February 21, 2024

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Why do storms sometimes form circles like this? : meteorology

1 min read

I’m wondering what is it exactly that prevents summer monsoonal moisture that frequents Arizona, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, etc. from reaching coastal cities in California?

I’m not sure whether it’s 1) the cold current off of the CA coast, 2) the East Pacific high pressure ridge (west of CA) , or even 3) the Sierra Nevada Range that presents itself a physical obstacle, that’s breaking down thunderstorms and blocking monsoons after they drift into CA.

It just feels weird hearing about Arizona and Utah and even neighboring Nevada getting copious amounts of rain in the summer and yet a large chunk of CA, especially San Francisco, coastal Los Angeles, etc. still stays bone dry, despite monsoons raging in the rest of the interior Southwest. (I know California cities really close to Arizona or Nevada, like Needles or even Death Valley, and even cities in the Sierra Nevada mountain range like Truckee, regularly get the North American Monsoon, but I feel that even those places get only the tail end of whatever is left of monsoonal moisture).

/u/Vampiric_Cassius_Dio

2022-08-24 02:34:58

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