# Friday, June 25, 2010

Global Wind Oscillation (GWO) April 1, 2010 - June 23, 2010 Click
Global Wind Oscillation (GWO)
April 1, 2010 - June 23, 2010

Equatorial Pacific SSTs have continued to cool and TAO/TRITON data shows -1.0°C or greater anomalies extending from 95°W to beyond 150°W. According to the CPC's Weekly ENSO Update, issued June 21, the latest weekly SST departures were -0.7°C (Niño1+2), -0.6°C (Niño 3), -0.5°C (Niño 3.4), and 0.0°C (Niño 4). An anomaly of -0.5°C in the Niño 3.4 region is the threshold for La Nina conditions.

The Global Wind Oscillation (GWO) has spiraled well into La Niña territory. The global relative atmospheric angular momentum anomaly is at its lowest value since March 2008, during the La Niña of 2007-2008.

Based on equatorial Pacific SSTs, section plots, tradewinds and cloudiness; and the GWO and AAM; a transition to La Nina conditions appears to be underway.

It looks like Downtown Los Angeles (USC) will likely end the July 1 - June 30 water year having recorded 16.36 inches of rain. This is more than an inch above the 1971-2000 annual climate norm of 15.14 inches.

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

 

Friday, June 25, 2010 3:42:31 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |   | 
# Saturday, June 05, 2010

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Niño Region SST Anomalies

Woodland Hills (Pierce College) topped the 90° mark for the first time this year Memorial Day weekend, and after cooling a few degrees during the week, temperatures are back into the 90's this afternoon. A quick look at temps around the area shows temps near 70 on the coast; 80's to 90's in the valleys, and triple digits in the deserts.

Reflecting the transition to ENSO neutral conditions, the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) for April-May declined to 0.54. According to the CPC's Weekly ENSO Update, issued June 1, the latest weekly SST departures are -0.6°C (Niño1+2), -0.4°C (Niño 3), -0.2°C (Niño 3.4), and 0.4°C (Niño 4).

In his May 2010 MEI discussion Klaus Wolter projected the probability of a La Nina event emerging by the end of 2010 at roughly 50%. In it's May 2010 ENSO Quick Look, the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) put the probability of La Nina conditions from the August-October season through the remainder of 2010 at 42%. We'll see!

Downtown Los Angeles (USC) has recorded 16.36 inches of rain since the water year began July 1. This is more than an inch above the 1971-2000 annual climate norm of 15.14 inches. The water year ends June 30. Climatology and current forecasts suggest it is unlikely that this total will change by more than a hundredth or two before the end of the month.

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

 

Saturday, June 05, 2010 4:22:40 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |   | 
# Friday, May 14, 2010

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TAO 5-Day Average SST and Anomaly
Period Ending May 14, 2010

During the last month the 2009-10 El Niño has essentially transitioned to ENSO neutral conditions. Over the course of the event, the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) peaked in JAN/FEB at 1.5, and the Oceanic Nino Index (ONI) peaked in NDJ at 1.8. The mean 5-day averaged November 1 to March 31 relative AAM anomaly was 0.304. The strongest El Niño forcing appeared to have occurred in late January after the active phase of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) enhanced El Nino convection in the equatorial Pacific. Here's a chart comparing the 2009-10 El Niño to 17 other warm ENSO episodes that have occurred since 1950.

Dynamical and statistical ENSO model forecasts suggest the possibility that equatorial Pacific SSTs will continue to decline, leading to weak to moderate La Niña conditions by late Summer or Fall. A return to El Niño conditions does not appear likely, but cannot be ruled out. In his May MEI discussion, Klaus Wolter points out that the 1957-1958 El Nino, an analog to the 2009-2010 El Niño, rebounded after dropping into neutral territory.

Downtown Los Angeles (USC) has recorded 16.31 inches of rain since the water year began July 1. This is more than an inch above the 1971-2000 annual climate norm of 15.14 inches. Recent runs of the GFS and ECMWF show a negatively tilted trough deepening and moving onshore early next week. At this point it looks like there's a pretty good chance of showers north of Pt. Conception, but only a slight chance down here. We'll see!

