Environment - San Diego Weather Notes / Blog
John S. Stokes III
San Diego, CA - My rain gauge in Bankers Hill, very close to South Mission Hills and extreme southern Hillcrest
January 16, 2019 - 11:59 AM - I received an inquiry a couple days ago about data sources for weather models. I'm sorry I lost the email or can't find it on any social platform. At this time I use very few sources.
I read the NWS discussion (includes occasional discussion of the weather models) for San Diego at least once a day at https://www.wrh.noaa.gov/total_forecast/getprod.php?afos=xxxafdsgx&wfo=sgx&version=0&font=120&toggle=dictionary
Rolling 24 hour rain totals for SD county are published at https://www.cnrfc.noaa.gov/images/countyPrecipMaps/sandiego_24HRprecip.png
Storm total data is published at https://www.wrh.noaa.gov/sgx/display_product.php?sid=SGX&pil=RRM
Monthly data can be found at https://w2.weather.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=sgx
There are many other links for satellite and radar imagery.
January 16, 2019 - 9:48 AM - Bit behind here. Yesterday morning I measured another .12" at the Bankers Hill gauge bringing the first storm total to .63".
I then went to "SkyRanch". Up at SkyRanch I'm not sure when I last measured the rain. There was .9" in the gauge as of yesterday afternoon - there must have been days of evaporation compounding things, that gauge needs to be replaced as it has a wide top. This morning there was .56" of new rain.
Back in San Diego now, I just measured .31" for the second storm. So the total here for the current series of rains is .94".
January 14, 2019 - 7:36 PM - The first of three recently advertised storms is just about done. The NWS backed off their over 1" prediction this morning, lowering it to .5" to 1" along the coast. The rain has stopped here, although there are a few light showers off the coast. Current storm total is .51". The second storm is predicted to go north of us for light, if any, rain here; the outlook for the third storm is less certain, although it looks like we will get something.
My total here since the November 29th storm is now 7.17"!
Storm totals as of 6:01 PM elsewhere: Airport .41", Encinitas .32", Escondido .65", La Mesa .66".
January 13, 2019 - 2:19 PM - A little behind here! Early yesterday morning a nice band rather uniform rain went through San Diego County.
Storm totals: Here .32", Airport .43", Encinitas .44", Escondido .64", La Mesa .32".
The NWS has been upping the totals for the next storm, scheduled to arrive late Monday, with numbers now advertised as well above 1"! The ground around here is very moist and there have been some small cliff collapses at the man-made cliffs in the Reynard Way area.
January 9, 2019 - 2:14 PM - I have updated the annual charts for Carbon Dioxide Levels
January 6, 2019 - 12:42 PM - Last night we received a ton of rain! The first wave went through shortly before midnight. Sleep kept me from making an interval measurement run. The second wave was much heavier, very heavy in fact. The airport recorded .52" in the 3:51-4:51 AM hour. This morning I checked the gauge and the 1" tube was completely full! I emptied that and the overflow when poured in added another .43". We received 1.43". The airport had the highest storm total for the coast at .90". When the heavy rain woke me up I checked the radar and a small cell was right over us. For the second time in this rain season it looks like my gauge takes the prize for the most rain (second place was Birch Hill with 1.37")! My less reliable Acu-Rite gauge also recorded 1.37". Rain amounts on a pool cover and some containers confirm the fat rain amounts. Since November 29th of last year, my gauge has indicated 6.34" of rain here. Everything is super green, happy plants everywhere!
Storm totals: Here 1.43", Airport .90", Encinitas .46", Escondido .66", La Mesa .71"
January 1, 2019 - The final total for the yesterday's rain here was .19". Airport .24", Encinitas .28, Escondido .07 and La Mesa apparently zero as it didn't show up on the NWS storm total list.
I have posted the final airport totals for 2018 at San Diego Rain, the year came in at 7.65". The wonderful December rains bailed out the year from having really low numbers. My yard is still lush! I have updated the annual charts for San Diego Temperature, San Diego Rain, and Arctic Sea Ice for 2018 with added commentary. I'm still waiting for end of year figures for Sea Levels, Carbon Dioxide, Methane and Nitrous Oxide.
