Dry and windy weather through Saturday. Continued dry next week with lighter winds.
Thin high clouds are spreading south across the region ahead of the strong short-wave trough dropping south into the Great Basin. IR difference imagery shows a relatively thin strip of thick fog along the eastern edge of the valley extending from the Sacramento area south into the northern San Joaquin Valley. Northerly surface pressure gradient has been increasing steadily overnight (MFR-SAC is nearly 9 mbs) and northerly wind gusts in the teens to mid 20s mph have spread into the northern Sacramento Valley with lighter northwest winds extending southward along the western edge of the valley.
System continues to drop southward and is forecast to close off over the northern Gulf of California on Saturday before slowly edging eastward early next week. Surface gradient will max out over the valley today while gradient will continue to tighten over the northern Sierra tonight.
Gusts of 35-45 mph will be possible along the western half of the Central Valley today with more localized breezes continuing tonight, and gusts of 50-70 mph (locally higher) will pick up later today and continue overnight across the higher elevations of the northern Sierra and over exposed ridges. A wind advisory remains in effect.
Winds will decrease by later Saturday, but dry northerly flow will continue into early next week limiting late night and morning valley fog potential. Cold advection will likely result in cooler temperatures across the mountains today and Saturday while most of the Central Valley will continue to see highs in the 60s.
Milder temperatures are expected for the mountains early next week while strengthening inversions associated with the mid/upper ridge will bring minor cooling to much of the Central Valley.
Extended Discussion (Tuesday through Friday)
EPAC high remains main synoptic feature through much of the extended forecast period. Models differ with depth of upper trough forecast to approach the West Coast towards the end of next week. Forecast remains dry for now with high temperatures slightly above normal.