California may get hit by another big wet storm next week

Having just finished one storm, another atmospheric river storm is possible for California next week. Details are uncertain this far out, but the system could bring heavy rainfall, higher snow levels, gusty winds, and renewed flooding concerns.


From the NWS forecast discussion:

Dry weather continues into Monday as high pressure aloft brings slightly warmer than normal temperatures. That will quickly come to an end however, as the next atmospheric river takes aim at the

West Coast. The plume of moisture will initially be aimed at the Pacific Northwest, but confidence is increasing that the firehose will shift southward, bringing another round of moderate to heavy precipitation to Northern California midweek. Given the already high river/creek stream levels, flooding will continue to be a problem if this pans out.

112 thoughts on “California may get hit by another big wet storm next week

      • Hey expat if you know anything about our weather in the Uk you would know that this is the wrong kind of rain and doesnt count!!

    • So those hundred year storms that only come every ten years, are now coming every ten days.
      We are getting a veritable river of rivers.

    • We’ll, California’s reservoirs are running 112% on average as of last night. It will never be reported as such though, only how bad the rains/flooding are (due to climate change).
      Here’s how it is being sold, AGW causes more droughts AND flooding (aka extreme weather). Even though these events have been happening for millennia in this state. The usual Fake News.

      • And this was not even the big one…..imagine if or when this happens again with all our ‘new’ infrastructure since 1861……….
        Beginning on December 24, 1861, and lasting for 45 days, the largest flood in California’s recorded history occurred, reaching full flood stage in different areas between January 9–12, 1862. The entire Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys were inundated for an extent of 300 miles (480 km), averaging 20 miles (32 km) in breadth. State government was forced to relocate from the capital in Sacramento for 18 months in San Francisco. The rain created an inland sea in Orange County, lasting about three weeks with water standing 4 feet (1.2 m) deep up to 4 miles (6 km) from the river.[1] The Los Angeles basin was flooded from the San Gabriel Mountains to the Palos Verdes Peninsula, at variable depths, excluding the higher lands which became islands until the waters receded. The Los Angeles basin lost 200,000 cattle by way of drowning, as well as homes, ranches, farm crops & vineyards being swept-away.

      • So global warming/climate change/disruption means that weather will no longer be average every day like it was before 1950, but will consist of days that are rainier or dryer than average and/or warmer or colder than average.

      • CA reservoirs are at 112% of average storage (current storage [18M AF] / average storage [16M AF]). They are currently at about 66% of capacity (current storage [18M AF] / capacity [27M AF]).

      • HiFast, the percentage of the historical ‘average’ storage is a better indicator of trends. It is up to 113% from 112% as of today. You would not compare sea ice coverage in the arctic, with that of total global sea area, including the area’s that never freeze.

      • There is a great book which includes a chapter about all that rain called ‘Up and Down California, 1860-64’. It has a lot of great stories about an early evaluation of California’s resources.

    • Physically, it will end the Mini-Drought. Politically, it won’t because the extra money being charged for water deliveries to (supposedly) ease the situation. The situation was a short-lived event for most of the State. In my county, Trinity, they are refusing to remove the extra charges, having gotten addicted to the $$$.

      • In my county (San Luis Obispo) it appears water prices will remain escalated, but there’s a referendum in progress no one is allowed to vote on.
        It makes me feel better!

      • Anyone talking of building a nice BIG dam yet? They sure could use another one. It would stop all that fresh water from getting into the ocean and creating all kinds of claimed damage.

      • San Diego county was technically no longer in a drought last year. The county also made provisions to handle drought periods, taking action to secure more water and find more water sources when the rest of the state just sat by. Of course When Governor Brown made a blanket save 30% of your water across the state, ignoring San Diego’s situation, the county was flooded with water, not know what to do – they filled a new reservoir which wasn’t suppose to be filled until 2020, over the last two years, so now it is full a full 4 years early. Also a desalination plant was opened, so there was a surplus of drinkable water as well. County water board asked Los Angeles DWP to turn off the clean water flow to San Diego, and DWP said they couldn’t so we now have processed water going into reservoirs again, which will have to be reprocessed when needed. Of course with a 30% drop in sales, and the same structure needs, we all got hit up with higher water bills.

      • The city I live in in SoCal raised our water rates this year because we were conserving water. They weren’t making enough money because everyone was cutting back. Where’s the incentive to conserve when we are going to be charged higher rates? Many town folks filed protests including myself but they fell on deaf ears. Will the higher rates be scaled back when the drought comes to an end? No way!

