Fire Season-Busting Rain in Forecast? Not Yet.

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Even as thousands in Sonoma County returned Wednesday and Thursday to cold homes without gas service, the National Weather Service warned of continuing below freezing overnight temperatures that will extend the misery for many.

And, most everyone is wondering, when will the first real rain of the year arrive?  The first rain that will end the continuing threat of wildfire, due to dry vegetation, low humidity, and the threat of more winds.

For at least a week, the forecast is for dry weather to continue.  Here is the precipitation forecast from next Wednesday the 6th, through the 15th.

All of the rain stays north or south of California, as a so called “rex block” of high pressure keeps storms from approaching from the Northwest.

How long will this last?

One clue comes from the Climate Predication Center, and their three month outlook.

It shows a strong chance, 40%, of below normal rain and snow for Northern California from November through January.  That doesn’t mean we won’t get rain, but that there’s a good chance it will be below average.

Things begin to look up for the January through March period, as the Climate Predication Center gives us a good chance of average rain.  But a forecast this far out is very uncertain.

Meantime, other forecast models including the GFS ensemble are more hopeful.  The ensemble forecast looks at 21 different model projections and tries to find trends among them.  The latest outlook shows at least some rain pushing south to Northern and Central California by mid November.

So, hang in there.  We may have to wait awhile, but moisture is likely to reach California sometime in the next three weeks or so.  Until then, warm sunny days and cold nights will prevail.




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