Wow, that’s a lot of water – major rainfall in SoCal

Southwestern USA, 7 day cumulative percent of normal, shown below:

Source from water.weather.gov

Have a look at the 7day  totals:

Source water.weather.gov

California benefits, Lake Mead benefits. That “Lake Mead will go dry due to global warming” is forestalled at the moment.

And the national composite (big file, 3400 pixels wide) for the last 24 hours:

My friend Jan Null who runs the Golden Gate Weather Services in San Franciscco writes in with these links:

The San Diego and Los Angeles NWS offices have posted some  excellent briefing materials about the ongoing heavy rain event.  See:

http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/sgx/WeatherBrief1221.pdf and

http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/lox/scripts/headline_download.php?get=20101221_1019.pdf

Since this event doesn’t follow the traditional ENSO patterns that NOAA predicts, I’m sure somebody will find a way to blame it on “global warming”:

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88 Responses to Wow, that’s a lot of water – major rainfall in SoCal

  1. incervisiaveritas says:

    You call that rainfall !
    A client of mine in Tweed Heads, New South Wales reported to me that they had received 14.5 inches in 36 hours a couple of weeks ago.

  2. Mariss says:

    I’m in Waikane, Hawaii and the storm event stretched from 1,000 km west of here all the way to SoCal. We got about the same amount of rain (about 7″ or 180mm) as California did over the same dates and number of days. An intense Kona low formed west of here that briefly became a named tropical storm (Okama? since deceased). It’s rare when the same weather event (Pineapple Express) produces weather in Hawaii and California simultaneously.

  3. Bryan A says:

    It is probably that huge blocking High Pressure over Canada & Greenland that is forcing the La Nina Storm Track farther south
    So definitely Global Warming caused

  4. Ian Cooper says:

    Reminds me of that ol’ Chicago song about being stuck in L.A., “South California Purples.” Now I know where the purple comes from. just check out the false colour maps!

    Cheers

    Coops

  5. Lance says:

    Well, perhaps, just maybe that Jet Stream slipped down a few states for a short bit and soon Wash. & B.C. will get back into wet again….naah, CAGW…yup….
    /sarc off … just in case…

  6. How much does that amount of liquid equal in snow in the Sierra Mountains in California? They might have said the total in the pdf but my computer won’t open pdfs.

  7. Bill Jamison says:

    Yes it certainly has been wet down here in SoCal. Unfortunately for the SoCal ski resorts it’s been relatively warm with snow levels between 8k and 9k feet meaning all rain. But snow levels should be dropping and hopefully they’ll get several feet of snow and the holiday season will be saved. Mammoth Mountain broke their record for most snow in December and most snow for the early season (a record set in 2004). They also claim “the most snow of any ski resort in the world” based on data from skiinfo.com.

    It’s been a wild and crazy fall in California! Record heat, record cold, extremely wet. I can’t wait to see what winter brings!

  8. Richard Patton says:

    Global warming is like is like the Neptune the ancient Greek god. Everything weather wise is caused by it. The worshipers of the ‘god’ must offer ‘sacrifices’ (preferably at other people’s expense) to keep the ‘god’ from getting angry and destroying civilization.

  9. pochas says:

    Just sayin’ but it seems like the effect of cosmic rays may be to dump water on coastal areas downwind of the oceans and leave continental interiors dry. California and UK are brothers in wetness.

  10. AK says:

    And the usatoday.com headline is: “Drought-plagued California copes with near-record rainfall” … I guess they didn’t get the message … CA had near-normal rainfall in 2008-09 and above-average rainfall in 2009-10. Even the Chicken Little-esque Department of Water Resources hasn’t used the word “drought” during the 2010-11 water year. I wouldn’t be too surprised if we broke the records from 1982-83 (which incidentally was an El Nino year).

    We have wet years and dry years. The hot political issue of 2005 was flood control, not epic drought. Even the Colorado Basin has wet and dry years … most years have below-average precipitation, but the periodic super-wet year refills Lake Powell and Lake Mead.

  11. JRR Canada says:

    So another drought as predicted by the team computer models?

  12. Frank K. says:

    “Since this event doesn’t follow the traditional ENSO patterns that NOAA predicts, I’m sure somebody will find a way to blame it on “global warming””

    Never fear, Anthony, they already have…

    From the LA Times:

    California farms, vineyards in peril from warming, U.S. energy secretary warns
    ‘February 04, 2009|Jim Tankersley

    WASHINGTON — California’s farms and vineyards could vanish by the end of the century, and its major cities could be in jeopardy, if Americans do not act to slow the advance of global warming, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu said Tuesday.

    In his first interview since taking office last month, the Nobel-prize-winning physicist offered some of the starkest comments yet on how seriously President Obama’s cabinet views the threat of climate change, along with a detailed assessment of the administration’s plans to combat it.

    Chu warned of water shortages plaguing the West and Upper Midwest and particularly dire consequences for California, his home state, the nation’s leading agricultural producer.

