March is coming to a relatively quiet end as no major storms look imminent. As we’ve been discussing all week, we do have a cut-off low that is now making its way toward the California coast, however this will do little more than bring the threat of diurnal showers to the area today through Saturday — with perhaps a bit more organized, but still generally light, precip to the area on Sunday-Monday.
So for today, tomorrow and Saturday, we’ll have enough moisture being pulled into the area that afternoon heating could fire up a few showers and maybe even a rumble of thunder or two. Snow levels will be high so if you get caught on the hill during one of these showers, don’t be surprised if it falls in the form of liquid. The actual Low itself with meander its way inland on Sunday and bring decent rain/snow to central California and the Sierra, but it will weaken considerably as it moves inland. By the time it reaches the eastern Great Basin and Utah on Monday, the system with lack moisture and dynamics and we may just end up with scattered showers with snow levels above 8,000 ft. At this point, the best we can hope for accumulation-wise is a few inches. It is possible that Southern Utah mountains will do a bit better as there are indications the Low could follow a more southerly track. Regular readers should never be surprised when a cut-off Low tracks south 😉
Looking into the long-range, we will ridge back up for the middle of next week but that might be short lived as both the ECMWF (Euro) and the GFS show stronger, colder systems moving ashore off the Pacific for late next week into the weekend of April 6-7. Still way too early to call this a forecast but there has been good model to model consistency and good run to run consistency, which leads me to believe that there’s a high likelihood of some type of pattern change taking place. No matter what happens, it’s going to be a case of too little too late for our snowpack numbers. I also know that at this point some of you would rather see warm Spring temperatures than cold and snow, but from a hydro stand point, we could use all the water we can get, so a nice April storm cycle could be very beneficial. We’ll just have to wait and see if it verifies . . .