“Weather is just playing games”

By all means go on the garden tours this weekend, but take an umbrella. “In a year that has been anything but normal with huge snowfalls in the Sierra and well-above-normal rain in the lowlands, Mother Nature is just not done playing her games with us just yet,” writes Ken Clark at AccuWeather. For your forecast, which in California will involve cool temperatures and a chance of rain this weekend, click here for the National Weather Service. To improve your vocabulary about what type of rain might fall, check out this collection of “pluvial” terms in the New York Times. UPDATE: A mirthful meteorologist friend and author of the Bad Mom/Good Mom blog  just wrote, “I’ll see your pluvial and raise you virga.”

Good chance of rain










Previously tentative forecasts for rain in Los Angeles have firmed up in the last several days. Below, top to bottom, are at-a-glance probability icons from the National Weather Service as of Thursday afternoon for Los Angeles County foothills (top row), basin (middle), and beach (bottom). To check your forecast, click here to be taken to the National Weather Service, then enter your zip code.

Wet weekend

Briefest of snow in Altadena, California, elevation roughly 1,400 feet, Saturday February 26th.

If you thought that Southern California’s much anticipated snow was the damp squib of the weekend, you didn’t watch the Oscars. More interesting are 2010-11 precipitation numbers to date for what has been a reasonably wet rainy season in Los Angeles County in spite of a La Niña in the equatorial Pacific.

Foothills: Altadena 26.89″  ***, Pasadena: 15.58″ *

San Fernando Valley: Burbank: 14.09″ **

Basin: Downtown Los Angeles: 15.78″ **

Coast: Long Beach: 15.38″ **

If luck amounts to a water plan, then we planned well. To see how a now weakening La Niña has impacted the southern US, from Arizona clear across to Florida, click here for the US Drought Monitor.

*Source: National Weather Service, Los Angeles/Oxnard

**Source: National Weather Service, California Nevada River Forecast Center

***Source: Bill Westphal


Rain and snow in LA and Vegas

As fun as it is when it rains on celebrities at the Oscars, this year it looks like we will merely see the pencil-thin starlets shiver. The above icons in descending order represent the current National Weather Service forecasts for greater Los Angeles foothills, basin and coast respectively. Click here or on the top row of icons to be taken to the National Weather Service website. From Ken Clark’s AccuWeather blog forecast for Los Angeles: “A little rain could break out as early as Friday afternoon, especially from the Los Angeles Basin on north. But the most rain occurs Friday night, then becomes showery Saturday into early Saturday night with a couple of thunderstorms possible as well. Snow levels initially will be around 3,000 to 3,500 feet Friday night, locally lower interior mountains. Snow levels fall late Friday night and Saturday bottoming out at between 1,000 and 1,500 feet, but

Santa Anas

LA Observed has good fun with weather speak in today’s forecast of Santa Ana winds for Southern California. For those interested in how greater Los Angeles, a place that is often mistaken as desert, but is not (yet), gets intermittent breaths out of the actual deserts of the Great Basin and Mojave, click here for a good explanatory page from a California  and federal climate project. A favorite meteorologist (among other things) who blogs as Bad Mom, Good Mom, sent this UCLA link explaining Santa Anas, which opens with this Raymond Chandler excerpt from Red Wind: “There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel

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