May 14, 2015
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A photo of what was left of a light coating of early April Spring snow in Big Bear on the afternoon of April 8th after a chilly but weak cold front sweeped through our region courtesy of a user under the name of Oso on SoCalmountains.com. The snow that fell down to 6000ft in our mtns quickly melted by noon under the warm April Sun. But further to our north the Sierras saw their largest snowfall so far for 2015 with almost 2 ft at Mammoth Lakes,(pretty sad when usually top winter storms drop over 5th in the region) but a welcome scene in the Sierras. Unfortunately it made little impact on the states water situation but left some very lucky California Skiers with whats become a rare Sierra powder day.
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**Forecast: Thursday, May 14th ,2015, 12:00am**
Yes the site is still here folks. Unfortunately due to some personal life events i had to shut it down for about a month, but have finally found the time and resources to keep it going and most importantly bring it back online for what will be a record breaking May storm arriving today! Last week we already saw an unusually strong but even more so cold Winter storm for this time of year, that dropped snowfall as low as 4000ft in spots for the first time in over 20 years! Now our incoming storm looks much stronger, in fact it will be stronger then almost all the storms we saw this winter and could break some rainfall records for May, especially in San Diego county, but snowfall records will be the main story.
This incoming powerful storm from the Gulf of Alaska will come in two waves, one this afternoon into tonight and another Friday morning. This storm is strengthening as I speak and will find a deep moisture source as it moves into So Cals unusually warm waters. Look for a few showers during the morning commute increasing and becoming widespread this afternoon through this evening as a potent cold front swings through the region. Looks like we may see a steady 3-6hour or longer period of moderate and at times heavy rain this afternoon with thunderstorms also becoming likely late this afternoon through about sunset as our strong May sun rays really interact with the unusual cold air with this storm to make our atmosphere really unstable. So some lightning, small hail, and even an isolated tornado cant be ruled out. This storm has cold air that we would usually see with a February storm with snow levels starting at 7500ft this morning, before dropping to 6000ft around noon or so, then bottoming out near 5000ft overnight tonight through Friday morning. So yes yet another round of unusual heavy mountain snow looks likely with this system with Big Bear likely ending up with more snow for the Month of may then it saw during January, February or March...now everyone say, hello El Nino! Now most snow will accumulate off the roads due to the warm ground but during the heaviest part of the front roads could become snow covered, especially near 7000ft Aka Big Bear. As the sunsets roads will become snow covered although by then we will be in between the two waves of our storm so snow showers will be more on and off.
After a slightly more calm period Thursday night, the second more powerful and cold portion of our storm will move into the region right during rush hour Friday morning making quite a mess across So Cal. This wave will be the actual core of the low approaching the region first swinging another cold front across the area, then as the core moves right on top of us Friday afternoon firing off widespread scattered thunder storms, with maybe even a couple nearing Severe limits... Current computer runs have really bumped up the amount of rain for our second wave of the storm, especially for the Inland Empire and San Diego counties as the core of this system looks like it'll move through across southern San Diego county like many storms did this winter. So due the track of the low and its movement, rain totals for San Diego county and Riverside county will be nearly double what L.A and Orange counties will likely see. The snow level will be between 5000-6000ft, and depending on how many sun breaks we see Friday will determine how well that snow accumulates in our mountains as the ground is very warm in mid May and the sun rays nearing summer strength so snow melts at a very quick rate even if the temperature is below freezing, but if precip stays consistent in the mountains into the afternoon we could see some very impressive snow accumulations in the San Bernardino and Riverside county mountains Friday.
