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UPDATED TUESDAY: Rain Aims to Dampen Southern California Thanksgiving

November 25, 2013; 1:49 PM

UPDATED 11-26-13

When dealing with closed lows, rarely does the forecast stay stagnant from several days out of a coming event. And this is the case today with the storm I discussed yesterday coming toward Southern California.

The models are different today than yesterday, markedly so. In general, they are farther off the coast and therefore slower with the arrivals of any rain and with much lighter rain amounts. The GFS has gone through the biggest changes barely bringing any rain to coastal areas of Ventura to Orange County with virtually no rain getting into places like the Inland Empire and Upper Deserts. The European is also slower with a touch of rain possible along the coast late in the day, but it has more rain making it inland to the mountains Thursday night and Friday. Even it has a little lighter rain amounts from yesterday, but yesterday it had considerably less than the GFS. Now it has more than the GFS.

So what is the REAL story? I don't trust any model and I totally distrust models when huge changes take place in short periods of time. I do believe it will rain at least a little in most of Southern California so I am trending toward the European. However, I do give a nod to that the arrival of the rain will be later than I thought yesterday with lighter amounts too.

Are we done with the changes? Probably not. The impact of this kind of storm is like real estate. It's about location, location, location. A slight shift more east or west could bring about rather significant additional changes. Stay tuned, we are not done.

If you live in the deserts, this is not the kind of system that brings much more than a spotty shower. In this case, the best chance may be in the Lower Deserts.

YESTERDAY 11-25-13

While no local travel problems are likely in the West through Wednesday unlike the Eastern U.S., Southern California looks like it will get wet Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

Satellite picture shows a low out around 40N 152W.

That storm will roll east through Tuesday then drop south-southeast. The expected track is likely to keep much, even most, of the rain away from northern California, and dry weather is likely to continue in the Northwest through Friday. A few showers can occur later Wednesday night or Thursday on the south-central coast of California, probably missing the immediate Bay area.

More important, rain will move inland across Southern California during the daylight hours of Thanksgiving. Then rain will fall Thursday night, and showers continue on Friday. While models agree on the overall general storm track they do differ on some important details. The European is a little slower in precipitation arriving holding it off until late Thanksgiving Day. The GFS is about six hours quicker. The GFS is also noticeably wetter than the European bringing as much as two or three times as much rain as the European.

My feelings are that the rain could indeed start a little later than the GFS has, but probably rain more than the European has. These closed lows tend to overachieve more than the opposite and I am going to side with a general 0.50 to 1.00 inch rain amounts. This does not look to be as cold of a storm as last week's. Snow level estimates right now are between 5,500 and 6,000 feet. That's plenty low enough to bring snow to the ski resorts.

So, if you are doing any driving around Southern California Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday be prepared for wet, slippery roads. If you are one of the millions heading out shopping Thanksgiving Night and Friday, make sure you have the wet weather gear with you.

I will update this post later in the week.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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Ken Clark
Ken Clark's Western U.S. weather blog tackles daily weather events with commentary from one of the most experienced and trusted Western U.S. weather experts.