    In a worst case, Chu said, up to 90% of the Sierra snowpack could disappear, all but eliminating a natural storage system for water vital to agriculture.

    “I don’t think the American public has gripped in its gut what could happen,” he said. “We’re looking at a scenario where there’s no more agriculture in California.” And, he added, “I don’t actually see how they can keep their cities going” either.

  13. mr.artday says:

    From Christmas eve ’62 to the end of Jan ’63, Southern California got 4 yrs. of rain in 5 weeks. Most of the flat land was lakes. The disruptions to cattle ranching bankrupted most of the remaining Spanish land grant ranchers. If you lived in SoCal back in the 60s you can’t remember that happening because it happened a century earlier, in 1862/63. The deluge is mentioned in William H. Brewer’s enjoyable book; ‘Up and Down California” which is about his strenuous time in the Whitney Geological Survey of the state. So much for the CO2 caused global climate disruption touted by B.O.’s Junk Science Advisor, John Holdren.

  14. savethesharks says:

    I remember the former governor decrying the fires and blaming it on global warming.

    [Even though the fires of a few years ago were strongly related to the cold flip of the PDO].

    Now, Arnold, are you going to blame the exceptional precipitation on global warming too, right??

    Probably.

    Wow….cold PDO…..strong La Nina.

    This wasn’t supposed to happen.

    Mother Nature fools us again!

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  15. Brad says:

    Aren’t we in a La Nina period, thus your map predicts average to dry for Southern California?

  16. Douglas DC says:

    Well ,we aren’t exactly getting the typical El Nino dry/warmish winter, here in NE
    Oregon either.

  17. Karl says:

    I’d blame it on a persistent ridge over the western Pacific likely caused by warmer than normal water in that region, which has locked a trough in over the Gulf of Alaska-eastern Pacific where the water is cold compared to average. This pattern is tenacious and has held on for over a month.

  18. Richard says:

    I thought it never rains in Southern California?

  19. kramer says:

    Here’s something I never knew. Back in 1861, it rained for 45 consecutive days.
    http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local-beat/Scientists-cite-Atmospheric-River-for-Near-Continuous-Rain-112228904.html?dr

    (If this happened today, I’m sure it would be blame on you know what… )

  20. Ted Gray says:

    Amino Acids in Meteorites says:
    December 21, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    How much does that amount of liquid equal in snow in the Sierra Mountains in California? They might have said the total in the pdf but my computer won’t open pdfs.

    ———————————————————————————-
    Answer on news tonight = 4 meters of snow in 3 days -WOW

  21. R. de Haan says:

    If you want snow and cold, invite Al Gore.
    If you want rain, ask Steven Chu.

    Mother nature clearly takes care of climate hacks.
    It’s our task to remind them and the public about their failed statements.

  22. R. Gates says:

    Not often discussed here on WUWT, but the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) is an import very large scale atmospheric disturbance that is at the root of the current wet-weather in CA. A nice overview can be found here:

    http://wwa.colorado.edu/IWCS/archive/IWCS_2008_May_focus.pdf

    It is highly varible during La Nina periods, and usually less prominent during El Ninos. The last big MJO event for CA was during the strong La Nina of 2008.

  23. Jim Clarke says:

    Reports of tremendous amounts of rain in Southern California in the early 1860’s are obviously fabrications put fourth by Republican Earth Haters. Everyone knows that before humans started messing up the atmosphere, all was in perfect harmony, and extreme weather events did not happen. Did you know that there are almost no reports of hurricanes or tornadoes in North America until the evil white man moved onto the Continent? And the more evil, polluting, white men moved in…the more tornadoes and hurricanes. Thats a fact!

    Oh… and the Johnstown Flood was Bush’s fault.

    (May I have another happy pill now and could you loosen the straps on this jacket?)

  24. peterhodges says:

    mammoth pass received 5 inches of water per day for 3 days

    mammoth mountain, 15ft of snow total.

    that’s at the snow plot, it would be higher up on the ridges (the sierra crest). at our ski area it was at least twice as deep on top as at the snow plot, mostly due to higher snow ratios.

    town of mammoth lakes, 3-6ft of snow

    http://www.ladwp.com/ladwp/cms/ladwp013390.pdf

    http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/queryF?MHP

    http://patrol.mammothmountain.com/

  25. peterhodges says:

    R. Gates says:
    December 21, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    Not often discussed here on WUWT, but the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) is an import very large scale atmospheric disturbance that is at the root of the current wet-weather in CA. A nice overview can be found here:

    http://wwa.colorado.edu/IWCS/archive/IWCS_2008_May_focus.pdf

    It is highly varible during La Nina periods, and usually less prominent during El Ninos. The last big MJO event for CA was during the strong La Nina of 2008.

    rgates is correct, our local weatherman is on top of the mjo and regularly makes much better long term predictions than noaa based on adding the mjo into the mix

    http://mammothweather.com

    REPLY:
    And it comes full circle, Howard is one of my clients. I supplied his weather station – Anthony

  26. Common Sense says:

    All of these storms are pounding the Colorado mountains with snow while Denver and the plains get nada. It’s been the driest autumn I can remember. Nice not to have to commute in white stuff though.

