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California’s Local weather Transferring Ahead – NBC Bay Space

Weather extremes go to new extremes.

This is the likely trend we will see in California as global land and sea temperatures continue to warm, according to climate scientists.

California has experienced this shift with more frequent, prolonged, and more intense droughts. These periods are punctuated by fewer but more intense storms, enhanced by atmospheric fluxes.

Average temperatures (which are combinations of highs and lows) have become significantly warmer for California, particularly since the year 2000, with some of the warmest years since 2015

At the same time, periods of more intense droughts have occurred during this period.

Rising temperatures allow the atmosphere to carry more moisture. For every degree increase in temperature, there is a 4% increase in water vapor.

This may be particularly important in the Pacific, where warming sea surface and air temperature increases the moisture holding capacity for atmospheric river storms.

When this warmer air mass meets colder maritime polar air from the Gulf of Alaska, the ability of storms to intensify faster and produce more wind also increases.

These conditions were associated with the stronger storms, amplified by atmospheric flows, from late December through January this year, as well as the unusually strong late-season storms in March.

Warmer air can also cause moisture stress at higher snow rates, provided temperatures remain cold enough at higher elevations to support snowfall.

Record snowpack fell in parts of the central and southern Sierras (Palisades Tahoe, Mammoth Mountain) this year thanks to storm activity when snow depths were mostly in the 4,000 to 5,000 foot range.

As temperatures continue to trend upwards over the next two to three decades, the chances of large snow cover years—particularly at lower elevations—will eventually diminish.

Climate scientists believe this will increase California’s risk of runoff and river flooding as less snow is trapped in the Sierra and high rain rates/runoff increases flooding.

This leads to the precipitation paradox, as explained by Dr. Daniel Swain, who received his PhD from UCLA Meteorology, called the precipitation paradox where we will see an increased risk of high-impact flooding, but challenges to water resources from a less reliable supply of melting Sierra snow into summer.

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