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Winter predictions for Southern California

19 posts in this topic

Anyone want to have a guess what winter will be like.  

Tried to call Al Gore but he has left the planet as it was getting too hot here!

Bruce

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The world is in a La Nina phase, right?  Doesn't that usually mean dry, clear and usually cooler for Southern CA?  I think the PNW is supposed to be wetter.  Not sure what happens in the bay area.

The freeze last year was unusual, I believe, because it happened in a weak El Nino phase.  However, it was..  dry and clear instead of the usual wet.

Does anyone really understand the ENSO oscillation?  I certainly don't.

Jason

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That kind of generic map isn't helping much. With our Santa Anas, in Winter we can experience 30F and 80F in the same day. We had several 40F temp swings last year, and a 30F swing was downright common.

Having a winter colder AND warmer than average would be the normal here.

Check out this screenshot of daily highs and lows from last November.

post-662-1190949111_thumb.jpg

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siafu/Zach

Thanks for the keen graphics  :D  Here's NWS http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2007/s2914.htm

Terry

Those minimims reflect the cold still nights of northern San Diego county.

Long-range predictions are difficult but clearly the equatorial Pacific is forming La Nina.  How winter behaves is anyone's guess  :laugh: Most La Nina's mean a dry Southwest & it couldn't come at a worse time  :o Also colder than normal

The question is "how cold and how dry"

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I dont know of those pics are inaccurate, but the point being is that we arnt going to see as much rain as we would like to. I hope those pics are wrong. That la nina seems to be in for the winter.

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La Nina, la Shminia, I'm just hoping we don't have another arctic jetstream dive like we had last January 13. Minus that event, we had pretty normal low temps. Is it too much to ask that we not break last years records this year?

Was last year supposed to be an El Nino? If so, basing predictions on two opposite patterns seems pretty unscientific.

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Oh SEATTLE bring some of this stuff down here

Seattle Forecast

Tonight: Rain likely, mainly after 11pm. Cloudy, with a low around 51. South southwest wind between 11 and 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Tuesday: Periods of showers. High near 59. Southwest wind at 11 mph becoming north northeast. Chance of precipitation is 100%.

Tuesday Night: Periods of showers. Low around 46. North northeast wind at 5 mph becoming south southwest. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

Wednesday: Showers likely, then periods of showers and possibly a thunderstorm after 11am. High near 56. South southwest wind between 5 and 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

Wednesday Night: Periods of showers. Low around 46. South southwest wind between 6 and 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

Thursday: Showers likely, mainly before 11am. Partly sunny, with a high near 55. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Thursday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 44.

Friday: A chance of rain. Partly sunny, with a high near 57.

Friday Night: A chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 48.

Saturday: Rain likely. Cloudy, with a high near 60.

Saturday Night: A chance of rain. Cloudy, with a low around 50.

Sunday: Rain likely. Cloudy, with a high near 59.

Sunday Night: Rain likely. Cloudy, with a low around 49.

Columbus Day: Rain likely. Cloudy, with a high near 57.

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(osideterry @ Sep. 30 2007,23:25)

QUOTE
La Nina, la Shminia, I'm just hoping we don't have another arctic jetstream dive like we had last January 13. Minus that event, we had pretty normal low temps. Is it too much to ask that we not break last years records this year?

Was last year supposed to be an El Nino? If so, basing predictions on two opposite patterns seems pretty unscientific.

La Nina, la Shminia,
 :laugh:

You raise some interesting questions & point out that forecasts can not be solely predicated on past trends.  

The erratic nature of the weather over the past few years [1 example: record cold in Australia/South Africa/South America/California] presents a different & additional challenge .

A noted meteorologist forecasts a prolonged period of 'santa ana' conditions well into November.  But that is basically normal weather  :laugh:

A review of past data reveals that La Nina years were no more susceptible to a freeze than is normal = no freeze.  Winters were either bone dry like this past year or fairly wet/normal.  The 3 La Nina's since 1988 had no minimums below 40F.

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I think the tendancy, which is wrong, is to think that since we got slapped in the face last year, it's going to happen again this year. We had record cold last year....if it happened all the time, they wouldn't be records. Just my $.02

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Did they expect such a rainy winter in 2005? I dont remember the forecast back then.

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This autumn has been cooler than normal w/ noticeable slowing of palm growth  :( October has been characterized by an unusual animation of the jet stream primarily affecting the West coast.  Warm/hot for a few days followed by several more days of cool temps/10+ degrees below normal with periods of clouds

La Nina historically means above normal precipitation/below normal temps for the PacificNW. Though rare but wet/cool autumns have occurred in California during enso/la nina.

Here's American Meteorological Society/LA chapter reporters opinions:

Possible Large Pacific Storm System to Affect Washington, Oregon, and California, Tuesday and Wednesday of Next Week.

The 18Z GFS is now forecasting a deep Pacific Storm system with an associated Low (similar to the one two days ago) with a central surface pressure of 961 mb or possibly lower to dive southeastward from the Gulf of Alaska and become nearly stationary about 150 miles west of Seattle, Washington by Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.  The deep Pacific system this week which moved north-northeast off of the West Coast of the United States –kept most of the higher winds off of the coast and caused the once strong cold front to die over Central California.  Conversely, next weeks Pacific system will progress in a more favorable direction (i.e., southeastward) which could affect more of the West Coast of the US north of Central California with possible high winds and heavy rains.  It remains to be seen if any heavy rain, if any rain at all, will reach Southern California from this future storm.

Though rare, storms of this kind during October have happened before, the biggest being the Columbus Day Storm of October 12th and 13th of 1962 – where winds of 145 mph were felt from Portland, Oregon to Northern California, and where the San Francisco Bay Area received 4 to 8 inches of rain in the coastal and valley areas and up to 16 inches in the hills.  Los Angeles received very little rain or wind from this system in 1962; however, at that time, the Daily Weather Map Archives indicated that it moved in an east to northeast direction with a central surface pressure of 955 mb about 200 miles west of the Columbia Gorge – then filled and moved into Southern BC.  

In October of 1889, it has been thought that the West Coast of the US had a similar type system – which brought heavy rains southward into the Los Angeles Coastal plain of just under 4 inches in a 24 hour period on the 20th of October of that year – but that could have been enhanced by a tropical storm entraining into the cold front area off of the California bite.  

We do need to keep watchful eye on next weeks system to see what the later models forecast – which probably will not come into range of 80% accuracy until this coming weekend on Saturday or even as late as this Sunday.    

Jeff

P.S., Viva la wet la Niña para Los Angeles, CA!

Yes, Jeffrey.  There was apparently at least one or two tropical storms that entered the picture and greatly enhanced the moisture and dynamic activity of the passing cold fronts.  First, a tropical storm on October 8-9 (I believe that I have the dates correct) hit Encinitas, north of San Diego, with more than 7 inches of rain in 8 hours, causing the main railroad line, L.A. – San Diego,  to break.  Some Leucadia homes were washed into the sea.  I wonder if the flood would have cut today’s I-5.  

Later in the month, one horrendous thunderstorm brought a tremendous flood and mudflow down out of Sepulveda Pass.  No concrete and large planted trees to stop the flow.  I just wonder if the area had perhaps been burned during the preceding summer – or perhaps 9-11 months before by a Santa Ana-driven fire, perhaps started by lightning or by humans (campfire or accident – perhaps even arson in those days!).  With no firefighting, large areas could have been denuded until the fire ran out of fuel or rains came to put it out.  There were indeed some dandy fires back then.  But I don’t know just where they hit, and when.  I simply speculate about Sepulveda Pass when I heard reports of that terrific mudflow in October 1889.  

Chuck

LA: 77/55

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(happ @ Oct. 10 2007,19:27)

QUOTE
This autumn has been cooler than normal w/ noticeable slowing of palm growth  :( October has been characterized by an unusual animation of the jet stream primarily affecting the West coast.  Warm/hot for a few days followed by several more days of cool temps/10+ degrees below normal with periods of clouds

You're not kidding it's been a cold autumn!  I just looked at the data for downtown LA, and the low temperature has been at or below average every day since September 4.  That's almost six weeks...

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It's been cool, though not amazingly so.

And, autumn's not over  yet.

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Thankfully the soil temps are still warm for continued growth but this has been one of the coolest October's I can recall.  Today is overcast & barely 60F in mid-morning & the week should be cool with periods of clouds.  No change in sight  :o [except maybe some warming later this upcoming weekend.

Has nothing to do with the winter forecast but I hate to lose a reliably warm month before the start of the cold season  :(

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I'll take cool over Santa Ana winds and temp extremes. My howeas and tree ferns don't seem to minds at all.

I believe November is our sunniest month of the year on average. Does having lows in the upper 40s slow down growth considerably, even if it's warm and sunny most of the day?

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(osideterry @ Oct. 15 2007,15:07)

QUOTE
I'll take cool over Santa Ana winds and temp extremes. My howeas and tree ferns don't seem to minds at all.

I believe November is our sunniest month of the year on average. Does having lows in the upper 40s slow down growth considerably, even if it's warm and sunny most of the day?

Many of my palms are supposed to slow considerably when soil temps dip below 65F, including bizzies, sabals queens, chamaerops, phoenix, braheas.  If the sun comes out the next day the soil temps warm right up now, but clouds prevent that.  Hit 52 F degrees this morning and almost every palm in my yard is mid stream in opening up new fronds.  The high today is expected to be low to mid 80's @ 4pm or so.   I can tell its almost over(the growing season) when the bizzies start opening up new fronds well below maximum height.  The butias, however, just keep chugging along.

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