Colder weather to move in

Last week’s wet weather brought some welcome snowfall in the mountains and soaking rains along the coast. SoCal saw, in general, less rain than NorCal, but some favored mountain areas got quite a bit (upwards of 2-3 inches). The weather over SoCal is currently rather warm due to strong offshore flow–in the 60s and 70s in some places, while much colder conditions persist in the north (yesterday’s high in San Rafael was 46). Strong offshore flow in the mountains of SoCal will develop and continue for several days, enhancing the fire threat in places that did not receive a lot of rainfall  thus far this wet season. A series of rather dry but very cold troughs will move into CA from the north over the coming weeks. Only light precipitation is expected, and many areas could see no precipitation at all, but snow levels will be quite low at times after Christmas. 850 mb temperatures drop into the -5 to -8 C degree range over NorCal by Wednesday, which would produce, if one looks objectively at the vertical soundings, snow at sea level. Although this is unlikely at the current juncture, I do believe that some snow flurries/brief snow showers are possible just about anywhere in NorCal except the immediate coastline later this week. The models are also indicating the potential for some more potent and more moist but still very cold systems (with 850 mb temperatures of -5 C or lower) impacting CA days 7-16. So…we could have some very interesting weather elements to deal with over the next two weeks (fairly typical of a La Nina pattern in the East Pacific).

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