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# Sunday, December 26, 2010

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WSI Composite Radar
December 25, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.

The strong cold front that swept through Southern California Christmas night resulted in 0.90 inch of rain at Downtown Los Angeles (USC), increasing December's rainfall total to 9.67 inches. This makes December 2010 the wettest December in 121 years (since 1889), and the second wettest December since recordkeeping began in 1877.

Rainfall totals from last night's fast moving front generally ranged from about 0.4 inch to 0.9 inch. Here's an archived copy of a Precipitation Summary from the NWS Los Angeles/Oxnard with some rainfall totals from around the area.

This morning's model runs continue to forecast more rain for Wednesday. The 12z NAM projects about 0.5 inch at LAX during the day Wednesday. The 09z SREF puts the probability of more than 0.25 inch of rain in the Los Angeles area at about 50% for the 24 hour period ending 4:00 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.

Depending on how much rain we get Wednesday, for the first six months of the 2010-11 water year (July 1 to December 31), the rainfall total for Downtown Los Angeles will likely rank as the fourth or fifth wettest in the 133 years that records have been kept.

In the medium range outlook, the 12z GFS and 12z ECMWF differ in how they handle an upper level low that they forecast to develop off the California coast New Year's morning. The 12z GFS is quite wet New Year's weekend, but it's too early to put much credence in that forecast. We'll see!

More information concerning Southern California weather can be found using our WEATHER LINKS page.

Sunday, December 26, 2010 2:01:15 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |   | 
# Thursday, December 23, 2010

AHPS Precipitation (Percent of Normal) For 90 Days Ending December 23, 2010 at 4:00 a.m Click
AHPS Precipitation (Percent of Normal)
For 90 Days Ending December 23, 2010 at 4:00 a.m.

After producing phenomenal rainfall totals in Southern California and snowfall totals in the higher elevations of the Sierra, the Pacific low and trough responsible for days and days of wet weather has finally moved east.

Some stations recorded more rain in the last 7 days that would normally be recorded over an entire year. Precipitation amounts over 10 inches were common, and several stations recorded over 20 inches. Tanbark, in the San Gabriel Mountains recorded 24.7 inches, NF Matilija in the Ventura Mountains recorded 24.09 inches, and Lytle Creek in the San Bernardino Mountains recorded an astonishing 26.35 inches!

Here's are snapshots of provisional 7-day rainfall totals in Ventura County and 7-day rainfall totals in Los Angeles County from the Ventura County Watershed Protection District ALERT Map Viewer; and a snapshot of provisional 7-day rainfall totals from the NWS San Diego's Experimental Rainfall Summary Display. And here are archived copies of NWS precipitation summaries with preliminary rainfall totals from the NWS Los Angeles/Oxnard and NWS San Diego offices.

The remarkable amount of rainfall makes December 2010 one of the wettest on record in Southern California. According to preliminary NWS data Downtown Los Angeles (USC) has recorded 8.52 inches of rain so far this December. This ranks it as the third wettest December in Los Angeles since recordkeeping began in 1877, exceeded only by December 1889 (15.8 inches) and December 2004 (8.77 inches). With additional rain a possibility, December 2010 only needs 0.25 inch to surpass 2004. For more detailed info see "A Look at the Record-Breaking Week of Rainfall" a PDF from the NWS Los Angeles/Oxnard.

The Sierra recorded gargantuan snowfall totals, with some of the largest being in the Southern Sierra. In the last week the snow sensor at Farewell Gap recorded 22.6 inches snow water equivalent, which roughly translates to 18 feet of snow. This morning California Cooperative Snow Surveys reports the Southern Section Sierra snowpack at 287% of normal, and the snowpack overall in the Sierra at 207%! Mammoth Mountain reports 167 inches of snow so far this December, a new record for the period 1968 to date, obliterating the records set in 1971 (139.8 inches) and 2002 (134.4 inches).

As of yesterday Downtown Los Angeles (USC) rainfall was a whopping 6.88 inches above normal for the water year. That puts us way, way ahead of what is typical for a La Nina influenced rain season -- at least for a couple of months.

Update December 24, 2010. Looks like there will be two opportunities before the end of December for Downtown Los Angeles (USC) to increase its rainfall total for the month and become the second wettest December since recordkeeping began in 1877. The first chance is Saturday night. For the 24 hour period ending 10:00 a.m. Sunday, the 09z SREF puts the probability of more than 0.25 inch of precipitation in the Los Angeles area at about 70%. The WRF ensembles precipitation forecast for LAX for Saturday night ranges from a low of about 0.25 inch to a high of about 0.7 inch. The 18z GFS says the second opportunity will be Wednesday, and forecasts a little under an inch of rain at LAX. We'll see!