Monday December 31, 2018 - 3:54 PM - So much for my "virtually certain" about there being no more rain this year after reading the forecast! I measured .04" here. There was .01" at the airport, nothing in Encinitas, .08" in Escondido and .01" in La Mesa. A few showers are still lurking off the coast. Tomorrow I'll update the annual charts for San Diego Rain and San Diego Temperature and other figures as they become available.
Friday December 28, 2018 - 9:03 PM. I have now returned from a family vacation at Big Bear. We had about 4" of sleet and thundersnow on Christmas Day! I wasn't able to check the rain gauge here in Bankers Hill until today. .27 inches in the gauge, presumably all on the 25th. San Diego airport received .18 inches. It is virtually certain there will be no more rain here this year. However, I'll wait to update the monthly data and the yearly chart at San Diego Rain until after the year ends.
Sunday December 9, 2018 - 8:15 PM. The December 5-6 total for "Sky Ranch" (halfway between Encinitas & Escondido) came in at just 0.90".
Friday December 7, 2018 - 2:43 PM. The final storm total here came in at 3.44" including .25" additional last night. Just incredible! Efforts to contain soil erosion were mostly successful, however one spot where the dogs went gopher digging generated a breach in a berm. Adding last week's 1.03" we've had 4.47"!
The previously leading SD University Heights station is not included in the most recent storm summary report.
Thursday December 6, 2018 - 8:42 PM. This storm merits yet another post. .37" more since the last reading. This brings today's total to 2.3" and the storm total to 3.16". The rains are light now although there are still some moderate cells lurking on the radar. Looks like the airport received 1.47" so far today and a storm total of 2.27". We're located not that far away, local terrain must have played a role (upslope valley opening to the south, with the cells moving to the north). Plus we had a direct hit from the thunderstorm which dropped just more than an inch in one hour.
I see that at 8:02 PM the NWS posted storm totals for other locations:
So my total of 3.16" is the highest in San Diego county? My problematic Acu-Rite gauge which typically records 10 to 15% higher than the analog gauge has been operating recently and it shows 3.68" buttressing the official 3.16" figure. Also we use some kiddie pools to collect rain water and they have about 4" in them, of course their sides are a bit tapered. My area has been such as dog over the past couple years. About time. Yay!
Thursday December 6, 2018 - 7:10 PM. Deluge!!!!! A bit over an hour ago the rain gauge was showing .84". Just checked it. Full at 1". Emptied in and poured in the water at the bottom of the larger container. Another .93". Storm total now 2.79". Week's total now 3.83".
Thursday December 6, 2018 - 6:13 PM. Huge thunderstorm just passed! Nothing like being outside in darkness, teaming down rain, with super loud thunder crackling just a second or two after the world lights up, followed by a dozen car alarms going off. About 1/2 hour ago today's total reached .84" bringing the storm total to 1.7" and the way the rain continued we should be well past an inch for today. We have a system of berms and swales directing the water down our slope, it was maxed out, so I turned the valve to direct the water to some Eucalyptus trees. Still raining quite hard. Dare I say too much rain!
The main show should be over soon, I'll get another read later this evening. The SkyRanch gauge will be read on Saturday and posted here on Sunday.
Thursday December 6, 2018 - 8:03 AM. Showers overnight dropped .18" here, bringing my storm total to 1.04". This brings the one week total to 2.05"! Still more to come. Happy camper.
Wednesday December 5, 2018 - 7:49 PM. The rain stopped here around 6PM and shortly afterwards I took a reading, .86"! I then emptied the gauge. The NWS posted storm totals as of 5:01 PM and the leader was University Heights with .76" just beating out my .75" reading taken around the same time. So after a seemingly chronic streak of rain-envy, the SD airport did very well and my own gauge did extremely well.
Wednesday December 5, 2018 - 5:12 PM. Took a bit longer for the rain band to get going here, but it really cranked up. About 10 minutes ago I measured almost exactly .75" in my Stratus Precision Rain Gauge! A perfect rainstorm for the yard - long periods of light to moderate rain, soaking everything. I'll take another reading after the band passes, probably in an hour or so looking at the radar. Still raining nicely here.
