San Diego Weather - Notes


Environment - San Diego Weather Notes / Blog
John S. Stokes III
john.stokes cox.net
San Diego, CA - My rain gauge in Bankers Hill, very close to South Mission Hills and extreme southern Hillcrest

Monday September 4, 2017 10:41 AM - The remnants of tropical depression Lydia passed by San Diego to the southwest as predicted, but the rainfall amounts were a lot less than previously mentioned. In San Diego country, La Mesa took the prize with .16", the SD airport .03" in three .01" events. Nothing registered in my gauge, although some surfaces suggested we received more than a trace.

By the way, the images from the GOES 16 satellite are super cool, I became aware of this website a couple weeks ago: http://weather.cod.edu/satrad/exper/?parms=swzoom-02-200-1

Following the incredible recent record rains from Hurricane Harvey in the gulf, all eyes now switch to Hurricane Irma. The models keep nudging her to the west with the hurricane to perhaps pass near the Florida Keys in about a week then turn more towards the north and affect the Florida panhandle and beyond.

Saturday September 2, 2017 - 6:56 PM - After more than three months with hardly any rain, looking forward to see what the remnants of tropical storm Lydia can bring to the area. Currently an 80% chance of showers tomorrow with .10-.75" a likely range. Lydia is projected to pass well to our southwest as a depression, bring the strong northeast sector very close to our area.

Monday May 8, 2017 - 9:50 AM - Final storm total my gauge 1.12", .89" airport. Many readings of 2" or more inland!We're now in great shape to go through the dry season even if there is little or no rain until October-November. The 2017 YTD airport total is now 7.7"!

Sunday May 7, 2017 - 8:23 PM - Excellent rain all afternoon into this evening - Today so far now .98" here, bringing the storm total to 1" exactly. SD Airport showing .70" through 7:51 PM. Fruit trees will be VERY happy.

Sunday May 7, 2017 - 11:15 AM - Rain! First rain event here since the light rain we had in late March. Yesterday .02" here versus .05" at the airport. Today so far .18" here versus .21" at the airport. North county and inland mountains quite a bit more with some amounts over an inch. More is in the forecast, hit or miss variety.

Thursday March 23, 2017 - 12:15 PM - Had .04" late last night, bringing the "storm" total to .11". Airport .07" total. Only slight chances of rain for the remainder of the month.

Wednesday March 22, 2017 - 4:23 PM - The "storm" a total bust locally. The NWS repeatedly lowered expectations for the rain, and so far we're below the lowest of the low. Here .07" in the gauge, .04" at the airport. Looks like March will come in well below normal. I've been hoping for one more good storm before the dry season is upon us.

Monday March 20, 2017 - 2:46 PM - Spring began today at 3:29 AM! Been a dry month, with the .01" on March 5 all there is to show for this month so far. Normal for the month is around 1.55"! But, rain is on the way, with the bulk forecasted to fall later in the day Wednesday. Projections from the 1PM NWS forecast:

Coast and valleys-0.75 to 1.5 inches
Mountains-1.5 to 3 inches
High deserts-0.25 to 0.50 inches
Low deserts 0.25 inch or less

Sunday March 5, 2017 - 8:31 PM - Extreme southern tail of a frontal system went through today. 01" at the airport, .00" in the rain gauge, just a trace on the ground.

Thursday March 2, 2017 - 1:36 PM - The drought level for San Diego dropped again, now we are just "abnormally dry", the lowest drought code.

Tuesday February 28, 2017 - 10:00 AM - The storm ended last night around midnight, with a final super heavy burst in the mid to late evening. My rain gauge recorded 4.71" for the day! And just .01" after midnight this morning. The buckets, a more reliable measurement, were close to 4". It rained every hour yesterday, unlike the typical San Diego pattern of bursts of rain with broken clouds and bits of sky in between. The airport recorded 2.35". I read that the San Diego river crested at the 3rd highest level recorded. In our lower yard, a hunk of "the cliff" collapsed. Looking forward to this Thursday's drought report! Will post comparison pictures when it comes out.

Monday February 27, 2017 - 12:42 PM - The storm is turning into a major headliner! My buckets are showing 1.5 to 1.75", the rain gauge 2.15", the airport as of their latest report @11:51 AM showing 1.07". Certainly at least 1.5" here.

The date for the second drought picture in the February 2 post was incorrectly mentioned as January 1, 2017, now corrected to January 31, 2017.

Monday February 27, 2017 7:35 AM - Yesterday, in the first of two advertised rains, I measured .03" here, the airport .05". The second storm is upon us and already has produced far more than originally predicted and much more is on the way. My gage is showing .92" right now for this morning and a steady rain is falling! The bucket looks like about 3/4".

Monday February 20, 2017 9:16 AM - I was in New Orleans during the big Friday storm of February 17 returning late last night! My gauge measured 1.54" on Friday and then .30" more for the weekend's showers. As usual I think this is high, but certainly over an inch fell here! With the heavier rains in the L.A. area I'm looking forward to yet another reduction in the drought designations for CA this Thursday.

Thursday February 9, 2017 4:45 PM - A another drought level reduction in the San Diego area occurred today, we are now in the color between yellow and orange, indicating "moderate" drought!