Update 05/18/10. Stations in the Los Angeles area generally recorded under a tenth of an inch from this system. Some isolated totals of about 0.25 inch were recorded in Ventura and Santa Barbara county, and Rocky Butte in San Luis Obispo recorded 0.48 inch. Here is an archived copy of a NWS Public Information Statement with some rainfall totals from around the area.

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

 

Friday, May 14, 2010 7:46:45 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |   | 
# Tuesday, April 13, 2010

RAMDIS GOES-11 IR Satellite Animation. Period Ending April 12, 2010, 6:30 a.m. PDT Click
RAMDIS GOES-11 IR Satellite Animation
Period Ending April 12, 2010, 6:30 a.m. PDT

A classic cold front associated with a cold upper level low and Pacific trough pushed through Southern California overnight Sunday, producing rain at the lower elevations and snow at the higher elevations. Scattered convective showers and isolated thunderstorms followed in the wake of the front as the low and trough slowly moved onshore. TV news reports showed marble sized hail produced by a strong cell in the eastern San Fernando Valley.

Downtown Los Angeles (USC) recorded 0.91 inch of rain for the storm, bringing the water year total to 16.17 inches, which is more than an inch above the 1971-2000 annual climate norm of 15.14 inches*. Here's an archived copy of a NWS Public Information Statement with some rainfall totals from around the area.

The additional rainfall puts Downtown Los Angeles at 1.51 inches for the month of April, well above the climate normal of 0.83 inches. The normal amount of precipitation for May is 0.31 inches, and for June is 0.06 inches. Although the current El Nino appears to be in decline, convection is still enhanced in a broad area of the western and central equatorial Pacific, and the GWO, MEI, and ONI all indicate the continued presence of El Nino. This could result in more active Spring weather than usual. We'll see!

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

*The average annual rainfall for Los Angeles of 15.14 inches is computed on a calendar year basis for the 30 year period 1971-2000. Technically it is not a water year average, but by convention it is used as a reference for water year rainfall. For details about how normal temperature and precipitation values are computed, see CLIMATOGRAPHY OF THE U.S. NO. 81 - Monthly Station Normals.

 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010 10:24:45 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |   | 
# Tuesday, April 06, 2010

NRL Day/Night Visible Satellite Image - April 4, 2010 - 9:00 a.m. PDT Click
NRL Day/Night Visible Satellite Image
April 4, 2010 - 9:00 a.m. PDT

This week's Pacific system produced more rain in Southern California than recent similar troughs. The front associated with the system stalled as it approached the Los Angeles basin, and the low level inflow and jet dynamics helped sustain rain rates as the front dissipated.

Downtown Los Angeles (USC) recorded 0.60 inch of rain, bringing the water year total to 15.26 inches, which is above the 1971-2000 annual climate norm of 15.14 inches*. Here's an archived copy of a NWS Public Information Statement with some rainfall totals from around the area.

The water year ends June 30, so we still have a few weeks to add to our rainfall total. Los Angeles rainfall was below normal for the month of March, but we're already above normal month to date for April and it looks like more wet weather could be on the way. Recent runs of the GFS and ECMWF have been suggesting another system will affect Southern California the Sunday evening to Monday timeframe, and also project the possibility of another system midweek. We'll see!

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

*The average annual rainfall for Los Angeles of 15.14 inches is computed on a calendar year basis for the 30 year period 1971-2000. Technically it is not a water year average, but by convention it is used as a reference for water year rainfall. For details about how normal temperature and precipitation values are computed, see CLIMATOGRAPHY OF THE U.S. NO. 81 - Monthly Station Normals.

