January 11, 2023

Stunning Imagery: A Huge Cyclone and an Atmospheric River

Sometimes you see meteorological imagery and just say wow.

Today a huge low center extends over much of the northeast Pacific, while an impressive plume of moisture--an atmospheric river-- stretches southwest-northeast towards the California coast.

The infrared satellite image this morning shows the situation, with the white areas indicating higher clouds.

Want to be impressed even more?    Here is the water-vapor satellite image at the same time, viewing the emission of water vapor to space.  Scary for northern California!


For reference, here is the sea-level pressure analysis at the same time, with low-level temperatures and winds also shown.  Perhaps the largest low-pressure center I can remember spreading over a vast area.  With warm air from the southwest on the southern side (orange colors).  That is the atmospheric river.


To really hit that home, below is a map for the same time (this morning) of a potent diagnostic of atmospheric rivers, integrated vapor transport, IVT.   This describes how much water vapor is being pushed around by the wind.

Blue colors show very high values in the core of the atmospheric river.


Substantial precipitation will fall today and tomorrow in California and Oregon from this atmospheric river (see forecast below).   Northern California has been the most anomalously dry part of the Golden State.  No longer.




 

13 comments:

  1. California, quick. Google has the plans and specs. for Noah's Ark.

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  2. These two pacific cyclones have such beautiful symmetry. https://www.windy.com/?56.584,-85.254,3,i:pressure

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  3. Wow that's amazing a Giganticus Pacificus storm, I don't know what the models say but after looking at the latest GOES-West - Latest Full Disk Images loop- another impressive storm is west of the Aleutian Islands and is heading this way, Cliff with all these huge storms churning warm temps our way what's the chances of another cold snap/snow event in the next several weeks?

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    Replies
    1. I prefer to gain my insights based on the quintessential datasets acquired form the foremost authorities. I am uniquely position to gain access to these non erroneous datasets due to my current status with several prominent weather-integrated business societies.

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  4. That does look impressive for certain. I was out with my sister yesterday in Tacoma's Central area and we had lunch at the Southern Kitchen and while in there, the semi sunny morning had led into clouds rolling in from the west and as the afternoon rolled on, it got all cloudy and the rains came sometime last evening and may still be rainy out there now at Qtr after 7 Thursday morning.

    I bet it is nothing like California right now though! That said, there was a pop song in the early to mid 70's titled "it never rains in southern California"...

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  5. Does anyone have the current status of the various reservoirs around California? Is the abundance of rainfall being collected to top them off?

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    Replies
    1. They are 84% of average as of midnight Jan 10,according to the California Dept.of Water Resources.

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    2. This is a great link to the California reservoir status. https://cdec.water.ca.gov/resapp/RescondMain

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  6. We usually get multiple "pineapple express" atmospheric rivers during the winter. Are these ones which should have been hitting the PNW, but instead are being directed southward, due to a combination of ... je ne sais quois?

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  7. I noticed Eastern Oregon is still in a severe drought what is it gonna take to erase it away? meanwhile California is no longer in a severe drought.

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  8. We seem to be having a warmer than normal January so far, following the snowy, icy conditions in December. The last 4 or 5 years we seem to have a cold snap in February. Do you think that will happen again this year?

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    Replies
    1. All I know is...Jan and Feb are the two most often months that we see snow falling.

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