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    Western US weather expert

    Below-Normal Precipitation and the Beat Goes on

    2/20/2012, 11:31:34 PM

    There have been changes in the weather pattern from warm to cool and even a little rain and snow thrown in for the Southwest part of the nation over the last month. (For the purposes of this discussion, I am defining the Southwest as being much of California to Nevada and south into Arizona.) However, what has not changed is the drier-than-normal weather that has been plaguing this area of the country all winter long. According to all the models I am looking at, and also the people at the Climate Prediction Center, there is absolutely no reason for optimism.

    The current cool trough in the Southwest will be replaced by more of a ridge taking over the rest of the week. The center of that ridge will stay off the coast of California, but it will get closer sending the jet stream farther away from this area of the country. This is likely to bring precipitation-free weather the rest of the week and through Saturday in all of the Southwest. Temperatures will be getting warmer, considerably above normal, by 10 degrees or more, over a large part of this area.

    Over the weekend into next week, that ridge will move west again allowing another trough to drop south from the Northwest, but the problem is that the trough axis is east of the coast, and in the Southwest, it's just a cooler northwest flow aloft that takes over, not a moist flow of air. So while temperatures cool, the weather will stay mostly dry. There could be a few snow showers in the northern Sierra and northern Nevada, but that hardly counts as a storm.

    Here is what the CPC has for the precipitation forecast for the 6- to 10-day period.

    Tomorrow, I will show you what the statistics show for precipitation compared to normal since July 1 and also for the month of February at select cities.

    The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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    Western US weather expert