    Crested Butte is expected to get 8 FEET of snow just from this current storm.

    Denver? It MAY rain some on Thursday, whoop-de-do. I really need to water the garden.

  27. Baa Humbug says:

    With due deference to Mick ‘Crocodile’ Dundee, that’s not rain….

    (In Northern Queensland we are expecting over 400mm to 500mm between xmas day and new year.)

    …..this is rain.

  28. Jay Currie says:

    Here in Victoria we just get the edge wind.

  29. Jeff L says:

    “Since this event doesn’t follow the traditional ENSO patterns that NOAA predicts ….”

    The biggest problem with NOAA is all they look at (basically) is Nino 3.4. No other teleconnection patterns are really factored into their forecasts – which is why you get major busts like we are seeing now. If all other teleconnections are weak, MEI can be used to generate a reasonable forecast. If other teleconnections are strong, then MEI is just another variable in the equation. But why should this surprise us – they put all their long term climate eggs in 1 CO2 basket. The busts we routinely see in seasonal forecasts should indicate to all that no aspect of weather or climate can be characterized by one variable. That is simply naive thinking.

    In looking at what has happened with this event, IMHO, it looks like the normal position of the Gulf of Alaska low has moved considerably south – so instead of storms rotating around this center & into the Pacific northwest (as they would with a standard position), they are rotating around around into central & southern California. I could strong make an argument for global cooling based on this observation – and in fact we are seeing the monthly data trending down. I might make a longer post on this later as I think this event has some interesting climatological implications / inferences that can be made.

    I have been noticing what seems to me to be a lot of unusual patterns this winter in terms of the position of surface & upper level features relative to each other – unusual offsets both south & north. Any other mets think they are seeing these anomalies as well?

  30. David says:

    Re Bill Jamison says: December 21, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    BTW Bill, the record heat was one or two days. Consistently it has been cooler then normal.

  31. crosspatch says:

    Looking at the radar here, it looks like nearly all of the California coast is getting rain. This would be from Eureka all the way down to San Diego.

    http://radar.weather.gov/Conus/

  32. Martin Brumby says:

    C’mon, people!

    The Science is Settled!

    Quit gazing out of the window and concentrate on what your computer models are telling you!

    Now if only we had even more Teraflops……

  33. rbateman says:

    Since this event doesn’t follow the traditional ENSO patterns that NOAA predicts, I’m sure somebody will find a way to blame it on “global warming”:

    I blame it on the lack of ” global solar warming”.
    La Nino or El Nina, take your pick.
    After looking at the pic of the ‘eye’ in the Pacific storm this week, I am tempted to call this a dead-stick solar phenomenon what with those huge Jet Stream loops that NASA was so kind to point out.

  34. Take a look at my forecast made three years ago, for the past week, let me know how much you think I missed it.

  35. oldseadog says:

    Amino Acid,
    My Met lecturer said the rule of thumb was 12″ of snow = 1″ of water.

  36. David L says:

    Clearly it’s global climate disruption. But for the past 31 years it’s been all about the warming. Until the warming stopped and the disruptions began. I predict, however, that they will start with the “new and unprecedented disruption” line of reasoning and then the next decade will be calm as a lamb. Nature simply doesn’t want to cooperate with these foolish AGW folks that think they are so smart and so wise. My grandmother would say “do not trust prophets that eat bread”.

  37. 1DandyTroll says:

    Can we really trust those imaginary satellite picture, however colorful and pretty they might seem at first glance instead of trusting in the Schmidt-Hansen litany, which goes something like this: Do not trust in the observed results from puny human built mechanical apparatus’s, but feel and feel that tingling sensation of warmth that feeling give rise to as you feel your models results are true.

    I only ask because that Schmidt-Hansen litany might actually work, it seems. Yesterday the instrument told of -16.7° C, but brave as I am I ventured outside. The global warming induced snowing that had been going on for weeks had stopped and I calculated the probability to be on the up and up that it could be fairly safe what with the whole thing about instruments not being completely trustworthy. Any how, so I went outside, in my beach shorts, re-iterating the Schmidt-Hansen litany over and over again, for almost 17 minutes, at which point I started to feel warm all over, from the nether parts up, well, in the one limb I still could feel something with after the involuntary micturate–which I readily observed, as I did with the purple skin going blue and black from, what appeared to might be, hypothermic freezer burn, but with equally scientific and climatic reasoning ignored as a potential probable explanation to infer into the Schmidt-Hansen Feel-Good Model. I did feel a warm tingling sensation of utter cozy back-at-home-hearth warmth before the angels came and took me away with the pretty blue swooshing lights and the trumpets calling and all.

