Just bizarre. We often get our last rain in March. Sometimes February. Rarely a bit in April. May is summer like and hot / dry. So yesterday it was cloudy and sprinkled a bit. Now at 4:30 AM it’s a decent rain, and has been for a while. Checking NOAA I find California having winter weather advisories in the mountains and flood warnings in the Central Valley. We are having a winter weather pattern in what ought to be late Spring verging on Summer weather pattern times. I.E. dead dry.
A couple of representative warnings. First, the flood warning:
Event: Flash Flood Watch
…FLASH FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM PDT THIS
MORNING THROUGH THIS EVENING…
The Flash Flood Watch continues for
* A portion of northern California…including the following
areas…Central Sacramento Valley…Motherlode…Mountains
Southwestern Shasta County to Western Colusa County…
Northeast Foothills/Sacramento Valley…Northern Sacramento
Valley…Northern San Joaquin Valley…Shasta Lake Area /
Northern Shasta County…Southern Sacramento Valley…West
Slope Northern Sierra Nevada and Western Plumas County/Lassen
* From 10 AM PDT this morning through this evening
* Some of the thunderstorms today will have intense downpours that
will have a chance of producing flash flooding in the Watch
area. Thunderstorms that develop over the northern end of the
Sacramento Valley will also be very slow moving which will
increase the risk of flash flooding.
* The watch area also includes but is not limited to the recent
burn scars of the Camp and Carr wildfires.
Instructions: A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Flash flooding is a VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION. You should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should Flash Flood Warnings be issued.
Central Sacramento Valley
Mountains Southwestern Shasta County to Western Colusa County
Northeast Foothills, Sacramento Valley
Northern Sacramento Valley
Northern San Joaquin Valley
Shasta Lake Area, Northern Shasta County
Southern Sacramento Valley
West Slope Northern Sierra Nevada
Western Plumas County, Lassen Park
Then one of several Winter Storm Warnings:
Event: Winter Storm Warning
…Snow Showers and Strong Wind for Higher Mountain Elevations
.Late season Pacific storm will bring periods of moderate snow
and strong wind to the higher elevations of the Sierra Nevada and
mountains of Western Plumas County into Tuesday.
Travel into the mountains should be avoided during this time
period as slick roads, lowered visibility, travel delays and
chain controls are expected.
…WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT PDT
TONIGHT ABOVE 6000 FEET…
* WHAT…Heavy snow occurring. Plan on difficult travel
conditions, including during the morning commute. Additional
snow accumulations of 3 to 6 inches, with localized amounts up
to 13 inches, are expected.
* WHERE…Western Plumas County/Lassen Park.
* WHEN…Until midnight.
* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Be prepared for significant reductions in
visibility at times.
A Winter Storm Warning for snow means there will be snow covered
roads and limited visibilities. Travel is not recommended while
the warning is in effect. If you must travel, keep an extra
flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an
emergency.The latest road conditions for the state you are
calling from can be obtained by calling 5 1 1.
Western Plumas County, Lassen Park
This may have happened before, so warrents some digging, but I sure don’t remember it happening. It will be rare in any case.
IF this is happening more broadly, with late start to the growing season (as we had last year) and an early start to winter, fields too wet to plant or harvest; food supply issues could get worse. Though the USDA says planting has gone well so far:
Hey! Australia! Got any spare barly or beef you can sell to the northern hemisphere? I think we’re maybe going to need it if this keeps up.
Checking “back east” with “My Radar” app, they have stormy weather too and red flood marked rivers.