Southern California Daily Snow

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A Tale of 2 Models


Mostly sunny and breezy conditions on Monday with a colder but sunny day on Tuesday & Wednesday. Thursday, a storm enters California but the exact track for SoCal is still not determined. Temperatures are likely to be too warm for meaningful snowfall. Another chance for rain/snow exists over the weekend...

Short Term Forecast

Monday - Wednesday

The models decided to bring back a chance for a dusting of snow Monday night, which I find a little surprising given how dry they've been the last few days. 

That's the WPC model through tomorrow morning and as you can see it's painting some precip over the Big Bear mtns. I'm really not expecting much out of this. 

Monday should have breezy conditions though with gusts up to 40 MPH out of the West to Northwest especially in the evening. Temps will be in the low 40's. 

Tuesday will be a very sunny day along with Wednesday with highs in the mid to upper 30's. Lighter winds should also prevail. 

Thursday - Friday Storm? 

On Thursday a storm enters into California and begins to dump snow in the Northern & Central Sierra. But what's that mean for us... 

Well, notice how I put a question mark after storm. That's because it's not even clear to me exactly what will happen. Check out the model differences for the storm on the GFS vs. Euro through Friday: 

Euro brings in a healthy storm and the GFS brings in basically nothing! Got to love it. At this point trying to provide a snowfall estimate would be a bit folly as it could be anywhere between a foot plus to a dusting. But... that's also assuming it's cold enough to snow. 

Check out the Euro's progression of temps starting Thursday afternoon into Friday: 

It's barely got a period where it's cold enough to snow. Which I've been showing you on the GFS the last few days. So, while the Euro shows a lot more precip coming in it's also showing very warm temps, which means it will be mostly rain. 

That's honestly what I'm thinking at this time. The best bet for snowfall will be on the highest resorts highest summits above 8K FT. You can see on the WPC model that the average is much higher for precip and with the higher resolution grid it's likely overdoing precip in certain areas:

Amounts are generally higher in the San Gabriel's which is favored by both the GFS and Euro at this time. 

Thursday & Friday overall look to be windy with gusts in the 30 - 40 MPH range over the ridges out of the Southwest. I'm thinking the heaviest rain & light snow on the highest elevations will be Friday late afternoon into evening. Temps will be in the mid to upper 30's so it's not going to be the most pleasant couple days on the mountains with winds and rain. 

Extended Forecast

As a tease here's what the GFS tries to bring in over the weekend and into Monday of the following week:

Not the strongest storm, but at least more precip than it shows for the Thursday & Friday storm. 

I'm not necessarily buying this scenario right now either though. It's been flip flopping around too many times in the last couple day to know exactly what will happen. There is definitely a chance that it could snow again Sunday into Monday but since that's out of the 5 day window I'm not going into details yet. I think the weather could remain unsettled over the weekend but whether it's rain or snow I'm not sure yet. 

Here's a comparison of the Ensemble Means between the GFS & Euro: 

Quite the spread eh? GFS showing 0.5 inches of liquid while the Euro is more than 4x times that with over 2.25 inches of liquid. Basically the Euro has a real storm, while the GFS has almost nothing. And this is the average of dozens of model runs, so it's likely that there's only a few runs on the GFS that show a storm and most of the others are showing barely anything. 

We'll just have to see how things evolve going through this week. I'll keep you updated. 

Till the next one.. Mike out.