    The doctor did say I might feel a bit confused until I get properly hydrated. OMG, right, I got warmer and drier even do ’twas cold as hell. :p

  38. Rhys Jaggar says:

    ‘How much does that amount of liquid equal in snow in the Sierra Mountains in California? They might have said the total in the pdf but my computer won’t open pdfs.’ 11ft and counting in Mammoth – they have some of the highest snowfall totals I’ve ever seen for a valley station. Only once in Feb 1990 in Europe where a similar storm dumped 4m across swathes of France and Italy compared in my experience.

  39. Ric Werme says:

    oldseadog says:
    December 22, 2010 at 1:10 am

    > My Met lecturer said the rule of thumb was 12″ of snow = 1″ of water.

    The general rule of thumb in New England is 10″ of snow from 1″ of water, a “fluff factor” of 10. However, it varies hugely. Heavy, wet, choke-the-snowblower snow is about 5, I’ve seen it as high as 30X or so but usually with light snow fall.

    Lake effect, ocean effect, and something called a “NorLun trough” often bring deep fluffy snow. Three years and a day ago I got 15.2″ of fluff factor 14.1 snow from a norlun trough.

    As a matter of fact, three years ago today, I had 24″ of snow on the ground. Today I have none! The biggest snow event this season is 0.8″. There’s been more south of me, north of me, west of me, and there would more more east of me but it’s just ocean that way. Well, east of me is ME (Maine) first, and I think they’ve had more than me too.

    And Joe D’Aleo had the temerity to suggest 2007/2008 as an analog year. He even used one of my photos of the 8 foot snowblower pile I made. It would be higher, but I had to shovel it down because that was as high as the snowblower could reach. Ultimated I had 129.5″ (329 cm) of snow, by far the most of any season here. Sigh.

  40. Jeff L says:

    Forgot to posted this related bit of information –

    Here on the Colorado Front Range (east side of the mtns), we are actually setting a record for the least cumulative snow to date. As of today, Denver has 1.5″ of snow total for the season. We have records back through 1881 & have never seen this little snow by this late in the season (we should be approaching 25″ by this date).

    Data source:

    http://www.crh.noaa.gov/bou/?n=denver_snowfall

    As I said before – very unique pattern right now.

  41. kcom says:

    How come the Cumulative Percent of Normal map scale starts at zero? Shouldn’t negatives be possible?

  42. Mike Lewis says:

    Does anyone know if the Lake Mead water level data is available on a daily basis? When I saw all the rain coming in, I wanted to see how quickly the level rose but didn’t find anything.

    TIA

  43. Myron Mesecke says:

    Maybe California can make some money during La Nina’s piping water to Texas. We could use some rain.

  44. savethesharks says:

    R. Gates says:
    December 21, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    Not often discussed here on WUWT, but the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) is an import very large scale atmospheric disturbance that is at the root of the current wet-weather in CA.

    =============================

    Like you are introducing it to us for the first time!

    Pretty funny on another thread at an earlier time stamp about 45 minutes before this one you were still calling it the “MJO Oscillation.”

    What does that “O” stand for in “MJO”, R?

    Also, to put to rest something that you were “winging it” on (as is the case of nearly all of your posts)….such subject matter of the pineapple express more appropriately discussed on THIS thread……fresh off the press from Joe Bastardi this morning:

    “As it is, THIS IS NOT of the same genre of last year. There is NO PINEAPPLE express, unless someone is growing pineapples midway between the Aleutians and Hawaii. Amazing how that is being said. The reason for this is that lower thickness air ( colder in the deep means) has been helped out by the cold PDO and there has been plenty of warmth over the southwest.”

    “The natural clash of that jet aimed at that warm air produces heavy precip. I did not think it would get this far south, but just like the east better get while the getting is good with the chance of the major storm, much of the rest of the winter and into the spring should be dry in so cal.”

    “Its just that this la nina, and I suspect its because it is being driven by a large scale climatic event.. the PDO turning old, is making its point. For those that want to argue global warming, I will tell you the same thing I told people in Europe 2 Novembers ago when it was raining so much.. wet means colder.”

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  45. DB says:

    “Does anyone know if the Lake Mead water level data is available on a daily basis? ”

    Lake Mead data can be found here:

    http://lakemead.water-data.com/index2.php

  46. beng says:

    That’s some remarkable conveyor-belt of heavy moisture — from LA, CA, east-northeast to Cheyenne, WY. Punched thru all those mountains. That’ll recharge the Colorado R. watershed.

    When I spent Christmas in Salt Lake City ~1990 or so, nearby Park City got 80″ snow in 2 days (and the northeast corner of Salt Lake City got ~25″), but these current amounts put that to shame.

  47. Pull My Finger says:

    People in SoCal are whimps, if it isn’t 80 degrees F and sunny they rant about how climate change is destroying their lovely Californistan S.S.R.
    Baa Humbug says:
    December 21, 2010 at 10:10 pm
    With due deference to Mick ‘Crocodile’ Dundee, that’s not rain….

  48. rbateman says:

    savethesharks says:
    December 22, 2010 at 6:12 am

    Only (365/4) -2 days left until Spring.
    Winter is just getting started.

