Long Range Projection: Low Elevation Snowfall Is Likely In Southern California Within The Next Month


This year’s pattern has a lot of blocking at the current time.  Blocking is when the atmosphere has strong ridges with deep upper-level lows on each side of it.  The ridge in the Pacific Northwest is a sign of the pattern to come.

Now, what I am seeing this next week is a dry upper level low being blocked by the Pacific Northwest ridge and shoving due south across Southern California and well into the Pacific Ocean south of here and west of Baja, Mexico.

The main question is how far east or west will it finally drop.  If it drops over Riverside as it goes southward, we will have any precipitation it scoops up around the 9th or after it into far Southeast Arizona.   If it moves over Ventura and Los Angeles, we may have moisture potential after the 9th to bring some precipitation into Southern California and Arizona, most areas San Diego and Imperial longitude. If the storm moves over Vandenberg AFB then we will see more widespread precipitation for the Desert Southwest after the 9th.  Again, this will be monitored and you will get updates as I continue to monitor the trend of this upper system.   It will be dry as it moves across our region on Monday, but as it goes further south it will be in a position to gather moisture and bring it northward with it.

Well after that time-frame, within the next month, the blocking will bring more systems into the area.  These systems have a pattern similar to 1949 where Los Angeles had snowfall, 1989 where Orange County had snowfall, 2014 where La Elsinore had snowfall, and November 2004 where the Inland Empire had snowfall and so did the High Desert.  This pattern is definitely going to happen in the medium/long-range along with continued colder than normal temperatures.

So, we do have another Santa Ana Wind Event early this next week.  Click here for that Santa Ana Wind Watch.   And then – things will try to get interesting.  The last low elevation snow event is considered to be 2014 for Lake Elsinore.  On average we have one every 5-7 years where the inside slider blocking pattern becomes favorable, this year being within that window.

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