Monday, September 28, 2009

From Summer to Winter, Goodbye El Nino?

Take a look at the satellite & you can see the cold front well defined getting ready to come onshore. You will also notice the popcorn looking clouds behind it. This is indicative of very cold air behind the front. The front will move through tomorrow afternoon. Say goodbye to temps in the 70's & 80's. Wed. we will be lucky to see 50. It still looks as if there won't be much precip associated with the front. I wouldn't rule out a quick snowshower though behind the front tomorrow night with the snow level around 6,000.

With the ridge staying out near 150w it looks as if another cold storm will try to dive down the coast on Saturday.  Temps will rebound to the 60's by Friday but then plummet into the 40's again by Sunday behind the front.  Models are suggesting that this storm could stay over the water long enough to pick up some decent moisture with snow levels down near 6,000 ft. again.  We will have to watch & see how much moisture the storm picks up.  Could see the first accumulating snow of the season on the mtns. this weekend!  The storm looks to possibly stall over the Sierra with cold temps & the chance of snow thru Tuesday. Then back to reality with a return to sun & more seasonable temps going into the following weekend.

Looking at the El Nino update today, it continues to weaken!  A good majority of forecast models now have it staying below 1.25.  I don't see anything occuring that would cause it to strenghten in the near term.  Region 1+2 cooled down to -.1, region 3 to .7, & region 3/4 to .8.  Upper ocean heat content cooled as well, & the warm Kelvin wave heading East looks to have fizzled out.  This is proving that the El Nino may just be a reaction to the overall cooling Pacific which would limit the strength of El Nino.  This was mentioned in the summer when the models tried to predict a strong El Nino.

If the El Nino isn't going to be strong I think we would like to see it die as soon as possible.  In weak El Nino years we are split 50/50 on above & below avg. precip.  A weak El Nino in the West/Central part of the Pacific may keep the storm track to our South.  The weak El Nino years coming off of La Nina years are 51-52, 63-64, & 76-77.  The latter 2 were dry years.  Two differences in 51-52 were: 1) We were heading into a cold cycle of the PDO which may have caused the reactionary El Nino similar to this year, 2) the El Nino conditions ended prior to the main winter months of JFM.

Either way I'm not putting much weight on El Nino like many people are.  I am looking for some good teleconnections & cold troughs like the 2 we'll have this week.  Pray for a 51-52 repeat!  BA


Skye said...

Cheer on the snow! I might be coming up to ski a little bit earlier than I have been doing. Maybe December or November instead of January.

Alex Garcia said...

These weather updates really are getting me through these last few days of summer. From sunny SD, I can't wait to work my winter break in the Sierras (not Northstar, but a little bit south at Bear Valley.) Anyways, keep the news coming and pray for snow!

Anonymous said...

great reporting! Im looking forward to the winter!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the updates....I'm praying for a big and strong El Nino. I love the snow and we definately need the water!!!

James said...


Anonymous said...

Hey its currently snowing, it probably won't amount to anything but its a cool sign that winter is just around the corner