February 21, 2018 – System will bring snow to the mountains later today into early Friday, which could impact travelers. Below normal temperatures will continue. Additional systems possible next week.
Warmer temperatures across much of the area this morning compared to Tuesday morning. Northern Sacramento Valley right around the freezing mark but clouds from incoming system have moved in and will limit further temperature drops. Further south across the San Joaquin Valley, temperatures still running in the mid to upper 30s. Therefore have cancelled remaining hard freeze warning though frost still a possibility.
A few showers possible over the coastal range today as weak system departs but not expecting much in the way in accumulation. Have cut back on precipitation chances during the day today, especially over the Sierra.
Focus then shifts to a cold insider slider system that will drop through the area this evening into early Friday morning. This will bring another round of snow to the mountains. With cold air still entrenched over the area, snow levels will be around 1500-2000 feet with a dusting down to around 1000 feet.
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Pass levels will likely see 5-8 inches of snow, heaviest overnight into the early Thursday morning commute with another burst of snow likely around the Thursday afternoon commute. Chain controls possible with some travel delays. Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect above 2000 feet. Still some model discrepancies so cannot rule out a few light showers in the valley, though pinpointing exactly where is a bit uncertain. Friday night should be another cold one as system exits and skies clear out with morning lows on Saturday near the freezing mark once again.
Next shortwave will drop south in the flow on Saturday. Models in decent agreement with majority of moisture remaining across the Pacific Northwest. Therefore have confined shower chances to northern mountains. Below normal temperatures continue.
Extended discussion (Sunday through Wednesday)
Amplified upper air pattern forecast to continue next week with the cold upper trough over the West forecast to slowly retrograde as successive short-waves dropping down from the north carve it further back to the west. The early-week systems will have QPF mainly confined to the mountains, but more widespread precipitation will be possible later in the week. Temperatures will remain at or below average for late-February.