Powerful Pacific storm lurks off California coast, bringing rain and mountain snow – AccuWeather.com/ar/
AccuWeather meteorologists say pockets of Pacific moisture will be brought into California during the rest of this week as a powerful storm lurks offshore, bringing periods of rain to spread inland from the coast and even some snowfall accumulating to the Sierra Nevada peaks.
Earlier this week, rounds of rain drenched parts of northern California, Oregon and Washington. Rainfall totals generally remained less than an inch, although some coastal locations and sloping areas in far northwestern California and western Oregon picked up a little more than an inch of rain from Monday into early Tuesday morning.
There will be several chances for rain across parts of California through Saturday as this feature spreads nearby.
Locations along the northern and central California coast, along with the Sierra Nevada foothills, will have the best chances for 1-2 inches of rain through Saturday. However, sloping areas across coastal Southern California could easily pick up an inch of rain during this time frame, especially around the Santa Ynez Mountains.
Rounds of stormy winds will affect coastal areas until the end of the week. Forecasters warn that winds could reach 20-30 mph during this time frame directly along the Central and Northern California coast; However, there will be an increased risk to boaters and sailors offshore as the winds will be stronger.
As this storm pattern continues, temperatures are expected to gradually cool across most parts of the state. Temperatures will drop to levels closer to typical mid-November values by the start of the weekend.
Rain continues in the Gulf region
“Processes of rain will continue through Thursday and into Friday across San Francisco, as bits of energy circulate around the center of the storm,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Heather Zehr said.
Get your AccuWeather forecast
Zahr added that the center of the storm will meander slightly offshore and shift generally to the southwest through Thursday before turning and heading back toward the Gulf region on Friday.
Precipitation is unlikely to be excessive around San Francisco; Most places south and east of the Bay Area are on track to receive 0.25-0.50 inches, while the city, northern Bay, and areas along the coast may end up with 1-2 inches of rain, with locally higher amounts that could result in localized flooding.
Get the free ACCUWEATHER app
Although San Francisco does not experience drought conditions, only about 0.07 inch of rain fell there from June through October. November has already proven to be wetter than all those months combined, and there’s more on the way.
Rounds of rain in the coming days are expected to cause puddles on roads and flooding in low-lying areas. Motorists are recommended to allow extra time to reach their destinations and exercise caution when driving on wet roads.
Flights may be delayed or canceled due to gusty winds and persistent rain spreading across the area. Travelers taking an early flight home before the Thanksgiving holiday should keep a close eye on any updates about delays or cancellations.
Possibility of snow falling across the Sierra Nevada peaks
Only a handful of ski resorts have opened so far this season, and those that have been forced to rely primarily on machine-made snow on the few slopes in operation.
Forecasters say this storm could lead to accumulating snowfall at higher elevations in the Sierra, with the best chances generally above 8,000 feet.
“Sierra Nevada ski resorts are eagerly awaiting the first significant snowfall of the season, and that also appears possible later this week as the storm slowly turns inland,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Brandon Buckingham said.
Forecasters say snowfall at high elevations could occur Wednesday into Thursday and again from Friday into Saturday, as bits of energy associated with the storm swing inland across California.
Want the next level of security, without ads? Get advanced, hyper-local severe weather alerts when you subscribe to Premium+ on the AccuWeather app. AccuWeather™ Alerts are requested by our meteorologists who monitor and analyze dangerous weather risks 24/7 to keep you and your family safe.