Oct 30, 2014
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A short choppy Video I shot last October 23rd, 2013 when the first snow of the 2013/2014 season feel, video was shot at 6600ft just above Pine Cove, the storm later dropped 5" at that location and 6" over in Big Bear. Another storm followed 5 days later with a couple more inches of snow but that d be the most wed see again in So Cal last year til late January, perfect example of a drought year. So Cals Wettest Months are Febuary, March, January, December. 3/10 times December beats out January rainfall wise ;) Those estimates are based off our new climate which is taken from 20 year averages:)
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**Forecast:Thursday, October, 30th, 2014, 12:00am**
Look for another nice day today but a little cooler as high pressure weakens and high clouds increase in response to our incoming first winter storm of the season Friday night. Look for highs to still be about 3-6 degrees above normal with 70s for the coast and coastal valleys and lower and middle 80s inland, and 60s in the mountains. As we head into Friday winds and clouds will be on the increase through the day and it will become very obvious that weather we haven't seen since April will be on its way with storms clouds rolling in and chilly winds, making it feel very much like Halloween. Highs will fall to below normal in the upper 60s and 70s west of the mountains, mostly concurring before noon then cooling as we go through the day with middle 50s and 60s in the mountains. Latest computer runs are trending stronger with this storm with each run and also a bit fast as far as its arrival. It appears rain may move into L.A by sometime Friday evening so id recommend all tricker treaters to to get done with their candy hunting before 9pm as things may get wet by then if not sooner. There looks to be two waves to this storm, one being the front late Friday night, and the second being a vort max with the coldest air moving into mainly areas north of San Diego county Saturday morning. Now there is some big differences on exactly how much rain and mtn snow this storm will bring to the region by the time of showers end early Saturday evening. One computer run tonight has gone all out, showing a powerful fall winter storm fr So Cal with a good southerly flow from Baja feeding into the front, especially for L.A and San Bernardino counties, with the vort max following possibly even bringing some thunderstorms to those northern area late Saturday morning with possibly rain amounts of .50-.1.00" for L.A and San Bernardino communities and about .25-.50" south of the Riverside county line. The other computer called the "GFS" has indeed trended stronger then earlier but not as strong as the NAM with about .25-.50" of rain for areas north of San Diego county and .10-.25" for San Diego county. So as you can see there is still a lot of uncertainty on what we may see for our first winter storm of our wet season, but hopefully and likely the forecast computers will come into better agreement tomorrow into Friday.
As for snow wise,it will be heavily be depending on when the main precip comes through and how strong southerly winds end of being. One things that's on our side for lower snow levels is the fact that most of the storm will pass through overnight so we wont have the warm daytime sun warming temps up. But if the stronger computer runs come true and we see strong southerly winds, snow levels could be higher during the heaviest part of the storm, but at the same time dropping rapidly for the second wave of the storm Saturday morning behind the cold front as the cold air moves in. Right now id say snow levels will start off around 8000ft before midnight Friday night but then gradually drop to between 6000-7000ft around midnight Friday as the cold front arrives, then bottoming our round sunrise Saturday morning somewhere around 5500-6000ft. So some measurable snow ius very possible for the ski resorts and upper communities of our mtns, with a dusting down as low as 5500ft regardless of how strong our storm is, the same amount of cold air will arrive on the back side of it. Now for my possible precip estimates I for now am going to take a middle of the road forecast for now for our storm Friday night into Saturday until it gets closer and I can get a better look as it track and cloud tops on Satellite. Although amounts could be less or more then what im going to state right now, which is why you need to check back here each day through Friday night til I issue my final forecast as well as VIP alerts for all members. I'm thinking .25-.75"+ for the Valleys of L.A and San Bernardino count, with the highest amounts in the San Gabriel Valley and San Bernadino and its surrounding cities. A cutoff and dry slot for amounts will form right near down town Riverside as always south through Moreno Valley, Perris and Menifee as well as Lake Elsinore as they will end up in a rain shadow where likely anywhere from .10-.30"+ may fall. But amounts will jump up again in the Temecula Valley and possibly Hemet as geography in those areas help squeeze out higher rain totals and also pro long showers vs other areas. In San Diego county look for .15-35"+ with up to a half inch I their far inland valleys and foothills against the San Diego mtns. As far as our local mountains goes, the eastern San Gabriel Mtns and San Bernardino mtns will by far see the msot as always as good up sloping flow will really ring out moisture, look for possibly .75"-1.50"+, locally 2" near Lytle Creek and Crestline, nothing abnormal for those areas during a storm, almost a drizzle from a mtn local stand point lol., but once again these amounts may need to be adjusted up or town before the storm hits. Look for .50-1.00'+ for the Riverside and San Diego mtns, with the highest amounts on the west/south west facing slopes of the San Diego mtns. For now I'm not expecting much rain to make it into the deserts, the L.A county high deserts as well as Victorville and the Lucerne Valley will likely see some showers, maybe up to .10", more if the storm goes the stronger direction, but anywhere east of the Banning pass or Riverside and San Diego mtns crest will mainly see a lot of winds with gust to 60mph possible, and maybe a brief passing shower if lucky, with the best chance in the Yucca Valley as its right beneath the So Cals highest mtns peak of San Gorgonio and some moisture may spill over it, especially late Saturday morning as the Vort max could rotate some moisture in from the north briefly instead of the south.
