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California's New Year Is Awash in Moisture--and There's Much More to Come

By: Bob Henson 5:10 PM GMT on January 04, 2017

After five years dominated by a grinding, near-statewide drought, it’s a bit disorienting to find ourselves looking at a dramatically wet pattern enveloping much of California as 2017 gets under way. One major slug of heavy rain and mountain snow moved through the heart of the state from Tuesday into Wednesday. As of 4 am PST (12Z) Wednesday morning, central California had racked up some impressive 24-hour rainfall amounts, including widespread 3” - 5” amounts and a few 5” - 7” totals. In Monterey County, Anderson Peak was inundated with 7.25”. Large swaths of the mountainous West were under winter storm warnings on Wednesday, from northern California and southern Oregon to central Colorado, with 2 to 4 additional feet of snow possible above 7000-8000 feet in the Sierra (where an avalanche warning was in effect). Winter weather advisories for lighter snow have been hoisted along the storm’s projected track through Kansas City and St. Louis.

An even more intense round of heavy precipitation is on track to strike California this weekend, setting the stage for a potential major flood threat in some areas. Already, on Wednesday morning, a flash flood warning was posted for the California coast near Big Sur in the steep mountains where the Soberanes Fire burned last summer, and the Big Sur River was already at moderate stage.


Figure 1. Parts of the Sierra Nevada may rack up more than 20” in precipitation (including rain and the moisture within snow) over the seven-day period from 00Z January 4 to 11 (4:00 pm PST Jan. 3 to 10), based on this projection from the 0Z Wednesday run of the GFS model. Image credit: www.tropicaltidbits.com

Firehose of moisture for a thirsty state
Computer guidance, including multiple runs of the ECMWF and GFS models, are in strong agreement that a powerful, long-duration atmospheric river (AR) will set up across a southwest-to-northeast swath of California over the weekend, although there are differences on timing and location from run to run and model to model. See my post from last August for background on ARs, which deliver beneficial rains and snows to California and other areas but can also lead to rampaging floods. This weekend’s AR is projected to pull moisture from the midlatitudes and subtropics and channel it into a relatively narrow swath that will push directly into coastal mountains and on into the Sierra Nevada. The heaviest coastal rains this weekend will probably strike somewhere between Santa Barbara and the north CA coast, although it’s too soon to nail down the exact location of the AR, as noted on Tuesday evening by Daniel Swain (California Weather Blog).

“Since this system is expected to be slow moving, the associated atmospheric river may stall over some portion of northern or central California on Sunday or Monday--or even waver back northward temporarily,” Swain wrote. “If and when this occurs (as has been suggested by recent runs of both the ECMWF and GFS), there may be a 100-200 mile wide band of even higher precipitation totals. It’s impossible to say at this time where any stalling or frontal waves might occur, but that has the potential to be a serious situation locally.”

Some model runs have been generating mind-boggling amounts of snowfall in the Sierra over the next few days, on the order of 8 to 10 feet (and much more in some cases). There’s no question that enormous amounts of moisture are likely to fall over these mountains, and the very highest elevations will be slammed with massive amounts of snow. However, any model projection of snowfall needs to be taken with several grains of salt, as the actual on-the-ground snow totals will hinge on the precise location of the AR, how much moisture it hauls inland, and how much warmth accompanies that moisture. The lowest snow levels in the Sierra could jump from as low as 2000 feet on Friday to as high as 10,000 feet by Sunday, according to Swain.


Figure 2. Very large amounts of integrated water vapor (IVT) will be pushed by an atmospheric river into the heart of California on Sunday, January 8, based on calculations from the 00Z Wednesday GFS model run. IVT measures the amount of water vapor, in kilograms, carried per second in the air flowing above and across an imaginary meter-wide threshold that is oriented perpendicular to the atmospheric river. Arrow lengths denote the intensity of the moisture transport. Image credit: NOAA/ESRL Physical Sciences Division.


Figure 3. Jared Gaston, 25, hesitated before jumping flooded Fairview Street to meet a friend during rains on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016, in Garden Grove, California. Image credit: Ken Steinhardt/The Orange County Register via AP.

