The West will be in a period of tranquility in the weather through the weekend and to start next week. After that there will be some changes.
This weekend will be precipitation-free from north to south. Remember back at the beginning of the week when there was a tremendous difference in the models with the GFS bringing rain into the Southwest and California but the European was dry. Score: European 1, GFS 0. A lot of higher-level clouds will move through parts of the Southwest and California, but temperatures will remain unseasonably mild as a ridge aloft holds its ground. That same ridge also keeps the Northwest dry as well. The only problem in the forecast is that we could be looking at another period of air stagnation developing over the valleys of eastern Washington, Oregon and Idaho that leads to development of fog and low clouds that by Sunday and Monday may have a hard time in breaking in spots.
The changes first take place in the Northwest by Tuesday with some rain moving in to western Washington and Oregon. Another storm is possible late next Wednesday and Thursday, and it is this storm that could push south into California bringing rain sometime Thursday and Thursday night. Areas farther east in the Great Basin and Arizona may not see any precipitation chances until the end of the week.
Parts of Southern California are likely to see near 90-degree temperatures again by Monday of and Tuesday
A prolonged rain-free pattern is setting in.
By this time in 1998 there was twice as much rain that had occurred to date compared to 2015-2016.
Could an unusual El Nino precipitation pattern be as simple as looking at the state of water temperatures?
One thing that I find interesting is that the pattern since fall has not been your typical El Nino storm pattern.
There are signs of a possible stormier pattern beginning the week of Jan. 18.