When I came to the Redding weather office in the mid1970’s the meteorologist who trained me and who had worked in Northern California for 25 years used to say,…”Extremes follow extremes.”
A strong high pressure area has dominated our weather for the past several weeks and really much of the winter. This has forced storm systems northward and kept us dry and mild.
This is all starting to change. The high is collapsing and a deep low pressure area is forming in the Gulf of Alaska. This will force the jetstream or storm track southward into Northern California by early next week.
The first storm to move through the area will be late Saturday night and Sunday. This will be a relatively weak system with moderate precipitation on the north coast and over the northern mountains and light rain or showers elsewhere.
We will see a brief break late Sunday through midday Monday and then the spigot opens. A series of strong wet storms will hit the north state about every 24hours from Monday afternoon through Friday.
Each of these storms will be preceded by gusty south to southwest winds and each storm will bring moderate to heavy precipitation to Northern California. Snow levels will be 3500 to 4000 feet, but will rise to 4500 to 5500 feet by Wednesday.
One of the computer models forecasts over 5 inches of rain in Redding in 4 days. I would say it’s a safe bet that by next Friday Redding will have gotten at least 3 inches of rain with heavier amounts in the mountains.
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Chris Fontana, aka 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 U.S. Air Force, Chris transferred to the NWS office in Redding, where he was the meteorologist in charge from 1976 until the office closed in 1996. From 1996 until his 2005 retirement, he was the meteorologist in charge of the U.S. Forest Service 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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