March 31, 2018 – Dry and warm through early next week. Wet weather makes a return late next week.
Ridge of high pressure will slowly break down this weekend as several shortwaves drop southeast in the flow into next week. Moisture appear limited and waves weaken as they encounter the ridge so no precipitation is expected through early next week. Waves will serve to bring some high clouds to the area from time to time and to cool temperatures a few degrees, though afternoon highs will remain above normal. Pressure gradient will strengthen on Monday which will result in some locally breezy north winds especially across the western side of the Sacramento Valley and in higher terrain.
Extended discussion (Wednesday through Saturday)
Small embedded disturbance within stable flow aloft will move across northern California Wednesday and bring chances for increased cloud cover and light rain, mainly across the Cascades and the northern Sierra.
Once this small disturbance passes, a more dynamic disturbance will affect the west coast for the end of the week. Strong jet stream with southwesterly flow aloft will tap into plenty of moisture to provide increasing chances for precipitation late next week and into next weekend. Early projections indicate liquid amounts ranging between a half inch up to two inches for the valley with between one and two inches for the foothills and mountains. Snow is possible above 7000 feet, but only a few inches of accumulation are expected at this time. Confidence is low as to exact amounts of precipitation, so continue to monitor the latest forecasts as we approach next week.
Warm temperatures Wednesday will give way to cooler conditions as the storm system approaches for the end of the week. Expect temperatures to be right around normal for the region, with valley/foothill locations in the mid 60s to near 70 and mountains in the upper 40s and low 50s.