  49. Josik says:

    Global Warming in California – well known since 1972…..

  50. RHS says:

    Water content in snow can vary from as little as 3 inches of snow (nearly slush) to as much 60 inches to an inch of rain. At least according to the weather folks in Denver. This was in a story 9News ran with respect to a viewers question – is it ever too cold to snow. The gist of the story comes down to, it might be too cold to evaporate surface water, but it is never too cold to snow. Hence, snow in the Antarctic even in it’s dead of winter.

  51. Tim Clark says:

    R. Gates says:
    December 21, 2010 at 8:52 pm
    Not often discussed here on WUWT, but the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO).

    A veritable fount of wisdom you aren’t. The MJO is an NFL touchdown celebration performed by Julian Edelman and named by Commentator John Madden.

    REPLY: always add a /sarc tag, people can’t always determine this for themselves. Here’s info on the MJO:

    http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/MJO/mjo.shtml

    -Anthony

  52. Enneagram says:

    We are living in “Interesting Times”. I rejoice really. Buy more pop-corn!
    Wasn’t it that…

    Got on a board a west bound seven forty seven
    Didn’t think before deciding what to do
    All that talk of opportunities, TV breaks and movies
    Rang true, sure rang true.
    Seems it never rain in Southern California
    Seems I’ve often heard that kind of talk before
    It never rains in California
    But girl, don’t they warn ya
    It pours man it pours.
    Out of work, I’m out of my head
    Out of self respect I’m out of bread
    I’m under loved I’m under fed
    I wanna go home
    It never rains in California
    But girl don’t they warn ya, it pours, man it pours.
    Will you tell the folks back home I nearly made it
    Had offers but don’t know which one to take
    Please don’t tell them how you found me
    Don’t tell them how you found me give me a break
    Give me a break
    Seems it never rains in Southern California
    Seems I’ve often heard that kind of talk before
    It never rains in California
    But girl, don’t they warn ya
    It pours man it pours

  53. Enneagram says:

    Was it not that some guy called “Al Baby” by an English Lord, recently moved to California?

  54. Pamela Gray says:

    La Nina is usually frigid cold and dry for NE Oregon. But the weaker, thus wider AO circulation is interacting with the Jet Stream to cause on-shore systems all along the West coast to be much wetter. Our snow pack, under these conditions, is predicted to be above normal, maybe even way above normal. But we won’t be at -20 for weeks on end. The last time that happened, the Wallowa River froze up three or four winters ago. Mind you, that river is partially fed by warm springs as it snakes through the Wallowa Valley. It has to be polar cold for that river to freeze when it gets in the Wallowa canyon. That year we had very little snowpack and ended up having to shut down irrigation canals way earlier than usual.

    I, for one, am glad for wetter conditions. Instead of “minus friggin frostbite degrees”, we are at temperatures that are doable in terms of living comfortably. Snow can be removed. Frigid cold temperatures are much harder to plow out of my driveway.

    However, it was 12 degrees last night and yesterday’s high was 18 degrees. Cold enough.

  55. John from CA says:

    Pretty amazing:
    An “Atmospheric River” is so moist it can “move about 50 million liters of water per second, equivalent to a 100-meter-wide pipe gushing water at 50 kilometers per hour”.

    Can they include this behavior in climate models? Atmospheric Rivers are very common but the events that trigger them are unknown?

    http://tenaya.ucsd.edu/~dettinge/atmos_rivers.science.pdf

  56. Pamela Gray says:

    And I would add the MJO. However, this oscillation appears more often in weak La Nina months or neutral months. We are in a stronger La Nina period so I don’t expect this MJO condition to be around much longer. I do expect the negative, thus wider AO to stay put for a while. The pressure system parked off our shores (possibly kept there by the wider negative AO circle?) along the Washington and Oregon coast will keep us wet and cold.

  57. John from CA says:

    Thanks R. Gates, MJO article is very interesting and appears to throw a wrench into forecasting.

    “Strong MJO activity during the past winter [2007] is believed to have modulated the La Niña resulting in atypical La Niña impacts in in the western U.S.”

  58. Henry chance says:

    Humans and big oil are still causing forrest fires in southern Cal. Don’t believe what you read.
    Joe Romm will get on another messaging rant.

  59. JRR Canada says:
    December 21, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    So another drought as predicted by the team computer models?

    Wait. It is a special kind of drought, this one. Dry drought is bad enough, but wet drought is simply devastating.

  60. Pamela Gray says:

    It’s rotten rain.

  61. Tesla_X says:

    How bout an ARKstorm?

    http://urbanearth.gps.caltech.edu/winter-storm/

    Gotta Luv USGS…too bad we couldn’t plan for and BANK all this water.

  62. George E. Smith says:

    Quite amazing actually. If you ever fly in a light plane (low altitude) from the USA (CA) down to the Baja, you can easily tell exactly where the border is; because the ground color suddenly changes from green to brown going south.