The 5PM readings around the county show .70" at the airport (the highest reading on the country map! https://www.cnrfc.noaa.gov/images/countyPrecipMaps/sandiego_24HRprecip.png , .62 at Encinitas, .64 at Escondido and .51 La Mesa.
Wednesday December 5, 2018 - 8:02 AM. A band of rain is approaching, just a couple hours away at most. The current coastal rain forecast today through Friday is 1 to 1.5"! Weather models are not in complete agreement and numbers were lowered from the prior forecast. Hopefully the predicted amounts will hold. Certainly going to get some rain this morning!
Sunday December 2, 2018 - 10:46 AM. Friday afternoon .02" fell here bringing the storm total to 1.03". Last night a trace, inland areas received more, generally 1/4". The reading from SkyRanch was 1.26" for the Nov 29-30 storm. The current forecast is talking 1-3" for the coastal strip this coming Thursday, and perhaps another system after that!
Friday November 30, 2018 - 7:17 AM. Had some good showers last night, adding .34" here, bringing the storm total here to 1.01". There are still some showers around. Published storm totals as of 4:15 AM: SD Airport 0.74" one of lightest readings in the county excluding the deserts, Encinitas 1.02" and Escondido a very impressive 2.07". La Mesa also impressive at 1.73". I'll get SkyRanch's reading later today, but due to computer logistics won't post it until tomorrow afternoon. San Diego country is going to turn a nice deep green!!!
Thursday November 29, 2018 - 3:26 PM. The front has passed, the sun is out with a lot of cumulus. Showers remain in the forecast. My Bankers Hill gauge received another .42" since this morning's reading, a bit less than hoped but still savored, bringing the storm total to .67". The airport had less rain overall, with their storm total as of 3PM at just .53". The two other cities I monitor had more, Encinitas .86 and Escondido .92. The usual pattern of the coastal areas receiving less rain than the mountains and the north receiving more the the south held to tradition with many mountain readings in the 2's. The pre-frontal winds were a lot less than advertised, I doubt we had a gust in excess of 20-25 MPH.
Thursday November 29, 2018 - 9:47 AM. The storm is upon us! Early morning rains dropped .24" at the airport and .22" each in Encinitas and Escondido. At my Bankers Hill gauge I measured .25" right in line with the other readings. A strong cold front is on the way per current radar, all areas should receive at least another 1/2". I'll be checking the SkyRanch gauge on Friday. NWS has done a great job with this storm.
Wednesday November 28, 2018 - 6:03 PM. Waiting for the rain! Rain gauges at the ready, and the swales of our permaculture system refreshed (silt cleaned out). The hydrology section of the NWS forecast for San Diego issued @ 1:47 PM this afternoon said "Through early Friday, rainfall is expected to range from around one inch near the coast to 2 to 4 inches in the mountains. Isolated rainfall totals of around 5 inches will be possible on favored southwest facing slopes. Around one half inch of rainfall is expected in the high desert areas and one tenth to one quarter inch in the lower deserts."
The main rain is to come with the frontal passage late tomorrow morning or early afternoon. Right now there are stars and clouds; radar shows light rain north of LAX. Waiting.....
Friday November 23, 2018 - 9:43 AM. I now have a second location with a rain gauge, at a place I call SkyRanch, about one-half way between Encinitas and Escondido. Yesterday, my main gauge in Bankers Hill recorded a very pathetic .01" same as the airport. Most of San Diego county received quite a bit more. SkyRanch recorded a wonderful .46" more than either of the two cities mentioned.
Saturday October 13, 2018 - 9:59 AM. Another shower, moderate this time with some offshore lighting arrived later yesterday, before midnight, plus a few sprinkles gave us another .23" overnight per this morning's reading, bringing the total here to .65". Encinitas just .15" and Escondido .39". The airport's current 24 hour total is .48". Finally we did well! May be enough to green things up a bit? However, a fairly strong Santa Ana event is forecasted for this Monday and Tuesday. Hopefully the flora won't be too confused.
