Happy Friday. Quick Update on the record breaking storms for January, as we close out the month. Below is the current Snow Report from www.opensnow.com:
As you can see, January was recording breaking in terms of snow fall in the Sierra’s. Below is a picture of Mammoth Mountain from their Village on Tuesday…..simply amazing!!!!!
Kirkwood Mt. in Lake Tahoe on Tuesday……..
Alpine Meadows last weekend……………
Now, where does that leave us? The media is talking like the drought is over in CA. Actually, in some places in CA it is, and some places it is not. Look at the graphic below at key reservoirs in CA:
This tells the story. In Southern California, we are still in a severe drought. Although our rain total in LA basin is close to average for the season, we need at least 2 more years of this type of precipitation to dig out from the drought. Click here for the current rain totals in CA: http://www.cnrfc.noaa.gov/awipsProducts/RNOWRKCLI.php
On the flip side, Northern California is completely inundated with rain and snow, as this winter might have gotten them out of the severe drought designation, however, it needs to continue. Will it???? Let’s find out:
Currently, HIGH pressure is controlling the West Coast with warm temps, winds, close to mid-70’s this week. Temps will moderate in the mountains and in Northern California. The high pressure ridge breaks down around the 1st or 2nd of February, and another storm hits Northern CA and dumps about 1ft to 3ft of snow in the Sierras. More about that on Sunday’s discussion. In So Cal, we will get the tail end of the storm, as this is mainly a Nor Cal system. As you can see, here is the GFS Model, the storm falls apart south of Pt. Conception, as it bumps into a High Pressure ridge off the coast of So Cal. I don’t expect more than cooling temps and maybe a shower or two….nothing more:
After this storm, I don’t really expect any more rain/snow into California for at least 2+ weeks (subject to change of course). Why you ask, well, let me show you the long long range forecast that goes out until Feb 12th:
GFS Long Range Forecast Model – 2/12/17
As you can see above, the pattern is forecasted to flip and the warm/high pressure weather will be in the West, and cold snowy weather will affect the Midwest to the East Coast. This is a major shift in the pattern, and if comes true…….you will finally see winter in the Midwest/Northeast for basically the first time this winter. In addition, the West Coast will thaw out, which might be a good thing for those in the Sierra’s, that are snow weary to begin with!!!
Below is the Global Ensemble Forecast System (GEFS) Model, that are a compilation of 21 different computer models onto one image. They also show the pattern change, as there is HIGH Pressure in Siberia, Low Pressure in Alaska, which is giving the West Coast Dry and Warm weather, and the East Coast Cooler Weather. This is forecasted for 2 weeks from now.
Basically, wherever the Ridge of High Pressure sets up (Orange Color) determines our weather. For CA to get more rain and snow, that high pressure needs to set up in Alaska near the Aleutian Islands, which has been the case for most of January and December. That region is called the Eastern Pacific Oscillation (EPO). I will get more into that on Sunday.
Now, the million dollar Question is, why hasn’t the Midwest/Northeast seen a real cold/snowy winter this season………..Well, my east coast/Midwest friends, I will address that Sunday Evening more in depth on my discussion……but one reason is it has to do with Teleconnections patterns……..and the Polar Vortex, AKA Artic Oscillation (AO)….which has been Positive most of this winter, so all the cold air has filtered into the West Coast and stayed in Canada, and normal to Mild temps have been felt in the Midwest and Northeast. As long as the AO is positive, you are not going to have bitter cold temps. More on that Sunday, which will give me a chance to look at the developing pattern across the US for the next 10-14 days.
Enjoy your weekend in Sunny California, as it will be a dry/mild spectacular weekend!!!! For those of you who are hitting the slopes, it will be the best conditions in California since 2011. Enjoy!!!!!!!
All the best,