After Thursday’s rain, Southern California is expected to return to dry weather

Map showing below-average precipitation forecast for Southern California
(Paul Duginski / Los Angeles Times)

A storm system expected to arrive on Thursday will bring about 24 hours of rain, cold temperatures, strong winds and low-elevation snow, the National Weather Service said. By Friday, the region will dry out with a warming trend into the weekend. Models are suggesting a chance of light rain early next week.

“If we get rain on Thursday [downtown], that would be about a 20-day rain pause or hiatus since the light rain on Dec. 26,” said Bill Patzert, former climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. After that, odds favor a dry, disappointing January, Patzert said. After a wet December, “January is looking like a dud.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s outlook for the period from Jan. 22 to Jan. 28 shows below-average precipitation for most of California, especially Southern California, while temperatures are expected to be above normal.

(Paul Duginski / Los Angeles Times)

Forecast maps show the jet stream feeding into Central California on Thursday morning, and rain is predicted to arrive in Southern California Thursday afternoon. Next week, an offshore high will develop and keep rain to the north and east, with a dry inside slider for Southern California, Patzert said.

la-me-precip-jet-stream-01-23-20_Artboard 4.jpg
(Paul Duginski / Los Angeles Times)

Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA, tweeted on Sunday that it’s not looking like January precipitation will be enough to reverse the growing seasonal precipitation deficit to date in Northern California.

According to Golden Gate Weather Services, as of Monday, Crescent City had 77% of its normal precipitation for the date. Redding was at 70%; Sacramento, 69%; San Francisco, 63%; Mount Shasta City, 55%; San Jose, 52%; Oakland Airport, 45%; Mountain View, 34%; and Livermore, 28%.

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