After a beautiful weekend and a perfect start to summer, active weather will once again return to the region. A broad area of low pressure sitting off the Alaskan Coast is streaming a plume of moisture west towards the States. Clouds will begin moving in tomorrow ahead of a cold front that is also bringing cooler air our way. Enough cool air to drop our temperatures to around average on Tuesday. The big story will be the showers and thunderstorms in the area. There is enough instability and moisture entering the region Monday afternoon to cause a few disturbances in Northern California and the Basin. As of now, the thunderstorms look like they will remain light and isolated.
With each model run, shower activity moves around. Yesterday we were expecting a large amount of rain on Thursday, and now, it seems like Wednesday and Friday are the big events. One thing the models and I agree on is that moisture is definitely on the way. The question is when and how much. I do expect that we will receive measurable rainfall by late this week. Model runs tomorrow will be in better agreement on these events.
That being said, I expect between Wednesday and Friday we will see the bulk of these system. I am confident in this because of the temperature pattern. There is a definite decrease in temperatures between Tuesday and Wednesday and then another significant drop between Wednesday and Thursday. What this signifies is that this is when the cold fronts will pass. Along with the frontal boundaries comes the shower activity. Cooler air moving in aloft will also create instability in the atmosphere. Therefore the cumulus in the region that forms will continue building and eventually pack enough moisture to create lightning. Therefore, areas in Northern California and the Klamath Basin will see thunderstorm activity. The bad news with these events is the fact that we still have quite a bit of dry air at the surface. This is a vital part in the equation that results in dry lightning. Lightning has been known to strike up to 10 miles away from a thunderstorm base. With the lack of rain this far away, lightning will strike the ground and potentially can cause a wild fire. That with the gusty winds in the afternoon will cause rapid spreading. This is something we will keep monitoring as the week progresses. We also can’t rule out the possibility of small hail with the updrafts in these storms. West of the Cascades we will mainly see just light and isolated rainfall. We’ll take anything we can get as we are still very behind in our water year. Rainfall is expected through next weekend. It is important to remember that this will not be a rain out event and all shower activity will be mostly light and short-lived.
Thanks for logging on and have a great week!
Meteorologist Seth Phillips
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