What was to have been an active “El Nino” winter for the greater Los Angeles area has fallen far short of expectations, and latest predictions don't offer much in the way of hope.
Beginning late last summer, long-range forecast models had consistently leaned towards a wet winter for much of the southwest and southern U.S. due to an expected emerging “El Nino” pattern in the eastern Pacific.
By October and November, 2012, it started to become evident that the supposed warming of equatorial waters west of South America wasn't happening. Instead, a cold pool of oceanic water off the west coast of North America was holding sway, much as it had done during the winter of 2011-12.
It has stubbornly persisted, setting off a series of events that spells one thing for much of California—DRY. According to meteorologist Dallas Raines of KABC-TV in Los Angeles, stronger than usual trade winds have prevented the spread of warm oceanic waters into favorable regions which would influence the strength and position of winter jet stream patterns affecting western U.S. weather.
Much like last winter (2011-12) stronger than usual Pacific high pressure associated with colder than usual oceanic temperatures has effectively blocked and/or weakened approaching storm systems which usually bring needed winter rains to California.
For those who like a little excitement in a usually benign weather environment, a word of advice might be don't hold your breath. Even the usually present strong Santa Ana wind events have been lacking this season, perhaps due to weaker than usual “inside slider” storm systems. ( Cold upper level disturbances which slide south and east of the L.A. area resulting in mostly dry, very windy conditions)
In any event, for the millions of southern California residents who wouldn't trade L.A.'s “boring” weather for anything anywhere, perhaps the only complaint might be the three or so weeks of unusually cold weather we experienced here during December, 2012, and part of January, 2013. Cold?...hardly when one considers winter wind chills in the minus 30-degree range such as recently (and often) in other parts of the country, namely Minnesota or North Dakota...