Cool and dry weather is expected through mid-week, then precipitation chances return for the end of the week. Weak system Thursday night into Friday bringing light rain showers and light mountain snow. Wetter system Sunday with widespread Valley showers and mountain snow with travel impacts.
Clear skies and breezy north to east winds persist early this morning as short-wave ridging moves into the region in the wake of the weekend system now digging south into northern Mexico. Surface pressure gradient has eased a bit since Monday, but enough remains for fairly widespread northerly gusts of 15-25 mph in the Sacramento Valley and northeast to east gusts of 25-35 mph over the west slopes of the northern Sierra. The winds are helping to keep temperatures up with readings currently ranging from the mid 30s to mid 40s across the Central Valley. Wind-sheltered higher elevation locales are in the single digits and teens.
Ridge will build in today and Wednesday helping to modify temperatures somewhat. Mainly clear skies and lighter winds will result in cold temperatures again Wednesday and Thursday mornings with coldest portions of the valley dropping down into the upper 20s to lower 30s.
More clouds will be possible Thursday as the ridge shifts east. Short-wave trough moves through the ridge Thursday and Friday bringing a return of precipitation chances. The system has a little bit higher moisture on the IVT (integrated water vapor transport) but forcing will be marginal as the front and trough weaken with their eastward progression. Precipitation chances will spread south Thursday night with mainly light QPF (< 0.50″).
Extended Discussion (Saturday through Tuesday)
Dry weather expected Saturday as short wave ridging follows Friday’s storm. Models continue to differ with progression and strength on next storm for the second half of the weekend. WPC’s QPF showing storm totals generally below half an inch in the Central Valley with about a half to locally up to around an inch of liquid precip in the foothills/mountains.
Snow levels look to be around 3500 to 4500 feet. Lingering showers early Monday then strong upper ridging returns drier weather to interior NorCal early next week with chilly nights and near normal daytime highs.