Wetter weather on the horizon

[This post is not new…for some reason, it did not show up when originally posted on the 20th]

Today’s system…although not very impressive from a dynamical point of view…did manage to produce some interesting weather in the Central Valley this afternoon and evening. Quite a few thunderstorms have popped up…producing small hail and numerous lightning strikes. These will diminish overnight, but a few could develop over mainly the higher terrain in far SoCal as the low cuts off and meanders offshore for the next few days. An NWS spotter apparently did report a wind gust of 73 mph associated with a dust devil in the Tehachapis this afternoon.  In any case…today’s rainfall was meager at best…less than 0.1 in. most places…unless the observing station was lucky enough to be located under a convective cell. Drier and warmer weather will return for the rest of the week and the weekend…expect for those isolated showers and tstms far SoCal.

All eyes then turn to the cold and wet pattern expected to develop in the 6-10 day time frame. As discussed yesterday, the jet stream over the Pacific has strengthened dramatically and will begin to amplify the mean flow over the West Coast next week. A deep trough…with a 150 kt jet rounding the base of it…will dig broadly offshore by next Monday. The initial cold frontal passage could be quite impressive, especially for April, in NorCal. Heavy rain, strong winds, and thunderstorms could all occur if the ingredients come together at the right time. After the main cold front…several secondary cold fronts or “cool fronts” will make it progressively farther south as time goes on…eventually to SoCal by day 8/9. Some of these impulses could be quite strong, as well, given that 850 mb temps will drop below -3 C in the north and 0 C in the south. These systems will all be highly convective…and, based on the thunderstorm activity of today’s very weak system…we could possibly be looking at a CA severe weather outbreak (mainly Central Valley). We’ll see. Most recent 18z GFS indicates that this pattern will persist for quite a while…day 15, per 18z run. And…interestingly enough…the model follows up with a developing Pineapple Express-type system on day 16. Model fantasy…almost certainly…but it’s too early to write off the rest of the wet season just yet…

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