Record Breaking Storm Hits California

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While we are enjoying the most spectacular day since late last summer, California has been hit by a very unusual storm that has brought heavy rain to coastal and central California.

The satellite picture is simply stunning:

A deep low is circling off the Bay area, with a very strong front extending over the coastal areas. This kind of system would be remarkable in mid-winter, but in mid June it is highly anomalous. In contrast, much of the northwest is cloud-free, with high temperatures in the mid to upper 70s. I am even thinking of buying some tomato plants!

Take a look at the surface analysis Saturday morning (below). The NWS is analyzing this cyclone to have a 994 mb low center . An objective analysis of the difference between this pressure field and normal indicates that it is an extremely unusual anomaly.

Take a look at the radar image from the Monterey NWS radar for Saturday morning at 7:03 AM:

The yellows are pouring, heavy rain. You don't want to know about the reds. This would be a major rain event for us during the winter--for cloud-adverse Californians this is extreme weather.

Here are the rainfall totals over the past 24 h (ending 5 PM from the NWS) around the bay area:

Lots of 1-2 inch totals, with some coastal locations getting 3-4 inches. Many stations have received daily record amounts. Here are a few:

California has had some drought worries the past few years. Not a worry this year. This is the first time in years that the NWS drought maps have shown no issue anywhere in California. They have enough least water won't be one of them this year.

La Nina is rapidly weakening and the NWS is now forecasting a normal summer for most of Washington. The skill of these predictions are not great, but ....

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