WeatherWatcher: Cold Snap recap and almost spring-like rain ahead

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Ducks walking on water, actually ice at Log Boom Park, January 15, 2024
Photo by Gordon Snyder

Cold Snap Recap: We experienced a very cold period in Shoreline and Lake Forest Park. The Northridge (Echo Lake) weather station recorded a low temperature of 11.5°F at the coldest point on Saturday morning January 13, 2024. 

Saturday was also our coldest daytime high temperature since December 29, 1990. Our high temperature on Saturday January 13th was 22.8°F, which basically tied with November 23, 2010, where we had a high temperature of 23.0°F.

The difference with this cold snap compared to November 2010, or December 1990, is it arrived without any measurable snowfall. 

Some spots got a dusting to a trace but the air that moved in afterwards was so dry that most of the accumulated snowfall evaporated, in a rare process called sublimation

Our dew points were in the single digits during the cold snap, which is also why there wasn't widespread frost forming.

Here are the daily high and low temperatures for January from the Northridge (Echo Lake) weather station.

Daily high and low temperatures January 2024 at Northridge

Much warmer air has arrived, in fact, unusually warm air. We are running into the mid to upper 50's now for high temperatures as a series of atmospheric rivers move through the state. 

We haven't really seen much of an El Niño pattern this winter, but this week is probably the closest we'll see as the El Niño is quickly fading out now.

Rainfall at Northridge weather station, January 2024.

We are far above normal for rainfall this month, and for the rain season in general. 

Higher than normal rainfall is not typical of an El Niño winter. With the forecast for this coming week we will likely break the 6-inch mark in total rainfall for January. Our average rainfall for January is about 4 and a half inches.

Forecast: A series of atmospheric rivers is expected to continue moving through our region over the next five days. 

For Monday and Tuesday, they will remain just offshore, bringing us very mild temperatures as southerly winds bring California air to our region. High temperatures could reach the mid 60s Monday, and low 60s on Tuesday.

We will get brushed by some rain overnight Monday into Tuesday. 

Then more steady rain moves in Tuesday evening and continues through Wednesday and Thursday. Temperatures will remain warm but will likely drop into the mid to upper 50s for daytime highs.

Thursday evening the steady rain leaves the area, and we go to just showers here and there. 

Friday through the weekend we have a bit of a pattern change where we just have a chance of showers here and there, and temperatures returning to more seasonable levels. 

By Saturday and Sunday, we should be back into the mid 30s for lows and low 40s for high temperatures.

For current weather conditions visit


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