Monday will be the end of the long dry period we’ve seen over the last week. Clouds will start to build in as a very impressive, well defined storm system works its way in. A series of cold front will pass with this storm and will bring much needed rain and even snow to the region. Winds will also be a factor moving into the bulk of it. Temperatures this week will also be cooler due to the colder air this system will usher in.
The first round of precipitation was originally supposed to move in on Monday night. The first front stalled offshore and this pushed back the timing. Now, the rain will begin at the coast early Tuesday morning. The first front will pass shortly after and drop snow steadily to 4,500′ by Tuesday evening. Another cold front slated to move in late Tuesday night will drop these levels even lower to 3,500′. The Siskiyous will see a similar drop in snow levels as well. The Basin will see snow levels drop, but not as dramatically. For the Basin, snow levels will get down to 5,500′ for Tuesday p.m. and then down to 4,300′ on Wednesday. All of these areas are expected to see snowfall once the precipitation gets heavy. The main question is accumulation. It’s still too early to know exact accumulation amounts but we are expecting 4″ to 7″ in the upper Cascades (above 4,500′), and 1″ to 3″ of snow accumulation is expected at Siskiyou Summit. All other areas will see a light dusting. Remember that this does not mean snow will not fall below these areas, it just means that accumulation is not likely. Once again, as we move closer to this event, we’ll have a better idea of accumulation amounts. Passes above 4,500′ are likely to be affected with this storm. Especially Hwy. 140 and roads near Diamond Lake Summit. Heaviest amounts of snow are to move in by Wednesday, so keep this in mind for your day’s commute. Snow levels will once again fall near 3,500′ on Friday so snow will still be in the equation through Saturday.
Rain will start to move in on Tuesday for all areas below the snow level. This precipitation is expected to last through the weekend. Thursday evening will see a possible decrease in shower activity, but we will be right back in it on Friday with another frontal boundary moving in. Convective lifting will bring in possible thunderstorm activity with the first front and with the cooler air, hail and graupel could be experienced, especially along the coast.
Winds are expected to pick up Tuesday and last until Thursday. Then they will get strong again on Friday. As of now, sustained winds of 20-35 mph. are expected along the coast and in the Cascades these days. Gusts could reach 50 mph in these areas as well. It is still to early to issue warnings or watches for the winds; but it is very likely that as we move closer, they will be needed. This along with the snow in the Cascades can create blowing snow and reduced visibility on Wednesday and Friday. Also, with the saturated soil, some small trees and power lines could fall victim to gusty winds.
A SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT has been issued for all counties in our watch area. This is nothing to be alarmed about. All it means is that after a dry spell for so long, the weather pattern approaching will be a drastic change in conditions and it is imperative that we not take the rain, wind and snow for granted. The good news is that our area will see much needed precipitation and this will help us as we move into the dry upcoming Spring season.
Thanks for logging on and be safe this week!
Meteorologist Seth Phillips