Wet weather in CA; few rumbles of thunder?

The long-advertised pattern change has finally come about along the West Coast. Rain and wind visited coastal areas today, though not too much of either. Rainfall rates did pick up briefly earlier this evening, but have since dropped off. Total rainfall in San Rafael has been about a half inch, which is about the most received anywhere thus far. Gusty south winds (up to 38 mph in SR) pumped in warmer air in from the south, and somewhat ironically today’s high of 61 was the warmest temperature recorded in weeks. More showers will move in overnight in a slightly unstable airmass, but no heavy rain or thunderstorms should occur. A fairly rapidly developing system can currently be seen on infrared satellite approaching the CA coast. This system will move in late tomorrow afternoon, bringing a heavy burst of rain in the early evening and possibly a few thunderstorms embedded in the frontal band. The airmass behind this second system will be substantially more unstable than that behind the first, so isolated thunderstorm activity is expected late Sat./ Sun in NorCal/and possibly CentCal. A third system–which will also be rapidly developing as it approaches the coast–will move in later Sunday. This will increase the intensity of showers and maintain the possibility of thunderstorms into Sunday night (mainly NorCal). Total rainfall for these next two systems should range from 1 to 2.5 inches in NorCal, and less than 2/3 inch in the Southland. Should help with the fire danger, anyway. After Sunday, some more light rain will fall in NorCal before a brief respite on Wed. /Thurs. More rain is on tap after that as the jet sags southward. GFS isn’t very emphatic with any systems after this weekend, but feel that this will change as time goes on. There has been some increase in the intensity of tropical E. Pac. convection, which is often a sign of a stronger and more amplified jet stream to come. We shall see. 

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