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What to expect when you’re expecting El Niño

jetstream-elnino-hcn.jpg Credit for the headline to the High Country News, which notes that "with each passing day it seems more certain: 2014 is going to be an El Niño year, and probably a big one."

Santana scorcher

santana-winds-in-malibu-vdt.jpg Hotter at the beach today than in the hills -- already 81 at 8 a.m.

Talk of a 'super' El Niño out in the Pacific

el-nino-visualization.jpg Based on recent developments, some scientists think this event may rival the record El Niño event of 1997-1998. If that does happen, 2015 would almost be guaranteed to set a record for the warmest year on Earth, says a report.

The reckoning after the storm

Surf300.jpg What are we doing with our dishes turned upside down when it's raining money in LA? And note to surfers: you may want to forego those awesome storm-driven waves this week if you don't want to end up with a nasty stomach bug from the crap the rain washed into the ocean.
rainfall-map-county-3114.jpg The 48-hour rainfall map shows less than four inches at most stations around the county, but that's a lot more than we are used to getting. Video of the wave inside.

Gotta love the Pacific Ocean

noaa-wx-map-calif-22714.jpg Awesome weather map. The free water will be here Friday morning.

Los Angeles TV stations go on Sprinkle Watch

nws-rain-map22614.jpg Taking all of the night's news shows together, I figure there were about 30 minutes of coverage for each tenth of an inch of rain to actually fall. But it's still early in the predicted storm cycle.

Moody blues

paradise-cove-morning-vdt.jpg The colors at the beach this morning tell the tale -- a storm is coming. Really, it is.

Law of averages brings a wet storm this week

nws-rainfall-fcast-map.jpg The blocking ridge of high pressure over the Pacific Ocean off North America couldn't last forever. It just seemed that way. An explanation.

Red tells the story: California drought still big and bad

Even after last week's heavy rainfall up north, the drought maps are still a dry sea of red. And oh by the way, it looks as if the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge may be re-forming out in the Pacific.

Weather to vote aye, that is the question

weather-or-not.jpg The LA City Council wants action on the Weather Channel-DirecTV dispute — weather or not you agree.

Reservoirs rise a little after week of rain, but so what?

water-grafic-bang.jpg Folsom Lake is six feet higher, but that only means the reservoir is at 19% of capacity instead of 17%. Nice graphic shows how water use differs around the state.

'Atmospheric river' of rain pointed at Northern California

atmospheric-river-grab.jpg As much as 6-7 inches of rain could fall as the ridiculously resilient ridge retreats. SoCal won't be part of the big event, at least so far.

'We've never seen anything like this'

Farmers talk about California's epic drought on "Good Food" on KCRW, and it's scary.

Breaking: LA Stage Times suspends publication*

la-stage-time-grab.jpg LA Stage Times is going on hiatus, effective immediately. Longtime theater writer Don Shirley will now post regularly at LA Observed.

We had raindrops in Santa Monica

raindrops-sunday.jpg It felt very weird to have a few splatters on the car windshield. Ten minutes later, a few more drops hit our breakfast table. Alert the networks!

Sacramento breaks 130-year record for lack of rain

sacto-radar-grab.jpg In the annals of weather records, this is one nobody wanted to break, says the Bee. Not since 1884 has Sacramento gone this many winter days without rain or snow.

Drought makes it better at Mavericks (video)

Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 6.01.33 PM.png The high pressure ridge keeping us dry also left Mavericks with the ideal combination of big swells and no wind or weather.

The inertia of that Ridiculously Resilient Ridge

DecJanDailies.gif Grace Peng further examines the data behind the high pressure ridge sitting off North America and concludes "this is a severe event....could be a catastrophic disaster. It's time to prepare for the worst drought and wildfire season in California in my lifetime."

Oahu's Pipeline observed by drone (video)

pipeline-grab-sterman.jpg This might be the most beautiful surfing video you have seen (and heard.) Meanwhile, the National Weather Service warns of very big waves on all of Hawaii's islands this week.

At least three more dry months now expected in California

us-drought-map-11714.jpg Weather models show California's historically dry weather is expected to continue. Gov. Brown today declared a drought emergency. The Obama Administration named 27 counties as disaster areas.
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In case you missed it
Streetscape: High clouds over LAPD
highlcouds-lapd-bldg-pal.jpgHard to take a picture in this town without getting a palm tree. Bigger
Gotta love the Pacific Ocean
noaa-wx-map-calif-22714.jpgNow that's a weather map. See big
Endless winter
free-zuma-phone.jpg
Lazy Saturday at Free Zuma on the west end of Point Dume. More
OK, let's talk about the weather
afternoon-clouds-over-hill.jpgJust because LA is not a desert doesn't mean it's not getting hotter. Tim Rutten surveys the climate picture. Read
Mountain Fire
mountain-fire-nbc-tweet.jpgThe view Friday afternoon from the NBC 4 news helicopter, posted to Twitter. "Almost looks like a volcano," says the tweet.
Fire landscape
pt-mugu-fire-damage.jpgHikers seem to be rediscovering Point Mugu State Park, based on the cars that Veronique de Turenne sees.
PCH fire evidence
pch-fire-sign-vdt.jpgEvidence of the Springs Fire is everywhere along Pacific Coast Highway north of Malibu. More pics
Catalina eddy
catalina-eddy-nasa.jpgLet NASA explain about SoCal's marine layer generator. More
Native Intelligence
Wind vortices
Southern California's winds can be beautiful
Scientists believe in the epic superstorm
Sometimes La Niña is wet, not dry
Hottest downtown temperature ever
How the Pacific storm gate works
Rainfall map Rainfall totals
Go right to the data from the county Department of Public Works telemeters.
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