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Thanksgiving afternoon update/2019

Summary: The center of circulation of a very cold low pressure system is right near Monterey Bay.  The freezing level this afternoon over Oakland was just 3,200 feet.  I noted the temperature at 1:00pm at Pacheco Pass was only 34.  That station is just above Los Banos.  The deserts of Kern and Los Angeles Counties are experiencing light snow.  In fact, Lancaster was reporting light snow this past hour.


The bulk of the active weather so far this afternoon has been over southern California with numerous reports of flooding in San Diego County.  Doppler radar is indicating light showers are beginning to spread over the Coast Range and into the western San Joaquin Valley at this hour, especially in Kern and Kings Counties.  These showers are moving north/northeast, rotating around the low.  Over the next few hours, more showers will form with daytime heating with the risk of at least isolated thunderstorms.


The storm will begin to move tonight and if models have a handle on the situation, will be somewhere over Nevada by tomorrow afternoon.  Showers will continue over central California well into Friday morning then will begin to diminish by noon with dry weather Friday afternoon through Saturday morning.


Latest models indicate the next storm is stronger than previous models had depicted.  It will be off the northern California coast Saturday.  precipitation will again sweep over northern and central California.  Once again, a considerable number of isobars are on surface models so we may again see strong winds in some areas.  Models continue to show this system moving very slowly southward off the California coast then  inland through southern California Wednesday and Wednesday night.  that means there will be a risk of rain at any time from Saturday afternoon through Wednesday.  obviously, it won’t be raining all the time, but the risk factor will definitely be there.


On paper, anyway, dry weather will return Thursday through Friday night then a strong trough of low pressure will dig southward from the Gulf of Alaska along the west coast with the possibility of another significant winter storm.


Forecast: Periods of showers tonight.  a chance of isolated thunderstorms this evening.  Snow on the foothills of the surrounding mountains.  Showers Friday morning, ending by noon.  Mostly to partly cloudy Friday afternoon through Saturday morning.  The chance of rain will  increase Saturday afternoon with periods of rain Saturday night through Monday night.  a chance of showers Tuesday through Wednesday. partly cloudy Wednesday night and Thursday.


Short Term:                                                                        

Madera 37/48/32/50 Reedley 38/48/32/51 Dinuba 37/47/31/50
Porterville 38/49/33/50 Lindsay 37/49/31/51 Delano 38/50/34/51
Bakersfield 38/48/36/52 Taft 35/45/32/51 Arvin 37/48/33/51
Lamont 38/49/33/52 Pixley 38/48/32/51 Tulare 36/47/31/50
Woodlake 37/48/32/51 Hanford 37/48/33/52 Orosi 37/48/31/51


Winds: Winds tonight will be mainly out of the southeast at around 5 to 12 MPH with stronger gusts near showers.  Winds Friday will be out of the northwest at 5 to 15 MPH.  Winds Friday night and early Saturday will be generally at or less than 10 MPH with periods of near calm conditions.  Late Saturday through Sunday, we will again have to closely watch the potential of gusty winds out of the southeast in some areas.  Some models this afternoon are now showing the center of circulation of the next storm to be close to the northwest coast, considerably further south than the last storm.  For now, we’ll go with southeast winds at 10 to 20 MPH with stronger gusts Saturday night and Sunday.  In Kern County, the position of the low appears to be better placed for generating strong, gusty winds off the Tehachapi Mountains.  For now, it’s pretty much a stay tuned situation.


Rain:  While southern California is being pounded this afternoon, the precipitation pattern over central California is more widely scattered.  Showers are increasing over the Coast Range and are beginning to rotate into Kern and Kings Counties.  Isolated thunderstorms will be possible from now through the early evening hours.  Periods of showers will continue tonight through Friday morning.  By Friday afternoon, the action should shift into Nevada, resulting in a short window of dry weather lasting from Friday afternoon into Saturday morning.  The chance of rain will again increase Saturday afternoon, especially later in the day with periods of rain Saturday night through Monday night.  there will be a continuing risk of showers or even a few thunderstorms Tuesday through Wednesday then finally the low will  move into southern California later Wednesday and Wednesday night for a dry slot Thursday through Friday evening.  Models continue the trend this afternoon of showing a significant trough of low pressure digging southward from the Gulf of Alaska and into California next weekend.


Frost Discussion:  It is possible that locations with a few hours of clearing tonight could see temperatures lower to 30 to 32 degrees or so.  For now, it appears there will be enough cloud cover to keep temperatures in the mid 30s to near 40 at most locations.  There is a better opportunity Friday night for minimum temperatures to drop at or below freezing at most locations, generally down to 28 to 32 degrees.  Again, that’s if skies clear.  We may observe a good amount of cloud cover left over from the current storm.  Some models show the arrival of cloud cover during the early morning hours from the next system which will bring active weather Saturday afternoon and for several days thereafter.  Saturday morning looks like the last opportunity for subfreezing weather for a while as the next weather system is considerably milder with much higher snow levels.  Daytime highs next week will warm into the low to mid 60s.  nothing on models at this time suggesting a challenging pattern.


Next report: Friday morning/November 29