      • Well Moonbeam isn’t the only dilbrain we have produced in California to foist on the nation.
        Take our newbie Senator Boxer wannabee; that Camela Harris for you outsiders.
        So she gets her 15 minutes of fame in the new Senate; when she is asked to grill the new to be head of the CIA. That’s our top visible spook agency; They spy on spies who are spying on the spies.
        So she reads the wrong teleprompter or cheat sheet, and starts asking him if he believes in global warming or if he believes in those who believes in global warming.
        Could somebody take this Camela by the hand and lead her to the right meeting room where they are discussing the NASANOA budget..
        My fellow Californians actually asked for this silliness.

    • Lots of folks felt that way in the 19th C. There were debates about whether the Big Tomato was “viable.” Yet, to quote Dave Stamey’s The Vaquero Song, “Todavía estoy aquí I an still here.” Now, if the chunk south of the San Gabriels and west of the mountains went, many would cheer.

    • Okay, I understand Scary-Mento to get rid of a certain individual who wants to limit cow farts.
      How about Hollywood as well? Sorry to say so but they are all so self-serving in their “save the planet” nonsense. We had the oh-so-wonderful Jane Fonda visit the oilsands in northeastern Alberta, Canada, this week. Always makes for capillary-popping news (in my case, at least). These leaches on society, who have made countless millions, consider themselves “experts” because people adore them. Not enough barf bags in the world.

      • Spotted owls in silicon valley are being replaced by Apple / Google rabbit warrens.
        I used to watch spotted owls, Chinese ring neck pheasants, and ground squirrels all cavorting together in a field alongside highway 101 while sitting in a nearby restaurant at lunch.
        What field ? There are no fields in silicon valley, just concrete replacements and baby factories.

        • George, you know where Hewlet-Packard is, near Valco? I worked my way through HS picking plums in the orchards that used to be there.
          Silicon Valley was a very beautiful place to live in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Probably before that, but I wasn’t around to see it.
          The computer boom built my house and I got to retire early, but there was a large cost. I don’t live there anymore.
          San Luis Obispo county is still nice though. A lot like Santa Clara in the 70’s. So I moved.

  1. Thank God for global warming, else this 200 year megadrought of unprecedented scale never seen in modern history could have been much worse. Or something like that.

  2. If only the ‘water starved’ region had had the common sense to build hundreds (thousands) of acre feet of flood water storage capacity! Oh Yea – they were too busy spending money on climate change to be interested!

    • No. I live in California and have a background in hydroelectric operations. CA liberals in state government have deemed that no new reservoirs can be built because they do not like the environmental impact to the affected river/stream habitat. Rivers/stream are pure environment but reservoirs are an abomination. I don’t understand because there is plenty of natural lakes, like Tahoe. Environmental restrictions have radically impacted the longer term viability of this state in many ways, such as agriculture, ground water, ranching, farming, timber harvesting, mining, energy production, land development, manufacturing.

      • John, I know your problem.
        You have assumed the legislature in California operates on logic, understands the history of your state and can complete a cost benefit analysis.
        Silly you.
        I recommend you report to Jerry Brown for reindoctrination.
        (I think you went wrong when you decided to become an engineer.)
        P.S. Your other alternative is to relocate; I escaped my miders in NY/NJ for South Carolina.
        Our Rednecks are friendly, tolerant, intelligent and even rational (if you don’t count our Senator). We even just won a National Championship!

      • If we are going to step on toes, we might as well blacken some toenails. How about a low dam across the Golden Gate like they were proposing in 2011 to protect against Catastrophic Anthropogenic Sea Level Rise(tm)?
        “SAN FRANCISCO — A giant tidal barrier stretched across the Golden Gate is among the adaptation remedies proposed by a Bay area nonprofit to cope with anticipated sea level rise caused by climate change over the coming century.”
        Ignore the scary numbers in the 2011 article. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers actually used 0.9 ft in a century (start date = 1987) for sea level rise for freeboard to construct an ocean levee project in 2006 in So CA, so we can use that for consideration.
        A 1-ft high (say above Mean Higher High Water (MHHW) + real freeboard) sea water intrusion barrier across the GG would eventually convert the entire bay + delta into a huge fresh water reservoir. The Harvey O. Banks Pumping Plant could suck with reckless abandon without concern about delta salinity. Excess SF Bay fresh water would weir free flow over the barrier into the ocean, or maybe add some gravity flap gates plus low-head hydro for real true green electricity generation. Add locks for Silicon Valley yachts.
        There is a some (but not much) \sarc in the foregoing.