A water year that’s already in the black moisture-wise (but not snow-wise)
The Pacific jet stream took aim at the U.S. West Coast for much of the autumn and early winter, which led to the wettest fall on record in Washington and one of the 20 wettest for both Oregon and California. Now the jet has shifted bodily into California, as is typical in midwinter, carrying rich slugs of deep Pacific moisture into the state. Compared to the paltry moisture totals racked up during most of this decade, California has already seen generous amounts for the 2016-17 water year, which began on October 1.



What hasn’t changed much since the multiyear drought began in 2011 is the year-to-year prevalence of milder-than-average temperatures over most of the state, including the Sierra Nevada. The extreme heat of recent years has intensified the impact of drought in concrete ways--by baking the already-dry landscape during midsummer, for example, and by eroding the Sierra’s winter snowpack prematurely. But unusual warmth can also torque the hydrologic system during wet periods, such as the water year now under way.


Figure 4. Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program for the Department of Water Resources, crosses a snow-covered meadow as he conducts the first snow survey of the season at Phillips Station Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017, near Echo Summit, CA. Although the scene looks wintry enough, the survey showed the snowpack was only at 53% of normal for this site at this time of year. Image credit: AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli.


Figure 5. The amount of water held in snowpack across California’s three Sierra regions was only about a quarter of its way to the typical April 1 total as of January 3, 2016. Collectively, the three regions had about 70% of the amount of snow water content observed on a typical January 3. Image credit: California Department of Water Resources.

Through January 2, South Lake Tahoe had received 162% of its average precipitation for the water year to date (including rain and melted snow). However, as of January 3, the three Sierra regions held only about 70% of the typical amount of moisture found within snowpack (snow water equivalent) for the time of year, and only 53% of normal at the traditional measuring site of Phillips Station, as reported in the season’s first official monthly snow survey. This discrepancy is due to mild Pacific storms with high snow levels as well as to extensive melting in between storms, especially during a fairly dry November. While midwinter snowmelt does help replenish reservoirs and aquifers at lower elevation, it’s also important that a hefty amount of snow remain in the Sierra till at least early spring, in order to help protect the region’s ecosystems from early-summer heat and to sustain a healthy flow through rivers and creeks as far into the hot season as possible.

If the air in this weekend’s atmospheric river is as warm and moist as models suggest, the Sierra could end up with an even bigger gap between how much moisture falls and how much snowpack remains. Even so, water is water, and a series of big storms like this could make a major contribution to quenching California’s fierce multiyear drought. Let’s hope that residents and visitors take this weekend’s potential flood threat seriously--as weird as it is to be on guard against water’s power after craving moisture for so long.

Jeff Masters will be posting his roundup of the top ten weather and climate events of 2016 later today. I’ll be back on Friday with an update on the impending atmospheric river in California, as well as the potential for a significant weekend snowstorm across parts of the U.S. South.

Bob Henson





Flood Winter Weather

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Zack Labe:
‏@ZLabe

Useful resources for this week's #CA weather:

Atmospheric rivers: http://woodland.ucsd.edu/?page_id=491
Tahoe/Sierra snowcams: http://tahoetopia.com/webcams

"Putting a dollar sign on the damage Alaska faces due to climate change
Despite the sparse infrastructure, costs could run over $5 billion.

___

The effects of climate change are not distributed evenly—some areas have a lot more to lose. The Arctic in particular has been seeing temperatures rise roughly twice as fast as the global average. Alaskan glaciers have lost ice at a rate of roughly 42 cubic kilometers per year, Arctic sea ice has continued to decline, Alaska’s shorelines may be eroding at an accelerating rate, its permafrost is melting, and it’s suffering from forest fires at a rate greater than that of the past 10,000 years.

All of this sounds bad, but exactly how dire is it for the people of Alaska? No one wants to witness disaster, but we can determine how much damage can be negated by taking action to prepare and how much could be prevented if we manage to curtail our output of greenhouse gases. Such knowledge could help policymakers prepare for Alaska's future.

A new study tries to address these questions by estimating the amount of property damage the state will face over the next century. Taking many factors into account—flooding, precipitation, permafrost thawing, and more—the researchers behind the report quantified the damages to infrastructure, and hence the economy, that would occur under both optimistic and pessimistic climate scenarios.