    So how the hell did all this rainfall know to stop at the Mexico/US border ??

  63. George E. Smith says:

    And speaking of which,

    California Greenies continually refuse to allow the construction of more storage facilities in California, to collect this water, when wee get it.

    Wait till next summer, when the Socal golf courses are screaming for more free water from Nocal precious rivers that feed the whole Monterey Bay fisheries ecology. And the farmers along Hiway-5 will leave their fields fallow along that hiway for a quarter mile or so, so that they can advertise that the Congress, is mandating their dustbowl.

    Wonderful !

  64. R. Gates says:

    John from CA says:
    December 22, 2010 at 8:40 am
    Thanks R. Gates, MJO article is very interesting and appears to throw a wrench into forecasting.

    “Strong MJO activity during the past winter [2007] is believed to have modulated the La Niña resulting in atypical La Niña impacts in in the western U.S.”
    _____
    You’re welcome. It does appear that several forecasters are still a bit behind the curve in looking at the MJO, and thus they try to fit their analysis of certain events to more traditional ENSO models and expectations, but the very real but shorter term MJO effects need to be taken into account as variations or modulations on the longer term ENSO effects. And though some (or perhaps many) here on WUWT may disagree with me on this, I suspect it would be of value for more researchers to investigate the relationship between the MJO, traditional ENSO events, and the so-called El Nino Modoki:

    http://www.imarpe.gob.pe/tsm/Enso/Antec%202006/modoki-final.pdf

    http://www.usclivar.org/Organization/MJO%20WorkingGroup/MJOscience.html

    http://web.unbc.ca/~ytang/MJO.pdf

    Finally, I still find it interesting that some posters here want to look to the Far Northern Pacific for all the moisture hitting CA (especially last weekends). Undoubtedly cold air from the north slammed into the subtropical jet right over Southern CA, but main source of moisture was clearly subtropical, and of the “pineapple express” variety, though the addition of the colder air from the north modulated the warmer temps that are often associated with “Pineapple Express”/MJO events.

  65. John McManus says:

    Another tropical storm yesterday for Nova Scotia. Rain, 60-120 mph wd , storm surge ( high tides at full moon), flooding and temperatures in the 40’s. This is 3 tropical storms in 3 weeks – one on each Monday. Its going to stay ugly but warm until after Xmas. No snow for Santa.in

    The weird thing is the lack of wind when there is no storm (gale to hurricane). Since November 1 I have had no production from my wind turbine. Four days had high winds, the turbine furled and the rotor stalled. One day gusts kept sending output voltage above 120v AC and the inverter shut off on high limit. The other 47 days, the wind never blew hard enough to start the blades.

    It’s been a warm , strange fall and winter has begun the same.

  66. jukin says:

    Clearly the above average rainfall is a sure sign of AGW…unless..it is below average rainfall, then that is a sure sign of AGW.

    No matter what happens it is a sure sign of AGW.

    That’s what a real ‘Unified Theory’ is.

  67. Theo Goodwin says:

    Back in the Sixties, there was a wildly popular spectator sport that involved watching mansions slide down California hills. It was so popular, that a movie was made about the adventures of a collection of “California people” during their slide down a hill. The movie had some good actors and was wildly popular. On Amazon, you can buy books about various California drenchings. Unbridled rain in California is well known among those of us who have been around for a while.

  68. RoHa says:

    Wow. A bit of rain in America, and it’s a big story on WUWT.

    Meanwhile, Queensland has turned into a lake.

  69. Tesla_X says:

    “Clearly the above average rainfall…”

    ….has happened before, and will happen again….

    http://arwi.us/precip/Sympro2003/Roos.pdf

    See page 5.

    Merry Christmas Gents, always a good read here…

  70. John from CA says:

    Very interesting links R. Gates!

    They refer to MJO as a subtle trigger for ENSO due to the Easterlies and Kalvin Wave formation; 6-12 months prior to ENSO onset. If the decadal variation is correct we should have seen less MJO 2000-2010 and increased activity for the next 10 years.

    MJO activity appears to increase during La Nina dominated decades yet is independent of ENSO?

  71. Paul Vaughan says:

    I see AO mentioned, but not NPI. NPI goes nonrandomly in & out of phase with AO on a variety of timescales. Some of coupling states exhibit longevity. NPI also goes nonrandomly in & out of phase with SOI on a variety of timescales. Clarification: We’re not talking about random phase drifts; we’re talking about switch-flipping. So in layman’s terms, it might be constructive to think of NPI as a sort of coupling pivot between the Pacific & the Arctic. Knowing the state of ENSO isn’t as useful for predicting interannual Pacific Northwest variability as knowing the state of NPI (our local branch of the northern annular mode [NAM]). This can be clearly shown using complex correlation (which can see switch-flipping, enabling avoidance of mainstream climate science’s Simpson’s Paradox-based “reasoning”). The coupling matrix is nonrandomly multimodal.

  72. R. Gates says:

    RoHa says:
    December 22, 2010 at 2:41 pm
    Wow. A bit of rain in America, and it’s a big story on WUWT.

