Reined-In Rain

February 13, 2016

1371724873_Rain_brad-sharpChilled sunshine and scattered, deep-blue skies this early Saturday on California’s north coast, and although the air feels a sharped-coldness, we’re well above any freezing temperatures.
A bit of drizzle yesterday, but no rain expected until Wednesday when a decent-sized front is forecast to swing across the shoreline.

This morning, the NWS released preliminary rainfall totals for January — and we fell off the rain cliff.
We pulled just a bit more than 12 inches last month, way-down from the figures for December at 19 inches. (Though higher than the overall January normal of eight-and-a-quarter-inches).
And we fell from 222-percent of normal in December, to a 149-percent of normal for last month, and the dry has bled into February.

The hand of El Niño still to come?

(Illustration: ‘Rain,’ by Brad Sharp, found here).

In related opposite-scenarios, as a ridge of high pressure over the western US kicks our rainstorms further up the Pacific Northwest, keeping California sunny and dry, a warming episode in the Arctic stratosphere has shoved frigid air southward and onto the Atlantic seaboard — the so-called “polar vortex.”
Some places back east could see sub-zero temperatures — -2 degrees in Boston, a -9 for Hartford, Connecticut.
(NBC News): ‘In New York, it was so cold that organizers canceled an Ice Festival scheduled for Saturday in Central Park.’

Meanwhile, back out here on the Left Coast, supposedly a big thrust of El Niño should come in the next six weeks, but no one really knows for sure. The big pain is that yesterday marked 10 straight days without measurable precipitation for most of the state, and the drought eyes are seeking..
Via The Weather Channel last week: ‘El Niño is forecast to weaken through the spring with conditions in the equatorial Pacific Ocean potentially transitioning to La Niña next fall, according to the latest monthly outlook issued Thursday by NOAA.’
La Niña is the opposite of El Niño, namely, a cooling of the equatorial east-central Pacific Ocean.

Love this weather right now, but way-need the rain/snow…caught between pleasure and dehydration…

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