      • Not to mention that California mandates 50% off all the water collected be allocated to “the environment” and is dumped into streams and rivers. Another 40% goes to agriculture and only 10% is allocated to the population. So basically the idiots in Sacramento believe fish are more important than its residents whose taxes pay their salaries.
        There never was a “drought.” Just a complete mis-allocation of water resources by Green Weenies.

      • Isn’t the dam on Lake Tahoe interfering with the migration of the Delta smelt or the spotted owl? That dam has to go for the good of the environment. I also suspect that Governor Moonbeam can build a tunnel that will allow the water from Tahoe to flow into the Sacramento Valley making it available to moving to Southern California and restoring the steelhead migration of 50,000 years BCE. This would only be reducing the amount that is lost to evaporation.

      • The north state doesn’t need the dams and the south can afford desalination. We have water they have sunshine. Win-win.

    • Sage, 50 years ago there wasn’t any “water starved” situation in CA. This is a purely political problem. We needed to spend money on schools here you see, and look what we got! The worst schools in the nation! Obviously, money can’t buy good teachers! It’s called “ethics”; teachers in California just can’t be bought.
      Then there were the roads. Have you had the pleasure f driving from Nevada to California? You must have noticed how much better CA roads are!
      Then there’s power infrastructure; by several accounts California has the oldest power infrastructure in the country, and proud of it! Some of California’s power system predates Edison! It goes all the way back to the Druids. 🙂

      • Currently at 0 degrees F and a foot and a half of snow on the ground in southeastern Washington State valleys, if the TPW flow hits our state, we will have some freezing rain or flooding to contend with.

        • It might hit square into Oregon with overlap north and south. I live about 90 miles south from the Oregon border. There is still some snow on the ground even after 2 days of rain and two days of sun. All of the mountains surrounding the area have seasonally above average snow levels. A warm enough rain will can change that in a hurry. Temps around here have been slightly below freezing, 27 F to 32 F at night.

  3. Reversion to the mean.
    But what we can be sure of are the Climate Alarmists calling every weather event the result of 1 extra trace gas molecule per 10,000 air molecules.

    • Careful joelobryan, seaice1 will be all over you regarding the “trace” statement. Unfortunately seaice1 cannot comprehend that at 400 ppm, that CO2 is a trace molecule in out atmosphere.
      Which it is.
      And even if we were so very fortunate to realize the truly expert opinion of Dr. Patrick Moore, and CO2 concentrations went to 2,000 ppm, it is still a trace molecule in our atmosphere.
      2,000 ppm sounds really big, but what about the other 998,000 ppm that make up the rest of the atmosphere, Now THAT is a big number! (and is bigger currently at 999,600 ppm)

  4. Looking at the jet stream forecast for next week, l don’t think it will be as bad as you fear.
    Shallow areas of high pressure over the USA look set to make a right mess of the jet stream. So while it does look like there will be plenty of rain for next week. lt looks like it will be spread right across the western coast of America. Rather then in one area

    • Mike,
      Lakes Mead and Powell are fed by the Colorado river basin, which is having a bannner snow year as well.

      • Daniel Mannix (addressing Michael Bentley)
        Lakes Mead and Powell are fed by the Colorado river basin, which is having a [banner] snow year as well.

        No, going to disagree with you there.
        The Colorado River (to Lake Meade, Lake Hoover, and essentially all of the out-of-state Southern California water via the canals and tunnels begun from Hoover Dam agreements 1927-1933 drains much more than just Colorado, though ALL of its water goes into the Hoover Dam channel. Admittedly, most of the water comes from Colorado – with much less from Utah and New Mexico, passes BY Arizona and Nevada and California on its way towards the Mexican border … who gets almost nothing at all compared to pre-1935 flows.
        Regardless, the flows allowed by political agreement in the Hoover Dam funding agreements between political beasts were distorted by their source.
        The Colorado River flows were established by estimates (measurements) in 1916-1917 by observations of lfows and heights at the (future) Hoover Dam site. Fine. It is as good as they knew at the time.
        However, those flows were distorted because the 1916-1917-1918 Colorado river flows were at the LOWEST point fo the 60 year short cycle of the earth’s temperature-humidity-El Nino/La-Nina-Western continental rain flow … which, unfortunately, happened to be at the recent century’s highest point ever in 1915-1916-1917-1918 lowest earth temperature between 1890’s high and the (future) 1935 Dust Bowl maximum.
        But their measurements were wrong. Perhaps as wrong as the assumption today that the 1979-1980 Arctic Ice area was “average” and all subsequent arctic sea ice area measurements are “lower than normal” .
        Regardless, in the 1930’s, the governments of AZ, NM, NV UT, CO, and most espicially CA started their future water renveues and use allowances based in an “average” Colorado River flow that was some 30% too high. It wasn’t good then -before populations tripled – and their political assumptions are even worse now.
        But don’t ever expect today’s democrat or republican politicians to change their minds and their precious 1930’s water allotments.
        They HAVE TO change their agreements, they HAVE TO bring them to reality. But they won’t.