 

Tuesday, April 06, 2010 8:39:27 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |   | 
# Friday, March 26, 2010

Global Wind Oscillation (GWO) November 1, 2009 - March 24, 2010 Click
Global Wind Oscillation (GWO)
November 1, 2009 - March 24, 2010

After peaking at a standardized relative AAM anomaly of 2.21 around February 5, 2010, the Global Wind Oscillation (GWO) has plunged 3 SD in relative AAM to a value of -0.90. This is the lowest value of relative AAM anomaly since mid October, 2009. Much of the loss in AAM was from the mid latitudes of the NH. From the week of February 22-28 to March 19-25, 7-day averaged 250 mb Zonal Mean Zonal Winds decreased from about 43 m/s at 30°N to 33 m/s at 30°N-45°N. The decrease in relative AAM reduced the likelihood of an extended and southward displaced North Pacific Ocean jet, and associated Southern California El Nino impacts.

In fact, there has been no measurable precipitation at Downtown Los Angeles (USC) since March 6, 2010. Los Angeles rainfall is now 2.23 inches below normal for the month of March, and only 1.15 inches above the water year norm for the date.

In the last week there has been an increase in relative AAM from about 40°N to 50°N. The GWO and AAM appears to have bottomed out and cyclical subseasonal processes may be working to revitalize Western Pacific convection and El Nino related forcing. If the GWO continues its current orbit, relative AAM would be expected to increase in the 6-10 day period.

The GFS and ECMWF have been showing a strong Pacific jet and trough affecting the West Coast next week. There are significant differences in the GFS and ECMWF model solutions, and although 5-day model performance has been good recently, performance often suffers during seasonal transitions. This morning's 12z GFS puts the initial focus of the event in the Pacific Northwest early in the week. Precipitation is forecast to spread into Northern and Central California, and finally Southern California, as the week progresses, and the trough deepens and moves onshore.

It's way too early to say how this system will affect Southern California. Many processes are in play that could affect the amount of precipitation here, pro or con. Yesterday afternoon's 00z ECMWF appeared to project a wetter solution for Southern California than this morning's 12z GFS, with the upper low and trough evolving a little more to the west. It does look like there is the potential for heavy snow in the Sierra. We'll see!

Update 04/03/10. The frontal band and upper low associated with the trough that moved through the area overnight Wednesday into Thursday produced some showers and some spectacular clouds in the Los Angeles area. The bulk of the precipitation occurred from Central California north into the Pacific Northwest. The upper low stayed offshore as it moved down the coast and past the Los Angeles basin. Avalon and some mountain locations recorded more than 0.1 inch of precipitation, but generally amounts south of Pt. Conception ranged from a trace to few hundredths. Here's an archived copy of a NWS Public Information Statement with some rainfall totals from around the area. A similar system is forecast to produce some rain in Los Angeles area Sunday night. BUFKIT analysis of 18z NAM data for Van Nuys projects about 0.4 inch of precipitation. The 09z SREF shows a high probability of measurable rain, but a sharp decrease in the probability of more than 0.1 inch/day south of Pt. Conception. We'll see!

There was an interesting lenticular wave train northwest of Los Angeles earlier this month. The situation was peculiar because the wind at nearly all levels at that time was from the northwest, and the wind forming the wave clouds appeared to be from the north-northeast. The tops of the wave clouds were being sheared by winds blowing from the northwest (left to right). An ARL NAM-12 based wind profile for the area on March 10 for 06z, shows a possible source of the winds that produced the waves, as well as the shear. Here's an animated series of NRL satellite photos showing the complex wind and wave pattern at the time.

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

 

Friday, March 26, 2010 9:44:05 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |   | 
# Monday, March 08, 2010

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GOES-11 IR Satellite Image
March 6, 2010 - 3:00 p.m. PST

As forecast, an energetic upper low skirted the Los Angeles area yesterday on its way south into northern Baja, Mexico. As the low moved south, a vorticity lobe spinning around the low arced into the Southern California coast, producing rain, thunderstorms, waterspouts, and blustery winds.

