If you look at this map, you see what is known out here as an atmospheric river. If is “flowing” from the south-south-west to the north-north-east. It is a “river” because it hasn’t moved in days. Movement from the west to the east is essentially stalled. The stretch roughly from Santa Barbara in the south to Salinas in the north has gotten persistent rain over the last 3 days. Fifty straight miles to the east of Santa Barbara it is bone dry.
This is a La Niña year, a natural part of the Southern Oscillation weather pattern. We do expect cold and dry weather. This year is exceptional. But we’ve had too many years that were “exceptional” in that way over the last few decades and way too few “normal” or “wet” years. That is our share of global warming/climate change.
The weather service had been predicting high probabilities of rain for us for 4 days now. We even have a flash flood watch going Fours days ago we got a trace of rain = but not enough to measure – and some tiny hail. Before that, we got a bit of rain overnight, maybe a tenth of an inch, from a different storm. The scattered showers shown to the east of the main storm that Santa Clarita might have gotten from the storm have been so far blocked by mountains.
The Weather Service is still predicting rain today and tomorrow. It is mid-day and no sign of it yet. I can only hope. I’m not seeing any westward movement for the storm when I put the radar map in motion. It has been a big inconvenience because we need to pour some concrete for a walkway and we can’t do that if there’s a chance of rain.
If we don’t get some serious rain, it is going to be very hard on the local flora and fauna. January is supposed to be the peak of our rainy season and we’ve hardly gotten any rain at all. Wildlife will be driven into people’s yards out of desperation. The forests will weaken further and be even more vulnerable to the bark beetle and other diseases. Everything will be super dry, leading to more big wildfires. The reservoirs will not be as full and the groundwater will not be recharged. More demand for the state water project to suck water out of the northern part of the state and from the Colorado River.
And yet within an hour or two drive, they are getting soaked. Good for them! They need it as much as we do, although too much rain too quick has its own problems, especially in the burned areas. If only it would just come our way for a few days.