Tuesday February 7, 2017 2:39 PM - The first rain event of February appears to be over. Airport .13" with .03" in the first stage and .10" in the second stage. My gauge .22", all in the second stage (last night). No buckets were set up. As usual, a lot more rain in the mountains and to the north. We may see a further reduction in the drought designations within California this Thursday.

Thursday February 2, 2017 11:10 AM - The drought monitor has continued to greatly reduce the drought severity for California with major improvements as a result of the rainy December and January.


U.S. Drought Monitor November 29, 2016 & January 31, 2017

Thursday January 26, 2017 3:13 PM - San Diego Sea Levels has been updated for 2016. The average sea level reading dropped by about 2.5" for the year, but the average reading was still the third highest going back to 1906. The prior two years contain the two highest readings! The trend remains up. The drop in 2016 was likely due to the end of the latest El Niño influence. The 2016 updates are now complete.

Wednesday January 25, 2017 12:15 PM - The airport is now showing 3.01" for the month, .05" yesterday. I recorded .12" yesterday. For the month I've recorded 6.72", my guess is actual is closer to 5" here. The weather outlook is for clear skies for the rest of the month, so 3.01" will likely be the total for January, 7.23" for the last two months, and 8.23" for the season which is at least 2" above average.

Monday January 23, 2017 1:29 PM - Nitrous Oxide Levels have been updated for 2016. The slow but relentless increase continues.

Monday January 23, 2017 10:01 AM - After two direct hits by small cells, my range gauge storm total is now .89". Bucket nearly matching with 7/8". Airport a laggard with .44". North county was deluged, Palomar showing 6.19", the extreme case; Temecula 3.16".

Sunday January 22, 2017 9:50 PM - Methane Levels have been updated for 2016. 2016 levels declined from last year and was the first average level decline since 2006. 2016 was still the second highest average in since records were started in the late 1980's. Still waiting for Sea Level and Nitrous Oxide data.

Meanwhile a front just went through and we had quite a bit of rain in the last hour. My gauge is now showing .70" inches!

Sunday January 22, 2017 7:49 PM - So far the storm has been a flop locally from a rain perspective. The heavy rains have remained to the north, only a little bit "crept" into our area. LAX has over 2.8" and many areas in north county well over an inch. The airport reading as of 7PM is a pathetic .11", my gauge right now is showing .24". The winds are still strong from the south, certainly a front will go through sometime and could bring some strong frontal rain. The big rain shield in advance of the storm is now pretty much inland. The winds have been impressive, over 20 MPH all afternoon and early evening, with gusts in the 30's.


Wind swept waves at La Jolla, CA @ 2:50PM today

Sunday January 22, 2017 11:39 AM - The second storm lived up to the hype. In the first wave of rain Friday morning I recorded .71", in the second very heavy wave in the afternoon, 1.13" inches completely maxing out both systems of hillside swales and berms, then .17" in showers on Saturday morning, for a storm total of 2.01"! The bucket total was around 1.75". The airport recorded 1.11" on Friday and .03" on Saturday - my total for Saturday was a lot higher due to a direct hit by a small vigorous cell, plus on a micro scale rain funneled up the valley from the south. We had some strong winds too, but no damage or big branches down.

The third and final storm was supposed to be here about now, but the rain this time is creeping to the south as rain cells are moving to the northeast unlike the previous storm which had cells moving more to the east. Next week's drought report should finally take San Diego down a notch!

Thursday January 19, 2017 - 2:06 PM - The first of three storms has passed. While the county did receive 1/2 to 1" mostly to the north, local amounts were underwhelming. Airport .19" about the lightest anywhere along the coast as the initial rain shield of yesterday evening split into two, passing mostly to the south and one piece to the north dissipating. My gauge .33", bucket about .25". The NWS remains bullish for the next two storms, Friday and then Sunday.

Wednesday January 18, 2017 - 3:36 PM - The text file for rain totals at San Diego Rain has been corrected. The total for 2016 was 10.23" not 10.44". In my spreadsheet I had May as being .65" when it was really .44". The text file had the correct number. Thanks to Jay Hansen for alerting me to the error for 2016.

Wednesday January 18, 2017 - 9:58 AM - Looking with anticipation for the three storms predicted to hit starting tonight through next Tuesday. As of this morning, preliminary NWS predicted totals for the three storms is super impressive:

Total Rain
Coast: 2-5 inches Valleys: 3-6 inches Mountains: 6-12 inches on coastal slopes High desert: 1-3 inches Lower deserts: 0.75-1.5 inches. Total snowfall 2-3 feet above 7000 feet 10-20 inches above 5000 feet Several inches above 4500 feet A little in the high desert on Monday

I did get .01" more rain later in the day on January 13.

January 13, 2017 - 10:55 AM - January is following December as a rainy month. Our yard is full of very happy plants loving it, plus weeds! My total for yesterday and last night into this morning is 1.16", bringing my monthly total to 3.30". The airport is showing .55" for the latest storm, and only 1.04" for month to date. The bucket is back and is showing about an inch for the latest storm. Meanwhile the U.S. Drought Monitor's latest weekly update is showing northern CA (north of San Francisco) as being drought free for the first time in years, and a considerable reduction of the "Extreme Drought" area to the south. We remain categorized as in "Extreme Drought". Perhaps this most recent storm and yet more rain possible late next week will generate a lowering of the drought rating for this area.