Snowfall wise, amounts will be very tricky. Although the ground had been cooling, especially above 6000ft the past month with a majority of nights below freezing, the days have still been mild in the 60s overall, so the ground is not frozen yet. This could limit snow accumulation at first but the ground should freeze up rather fast since this will be a night time storm and we wont be dealing with radiational ground warming. Also whether this storm make a strong southerly tap with southerly winds will largely affect where snow levls end up during the main cold front. But if the precip is heavy enough like computers currently show and some colder air sneaks down from the Kern county mtns onto our north slopes like the Blizzard in October 2004 we could see lower snow levels.I do think snow levels will start between 8000-9000ft early Friday night at the moment, but that may need to be changed, then theyll gradually fall to between 6000-7000ft as the front arrives assuming precip is heavy enough, but if its not the snow level may take til the front passes to dip down to the 6000ft level where there will still be snow from the vort max but not nearly as much. For now I'm going to take a middle of the road forecast and stay on the safe side say 2-4"+ at resort level(7k and above), but possibly 6-12"+ above 8000ft(onyx summer,top of resorts) so back country hikers beware, if the storm does indeed make a strong southerly tap, amounts of 1-2ft could fall above 9500ft. 1-3"+ of snow may eventually fall between 6000-7000ft, with a dusting as low as 5500ft mainly on late Saturday morning after the front passage. But once again if enough cold air sneaks in from the north, or southerly flow is now as strong,also if prccip if very heavy, resort level communities could end up being in the zone for a major Halloween snowfall. Amounts would likely be half this in the Riverside county mtns but still could be signifcant if as stronger storm does indeed verify, especially on the west facing slopes above 9000ft of the San Jacinto Wilderness. Only a slight chance of a dusting on Mt Palomar in San Diego counties mtns, maybe as much as an inch on Mt Laguna, maybe a tad more if the cold vort max following the front drifts further south.
Now I must stress the fact that these rain and snow amounts I forecasted could be nearly double what Ive stated or even half or less of what I stated depending how things come together over the next 24-48 hours so stay updated! Confidence will grow a lot by late this evening. The good news is the southern Sierra/Mammoth should see a couple feet of snow regardless which is crucial for our drought relief, especially for L.A residents as that's where 80% of their water comes from(snow melt)! Temperature fall for the weekend, highs 8-16 degrees below normal Saturday with upper 50s and 60s west of the mountains and lower 40s and 50s in the mountains. A little warmer west of the mtns Sunday mainly in the middle 60s and low 70s, but cold northerly winds in the mtns will keep things as cold or colder with lower 40s and 50s continuing. The coldest night so far this year looks to be Sunday nigh into Monday morning next week with cold dry air in place, we could see 30s in the colder valleys with maybe even some patchy front in the colder deeper valleys like Temecula and Hemet. In the mountains the first hard freeze of the winter will occur so begin to wrap your pipes now with mid 10s and 20s expected all the way down to 5000ft. High pressure looks to build Tuesday thorough the middle of next weke with sunny skies and highs returning to normal or even a bit above, mainly west of thew mtns as e see some offshore winds, but cold air advection from the Great basis as an inside slider goes by to the north could keep the mtns quite chilly much of next week with resorts likely not getting much warmer then 50 if that. Long range continues to show the potential for another storm the following weekend around the 7th so we may be finally falling into a winter like wet pattern, a pattern timing wise that we have seen for 3 years now which is most storms affecting us on weekend with weekdays remaining dry.
I also just wanted to ad my two cents in on what could happen with this storm, and another storm we had in the past that was similar to it. Many may remember two monster rain stomr we had in October 2004, one that brought flooding to all the valleys and mtns of So Cal and 4ft of snow above 9000ft, and another that brought flooding rains again a couple days before Halloween but surprised forecasters who had snow levels above 8000ft, with an all out blizzard shutting down all roads in and out of Big Bear as a night time arrive of the storm and heavy precip pushed snow levels down to just below 6000ft, and also allowed heavy snow to fall and stick at as warm as 36 degrees in spots. The snow allowed for Bear mtn to open 3 days before Halloween, the earliest ski resort opening in California history right here in So Cal. I bring these storms up because water temperature that year were well above normal off the west coast despite La Nina conditions down off the coast of South America, it was those warm waters that kept an more active tropical jet down in Mexico allowing those storms to find deeper moisture by reaching down to Baja and tapping into it. The same exact scenario s happening right now off our coast as I type this, only waters are even warmer, and to throw in another curve ball, the storm that's heading south just merged with what was the left over low from a Hurricane down by Hawaii only adding moisture into the system already over warmer waters, not to mention we have a weak el nino in affect right now for the pacific, not a La Nina like 2004.2005 which ended up being the wetter year on record for many areas of So Cal. So could this storm approaching our area do the same thing? The conditions are right and the night time arrival is right, and computers are beginning to hint at something, something they actually showed about 10 days ago which was a Pineapple like express storm system, could they have been right that far out all along? That's the beauty of weather we wait and see, but I think its very possible if current trends continue so lets cross our fingers, we need the water, but of course things could very easily switch back to a weaker scenario, but seeing how were only a few days out now are chances are looking better. Lets just hope the weak El NINO we are officially in now continue to strengthen as many climatologist believe and we begin to see some very strong storms for California as we head into the actual start of winter which is December 22nd. Next update Thursday Eve at 11pm! Remember To follow me on twitter for updates multiple times a day, and share with your friends, family and colleagues! SoCalWeather.net Twitter
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