After some very active weather in the last week with heavy rain and snow in parts of the West the weather pattern is settling down some.
The stormy weather of late has laid down impressive snow at the Sierra and Cascade ski resorts and the Wasatch Range is doing pretty good too. It’s interesting to note that the amount of water in the snowpack in the Sierra was around 80 to 90 percent of normal a week and a half ago. Now its more than 150 percent of normal.
From now through New Years Day there are not going to be any big storms, rain or snow. There will be a couple of small scale storms that bring areas of light precipitation.
One of these is off the northern California coast Friday afternoon and will drop south-southeast through Saturday swinging inland in southern California Saturday night. The Central California coast gets 0.25 to 0.50 inches of rain but in southern California rain amounts will only be 0.10 to 0.30 inches. Rain amounts in the Central Valley are going to be even lighter, generally 0.20 inches or less. An upper level disturbance moving through the Northwest Saturday brings a few rain showers to areas west of the Cascades and a few snow showers over and east of the Cascades. That disturbance moves south through California Sunday and could cause scattered showers from central to parts of southern California. Total weekend snow in the Sierra is only going to average 1-3 inches with similar amounts in the southern California resorts.
Sunday will be dry in much of the Northwest and most of the area Monday into Tuesday. There is just the chance fog a couple of showers Monday from southwest Washington through western Oregon from a weak storm. That same system drops south an could impact California Tuesday. But the hard question to answer now is how close to the coast will it be. Some models have it right along the coast which would mean a couple showers possible central and even southwest California. Other models have it offshore and most of the places would be dry. The actual outcome has a big impact on the all important Rose Parade. Even the worst case scenario would not be a big storm but still it could shower a couple of times. Rain for the parade is quite rare. There was a 51 year span of no rain for the parade until a heavy rain made for a miserable parade in 2006. One thing I am certain about, if it rains it will not be a heavy rain. I would rate the chance of a shower right not at 20 percent or a little less.
Some specific forecast for Monday night leading up to Midnight and the start of 2013.
Seattle: Mostly cloudy. Temperature within a few degrees of freezing. Portland: Mostly cloudy. Temperatures in the middle 30s. San Francisco: Mostly cloudy. Temperatures in the middle and upper 40s. Los Angeles/San Diego: Partly cloudy. Temperatures in the lower and middle 50s.
And the big party in Las Vegas: Partly cloudy and chilly. Temperatures mostly upper 30 by middle and late evening.
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There are several things to focus on across the West over the next week including dangerous surf, heat and storms.
Dangerous heat will build across the Southwest through the middle of next week putting some records in jeopardy.
Parts of the West will bake in the heat over the next few days but cooler weather will arrive by the start of the weekend.
Models have been consistent on bringing a rigorous system from the Northwest to the Southwest this weekend.
The pattern next week will favor unsettled and cool weather for the Northwest.
Rain and mountain snow will highlight just about every day this week in the Northwest.