Cyclone Merbok’s Power Behind West Coast Rain

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The huge amount of downstream energy imparted by former Typhoon Merbok, as it moved late this week into the Bering Sea as a extra tropical cyclone, has had a dramatic impact on weather along the West Coast.

The cyclone’s power has altered the circulation in the North Pacific Ocean, helping to bring deep low pressure and a strong jet stream (jet streak) to the West Coast of the U.S., and up to 2 plus inches of rain to the North Bay and an inch (or more) to much of Northern California.

The connections can be clearly seen in this video, as deep low pressure forms and intensifies off the West Coast, drawing moisture south from the Gulf of Alaska, some of which was transported into the region by Merbok.

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At the start of this video, the remnants of Merbok can be seen in the Bering Sea, just west of Alaska (blue swirl, top center).

As the video continues, atmospheric energy in the form of a trough of low pressure can be seen pushing south along the West Coast (right side of frame). This trough eventually forms a deep, closed low pressure system directly off the California coast.

This storm system (and strong jet stream energy) draws moisture south from the North Pacific, and also interacts with moisture in place in California, setting the stage for possibly record September rains.

Merbok remnants induce downstream ridge, and trough off the West Coast.

Jet Stream winds by Sunday.

Total rainfall via European model.

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