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    Western US weather expert

    Shower and T-Storm in Southern California

    5/21/2014, 2:07:55 AM

    A cold 500 mb low in central California Tuesday has caused scattered showers and thunderstorms in the lowlands and rain, snow and thunder in the mountains. Accumulating snow fell in spots down to almost 6,000 feet Tuesday morning before snow levels rose to above 7,000 feet in the afternoon.

    The closed low initially will head east into Nevada late Tuesday night and Wednesday. However, energy on the western side of the low will drag this low back to the south-southwest Wednesday night and Thursday with the low moving into southwestern California by Thursday. This is going to set the stage for potentially some interesting weather. As the low starts southwestward Wednesday night, there could be a shower in spots from the western upper deserts to the mountains and adjacent valleys by late at night. Then on Thursday, with the low over the area, instability can lead to a few scattered showers and thunderstorms developing. The best chance is in the afternoon and evening hours.

    There is not a lot of moisture to work, but our computer models do show a rather unstable air mass. The following may be a little too technical for some but informative for others. Below is what the MUCAPE is forecast by late afternoon which is at, or somewhat above, 500 j/kg. Also the Lifted Index goes negative to -1 to -2. This is certainly unstable enough to support showers to develop.

    MUCAPE:

    Lifted Index (red lines):

    Any shower or thunderstorm that does get going can bring quick downpours, gusty winds and even some small hail. Showers will end quickly Friday night after the sun sets.

    With the low moving slowly away Friday and over the weekend and a ridge building in for the weekend, look for considerable warmer weather by the weekend.

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

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    Western US weather expert