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Exctreme Drought Still Grips California, but Moisture Could Be on the Way

23 Jan 2015, 2:47 pm

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It’s been a rough last couple of years for California in terms of long, dry spells of weather. Much of the state is still enduring extreme to exceptional drought conditions and now that we are almost smack dab in the middle of winter, we are still reporting below average in terms of snowfall for the Sierra Nevadas. Thanks to snowmakers and groomers, it’s not slowing skiers and snowboarders down. Below is a look at a shot from Friday at the gorgeous Heavenly Ski Resort around Lake Tahoe, California. A beautiful day and much of the weekend will remain calm and sunny as well.

The pattern finally looks like its going to change a bit as we travel into early Monday for Southern California as a possible closed low pressure system yields an increase in moisture. What is a closed low? A closed low is one that is apart from the parent river of weather also known as the jet stream. The jet stream steers our weather patterns across the Northern Hemisphere. When a low detaches itself, the disturbance loses its steering mechanisms. As a result, it can sometimes remain stationary for an extended period of time or start migrating against the zonal (west-east) flow of Northern Hemispheric weather patterns.

In this case, the low will retrograde (move west instead of east) ever so slightly from the Baja Peninsula toward the Pacific coast, spin over Southern California for a brief period of time, before being pulled back up in the jet stream by later next week. So what does all that nerdy, atmospheric jargon mean for you? Well, it just simply means you’ll likely see valley rain and mountain snow by early next week possibly lingering into the middle of the week. We are still too far out to narrow down on any snow or rain totals, but for right now, I think expecting some moisture to arrive is a likely welcomed sight for next week.

The forecast model depicted below shows rain moving into Southern California by early Monday morning.
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Merry Matthews


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