Winter and fall days in the Bay Area are synonymous with light precipitation and dense cloud coverage... for what seems like forever. But a new federal climate report shows that California could be in for a dry few months and even some drought-like conditions in some regions.
According to forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), via the Chronicle, the Golden State could be in for a parched few months with central California perhaps getting the worst of it.
Without either an El Niño or La Niña this year, coupled with expected warmer-than-average fall and winter temperatures, it’s reason enough for some weather experts to raise an eyebrow.
“It’s something to keep an eye out on and see how the winter progresses,” said one of NOAA’s climate experts David Miskus, a meteorologist at the federal agency's Climate Prediction Center, to the Chronicle. “By February and March, it might become wet again.”
However, due to a previously predicted “Polar Coaster” by the ever-so clairvoyant Farmers’ Almanac, Californians can still expect pendulous ebbs and flows in both temperature and rainfall over this year’s fall and winter seasons.
(But don’t worry, San Franciscans and other Bay Area loci: Our temperate, quasi-gloomy fall and winter weather patterns are historically precise. The real concern, unfortunately, is that these arid conditions could potentially incubate wildfire-prone green spaces in Wine Country, the Central Valley, and, of course, the greater Los Angeles area.)
These same forecasters, again in lieu of any El Niño or La Niñas, based their predictions off previously well-known, yet still somewhat random weather models, like the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) and the Arctic Oscillation (AO). Both the MJO and AO have a proclivity for warmer, less participate weather conditions —thus, leaving said federal climate professionals to believe the West Coast is in for a dry few months.
Also, the much-loathed “Warm Blob” — an unusually hot oceanic patch in the northeastern part of the Pacific Ocean, known for disrupting weather patterns in the Northern Hemisphere and wreaking havoc on marine life — is expected to thwart rainfall and cooler weather in California, albeit for only a short while. Thankfully, no warning bells have been rung (yet) regarding the wetter spring months.
As climate change continues to take a hold on California and other parts of the nation (and world, for that matter), such unpredictable weather patterns are prophesied to continue, in excess, as we inch closer to the dreaded 1,200 ppm concentration of atmospheric CO2.
These long-term forecasts for California, like the ones previously mentioned, are done as part of NOAA's annual Winter Outlook report which, for 2019, show no parts of the nation are expected to experience cooler-than-average temperatures.
Image: Flickr via Ingrid Taylar, taken at Lake Oroville during the East Bay Drought of '08