More information concerning Southern California weather can be found using our WEATHER LINKS page.

Thursday, December 23, 2010 12:30:24 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |   | 
# Tuesday, November 09, 2010

AHPS Precipitation (Percent of Normal) for 30 Days Ending November 1. Click
AHPS Precipitation (Percent of Normal)
For 30 Days Ending November 1, 2010.

October was an unusually wet month in coastal Southern California. Many areas recorded more than an inch above normal rainfall, and some as much as 3 inches above normal. In a month where around 0.5 inch is considered normal, some areas received several times the normal amount of rainfall.

Most of October's rain resulted from two energetic upper lows, and a relatively strong trough/front that swept through the area October 30th. The front produced a new precipitation record for the date of 1.09 inches at Santa Barbara Airport Here's an archived NWS Public Information Statement with some rainfall totals for that storm.

Last week, an approaching Pacific trough pumped up a thick high pressure ridge over California, sending temperatures soaring and breaking temperature records across the area. November 3rd Long Beach Airport set a new high temperature record for the date of 100°F, and Downtown Los Angeles set a new record of 97°F. November 4th temps were once again in high 90s and several stations broke or tied high temperature records. Here are archived copies of the NWS Record Event reports for November 3 and November 4.

The southern part of the Pacific trough that produced our record high temps cut-off into a small upper low as it approached the coast, and moved onshore north of the Los Angeles basin on Saturday. The remainder of the trough and its associated front moved through the area Sunday evening into Monday. The front held together a little better than expected, and rainfall totals in the Los Angeles basin and valleys generally ranged from about 0.10 inch to 0.30 inch. Here's an archived NWS Public Information Statement with some rainfall totals from around the area..

The latest round of rainfall leaves many areas of Southern California way ahead on rainfall totals for the water year. Downtown Los Angeles (USC) missed out on a couple of the systems, and as of close of business yesterday has recorded 1.10 inch for the water year, which is only 0.06 inch above normal. By comparison, Los Angeles Airport is 0.85 inch above normal, and Camarillo/Oxnard is 0.97 inch above normal. This headstart on the rain season should help keep our rainfall totals a little closer to normal as our La Nina influenced rain season continues.

Speaking of La Nina, the September/October value of the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) increased slightly by 0.079 sigma, ending the record plunge from El Nino conditions earlier this year. In the past 30 days there was some decrease in the magnitude of negative SST anomalies in the east-central equatorial Pacific, but subsurface temperatures remain quite cool. Computer models are split on whether Nino 3.4 SST anomalies will continue to decline in magnitude during the Northern Hemisphere winter, but nearly all models indicate decreasing anomalies in early 2011. We'll see!

More information concerning Southern California weather can be found using our WEATHER LINKS page.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010 10:21:12 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |   | 
# Thursday, October 07, 2010

AHPS Precipitation Totals For the 7-day Period Ending 10/07/10 12z Click
AHPS Precipitation Totals
For the 7-day Period Ending 10/07/10 12z

Just a week after Downtown Los Angeles (USC) set a new all time temperature record of 113°F, an unseasonably strong cutoff upper level low set up shop over Southern California, cooling temperatures and producing record rainfall over much of the area. Precipitation was recorded in many locations Monday and Tuesday, but Wednesday was the record setting day.

According to the NWS Los Angeles/Oxnard, rainfall records for the date were set at numerous locations. Downtown Los Angeles (USC) recorded 0.30 inch, breaking the record of 0.22 inch back in 1916. Just a few miles away, LAX recorded 0.62 inch, smashing the old record of 0.16 set in 1945. Here's a preliminary record report (PDF) from the NWS.

Cumulative rainfall totals recorded over the three days varied widely, ranging from 0.10 inch in Lancaster to over 2.0 inches at some locations in Ventura county. Downtown Los Angeles (USC) recorded 0.40 inch for the storm. This is slightly above the October monthly norm, but because July, August and September had no measurable rain, Los Angeles remains 0.12 inch below normal for the water year. Here is a Public Information Statement (PDF) from the NWS with some rainfall totals from around the area.

The 12z NAM and GFS show temperatures rebounding quickly, with highs reaching the 80's and 90's across much of Southern California by Sunday. Next week the GFS projects a gradual cooling trend. We'll see!

More information concerning Southern California weather can be found using our WEATHER LINKS page.