Friday October 12, 2018 - 9:47 PM. THUNDERSTORM!!!!!! Some rain with embedded thunderstorms moved up from the south in the last hour and half. Plenty of distant lighting and thunder and about 10 minutes of fairly heavy rain fell here. Just checked my analog Stratus Precision Rain Gauge with a 10x funnel, .42" and then emptied it. Just a few drops falling now. My Acu-Rite is a total fail, shows zero. Radar show more cells off Baja moving north, may be get some more rain before this is over! The airport is showing .35" in the hour ended @ 8:51 PM. Looks like this is a coastal event so far.
Friday October 5, 2018 - 1:32 PM. RAIN!!!!! Well some very light sprinkles passed over San Diego Country last night. The airport took home the prize with .09", and I measured .06", our first rainfall in a long time. Edit: since early May.
Last week the remnants of Pacific Hurricane Rosa passed south and east of here bringing altostratus clouds, humidity and dreams of heavy rain. There was a trace amount here, that is I felt two large raindrops while working out side, but nothing remotely near wetting the ground. It's quite rare for Pacific hurricanes to get close to San Diego. But.... the next one in the alphabetical list, Sergio, is up and about and may tease us again. Will be monitored of course. The consensus spaghetti plot has it tracking to the south and east again.
Thursday October 4, 2018 - 8:21 AM. Rain showers north of us, Encinitas .63, Palomar Airport .52, Escondido .42. Here, absolutely nothing.
Saturday September 1, 2018 - 10:58 AM. The climate data for August is in, August 2018 was the warmest in San Diego history, averaging 78.1 degrees, breaking the old record of 77.4 set in 1983. Much of the record heat owes to very warm ocean surface temperatures which kept the lows of the days well into record levels for a week.
Completing the record streak I posted on August 9:
I don't think any more records were set in August although there were some more ties for highest low: August 22: 74 (1984), August 23: 74 (1984), August 24: 73 (1984). I don't have access to daily record information prior to August 22.
Thursday August 9, 2018 - 9:13 PM - Very warm weather continuing, perhaps convincing people that climate change is real.
Ocean temperatures at Scripps Pier has been setting records, yesterday 79.2 peak, very well above the average surface sea temperature in August of 68!
Wednesday August 1, 2018 - 10:51 AM - July had some exceptionally warm days here in southern CA with some shockingly high temperatures on July 6 (San Diego 96 breaking the record by 13 degrees, Ramona with an all time high recorded anytime 117). The month averaged 75.2 degrees, 5.1 above normal, this after several months of near normal temperatures. July's 75.2 was the fifth warmest July going back to the 1850's, all five in more recent years: 1981, 1984, 1985, 2006 and now 2018.
Saturday June 30, 2018 - 3:30 PM - The July 1 through June 30 rain season is over as far as I'm concerned, no chance of rain for the remainder of the today. This rain season is the second driest since records began in the early 1850's, with just 3.4" for the last 12 months. The 2.99" in the 2001-2002 was the only one drier.
Thursday May 17, 2018 - 10:14 AM - This morning the Drought Monitor at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/ updated the drought intensity for the San Diego area from "Moderate" to "Severe". The last time San Diego was rated "Severe" was on January 31, 2017.
Saturday May 11, 2018 - 1:04 PM - A brief mid-morning shower associated with a thick marine layer "dumped" .01" here, matching the airport.
Wednesday May 2, 2018 - 11:20 AM - Showers! Overnight and this morning both my gauge and the airport recorded .11" of rain. The .11" was measured by my Stratus Precision Rain Gauge - see and measure the column of water with your eyeballs. The electro-mechanical Acu-Rite gauge says .26" fell, I'm certain this is wrong, as various buckets and other areas where rain puddled confirm something like .11". I'm no longer going to monitor the Acu-Rite gauge here. There's a chance of "wrap around showers" this afternoon, despite the areas of blue sky.
Tuesday May 1, 2018 - 10:32 AM - The airport did get .01" yesterday evening, doubling the month's total to .02", and the seasonal total to 3.28". My rain gauge had about 1/4 of .01", that goes down as a trace. Showers are in the forecast for later today / tonight.