....click on link to continue the real impacts to Alaskan citizens. And maybe your federal tax dollars:

http://arstechnica.com/science/2017/01/putting-a- dollar-sign-on-the-damage-alaska-faces-due-to-clim ate-change/
Good Luck in Cali,..

Just don't become the next Rain with No Name Disaster.

We rooting for good totals with no damage.




Thanks for the update Mr Henson! Looks like Soo Cal will be on the fringe(unless models flop) of the moisture flow. Just hope the second round does not raise the snow level so high as to melt all the snow currently falling. That would cause some bad flooding. Good Luck Central and Northern California. Just keep dropping them weekly 1/2-1" storms into Soo Cal cuz when the river comes to Soo Cal, it usually means just runoff and mudslides and flooding.
Thanks for the blog, and greetings from Slush Central. I live at 5970 ft., 23 miles NNW of that angle in the CA/NV border. My predicted 12 in. of snow yesterday turned out to be rain, slush, and some snow. The Truckee/Tahoe ski areas got lots of snow, but it was heavy stuff; glad I wasn't out in it. Yes, it's all about the temperature and snow level here. Not looking forward to this coming Sunday.
I saw my first icicles in Truckee, on my way to Mammoth Lakes/ Mammoth Mountain. (modified- that was like 20 years ago...)
ark event init

thanks for update

hopefully this third try will post lost the last two
Quoting 6. aquak9:

I saw my first icicles in Truckee, on my way to Mammoth Lakes/ Mammoth Mountain. (modified- that was like 20 years ago...)

My dog loves fetching icicles like sticks. Sometimes, she even brings them back intact. I will break them off and stick them in my adult beverage!
At least a lot of the moisture is going to go where drought conditions are the worst.

384 hour precip forecast:



And the drought chart:

Thanks Mr. Henson; actually looks to me like the river across CA is actually already in place thanks to the mid-level jet:







another third attempt getting tried of this now
It would be wise to copy your post before clicking the "post comment" button. The blog is eating post. It took me three attempts and 10 minutes for my last one. Also, don't know if anyone else is seeing this, but when I click the post comment button the URL reads /preview.
Quoting 9. HurricaneHunterJoe:

Feast or famine, huh?
15. bwi
According to my snazzy new personal weather station, we got 0.99 inches of rain yesterday, on top of about 4/10s of an inch the day before. Starting out soggy in the DC area 2017.

Expect all the water to freeze tonight and an inch or two of snow to test out my new snow bike (maybe) on Friday.

12z Euro continuing to show the coastal low moving much faster than the cold air infiltration.

Brrrr. It's cold here. -18.7 Celsius and falling. Should dip to -24 degrees on tomorrow evening. National map at 18 UTC:



If it was within my powers, I would take some heat from California, so that they could get more snow on mountains. :)
Quoting 13. washingaway:

It would be wise to copy your post before clicking the "post comment" button. The blog is eating post. It took me three attempts and 10 minutes for my last one. Also, don't know if anyone else is seeing this, but when I click the post comment button the URL reads /preview.


Is this just the new status quo, or is someone at IBM actually trying to resolve the issue?
Quoting 16. StormJunkie:

12z Euro continuing to show the coastal low moving much faster than the cold air infiltration.




Yep.

It's gonna be a battle of timing. If the GFS is correct, and it hasn't budged in days, we will be seeing rain, changing over to ice and snow.

If the ECMWF is correct in the timing, it'll be nothing but a cold, sloppy rain.
Quoting 9. HurricaneHunterJoe:

At least a lot of the moisture is going to go where drought conditions are the worst.

384 hour precip forecast:



And the drought chart:




Good start of 2017 for the ski resorts
Quoting 7. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:

ark event init

thanks for update

hopefully this third try will post lost the last two

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8P-N-HA9iS8
Greetings from California's beautiful redwood coast! We've been totally soaked so far this water year (10.92" in October, 6.84" in November, 7.87" in December, and 2+" so far this January, most of which came in the form of 1.75" over the last 48 hours) and our region has been pretty much drought free since the start of water year 2015. It's times like this I really wish I had some rain barrels to capture some of this water, but there's always next time. Stay dry out there and fingers crossed the Sierra get loads of snow :)
California dreamin'
Quoting 20. nash36:



Yep.

It's gonna be a battle of timing. If the GFS is correct, and it hasn't budged in days, we will be seeing rain, changing over to ice and snow.

