Dry This Week, Possibly Wet First Week of February

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One thing is certain. The weather forecast models are struggling to decide what’s going to happen in February across the West. This is because we are now transitioning from a La Nina early winter, to an ENSO neutral mid and late winter, with El Nino conditions becoming increasingly likely as as spring approaches.

Throw in a few seasonal patterns like the MJO, the PNA and the EPO, and the deck is pretty scrambled.

For now we do know that this week will be sunny with mild days, and cool nights. In fact highs topping 70 in places across the North Bay will be likely through Thursday. Here is the pressure setup, with a ridge off the coast. (Image 1)

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Highs will be spring-like through most of the week. By Wednesday and Thursday afternoons will be up to 10 degrees above normal. (Image 2)

That will change over the weekend as the high pressure center moves northwest, and low pressure pushes in. (Image 3)

There will be a chance of showers by Sunday. Very light, perhaps a couple of tenths of an inch. The GFS model puts it off until Monday. (Image 4)

The big question is, will storm systems return in the first week of February? The ensemble models seem to think so. They show above normal rainfall (Image 5), and a fair amount of rain reaching the North Bay through around the 8th. (Image 6)

After that, most models show high pressure building back in for the middle of February, with drier than normal conditions. (Image 7)

Mid-winter dry spells are very common across California, so this may be in our future. But I’d also remind you that in December none of the long range models were predicting the deluge that was coming to California, so I wouldn’t put too much stock in the long range outlook for now.

We’ll keep an eye on the changing forecast for Northern California and keep you up to date.

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