Gusty north to east winds decrease this afternoon, otherwise cool and dry weather expected through mid-week, then precipitation chances return for the end of the week.
Yesterday’s system continues to drop south along the central California coast. Skies have cleared in its wake across NorCal, and north to east surface pressure gradient remains tight (around 10 mbs MFR-SAC and 7-8 mbs RNO-SAC).
Northerly gusts of 30-40 mph continue along the western edge of the Sacramento Valley while northeast to east gusts of 35-55 mph are present over the northern Sierra west slopes. So far, the winds are keeping temperatures up across most of the valley with readings mainly in the upper 30s to lower 40s while it’s downright chilly across the wind-sheltered areas at the higher elevations where readings are currently in the single digits and teens.
The cool airmass will remain over the area today before gradually modifying into mid-week as short-wave ridging builds in. Winds are forecast to slacken over much of the region later today as pressure gradients relax.
With clear skies and very dry airmass (dewpoints currently in the single digits to 20s), freezing minimum temperatures are likely in the valley tonight and again Tuesday night with lows dropping down into the upper 20s to lower 30s.
Ridge is forecast to shift east beginning Thursday as the next short-wave approaches. Precipitation chances will spread south Thursday night with mainly light QPF (< 0.50″) expected.
Extended Discussion (Friday through Monday)
Models suggest next Pacific frontal system moves through Friday with some differences in timing. System progged to weaken as it moves onshore with light to locally moderate precipitation. Lingering showers Friday evening then short wave ridging provides drier weather Saturday.
Another Pacific storm progged for later Saturday or Sunday into Monday with again differences with how quickly it progresses inland. This system looks stronger with more associated QPF and impacts to mountain travel.