If the ECMWF is correct in the timing, it'll be nothing but a cold, sloppy rain.


Nothing worse than being 40° or below and it raining all day. I think last year we had a rain event where the atmosphere was like a degree too warm for snow.
I have never joined in the climate change debate. I am strictly here for the joy of weather. But since this happened in our area. I thought i would share this and those who know the where's and why of Ga.Tech Climate Science program and such would understand....

I was very sad to hear the Judith Curry was retiring from her position with Georgia Tech. Here is one of her comments as to why she decided to leave her position:
--------------
"the deeper reasons have to do with my growing disenchantment with universities, the academic field of climate science and scientists… I no longer know what to say to students and postdocs regarding how to navigate the CRAZINESS in the field of climate science. Research and other professional activities are professionally rewarded only if they are channeled in certain directions approved by a politicized academic establishment — funding, ease of getting your papers published, getting hired in prestigious positions, appointments to prestigious committees and boards, professional recognition, etc.”
“How young scientists are to navigate all this is beyond me, and it often becomes a battle of scientific integrity versus career suicide.”

The following is a great comment from her husband Peter Webster...
---------------------------
A PERSONAL NOTE:

Judy and I have been together for many years and partners in many endeavors. I would like to make a number of personal observations relative to her post.

I have never met another person with higher integrity, honesty and forthrightness. When you ask Judy for an opinion, one expects her to be honest. There is no flim flam! I have been the recipient of advice in many joint areas of our lives and when I pick myself off the floor, bruised ego and all, one finds her advice has been sound.

She is an eloquent spokesperson for the integrity of science and stands apart from many academics that, for their own survival, have been forced along paths that allows a lack of questioning we would hope would exist in all areas of science. In my opinion she has challenged the “oligarchs of conformity” on either side of the climate discussion. But I think you may have noticed these characteristics within her blog.

Let me say a few things about her scientific career of which many of many of you may be less aware. Judy ranks extremely highly in many areas of science ranging from radiation theory, cloud physics, thermodynamics and arctic climate. Besides modeling and theoretical work she has organized field experiences in hazardous parts of the world. Of late, she has major contributions in extended prediction that have been discussed on the blog. She has published nearly 200 papers in the standard peer reviewed literature and two major scientific text books as well. Given her extremely high citations and scientific influence, one has to wonder (but not very far) why she has not received the accolades she clearly deserves. She has been nominated for awards and prizes many times. But, simply put, there are no prizes or awards for those not in lock-step with the conformity of the field. However, Judy’s awards and distinctions have come from her efforts from other towards the sanctity of science. I think Judy would agree to that.

Her service to academia has been stellar. She took over a struggling department at Georgia Tech and now, 15 years later after 24 hires it ranks in the top echelon of earth and atmospheric schools globally. I would dearly love to say that the present high-level administrators of Tech appreciate her efforts but they are more concerned with being in “lock-step” with consensus positions as well. God forbid that a prominent GT faculty member may question consensus science! Judy, thus, is correct in her assessment of the state of higher education beyond Georgia Tech.

Finally, Judy in retirement! I think it is the correct move for her at this stage of her career. Note that I said “at this stage” as I have no doubt that she will continue to be a strong voice promoting scientific integrity. I am equally sure she will excel in business as well.

Judy, thanks for our exciting ride and to all those things you have given me and our field in general. Ethics have risen and dogma has suffered through your efforts! Academia is merely a stepping stone!

Peter W
Latest WPC

Snow



Freezing Rain
Quoting 24. Patrap:

For our WU Friends in California,...

It is the springtime of my loving - the second season I am to know
You are the sunlight in my growing - so little warmth I've felt before.
It isn't hard to feel me glowing - I watched the fire that grew so low.

It is the summer of my smiles - flee from me Keepers of the Gloom.
Speak to me only with your eyes. It is to you I give this tune.
Ain't so hard to recognize - These things are clear to all from time to time.