    Meanwhile, Queensland has turned into a lake.
    _____
    Both events, including the heavy snows in Europe, do not in any way “prove” that AGW is a valid hypothesis, but are entirely consistent with the acceleration of the hydrological cycle. For millions of years the earth has consistently responded to higher CO2 with an acceleration of the hydrological cycle. This natural negative feedback process takes CO2 out of the atmosphere through the acclerated weathering of rock. This is part of the basic carbon cycle on earth and is quite well established science. A very nice simple summary of the carbon cycle/CO2 relationship can be found here:

    http://www.columbia.edu/~vjd1/carbon.htm

    And some recent studies seems to show this hydrological acceleration is exactly what is occurring with our 40% increase in CO2 over the past few hundred years:

    http://www.umass.edu/newsoffice/newsreleases/articles/104895.php

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2010/10/global-warming-river-flows-oceans-climate-disruption.html

  73. It has long been my hypothesis that the great water erosion in Western Colorado, Utah, and down through the Colorado River were caused by an extreme Pineapple Express about 11,500 years ago. What we are seeing today is still only a drop in the bucket compared to what future generations will have to endure.

  74. John from CA says:

    Paul Vaughan says:
    December 22, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    ======

    The NPI dramatically shifted in 2009 but the data appears to be incomplete for 2010.
    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/jhurrell/indices.info.html#np

    AO and NAO shift was also dramatic in 2009.
    http://ioc-goos-oopc.org/state_of_the_ocean/atm/ao.php

  75. savethesharks says:

    R. Gates says:
    December 22, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Finally, I still find it interesting that some posters here want to look to the Far Northern Pacific for all the moisture hitting CA (especially last weekends). Undoubtedly cold air from the north slammed into the subtropical jet right over Southern CA, but main source of moisture was clearly subtropical, and of the “pineapple express” variety, though the addition of the colder air from the north modulated the warmer temps that are often associated with “Pineapple Express”/MJO events.

    ===================

    No.

    From Bastardi’s blog later on the same day:

    “I will be putting on a free site video later today explaining why the people saying this is the pineapple Express into California don’t know what they are talking about. The “connection,” so to speak, to the subtropics is non-existent, cirrus bands moving away from the max are not bringing in moisture. Instead you are seeing the product of systems that are very cold overall, slamming into a) an area that has been warm, the Southwest and b) higher terrain. The fast jet APPROACHING the coast, and then high ground, starts piling air up in front of the coast. But that very cold water in the northeaster Pacific has to be causing lower-than-normal 1000-500 mb thickness, and taking that air into the West is what is doing this. There have bee no convective bombs going off east of Hawaii and then feeding northeast, and convection around Hawaii is feeble at best.”

    “Again, that plume of moisture is high level and moving AWAY from the scene, not into it. We have a La nina and a remarkably cloud-free subtropic. Blaming it on that is like blaming the common cold for… I better not say, one can get in trouble with that implication.”

    =====================

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  76. Myrrh says:

    R.Gates
    Dec 22nd 3.44pm

    Re your first link: – http://www.columbia.edu/~vjd1/carbon.htm

    While we worry about possible global warming from the additional CO2 we put into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels, if there was no CO2 in the atmosphere the global climate would be significantly cooler.

    Proof? Constant repetition of such statements as this, doesn’t make it true. Why is it that whenever proof is asked for it’s never forthcoming? Prove me wrong, show me the proof.

    Decreased weathering means less CO2 being drawn from the atmosphere by weathering reactions, leaving more CO2 in the atmosphere to increase temperatures.

    CO2 is heavier than air. So, nothing to worry about here, it will come down anyway. To feed us, as we’ve evolved to be Carbon Life Forms because of it and its well known, except to AGWScience, properties. Who will educate the educators?

  77. Chad says:

    Where I live(southern California) we only got swiped by the end of the storm. It’s still been a steady 6 or so days of light/medium rain with occasional breaks. I can only remember one other time in the last 13 years it’s rained for almost a week.

  78. Theo Goodwin says:

    R. Gates says:
    December 22, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    RoHa says:
    December 22, 2010 at 2:41 pm
    Wow. A bit of rain in America, and it’s a big story on WUWT. Meanwhile, Queensland has turned into a lake.
    _____
    “Both events, including the heavy snows in Europe, do not in any way “prove” that AGW is a valid hypothesis, but are entirely consistent with the acceleration of the hydrological cycle.”

    How old are you? Twelve? The events in California and Britain/Europe are par for the course! There is nothing earth shaking in either of them. On several occasions in my rather long life, I have endured periods of drenching rain that lasted for months. For example, St. Louis in 1973, 1982, and 1993. In 1982, I regularly crossed a bridge that usually stood 60 feet above the Missouri River when the river water was lapping the beams directly underneath the highway. I have endured heat wave, drought, snow that refused to melt for months, you name it. That kind of stuff is common place. If you are going to talk about weather or climate, you need to get a little experience outdoors.