Rain amounts were variable, generally ranging from about 0.25 inch to 0.75 inch around the Los Angeles area. Indicative of the convective nature of the precipitation, Downtown Los Angeles (USC) recorded 0.42 inch, while a few miles away LAX recorded only 0.18 inch for the storm. The water year total for Downtown Los Angeles now stands at 14.66 inches -- only 0.48 inch less than the annual norm of 15.14 inches. Here is an archived copy of NWS Public Information Statement with some more rainfall amounts for this rain event.

Reflecting the enhancement of El Niño by the MJO at the end of January, the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) for January-February has increased to 1.5. As discussed by Klaus Wolter, MEI originator, this is the highest value of the Jan-Feb MEI since the strong El Niño of 1997-1998, and the fifth highest MEI value for Jan-Feb since 1950. This places the El Nino of 2009-10 in the top 10% of MEI rankings for the season since 1950, and above the "strong" El Niño threshold, as measured by the MEI. Here is a chart comparing the current El Niño to others since 1950.

The increase in the MEI corresponds to the increase in relative AAM since mid January and underscores the potential role of the Global Wind Oscillation (GWO) in assessing the response of the atmosphere to El Niño. It also reinforces the notion that the El Niño phenomena is more than just warm SSTs in the central equatorial Pacific. As we've seen several times in recent years, warm SST anomalies in the Niño 3.4 region alone are not sufficient for evaluating an El Niño and its potential impacts.

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

 

Monday, March 08, 2010 9:05:26 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |   | 
# Thursday, March 04, 2010

AHPS 24 Hour Precipitation for the 24 hours ending March 4, 2010 - 4:00 a.m. PST Click
AHPS 24 Hour Precipitation
Ending March 4, 2010 - 4:00 a.m. PST

Tuesday's trough was even more feeble than expected south of Santa Barbara, barely managing to wet the streets and generate an official "trace" of rain in the Los Angeles area. Wednesday's upper low dug a little further south than expected, resulting in some moderate showers. Rainfall amounts were variable, generally ranging from a few hundredths in the basin to 0.25 inch or so at some mountain locations . Here are archived copies of NWS Public Information Statements with some rainfall amounts for Tuesday's trough and Wednesday's upper low.

Downtown Los Angeles (USC) recorded 0.06 inch of rain Wednesday, bringing the water year total (July 1-June 30) to 14.24 inches, which is 3.05 inches above normal for the date.

Another finicky upper low may produce some rain in Southern California this weekend. Just how much depends on the behavior of the low and it's proximity to the Southern California coast. If the low track is too far offshore, rainfall amounts could be dramatically reduced. This is well illustrated by 09z SREF plot showing the forecast probability that precipitation will exceed 0.1 inch for the 24 hr. period ending Saturday at 7:00 p.m. BUFKIT analyses of today's 18z NAM data for Santa Barbara, Van Nuys and LAX all produce about 0.3 inch of rain, mostly on Saturday.

Update 03/05/10 8:00 a.m. The models continue to have difficulty with the timing and precipitation amounts for this weekend's storm. This isn't surprising since small changes in the track of the upper low, the amount of moisture entrained, and other factors could have a big effect on the amount of rain in a particular region. Yesterday afternoon's run of the NAM generated nearly an inch of rain at Van Nuys, but this morning's 12z run of the NAM is back down to the neighborhood of 0.3 inch. Today's 09z SREF suggests the highest precipitation amounts may occur to the south of Los Angeles. Here's an SREF plot of the probability that precipitation will exceed 0.25 inch for the 24 hr. period ending 10:00 a.m. Sunday. We'll see!

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

 

Thursday, March 04, 2010 2:13:37 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    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  |   | 
# Thursday, February 25, 2010

GOES-11 Water Vapor Image (UW-MAD) February 25, 2010 - 7:00 a.m. PST Click
GOES-11 Water Vapor Image (UW-MAD)
February 25, 2010 - 7:00 a.m. PST

A weakening frontal band produced some light rain in Southern California yesterday afternoon and evening. Precipitation amounts in the Los Angeles area ranged from a trace to a few hundredths of an inch. Amounts were higher to the north, closer to the surface low. A few stations in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties recorded more than 0.5 inch and some recorded more than an inch. Here is an archived copy of a NWS Public Information Statement with some precipitation totals from around the area.

