Northern CA Forecast Discussion

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Sacramento CA
302 PM PST Fri Jan 15 2021

Dry weather into next week with areas of late night and morning valley fog. Well above average temperatures will continue into next week. Strong winds possible early next week.


... Visible satellite early this afternoon is showing most of the fog has dissipated across interior NorCal. High clouds can be seen streaming through the north state as a weak shortwave moves along the flow. The clouds will dampen temperatures in the northern Sacramento Valley today. Temperatures across the Central Valley are forecast to peak in the mid to upper 60s, which is still around 10 to 15 degrees above the daily normal. A few light radar returns are also popping up with this shortwave over Shasta County and the northern mountains. Some sprinkles may be possible, though rain accumulation is not expected. Strong high pressure builds over Northern California this weekend, allowing temperatures to rise more. High temperatures are forecast around 10 to 20 degrees normal this weekend with Valley and foothill temperatures in the mid 60s to low 70s and mountain temperatures in the upper 40s to 60s. Radiation fog is still likely to form in the evenings into the mornings through Sunday morning as overnight relative humidity values are forecast to remain high. Ensemble guidance continues to suggest an offshore wind event late Sunday into Tuesday. A shortwave trough will slide south down the coast Sunday into Monday with another wave of energy sliding southwest from the Great Basin into Southern California late Monday into Tuesday. North to east winds are expected to increase with the first wave late Sunday night, remaining fairly strong through Tuesday. At this point, the strongest Valley winds are expected Monday afternoon and evening with stronger mountain winds Tuesday. The NAEFS continues to show a band of anomalous winds Monday into Tuesday, with 30+ year return intervals for Monday afternoon over the Central Valley. More forecast details can be found in the discussion below. -HEC


(Tuesday THROUGH Friday)... Models are coming into good agreement Tuesday will be a gusty day for Northern California. An upper level closed low will push off the Southern California coast early next week bringing gusty offshore winds to California. Cluster analysis first started picking up this feature in the synoptic pattern several days ago and has continued to consistently hone in on the location and timing of this closed low. Therefore, we can have some confidence this will likely be an impactful wind event for California.

Areas that typically see onshore flow, like the Delta, will see the reverse, with strong offshore flow expected. These north to east gusts could potentially cause tree damage and power outages. Current forecast for Monday and Tuesday indicates wind gusts ranging from 30 to 50 mph in the Valley, 50 to 60 mph in the mountains, and gusts up to 70+ in favored gaps, canyons and ridgetops. Weakened or burned trees and limbs may fall in strong winds. A High Wind Watch has been issued for late Sunday night through Tuesday for much of the Valley, foothills, and mountains. Please stay informed with the lasted forecast updates as the details of this event are still subject to change. Thereafter, quiet weather is expected Wednesday into Thursday as models are indicating a pattern change with a gradual cooling trend in to the weekend. A low pressure system is forecast to possibly impact northern california by next Friday and into the weekend. Stay tuned for updates on this possible return of wet weather to Northern California as we still have a lot of uncertainty this far out in the forecast period.

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