Low Pressure Positioned Off West Coast Ushering in More Moisture

Posted: December 5, 2022 2:05 pm

It was another weekend of unsettled weather for the West Coast with rain whipping around the lower elevations and snow dumping on the higher terrains. It ended up being a winter wonderland for the Seattle area after another round of snow hit the region late Friday and early Saturday. More precipitation moved onshore from the Pacific Ocean on Sunday morning, helped along by a large area of low pressure anchored off the coast. This low is hoping to push the moisture toward the coast and onto land, socking the area in with significant amounts of precipitation.

More of this moisture is in the forecast in the coming days up and down the West Coast. Here is what you can expect heading into the new week.

Rain to Linger in Northern California on Monday

The heaviest rain is expected to fall in Northern California for the Monday morning commute. Both San Francisco and San Jose will be under the gun for lingering rain showers to start the day with a gradual drying out by the afternoon. The Bay Area may even see a few peaks of sunshine by the afternoon commute. Temperatures will hover in the upper 50s in San Francisco with slightly higher readings farther inland.

It will be snow that is the story in the Sierra Nevada. Truckee, California will experience scattered snow showers throughout the day with total accumulations of 1 to 3 inches expected.

Most areas of the West will see this patch of moisture exit the region by late Monday. However, another round of unsettled weather is in the forecast for later in the week. This weather pattern will be at the hands of a large dip in the jet stream in position over the western U.S. This dip will help to usher in more moisture to the storm weary region.

Unseasonably Cold Air Also on Tap

The dip in the jet stream will also keep the mercury suppressed in cities such as Seattle and Portland. Residents in these cities can expect to see temperatures that are 5 – 15 degrees below normal for the first week of December over the next several days.

The chilly conditions will be accompanied by sporadic rain showers as far south as San Diego and up through northern Oregon on Tuesday and Wednesday. While the rain is not likely to be heavy or widespread, it will be hard to count on dry conditions.

A bigger and more powerful storm system is setting up to move onshore by the end of the week, bringing widespread impacts to a greater area. This system could translate to more snow for cities throughout the Pacific Northwest, even for those at lower elevations such as Seattle. The greatest likelihood of snow in this corner of the country will be late Thursday and into Friday.

Travel across Washington’s mountain passes may be compromised because of significant snowfall. Be sure to check the local forecast before heading out on the roads, especially if your travels are taking you into the Cascade Mountains.

Forecasters are still uncertain if this late week round of moisture will make it as far as Southern California, an area of the Golden State that can definitely use the precipitation. According to Thursday’s data report from the U.S. Drought Monitor, almost all of California is under some level of drought with about 60% of Oregon under a designation of a moderate drought or worse. Every little bit of moisture will help the region in dealing with the ongoing drought.

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