Where’s All the Rain in NorCal? This Satellite Image Tells the Story of a Dry Winter

Where’s did all the rain and snow go?

Following a fantastic beginning to the water year in Northern California, we’ve seen mostly dry days for the past month. Not only is California’s snowpack vanishing at an alarming rate, forecasts are showing no storms on the horizon. Some areas have yet to see rain this month, and if that continues, it would be the first rainless February since 1864, according to data from the National Weather Service.

So why aren’t we seeing the usual precipitation from California’s rainiest month?

Photo: NOAA

The above satellite image shows a high-pressure ridge blocking storms from reaching California, and creating a difficult time for meteorologists to forecast when the storms might break through. Current models show no precipitation in the region for the next two weeks, leaving NorCal bone dry and raising fears of another drought. In contrast, last February saw record snowfall in the Sierra, with multiple ski resorts boasting nearly 300 inches in just one month.

The high pressure in the ridge is so strong, it’s pushing storms onto either side of California, creating a dry bubble.

“If you look at weather stories about Seattle right now, they’re getting hammered with storm after storm,” said Jan Null, a consulting meteorologist with Golden Gate Weather Services, said to SFGate “The storms are going up over the top of the ridge into the Northwest, but not dipping down over California.”

Although we were dancing in the riches of precipitation in December, we might have a difficulty time rebounding following this dry month. Unless we get a #MiracleMarch to save us, dry conditions, low water levels and low Sierra snowpack could spell for high wildfire conditions this summer.

Start rain dancing, NorCal.

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California


  1. The other day, while I was at work, my sister stole my iphone and tested to see if it can survive a forty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now broken and she has 83 views. I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  2. Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more
    than just your articles? I mean, what you say is important and all.

    But think of if you added some great graphics or video clips to give your
    posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and video clips,
    this website could undeniably be one of the greatest in its niche.
    Fantastic blog!

  3. Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It
    really useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back
    and help others like you aided me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button