Dry and mild weather continues today. A weak weather system will brush by to the east tonight bringing a few showers to the Sierra. Gusty north to east winds return Thursday.

Wind gusts tonight and Thursday


High clouds have spread across the northern half of the forecast area ahead of the strong short-wave presently sliding southward across southern BC. Gradients have eased and winds are generally light across most of the area except for some lingering local northerly gusts of 10-20 mph in the northern Sacramento Valley and surrounding terrain. Current temperatures are milder compared to 24 hours ago, and are mostly in the 40s to lower 50s across the Central Valley.

Short-wave is forecast to clip us just to the east tonight as it drops into the Great Basin. Still looking pretty bleak for much precipitation, though some light showers will be possible along the crest of the northern Sierra with perhaps an inch or so of snow accumulation over the higher passes.

6-10 day precipitation outlook

The main impact from the system will be an increase in north to east wind expected in its wake late tonight and Thursday. It’ll likely be another moderately strong event with gusts around 30-40 mph in the valley, and 30-50 mph in the windier spots over the northern Sierra (locally higher over the exposed higher elevation ridges).

Ensembles and EC EFI have trended a bit weaker from yesterday, but wind advisory issuance may be needed. We’ll continue to monitor trends. Gradients and winds slacken Thursday night and Friday with dry and gradually milder daytime temperatures expected into the weekend.

Wind safety

Chilly overnight lows (30s) will return to Central Valley Thursday night and Friday night, especially along the eastern edge where north winds will be lighter.

Extended Discussion (Sunday through Wednesday)

A short wave will be passing just to the north for the start of the extended forecast. This will bring a chance for a few light showers over the far northern portions of the area with the best chances over the Coastal Range. Upper level ridging builds in for Monday.

We will then see deeper troughing coming out of the Gulf of Alaska later Monday into Tuesday and this trough should have a bit more moisture to work with. This will bring us a better chance for showers across the area especially on Tuesday. Ensembles are struggling with timing and how far south the trough digs but all members have some precip and the majority favor digging the trough over NorCal which is promising. Upper level ridging will begin to build back in on Wednesday.