California Drought - Good News, Bad News

Great soaking rain across much of California and we will see many rainfall season-to-date percent of normal rainfall jump significantly.  Some to above normal. (see http://www.cnrfc.noaa.gov/awipsProducts/RNOWRKCLI.php  which is reissued daily at 6 PM).  This is all good and every inch of rain helps ease the drought.


But, looking at the broader picture of the deficits from the last 3 seasons (2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14) shows what a long uphill battle it will be.  For example, the 3-season deficit for San Francisco at the beginning of the rainfall season was 26.07 inches. If you add that to the 23.65 inches needed for this season to ultimately reach normal we would need 49.73 inches to be at "normal".  The all-time rainiest season in SF history was 1861-62 when there was 49.27".  Or for every 1 inch of rain in San Francisco we will only erase about 3% of this long term deficit!


Below is a table of the rainfall to date (through 6 pm last night) for the combined last 3 seasons plus this season-to-date, thge deficit and the percent of normal.

 

3+ seasons to date

 

Rain

Normal

Deficit

% Normal

...Northern California...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crescent City

161.95

208.18

-46.23

78%

Eureka

105.93

130.18

-24.25

81%

Ukiah

79.01

119.21

-40.20

66%

Redding

79.23

111.53

-32.30

71%

Sacramento Exec Airport

39.46

59.02

-19.56

67%

Sacramento - Csus

42.23

64.77

-22.54

65%

Santa Rosa

69.81

116.13

-46.32

60%

San Francisco

48.27

75.63

-27.36

64%

SFO Int'L Airport

37.75

65.60

-27.85

58%

Oakland Airport

41.68

66.44

-24.76

63%

Livermore

28.37

50.31

-21.94

56%

Mountain View - Moffett

25.31

46.59

-21.28

54%

San Jose

25.43

47.63

-22.20

53%

 

 

 

 

 

...Central California...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stockton

27.96

45.05

-17.09

62%

Modesto

26.85

41.70

-14.85

64%

Merced

21.34

39.82

-18.48

54%

Madera

21.59

38.40

-16.81

56%

Fresno

19.72

36.43

-16.71

54%

Hanford

13.05

32.03

-18.98

41%

Bakersfield

11.15

20.49

-9.34

54%

Salinas

27.40

40.72

-13.32

67%

Paso Robles

19.49

40.36

-20.87

48%

Santa Maria

21.75

44.02

-22.27

49%

 

 

 

 

 

...Southern California...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sandberg

16.18

38.63

-22.45

42%

Palmdale

10.00

26.74

-16.74

37%

Lancaster

8.57

23.48

-14.91

36%

Santa Barbara

29.01

56.10

-27.09

52%

Camarillo

19.44

47.87

-28.43

41%

Burbank - Bob Hope

20.90

54.34

-33.44

38%

LAX Int'L Airport

19.80

40.47

-20.67

49%

Los Angeles / Usc

21.40

46.83

-25.43

46%

Long Beach

19.88

38.69

-18.81

51%

Fullerton

17.60

43.86

-26.26

40%

Irvine - John Wayne

15.19

42.31

-27.12

36%

Oceanside

19.88

43.25

-23.37

46%

Ramona

28.85

50.64

-21.79

57%

San Diego - Lindbergh

20.04

32.84

-12.80

61%

Ontario

20.57

47.49

-26.92

43%

Riverside

13.17

38.91

-25.74

34%

Palm Springs

7.73

19.15

-11.42

40%

Thermal

5.97

10.64

-4.67

56%

Campo

29.78

50.56

-20.78

59%

 

Jan Null, CCM
Golden Gate Weather Services

Wettest SF Day Since ?

