PM Update: Snow showers tonight, mixing with rain Tuesday; California drought


Radar & lightning: Latest regional radar shows movement of precipitation and lightning strikes over past two hours. Refresh page to update. Click here or on image to enlarge. Or see radar bigger on our Weather Wall.

It was a cold and dark day, with highs in the mid-30s to near 40 across the area. Temperatures didn’t really go far from morning readings, and a brisk breeze made it feel all the more wintry. A set of weak storm systems off to our northwest will quickly pass by overnight and tomorrow, bringing us the chance for mainly conversational snowflakes.

Through Tonight: A clipper system approaching from the northwest may send a few snow showers our way as soon as this evening, especially west and north of the city.  Past midnight, we all run a risk of a little bit of that, but the focus should remain over northern sections. For the most part anything that falls is really light, but in a “best case” for snow lovers, we might see a dusting or even up to a localized inch (mostly north or northwest of the city). Lows range from the mid-20s to near 30.

Tomorrow (Tuesday): The first clipper is on its way out as we get into morning, so snow showers tend to wane as we head to work. After a bit of a break, round two enters into the region in the afternoon.  This little clipper is running into milder air, so the precipitation locally may be rain in the afternoon and evening, but perhaps staying snow north and ending as snow showers everywhere. Again, mostly light stuff (a heavier band or two somewhere cannot be ruled out). Highs should rise into the near 40 to mid-40s zone. Winds are from the south and west much of the day, probably flipping back to the north after dark.

See Jason Samenow’s forecast through the weekend. And if you haven’t already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter . For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock.

(NOAA)

(NOAA)

Exceptionally dry: California isn’t known as a wet state, but the current dry spell is something to write home about. In the graphic created by NOAA above, we see many of the coastal regions running between 1/5 and 1/2 of normal rainfall year-to-date. These dry conditions extend inland to include the critical water source region of the Sierra Nevada as well. Dry conditions mixed with winds over the weekend helped fan several out-of-season wildfires, and area residents are starting to help sound the alarms about a water emergency unfolding in the region.

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