Weather Summary - 3/21
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The occluded front from this morning has dissipated, but not before cold air entrained behind it temporarily lowered snow levels about one thousand to fifteen hundred feet below what was forecast this morning. This lead to slush and snow falling across the Cascades near Lake of the Woods, Keno, Klamath Falls, Chemult, Crescent, and even Tennant, down in Siskiyou County. The next occluded frontal boundary is poised to move across Northern California and Southern Oregon tonight. Ahead of this front, showers and storms are occurring--not unlike what one may see in areas of the Midwest. High resolution models continue to indicate possibilities for some of these storms west of the Cascades to become strong or even severe. The best chance for severe weather will be offshore and along the coast, but areas of Josephine County are seeing higher possibilities for strong storms as well. This was highlighted in Mesoscale Discussion #301, (click here to see that), from the Storm Prediction Center. The main threats with any strong to severe storms will be gusty winds, potentially large hail, and brief waterspouts moving on shore. The possibilities for these things occurring are very small, but there is a threat is none the less. Strong storms may also develop north of the Umpqua Divide in Coos and Douglas Counties. These strong storms may create the possibility for hail and strong, gusty winds. The storms west of the Cascades should begin to lose their strength shortly after sunset. Additionally, there is a hydrologic outlook out for areas of Siskiyou and Klamath Counties. The rainfall with this these storms will be moderate at times, but brief. Although it still appears as if rivers should stay below flood stage at this time, small streams and creeks in Siskiyou County could see impacts, particularly if any storms begin to train like they are near Shasta Lake. Lastly, as the storms reach the Cascades this evening, snow levels will be above 5000 feet. That being said, much like this morning, the convective nature of the showers may well drop snow levels to 4000 feet, or even below, and affect passes along highways 66 and 140 as well as US 97. Finally, there is enough potential energy to show the possibility for thundersnow to occur over the Cascades in places like Crater Lake and alos Mt. Ashland. This will need to be monitored closely as travel concerns will be possible tonight.
Otherwise, current observations are showing gusty winds across Summer Lake and many of the valleys east of the Cascades as well as in Siskiyou County. The wind advisory will continue through this evening for Summer Lake, and some of our notoriously breezy spots like the Shasta Valley, Mt. Ashland, and Squaw Peak will also see gusty winds--but not advisory level--through tonight. This frontal system will move inland tonight and exit our area tomorrow evening. This will bring the chances of showers down. There is expected to be a brief period of ridging, or high pressure, which will eliminate most of the rain chances on Wednesday night and Thursday. Then, the next system will approach on Thursday night bringing more rain, snow, and wind to the forecasts. This still looks to be a strong system so we should see a good punch out of it. Snow levels will be running high above the passes for most of the event so not expecting big impacts on travel. The front pushes east Friday night, and then the main trough nudges on shore bringing lingering showers on Saturday. Per the latest runs of the data, snow levels were moved upwards some for Saturday, to about 5000 feet. Saturday does not appear to be a wash-out, by any means. In fact, on the East Side we expect some periods of sunshine. Precipitation amounts will be light, generally less than a tenth of an inch. After a brief break Saturday night, the next frontal system is due in Sunday. Snow levels for this one look to be around 5500 feet. The system does appear strong enough to bring a round of gales to the coastal waters, a surge of higher wind across inland areas, and seasonably appreciable precipitation amounts across the area. The models differ the most for early next week, with timing and latitude differences in shortwave trough activity. That of course means you will be seeing forecast with chance of language in them while we wait for the consensus to
settle on what will happen.
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