Every once in awhile California gets a “Pineapple Express” this is more like an El Niño express as the source of this moisture river extends all the way across the Pacific to the Phillipines, near the “warm pool” area that gets created by an El Niño event.
Latest Forecast synopis:
Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Sacramento CA 854 AM PST FRI MAR 4 2016 .Synopsis... Light to moderate precipitation will arrive later today. A strong storm then arrives Saturday with heavy mountain snow, local flooding, and potential for strong and damaging Valley winds. More weather systems are expected Sunday, Monday, and late next week. && .Discussion... Mostly cloudy skies prevail across much of the region as a very moist airmass takes aim at the West Coast. A few light showers are being detected on radar this morning, but aren`t amounting to much impact. Short-range guidance (the HRRR and ARW) suggest the potential for some isolated thunderstorms this afternoon and evening. Instability will likely be somewhat limited by extensive cloud cover, and so we don`t currently expect anything organized to develop today. Light to moderate precipitation will continue tonight into Saturday before the next, much stronger system arrives. Precipitation should begin to pick up substantially in the afternoon and continue through the evening hours. Urban and small stream flooding will be possible across much of the region, and depending on precipitation rates we could also see debris flows across recently burned areas. A big concern will be the wind forecast with this system. Forecast southerly pressure gradients increase to roughly 8mb between KSAC-KRDD, a fairly impressive amount. We also haven`t seen this coupling of rain and wind in quite some time. Considering the stress on trees due to the drought, we could see a fair number of trees downed with this storm. We are calibrating our messaging with this impact accordingly. Snow levels will start fairly high with this storm during the heaviest periods of precipitation. Snow levels then rapidly drop below pass levels to 3500-4500 feet late Saturday night and through Sunday into Monday. With periodic snow between Saturday night through Monday, we could be looking at 1 to 2 feet of snow accumulation above 4500 feet or so, and up to 3 feet along the highest peaks.