Scroll down for latest – I don’t like inserting updates on top because everything reads as happening in reverse order.
I. Welcome Storm 56!
Coming in from a far NorCal position and sweeping south, Storm 56 is expected to be a minor-to-semi-significant storm for Tuesday, 160308. Associated with it is winds and light rain. The real weather doesn’t start up again until Storm 57’s arrival on Thursday. This was a day off. Great day to ski due to very minor weather hassles.
Lake Tahoe on 160308 at 1200 PST: the new storm clouds are here.
Lakeshore Drive in Huntington Lake was neatly cleared of snow by midday today.
II. Storm 56 Progress
1100 PST Tuesday… light morning rain from storm 56…
1600 PST Tuesday… weather chart shows major cyclone in the Gulf of Alaska, and below a series of developing storms just offshore of Northern California and Oregon. Storm 56 is one of them currently developing and intensifying.
1600 PST… Tuesday Visible: lots of clouds…
1600 PST… Tuesday Radar: …but not a lot of rain.
1700 PST… Tuesday Hidden message spotted in Storm 56 weather chart…
1115 PST Wednesday – light to moderate rain with high winds up from the south from Calif Border to Seattle.
1200 PST Wednesday – The jet stream has left its El-Niño influenced positioning in the Western N. Pacific for the first time since November 2015! The mass dissipation is rapidly advancing across the sea. Forecasts of weekend storm intensities have been scaled back. Once this series of storms is through, the next chance at California storms is sometime in April, according to projections.
1630 PST… Wednesday: the storm that is horribly stranded offshore (that’s our storm 56) has a unique feature – two cyclones working together to power the atmospheric river into the Pacific Northwest. Good news, though. Starting Friday, California is going to get some sloppy seconds.
1647 PST… Wednesday: The storm’s eastward progress is stuck. There’s a huge, delicious atmospheric river rocking and rolling its way into Seattle, kind of also hitting western Oregon, and clipping the far NW corner of California, the only part of California not in any sort of drought stage. It’s no good. Should have hired a rain dancer. They’re calling Storm 56 the “wonder twin powers” storm up there. It has two cyclones. It’s a binary storm system. See the two twists in the clouds west of WA and OR?
1627 PST… Wednesday: radar shows Portland, Seattle, all those places, which have already broken all sorts of rainfall records in Water Year 2016, is getting all the rain from this screwed up El Niño of 2016 all the way to the end. California got the surfing waves. Cowabunga.
1650 PST… Wednesday: Storm 56 is two systems in one. Usually when two cyclones get close together, they merge. I suppose this will happen eventually.
2300 PST… Wednesday: Storm 56 has begun to move east. The Atmospheric river band is now coming ashore in Northern California and traveling over land on its way to the storm core offshore of Washington State. It is expected to stall again in this position, and cause a significant rain event in the North Bay Area of California.
2300 PST… Wednesday: National Weather Service radar mosaic.
0000 PST… Thursday: Satellite infrared.
0000 PST… Thursday: weather chart
0250 PST… Thursday: Atmospheric River
0410 PST… Thursday: Atmospheric river now coming ashore on Sonoma Co. Coast, CA.
0400 PST… Thursday: Ocean Prediction Center weather chart
0800 PST… Thursday: NWS radar mosaic
0800 PST… Visible Satellite
1430 PST… The second atmospheric river in the picture belongs to Storm 57. Those two “rivers” are going to get smashed into each other when storm 57 arrives in California because Storm 56 is not moving. Supposed to happen from 4-8 am Friday. That merge will be happening as the fronts, one right behind the other, and rain arrive in the central San Joaquin Valley. Could be a very interesting morning tomorrow.
2200 PST… The red arrows are supposed to show where the center of Storm 57 is moving to by 0400 PST Friday. The yellow arrows are cloud movement. Bigger=faster. AS SOON AS STORM 57 AND STORM 56 TOUCH, STORM 56 IS OVER.
0300 PST… 160311. Storm 57 is touching Storm 56. Storm 56 is dead. Skip to last section to see the storm totals.
III. Significant Events of Storm 56
1242 PST… Grays River near Portland, OR. approaching flood stage. Should go over late tonight. — @NWSPortland
0500 PST… High southerly winds all over the place in the Pacific Northwest.
1722 PST… winds sustained 30 MPH, gusts to 50 at Hoopa, California. (Hoopa Indian Res).
2347 PST… North Bay fire stations have sandbag stations set up.
Thursday, 160310 – AM ………………………………….
0000 PST… Atmospheric river now aimed at Eureka, CA.
0052 PST… winds: sustained 23 MPH, gusts to 38 MPH at Navarro Bridge, near Point Arena, Mendocino County, CA.; winds: sustained 32 MPH, gusts 41 MPH Klamath Falls, Klamath Co., OR.