Through 8 am this morning downtown San Francisco had received 1.13 inches of rain.  Below are the 25 rainiest days (midnight to midnight) in downtown SF since July 1, 2009.  The current total would make it the only the wettest day since last February, BUT with rain continuing to fall today's total should climb rapidly up the list.

rank

date

rain

1

10/13/2009

2.48

2

2/15/2009

2.18

3

3/14/2012

1.47

4

1/20/2012

1.41

5

12/19/2010

1.27

6

2/22/2009

1.24

7

1/19/2010

1.24

8

3/24/2011

1.24

9

4/12/2012

1.24

10

3/24/2012

1.23

11

12/28/2010

1.21

12

11/7/2010

1.18

13

4/17/2010

1.17

14

12/25/2012

1.15

15

2/8/2014

1.15

16

2/9/2014

1.13

17

3/19/2011

1.12

18

2/28/2014

1.12

19

12/2/2012

1.06

20

2/19/2011

1.05

21

2/17/2011

1.04

22

1/20/2010

1.03

23

12/8/2010

1.02

24

12/23/2012

1.00

 

Jan Null, CCM
Golden Gate Weather Services

Posted

November California Rain and Temperature Summary

Despite the recent rain, California ended up with below normal rainfall in November 2014. Precipitation ranged from 82% of normal at Redding to 48% at Sacramento in northern California, 93% at San Jose to 37% in Fresno in central California and from 46% in Los Angeles to 37% in San Diego.


In terms of the droughtit is important to note, that even reaching "normal to date" rainfall for this season does not address the carry-over deficits from the past two seasons.

Temperatures were universally above normal, ranging from 1.8 above normal at Redding to 5.3 above normal at San Diego.


See http://ggweather.com/calif/nov2014.htm 

 Jan Null, CCM
Golden Gate Weather Services

Posted

Was a Strong 2014 El Niño Really Ever Forecast?

Given the headlines and breathless commentators in the Spring and early Summer of 2014 there seemed to have been wide expectations of a strong El Niño beginning about now.  But was a strong El Nino really ever forecast for this winter?

 

A look at the monthly IRI mid-month forecasts beginning in February would argue, with the exception of a blip in April into the low-moderate category, that the 25 models represented in the IRI "plume" have consistently been portraying a weak event.  [That blip and some of the April hypebole may have been the result of the extensive sub-surface pool of anomalously warm water being transported eastward by a large Kelvin wave at the time.] 


The values portrayed in the graph below are the averages for the forecast members from the dynamic and statistical model categories and then the overall average.  But even looking at individual members, there was no month with mone than one member into the strong category, and most had none.

Jan Null, CCM
Golden Gate Weather Services
http://ggweather.com

 If you have trouble viewing the image below, it can also be found at:  http://ggweather.com/enso/fcsts.jpg 

 

Posted

1962 SF World Series Rainout

With the  possibility of some scattered showers lingering into gametime (5 pm pdt) of the 4th game of the World Series on Saturday, here are some links looking back to a much more dramatic event.  In 1962, the 6th game of the World Series between the Giants and Yankees was washed out by the infamous "Columbus Day Storm".


Historic Newsreel Footage of 1962 Storm
http://ggweather.com/1962storm.MP4 


Summary of 1962 Storm from Mark McLaughlin
http://thestormking.com/tahoe_nuggets/Nugget_151/nugget_151.html 


Summary of Columbus Day Storm Review
http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/archives/2012/oct/fifty-years-later-legacy-columbus-day-storm-still-stands 


Bay Area Storm Index - 2nd Strongest Bay Area Storm
http://ggweather.com/basi.htm

 

Jan Null, CCM

Posted

Alternate Satellite Imagery Sites

Most National Weather Service satellite images (produced by NESDIS) continue to be unavailable with no estimated ETA.  Here are some alternate sources:

Univ of Wash
http://www.atmos.washington.edu/data/ 

San Jose State Univ
http://www.met.sjsu.edu/weather/sat2/ 

Oregon State Univ
http://www.ocs.orst.edu/goes-images 

San Franciscos State Univ
http://virga.sfsu.edu/crws/satimg.html 

Univ of Wisconsin
http://www.ssec.wisc.edu/data/geo/index.php?satellite=west&file=jpg 

