GFS Modeled Water Vapor Analysis 02/09/14 00z
Automated Atmospheric River Detection (ESRL/PSD)
From July 1 to February 14 Downtown Los Angeles has recorded only 1.20 inches of rain. This is less than the 1.92 inches of rainfall recorded over the same period in 2006-2007, making 2013-2014 the driest water year to date since recordkeeping began in July of 1877. Downtown Los Angeles averages 14.93 inches of rain in a water year, July 1 through June 30.
Los Angeles recorded only a trace of rain in January, and so far this February has recorded only 0.23 inch. At the moment neither the GFS or ECMWF show any rain south of Pt. Conception through the morning of February 25. At that time both models have another high amplitude ridge over the West Coast, so unless something changes the chances for additional rain this month do not look good. The 1981-2010 normal rainfall for January is 3.12 inches and for February 3.80 inches.
Active weather in Central California culminating in a strong atmospheric river event February 8-9 produced double-digit precipitation totals in the coastal mountains and Sierra. Over the 5-day period ending Monday, February 10 at 3:15 pm precipitation totals as high as 23.51 inches were observed. Since February 12 another atmospheric river has been feeding moisture into Northern California and Oregon.
It looks like El Nino will be knocking at the door in the next 2-3 months and we'll have to see if the atmosphere and ocean respond. The third and strongest of a series of oceanic downwelling Kelvin waves is propagating into the Eastern Pacific and is increasing subsurface equatorial heat content in the Pacific basin. The CFSv2 forecasts Nino 3.4 anomalies to reach El Nino thresholds in May, however the IRI/CPC Plume-based and Consensus Forecasts are far less bullish, forecasting about a 30% chance of El Nino conditions in the AMJ season. We'll see!
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