Monday April 30, 2018 - 1:54 PM - Looks like we are going to close out April with just .01". Scattered showers could come in late tonight and tomorrow, so it's too early to post .01" as the official figure for April. Assuming just .01" for the month, this will bring the rainy season total to just 3.27", now the 2nd driest since records began in 1852. The record holder is 2000-2001 with just 2.99" inches. That record will stand, there was no rain in May or June 2001. Despite the run of extremely dry weather, the reservoir levels in CA continue to be in excellent shape, due to the heavy rains of the2016-2017 winter and continued storms tracking well north of us this winter.
Thursday April 19, 2018 - 1:30 PM - Weak windy system went through this morning. Airport .01", just about all stations had less than .10". My gauge not even .01", about 2/3 of a hundredth! Guess we can call that .01". Sun has already dried the heavy trace out. No rain in the forecast for the next week.
Friday April 13, 2018 - 5:03 PM - Last week another storm went to the north, there was some chance of light showers here but no rain came. Yesterday another storm went well to the north, we had a light trace here as correctly predicted, the first raindrops of the month. The dry season is practically upon us, so unless we get some outlier rains between now and June 30, we are looking at one of the driest rainy seasons (July 1 through June 30) since records began.
Today I updated my Time Lapsed Lichen section, a project started 15 years ago. See Lichen Project.
Sunday March 25, 2018 - 9:31 PM - The 20% chance of showers this weekend came to another ZERO at the airport and little if anything in the rest of the county. Nothing here. Beautiful crisp day today! The rainy season (July through June) total so far is 3.26" at the airport, way below the normal of 8+ inches, the 5th driest since records began in 1852 assuming no more rain this month.... this month of March at the airport so far is .95", and it is very unlikely there will be more given the current forecast of sunny days for the rest of the month.
Friday March 23, 2018 - 9:50 AM - Both rain gauges recorded .01" overnight. Storm total .02" here. Airport a trace yesterday, their storm total, ZERO! May get some showers over the weekend, but chances are 20%. The CA reservoirs are in great shape with most of them at 100% or better than normal for this date. Snow pack is below normal.
Thursday March 22, 2018 - 9:54 PM - The downgrade trend was not our friend. San Diego NWS had a 100% probability of rain today and the airport's total through 9PM is ZERO! They probably had a trace, and there are still some showers moving to the north and south of the Cone of Dryness which may break through and post a positive number for them. My new totally analog see it with your eyeballs rain gauge had almost exactly .01" in it! (as of a few hours ago). My old electro-mechanical gauge is showing zero. Most of California north of San Diego county received a lot of rain, the atmospheric river struck the state as predicted, just not here!
Thursday March 22, 2018 - 9:40 AM - Rain is just off the coast headed this way, finally! Meanwhile another downgrade last night, this time to .4-1"; this morning's forecast isn't out. Judging by the radar, .4" looks quite doable (10:11 AM edit - maybe not, bulk is moving north of us). Yep, the 10AM forecast says "Overall the storm total precipitation amounts have been lowered a bit especially in the southern area" - well that's been going on for two days, now .25-.5" a long ways down from 1-3". Basically the rain activity of the southern tips of troughs are very hard to predict and my experience is they are almost always overestimated at the start.
Wednesday March 21, 2018 - 10:02 PM - This morning's upgrade in predicted rain was a head-fake, this afternoon we were back to .5-1" and this figure remains with this evening's forecast. Meanwhile nothing has fallen and the plume is still north of L.A. My rain gauge did arrive today and I have it set up in a preliminary location. Will post a picture after I have it set up in a permanent location.
I've updated the 2017 Methane Levels charts. Basically the methane levels data appears to be the same as the preliminary data. The extreme outlier reading of last November 22 was deemed valid and I included that figure when creating the charts, increasing the average for 2017 slightly. This completes the work for 2017. For 2018 so far, Arctic Sea Ice is tracking slightly less than 2017 with the latest figure a recored low by small margin, Carbon Dioxide Levels continue at new highs for the date, San Diego Temperature have been cooler so far this year than last year and I think that's true globally, San Diego Sea Levels data is notoriously late, the January figure about 9/10" lower than last year.
Wednesday March 21, 2018 - 10:31 AM - The atmospheric river continues to inch south towards us. NWS now saying "about an inch" for the coast, this is an upgrade. Yay! Plus the Thursday rain probability last night was increased from 70% to 100%. Will set up our kiddie pools for rain catchment later today. My new rain gauge is supposed to be delivered today, just in time!