Talk, talk, talk, talk - I've felt the coldness of my winter
I never thought it would ever go. I cursed the gloom that set upon us, 'pon us, 'pon us...
But I know that I love you so. But I know that I love you so

These are the seasons of emotion and like the wind they rise and fall
This is the wonder of devotion - I see the torch we all must hold.
This is the mystery of the quotient, quotient - Upon us all, upon us all a little rain must fall.
It's just a little rain oh yeah




I can actually play that song on the guitar. Took me weeks before I nailed, but I nailed it. Strange tuning required.
Re: #26

Judith Curry is a climatologist at Georgia Tech, infamous for flirting with the denier community on the basis that some of them have "good ideas" and can't get their contrarian papers published. For instance, she has posted on Anthony Watts' blog, as well as Steve McIntyre's Climate Audit. She has further embarrassed herself (and her university) by using refuted denier talking points and defending the Wegman Report, eventually admitting she hadn't even read it in the first place.[1] This and other shenanigans led Tamino of Open Mind to say, "Judith, your credibility is now below zero."[2] In short, she's the Richard Lindzen of the South. Or maybe the Roy Spencer of Georgia, take your pick.

DeSmogBlog: Judith Curry

Skeptical Science: Climate Misinformer Judith Curry
Thanks for the new blog and congrats/best wishes to Cali with the AR!!

And happy Easter to the German island of Langeoog in the Northern Sea! As storm "Axel" is churning the waters a ship lost its cargo: tens of thousands of "Kinder Surprise" eggs got washed up at the beach. With toys inside although the casing of chocolate is lacking ...


Source and photo gallery at NDR.

4.5 FEET of snow reported near Donner in the past 24 hours. I-80 was closed from the foothills to Truckee due to whiteout, and may still be closed. Moderate to heavy rain last night here in the SF Bay Area with strong gusty winds, but momentarily dry and calm though cloudy this morning. Jet axis remains overhead with strong blocking high in the Gulf of Alaska keeping the main transPacific flow in the midlatitudes. A surge of deep subtropical/equatorial moisture from the ITCZ southeast of Hawaii is headed into the westerlies, setting the stage for our first really major storm by Sunday.
If that guy had taken the measurement this morning instead of yesterday, that 53% of normal-to-date snow content would have been FAR different. The overnight dump at Dinner and Echo summits in the Sierra was close to 5 feet!
Quoting 15. bwi:

test out my new snow bike (maybe) on Friday.

img

Pics please :)
Actually, Judith Curry's 'farewell' is an interesting read. It can be read in its entirety here. Her reasons for leaving are not solely due to 'disenchantment'. She is at retirement stage at GT, she has requested emeritus status there, and she will be working in the private sector running the company she and her husband co-founded founded a decade ago.

On a different note, she posted a link on her blog to something written by Mike Liebrich, 'It’s a new year and time to face reality'. Very clever. (And read to the end, it's very short, even if you get annoyed initially, as it's not what you think it is, it's worth it!)
Quoting 8. oldnewmex:


My dog loves fetching icicles like sticks. Sometimes, she even brings them back intact. I will break them off and stick them in my adult beverage!

Are you the one who had mint growing in winter, to be used in mojitos? :P
Quoting 26. lostinohio:


Oh, good. With Judy Curry gone, there's a reasonable chance that GT can start doing climate science again!
Quoting 25. win1gamegiantsplease:



Nothing worse than being 40° or below and it raining all day. I think last year we had a rain event where the atmosphere was like a degree too warm for snow.


Welcome to the Mid Atlantic! That is winter here for three months.
NWS Raleigh Disco 235 PM Wednesday...

Chances increasing for winter weather late Friday night into
Saturday across central NC...

Most likely scenario:
While models are still varying with the exact track of the system, how much moisture we will have in place, and
how cold temperatures will be, we have a most likely scenario in place that highlights the areas between the I-85 and I-95 corridors as the place where the highest snowfall totals may occur.
At this point looks like friday night into saturday is the most likely timing with accumulations of 2-4 inches with locally higher amounts possible.
Snow is still probable in the NW Piedmont and the southern tier but the confidence is not as high in these areas for reasons I will explain below. For now would put 1-3 inches across both of
these areas as the most likely scenario.
If you want to enjoy winter come and visit, plenty of time left. Here is a little example of what you get.

Public Information Statement
Issued: 11:53 AM CST Jan. 4, 2017 – National Weather Service

... Wind chill reports...