Thursday, October 07, 2010 12:10:13 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |   | 
# Monday, March 01, 2010

NEXRAD Regional Radar (NCAR) February 27, 2010 - 3:00 a.m. PST Click
NEXRAD Regional Radar (NCAR)
February 27, 2010 - 3:00 a.m. PST

A primary frontal band, secondary frontal band, and upper low associated with a strong Pacific storm system produced periods of heavy rain in Southern California on Saturday. Rainfall totals for the system generally ranged from about 1.0 to 2.0 inches, with somewhat higher amounts recorded at a few mountain locations. Here is an archived copy of a NWS Public Information Statement with some precipitation totals from around the area.

Downtown Los Angeles (USC) recorded 0.80 inch of rain for the storm, bringing the water year total (Jul 1-Jun 30) to 14.18 inches, which is 3.25 inches above normal. Saturday, Burbank set a new rainfall record for the date of 1.6 inches.

The weather forecast for the Los Angeles area this week looks like a near repeat of last week, with a chance of showers mid-week, and then a possibility of a somewhat stronger storm for the weekend.

Just 24 hours before a trough is forecast to produce a chance of showers in the Los Angeles area, the models are still having difficulty with the forecast. The nature of the system is the culprit -- the evolution of the trough and precise track of a following upper low is far from certain. Today's 09z SREF suggest a high probability (70%-90%) of very light rain (>0.01 inch) for the 24 hr. period ending 7:00 a.m. Wednesday morning, but south of Pt. Conception there is a rapid decrease of the probability of more than 0.1 inch of precipitation over the same period.

More information concerning Southern California weather can be found using our WEATHER LINKS page.

 

Monday, March 01, 2010 3:22:51 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |   | 
# Friday, January 22, 2010

NRL AquaMODIS Composite Image January 21, 2010 - 1:30 p.m. PST Click
NRL AquaMODIS Composite Image
January 21, 2010 - 1:30 p.m. PST

The fifth and final system of the series that began Sunday brought thunderstorms, damaging winds, record low pressure, heavy rain and snow to Southern California yesterday. The unusually large trough associated with the system covered most of the northeastern Pacific yesterday, and unsettled weather is expected today as it continues to move onshore.

Very strong wings, possibly a tornado or thunderstorm downburst, felled trees and damaged structures in Ventura and Santa Barbara. Record rainfall for the date was recorded at Santa Maria, Palmdale, and Lancaster, but more extraordinary, new all-time records for lowest barometric pressure were set at several locations in the Los Angeles area. Note: The NWS documented an EF-0 tornado in Ventura (3Mb PDF).

Here are some preliminary rainfall totals from around the area, compiled by the NWS, for the period 10:00 p.m. Tuesday to 10:00 p.m. this evening. Note that this combines rainfall from system #4 on Wednesday, and our current Thursday-Friday system. And here's an NWS Public Information Statement with some impressive snowfall totals for the week. Wow -- Mt. Baldy got 7 feet of snow! (Updated 01/23/10)

As of yesterday, Downtown Los Angeles (USC) has received 4.21 inches of rain from the series of storms, bringing its water year total to 9.34 inches, which is 3.44 inches above normal. Over the week, the Sierra Nevada has received several feet of snow, and the statewide average snowpack is now above normal.

Please refer to www.weather.gov/losangeles for the latest warnings and weather information.

More information concerning Southern California weather can be found using our WEATHER LINKS page.

 

Friday, January 22, 2010 8:13:14 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |   | 
# Tuesday, December 16, 2008

AHPS Precipitation Analysis For Week Ending 12/16/08 4:00 a.m. Click
AHPS Precipitation Analysis
For Week Ending 12/16/08 4:00 a.m.

An intense upper level low, fed in part by moisture that originated in the subtropical mid-Pacific, produced widespread rain in Southern California, with snow at the higher elevations. Precipitation totals generally ranged from about 1 to 3 inches, and new rainfall records for December 15 were set at LAX, UCLA, Long Beach, San Gabriel and Santa Barbara. Here are some preliminary rainfall totals from the NWS.

A very cold core upper level cutoff low is currently spinning off the California coast. A GOES sounding from this afternoon indicated a temperature of -33°C at the 500 mb level and significant instability. The low is forecast to move onshore over the next 24 hours, and slight changes in its trajectory could have a big impact on precipitation amounts and intensity.

The NAM/WRF has been quite a bit drier in the Los Angeles area than the GFS, with the heaviest precipitation occurring south of the basin. The latest (00z) run of the NAM appears to be wetter in the Los Angeles area than runs earlier today. With such cold temperatures aloft, heavy rain and strong thunderstorms are a possibility, particularly wherever the low moves onshore. BUFKIT analysis of PMD and VNY data suggests the snow level could drop to 2000-2500 ft., perhaps lower in heavy showers. We'll see!

More information concerning Southern California weather can be found using our WEATHER LINKS page.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008 6:58:38 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |   |