January 11, 2017 - 10:00 PM - Carbon Dioxide Levels have been updated for 2016. The levels reached a new record and the annual increase was the third largest since records began in 1958.

January 11, 2017 - 6:13 PM - Some light rain this afternoon: .14" in my gauge, .05" at the airport. One more system is in the forecast for tomorrow/Friday with the current projection at .25-.50".

January 9, 2017 - 11:36 AM - San Diego once again brushed by a vastly larger center of rain to the north. 0.18" in my gauge and .18" at the airport so far, looks to be about over. On January 5 recorded .25" here, the airport .16". The "bucket" gauge has been discontinued for now. Two more systems are in the forecast but neither one major.

January 3, 2017 - 12:13 PM - Arctic Sea Ice has been updated for 2016. The average coverage dropped by 3.79% to a new low. The maximum coverage was just a tick greater than lasts year's record low maximum figure, while the minimum was 5.6% lower than last years minimum but short of the record minimum set in 2012. I'm still waiting for Carbon Dioxide, Methane and Nitrous Oxide figures.

January 2, 2017 - 3:17 PM - San Diego's 2016 temperatures are in, 2016 was the 6th warmest with the three year average of the three most recent years the warmest on record. San Diego Temperature has been updated.

January 1, 2017 - 5:38 PM - My total for the three phase rain came in at 1.57", with .22" in the first period, .32" in the second period and 1.03" for yesterday evening;s rain. The bucket figure was similar overall. The airport end up with 1.16" overall, 4.22" for December and 10.44" [Jan 18 Edit: Correct figures is 10.22"] for the year, above normal! With so much rain over California this past year, maybe we can get rid of the area of "Exception Drought" and lower San Diego's "Extreme Drought" designation to "Severe" or maybe even better! San Diego Rain has been updated.

December 31, 2016 - 10:13 PM - Rain resumed late this afternoon, been a great day! Airport through 9:51PM is showing .58" for today and certainly will be more than that. My gauge as of right now is showing .94" and 1.48" for the last two days. I have the airport breaking 10" for the year with 10.34" so far. 'Lite have the final figures and updated chart tomorrow. Bucket is showing more than an inch for the Dec 30-31 period so far. Happy New Year!

December 30, 2016 - 3:43 PM - Nice band of rain went through here this morning associated with an upper level low. Airport .28", my gauge .22", bucket maybe 3/16". This rainy December brings the airport total for 2016 to 9.53", very close to normal (9.85") and very close to last year's total of 9.89". If we score direct hits from the tail end of this system and the system forecasted to go through tomorrow, we might hit 10" for the year, the first time since 2010.

December 24, 2016 - 11:14 AM - The final read for the second storm (Dec 21-22) was 1.10" for the airport, 1.96" for my gauge, and about 1.5" for the bucket. Last night's storm came short of coastal expectations of 1-2" locally as the main blobs of rain split and went north and south of here. The airport is currently showing .61", my gauge higher again at .86" and the bucket a touch over 3/4". There are still a few widely scattered showers about.

December 22, 2016 - 11:08 AM - A lot more rain! Right now the airport is showing .98" so far for this storm. My gauge says 1.68", again I think that is high, but we did get a lot. My "bucket" gauge is showing about 1 1/4". The storm last week registered 2.10" on my gauge, 1.32" at the airport and about 1 3/4" in the bucket. May still get some more showers out of this surprise"Baja" storm, then maybe an inch from the "Alaska" storm late Friday into Saturday.

December 21, 2016 - 5:25 PM - Excellent forecast - rain tonight and tomorrow morning, then a "major winter storm" during the night of December 23-24.


Rain approaching from the south, late afternoon December 21

December 16, 2016 - 11:44 AM - The NWS nailed this one! Although the rains were a few hours late, they did come. Lindbergh is showing .90" of rain so far. My Acu-Rite rain gauge is working again and shows 1.33"! However, I think that is high, a well placed bucket with vertical walls is showing about 1". In any case a wonderful soaking rain with very little runoff. I expect an explosion of green in the yard next week.


Water management on our steep back yard slope: From left to right, upper swale, upper middle swale, lower middle swale, lower swale.

December 15, 2016 - 11:51 AM - NWS has been predicting rain here for almost a week. Latest has rain starting after 5PM and ending tomorrow with .5 to 1.25" along the "coastal basin". The Pacific satellite imagery at http://counterintelligence/Storm/Hurricane/Pacification is not too promising, the movement so far has been to the north us as usual. The "100 percent" chance of rain tonight has been reduced to "90 percent", tomorrow is still at 100 percent. We need rain locally! Meanwhile substantial rains again are falling in northern CA, the reservoirs are full or nearly full. Here's hoping for an inch!

November 29, 2016 - 4:09 PM - Generous rain fell in San Diego North County, about an inch, and exceeding more than 2 inches in the Julian / Cuyamaca areas. But, locally (nearer the airport), amounts were far less. My gauge is still down, San Diego International Airport (also known as Lindbergh), received .11" on Nov 26, .17" on Nov 27 and .10" yesterday, Nov 28. I think we received about the same maybe a little less. I can dig a couple inches into garden mulch and the ground is still bone dry! No rain will fall tomorrow, so I can say that November's total will come in at .61", about 1/3 inch below normal.