Navy Research Lab
http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/sat-bin/epac_westcoast.cgi 

Penn State Univ
http://mp1.met.psu.edu/~fxg1/SAT_WEST/recentir.html 

IPS
http://wxweb.meteostar.com/models/noaaport_loop.php?PATH=/var/www/leads_images/satellite/SYS/COMP/ 

Unisys
http://weather.unisys.com/satellite/index.php 

 

Jan Null, CCM
Golden Gate Weather Services
http://ggweather.com/home.html 

Posted

Warm and Wet California September...Except Where It Wasn't

See:  http://ggweather.com/calif/sep2014.htm 

Most of California ended the month with above normal temperatures, with average maxima ranging from 1.4 above normal at Sacramento to 5.1 above normal in San Diego (one of their warmest on record).  The exceptions were San Francisco and San Jose, the victim of June gloom that has over-stayed its welcome, which had anomalies of -0.3 and -1.9 respectively.

Northern and Central California posted some gaudy monthly percent of normal (PoN) rainfall numbers, due in part to the relatively low normal rainfall amounts and to the over-producing storm on the the 25th.  Eureka led the pack with 520% and Redding was close behind at 505%.  Totals dropped off from north to south with Fresno at just 106% of normal, while the South Coast was close to zero.  

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

FYI - I am posting less via this email server and relying more on Twitter for short quick messages.  Please follow me there:  @ggweather

 Jan Null, CCM 

 

Posted

Odds of El Niño Diminish

The just updated NOAA Climate Prediction Center (CPC) El Niño Advisory  has reduced their probability of the occurrence of El Niño in the eastern tropical Pacific this fall and winter from nearly 82% in June down to 66%.  This is not surprising given the gradual decrease in the previous Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomalies (and subsurface anomalies) in the eastern Pacific and the corresponding less robust ONI (Oceanic Niño Index) plume forecasts for later this year.

 

This is also reflected in the latest ONI (Oceanic Niño Index) and Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) analyses which have shown a slowdown in the warming of the eastern Pacific.

 

Also, keep in mind that an El Niño that was forecast in August 2012 for the winter of 2012-2013 never materialized.

 

In regards to the ongoing drought in California, it must be reiterated that even the occurrence of El Niño is never a guarantee of a wet winter AND that California can have wet winters in non-El Niño years!  See Myths and Realities of El Niño, Climatology of El Niño Events and California Precipitation and El Niño & La Niña...Are They Related to  California Flooding?

 

For additional information see the El Niño/La Niña Resource Page.

 

 

Jan Null
Certified Consulting Meteorologist
Golden Gate Weather Services

 

Posted

National Heatstroke Prevention Day

This Thursday, July 31st, is National Heatstroke Prevention Day (NHPD).  Already this year at least 18 children have died of heatstroke from either being left in or having gained access to a vehicle.
 
Please take a minute to share information about this event to stop further tragedies. I have put together a NHPD Resource Page with links to a variety of organizations' information about NHPD as well as graphics and information sheets that you are encouraged to share via social media, email, personal contact or whatever means you deem appropriate.

One simple way is through a page setup by Thunderclap at https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/13796-prevent-heatstroke-deaths?locale=en.

Thanks in advance. Your actions may help save a precious child's life.
 
Jan Null, CCM
http://ggweather.com/heat/
jnull@ggweather.com

 

Posted

2013-14 California Rainfall in Review

Statewide rainfall map and table of rainfall season percent of normal:  http://ggweather.com/ca2013rain.htm

In addition to San Francisco, the driest one, two and three season totals are available.  Please note the different periods of record.  See:

San Francisco - 165 seasons - http://ggweather.com/sf2013rain.htm

San Jose - 116 seasons - http://ggweather.com/sj2013rain.htm

8-Station N Sierra Index - 93 seasons - http://ggweather.com/8si2013rain.htm

 

 

Posted