Today will be one of the greatest examples of “don’t like the weather? Wait five minutes (in any mid-latitude spot) and it will change.” We’ll go from winter, to late spring, and back to winter again all before the sun sets. We have a lot to cover, so this post will be a little longer than usual. Hopefully that will help make it useful!
Radar imagery this morning shows the “winter” part of the forecast in full swing. Bands of moderate snow are moving in from a strong storm located offshore. Right along the coast, some of this is falling as rain, but the freezing line is quickly descending towards the surface. Snow will accumulate best about 15-30 miles away from the shorelines, where 1-3″ is possible. Farther inland, only very light snow is expected farther away from the storm’s center with little to no accumulation.
Here’s a look at the forecast map for 2 this afternoon. By that time, the coastal storm will be racing off to the northeast, with sunshine developing behind it. A blast of colder air will be approaching from the NW, but it won’t have gotten here yet. Between the two wintry systems, we’ll have a brief window of very pleasant weather. Look for sunny skies and mild temps jumping well into the 50’s for most (40’s in the mountains). If you’re looking to get out for a run, walk, bike ride, or even just a few quiet moments outside, this is the time to do it!
By 5 PM, we’ll be entering the third phase of the day with the arrival of a strong cold front. Showers and squalls will develop along the leading edge of that front, and could be fairly strong especially in the mountains. Today is the kind of day you look for small hail even in fairly “weak” showers. Up in the mountains, heavy rain will rapidly change over to heavy snow especially in higher elevations.
As that front moves through, winds will rapidly pick up out of the WNW. Gusts over 40 mph will be common across the area, with some places especially in the mountains getting up into the 50+ range. Of course gusts at higher elevations will be much higher. While these gusts won’t be strong enough to bring major impacts, scattered power outages are possible.
Winds will slowly taper off tonight under clearing skies.