November 20, 2016 - 3:50 PM - Rain is predicted! Not clear how much is predicted here, but 1/2" seems to be possible as the amounts have gone from 0.2", 0.4", 0.5" then ranging from 0.25" to 0.75", then no figure mentioned, and then most recently "four to six hours of heavy precip with rainfall amounts exceeding 1/2 inch per hour will be possible", but without location attribution. 2015 turned out to be a good year after years of drought, then this year much drier again. Our yard needs rain so badly. The system of berms and swales we built on the hillside went untested last winter due to the failure of the El Niño rains to materialize.... maybe this rain will do it.

November 2, 2016 - 11:08 AM - October came in almost bone dry with .07", well below normal. Nothing on the horizon for November. We need rain! Center and northern CA did receive very good amounts. Also, October was 3.9 degrees warmer than average. Particularly disturbing is that the Arctic Sea Ice has returned to a path of record shrinkage as the Arctic Ocean's sea temperature is way above normal. If we do not get a big freeze up there this winter, next summer could see some very dire readings.

September 20, 2016 - 7:14 PM - Rain today! Worked its way from the south very slowly and fell in my area as generally light rain all afternoon and into the evening with pauses. My rain gauge is not working (still shows 0.00" on the display). My guess is we've had somewhere between .1" and .2" so far.

September 19, 2016 - 11:57 AM - Impressive thunder and lighting around 3AM this morning! Forerunner activity from hurricane Paine off the coast of southern Baja. On the lookout for showers tonight! Raindrops last night but zero as measured in my rain gauge, maybe .01" actual. Prior to today, there has been virtually no measurable rain since May 6th, that's over 4 months without rain. We need it badly!

June 1, 2016 - 7:40 PM - Been dry since the last entry, just a few traces here. Lindbergh recorded .01" towards the end of the month.

May 6, 2016 11:28 AM - Rain! Showers went through late yesterday evening, I recorded .10". Today some good steady rain in the early morning followed by another line of showers a short while ago added .55" here, bringing the storm total to .65". The rain was much needed here, the plants in my yard will be quite happy! The airport is showing .43" so far for the storm, well about the normal for the whole month of May, the second year in a row this happened.

May 2, 2016 11:43 AM - The subsequent systems mentioned on April 7 all flopped. So the year got off to a great start with the 3.21" of rain in January, then fizzed with February-April bringing in just1.36" at Lindbergh compared to a normal of 4.86" And now the dry season is upon us.. The ground is dry up driving up the need to irrigate again. Northern California is in great shape with the huge Shasta and Lake Oroville reservoirs approaching capacity!

April 7, 2016 6:50 PM - The advertised wetter weather is upon us. I recorded .30" of rain so far today, this compares favorably with Lindbergh's .27". More showers are nearby, and three additional systems are fore-casted to arrive in the next week.

April 1, 2016 1:51 PM - March saw just .76" of rain, 1.01" below the NWS normal for the month. We may get some tropical rain in a week, but surely El Niño has to be considered a flop so far for water hungry Southern California. For Northern CA, the main reservoirs are now ABOVE normal for this date, a huge relief for that area! My rain gauge recorded .82" for the month.

March 7, 2016 9:31 AM - Well once again San Diego has to settle for the southern tails of the storms. Yesterday I measured .18" and in today's much anticipated storm, only .16" from the front which just passed through here, although the rain was briefly heavy with some lightning and thunder. Central and northern CA again have received considerable rains, severe drought conditions up there have lessened substantially.
6:30 PM - Day's total now up to .21", some more thunder.
10:28 PM - Day's total now up to .45" with some impressive evening showers, still some lingering showers around although mostly passing to the south of us. With yesterday's rain, the storm total is now .63".

March 1, 2016 10:32 AM - February set a new record as the warmest February in San Diego weather history. The average temperature of 63.9 broke the previous record of 63.5 set in 1980. In third place is 63.1 set just last year, So 2 of the 3 warmest Februaries have been in the last two years. The two coldest February were set long long ago: 50.4 in 1894 and 50.5 in 1880!

February was also one of the driest February with just 0.05" inches of rain. Not extremely unusual, as there have been eight Februaries with lower amounts going back to the mid 1850's, with 1912, 1924 and 1967 at zero. The good news is that the weather models are predicting considerable rain starting as soon as March 6. Current talk is 1" along the coast in the following week, perhaps more!

February 11, 2016 4:25 PM - 10th day in a row of super dry weather. Third day in a row of record heat. Feb 9 - 83 broke record of 77 set in 2008; Feb 10 - 86 broke record of 84 set in 1988; today - 84 broke record of 83 set in 1988.

February 9, 2016 5:20 PM - We've had 8 days in a row of increasingly warm super clear weather, virtually cloudless and very dry. The generous rains of January are drying out and once again we need rain badly although the northern reservoirs are doing well. We had a record high temperature today, although the previous record of 77 was a record waiting to be broken as the typical record high around now is in the mid 80's. Today 83. At my place, just slightly further inland than the airport, I recorded 92 as the high!

February 1, 2016 1:55 PM - The San Diego Sea Levels data for 2015 is out! Again the collective data flashes a warning for global warming. The levels for 2015 set a new record. While big increases are frequently followed by decreases, the trend has been up, and the last two years certainly jump out! Also, on January 29 Arctic Sea Ice was at the lowest levels for that date since recording began around 1980.

