The month of May in California is usually known as the start of dry season, when sunny, warm conditions prevail across most of the West almost uninterruptedly for four months.
But Mother Nature is having a bit of a different idea.
An upper-level area of low pressure is spinning through southern California, delivering mostly light rain and mountain snowfall, but perhaps for many weather-weary Californians coming off the busiest wet season in decades, it’s an extension of the gloominess that dominated the winter months across the Golden State and much of the West overall.
Of course, the needed rain and snow this winter all but eliminated an historic and catastrophic five-year drought, but in many cases it was too much moisture, highlighted by the near-failure of the Lake Oroville dam in northern California earlier this year.
That said, flooding isn’t expected to be a major concern due to mostly light rain and snow amounts, but an extended period of cloudy and cool weather will dominate the weather picture over the next few days until the system leaves the region by the end of the week. The weather pattern features a ‘cutoff low’ over California and the Southwest, or an area of low pressure detached from the jet stream, leading to an overall slower movement of weather patterns. It’ll only slowly trudge east, leading to persistent cloudy, wet and cooler-than-average weather across the region.
As it moves east, however, it could lead to stronger storms in Colorado and the Midwest over the next few days.
Stay with WeatherNation for the latest on this system and the unusually active West pattern.
For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Chris Bianchi