May 16, 2018

Moisture Hole Reaches California

Today's water vapor imagery shows a dramatic "moisture hole" crossing central California.

Here are two amazing shots for 1 AM and  6 AM PDT this morning.
It almost looks scary.

These images show the temperatures of water vapor in the atmosphere.  White areas indicate lots of water vapor in the upper troposphere (roughly 15,000 to 30,000 ft), while dark areas indicate little.  Thus, dark colors show dry conditions in the middle to upper troposphere--the moisture hole.

This "moisture hole" is associated with a pronounced upper level low, as shown by the WRF model run last night (the 500 hPa, about 18,000 ft, heights are shown, with winds and temperature).  Moisture swings around the low, but values are less in its core.  Air that swings around the low rises more than air inside the low center.

This year we have gotten an unusual number of spring upper level lows heading into California...and there is another---even stronger--predicted for next week.

This pattern has brought clouds, precipitation and thunderstorms to northern CA, southern Oregon, and northern Nevada.  The NWS radars show lots of showers, some heavy moving westward over Oregon

And the lightning strikes for the 24-h period ending 1 AM this morning were impressive. Quite a number.

Precipitation totals over the West Coast for the 24-h period ending 8 AM had some significant totals over northern CA, which is obviously good for their water situation.  CA reservoirs are in very good shape and the late spring moisture helps keep the ground moist.

With all the action going south, Puget Sound was dry again, with only .08 inches in the Sea-Tac rain gauge so far this month.  Will we beat the all-time record (.12 inches)?   The next model run will probably provide the answer.


  1. Looks like a place where the space aliens are coming in

  2. Don't look know, but NASA just confirmed that the earth just recorded two record years of...Global Cooling.

    So that means we now have to immediately shift gears and declare an Climate Change Cooling emergency, ASAP. Because science!

    1. If the discussion threads on Cliff's blogs were airplanes, by now most of us would be sitting on airfields in Cuba, waiting for the ransom money to arrive.

  3. I'm not sure if you realize, but your link does not support your position.

    1) Further affirmation of the reality of the warming is its spatial distribution, which has largest values at locations remote from any local human influence, with a global pattern consistent with that expected for response to global climate forcings (larger in the Northern Hemisphere than the Southern Hemisphere, larger at high latitudes than low latitudes, larger over land than over ocean).


    2) All of these yield consistent estimates of the approximate magnitude of global warming, which reached about 0.8°C in 2010, twice the magnitude reported in 1981.

  4. I’ve been trying to figure out how to predict when it will be foggy in the mornings in my area. Can you help me out?

  5. M, your analysis is incorrect, but cultists only see what they want to see. Confirmation bias is inherent within your post.


Please make sure your comments are civil. Name calling and personal attacks are not appropriate.

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