As the January 2019 forecast stated back at the beginning of this month (Fig A), we would have a break and then another storm pattern would emerge by end month or the first week of February. The chances are rising so read on for details.
We are in the first of the Santa Ana Wind Events to close this month off. This event is relatively moderate with a lack of good upper support, however some areas near the foothills/passes are experiencing stronger winds..as is always the case in a Santa Ana Wind pattern. The pattern will wan a bit in a day or so but the ridge placement through at least near the end of the month will remain tight and bring storm systems up and around California in a northwest flow, similar to what happened in the 2015-2016 El Nino and what is most common for our patterns.
As this is happening we will have systems off to the east and the colder air in the Great Basin will bring thermal support. This, with tightening surface gradients will make it likely for a couple more Santa Ana Wind Events between now and January 30th. The most probably timing being this weekend and early this next week.
The ridge does breakdown and move to just south of Arizona. This would allow the western end of the dome of high pressure to dip into a trough of low pressure once again west of California and send the storm pattern back into the state, including down here in Southern California for yet another round of impulses to come in. The next storm system is Pacific Storm Ursula and once that is seen she will officially be named. Aptly named after a ‘sea witch’ … will the sea get angry? Stay tuned to Southern California Weather Force for official forecast details as the system nears. Confidence in storm pattern returning is 60% this far out with rising confidence in a few days.
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