California's Hammering Continues - SE New Mexico's Weather Quiet.



Have You Ever Heard Of California's ARKStorm During The Winter Of 1861 - 1862?


Valid @ 5 AM MST This Morning.

GFS 500 MB Analysis.

Valid @ 5 AM MST This Morning.

More Heavy Rain & Snow For California!

(Valid Today Into Monday @ 5 PM MST).



(Valid Today Into Monday @ 5 PM MST).



California seemingly cannot catch a break as yet two more "Atmospheric River Storms" plow into the state today into the first of next week. Total rainfall amounts in some of the lower elevations of the Sierra Nevada Mountains could end up in the 7" 10" range by Tuesday. Given this winter's pattern of having been very wet one has to wonder if another ARKStorm isn't brewing on their horizon. 

An interesting story was published yesterday by:

“Beginning on Christmas Eve, 1861, and continuing into early 1862, an extreme series of storms lasting 45 days struck California. The storms caused severe flooding, turning the Sacramento Valley into an inland sea, forcing the State Capital to be moved from Sacramento to San Francisco for a time, and requiring Governor Leland Stanford to take a rowboat to his inauguration. William Brewer, author of Up and Down California in 1860-1864, wrote on January 19, 1862, ‘The great central valley of the state is under water — the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys — a region 250 to 300 miles long and an average of at least twenty miles wide, or probably three to three and a half millions of acres!’
‘In southern California lakes were formed in the Mojave Desert and the Los Angeles Basin. The Santa Ana River tripled its highest-ever estimated discharge, cutting arroyos into the southern California landscape and obliterating the ironically named Agua Mansa (Smooth Water), then the largest community between New Mexico and Los Angeles. The storms wiped out nearly a third of the taxable land in California, leaving the State bankrupt.
“The 1861-62 series of storms were probably the largest and longest California storms on record. However, geological evidence suggests that earlier, prehistoric floods were likely even bigger. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that such extreme storms could not happen again. However, despite the historical and prehistorical evidence for extreme winter storms on the West Coast, the potential for these extreme events has not attracted public concern, as have hurricanes. The storms of 1861-62 happened long before living memory, and the hazards associated with such extreme winter storms have not tested modern infrastructure nor the preparedness of the emergency management community.”









 .DISCUSSION...as of 09:00 AM PST Saturday... The storm system 
  which rapidly strengthened off of our coast yesterday morning has 
  shifted eastward into the intermountain west. Only some 
  diminishing rain showers and breezy winds are persisting primarily 
  over Monterey and San Benito counties in the wake of the last 
  system. This system was the first in yet another series of systems 
  forecast to impact the forecast area.  
   
  All eyes are now on the next storm system anticipated bring 
  another round of heavy rain and strong winds between late Sunday 
  afternoon into Monday. Lingering showers will then persist Monday 
  before another, yet weaker, system arrives Tuesday into 
  Wednesday. Thursday into possibly Friday looks dry. Model 
  confidence drops off moving into next weekend, however, most model 
  solutions look unsettled, with one system arriving Saturday, and 
  another early next week.  
   
  For the next system, the most important factor at play is the 
  positioning of the precipitable water plume as it will determine 
  which areas will see the heaviest rainfall as well as the amount 
  of orographic enhancement/rain shadowing possible. Short term 
  models are not currently in agreement with this exact positioning, 
  despite the storm only begin about 36 hours out, thus lowering 
  model confidence of specific positioning and rainfall amounts at 
  this point. That said, on average, models appear to aim the bulk 
  of initial moisture towards Big Sur, before shifting the plume 
  northward towards the Santa Cruz mountains, then towards the North 
  Bay, before shifting southwards once again over the Santa Cruz 
  mountains. Given this trajectory, it seems plausible that the 
  highest rainfall amounts will be over the Santa Cruz mountains 
  through the duration of the event. Rainfall amounts will be 
  highest over the coastal ranges, with 3-6 inches possible over 
  elevated terrain, locally higher over the largest orographically 
  favored peaks. Most valley locations can expect 1-2.5 inches, with 
  locally higher amounts to around 3.5 inches in the North Bay 
  valleys. Gusty southerly winds will accompany this storm as well, 
  however, speeds will not be nearly as strong as with the last 
  system. Pinpointing the rainfall timing and amounts of tomorrow`s 
  system will be the forecast focus of the day. An areal flood watch 
  for the entire forecast area will be issued shortly in 
  anticipation of this system. 
   
