Warm, dry, not quite record high temps this weekend
Published on Mar 13, 2014 - 7:10:31 AM
March 13, 2014 - Building high pressure will result in dry weather and well above normal daytime temperatures into early next week. A chance of precipitation is possible midweek next week as a storm system moves by the area.
Building high pressure aloft over the West Coast will bring sunny skies, warming temperatures and decreasing winds to Interior Northern California through the weekend. Daytime highs will approach 80 degrees in the Valleys, the mid to upper 70s in the Foothills, and the 50s to low 70s in the Mountains, about 10 to 20 degrees above normal. The next chance for rain may be around next Tuesday/Wednesday.
Short Term Discussion (Today through Sunday)
A flat upper level ridge dominates today and Friday, as a weak trough moving through the Pacific Northwest keeps the ridge from amplifying. Therefore, temperatures today are expected to be very similar to yesterday, and maybe a couple of degrees cooler on Friday as the upper level trough brings a few clouds over the northernmost part of California. Then the upper level ridge builds over Northern California for the weekend bringing temperatures up into the upper 70s to low 80s in the valley and 50s to 60s in the mountains which is about 10 to 20 degrees above normal for mid March. Near record temperatures are possible over the weekend especially in the Southern Sacramento/Northern San Joaquin Valleys and some mountain areas like Chester and Burney.
Extended Discussion (Monday through Thursday)
Ridge of high pressure begins to weaken early next week, but temperatures will remain above normal through at least Tuesday with temperatures in the 70s across the Valley.
Model differences arise toward the middle of next week as a series of low pressure systems approach the West Coast. The GFS and GEM are fairly similar in forming a closed low over the Northern Pacific this weekend, with it eventually drifting toward NorCal next Tuesday into Wednesday. The 12z ECMWF also forms this closed low, but is not nearly as progressive with it. Given this uncertainty, we maintained "slight chance" wording Tuesday into Wednesday across much of the forecast area.
Medium-range models are in better agreement about a colder trough dropping south from the Gulf of Alaska later next week. This will bring a better chance of precipitation with lower snow levels, though timing and strength remain uncertain.
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