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Dry weather with above average high temperatures this week. Breezy north to east wind at times.
Strong upper level ridging is begining to build into NorCal today with weak short waves passing to our east. That is bringing breezy north and east winds mainly over the northern Sacramento Valley and over the higher elevations. This is going to continue into tomorrow with the strongest winds expected over the Valley tomorrow and over the Sierra tomorrow night.
Winds gusts up to 35 mph possible over the northern and west side of the Sac Valley and gusts up to 45 mph, locally higher in wind prone areas over the Sierra. Winds diminish Thursday morning as the ridge builds in overhead. That ridge will be impressive and we will see EFI (Extreme Forecast Index) values of 1.0 for MaxT this week which is a good indication of record high temperatures.
Record highs will be possible starting tomorrow into the end of the week with the warmest highs expected over the northern Sacramento Valley. We could potentially set new all time February record highs too. The current February max high for Redding is 87 in 1920 and 85 in 1977 for Red Bluff. The APEX of the ridge will be over us on Friday and that is looking to be the warmest day and highs will be very close to that mark in the northern Sac Valley.
Things won’t be quite as warm as you head south and monthly highs don’t look to be in jeopardy but new daily highs will still be possible for the Sacramento area. Things will continue to be warm as we head into Saturday as the ridge slowly starts to push east.
Extended Discussion (Saturday though Tuesday)
Strong upper level ridging will begin to push to the east over the weekend as a trough digs into the PacNW. This will bring a slight cooling trend to the area but highs will still remain well above normal for this time of year.
Ensembles are starting to come into better agreement with the trough next week as it digs out of the PacNW but there is still some uncertainty on its placement. From the WPC clusters about 75% of the ensemble members support a north and east wind event while about 25% support the trough digging to our west with less wind.
A wind event is favored and given the record heat this week and lack of rain over the last month plus we could see some elevated fire weather concerns for early next week.