On October 20th, 2015 a live broadcast happened at the Southern California Weather Force.com Weather Office highlighting what to expect for this year’s El Nino season. Get the highlights and watch the video by reading on. If you had a bad internet connection these are the highlights to read … and watch.
El Nino storms typically do not start till Halloween into November 15th … and if by November 20th we haven’t seen a major storm system then I will worry. The highlights of this season will be above average precipitation for California and below average temperatures in Southern California. Given Central California will have average temperatures, a healthy snowpack will form. Southern California will have slightly below average temperatures from December through March and this spells a great snow season with an average snow-level of 5500 to 6000 Ft.
The frontal zones this season will feature strong southerly winds. These winds could gust anywhere from 40 to 60 mph in any given strong storm that moves through the area. Given this, damaging winds are likely and the prediction in the coming couple months is for a damaging front to move through. These winds in the mountains would make for blizzard conditions. Gusts in the strongest storms will be 60 to 80 mph and one or two storms may reach the 100 mph gust point.
Tornadoes are going to be likely this season. Various sections of the forecast area have convergence zones that have in the past made this possible and will do so again in the near future. The hot spot for tornadoes is the Los Angeles and Orange County coastal and basin regions. These regions have in the past produced the most tornadoes during an El Nino Winter. The Central/Eastern Inland Empire along the Elsinore Convergence Zone also produces tornadoes and it could again this winter … especially around Temecula and along the I-15 and 215 through the South and Eastern Inland Empire zones. Other areas such as the Kern Valleys will also produce tornado dynamics with colder core storms that wrap around moisture from the north. The high desert will have notable dynamics at times … but the least out of everyone else. All coastal zones from San Luis Obispo to San Diego are in the dynamics for tornadoes … and last but not least … the Eastern Imperial and Riverside Deserts.
No one can really tell what kind of season this will be in terms of rainfall and tornadoes … we haven’t seen Super El Nino numbers being this high on a static scale so what we are in now is uncharted territory … but it doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened in the past. Stronger tornadoes need a stronger surface low nearby, deeper tropical moisture, and warmer low levels. This all translates into a stronger tornado and given the history of Strong El Ninos we are looking at that happening with some of the storms this season.
Santa Ana Winds will be less in intensity and the window for them will be short.
Overall winds will be strong along the coast with storms … and in the north facing desert zones … including the Kern Valley zones with a stronger southeast flow into a surface low.
So get ready … get your sandbags and consult your city plan … each city is different.