Happy Easter Sunday!
After the beautiful sunny weather seen during the weekend, active weather is on tap for the week. Rain, wind, and snow are all expected with a series of storms moving in. The high pressure ridge is finally breaking down and off the coast a very well defined, deep trough is setting up to move onshore tomorrow.
Tomorrow will start on a bit of a dry note. Clouds will be present overhead, but the saturated air mass in place could cause some fog situations along the coast and in the valleys. Showers are expected to start at the coast around the late morning hours and really strengthening during the early afternoon. All other locations will see mostly cloudy skies through most of Monday. Showers will then start getting heavy in the mountain locations because of the southwest to northeast tilt of the rain line. A few stray showers will hit some locations in the valleys and Northern California. The bulk of the rain will move in into the later hours of the the day on Monday. Cooler air aloft will allow for some instability to develop in the region. A slight chance of thunderstorms could be present along the coast and in the mountains. The Basin will see its rain increase into the evening hours. Winds will also be strong in the Basin and Northern California. Sustained winds will be in the 5-25 mph range with gusts up to 30 mph. High profile vehicles may feel crosswinds.
Late April snow will also be seen with this system. Snow levels will drop to 3,500′ on Tuesday morning allowing for snow to impact some mountain passes. The question is how much accumulation will occur. Temperatures will be above freezing for most locations throughout the next week. In the overnight hours, snow will fall and accumulate, but as soon as temperatures start warming again, snowfall will transition to rain and the snow that has built up on the roads will begin melting. Slush will be more likely in this scenario. Still, this will create hazardous driving conditions. Allow for extra commute time and it is recommended to carry chains no matter what the conditions at the time. The closer we get to Tuesday will bring better knowledge of snow accumulations in the mountains, Basin, and North California. Snow levels will increase a bit on Wednesday as warmer air is pushed in. Overall snow and rain will be seen until Wednesday for Northern California and the Basin.
Wednesday will be the only break in precipitation, however, “break” is a loose term. Showers will still be likely. They will just be light and isolated. Thursday brings another round of precipitation to the area with another storm system moving in. Heavy rain will be present in most locations, lasting through Friday. Saturday is proving to bring yet, another round and last into Sunday. These later storms will be lowering snow levels and we could see rain and snow events with them.
As of now, no flooding is expected. However, as commonly seen with this much rain in the forecast for consecutive days, small stream and urban areas could see some rising water. This will depend on rate of precipitation over the course of the week. As the soil becomes saturated, mudslides and landslides could occur in extreme circumstances. We are still in the negative when talking about rainfall totals since the water year started (Sept 1st). These systems may not undo these negative values, but hopefully we can make a dent in them.
Thanks for logging on and enjoy your week!
Meteorologist Seth Phillips