It looks like showers will taper off Friday evening west of the mountains although a few may hang around til sunrise Saturday. With that being said another thing that will be watched and is looking more and more likely for the San Bernardino county mountains and high deserts Friday night into Saturday morning is some impressive wrap around moisture coming in on the back side of the area of low pressure as it moves off to the east over Imperial county. If this happens we could see some more heavy snow, particularly in the Big Bear area overnight Friday and due to timing will have an easier time sticking since there will be no sun and there will already be some snow on the ground making for faster accumulations. Big Bears record for a May snow storm is 8" of snow set back in the El Nino of 1998, it appears they'll either hit that or exceed it by Saturday morning. So overall a very wintry like next 2-3 days with temperatures 10-30 degrees below normal for mid to late May. Highs today and Friday in the 50s and 60s west of the mountains, and 30s and 40s in the mountains with lows in the 40s and 50s west of the mountains and lower 20s and 30s in the mountains. I personally being a So Cal native have never seen such a cold and strong winter storm in May for So Cal and as I stated earlier many records may be re written with this storm system. Below are my forecast possible rain and snow totals by region through Saturday morning. Next update will be by 12am Friday morning.
**Forecasted Rain and Mountain Snow totals from 9am Thursday-6am Saturday:**
L.A and Orange County Coast and Valleys: .50-1.00"+ of rain
L.A County Mountains: 1-3"+ of rain below 5500ft. 1-4"+ of snow between 5000-6000ft, 3-6"+ between 6000-7000ft, 5-10"+ above 7000ft, locally over a foot above 9000ft.
Inland Empire: .75"-1.50"+ of rain, highest amounts in San Bernardino communties, as well a further south in SW Riv county(Temecula Valley communities).
San Bernardino and Riverside County Mountains: 2-5"+ of rain below 5500ft(rotw), 1-4"+ of snow between 5000-6000ft, 3-6"+ of snow 6000-6500ft, 5-10"+ of snow 6500-7500ft, and 10-20"+ snow above 8500ft(San Gorgonio Wilderness).
San Diego County Coast and Valleys: 1-2"+ of rain! Highest amounts in North County along and east of Interstate 15.
San Diego Mountains: 2-4"+ of rain, dusting-2" of snow for Mt Palomar, 3-5"+ of snow for Mt Laguna!
High Deserts: .35-85"+ of rain, highest amounts in San Bernadino County(Apple and Lucerne Valleys).
Low Deserts: .10-50"+ of rain, highest amounts in Palm Springs as well as across Imperial County closer to core of low, dropping off quickly for all pts east.
So why is winter all of a sudden showing its face more then ever after a very warm and dry winter, during a time of year when we usually see our first 100 degree temperatures and heat wave as summer makes its approach? Simple answer, a very strong El Nino. Today many scientist all over the world announced that a moderate to strong El Nino has officially formed in the Pacific and may continue to strengthen through summer and into Fall. Its because of this that all of a sudden the storm track has opened up for California and looking through the rest of the month could stay open through Memorial day. So temperatures this weekend and next week will remain cool and at or below normal with a couple storms passing to our north continuing to give San Francisco much needed rain and the Sierras more snowfall then they saw during any of this past wet season, These passing storms will continue a deep marine layer in the night and mornings with periods of drizzle or light rain, especially Monday and Tuesday next week. In fact the trough Monday into Tuesday looks like it may just be strong enough to bring a few showers to our region, especially ion the mountains with maybe yet another overnight light dusting of snow in Big Bear. There are even signs of yet another storm bringing rain to the region next weekend but its too far out right now to really see if it will indeed happen or not. Could we see a non existent summer for California standards due to El Nino? Although possible, highly unlikely. We will likely continue to see a more active then normal storm track through June with some unusual periods of rain and odd snowfall in the Sierras into early June. But after that summer will likely kick in and we will then have all our eyes turned to what could be yet another record breaking summer monsoon season for our region, with possible tropical like systems affecting us more then normal during the summer months.
Site Owner/Forecaster, Michael Mojarro
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Disclaimer: Socalweather.net is a privately run weather site and all forecast and possible advisories issued in no way are related to the National Weather Service or any government agency but from the sole guidance of forecaster Michael Mojarro, weather can not be controlled and all forecast are to be followed at your own will.
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