Today, a much stronger Pacific storm system begins to impact the West Coast, with the highest precipitation totals forecast for Northern California and the Sierra Nevada. BUFKIT analysis of this morning's 12z NAM data for Van Nuys generates about 1.3 inch of rain, beginning late Friday night and continuing into Saturday afternoon. The 18z NAM run starts the rain a little earlier Friday night, and extends the period of precipitation into Saturday evening. It produces about 1.8 inch of rain at Van Nuys over the period. Today's 09z SREF indicated a probability of about 50%-70% that precipitation in the Los Angeles area would exceed 0.5 inch for the 24 hr. period ending Saturday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. Precipitable water values approaching an inch and strong southerly low level inflow could produce higher rain rates and precipitation totals on south to southwest facing foothill and mountain slopes.

Since being reinforced by a strong MJO at the end of January, El Niño convection has remained active in the Central Pacific (animation). In terms of relative atmospheric angular momentum (AAM), the atmosphere's response is the strongest since the El Ninos of 1997-1998 and 2004-2005. Average AAM for our rain season (November to date) has increased from -0.046 at the beginning of the year to 0.341 as of February 23. This El Nino Comparison Chart shows how this El Niño compares to others since 1950.

So far this rain season, Downtown Los Angeles (USC) has recorded above average rainfall every month, except for November. And November's rain came early -- in October.

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

 

Thursday, February 25, 2010 8:26:22 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |   | 
# Saturday, February 20, 2010

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Yesterday's Weak Pacific System Moving Onshore
NRL NexSat Day/Night 02/19/10 4:00 p.m.

Last night's weak Pacific system had its moments, and managed to produce precipitation amounts ranging from about 0.1 inch to 0.25 inch in the Los Angeles area. Here is a NWS Public Information Statement with some precipitation totals. Downtown Los Angeles (USC) recorded 0.14 inches for the storm, increasing the water year total to 13.34 inches. The is 3.58 inches above normal for the date.

A moisture-starved trough on the downstream side of a pinched upper level ridge over the West Coast is forecast to dig southward and could produce some additional precipitation tomorrow. Today's 09z SREF indicated a probability of about 30%-50% that precipitation in the Los Angeles area would exceed 0.1 inch for the 24 hr. period ending Monday morning at 4:00 a.m. The forecast probability that it would exceed 0.25 inch over the same period is about 10%-30%.

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

 

Saturday, February 20, 2010 4:13:13 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |   | 
# Wednesday, February 10, 2010

AHPS 90 Day Precipitation (Percent of Normal) as of February 10, 2010 4:00 a.m. PST Click
AHPS 90 Day Precipitation (Percent of Normal)
February 10, 2010
4:00 a.m. PST

Yesterday's cold upper level low behaved about as expected, following a track just off the coast. Because of the convective nature of the system, rainfall amounts varied from under 0.25 inch to over 1.0 inch in some foothill and mountain locations. About a foot of snow was reported at the mountain resorts. Here is a NWS Public Information Statement with precipitation totals from around the area. Downtown Los Angeles (USC) recorded 0.44 inches for the storm, increasing the water year total to 13.2 inches. The is 4.78 inches above normal for the date.

Compared to the AHPS 90 Day Precipitation map from about 40 days ago, a fairly typical El Niño precipitation pattern has emerged in the West. Medium range models are projecting about a 7-10 day break in what has turned out to be a busy rainy season in Southern California. Assuming these forecasts verify, such a break could not come a better time for those threatened by mudslides and debris flows. The recent enhancement of El Niño convection by the MJO, and the ongoing phase 6-7-8 transition of the GWO might have resulted in a wetter pattern, and this has occurred in similar circumstances in past El Ninos.

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

 

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 3:34:58 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |   |