Mar 07, 2015
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Second video shot and narrated by my passenger does have some brief foul language due to excitement so viewers advised.
These Videos were shot from Murrieta during the December 31st rare snow storm as it first began to hit southwest Riverside county just after midnight. This was shot driving n Clinton Keith road between the 215 and 15 freeways. By 9am New Years eve morning I measured 11.5" of snow off the Clinton Keith rd exit along the 15, and 15.5" of snow on the Santa Rosa Plateau to the west about 250 ft higher. By far the largest snow fall ever recorded in this region, the last measurable snow being in November 2004 which was about 2-4". Snow managed to stay on the ground for a full week after the snow storm, with traffic backed up for days due to surprised travelers playing in the snow.
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**Forecast:Saturday, March 7th,2015, 1:00am**
What a change a couple days makes weather wise during the month of March. After what was a cold, wet, and snowy weekend last weekend into early next week, this weekend will at no surprise be completely the opposite. In other words more of the warmth that really kicked in yesterday as high pressure once again parks itself over the west with of course its core just to the north east of So Cal. Highs this afternoon 5-15 degrees above normal, with middle 70s and 80s west of the mountains as weak offshore flow continues. The mountains which actually held on to near or below normal temps in the 40s at resort level through yesterday in most spots due to snow pack and minor cold air advection will lose that advection this afternoon pushing temps into the middle 50s at resort level and 60s at and below 6000ft. Despite the warm past couple days nights have actually been below normal due to the dry air in place with many colder I.E valleys in the 30s for lows, that will continue to be the case each morning this weekend with 30s and 40s west of the mountains, except 50 near the coast, and 10s and 20s in the mountains. Although an inversion layer is likely near or just above 7000ft all the way up to about 9000ft where temps will be rather mild for that elevation in the upper20s/30s. Once again almost identical weather Sunday maybe a couple degrees cooler as our high shifts a bit, so overall a nice Spring like weekend to go out doors or enjoy some great spring skiing at local resorts where at least in Big Bear there is still plenty of natural snow around in the shade and on north facing slopes(every ski resort in So Cal is on a north facing slope).
More of the same on Monday then more pronounced cooling should occur Tuesday through Thursday next week as high pressure weakens a bit, winds shift onshore and a storm system goes by to our north at least giving northern California some rain and mountain snow, after they literally missed both of the storms that hit us the past two weekends and the precip is certainly needed more desperately up there. The marine layer should re build and move into the coast valleys Tuesday night through Thursday night burning off to some afternoon sun. Highs still above normal but more like 4-8 degrees, not 5-15, with 70s overall west of the mountains and upper 40s and 50s in the mountains. Nights/mornings will be more mild due to the more moist air and high cloud cover, in the 40s and 50s west of the mountains and 20s and 30s in the mountains. Earlier computer runs as recent as yesterday had rain reaching as far south as L.A county Wednesday evening from that Northern California storm but have sense been advertising dry weather everywhere south of San Fran, so unless something drastically changes later this weekend or early next week I dont see any chances of rain for at least the next 10 days, but do show at least some sign of hope as we head towards the 20th of hopefully another wet pattern. Spring is just around the corner and it'll definitely feel like it. With that being said So Cal typically sees periods of winter weather through at least mid April, and on a good year through Mothers day.
