A Cool and Wet October for California

The month of October has been significantly cooler than normal.  This was seen with average daily maximum and average daily mean temperatures that were below normal for all 9 key cities (see tables below).  The largest temperature anomalies were in the Sacramento Valley where temperature maxima averaged 5.8 and 4.6 degrees below normal at Redding and Sacramento respectively.  Close behind were San Francisco and San Jose with -3.5 and -3.6 degrees below normal.  Despite a period of warm dry Santa Ana winds in Southern California that led to fires, both San Diego and Los Angeles had average monthly maximum temperatures of about a half degree below normal.

Note that the Santa Ana winds are seasonally normal; they happen about this time every year, and some years are stronger than others. This talk in news stories of attributing the Southern California fires to global warming is just pure nonsense made up by some news organizations that don’t understand California’s seasonal weather patterns.

It was also generally wetter than normal with a couple of mid-month Pacific troughs that brought rain.  This is shown by more than twice the normal October rainfall at Eureka and Los Angeles.  Only Fresno (31%) and San Diego (84%) were below normal in precipitation. Note that San Diego was where we had a large fire concentration this year, like happened in 2002, but the remainder of the state had normal or above normal rain.

SF City

max

min

avg

rain

Month

66.9

54.2

60.5

2.01

Normal

70.4

54.6

62.5

1.19

Anomaly

-3.5

-0.4

-2.0

0.82

% Normal

169%

Max

82

62

Min

58

51

         

San Jose

max

min

avg

rain

Month

72.3

51.0

61.6

1.13

Normal

75.9

52.3

64.1

0.87

Anomaly

-3.6

-1.3

-2.5

0.26

% Normal

130%

Max

86

56

Min

64

44

         

Eureka

max

min

avg

rain

Month

60.8

46.9

53.9

4.90

Normal

61.3

47.7

54.5

2.36

Anomaly

-0.5

-0.8

-0.6

2.54

% Normal

208%

Max

74

55

Min

52

38

         

Redding

max

min

avg

rain

Month

72.6

48.9

60.7

2.96

Normal

78.4

48.0

63.2

2.18

Anomaly

-5.8

0.9

-2.5

0.78

% Normal

136%

Max

86

64

Min

57

42

         

Sacramento

max

min

avg

rain

Month

73.6

48.7

61.2

1.05

Normal

78.2

50.6

64.4

0.89

Anomaly

-4.6

-1.9

-3.2

0.16

% Normal

118%

Max

85

56

Min

58

41

         

Fresno

max

min

avg

rain

Month

76.5

52.2

64.4

0.20

Normal

78.1

51.9

65.0

0.65

Anomaly

-1.6

0.3

-0.6

-0.45

% Normal

31%

Max

91

58

Min

67

44

         

LA City

max

min

avg

rain

Month

78.9

58.0

68.5

0.95

Normal

79.0

59.9

69.5

0.37

Anomaly

-0.1

-1.9

-1.0

0.58

% Normal

257%

Max

95

65

Min

64

53

         

San Diego

max

min

avg

rain

Month

73.5

59.9

66.7

0.37

Normal

74.0

61.2

67.6

0.44

Anomaly

-0.5

-1.3

-0.9

-0.07

% Normal

84%

Max

88

64

Min

65

55

 With thanks to Jan Null, CCM

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10 thoughts on “A Cool and Wet October for California

  1. Oh, they know the weather patterns. They just don’t give a damn. Truly horrible self-serving journalism.

  2. I recently left Santa Clarita, where some of the fires broke out, but my family is still there.
    Ho-hum. Same-o-same-o. Every year at this time there are wild fires. You just hope the fire doesn’t get too near to your particular neck of the woods. However, the state/local reaction to the fires was pretty darn good this time. A small fire broke out about a mile from our place, but it was put out very quickly.
    I noticed the large number of reporters who implicated global warming(they never actually said it was causal). Being SoCal reporters, I found it truly disingenuous of them to implicate global warming. They know better than that. Cripes, the woods around Santa Clarita are the thickest I’ve seen since moving there – serious fuel for a fire.
    So October was cold for California? Hah! I’m no forecaster, but I am betting the decreased sun activity is going to cool things. If it happens, no doubt that alarmists will find a way to spin it and continue the “sky is falling” routine.

  3. You don’t say, Rev.

    I seem to recall hearing that abnormally high temperatures led to drought, which led to [seriousness of] the fire. The prevailing wisdom being, “I’m not saying it’s global warming. I’m just SAYING . . .”

  4. GOOD Lord. I just realized. After all these months. I am a Historian! We got Rules! We got Method! Just like you-all science boyz. I have neat little lists of formal and informal academic fallacies just waiting, begging, pleading to be applied!

    Fallacies of Circular Proof, Prevalent Proof, Appositive Proof, Accent, Multiple Analogy, Mechanistic Cause, Argumenti ad misericordium, ad modum, ad metum, ad superbiam . . . and that’s just a-scritch-scratching the surface. My babies! My Deadly Tools of Trade! I have left you abandoned. Can you ever forgive me? Your Ex wants you back!

    Maybe I do not come to this debate completely unarmed, at that! Maybe I can be of some small use around here after all!

    I feel a White Paper coming on . . . (more on this later, as this is obviously off topic). Word Up!

  5. Too much rain and/or higher than normal snow pack in the Sierra Nevada Mtns:

    The:USFS declares an increased threat of forest fires due to the increase in underbrush growth.

    Lower than normal rain fall and/or snow pack in the Sierra Nevada Mtns:

    The:USFS declares an increased threat of forest fires due to the decrease in underbrush growth.

    Hot or cold, wet or dry, California can’t win ;P

  6. We really didn’t have much of a summer at all here in San Jose. At least not so much in the way of really hot temperatures.

  7. Concur w/ lousy NorCal summer. In spite of technical drought conditions for the 2006 – 2007 rainfall year, it never really got very warm versus climatology. A few ironies. Dec and Jan it was often too cold to snow in the Sierra. Winds blew it away. Finally got good dumps up there late Feb into March, then again mid April into May. Was driving from Truckee to Sacto in early May, snow on the road past Nyack. Patches way down low for mid Spring. Then as you note, coolish summer in the Bay with troughy conditions. Got the fall chill July 19. Got cut off lows starting right after that. Then the real fronts started Labor Day. Everything about 60 days early.

  8. There are also some amazing botanical anomalies to report. Deciduous leaf turning began in early August in earnest, a full 45 days earlier than normal. While some of this can be ascribed to drought stress in the case of native flora such as Cottonwoods, Big Leaf Maples and naturally the ever early Buckeye, it has also been witnessed in hardy non natives such as Liquid Amber, Red Oak and Beech. I’ve never seen these latter turn so early in nearly 40 years! That is not drought stress, it is purely a response to the early cold intrusions which began July 19. Therefore, I label July 19 as this years begining of climatic fall in this bioregion. (Some interesting additional botanical notes – pollen levels (rain triggered) started to climb immensely in August (rightfully almost 90 days early!), Flowering Pears are now in full bloom (again, rain triggered, normally these do not start until late December at the earliest), and non native Spanish tall oat grasses sprouted well prior Halloween (normally, the earliest we’d see this is mid November). What lies in store during the last month of Fall and during Winter?

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