You wouldn’t believe how much time I’ve spent looking at the forecast for Friday. There’s a chance for rain in Palm Springs, a rarity in May.
Tiny. Miniscule. Little. Your choice. Not much is going to fall. Think interval wipers.
It’s a big deal to my viewers, so it’s a big deal to me.
Forget for a moment our shortage of potable water. Native Southern Californians pine for cloudy, rainy days. I see it in neighbors and co-workers. They’re excited about Friday’s potential.
I moved to California for the opposite reason, but I’m willing to play along. I understand.
I face a new problem in Palm Springs that didn’t exist for me in Connecticut. Our valley is small and the mid-range weather models have a tough time seeing it. Their grids are too coarse.
Usually Connecticut’s weather is homogenous. Everyone gets similar weather. Not so for the Coachella Valley versus its neighbors.
Approaching storms are obvoius. It’s easy to say LA and the OC will get a few sprinkles Thursday and more rain Friday. That doesn’t mean any of it will reach Palm Springs. We’re nestled between mountains.
Even nearby spots live Riverside and Moreno Valley will likely see rain. They’re on the other side of some tall mountains, the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa ranges.
Yesterday, I got to use the high res CANSAC WRF run. Its 2 kilometer horizontal resolution makes a huge difference. It only goes out 72 hours, so it’s only now becoming useful. Today, the 15 hour HRRR will add more insight.
There’s more to forecasting in the desert than I expected. More wind to consider. More storms that get close, but miss. It’s very intricate. More microscale than mesoscale.
It’s a lot of fun.