California’s record-warmest year worsens exceptional drought; El Niño continues to develop in Pacific

June 26th, 2014

The following article originally appeared on the Weather West website. The article was written by Daniel Swain and published on June 22nd. Click here for a link to the WeatherWest website and the California Weather Blog. 

Summary of recent weather conditions

The past couple of weeks have been warm and dry across nearly the entire state.

Persistent high pressure and geopotential height ridging have continued across the North Pacific in recent weeks. (NOAA/ESRL)
While no widespread major heat waves occurred, certain regions (particularly in the Sacramento Valley) did set new daily record highs on a couple of occasions since my last post, and most other regions have averaged at least several degrees above normal for this time of year. “June gloom”–or the marine stratus and low clouds that are typically prevalent near the California coastline during early summer–has been less extensive than usual so far this summer. On a possibly related note, sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are warmer than normal along the coast of Southern California (by as much as +3-4 F).