Location temp time/date
Bagley MN -50 f 0845 am 01/04
Badger MN (dot) -47 f 0605 am 01/04
Leeds ND (dot) -47 f 0223 am 01/04
Devils Lake dot Hwy 20 -46 f 0208 am 01/04
Langdon ND (apt) -43 f 0455 am 01/04
Devils Lake ND (apt) -43 f 0356 am 01/04
Cooperstown ND (apt) -43 f 0455 am 01/04
Gatzke MN 2 ENE -42 f 0730 am 01/04
Brooks MN (dot) -41 f 0820 am 01/04
Roseau MN (apt) -41 f 0934 am 01/04
Warroad MN (apt) -41 f 0914 am 01/04
Flag Island MN -40 f 1034 am 01/04
Donaldson MN (dot) -40 f 0505 am 01/04
Mahnomen MN (dot) -40 f 0730 am 01/04
Bowesmont ND (dot) -40 f 0638 am 01/04
Red Lake MN (hs) -40 f 0815 am 01/04
Roseau MN (dnr) -40 f 0808 am 01/04
Staples MN (apt) -40 f 0832 am 01/04
Ponsford MN 10 N -39 f 0803 am 01/04
Bemidji MN (apt) -39 f 0353 am 01/04
Fergus Falls MN (apt) -39 f 0354 am 01/04
(snip)
The Antarctic Report:
‏@AntarcticReport

Celebrating great 2016 photos of #Antarctica (16) Spa pool midwinter’s day, Davis Station; air temp: −34°C, pic Darren White @AusAntarctic

The current conditions are -8f with a windchill near -30/-35f, there are some high clouds but the sun shining through which this time of year is more of a distraction than source of warmth.

The ice on the lake I fish is about 18 to 20 inches thick. I had to plow the road to the fish house this morning as the snow had drifted it all in. Picked up a couple of Walleye for eating and a nice Northern Pike for pickling. I may go out later and spend the night to see how they are biting in the overnight hours, for large walleyes this can be the best time.
43. bwi
Quoting 33. RitaandIke:



It's not mine (yet). But it could be at a moment's notice...

I gave my old frankenstein cruiser single-speed snow bike to my brother, who promptly traded it to my dad for a commuter bike with gears. I sort of want it back now though...

Heavy coastal flooding on the way at the German coast of the Baltic Sea, the highest at least in the last decade. I listened to the explanations of a German metereologist who said that the threat is due to a combination of what I think is called a seiche, triggered by storm Alex, high tide and the force of (edit) unfavorably shifting winds. Summit of high tide is in the next 2 1/4 hours (= midnight in Germany).

Here a site with the current readings of the gauges (click the dots): Link
Looks like waters are already getting higher than projected:


Current readings (saved) from Greifswald.

One of the German live reports with pics from the worsening flooding.
Spent a long weekend in Mammoth that winter of 1983. It was just crazy with how much snow there was. Many of the roads had walls of snow over 8 feet tall on both sides only broken up by driveways. We were only able to ski the bottom half of the mountain due to avalanche danger. Snowed 18+ inches each of the 3 nights we were there. FUN!
Quoting 27. nrtiwlnvragn:

Latest WPC

Snow



Freezing Rain



Wonderful :-( Looks like my area (Charlotte, NC) has about an even chance of snow and freezing rain. I can't wait.
Quoting 34. RitaEvac:






That video has full nudity in it? Just saying. Little kids come on this site.
Quoting 18. StormJunkie:



Is this just the new status quo, or is someone at IBM actually trying to resolve the issue?

IBM= Intelligently Blind Morons
Mercy me, IBM has to get a better IT Team.


We should send up the wunderyakuza signal'

IBM= Idiots Behind Machines
Indiscriminate Blog Manglers
IBM's IT? Inadequate Technician?
Quoting 17. elioe:

Brrrr. It's cold here. -18.7 Celsius and falling. Should dip to -24 degrees on tomorrow evening. National map at 18 UTC:



If it was within my powers, I would take some heat from California, so that they could get more snow on mountains. :)


this is a great deal! would take it.
The most likely truth of the matter is that IBM never cared about actually running the site. They wanted the membership info. Yes, that's speculation on my part, but it seems very plausible considering the "effort" they have put in to the site.
GFS has been trending the snow line a little further N. Seems to be moving the low a little faster and closer to the coast. S. Carolina midlands to the OBX. 18z is actually showing over 10" in the OBX...

Excellent article Geoffrey linked in comment #57. My improved title for his linked article:

U.S. Atlantic coast not threatened by more big-ACE storms during active hurricane periods

NOAA challenged the global warming 'pause.' Now new research says the agency was right.

The full paper: Assessing recent warming using instrumentally homogeneous sea surface temperature records

Mystery cosmic radio bursts pinpointed
Quoting 57. GeoffreyWPB:

More frequent hurricanes not necessarily stronger on Atlantic U.S. coast

Interesting...so we may be entering a quieter period, where there are less hurricanes, but more majors.
Quoting 26. lostinohio:

...I was very sad to hear the Judith Curry was retiring from her position with Georgia Tech....


Ding dong the witch is dead... :P

More seriously, it's actually a good thing she is retiring before she completely wrecks her legacy (see Roy Spencer). She's been on the downward slide for some time, and one can easily see it in her work. Her papers went from awesome to trash over the years. Don't believe me? Take a look at a paper from early in her career and compare it any of the more recent ones. It's almost a night and day difference. Her work used to be able to stand up to significant scientific scrutiny, but now it couldn't stand up if you gave it a pair of crutches.

The real slide began when she started up with the persecution complex and catering to the WUWT and CA crazies, the Breitbart of climate science. That was just sad to watch. Just like the decline of Spencer.
NOLA NWS DISCO

Have
introduced mention of slight chance of light freezing rain over
areas as far south as the I-12 corridor in southeast Louisiana and
I-10 in coastal Mississippi with low chances for light sleet and
even some snow flurries heading north. Given the low pop, the
current indications are any accumulation of freezing or frozen
precipitation will be minor with liquid equivalent of less than
05", and most likely a trace to a couple hundredths at this time.
The current timing where overlap of sufficiently cold temperature
profiles and adequate moisture overlap is mostly in a brief
window from 9 PM Friday night in the far north to as late as 3 am
in the central areas, but all mentionable freezing or frozen
precipitation ends at 6 am Saturday based on a consensus of all
available guidance and models. Everything is subject to changes
based on future trends obviously.

The cold surge and brisk north winds will lead to very cold wind
chill temperatures Friday night and continuing into Sunday
morning. While the wind passing over Lake Pontchartrain could keep
temperatures up slightly above freezing for lows Saturday night,
it appears the Arctic nature of the airmass combined forecast hard
freeze conditions north of the tidal lakes and wind will bring
sub-freezing area all the way to southeast Louisiana coastal areas
except the barrier islands and extreme lower Mississippi River
Delta.
Win1gamegiantsplease I hadn't seen radar estimates in excess of 100" before. So I saved it. I'll put up my Valentine's avatar soon. I saw Valentine's candy for sale December 28th.
I'm getting tired of being rainbowed on this blog and my blog all the time. Last week I made a good old-fashioned comprehensive article list and it was eaten.

Light rain has resumed here in the SF Bay Area this aftenoon. Cool and calm as we sit just north of a stationary front that extends due west to a large stacked low. This low has itself been stationary for several days, kept spinning by an undercutting jet and cold easterlies, and drawing up deep moisture from southeast of Hawaii. Forecast has this low, or some low, approaching the California coast by the weekend, bringing strong winds and torrential rains. Local forecast office says we are likely to see 24-36 hours of steady moderate to heavy rain. The snowline will soar to Sierra pass levels, but the several feet of recent snow up there will soak up a lot of the rain. At lower elevations, heavy rain will cause extensive melting before cold air comes back in behind a front. Flood prospects increase dramatically in the near future as at least two more heavy ppt events are forecast over the next two weeks.
Quoting 61. Xyrus2000:

She's not really 'fully' retiring, just from academia. See post #35. She's still going to be around.
Quoting 63. BaltimoreBrian:

Win1gamegiantsplease I hadn't seen radar estimates in excess of 100" before. So I saved it. I'll put up my Valentine's avatar soon. I saw Valentine's candy for sale December 28th.


Also noticed it in a blog where Dr M discusses atmospheric rivers.