  This storm system is anticipated to further exacerbate 
  deteriorating conditions in and around our area`s infrastructure. 
  Given our already saturated soils, the upcoming rainfall will 
  predominately runoff into streams and river or pool in low lying 
  areas, leading to increased likelihood of urban and small stream 
  flooding. Additionally, increased risk of mud/rock slides are 
  anticipated, especially over steep terrain, which can result in 
  roads being damaged or destroyed, as we have seen already many 
  times this year. Furthermore, downed trees and power outages can 
  be expected as well. Be sure to plan ahead if travel is necessary 
  and check the latest road conditions available from CalTrans 
  websites. Turn around, don`t drown, flooded areas can be 
  deceptively deep. 
   
  See previous discussion for specifics relating to the current 
  forecast package. Next forecast package will be issued early this 
  afternoon. 
   
  .PREVIOUS DISCUSSION...as of 03:02 AM PST Saturday...Scattered 
  showers continue to move across the region this morning as the 
  main mid/upper level trough axis shifts inland. Rainfall amounts 
  have been spotty with generally a few hundredths of an inch per 
  hour with locally higher amounts near 0.25"/hr within heavier 
  showers. Expecting showers to diminish in coverage through mid 
  morning with periods of dry weather conditions forecast across the 
  region this afternoon and evening. This "dry slot" can be seen on 
  satellite imagery in wake of the trough aloft and our next system 
  developing out over the Pacific. 
   
  While most areas will remain dry through tonight, cannot rule out 
  light precipitation across portions of the region. Light rain will 
  increase in coverage early Sunday morning, first across the North 
  Bay and along the coastal ranges deeper moisture offshore advects 
  inland. The forecast models then show a deeper atmospheric 
  river(AR) with PWAT values in excess of 1.25" reaching the Central 
  Coast by Sunday afternoon. At first, widespread rain is forecast 
  to develop across much of the region with the heaviest occuring 
  across the coastal ranges. The AR and associated band of 
  precipitation is then forecast to narrow and potentially work 
  northward resulting in moderate to heavy rainfall as it points 
  toward the central California coast. As typical with any AR event, 
  the main forecast challenge remains exactly where the heaviest 
  band of precipitation will develop as well as the movement or 
  stalling of said boundary. At this time, it appears the main focus 
  will be somewhere between the Santa Cruz Mountains northward into 
  the North Bay from late Sunday afternoon into Monday morning 
  before the system eventually shifts southward and inland in 
  response to an approaching mid/upper level system. 
   
  Given the fact that the entire region has been battered by system 
  after system so far this winter and soils remain super saturated, 
  widespread flooding will be likely from Sunday into Monday! Not 
  only is widespread moderate to locally heavy rainfall likely, 
  southerly winds will again increase out head of this system and 
  will yet again result in downed trees, power outages and further 
  deterioration of the region`s infrastructure. Flooding of area 
  creeks, streams, low lying areas as well as rises on the main stem 
  rivers will also be likely. While it remains difficult to forecast 
  exact rainfall amounts, there is the potential for widespread 
  2.50" to 3.50" across the North Bay and 1.00" to 3.00" amounts in 
  other urban areas across the region. Inland valley locations, 
  especially across the Salinas and Santa Clary Valleys will likely 
  see lesser amounts depending on where the AR takes aim. Meanwhile, 
  the North Bay Mountains and coastal ranges southward will likely 
  see rainfall totals of 3.00" to 6.00" with the potential for some 
  areas to pick up as much as 10.00" from Sunday afternoon into 
  Monday. Folks living in flood prone areas are urged to remain 
  vigilant of the latest forecast and should take necessary measures 
  to protect life and property in advance of this upcoming storm 
  system. 
   
  Lingering showers are then likely from Monday night into Tuesday 
  in wake of the heavier precipitation forecast to shift 
  inland/southward. The forecast models have backed off on the 
  strength of the subsequent system expected to sweep through 
  Tuesday night into Wednesday as a mid/upper level system traverses 
  the region. However, do expect another round of at least light 
  precipitation to move across as the main upper level trough pushes 
  inland. 
   
  By Wednesday night and especially Thursday, dry weather 
  conditions are forecast to return to the region as high pressure 
  develops in wake of the exiting trough. Temperatures late next 
  week are forecast to be generally below seasonal averages as a 
  cooler air mass settles in over the region. It is worth noting 
  that the GFS shows a cool, weak system dropping in across the 
  region by next weekend while the ECMWF maintains dry weather 
  conditions. At this time, will keep a generally dry forecast from 
  late next week into the following weekend as trends favor drier 
  conditions. 

The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction!

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