January 25, 2016 2:18 PM - The Methane data for 2015 is out! And alas, once again a new record was set for the year, plus the increase was the biggest in 24 years. See Methane Levels.

January 24, 2016 - Been about two weeks since we've had any rain (except .06" on the 14th, bringing the monthly total here to 3.74" and a few traces). There's talk of a fairly good chance of a rain event at or near the end of the month. Meanwhile still waiting on Methane and Sea Level data to close out 2015.

January 18, 2016 10:40 PM - The December CO2 data is in. I've updated the Carbon Dioxide Levels page, adding the 2015 data to the main chart, and I created a new chart showing the change in parts per million for each year since records began in 1958. 2015 not only set a new CO2 level records, it also had the biggest increase since records began, breaking the 3.0 parts per million barrier.

January 12, 2016 12:26 PM - Did the annual update for the Nitrous Oxide Levels chart, another increase. Still waiting on the CO2 data for December. 2015 CO2 will show a record level for sure and disturbingly a good chance at a record increase for the year! Will post the data when I see it. Also still waiting on December sea level data, that will likely show up in a couple weeks. No idea when 2015 Methane data will be out. Meanwhile we are back to a dry pattern, the jet stream is pushing the El Niño storms well north of us again. Still, with 3.68" of rain so far this month, we are well above normal.

January 6, 2016 8:15 PM - Another rainy day although the main action was to the north of San Diego, including multiple waterspouts off the coast to the north. I have measure 0.69" since midnight, and there must have been another .02" late yesterday as the January total is now 2.93". Showers, possibly strong, are predicted for tonight.

Meanwhile I have updated the Arctic Sea Ice page for 2015. Noteworthy is that the maximum ice extent for 2015 was at a record low, while the average and minimum were low but not records.

January 5, 2016 9:26 PM - What a storm! I measured 1.98" today, and just now a little squaw has brought the total up to exactly 2 inches, with the total since all this began a couple days ago to 2.22". Had some flooding issues on the property.

January 5, 2016 - Finally! El Niño enhanced storms are upon us. I received .22" from the first and weakest of the storms (.16" initially then .06" in residual showers). Rain gauge is in south Mission Hills. Storm number 2 is in progress and I've picked up .18" as of this morning with a coastal forecast of 1 to 1.5" and 2 to 4 in the mountains. Storm 3 is expected to be strong, too and a fourth one this weekend!

January 1, 2016 - Year 2015 average temperature was 67.50 and almost set a new record but not quite, as 2014 came in at 67.54 degrees.

December 31, 2015 -

Rain: San Diego came in a just about normal for the year regarding rainfall. The super unusual thing about this though is that most of the rain fell in the normally very dry summer!

Temperature: San Diego was on track for having its warmest year on record, but with a rather cool second half in December, I think we are going to miss breaking last year's record by just a few hundredths of a degree! The last two years are the warmest back to back years in San Diego. Globally, Earth set a new record high average temperature for the year.

Sea Level: In late January the ocean level data for December San Diego will be coming in and will be posted on the Sea Levels page. Based on the first 11 months 2015 will be well above 2014's record by more than an inch!

Carbon Dioxide: CO2 was at a new record last year yet again (will update as soon as I get the update).

Methane: Methane could take months, my source was very late last year. This year has seen a huge methane leak in CA, currently unplugged. The Aortic Sea Ice extent looks to come in at the third lowest, although the current year-end level is at a new low.

Summation: Things continue to get worse. Go solar, eat less meat, recycle and re-purpose.

December 23, 2015 - Northern CA, Oregon and Washington have received super impressive rains this past month. Here in San Diego, amounts along the coast have been light, although some mountain stations have received 2-3". My rain gauge is now operational, although not yet working for the Internet (transmitter not being picked up by the "Internet Bridge"). In the past few days it recorded .34", with .11" a few days ago and .23" in the most recent round. These figures are very close to Lindbergh Field's .11: and .20"!

December 14, 2015 - Waiting for El Niño!. We had .19" on December 11 (mixed with pea size hail and some thunder and lightning) and .16" yesterday evening, bringing the monthly total to .35". But this is -.21" below normal so far for the month. Northern CA has had a lot of rain this month, but so far the reservoir levels have barely budged, they continue well below normal throughout the state. We may see some rain in a week, but the forecasts at this time are not talking a big event. Longer range continues to keep rain well to the north.

I have recently purchased an ACURITE weather station! Not yet set up, hope to be able to connect my station to the Internet for data sharing! Anyone with experience here free to email me. At some point in the future I plant to migrate my environmental section from this website to a new website and make it publicly interactive.

November 4, 2015 - Heavy rains in May, July, September and now continuing the every-other-month streak this November, substantial rain fell in the San Diego area yesterday evening. Bringing memories of the thunderstorms last July, about four thunderstorms went through San Diego yesterday evening accompanied by many flashes of lighting and booming thunder, scaring the dogs. Combined with some earlier showers and later sprinkles, the storms dropped 1.12" at the airport, most of it in a couple hours. The storm came from the cold Alaskan climes and was not tropical in nature .I've been working on having our sloping yard terraced for water catchment and yesterday's storm caught us with an incomplete system! I have San Diego's year-to-date total at 8.59", and is well ahead of the last three below normal full year totals of 6.63", 5.57" and 7.77".

