Rain…rain…and more rain? A Fabulous February after all?

Sorry for the delayed update–life just hasn’t permitted me to update as frequently as I would like…

The first system, after initially looking like it might fall apart once it reached shore, has managed to bring rain to most of the state today, and even some locally heavy rainfall is currently falling around Los Angeles and under convective showers in the Central Valley. Expect showers to gradually taper off overnight before picking up in both intensity and coverage by early Friday. A secondary and much colder low will drop into CA from the NW tomorrow, bringing an increasingly unstable atmosphere. Moisture will be plentiful enough, so any breaks in the clouds and ssociated surface heating will help to generate surface-based CAPE and the potential for thunderstorm activity. Some local strong storms are possible in the Central Valley. Widespread 0.25-0.5 inch totals are expected, along with up to 6-12 inches of Sierra snow, though precipitation statewide will be highly variable due to the convective nature of the precipitation. Conditions will generally clear up in the north for Saturday, but more showers and isolated thunderstorms will be possible in SoCal during this time fram. By Sunday, a new system will begin to barrel toward CA straight from the Gulf of Alaska, bringing very cold air aloft and the potential for more convective precipitation. 850 mb temps fall well below -3 C in NorCal and perhaps below -6 C in far NorCal, so snow levels will certainly be a concern. With an increasingly strong incident sun angle, thunderstorms with hail and strong winds are definitely possible on Monday throughout much of the state. One interesting side note: because 850 mb flow will be almost a direct pipeline between the Cook Inlet in southern Alaska and CA on Sunday and Monday, if the Redoubt Volcano has a significant eruption during that time frame, we may even see a little ash mixed in with the rain. Not particularly likely, but potentially of interest. More cold systems are likely after brief clearing on Tuesday, and the GFS has been particularly bullish with a very impressively deep longwave trough off the West Coast in the long range, potentially setting the stage for a much more active pattern (and potentially some additional cold storms). Stay tuned…although this won’t by any means solve our water problems, precip events such as these are going to be highly beneficial…


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