Ken Clark

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Two California Late-Season Storms

April 10, 2012; 12:36 PM ET

April is not usually a very stormy month for California, especially in the south. April is usually the transitioning time between the winter storms and the warmer, more tranquil weather of summer. But since last week I have said that two decent storms will move through California this week and here we go. There will be significant rain and mountain snow with each storm.

Storm A is moving into California tonight and will continue to bring precipitation into Wednesday. A stalled storm that has been sitting in the eastern Pacific for days is finally beginning to move east. This has sent a frontal band of rain onto the northern and north-central coastal areas today. That front moves slowly south and southeast tonight, spreading rain over the rest of the state (except the lower deserts). As the front moves it will also become stronger and is likely to produce some welcomed rainfall levels of between 1/2 to 1 inch over central California with nearly the same amounts around the Los Angeles Basin. Less rain falls in San Diego area with between 1/4 and 1/2 inch. Once the front is through any given spots precipitation becomes more sporadic and showery with the most numerous showers in central sections tomorrow. The Sierra over the next 24 hours is likely to pick up a generous 1-2 feet of snow at resort level with the heaviest snow over the south-central Sierra. Snow of 8 to 15 inches will fall above 6,000 feet in the southern California mountains.

Storm B will spread another round of rain and snow into northern then central California tomorrow night and Thursday and into Southern California Thursday night and Friday. Precipitation continues in northern and central California all day Friday. The heaviest rain and snow with the second storm are mostly likely in central portions of the state with another 1/2 to 1 inch of rain and at least another 1-2 feet (maybe 3?) of snow at resort level in the Sierra. Less rain falls farther south with 1/4 to 1/2 inch around the Los Angeles Basin and probably 1/4 or so in San Diego. Another 6-12 inches of snow could fall in the Southern California mountains above 6,000 feet. Snow levels will be a good 1,000 feet lower with the second storm over the first.

Temperatures tomorrow through Saturday are likely to average 6-14 degrees cooler than normal but a nice warming trend looks likely Sunday into early next 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.