    If the weather that we are experiencing now, somewhere in the world, is evidence of an advancing hydrological cycle then that cycle has constantly advanced throughout my lifetime and, in fact, is now slowing, not advancing.

    I swear to g-d that pro-AGW folks have no ability whatsoever to recognize a fact, describe it, put it into perspective, and not exaggerate it to high heaven.

  79. Roger Carr says:

    1DandyTroll says: (December 22, 2010 at 4:10 am) Can we really trust those imaginary satellite picture…

    Neat, Dandy! I needed that.

  80. sky says:

    For the last few days CA has had water–not weather!

  81. Paul Vaughan says:

    Re: John from CA

    Casual readers might not notice that you’re mixing raw values & anomalies. Websites should never provide only anomalies. I’m not against the provision of anomalies, but it gets mighty irritating when one often has to make a seriously concerted effort to track down either raw values or a climatology to go with the anomalies — absolutely unacceptable.

    Watch out for sloppy joins in the AO time series. Plan on doing a lot of diagnostics. That whole record needs a consistent rework (to overcome the current patchwork of era-dependent anomalies) that is mindful of seasonality (to overcome untenable EOF assumptions). The AO series available are still useful, just not nearly as useful as they could be for data explorers. The custodians should be able to do a much better job.

  82. And the NOAA continues to predict a dry winter.

    http://rimoftheworld.net/6239

    Are they on the same planet we are?

  83. Stephen Wilde says:

    The quiet sun has affected the polar vortices especially in the northern hemisphere to shift all the Earth’s air circulation systems equatorward.

    During the late 20th century period of active sun the reverse happened with the air circulation systems shifted poleward.

    The solar influence is strong enough to modify the characteristics of the system response to El Nino and La Nina events although ENSO events (or more precisely the net state of all the global ocean surfaces combined) do also in turn modulate the solar forcing.

    In due course I think we will find that the changes in solar activity levels alter the vertical temperature profile in the atmosphere via chemical reactions involving ozone and that differential heating or cooling at different levels in the atmosphere actually reverses the sign of the effect normally assumed by established climatology.

    Thus a cooling stratosphere is actually a natural climate response to an active sun and a warming stratosphere is actually a natural climate response to a quiet sun.

    CO2 and CFCs not involved after all.

  84. Stephen Wilde says:

    “If the weather that we are experiencing now, somewhere in the world, is evidence of an advancing hydrological cycle then that cycle has constantly advanced throughout my lifetime and, in fact, is now slowing, not advancing. ”

    Exactly. And the measure of the speed of the hydrological cycle is the latitudinal position of the air circulation systems and/or the meridionality/zonality of the mid latitude jests.

    More jetstream meridionality means more clouds and a higher global albedo for less solar energy into the oceans and net system cooling. The opposite for more zonality.

    More meridional jets requires a warming stratosphere which occurs when the sun is quiet and not when it is active. An active sun gives a cooling stratosphere as per past observations.

    A more active sun speeds up the hydrological cycle as part of system warming by causing a cooler stratosphere so that energy can flow upward faster but at the same time more energy enters the oceans for net warming overall because cloudiness and albedo both decline.

    A less active sun slows down the hydrological cycle as part of system cooling by causing a warmer stratosphere so that energy flows up more slowly but at the same time less energy enters the oceans for net overall cooling because cloudiness and albedo both increase.

  85. John from CA says:

    Paul Vaughan says:
    December 22, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    Watch out for sloppy joins in the AO time series. Plan on doing a lot of diagnostics. That whole record needs a consistent rework (to overcome the current patchwork of era-dependent anomalies) that is mindful of seasonality (to overcome untenable EOF assumptions). The AO series available are still useful, just not nearly as useful as they could be for data explorers. The custodians should be able to do a much better job.

    =====
    Thanks Paul

    The AO link I posted:
    “Daily and monthly AO (AAO) indices are constructed by projecting the daily and monthly mean 1000-hPa (700-hPa) height anomalies onto the leading EOF mode.”

    I also ran across this paper:
    EOF representations of the Madden-Julian Oscillation and its connection with ENSO
    Kessler, W.S., 2001: J. Climate, 14, 3055-3061
    http://faculty.washington.edu/kessler/abstracts/k01-eofmjo-abstract.html
    data: http://faculty.washington.edu/kessler/mjo/revision.html

  86. kuhnkat says:

    Yup, we got about 8″ so far and our average for December is 1.6″ just east of LA!!

  87. Paul Vaughan says:

    Re: John from CA

    Thanks for those MJO links. A few clicks (to look at the graphs) and it was crystal clear that the EOFs are spatial derivatives. This goes a long way towards understanding why the early ’90s SOI pattern baffled the mainstream climate science community. (The preceding insights without reading any text — indeed, pictures are worth 1000s of words.) Do they realize the connection with QBO? (might have to read to see, with an eye to how IOD ties in…)

    Thanks again John — much appreciated.

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