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Forecast Discussion for Sacramento, CA

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FXUS66 KSTO 181030

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Sacramento CA
330 AM PDT Sun Mar 18 2018

Dry weather today into Monday with warming temperatures. Wet
weather returns Tuesday into Friday then drier conditions develop
next weekend.


Upper trough pushing into the Great Basin this morning as upper
ridging along 130W builds inland. Skies have cleared across much
of Interior NorCal overnight allowing for strong long wave
radiational cooling. As a result, temperatures in the Central
Valley are running in the 30s for most areas. Some patchy frost
is possible this morning in the colder valley locations. HRRR
continues to show some patchy fog from about Marysville southward
this morning. High clouds will be on the increase later today as
upper ridge axis shifts inland, but dry weather expected.

Models continue to show weak upper trough moving through ridge and
across the CWA tonight into early Monday. Slight chance of showers
over the Shasta mountains otherwise main effect will be increased
cloudiness overnight.

Skies clear Monday as upper ridging strengthens ahead of
approaching mid latitude extra-tropical cyclone. GFS/GEFS
Integrated Water Vapor Transport showing moisture plume in EPAC
taking aim on California Tuesday. While bulk of IVT values greater
than 500 kg/(ms) remain at or below 36 N, approaching system does
tap into it, spreading precipitation over much of Interior NorCal
beginning Tuesday and continuing into Friday.



Heaviest precipitation of the week begins early Thursday as a
Gulf of Alaska trough merges with subtropical moisture bringing
rain and mountain snow to the entire forecast area. Snow levels
will drop during the day Thursday as colder air filters in to the
region with major Sierra passes expecting significant snowfall by
afternoon. Combination of heavy snow and wind will create
significant mountain travel impacts. The lower elevations will see
moderate rainfall as daytime temperatures drop to around 10
degrees below season normal. This disturbance is forecast to shift
east of the state by Thursday night but a parent upper low over
the northeast Pacific and Pacific northwest will bring a continued
threat of showers through Friday. Overall airmass continues to
cool and snow levels drop to below 3000 feet most areas.
Precipitation amounts will drop significantly under the more
convective pattern Friday but mountain travel impacts are still
likely. Models indicate that at least one more impulse will rotate
through the region Friday night or Saturday keeping the
precipitation threat going especially over the mountains where
orographics will play a role. Models becoming more consistent in
pushing in ridge up along the west coast on Sunday pushing any
precipitation threat east into the Sierra Cascade range and by
Sunday night models indicate the start of another dry period going
in to early next week.


VFR conditions are expected TAF sites the next 24 hours except
local MVFR visibility in light fog southern Sacramento and
northern San Joaquin valleys through 18z. Variable winds generally
below 10 knots.




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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