MOUNTAIN AREA — The National Weather Service in Hanford says a Pacific storm system will move into and across the region Tuesday night, Mar. 19 through Thursday, Mar. 21. Brief high pressure will build over the area Friday, Mar. 22 before another weaker storm system moves across the region Saturday, Mar. 23.
Hanford explains that the next storm is at the doorstep of California as the initial higher cloud cover invades the region. While the storm was still well off-shore this afternoon, support is high that precipitation will overspread Central California overnight for a possible wetting rain and additional snow for the higher terrain above 7,000 feet.
The experts say enough sunshine penetrated the cloud cover to warm the region as temperatures reached well into the 70s this afternoon. Furthermore, the cold air advancing on Central California will interact with the warm surface to generate strong gusty winds tonight. Additionally, the unsettled conditions in the next 24 hour may also produce afternoon thunderstorms for Central California.
Models show the best instability over Central California during the Wednesday afternoon time-frame. While thunder cannot be ruled out during the morning, the best chances of convective activity will be confined to the afternoon hours.
Thursday may remain unsettled as the associated upper low from Wednesday’s disturbance drops into the Desert Southwest. At worst, lingering showers over the mountains will diminish by Thursday night. Afterward, models have some confidence in introducing yet another storm on Saturday before drying occurs early next week. The district will not be out of the woods, says the NWS, as longer range models show another disturbance for the middle of next week.
Keep track of that rain gear!