November 2, 2015 - October's San Diego average temperature came in at 74.4 degree's smashing the previous record of 72.2 degrees set in 1983 to smithereens, with records going back to 1851. Again and again, evidence continues to pound us in the face that a serious warming trend is in place.

October 19, 2015 - Amazing factoid from the National Weather Service:

SUNDAY [October 18, 2015] WAS THE NINTH DAY IN A ROW WITH A LOW TEMPERATURE OF 70 OR GREATER AT LINDBERGH FIELD AND THE 10TH SUCH DAY SO FAR THIS MONTH. PRIOR TO THIS YEAR...THERE HAD NEVER BEEN MORE THAN TWO DAYS IN A ROW IN OCTOBER WITH A LOW TEMPERATURE OF 70 OR GREATER IN SAN DIEGO AND NO OCTOBER WITH MORE THAN FOUR SUCH DAYS...THAT BEING OCTOBER 1997 WITH FOUR LOWS OF 70 DURING THE FIRST FIVE DAYS OF THAT MONTH. THIS RECENT STRETCH OF WARM NIGHTS HAS BROUGHT THE 5 WARMEST NIGHTS IN OCTOBER IN THE HISTORY OF SAN DIEGO AS WELL ASTHE 7TH WARMEST.

October 13, 2015 - San Diego continues with well above normal temperatures. September, according to my records was the 32nd consecutive month above normal! In the last four days San Diego record 99 degrees, a tie, 96 degrees, a record, 94 degrees, a record, and 94 degrees, a tie. Some record high low temperatures were set. So, October is on track on becoming the 33rd above normal month in a row. NOAA says that February, March, May, June, July, and August of this year have set monthly all time records for monthly global average temperatures. Is the ongoing global warming accelerating?

In the rain department, today's forecast mentions a good chance of a significant rainstorm on Sunday, October 18th.

September 15, 2015 - The remnants of hurricane Linda finally made significant landfall, causing September to join May and July as freakishly wet months during what is normally the dry season for San Diego. A wave of rain swept in from the sea today penetrating well into San Diego county. San Diego airport received 1.07" of rain in just two hours and 1.15 in all, through mid evening.

The five month period of May through September this year has been the wettest in San Diego recorded history! I have the five months (with September only half way done) coming it at 5.30", the previous 5 month record with September being counted as a full month was 3.95" in 1977.

September 8, 2015 - Been mostly dry since the big rains of July. July ended up with 1.71" and August just .01" (about normal) with some early showers mid month and nothing so far in September. Yesterday there were some pretty impressive towering cumulonimbus in east county and Agua Caliente had close to an inch of rain. Nothing here as mentioned. We are getting close to the end of the monsoon season. There is some tropical moisture to the southeast, will be on the lookout for more big clouds over the mountains.

July 19, 2015 - Yesterday was one of the most incredible days in San Diego weather history. Thunderstorms from the remnants of tropical storm Dolores struck San Diego for several hours bringing record rainfall amounts for July. The three wettest months for July going back to 1852 were 1.29" in 1865, .51" in 1868 and .92" in 1902. In the single day yesterday San Diego received 1.03" with hundreds and hundreds of lightning strikes. The previous record for the date was just .01". The average for the whole month was just .03"! Then today a new round of storms struck and as of 6:51PM .57" has fallen, bringing the month to 1.64", a record in recorded history. As of 6:49 PM it is still raining!

What is particularly incredible is that May had 2.39", the second wettest May in history. The May, June, July total comes to 4.07" smashing the previous record of 2.54" in 1921. So while California is considered to be in a very severe drought, the last three month must start showing up in the overall data, we've been having record rain!!

July 2, 2015 - There have been some early monsoon showers over San Diego county this week. .04" on the last day of June, kept that month from being a zero; .01" on July 1. Scattered heavier amounts elsewhere.

May 31, 2015 - The heavy rain predicted for May 15 did not materialize, May ended up coming at 2.39", 0.15" shy of the record set in 1921. Although San Diego officially is in "Extreme Drought" mode, the latest season's rain is less than an inch short of normal. Local vegetation is looking pretty green! The reservoirs though out California remain well below normal. Also the month came in a just about normal temperature-wise, breaking a streak of considerably above normals.

May 15, 2015 - Yesterday evening extreme rain fell at the airport and nearby locales. I was in north county so I missed the really intense part! I read that .71" fell in just 9 minutes at the peak, a rate reserved for intense thunderstorms and hurricanes! 1.30" fell in one hour, 1.51" in two hours, yesterday's total was 1.63". This is quite incredible considering the normal amount for the whole month of May is 0.25". The previous one day record for May 14 was .40". Blame the jet stream.

With the 1/2" which fell earlier this month, 1.63" yesterday and .18" through noon today, this month has already seen 2.31". Since records began in 1851, this total has been exceeded just once, 2.54" in 1921. Given today's forecast of more rain, this number could be easily broken. Will be interesting to see how plants react as they were already in summer desert mode.

The YTD figure is now 3.96", still well below the normal 6.35" for a full five months, but much better than a couple weeks ago. The seasonal total (July-June) is now 8.91" not that far off from the normal of 9.86". This rain has been mostly confined to Southern CA, overall the state's reservoirs remain well below normal.

