Another storm is draped across Southern California late this afternoon, with rainfall focused across the southern portion of the state.
Areas to the north and west of the red dotted line are mostly dry today, with areas to the south and east quite wet. The wet areas include most of San Diego County, as well as most of Riverside and Imperial County. The Coachella Valley has been wet most of the day, with areas of rainfall continuing to move over the area from off the coast. The plume of moisture has been stationary most of the day, with individual cells within the plume moving onshore and then to the northeast.
As of about 2:00pm, about 0.20 inch has fallen at the Palm Springs Airport. It is possible that another 0.25 or more may fall the rest of this afternoon and evening before the storm finally moves to the east later tonight. Storm totals could be more than 0.50 in some desert areas, with lesser amounts further to the north. Snow is falling in the mountains above about 6,500 feet.
Much heavier rain is falling over the mountains and toward the coast, with 3 - 4.5 inches in some mountain areas and 1 - 2.5 inches near San Diego causing additional urban flooding. The San Diego River in Mission Valley is experiencing another flood warning. This has been quite a winter!
As of late Monday afternoon, a cold front is stalled over Southern California. Low pressures are anchored to the north, over Utah and near Seattle, and will move east, carrying the moisture with them by later tonight.
HERE COMES THE WARMTH!
Tuesday will bring clearing skies, and temperatures will begin their trend upwards! After highs only in the 50's on Monday, look at the direction the temps will take this week for the Coachella Valley!
- Tuesday: 67/48
- Wednesday: 75/49
- Thursday: 81/51
- Friday: 82/53
- Saturday: 81/55
- Sunday: 84/55
Temperatures should be about 10-15 degrees cooler than this for the Yucca Valley/Joshua Tree area this week.
It's been a long time since the temps have hit 80 degrees and stuck around for a spell, here in Palm Springs! It's going to be a pleasant and extended dry spell, compared to what we've experienced so far this winter. Long range forecast models don't show any storms in the area through at least early next week, and possibly longer, so we likely have much drier and warm weather ahead of us - time to hit the pool!
SIERRA SNOWPACK UPDATE
The high Sierras have continued to enjoy an incredible snowpack. In fact, it is the highest snowpack ever on record from Oct. 1 to date in many areas. There will be updated numbers in the next week or so, but here is where they stand now:
As you can see by the solid red line (source: DWP), we have exceeded the previously wettest winter in the Sierras (1982-1983), for season to date rainfall/snowfall since October 1. The weighted average of the rainfall (the rainfall equivalent of the snowpack) of all Sierra stations is 268% of normal, or equivalent to 50.4 inches of rainfall. In all our wildest dreams, it seemed unlikely to receive so much precipitation. In fact, some locations in the Sierras have exceeded over 335% of normal! It seems almost impossible to imagine such a scenario occurring after such a long drought, but the state has been blessed with water and snowfall. As you can see below, some areas of the Sierras have experienced the equivalent of almost 80 inches of rainfall this season (snowfall of over 600 inches on some peaks to date!). Updated information is expected around March 1, and these numbers will rise even higher.
It is unclear how much the local aquifers have risen, but I suspect it will be significant. Our rainfall here hasn't been as severe as areas a bit further north, but we are still running above normal from Oct. 1 to date. It takes awhile for the water running into the soil and down from nearby mountains to fill up the aquifers. Hopefully we will get some good news about those figures in the months to come!
Enjoy the last of the wet weather we will see for awhile - and get your bathing suits out for what looks to be a toasty weekend ahead! Springtime is around the corner here in the desert!