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Forecast Discussion for Sacramento, CA

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FXUS66 KSTO 201100

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Sacramento CA
300 AM PST Mon Jan 20 2020

Some light precipitation possible across the higher elevations of
the northern Sierra today, otherwise mostly cloudy conditions.
More widespread precipitation chances return tonight and Tuesday.


Upper ridge has shifted east with with satellite imagery showing
considerable mid and high clouds moving up from the southwest
ahead of a weak weather system. Surface observations showing
patchy light fog developing over portions of the Sacramento Valley
while stratus is locked in again across the northern San Joaquin
Valley. The extensive cloud cover is forecast to limit overall fog
potential this morning.

The higher elevations of the northern Sierra may see a few
sprinkles or light showers today as the weak system moves
through. The remainder of the region is expected to see dry
weather continue today. Forecast soundings indicate the passage of
the weak system may be enough to disrupt the inversion over the
Central Valley allowing for earlier mix-out of stratus and a
little warmer temperatures today compared to Sunday.

Next stronger Pacific frontal system moves in tonight spreading
light QPF across the northern half of the forecast area. Winds
increase later tonight and Tuesday as the front approaches and
moves inland. Bulk of precipitation expected during the day on
Tuesday over the northern mountains and northern Sierra (0.50 to
1.25 inches) as the front moves through. The valley may see
upwards of 0.25 to 0.40 inches, mainly to the north of Sacramento.

Forecast snowfall ranges from around 2-6 inches across the
northern Sierra above 5000 feet with local amounts approaching a
foot over the higher peaks in the northern mountains. Very little
impact to travel possible until potentially Tuesday afternoon and
evening across the northern Sierra passes.

Upper ridging returns mainly dry weather for the area on Wednesday
and Thursday, except for some light warm-advection precip possible
across the northern third of the forecast area as stronger systems
pass to our north into the PacNW. Night and morning valley fog may
return and become more extensive.


A weak system will bring light showers on Friday, mainly over the
northern mountains. Elsewhere, dry conditions are expected.
Ensembles indicate a troughing pattern developing this weekend,
with the potential for widespread precipitation across the region.
Specific details will likely change given model disagreement in
terms of timing and strength. At this point, the heaviest
precipitation is expected to occur late Saturday into Sunday.
Latest ECMWF ensemble is showing moderate to high probabilities of
QPF exceeding 0.5 inches over higher terrain, and over 1 inch
over the Sierra and Lassen National Park. This system could bring
mountain travel impacts as snow levels lower below pass levels
early Sunday morning.


MVFR conditions, local IFR/LIFR, from KMYV southward through 18z
Monday due to BR/FG. Isolated Sierra showers possible after 18z
Monday. A Pacific system will spread rain and mountain snow after
06z Tuesday; mainly MVFR/IFR conditions are expected in the Valley
with IFR/LIFR over the mountains. Winds are expected to be below
12 knots. South winds will increase after 10z-12z Tuesday.





Previous Forecast Discussions may be found at
NWS Sacramento, CA (STO) Office Forecast Discussions.
(Click 'Previous Version' there to view past versions successively.
Some may differ only in time posted.)

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