The cold, closed low I have been talking about for almost a week now is on schedule for Southern California and then into the Southwest later tonight and tomorrow. The low this afternoon was just off the coast of San Luis Obispo by mid-afternoon Thursday and will go south of Pt. Conception tonight, turn east tomorrow and move across the LA Basin tomorrow afternoon then to near the Colorado River by Friday morning. There will be two distinct maximum areas of rainfall with this storm. The first will be over Southern California especially from the mountains on west and in the Upper Deserts and the second in Arizona north into Nevada and Utah. Thunderstorms will be locally heavy, and there is the potential for locally severe weather in the form of strong, gusty winds, heavy downpours and hail. There is even the slight chance of a waterspout in the coastal waters of Southern California and a funnel cloud or weak tornado over land.
Precipitation will end tomorrow night in Southern California except near the Colorado River where a shower or thundershower could linger in spots late tomorrow night and to start on Friday. Precipitation in Arizona, southern Nevada and Utah continue on Friday with the heaviest activity in the morning hours.
This one storm is the only one the area will see for some time to come. Longer-range computer models show a big ridge building in California and the Southwest over the weekend and next week and temperatures rise back to above-normal levels.
Within the three-state area of Washington, Oregon and Idaho, there are 21 large fire incidents ongoing.
The water level on this massive reservoir had never been lower than what was reached on July 9.
It has been pretty hot of late in the interior Northwest but even hotter weather looks likely by Sunday and Monday.
It does not usually rain this time of year; when it does, this is usually how it happens.
This is the beginnings of the summer monsoon pattern that typically starts around the first week in July.
This third straight below normal rainfall season just put the final defining stamp on what has become a nearly statewide exceptional drought.