one – is delivering huge quantities of water this season and the height of it may be this week. At least four feet of snow will fall on the Sierras by the weekend and a lot of rain will be falling elsewhere. The moisture is coming in so fast and furiously that there will be a significant flooding threat for the next couple of weeks. First off, the snow that has fallen is already impressive: > We've gathered up the latest storm
California Update December 30th, 2016: Wet Weather for Most of California
Plenty of rain and snow heading to California during the next several days. The weather pattern will be conducive to bringing MANY areas of California and the Desert Southwest some decent moisture. The map below show the GFS Model total expected liquid moisture for the next 10 days: Some really nice totals for the southern half of California too! Plus, the Sierras are going to get some great snow. GFS Model Total Expected Snowfall Next 10 days This is actually one of the few weather changes
California Update December 14th, 2016: Welcome Rain & Snow...but, not for everyone
Looks like a nice round of rain and snow heading to parts of California during the next few days. Most models agree on some solid moisture coming to the northern two thirds of the state. Those that live in the southern 1/3 will likely get shorted again. However, even coastal areas around LA and San Diego will receive some rain out of this storm. The maps below are from the GFS Model and show total expected liquid moisture and snowfall through Saturday morning. Total Expected Liquid Moisture T
California Dec, Jan, Feb Update: November 23rd, 2016
Since our last update, folks in Northern California have received some great moisture, but the southern tier of the state continues to struggle. Total Precipitation Last 30 Days Drought Monitor November 16th You can see that the drought has really relaxed in far Northern California, but remains awful farther south. This confirms our thoughts a month ago about the potential storm track favoring northern parts of the state. We are still in a weak La Niña episode and will likely remain that w
High Plains
November 11th, Update: The Next 10 Days
It is no secret that rain and snow have been very hit or miss across the Western United States. One can see that from the map below: Total Precipitation Past 30 Days Northern California and the Pacific Northwest have received some great moisture, as have parts of New Mexico and Texas. However, most of the Western High Plains has remained parched. Because of this, drought continues to expand: Given what lies ahead during the next couple of weeks, the drought should continue to worsen across
California Update, October 28, 2016
During the course of the past week, we have scored some modest gains in terms of the drought for the northern areas. A look at the seven day precipitation totals show a sharp divide between northern and central California: Sadly, the rest of the state continues a dire need of precipitation. Here is this week's latest drought report. Going through the next 14 days, or so, we are looking at an overall trend of warmer than average temperatures. The warmer than average days will edge out the c
More Precipitation on the Way for Northern California, a Bit for Southern Too
The recent active weather pattern in parts of the Western United States has produced some really nice moisture for areas of California and the Pacific Northwest. The map below shows total liquid moisture during the past two weeks – some impressive totals across the northwest! While Northern California has benefited from this pattern, much of southern California has received basically nothing. This is largely representative of the pattern we expect to continue, and the pattern we talked about
California Update, October, 2016
The drought that has impacted California for the past few years certainly needs no introduction. The strong El Niño of late 2015 and early 2016 was actually pretty kind to the northern 1/3 of California last winter and spring. However,the failure of El Niño to deliver much needed moisture to the southern 2/3 of California last winter and spring just made a big problem even worse. The anomalously warm water off the west coast of the US has cooled considerably since last year. See the comparison b
Western Update
Heavy Rain and Snow in Forecast for West Coast as Ridge Eases
As we've discussed for some time now, the western ridge will finally begin to break down this weekend and allow for a much stormier weather pattern to set up across the west. Take a look at the 500mb pattern across the United States today: Compared with early next week: Quite an impressive flip, and one we've been waiting for for some time. What this will equate to is a period of very wet weather across California and the Pacific Northwest. And, unlike some of the more active periods earl
Long-range forecast
Welcome Moisture for California and New JAMSTEC Analysis
Lots to cover here, so I am going to jump right in. The persistent pattern that has kept winter at bay for most of us, is still persisting in the form of a warm and mainly dry ridge over the Western US and cold/wet/snowy trough over the Eastern US. This is generally the pattern that has prevailed since fall of 2013 and is easy to spot today: {} You can clearly see the western ridge and the eastern trough that was initialized on the 18z GFS 500mb Ensembles today... That ridge was responsible
Denver Forecast
Next System to Bring Mountain Snow; Rain and Snow Possible for the Plains, Denver
If you caught last week’s State of the Atmosphere you’ll recall we talked about the potential for at least one system impacting the state during the first week of November, and in general the potential for a cooler week. We also talked about how models are having a difficult time with medium range outlooks, which continues to be the case. That said, confidence has grown in that we will see at least some rain and possibly snow across portions of eastern Colorado come late Sunday and Monday. Syno
Colorado Weather
U.S. Drought Update: Drought Intensifies for Southwest, Record Heat for California
Posted by @brendansweather and @mattmakens247wx The latest drought report came out this week and it paints a pretty grim picture for much of the west, southwest, and south central United States. The good news is relief may be on the way for some of these locations, the bad news is maybe not for California -- at least in the short term. California, suffering from a long winter of above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation is now facing extreme fire danger as we head into the summe