Where is the Rain?

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After near record rains across the North Bay last February, February 2020 has started off dry, and looks to stay that way for at least a while longer.

The latest forecast models show a strong ridge off the West Coast.

Which is pushing storms to our north and east.

When will this change?  Well the models say a trough will develop and push over California by mid-month.

Looks good right?  The trouble is that any storms that come our way in the short term will likely be dropping south over land.  And that means they will not pick up much moisture from the Pacific.  And that’s where our wet storm systems come from.

The rainfall outlook through mid-month reflects this…pretty dry for Northern California.

Strangely, this is all very similar to last year.  The difference is, in 2019 high pressure was centered further offshore which allowed approaching storms to pick up lots of Pacific moisture before they reached California.  This may change as the month goes on, but for now, the models don’t see it.

In fact, this loop shows the parade of high and low pressure systems expected over the next two weeks. Cold low pressure systems (blue) continue to drop south, but almost entirely over land…and starved for moisture…

This may all change of course.  Long range models are notoriously inaccurate.  And even a slight westward movement of high pressure could allow some big storms to slip in before then.

But, right now, as this forecast for rain through mid-month shows, it looks like just showers at times and cool temperatures here in the North Bay for the first half of February.

Even further out…the longest range models hint at a return to rain in early March. But let’s hope significant rains arrive well before then.






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