A slight “break” in precipitation today has created the gap between two sets of storms that has and will be moving in to the region. Last night came the first round with a very strong cold front moving onto the coast. Cooler air was rushed in and allowed for our high temperatures to be 10-15 degrees cooler than the day before. Rain and Winds picked up into the afternoon/early evening yesterday but started to taper off into the morning hours. Snow levels also dropped with the cooler air. The Cascades and Siskisyous saw levels down to 3,500′ and got anywhere from 1-4″ of accumulating snow. The Basin saw a snow level of 4,300′ and also saw a rain snow mixture with very little accumulation. Once the daytime temperatures got above freezing, the snow began melting and slush was the main concern for commuters this morning. Thunderstorms were also hitting some areas, and lightning strikes were reported in some areas. Instability causing strong updrafts also allowed for some hail reports to come in. This is common with thunderstorms, especially this time of the year.
Tuesday night will see an increase in showers at the coast and in the mountain locations. A pronounced rain shadow will keep showers out of the valleys. The Southern Cascades will also stop any showers from reaching the Basin overnight. Storms are tracking north so only the Coastal range in Del Norte County will see overnight rain. Snow levels will fall to 4,000′ on Wednesday morning allowing for snow to fall in the High Country. Throughout the day on Wednesday, anywhere from 1-6″ of accumulation snow will be seen in the Cascades and Siskiyous. Keep in mind that daytime temperatures will get above freezing, therefore snow will melt quickly and roads will become slippery for the morning commute. Allow for extra time and drive carefully. Wednesday will continue the trend of coastal showers and higher elevation snow throughout most of the day. A warm front is slated to move through in the afternoon, bringing warmer air and heavier amounts of rain to all regions in the evening hours. Snow levels will climb back up to 6,000′ so, the only episodes of snow on Wednesday afternoon/evening will be in the high elevations near Crater Lake. Even then, precipitation will be a rain snow mix.
Right after the warm front passes in the late evening Wednesday, a cold front will pass on Thursday morning. Wind, rain and chances for thunderstorms will pick up into all areas in the late morning on Thursday and continue into the evening hours. Snow levels will remain high until the overnight hours then they will fall in the mountains to around 4,500′. Rain and snow will persist overnight into Friday. Once again, these snow levels will increase on Friday morning and the snow will turn to rain. Light, isolated post-frontal showers are the only thing in the forecast for Friday.
It seems as if the rain keeps coming. Saturday will see isolated showers in most areas, and a little heavier rain at the coast. Another system is slated to move in around Sunday evening moving wind, rain and even more snow with cooler air coming in right behind it. Models are still in disagreement as to how strong the rain and snow will be. The first real break in precipitation for all areas should arrive by Tuesday with mostly cloudy skies overhead and warmer temperatures. As we move closer to these events we’ll have a better understanding on what to expect. This pattern is much needed for the area.
Meteorologist Seth Phillips