Ken Clark

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Another Long Period of Little to No Precipitation

January 30, 2012; 12:33 PM

Another prolonged period of tranquil weather is coming up that will bring little precipitation to the Northwest and no precipitation for the much of the far Southwest including California. This nauseating pattern for California resort operators and ski enthusiasts just continues on and on. Of course, there is skiing to be had; it is just not nearly what it normally is like this time of year.

While there are some small differences in the models on the particulars, the screaming message is the same from Washington state to California and Arizona. Below- to much below-normal precipitation for at least the next 10 days. The main difference in the models today is how they handle a digging trough mid to late week in the eastern Rockies out into the Plains. The GFS solution, the farther west solution, is probably not the most favored. This will have an impact on how much snow may fall in Colorado and northern New Mexico.

The only precipitation that does occur in the Northwest looks to be a couple of light events in the next 48 hours. After that, even this area stays dry for the next week.

I am going to show three maps. Each one is from the GFS and gives the amount of total precipitation from 12Z today to the forecast time hour. I give you the GFS, not because it's the only model looked at, but because I cannot show you the European as they prohibit distribution of their model. However, I again say the European is showing the exact same thing as the GFS. One more note. The lightest green color is precipitation amounts of less than 0.10 of an inch. At least part of that precipitation from the GFS is just noise and won't even occur.

Total Precipitation through 12Z Tuesday

Total Precipitation through 12Z Wednesday

Total Precipitation through 12Z Feb. 9

If you compare the 12Z Wednesday map to the 12Z Feb. 9 map, it should be easy to tell that first, the amount of total precipitation in the Northwest has pretty much not changed one bit between the two maps meaning no precipitation has occurred from Feb. 1 to the morning of Feb. 9. It's also clear that for much of California to Nevada to Arizona will have no precipitation at all from this morning through Feb. 9.

I think these series of maps, and the fact that the models are very consistent, that the weather will indeed be much more tranquil and drier than normal for a long time to come. Is it etched in stone? Of course not, it's the weather. However, given the weather patterns of this winter, it certainly has a higher-than-normal chance to verify.

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About This Blog

Ken Clark
Ken Clark's Western U.S. weather blog tackles daily weather events with commentary from one of the most experienced and trusted Western U.S. weather experts.