We have been enjoying pretty average fall weather the last several days. We currently have blue skies and temperatures in the 60's. That is going to change by Wednesday as a cold trough digs into the Western U.S.
This will be a dry cold front for northern CA, but we will see gusty winds Tuesday and Wednesday with much colder air for Wednesday and Thursday. Ridgetop winds could be gusting from the southwest to 50+ mph for Tuesday, then flipping northeast and lowering some for Wednesday. That will create the Santa Ana winds forecasters are concerned about for fire danger in CA this week.
Much colder air moves in with highs only in the 40's for Wednesday and Thursday, around 20 degrees below average. Even colder in the higher elevations so be prepared if you are out hiking.
The trough slides east by the weekend with sunny skies continuing and temperatures warming. Highs could be back into the 60's at lake level by Saturday & Sunday.
We are still watching for a possible large scale trough over the West for the 3rd week of October. That could open the door to some storms moving through northern CA dusting the mountains with some snow.
More than a week out we mainly just look at potential patterns that could bring drier or wetter weather. The long-range models are showing some storms bringing light amounts of precipitation to the Sierra the 3rd week of the month.
We will continue to watch the forecast for any chance of a storm bringing measurable snow to the mountains.
The Upcoming Season:
I have been saying that I am waiting to see where the sea surface temperatures settle out this fall before getting into a season prediction or analogs. It has been looking like the conditions could change this fall and that continues this week.
The below-average temperatures along the equator have been warming the last few weeks from west to east. We now have ENSO region 4 at 1 degree above average, and region 3.4 at half a degree above average. The only area still below average is just off the coast of South America where we also saw some warming this week.
We have also been seeing the warm water off the West Coast cooling, and significantly so this week.
It almost looks like we could be heading back towards a similar SST pattern as last season with cooler water off the coast and a weak El Nino signal. Interesting... So let's continue to watch where things end up by the end of the month into November. I shared the updated winter forecast from Accuweather.com last week which seemed to catch onto the recent changes in SST's and was the first to show an above-average precipitation pattern possible this winter for CA.
We have had 4 above average precipitation years in a row, so we are not due for another this season. Of course, statistics don't create storms, the patterns we see during the winter do. More to come...
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