Now for some bonus info for those interested in something other then our current weather. Some of you may of heard NOAA finally has officially declared a Weak El Nino for the pacific with waters finally reaching what they consider the definition of El Nino, although many climatologist including myself would disagree saying we have been in a weak El Nino since November since waters have been above normal overall. Regardless it appears a burst of further warming is occurring right now, and will likely continue at least til the start of summer and with any luck longer. Unfortunately I doubt it'll have too much affect on us for the rest of the wet season with the way our luck has been going, but you nevr know so keep for finger crossed for maybe a record breaking spring rain and mountain snow wise for the state. I personally wouldn't doubt at least a slightly higher then normal chance of 1 or 2 Pineapple express events maybe developing somewhere in the state between now and early May, the question is as always where would it set up and would it just affect a portion of the state or all of it? Typically strengthening El Nino's favor heavier storms for the southern half of the state/ The Southwest, with sometimes north of San Francisco seeing below normal rainfall, which would be bad news as is the Sierras from Tahoe north that really need snow pack to help out the states water situation. Time will tell. At this point wed be completely fine if we in So Cal stayed dry the the rest of the wet season while the rest of the state got slammed, as our descent rainfall totals literally do nothing for most of us water wise here in So Cal, with only rural areas that depend on local ground water seeing some relief, and of course hopefully if we see an active monsoon season the moist fuel in our forest at least all forest east of L.A county may have a chance at continuing that way like last summer which would keep our fire danger down a bit. El Nino summers almost always bring above normal Monsoon activity to the southwest due to warmer waters leading to more Hurricane activity off Mexico, this was already the case last summer when waters off Baja and So Cal rapidly jumped to above normal and lead to some record breaking summer rainfall totals in many desert and mountain communities, with even the Elsinore Convergence zone seeing over 5" of rain in a few hot spots, so this could be the story again this summer, which is good news moisture wise for our mountains and deserts. In fact our monsoon seasons have had unheard of amounts of activity the past 4 summers, with more then enough evidence pointing to at least Inland southern Californias summer climate changing to a more tropical pattern since about 2004. Greenery growing through out the Mojave desert last summer was a once in every 50 year event. With any luck El Nino will hang around past summer and continue to gradually strengthen by the time we reach the beginning of our next wet season come October giving some renewed hope in trying to reverse the drought, especially for all areas north of our region. At least Arizona has been making headway with the drought almost gone in many areas over there. This summers monsoon season will really determine if they 100% reverse it. Remember the deserts of the south west wet season is during the summer months not during the winter, when most storms don't make it in one piece over the tall peaks of So Cal which are literally what create the desert from Palm Springs all the way to Tuscon.
Some more interesting info the look at. Here is where we sit at by region rainfall wise % to normal through the first week of March. Most communities in the Inland Empire are actually 70-100% of normal rainfall wise so far this season thanks to so many inside sliding areas of low pressure that really blew up over the region as they'd reach the warmer coastal waters off San Diego/Baja. This was especially the case for south west Riverside county and northern San Diego county, so those areas still have a good shot and finishing this wet season at or above normal, which would be the only areas in the whole state to do so, which ironically something similar happened last winter. In L.A county rainfall isn't doing too bad but not as good as pts further south and east, ranging anywhere from 55-80% of normal with the best amounts having fallen in eastern L.A county with much less impressive amounts occurring north and west of down town. The O.C. stacks up with similar percentages. In the mountains rainfall wise the San Bernardino mountains range from 50-70% of normal for pts west of Running Springs, but actually 90-120% of normal for Big Bear and areas along highway 38 thanks to a very wet monsoon season last summer as well as more inside sliding areas of low pressure coming in from the high deserts this winter which greatly favored the eastern side of those mountains. The Riverside mountains are also around 100% or more of normal once again thank too monsoons. Of course all these percentages could drop if we are unlucky and see a drier then normal Spring, or they could improve if El Nino kicks in and its wetter then normal. The meteorological rain season ends on the last day of June, although typically are chances of any storms after mid May are less then 20% until monsoon season arrives for Inland regions sometime in June.
Snowfall wise, Big bear is at about 75-85% of normal right now, the best in So Cal and technically the best in the entire state when it comes to communities that see snow on a regular basis. Unfortunately lower communities along the RIM have seen very little snowfall this season with communities below 6500ft only at about 15-30% of normal. This is due to several of our larger storms being warmer then average which kept most of the snowfall at resort levels with just a couple exception so far. That's ok though because its the upper elevations of the San Gorgonio wilderness that feed most of the mountains creeks and rivers and also contribute water supply to many I.E communities. So in the San Gorgonio wilderness snowfall is actually at around 100% of normal so far this winter, but snow pack is at bout 40-60% thanks do a very warm January and much of February that melted a lot of the several feet of snow that had accumulated during our larger storms that happened during Fall. In fact the south facing slopes lost almost all there snow pack all the way up to 11,000ft before we finally saw storms return around the 21st of just this past month, right now estimated snow pack up there is 3-6ft+ on the north facing slopes above the 9500ft level, and about 1.5-4ft on the south facing slopes but of course melting fast this weekend, although the north facing slops should hold most of their snow through the next dry period, with highs above 9000ft holding in the 40s for most of the next 5-7 days. Anyways that's all for this update, Ill hopefully be able to do another Monday night although im starting a new job this upcoming week so my schedule remains to be seen so be sure to look for more info on twitter!
Site Owner/Forecaster, Michael Mojarro
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