May 8, 2015 - 1/2" of rain fell in San Diego in the past 24 hours, twice the normal amount for the whole month! Won't do much for the extensive drought but very, very welcome. Some hints that we may receive more towards the end of next week.

March 28, 2015 - March 2015 will set a new all time record high monthly average temperature record for March. The current record is 64.05 degrees and that was set just last year in 2014. Through the first 27 days, March 2015 has averaged 66.6 degrees, it would have to be in the high 40's for the last four days, this is not going to happen.

Since the last post some more records were set or tied:
We had 66 minimum on March 16, don't have the previous record.
We had 63 minimum on March 17, breaking the old record of 59 set in 2014.
We had 62 minimum on March 21, tied the old record set in 2014
We had 82 on March 27 tied the record high set in 1952, and a record minimum of 62 breaking the old record of 88 set in 1988.

March 16, 2015 - A record heat wave is ending
We had 89 on March 13, breaking the old record of 87 set in 1994.
We had 90 on March 14, breaking the old record of 83 set in 1951.
We had 89 on March 15, breaking the old record of 80 set in 1978.
There is only one other day between January 1 and March 15 with a record high of 89 or greater: 90 on February 19, 1995. The three day heat wave was the greatest in San Diego so early in the year in at least 145 years, another tick of evidence of continued warming.

February 23, 2015 - A rainstorm came through San Diego county in the past 24 hours; it was completely out of the long range forecast last week. Dropped over 2" in the mountains and mostly over 1" in north country. South county didn't get much, and the SAN airport received a paltry .18", that rain gauge is well below normal year to date.

February 4, 2015 - Added Nitrous Oxide Levels data page.

February 3, 2015 - Added Methane Levels data page.

January 20, 2015 - Added Analysis sections to the Rain, Sea, Temperature and CO2 pages.

January 19, 2015 - I've updated the San Diego Sea Levels page and the San Diego Temperature page, adding annual change graphs for further discussion.

January 1, 2015 - I have 2014 as being the hottest in San Diego's recorded weather history going back to 1852, with 2014 beating the previous record of 67.24 by .3 of a degree.

December 31, 2014 - Only .08" at San Diego from the latest rain (corrected from .09"), but closer to an inch in some North County places. And snow inland! Will update the various charts in the coming days. Happy New Year everybody!

snow
I took this photo at the Descanso highway 79 exit on the 8 at the nearby park and ride around 8:30 this morning
The snow got down to about 2500 feet.

December 30, 2014 - The first 29 days of December have come in with an average of 61.1, the last two days would have to be pretty close to zero to fail to have a record warm year. However in one of the recent discussions, the Weather Service said that this year is shaping to be "one of the warmest on record", not the warmest on record. Hmmmm. Curious to know which year is the warmest so far since records began. According to my records, it was 1984 coming it at an average of 67.24, followed by 1983 coming in at an average of 67.04. My guess is 2014 will come in at around 67.54. Email me if you know which year will be warmer than this year.

December 29, 2014 - Here is a correction to yesterday's post. December has to have an average of 56.99 degrees or above to set a new record (not 56.41 as mentioned yesterday). Still a new record is a given as yesterday's cold weather brought the first 28 days of December down by just .3 degrees to 61.2, and would require the last three days to be in the 17's to bring the monthly average to below 56.99.

December 28, 2014 - Colder than normal weather has been in this area for the past couple days with frost inland. The cold is predicted to persist for the rest of the year although not as extreme. Does this threaten 2014 being the warmest in recorded history? No, not by my calculations. I'm figuring December has to average 56.41 or above for the annual average to set a new record. For the first 27 days, December has averaged 61.5 well in excess of this. For the final four days to bring the average to 56.4 for "only" a tie, the final four days would have to average a frigid 22 degrees. Not going to happen.

December 20, 2014 - A third but smaller rainstorm mostly on the 16th, brought in 0.84" at Lindbergh, bringing the monthly total to 4.42" way above normal. Again there were much greater amounts well to the north. And today there is yet more rain in northern CA although nothing here. Reservoir levels, while improving, remain well below normal. The most impressive thing about the rain on the 16th was the spectacular rainbow which appeared shortly before sunset as the storm moved out. Visible was a fairly unusual "supernumerary rainbow" effect: interior fainter bows of color!

rainbow_20141216a
Rainbow over Balboa Park, December 16, 2014

rainbow2
Contrast enhanced supernumerary rainbow view (was a bit above the area shown in the first photo)

December 15, 2014 - With the first 14 days of December averaging 6.2 degrees above normal it is almost certain 2014 will come in as the warmest in San Diego weather records history. The remaining 17 days would have at come in at around 50 degrees average, super extremely unlikely.

December 12, 2014 - Another impressive rainstorm. 1.05" of rain at Lindbergh, about in line with the general area. Huge amounts of rain fell in central and northern California with many areas reporting 3 to 6". Plus, this time it was cold enough to bring snow to the mountains, to help build storage for next summer. Combined with the first big storm, maybe, finally, the extent of the drought shown at drought.gov will shrink. Already this month, San Diego has received well more than in the first 11 months. And more is predicted to come!

December 4, 2014 - A very heavy rain cell crossed the airport early this morning, dumping over 1" of rain over their poor rain-starved gauge within an hour, catapulting Lindbergh's storm total to the top of the heap for San Diego Country coastal stations! As of 4AM, the storm total for Lindbergh was 2.53" (corrected from 2.58").This brings Lindbergh in line with the rest of the county since early November, and with November doubles the year-to-date totals to over 6". Still well below normal, but now not freakishly so. Already there is talk of another rain maker around December 11-12.

