Image: satellite image taken December 3, 2017 shows high pressure ridge over the western U.S.

The Ridiculously Resilient Ridge, a ridge of high pressure over the Western U.S., is back and is once again preventing winter storms from reaching California. Scientists studying the ridge recently announced three new findings:

  • That the formation of the ridge coincides with warm water temperatures in the western Pacific Ocean
  • That the ridge forms independently of El Nino and La Nina conditions
  • That the ridge is responsible not just for warm, dry winters in the western U.S., but also the the cold, wet weather occurring simultaneously in the eastern U.S.

The Ridiculously Resilient Ridge remained in place throughout the winters of 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16, producing one of the most severe droughts on record in California.

Today’s post, from the Weather West blog, discusses these new findings:

New insights into the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge and North American Winter Dipole