Our fairly dry start to January is about to take a fairly abrupt turn into some very rainy and occasionally windy weather.
A strengthening subtropical jet should begin to undercut and break through our fairly consistent ridge of high pressure allowing a series of tropics-enriched systems to slam into California during the next 10-14 days.
For those wondering what happened to El Nino where California was concerned – this is starting to look much more like it – as this upper level wind pattern matches what you’d expect in an El Nino year: Central/Southern California get hit the hardest and the southern US sees much higher than average rainfall in the coming weeks.
The current forecast calls for some rain and wind on Tuesday with another weaker system late Friday into Saturday with another stronger system dropping in Sunday into Monday (perhaps packing the biggest punch of the three).
A very energetic long period swell (18 seconds) will reach the Bay Area coastline on Tuesday with wave heights possibly reaching 25 feet for some high potential for more beach erosion and localized coastal flooding around high tide times. Wave heights should begin decreasing later on Thursday.
Rainfall estimation and wave model video below: