No Major Precipitation Expected Over the Next 1 – 2 Weeks

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I’ve gone through several blogs now regarding this dry weather, hoping between each one a train of storms presents itself in the models to give us weather-enthusiasts and pro-meteorologists something to look forward to instead of this consistently dry, relatively predictable pattern.

Much of northern and central California has only picked up 0 - 10% of normal precipitation so far this water year. (Image: NOAA's AHPS)

Much of northern and central California has only picked up 0 – 10% of normal precipitation so far this water year. (Image: NOAA’s AHPS)

Now, despite the title of this blog, some light precipitation appears possible Monday into Tuesday… possibly lingering into Wednesday as a trough and cutoff low nudge our super-ridge out of the way, though, the trough/low take a beating from the ridge and the system pretty much fizzles out. Most of the light precipitation will be contained to the coastal mountains, northern mountains, west slope of the sierra and sierra itself, but a few showers may make it into the valley, mainly along the east side of the valley where lift is maximized against the western slope.

00z GFS indicating a small amount of precipitation across portions of northern California Tuesday into Wednesday. Quite a few locations probably won't even see a drop from this system, though.

00z GFS indicating a small amount of precipitation across portions of northern California between Monday and Wednesday. Quite a few locations probably won’t even see a drop from this system, though.

Models become mixed after mid-week next week, with the GEM/ECMWF keeping things unsettled into the weekend, while the GFS drys things out with a ridge returning, and sticking around through the rest of the run (which ends around the 20th). The GEM indicates another system as early as Thursday, while the ECMWF has a faster moving, wetter system impact northern California Saturday into Sunday. We’ll have to wait and see which, if any of these solutions are grasped by the other models to give us some agreement for a more accurate forecast, which may take until the weekend or early next week depending on the significance of possible additional systems.

Besides these few systems, which really aren’t significant, there really isn’t much else to write about besides the increasingly severe rainfall deficit and increasing drought. The longer range CFS indicates things remain dry through it’s six week period, which goes through late January. The CFS isn’t too accurate of a model, though, but given the unbelievably long duration this ridge-filled pattern has lasted, it wouldn’t be surprising to see it stick around for a while. However, it’s also been around so long that sooner or later it must move to allow a more significant storm to impact the region. When that is and how long the ridge stays out of the way is the real question that remains to be answered, and doesn’t look like it’ll be answered for a at least a couple to possibly several more weeks.

CFS's precipitation anomalies valid for late January, indicating below normal precipitation across the western U.S.

CFS’s precipitation anomalies valid for late January, indicating below normal precipitation across the western U.S.

I wish I could have made a larger blog, but generally speaking information from the past couple blogs remains relevant. I’ll try to put out an update a week, or in a worst case once every couple weeks depending how the pattern evolves over the coming several days/weeks. Stay tuned.

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