December 3, 2014 - Best rain in quite some time. Bit unusual as the rain is from the tropics rather than the southern tail of a frontal storm. However, as usual, the heavier amounts are to the north and inland, with San Diego getting a less than expected. Still, amounts exceeding 1" or more are common with some mountain areas getting more than 3". Should be enough to bring about substantial greening of the landscape. Meanwhile the 10 day forecast is for above normal temperatures, so the chances of setting a temperature record for the hottest year on record for San Diego are increasing.

November 30, 2014 - If December comes in at normal temperature or warmer, 2014 will be the hottest year recorded for San Diego.

November 27, 2014 - Record high temperature in San Diego, 85 degrees, breaking the previous high of 83 set in 1903. I think we've tied 3 records this year and broken 6. This year is on track to being one of the warmest on record with an outside shot at being the warmest.

torrey_pines
Pacific Ocean as viewed from Broken Hill, Torrey Pines State Park, November 27, 2014 on a record heat day

November 21, 2014 - Reports of heavy rain last night in some areas of San Diego county. Some places received more than in inch. Poor Lindbergh received just .04".

May 22, 2014 - We've had a bunch of record temperatures here - broken or tied. Fire storms accompanied the second batch. I was surprise today, San Diego county remained in "extreme drought" instead of being moved to the worst category "exceptional drought", by the USDA's weekly Drought Monitor update.
----- April 29: 91 degrees, record
----- April 30: 94 degrees, record
----- May 1: 95 degrees, record
----- May 12: 88 degrees, tied record (1967)
----- May 13: 94 degrees, tied record (1967)
----- May 14: 93 degrees, record
----- May 15: 97 degrees, record
----- May 16: 92 degrees, tied record (1956)

January 17, 2014 - For drought commentary along with monthly notes, scroll down to Recent San Diego Rain File Updates.

August 30, 2013 - I created a super cool time-lapse video of the weather for the last four days from mid Monday August 26, 2013 through mid-day Friday, August 30, 2013. In retrospect I should have let the video run through the end of the day on Friday as there were some cool clouds over the mountains later in the day.

 
Please leave comments on YouTube (go HERE to watch this on YouTube)

July 23, 2013 - On July 21 there were some impressive thunderstorms in East County, with Agua Caliente receiving well over an inch of rain. But here along the coast, nothing. The next day was advertised to be a potentially explosive day with a clear morning providing lots of heating for convection over the mountains. I now have better equipment for doing time lapses and I ran the camera facing east for most of the day yesterday. In late morning things were looking up, but drier air began to move in from the coast and things went down hill from there.

tstorm
Ramping up in the late morning

cloud
Fizzling a couple hours later

Today I have the camera running in case something isolated pops up this afternoon, but so far very, very little activity.

 


September 7, 2005

Monday 6:10 pm - Another interesting cloud feature in the sky today, a "sun dog". I greatly increased the photo's contrast to show off the unusual streak extending to the right. I've seen a lot of "sun dogs", but do not recall ever seeing such a long associated ray.


Same picture, uncropped with no processing done and reduced in size - very close to how it appeared to me.

August 17, 2004

9:18 pm - Weapon of Mass Destruction detonated in San Diego! Well not really, but an innocent cloud transformed itself to a big thunderstorm with incredible speed! As soon as I saw the initial cloud, years, no, decades, of cloud watching told me to grab my camera as fast as possible and drive to a location to watch the explosion. Photo times, PDT.


6:18pm - Cloud discovered - drop everything!


6:29pm - I arrive at the Cactus Garden in Balboa Park, a good place for looking East


6:39pm - I gotta zoom out a bit to get all of the rapidly spreading anvil


7:02 pm - Storm continues to spread in both directions
However, convection in one area of the base of the cumulonimbus cloud, around 1/3 in from the left, has almost stopped


7:24pm - Passersby referred to it as a spaceship or nuclear bomb!
Note that the left side's "cauliflower" growth has almost completely ceased


7:29pm - After sunset, a fireball in the sky

Update: The National Weather Service wrote this evening: A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM ERUPTED OVER THE DESERT NEAR AGUA CALIENTE SPRINGS EARLY THIS EVENING AS A BRIEF PERIOD OF STRONGER WEST FLOW COMING THROUGH THE MTN PASSES INTERSECTED WITH SOUTHEAST FLOW OVER THE LOWER DESERTS. VERTICALLY INTERGRATED (sic) LIQUID VALUES AS HIGH AS 63 KG/SQ METER WERE DETECTED BY RADAR...AND THAT INDICATES LARGE HAIL. CLOUD TOPS WERE NEARLY 50000 FEET HIGH. THIS WAS EVEN THE CLASSIC "RIGHT-MOVER" WHERE SHEAR-RELATED PROPAGATION FORCES THE STORM TO MOVE TO THE RIGHT...OR SOUTH IN THIS CASE...OF WHERE THE WIND WOULD TAKE IT. HOWEVER...SHORTLY AFTER 730 PM...THE STORM COLLAPSED AND DISINTEGRATED.


Kogi Warning

John S. Stokes III - Weather Enthusiast