Weather Discussion for the Week of Dec. 19, 2010

Click here for latest infrared satellite animation

Click here for latest water vapor satellite animation This morning’s satellite picture shows the low pressure area in the Gulf of Alaska with cold air dropping down the back side of it and then meeting up with warm, moist, subtropical air.  Storms continue to form in this area and then move along the jetstream and into California.  A few days ago it was thought that these storms would be hitting northern California and we would be bouncing between the warm side and the cold side of the jetstream and would be receiving heavy precipitation with higher snow levels.  Well, as you can see on the picture, the main impact area of the storms is to the south of us. We are on the cooler side of the jetstream and will actually have colder air move into our area tonight and Monday.

While we will have wet weather off and on for the next week, it now looks like the central and southern sections of the state will get the heavier precipitation.  The snow level in the north end of the state is currently around 4,000 feet, while  Blue Canyon at the 5,200-foot elevation in the Tahoe area is in the mid- to upper-30s and has received over 3 inches of rain in the last 24 hours.

Today and most of Monday we will have periods of rain or showers, with the snow level dropping this evening to 3,000 to 3,500 feet north and 4,500 to 5,000 feet south (Plumas County).  We will have somewhat of break Monday evening through Tuesday.  During these periods, we will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with scattered showers in the mountains and just isolated activity in the valley.  Another storm system will move into northern California Tuesday night and Wednesday with more wind and precipitation.  Snow levels will be 3,000 to 4,000 feet north and 4,500 to 5,500 feet south (Plumas County).  We will have another sort of break between systems Thursday and Friday, with partly cloudy to cloudy skies but continued scattered showers in the mountains. The map below for Christmas Day shows the Gulf of Alaska low pressure area once again extending toward the west coast and this should bring another storm into the north state on Christmas Day. 
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Weather Outlook for Redding, Shasta Lake City, Anderson, Cottonwood, and Red Bluff Today:  Cloudy with periods of rain or showers.   Max temps 52 to 56.  South wind 12 to 25 mph.

Tonight: Cloudy with showers.  Min temps 42 to 47.  South wind 10 to 20 mph. 

Monday: Cloudy to partly cloudy with showers.  Max temps 47 to 52.  South wind 12 to 18 mph. 

Monday Night: Partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated showers.  Min temps 39 to 46.  South wind 10 to 15 mph. 

Tuesday: Partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated showers in the morning increasing clouds and rain in the afternoon.  Max temps 48 to 53.  South wind 15 to 25 mph with higher gusts.  

Tuesday Night: Cloudy with rain heavy at times.  Min temps 41 to 45. South wind 12 to 25 mph with higher gusts.  

Wednesday: Cloudy with rain heavy at times.  Max temps 48 to 52.  South wind 15 to 25 mph with higher gusts.

Wednesday Night: Cloudy with rain turning to showers.  Min temps 37 to 44.  Light wind.  

Thursday: Partly cloudy with isolated showers.  Max temps 48 to 52.  South wind 8 to 16 mph. 

Thursday Night: Partly cloudy.  Min temp 35 to 43.  Light wind.  

Friday: Increasing clouds in the afternoon.  Max temps 49 to 54.  South wind  increasing to 12 to 25 mph with higher gusts.

Friday Night: Cloudy with rain by sunsrise.  Min temps 42 to 48.  South wind 12 to 22 mph. 

Christmas Day: Cloudy with rain.  Max temps 46 to 51.  South wind 15 to 25 mph with higher gusts. 

Saturday Night: Cloudy with rain.  Min temps 40 to 45.  South wind 6 to 12 mph.

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Chris Fontana — a.k.a. “the Old Forecaster” — started his career as a meteorologist with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Sacramento. After four years as a weather officer in the USAF he transferred to the NWS office in Redding. He was the meteorologist in charge of the Redding office from 1976 until it closed in 1996. From 1996 until his retirement in 2005, he was the meteorologist in charge of the USFS Predictive Service Unit. Chris and his wife Jane have been married over 40 years and he works as a window covering installer in her business, Westwood Window Coverings.

A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Greenberg, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment. Views and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of anewscafe.com.

Chris Fontana
-- a.k.a. "the Old Forecaster" -- started his career as a meteorologist with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Sacramento. After four years as a weather officer in the USAF he transferred to the NWS office in Redding. He was the meteorologist in charge of the Redding office from 1976 until it closed in 1996. From 1996 until his retirement in 2005, he was the meteorologist in charge of the USFS Predictive Service Unit. Chris and his wife Jane have been married over 40 years and he works as a window covering installer in her business, Westwood Window Coverings.
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