Storminess this rainy season in Southern California has been hard to come by. For months, the region has been racking up quite a precipitation deficit on top of years of compounding drought. The result has not been pretty, and as of mid-April, most of the area is exceptionally dry.
A potent storm system will make its way into California on Friday and Saturday. This will be a rather cold storm, more akin to the winter months of January or February.
Bouts of rain and mountain snow will sweep though California, along with temperatures barely making it into the 60s for Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego.
According to Accuweather's Western Weather Expert Ken Clark, "the heaviest rain is likely across central and northern parts of the state on Friday, where 0.30 to 0.60 of an inch will accumulate." This includes places such as San Francisco and Eureka.
Farther south, Clark thinks that much of the rain will fall Friday evening and into the overnight hours, with a shower or two lingering into Saturday morning across the mountains and San Diego County.
"It looks like rainfall amounts will average 0.10 to 0.30 of an inch in Southern California, and there could be a thunderstorm in a few spots as well. There may even be a little snow in the Southern California mountains -- places like Mountain High and around Big Bear," says Clark.
The heaviest snow is likely across the Sierra Nevada range. According to Clark, "the snow level in the Sierra will fall to between 4,000 and 4,500 feet Friday and Saturday, with 5 to 10 inches of snow likely above 5,500 feet."
Another issue to contend with as this storm system passes will be gusty winds. "Winds of 20 to 40 mph are possible in the deserts Friday night and Saturday, and will cause local blowing sand and dust. Gusty northwest winds are also likely for a time in the San Joaquin Valley and along the Central coast," Clark says.
A huge change is in store for the region next week as a strong ridge of high pressure builds over the region.
By Tuesday and Wednesday, much of Southern California away from the water will be in the 90s and there may even be a few isolated 100-degree temperatures.
The Central Valley will also heat up, with temperatures likely soaring into the middle and upper 80s in the central and southern Sacramento Valley and into the lower 90s in the San Joaquin Valley.
In a year where rain is scarce, Southern California will certainly take what it can get. The cruelty of this situation is that whatever moisture does wet the lips of dried, cracked rivers, streams and reservoirs late this week will simply evaporate away in the building heat next week.