0240 PST… 2.04″ of rain has fallen in Honeydew, Humboldt Co., CA.
0800 PST… KMART Garden Center roof collapses due to water weight in Santa Rosa, CA. –@StephChuang NBC Bay Area
0900 PST… Peak wind gusts overnight in Nevada include Reno-Tahoe Int’l Airport 49 MPH, Washoe Valley 60 MPH, Slide Mtn. 80 MPH.
0900 PST… Marooned vessel in Bellingham Bay WA. is breaking up on rocks and pouring diesel into the water. — @ecyNorth Ecology North
0910 PST… Clear Lake is at 6.5 feet and rising. 9 feet is flood stage. — @SPaulsonKTVU
0930 PST… extensive damage at Home Depot in Bellingham, WA. Overnight wind gusts in WA state include: Mt. Baker base- West 109 MPH; Cama Beach- South 57 MPH.
0930 PST… tree blown down in Lynnwood WA causes house fires on two sides of residential street
1000 PST… atmospheric river just arrived in San Francisco, CA.
1015 PST… flash flood watch for Bay Area in effect until Sunday (4 days!) — @WthrmnSlaughter
Thursday, 160310 – PM ………………………………….
1313 PST… I didn’t think anything in Lassen Volcanic National Park was open in the winter, let alone closed early on a snow day! It’s the snowiest place in California. Not even worth the bother to try and keep the roads open, so I thought.
1314 PST… downed tree removal in full swing throughout Snowhomish County due to the WA windstorm. — @SnoCoSERS Snohomish County WA
1345 PST… Russian River forecast to crest above flood stage on Saturday 160312 PM 34.9′ — @ggweather Gate Gate Weather Services
1345 PST… Napa River at St. Helena forecast to crest abv flood stg on Sat 160312 PM 16.9′ — @ggweather Gate Gate Weather Services
1345 PST… Sierra Nevada will have the best precip total since 2012 FOR THE DATE as of this storm’s end, once again caught up (in most places caught up, in others well ahead of) with normal. — @ggweather Gate Gate Weather Services
1430 PST… couple stranded by floodwater rescued by Bodega Bay Fire. — @tvzuke NBC Bay Area
1430 PST… Folsom Dam opens floodgates. They started doing this on March 8, actually, to make room for more rain. Flood control function of the dam.
1510 PST… San Rafael Cam — @SandhyaABC7
1510 PST… fishing crew has been safeguarded by USCG since 2 am due to seas too rough to “cross the bar” near Yaquina Bay, OR. — @USCGPacificNW US Coast Guard
1530… 20 FOOT SEAS continue to thrash the Oregon Coast. — @USCGPacificNW US Coast Guard
1600 PST… Flood warning issued for Russian River, Sonoma Co., CA.: Friday 160311 PM to Sunday 160313 AM. — @SandhyaABC7
1820 PST… Dinggg! San Francisco just hit 18.42″. Beats 2010-11. Wettest water year in five years. — @ggweather Gate Gate Weather Services
2200 PST… Dinggg! Seattle’s Water Year 2016 reaches 80% of its wettest winter ever, with 6 months of water year remaining (Oct. 1 2015-Aug. 30 2016).
IV. How Storm 56 becomes Storm 57
How Storm 56 comes to an end is tricky. Storm 57 is going to ram the atmospheric river, currently feeding along the stationary cold front of Storm 56, which is running out of steam, which is stalled over the San Francisco Bay. When the Atmospheric River is shoved towards Fresno, supposed to happen around 8am Friday, Storm 57 takes over the atmospheric river and takes it southward to the rest of California.
V. Forecasts and Warnings
Precipitation model run made on 160310 shows atmospheric river hitting northern CA Coast Range heaviest next 18 hours from whatever hour  is. Also Shasta, Trinity Mtns., catching orographic uplift at the northern lip of the Sacramento Valley. — @Weather_West Stanford U
Air Quality Alert: Tuesday, 160308, 11:00-21:00 PST: blowing sand and dust in Nipomo Mesa. Nipomo Mesa is located south of Oceano, just inland from the coast, near Santa Maria, along US 101.
Hazardous Weather Outlook: Tuesday, 160308: light rain returns to area in PM. Wednesday, 160309-Monday, 160314: periods of heavy rain.
High Surf Advisory: until Wednesday, 160309, 0200 PST, surf of 10-12 feet to NW-facing beaches.
Wind Advisory: until Wednesday, 160309, 1000 PST. Gusty NW and N winds 20-50 MPH.
Gale Warning: in progress until Wednesday, 160309, 0300 PST. 20-30 KT winds 30 KT gusts.
Small Craft Advisory until Wednesday, 160309 1000 PST and then
Gale Warning, Wednesday, 160309, 1000 PST until Thursday, 160310, 0200 PST
Gale Warning, Storm Warning, Small Craft Advisory, High Wind Watch…
IV. Storm Totals
Storm 56 was the 12th significant storm for California, but its actual size and impact was of a super-major storm when you add in the impacts on the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia. Storm 56 dropped 29.45″of water on the 65 sampler cities, about .45″ per city.
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