  5. All I can say is that if this is indeed caused by CO2, I have to conclude this gas is sentient and holds conservative values, besides having a wicked sense of humor.

  6. We really need a more ominous name for this atmospheric river. I mean give me a break, folks, how scary is “Pineapple Express”??
    How about..
    Oceanic Aneurism
    Water Snake
    Hydraulic Cannon
    Airborne Amazon
    Pacific Potfield Pancaker
    Hurry with your submissions before the torrent becomes a trickle. If your suggestion is adopted you win a bag of coal — enough to melt a foot of snow for an hour, or raise the ocean five inches, whatever.

    • You do like King (Chinook) salmon don’t you, or are you a fan of that farmed mush? The darter and delta smelt are what some idiots talk about on both sides of the “debate”, but salmon are more important economically and are just as badly affected by water withdrawals – even without tunnels – for the south state and to irrigate the desert around Bakersfield – for cotton. Sending water south wrecks North State economies, not just little fish. I’ve worked on a commercial salmon boat out of Albion and I know folks who still operate commercial boats – not tour boats but working fishermen. Their opinions of Jerry and his plans can’t get any lower. Right now a good many would not mind seeing the state slide into the Pacific from around Fresno south. A lot of foreigners in the state are unaware of the water history, battles fought to protect farmland in the Owens Valley for instance. Prison sentences issued to ranchers who would rather irrigate crops from the river running through their land than see it taken without any form of compensation to water L.A. lawns. Do not mistake the snail darter for the real problem or that it is merely an issue of greens versus conservatives.

  7. The sad reality is that many Leftists are disappointed “the worst drought evahhh” is coming to an end in California..
    Rather than solving California’s inherent water shortage problem by building more reservoirs, dams, and desalination plants, Leftists would rather use natural weather phenomena to politicize the CAGW hoa-x (i.e “never let a good crisis go to waste”)
    You can’t fix stupid.

    • It is not “left” versus “right.” It is developers versus ranchers and fishermen, “South” versus “North,” and right now the “South” has a friend in Jerry. You can’t frigging build enough dams to make any kind of difference in a drought and you can’t store enough water long enough either. Not through lack of will, but lack of actual resources. Every time someone talks about “more dams” that cannot possibly benefit anyone near the water source and storage locations, the State of Jefferson looks better.

      • Yes, Duster, we do! And due to the complexities surrounding the solving of non-linear partial differential equations, it is quite accurate for 24 hours, reasonably accurate for 3 days, somewhat accurate for 7 days, and then all goes to a certain hot place below ground.
        CAGWers, take notice! Multi-million dollar simulation models that “accurately” forecast climate for the next century are filled with so very many simplifying assumptions that they should not be used to dictate policy of any kind! Have made a select few very wealthy, mind you.
        I have been blessed to have been, for the majority of my 34 year career, in the technical end of the oil and gas business, and although yes, reservoir simulation has it’s role in the business, it is not the be-all and end-all. No software is.
        Please remember this truth: “Simulation is like masturbation – the more you do it, the more you believe it is the real thing.”

  8. A politically engineered drought for the express purpose of fleecing yet more money out of the pockets of the populace. I yield to my father’s favorite expression in the late 50’s/ early 60’s: “If it’s brown, flush it”.

  9. In Australia there is the attached poster available which gives the big picture view of the cyclic nature of wet and dry periods over the last 125 years. Just as the very dry periods extend over more than one year so too do the very wet periods, but given that Australia is known as the dry continent, those wet periods are less frequent, but seem to be occurring more often as time goes on. I am interested to see what the poster will look like when the current year (April to March) is added and how wet the coming year will be.
    Is there an equivalent poster available that covers the USA?

    • Too bad the scientists, media and politicians didn’t see that poster before they built all the desalination plants, because they said the drought will never end and everyone knows its a land of drought and flooding rains.
      They are a pathetic.