Tuesday March 20, 2018 - 10:49 AM - Two more downgrades for the amount of rain here, sigh. Yesterday morning for the SD coast was 1-3", then yesterday afternoon .5-2". Then last night .5-1", and now .25-1.5". The last was a widening of the range, but a drop in the lower amount shows NWS concern that the chances for a miss are increasing.
Meanwhile, the official 2017 Methane Levels data came in, will update the chart after I have processed the file.
Monday March 19, 2018 - 4:58 PM - Yesterday I ordered a Stratus Precision Rain Gauge, supposedly to NWS standards and accurate to .01". Should arrive tomorrow before the rains start. About those rains. Yes a really nice Pacific storm is out there and the forecast includes a "strong atmospheric river". When these strike San Diego, we easily get an inch or two of rain. The "problem" with this one is that it is predicted to mainly hit central CA then drift down, almost as a front by the time it gets here.
This mid morning's forecast hydrology section said 1-3 inches for the San Diego coastal area. Today's 3:03 PM forecast hydrology section says
San Diego County (coast & valleys): 0.5-2 inches Upper Deserts: 0.75-2 inches Coachella Valley: 0.25-1.00 inches
So the coast has been downgraded. The problem with this type of forecast is the exact location of the river. Years ago when I lived on the East Coast, the winter challenge was predicting the exact location of the rain/snow line, 50 miles make a big difference in a nor'easter! Looks like that is the case with atmospheric rivers, a couple hundred miles is a big determinant. Anyway, anything is welcome. An inch would be great!
Saturday March 17, 2018 - 3:29 PM - My weather station lost its connection to the Internet in the early hours of the morning after .05" fell and when I rebooted the antennae the total was reset to zero. I've decided I'm going to get a good old fashion cylinder for measuring rain. Anyway, we had several hours of nice rain here in the early morning hours, probably very similar to what fell at the airport, which received .27". Again we were on the low side compared to other areas in the county, for example Escondido received .66". Another bout of light rain is predicted for late today, and "more significant" rain around Thursday, but of course that far out the signal to noise ratio can be problematic. So far we're muddling along in March, but if we do get the significant rain later next week the month could start looking decent and be the first "above normal" month of the wet season drawing closer to the end.
Thursday March 15, 2018 - 10:15 PM
Still waiting for the official 2017 Methane Levels.
Sunday March 11, 2018 - 10:11 PM - Returned today from a three-day trip to the Monterey CA / Big Sur area, beautiful! Saturday saw .43" in my rain gauge, .36" fell at the airport. Nothing today.
Saturday March 3, 2018 - 2:53 PM (edited) - Two bands of rain moved through the area, one in the wee hours of this morning and then a sharp short shower in the late morning. Unfortunately my weather station stopped communicating w/ the Internet for a while and shows zero precip for the first wave, we definitely received some rain for an hour or so. Airport shows .09" for the first wave and .14" in the second. I recorded .13" for the second wave. I'm now in the process of upgrading my Acu-Rite weather web connector as I received an upgraded controlled a few days ago.
Tuesday February 27, 2018 - 11:19 AM - Winter storm moved through last night, with .26" between 1 and 5 AM. Since then a couple shower each added another .01" to bring the total here to .28". Airport showing .32". Many coastal and inland areas received a fairly uniform .55-.65" with snow in the mountains. Reports of light hail in some cells but nothing like that here, in fact we are on the lower end of the precipitation scale. Showers are still around. Nice thing is another storm is forecast to go through late this week with more than just trace amounts. However, there is just one more day in February and unless a freak shower comes along we will end up way below the normal of around 2": the wettest month of the year.
Friday February 23, 2018 - 9:42 AM - We've had continued occasional traces of rains with cooler, windier weather. Yesterday shortly before 2PM a brief shower with a few minutes of nice rain brought in .04" here (.03" at the airport for that shower, also .01" later at night, nothing here), and this morning a shower with .01", nothing at the airport. So my February month-to-date figure is .06", and the airport .04", pathetic for the month. Inland has seen higher figures yet again; also a few days ago showers brought 1/4" type figures inland with nothing here. Talk of more significant rain keeps getting pushed back in the forecast.
