When will wet weather return in the west?

It is said that if you don’t like the weather, wait a bit. The year 2023 has started with wet and windy weather in the West and warm in the East… but all that is about to change.

California always seems to need rain, but this is getting ridiculous. During the first two and a half weeks of January, downtown San Francisco received nearly 9″ of rain. That’s more than 3 times the normal amount! This is their second wettest January in 23 years… and February is still over a week away. It’s a similar situation in downtown Sacramento, as they have received more than 7 inches of rain so far this month… also three times their normal amount.

Southern California is just as wet. In downtown Los Angeles, more than 8 inches of rain fell this month, four times the normal amount. Santa Barbara has also received nearly 8 inches of rain, while San Diego has received four times normal rainfall so far.

All of this rain is great news for the state’s reservoirs, which just a few months ago were at extremely low levels. Lake Oroville is California’s second largest reservoir, and has rise more than 130 feet since Thanksgiving. The state’s largest reservoir, Lake Shasta, is up more than 60 feet since November.

Although it’s been wet lately in the west, it’s been warm in the east. So far, Boston, Massachusetts and Portland, Maine have all had about a third of their normal snowfall. And those in New York City are still waiting for the first flowers of the season! The parade of Pacific storms has flooded the eastern half of the country with relatively mild temperatures since Christmas. only one major arctic outbreak in mid-Decemberbut high pressure over eastern Canada has prevented any additional cold snaps in the US recently.

But as Bob Dylan once said: time, they are changing. Long-range computer models, such as GFS, are forecasting a large high-pressure band to develop over the west coast and dry them out through the end of January. And while the west will be dry, higher-amplitude flows will continue to keep much of the northeast temperate. The Ohio Valley should be wet.

The 500mb GFS model forecast for Wednesday, January 25, shows high pressure in the west and a strong upper low in Kansas.

This is a winter pattern that the west coast has seen too often lately; High pressure pushed the storm’s path north, and the drought continued. But the long-range models are offering some hope this time around.

There is good agreement among models that the high pressure band developing on the west coast will move westward into the central Pacific by the end of the month, allowing stormy weather to return to the coast. west in early February. The The Madden-Julian Oscillator will enter Phase 3could be wet for California…except the pacific circulation pattern won’t support that this time around.

Over the past three weeks, the jet stream has been very partitioned across the Pacific: there have been no major fluctuations north or south, which has resulted in the atmospheric river after the atmospheric river smashed into California. . With strong high pressure developing in eastern Pacific, wet regional flow over the entire Pacific should not turn back. So while the west will get out of dry weather and see soggy conditions return in early February… it’s not the heavy rain and snow they have to start the year with.


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