Californians shouldn’t put away their rain gear just yet. March should continue to roar like a lion beyond the middle of the month.
Models point to another potential atmospheric river in the first half of next week, forecasters say, on the 12th of California’s rainy season. An upper-level low-pressure system in the Gulf of Alaska is expected to move onto the west coast, and there’s a 60% chance an atmospheric moisture plume from the river could affect the California coast, the report said. National Weather Service.
The six-to-10-day precipitation forecast released Wednesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows well-above-normal precipitation for most of the state, with a 70% chance of above-normal precipitation in the central part of California.
A look at the percent of normal year-to-date water precipitation on Oct. 1 shows the footprint of the 11 atmospheric rivers that have hit California so far this season. Parts of the state, from the Bay Area south to Point Conception and northeast into the Sierra Nevada, received 150% to 200% or more of normal precipitation. The area of above normal precipitation continues along the Southern California Bight to the Mexican border. In the deserts of southeastern California, precipitation is below normal.
California, with its Mediterranean climate, relies heavily on moisture stored in the state’s freezer – the high Sierra snowpack – during the dry summer months. On Wednesday, the average snow water equivalent – a measure of water available in snow – is 56 inches, or 223% of normal on that date.
The rainy season in California is not over. And March may not go like a sheep, as the eight-to-14-day precipitation forecast through March 29 shows most of the state north of Los Angeles has above-normal chances of precipitation. From LA south, the forecast is for normal precipitation, but the extended outlook shows below average temperatures across the state through the end of the month.