Thursday February 15, 2018 - 10:53 PM - Had two brief periods of scattered raindrops yesterday. The afternoon period was a heavy trace - ground wet but zero measured at the rain gauge. San Diego airport also had zero.
Tuesday February 13, 2018 - 10:11 PM - The waves of showers which went through San Diego yesterday morning and last night, were disappointing. Nothing yesterday here, and .01" this morning. So here we are almost halfway through February and we've received just .01" so far this month here on my gauge, and zilch at the airport. Other areas of the county received nominal amounts yesterday and today, but overall everyone is well below normal. This winter, of course, is also well below normal, but that one nice rainstorm we had in January is keeping us out of record territory. My guess is right now we are in about a one-out-of-10 situation. I'll have a better "score" after February's totals are in.
Meanwhile still waiting for the official Methane data for 2017.
Monday February 5, 2018 - 10:19 PM - I received a fascinating graphic from NASA regarding an extreme methane event in 2017. See Methane Levels for further details.
Saturday February 3, 2018 - 8:14 PM - I have received preliminary data for Methane Levels for 2017. While processing the preliminary data, I discovered I made a big mistake last year for the 2016 data. The methane level increased substantially in 2016, did not decline! The 2017 preliminary data shows another increase to another new record although not as big as the 2016 increase. I've corrected the charts for 2016 and have added the preliminary data for 2017 at Methane Levels.
Friday February 2, 2018 - 8:53 AM - January 2018 averaged 61.5, the second highest in history, 2003 was higher at 61.7. We're back to prolonged no-rain, been three weeks not including the two .01" events. Rain 1.78" for the month at the airport, .2" below normal.
Friday January 26, 2018 - 10:57 AM - Yesterday afternoon, brief line of showers went through, .01" here and at the airport. Month's total here 2.05", very likely done for the month.
Monday January 22, 2018 - 10:29 PM - NOAA continued to operate during the brief government shutdown. New data is out and I have updated the San Diego Sea Levels page for 2017 (sea level rise trend is intact) and I also updated the Nitrous Oxide Levels page for 2017 (upward trend is intact). Still waiting for end of year figures for Methane.
Monday January 22, 2018 - 10:26 AM - Rain associated with a trough on January 19 dumped a grand total of .01" here, matching the airport.
Friday January 12, 2018 - 4:17 PM - have updated the Carbon Dioxide Levels page for 2017 (record setting trend intact).
Friday January 12, 2018 - 10:47 AM - My rain gauge's final total for the recent rainstorm was 2.03": .19" on the 8th, 1.78" on the 9th and .07" on the 10th. The airport had .16", 1.57" and .02".
Tuesday January 9, 2018 - 5:13 PM - Another surge of moderate to almost heavy rain is in progress! Meanwhile I did find a way to retrieve prior rainfall. Yesterday's total was .19", more than my guess of .15". Today so far 1.60", storm total 1.79".
Tuesday January 9, 2018 - 10:59 AM - Wow did we get rain! My rain gauge recorder resets at midnight and unfortunately the month-to-date function is not working, so I'm not exactly sure how much fell yesterday. The airport received two sets of .07", so I can make an educated guess and say we receive about .15" yesterday given the first set of .08". After midnight the heavens opened up and by about 1:45 AM we had an inch. Since then the rain has tapered off to widely scattered showers. Todays total is currently 1.37", bringing the storm total here to about 1.52". Just what we needed! Yay! The airport is showing 1.34" storm total as of 9:51 AM. BTW, the NWS was saying the heaviest rain would accompany the frontal passage - didn't work out that way, as by far most of the rain came in well advance of the front - but a congrats is due, as this rain was indicated almost a week ago! We're still well short of normal for the season and a new stretch of dry weather is predicted. Still, I expect the ground cover seeds we spread last November to finally germinate and robustly so.
Monday January 8, 2018 - 10:11 PM - A forerunner spritz from the much advertised and much needed storm dropped .07" at the San Diego airport, .08" here, late this afternoon and early evening. .75" to 1.25" total predicted for the local coastal plane with most to fall tomorrow morning with the passage of a front. We'll see!
