Dry and mild weather continues into the weekend with another weak system early next week that will bring breezy and unsettled weather over NorCal.
Visible GOES-West imagery reveals a few passing high clouds overhead on this Friday afternoon. Temperatures are generally running within several degrees of what they were this time yesterday. By the time the day wraps up, look for highs to peak in the middle 60s to low/mid 70s across Valley communities, with the warmest temps near Redding and Red Bluff.
For comparison, normal high temperature for February 18 for Downtown Sacramento is 63 deg F and 62 deg F for Redding Airport.
Quick-moving upper-level low will parallel just west of the California coast over the next 24 hours. Main weather-related “impact” with this system will be increasing mid/high clouds overhead; no precipitation is expected.
Additionally, some locally breezy east/northwest winds can be expected in/around the usual wind-prone gaps and ridgetops of the Sierra Nevada tonight and Saturday morning.
By Sunday, this upper-level low will be south along the Baja California coast with dry, northwest flow returning back to the Golden State. Overall the weekend should be fairly tranquil with above normal temps on Saturday, and slightly cooler temps on Sunday.
Trough will drop south from the Pacific Northwest and toward the Great Basin from Monday to Tuesday. This will usher in a period of unsettled weather for the region, featuring renewed breezy conditions and possible fire weather concerns, snow showers in the mountains, possible light snow showers into the foothills, as well as near-freezing overnight temperatures in the Sacramento Valley. More on that in the extended discussion.
Extended Discussion (Tuesday through Friday)
Much cooler air usher into the region as system drops into the Great Basin early next week. Weather-related impacts will range from the cold temperatures, scattered mountain/foothill snow showers, and increasing north/east winds.
Cold temperatures: potential for near-freezing morning lows will present itself to the Sacramento Valley from next week Tuesday to Friday mornings. Lows will generally range from the low 30s to middle/upper 30s, with the possibility of some rural areas falling into the upper 20s.
Precipitation: mountain snow showers will be possible in the higher elevations on Monday and Tuesday. The cold airmass will drop snow levels to 1200-2000 ft by Tuesday, allowing for the chance of snow flakes down to the Sierra foothills.
Not expecting much (if any) snow in the foothills; mainly limited to elevated/grassy surfaces. Higher elevations around pass level can expect several inches of snow. Rain shower chances in the Valley still remain on the low side; generally at/below a 20% chance of measurable rain.
The most likely forecast outcome (at this point in time) would be that most Valley communities receive very little or no rain.
Wind: increasing north/east wind will develop on Monday with periods of gusty conditions continuing through next week Wednesday. Generally expecting Valley gusts to range from 20 to 30 mph, locally higher west of the I-5. As rain chances in the Valley remain on the low side, there will continue to be fire weather concerns.