Why Has This Year Been So Windy?

Wind prone areas could see gusts to 80 mph on Tuesday

Jodi Kodesh

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This year, it seems Wind Advisories, High Wind Watches & Warnings like this are happening more often.

And they are. We've seen an increase in wind events this season, because we've seen an increase in storm systems passing nearby, or directly hitting San Diego.

"We get two wind events from every one rain event we have,” explained Meteorologist Jodi Kodesh, “We see big onshore winds from the west just prior to a storm, and big offshore winds from the east just after. “

According to Alex Tardy, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in San Diego, since October, the county has seen roughly 10 significant rain events, and several smaller events.

The increase in rain events (big or small) is due to the position of the jet stream, the column of air in the upper levels of the atmosphere that steers and guides the storms.

You've heard the terms El Nino and La Nina, which is our current phase.

In an El Nino weather pattern, the jet stream that carries the storms runs almost directly west to east, typically guiding more storms into southern California.

However, we're currently in a La Nina weather pattern, where the jet stream takes on a more serpentine shape, darting north over areas like Seattle & Portland, then diving south toward Arizona.

"Normally, this would mean most systems would miss us. This year, however, the curve in the jet stream has been a bit more exaggerated, and most of the storms coming from the north have actually been guided right toward San Diego," said Kodesh. "This has resulted in more direct hits for us, and more wind events as well."

So, while we are still running below our average for rainfall totals, the number of storm systems approaching San Diego County directly, has been pretty impressive -- outnumbering areas just to our north.

Since July, we’ve seen 6.16 inches of rain. On average, we should be closer to 7.93 inches, which means we are currently below average by 1.77 inches.

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