    • “Pacific and Atlantic Ocean influences on multidecadal drought frequency in the United States”
      Gregory J. McCabe*†, Michael A. Palecki‡, and Julio L. Betancourt§
      This is a start. Note that your ENSO “drought” corresponds to So Cal “El Nino” about a half water year later. We had record flooding in 1983-1983 and 1997-1998. The present “La Nina” is an exception, but local records show about as many wet La Ninas and dry El Ninos. This water year (July to June) is supposed to be a La Nina, but wait until July for a post mortem.

  10. CA needs to be worried about isostatic rebound.
    Next week when The Donald becomes POTUS, many celebrities have promised to leave. Count all of their weight, airplanes, jewels, shoes, and related baggage (pun there if you want) and late on that day the
    coast will pop up about 3 feet and knock the rest of you deplorables to the newly tilting ground.
    Good luck with that — and the water.
    Might I mention the rest of the country north of CA is freakin cold. {-8° F; -22 C° early this morning in central WA}

  11. In Texas, my area was still in a “Drought Stage” long after lakes were overflowing and floods were killing people. I still live under water restrictions to water my lawn long after the drought is over. The real reason is that uncontrolled amounts of building new residential areas continues without any plans to increase water reserves. It’s insane.
    Eventually we will have so many new people living here that a normal drought will seem catastrophic (hello California) and the CO2’ers will claim its all climate change. Then they can further restrict water use and increase water prices in the name of Climate Change.
    Why oh why can’t people plan ahead?

  12. If this was last year the alarmists wouldn’t have been able to contain themselves with the “godzilla” of an El Nino. By every metric in climate science (except natural variation) this should be another year of our permanent drought. They can’t even get local forecasts right. Here in Socal 3 weeks ago we had a 1/2-1inch (which is a lot locally) where they forecast drizzles. OOOPS

  13. “… next week. Details are uncertain this far out”
    You’ll never make Climate Scientist with stuff like this 😉

  14. The good news today is that officially only about 60% of the state is still suffering drought conditions. Compare that to 97% a year ago and the improvement is obvious. The National Weather Service reported that areas of California and especially the Sierra Nevada mountains received from 20% to 50% of the annual precipitation for the entire season in just the last week. They also said that enough water flowed into Oroville Lake the first 10 days of January to provide all of Los Angeles water for an entire year.
    The 0z GFS shows this next system coming in a little later but still with plenty of moisture.

  15. Thanks for the heads up Anthony. You’ve become one of my trusted forecasters and I’m in the middle of this.
    Did you know that cold rain followed by by a short warm dry period is very good for mushroom hunters? Well, if you didn’t know you do! So Monday looks to be a great day for mushrooms!
    Thanks again for keep us posted and Best Regards!

    • This might come back to haunt him “I tell my students that they’re going to be able to tell their children, ‘I remember when it used to snow in Boston,’

  16. Reminds me of the lyrics to an old song:
    “Seems it never rains in southern California
    Seems I often heard this kind of talk before
    It never rains in California
    But girls don’t they warn ya
    It pours, man it pours”
    Albert Hammond – It Never Rains In Southern California Lyrics

  17. More heavy to excessive precip on the way to most of the West Coast later next week:
    How long will this pattern last?
    Looks like a pattern change during the last week of January. An upper level ridge builds in the Western US, diverting the Pacific jet stream northward (so it will no longer be aimed, west to east at the West Coast) as an upper level trough digs downstream in the Eastern US, which could be the new target for cold air masses late in January into early February vs the near record warmth focused on that area this coming week.
    This is also suggested by the experimental 3-4 week forecast outlook tools.

  18. Too bad the Califruiti Greenies took down 500 water impoundmets,i.e. damns, that they said were unneccessary to control flooding that would never come. Reality has intruded…

  19. A very large stream of TPW is currently moving into position to impact the West Coast. This stream has surged across 45 degrees longitude since the 13th of this month. Of the three streams of TPW that have moved to where they could impact California to Washington over the last 2 months, this one is huge by comparison. It is staying highly concentrated so far. The highest concentration in the stream is 56.5 kg/m2. Whereas the rain that California has seen over the last several weeks has been coming from streams with half of that water content. Now it is only a matter of whether or not the concentration gets reduced by mixing and raining out over the ocean before arriving here. The forecast for 40N is for 5 days of snow starting next Friday. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds. …,25.80,497/loc=-178.813,27.431

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