California Versus the Northwest

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It is often true that California and the Northwest are often in contention for the wet stuff (and we usually win!). We have seen a number of periods this winter when a trough developing over the West Coast has sent the jet stream and all the moisture down into California. And it is going to happen again.

Last week I was staying in Monterey, California attending the Cyclone Workshop, a regular gathering of meteorologists interested in midlatitude and tropical cyclones. The locals were all talking about the heavy rain that had struck central California for over two weeks in March when the jet had moved south over them (see upper level map below for a sample).Monterey, CA, for example, had 4.95 inches in March, 3.29 inches above normal, and the mountains of coastal CA had much larger amounts. A major impact was a major slope failure along Route 1 between Monterey and Big Sur, closing the road. Broccoli and Cauliflower crops were damaged. And California became amazingly green.

Here is a video showing the failure.

The jet moved back up here during late March and they got warm and dry...and you know what happened here.

But those smug Californians are going to exchange places with us again in a few days! Take a look at the upper level chart for Thursday at 4 AM---a trough will drive the flow and rain into the palm-infested California climes.

Here is the 24h rain ending 4 AM on Friday. We dry out and coastal CA gets soaked. But they will probably take refuge in their hot tubs.

So enjoy our break on won't last long. A weak system will hit Saturday and heavier rain on Sunday.
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