~~This winters very unusual weather continues to break all sorts of records from record low temperatures in December, to record low rainfall to record high temperatures in January. Now it appears we will also break the record for record high average temperature for the month of January, according to a article by KSBY News.
According to the article Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles (to name a few) have not seen one average temperature day in over a month. In fact, all of these communities have had some record high set this month.
Current temperatures are 9-13 degrees above average and 4-5 degrees above existing records. Even if temperatures returned to normal for the rest of the month we would still smash the record for the warmest January since records started being kept.
Signs Of A Change Coming
All of this unusual weather is the result of an unusually strong and persistent ridge of high pressure of the eastern Pacific near the gulf of Alaska that formed around December 2012 and has not left, for the most part, since then. The ridge is so unusual it has been honored with it’s own name, the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge by weather blogger Weather West. In his latest update on this strange weather event he indicates there may be at least a short term change in the RRR which could lead to rain in northern California and a return to the kind of cold, but dry for us, weather we saw in December.
Even if we were to get rain from this system, and it is too early to tell, it would not be any thing close to a drought buster for our record breaking drought. In fact, to get us back to normal rainfall totals for this rainy season would require near record rain for the rest of the rainy season from February through April and the long term weather models do not favor such a scenario. Quite the opposite in fact.
There is almost no doubt that water rationing is in our future this summer, if not sooner. Central Coast residents should not wait for mandatory rationing before reducing water use, we should be doing that now to conserve water so there is some left for summer. The lack of water is already so serious in Ensenada, Mexico that city officials are turning off the water from 10:00AM to 10:00PM to conserve.* We should all be watering less, making sure not to let the hose run when washing our cars and to take shorter showers. Fix those leaky faucets and toilets now!