NOAA’s Week 2 Outlook for California: High Pressure & Dry Conditions To Return

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Image of the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge that kept CA dry thru the drough years of 2012-2015. image: KQED, Jan. 2015

NOAA generally won’t talk about the week 2 (Jan 31st – Feb6th) outlook, but today they did and it doesn’t look good…

"Another period of dry weather is looking more and more likely along the west 
coast for the first part of February. Something the meager snowpack here in the 
Sierra doesn`t need." - NOAA Reno,NV today

California’s statewide snowpack is sitting at only 23% of average right now.

“Incoming Pacific storm stretches from the Gulf of Alaska to California this morning! Prepare for moderate valley rain, heavy mountain snow, and breezy winds Wednesday-Thursday!” – NOAA, today

Fortunately, California’s mountains are forecast to see 8-14″ of snow above 7,000′ on Wednesday and Thursday this week.

Total snow accumulations of 5 to 8 inches, with localized amounts up to 14 inches 
above 7000 feet. - NOAA Reno, NV today

Unfortunately, not much snow or rain is forecast to fall in CA next week either:

Daytime high temperatures are expected to warm around 10 degrees
for the weekend as high pressure begins to build over the
southwest U.S. Moisture moving into northern California will keep
skies partly to mostly cloudy for the weekend with moderate
breezes Saturday, especially in the mountains. - NOAA Reno, NV today
23% of average snowpack in CA right now. image: nrcs


For more on the building ridge along the west coast and outlook
for precipitation check out the Week 2 Outlook below.
Week 2 Outlook...Jan 31st-Feb 6th...Issued 3pm 1/23

Another period of dry weather is looking more and more likely
along the west coast for the first part of February. Something the
meager snowpack here in the Sierra doesn`t need.

Long range ensemble models and short term climate models are in
good agreement of a ridge building off the U.S. west coast as a
trough moves through the Midwest and begins to amplify in the
central and northeastern states. This trough along with a trough
deepening in the central Pacific will help to lock the ridge in
the west in place with a dry weather pattern for the west.
Atmospheric River tools show the next AR for the end of January
impacting the Pacific Northwest with the storm track continuing to
move north after that. In this pattern we can still get systems to
slide in from the north but these kind of storms generally don`t
bring significant amounts of moisture to the region.

Another factor that could come into play is a building Madden-
Julian Oscillation event. A currently active MJO currently over
southeast Asia is forecast to move into the West Pacific in early
February. If this occurs, and signal remains strong it would
provide an additional teleconnection and support with dry
conditions along the west coast and potentially. This could
reinforce the ridge along the west coast and extend the period of
dryness past the first week of February.

It`s impossible to say how long this pattern will last, but for
now all signs are pointing to at least a dry start for February.
For now, we`ll just have to wait for winter to return. -Zach

* The Week 2 Outlook discussion is an experimental part of the Area
  Forecast Discussion. This product is designed to highlight the
  potential for significant pattern changes beyond day 7 and will
  not be issued on a daily basis.
- NOAA Reno, NV today

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