Friday January 5, 2018 - 10:03 PM - Rain is in the forecast for next Tuesday! My rain gauge is calibrated and ready. Meanwhile there has been just .09" since the official starting date of the rainy season (October 1), the driest on record, going back to 1850.
In the past few days I have updated the San Diego Temperature page for 2017 (warming trend intact), and the Arctic Sea Ice page for 2017 (Arctic ice coverage shrinking trend still intact). I'm still waiting for end of year figures for Sea Levels, Carbon Dioxide, Methane and Nitrous Oxide.
Friday December 30, 2017 - 3:23 PM - I've posted the rain charts at San Diego Rain for 2017, the year coming in at 7.92" a couple inches below normal. The June-December stretch came in at just .19", setting a new record low for this time period going back to 1852. We are now about 1/5 into the rainy season by normal volume, we all want rain!
Friday December 22, 2017 - 11:30 AM - No rain is predicted for the remainder of this year. If this prediction holds, we will have the second driest Oct-Dec period since records began with .10" compared to 1929's zero. However 1929 had .26 in September and this year we had just .07 (corrected from .08). Also, in June of 1929 there was zero, this year .02". So the Jun-Dec of this year is likely to come in at .19" (corrected from .20") breaking 1929's. .26". The following January 1930 had a fat 3.90", nothing is yet on the horizon for January 2018.
Wednesday December 20, 2017 - 10:09 PM - What timing on my rain gauge calibration! Showers moved through here this evening. Received .08", airport .07". Might be a few more sprinkles but I think that's it. Might be it for the year! Still might set a record for the driest June-December.
Tuesday December 19, 2017 - 2:02 PM - I finally took down my Acu-Rite rain gauge, brought it inside, disassembled and clean it, and then calibrated it. It is now within 1% of spec. Prior to calibration, by testing it after cleaning it and putting it back together, I found it to be just shy of 20% over reporting. This confirmed my suspicion as I more than not reported more than the airport, here.
Sunday December 17, 2017 - 9:37 PM - Since the first of June through today, we have had just .15". If we receive no rain in December, this will be the driest May-Dec in San Diego history! The first half of December has been the warmest in San Diego history, and this year California has had some of the worst fires in recorded history. Will this pattern change? This evening the NWS says: The weekend looks like a transition period with higher uncertainty as the hemispheric pattern begins to undergo a rather large shift. Both the 12Z GFS/ECMWF runs appear to be hinting at establishing the massive EastPac ridge farther to the north, allowing shortwave energy to undercut. How this energy manifests itself remains to be worked out, but it will at least keep us cooler and tamp down the persistent dry offshore flow we have been experiencing this month. The shift in the ridge, if it does occur as seems to be indicated, will also open the door to Pacific systems that could eventually bring much needed precipitation.
Thursday November 23, 1:22 PM - Yesterday's high was 92. The record for today is 86 and was tied per the hourly readings a few hours ago. Some cooler air is coming in from the sea along the coasts. Still no rain in the forecast, rather another Santa Ana next week!
Wednesday November 22, 3:48 PM - Went up to 91 today (going by the hourly readings), setting a new "hottest so late in the season" record for the San Diego airport and smashing the old daily high for this date of 83. Note: I'm looking for a list of record high and low temperatures for San Diego going back to I think 1878 when temperature records were kept. The record dates in my file are all pretty much past 1935-1940 for both highs and lows and I am suspecting I don't have a comprehensive data set. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I realize the weather station has moved around over the years.
Wednesday November 22, 12:37 PM - Already 88 degrees at the airport, breaking the record by 5 days and if we go to 90 it will be the hottest ever so late in the season. Meanwhile the forecast indicates November will have no measurable rain for the month. We really need rain, our yard was begging for the usual November rains. A zero for November is not unprecedented, the record shows previous occurrences in 1872, 1878, 1894, 1903, 1904, 1929, 1956 and 1980 so we were actually overdue for a zero month! Of the nine occasions only one was followed by a zero December (1929). Zero Decembers are rare with just 5 occurrences recorded since 1878: 1900, 1917, 1918, 1929 and 1930.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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! 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:
March 16, 2015 - A record heat wave is ending
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 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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.