It rained a lot that weekend and poured heavily for about an hour, did not seem like it rained that much at the time. Wasn't in the worst area though.
The Tahoe region ski areas are mostly under 9000 ft. In addition to the rainfall, some or all of the snow we have recieved in the high country the last couple days could turn into runoff.

Areal Flood Watch
Issued: 2:57 PM PST Jan. 4, 2017 %u2013 National Weather Service

... Flood Watch remains in effect from late Saturday night through
Monday morning...

The Flood Watch continues for

* Flood Watch for portions of east central California and western
Nevada, including the following areas, the Lake Tahoe basin,
Reno-Sparks, Washoe Valley, Little Valley burn scar, Carson
City, and Douglas County.

* From late Saturday night through Monday morning

* an atmospheric river will produce a period of intense rainfall
with snow levels as high as 9000 feet early Sunday morning to
Monday morning.
Rainfall totals of 6 to 12 inches are possible
around the Tahoe basin and in the Carson Range with up to 3
inches in the lower elevations around Reno-Sparks, Carson City
and Douglas County.


* A combination of intense rain on saturated soils will lead to
excessive runoff. Flooding along the Truckee River, Carson River
including the east and West Forks, creeks, streams, urban areas,
farmland is likely, this include Washoe Valley and areas near
the Little Valley burn scar. Travel could be very difficult
with some roads covered by water and impacted by rock and mud
slides.
Quoting 55. StormJunkie:

The most likely truth of the matter is that IBM never cared about actually running the site. They wanted the membership info. Yes, that's speculation on my part, but it seems very plausible considering the "effort" they have put in to the site.


The non-blog sections of the site seem to work well, and the mobile version also seems to work well (except the blog part, which has never been very good, at least the android version).
Quoting 70. nrtiwlnvragn:



The non-blog sections of the site seem to work well, and the mobile version also seems to work well (except the blog part, which has never been very good, at least the android version).


Email alerts not working
Wunder maps are horrible, wish they would go back to the old style
Extended forecast not working properly

I also wish they would bring back the section that was just to the right of the blog you were on. In this section you could see where and when others were posting to other blogs
For West Palm Beach...

Quoting 72. GeoffreyWPB:

For West Palm Beach...




We are going below 50? WE'RE GOING BELOW 50!!!! :D (I hope :|)
Quoting 23. DCMann2:

Greetings from California's beautiful redwood coast! We've been totally soaked so far this water year (10.92" in October, 6.84" in November, 7.87" in December, and 2+" so far this January, most of which came in the form of 1.75" over the last 48 hours) and our region has been pretty much drought free since the start of water year 2015. It's times like this I really wish I had some rain barrels to capture some of this water, but there's always next time. Stay dry out there and fingers crossed the Sierra get loads of snow :)

Hi DCMann2!

I work in Eureka. Where are you?

I rarely post because our weather is usually pretty boring here. But tonight's freeze has my attention. I think I will tarp my fuchsia. It's been doing alright with the frosts we've been getting, but 20's is kind of cold. 23 degrees in Willow Creek tonight? Brrr.
75. empi
I am so glad I visited this website today and saw Dr. Masters' blog. It appears this recent rain and moisture is helping our drought and that is good news for Californians.
Since I'm actually posting tonight, I would just to say a big Thank You to BayFog, oldnewmex, HurricaneHunterJoe, and of course Pedley. Thanks for all the reports from California. You make me feel like I'm letting the blog down by not posting periodic updates from the Northcoast. The weather always seems so boring here.

It's supposed to get down into the 20's tonight, which is rare. We almost got snow down to sea level on Monday, but not quite. But there is a ton of snow above 500 feet, which is unusually low. We may get a warm rain in a few days though, which could melt it all and cause flood issues. And landslide issues. There's a big slide on HWY 299, our main link to the Central Valley, which is causing the road to be completely closed for 4 weeks or more. There's only three ways out of here, so it does happen that we are completely cut-off. Usually not for very long.
Quoting 75. empi:

I am so glad I visited this website today and saw Dr. Masters' blog. It appears this recent rain and moisture is helping our drought and that is good news for Californians.


Weather-wise it is the best news for our country. Keep it coming for you guys! Love the way how it is going to finally balance itself out and hopefully put an end to the 5 year drought.
JeffMasters has created a new entry.
If you get rainbowed, do the following:




Repeat 3 times: