Weather

SLO County weather forecast for the week of Jan. 2, 2017

December rains brought a rainbow behind Islay Hill in San Luis Obispo. More rain is forecast this weekend.
December rains brought a rainbow behind Islay Hill in San Luis Obispo. More rain is forecast this weekend. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Here is this week’s weather forecast by PG&E meteorologist John Lindsey.

Monday into Tuesday afternoon is forecast to be dry, partly to mostly cloudy and cool. In fact, high temperatures will only reach the 50s. Overnight minimum temperatures should drop into the mid- to high 30s. Below-freezing temperatures are expected to develop in the North County.

A 1,005-millibar low-pressure system off the California coastline is expected to produce rain showers Tuesday night into Wednesday. Snow levels will drop to about 2,000 feet by Wednesday morning. While there’s still a chance for a dusting of snow on the higher mountain peaks, there will likely only be decent snow accumulation above 3,000 feet. The European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF) forecast model is indicating more than 2 inches of rainfall Tuesday night into Wednesday for most of the Central Coast, while NOAA’s Global Forecast System is only indicating light scattered showers. In other words, there is a very high degree of uncertainty.

Nevertheless, both of these models and others seem to agree on the forecast Thursday into next Monday: Dry, partly cloudy and warmer weather will develop Thursday. Later Thursday, the Pacific jet stream should start to produce a dramatic shift in the weather pattern for the weekend. The medium-range models are advertising a stormy pattern as a series of low-pressure systems tap into subtropical moisture. This could translate into several days of gale-force southerly winds, moderate to heavy rain and relatively high temperatures. Total rainfall amounts may range between 3 and 7 inches of rain from Friday night into next Monday. The ECMWF is indicating that more than 10 inches of rain could fall in the Santa Lucia Mountains.

Surf report

Monday’s 6- to 8-foot northwesterly (315-degree, deep-water) swell (with a 10- to 17-second period) is forecast to remain at this level through Monday night. A 5- to 7-foot northwesterly (300-degree, deep-water) swell (with an 8- to 12-second period) is expected along our coastline Tuesday morning and afternoon.

Increasing southerly winds will generate 3- to 5-foot (195-degree shallow-water) seas Tuesday night into Wednesday. A 3- to 5-foot southwesterly (245-degree, deep-water) swell (with an 8- to 11-second period) is forecast Thursday into Friday morning. Increasing southerly winds will generate 4- to 6-foot (185-degree shallow-water) seas Friday afternoon into Sunday.

Seawater temperatures

Seawater temperatures will range between 54 and 56 degrees through Wednesday, increasing Thursday into next Monday.

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This week’s PG&E safety tip: This week’s rain will create slippery conditions. Please slow down on the road and give yourself extra time to reach your destination. Driving too fast is the No. 1 cause of accidents on wet days.

Visitors at Morro Rock got an up-close view (perhaps too close) of crashing waves on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016. Forecasts called for rain and windy conditions on Friday, but the scene was clear and peaceful in Morro Bay the day before.

John Lindsey’s Weekly Forecast is special to The Tribune. He is PG&E’s Diablo Canyon Power Plant marine meteorologist and media relations representative. Contact him at pgeweather@pge.com. Follow him on Twitter @PGE_John.

This week’s temperatures

LOWS AND HIGHS, PASO ROBLES

MON

TUE

WED

THU

FRI

SAT

SUN

36 52

37 56

44 62

50 60

48 59

45 59

32 55

LOWS AND HIGHS, SLO AND COASTAL VALLEYS

MON

TUE

WED

THU

FRI

SAT

SUN

39 57

39 61

48 66

53 64

49 62

47 65

39 62

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