Heavy overnight rains add more water to an already raging San Luis Obispo Creek
Here is this week’s weather forecast by PG&E meteorologist John Lindsey.
A 992-millibar storm developed off Cape Mendocino and is tapping into a large plume of subtropical moisture. The associated cold front was expected to pass over the Central Coast from Sunday night into Monday morning with strong to gale-force (25 to 38 mph) southerly winds with gusts up to 45 mph along the coastline and moderate rain.
The strongest impulse of wind is expected Monday night into Tuesday morning as a second cold front moves through the Central Coast with moderate gale-force to fresh gale-force (32 to 46 mph) southerly winds with gusts to 55 mph and more precipitation; which is concerning, given rain accumulations beforehand.
Rain is forecast to turn to scattered showers Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday morning. These systems are on track to produce a marathon period of adverse weather starting Sunday night through the entire day Monday, and into Tuesday morning. Snow levels will remain high, generally above 7,000 feet in southern Sierra Nevada. Multiple feet of snow is forecast for the higher elevations of the Sierra Nevada. Total rainfall amounts with these vigorous low-pressure systems are expected to range between 1.75 to 3.25 inches, with higher amounts in the Santa Lucia Mountains.
This atmospheric river is expected to produce multiple inches of rain on Monday in Northern California, with the heaviest precipitation centered along a Bay Area-Auburn-Blue Canyon line. Renewed flooding and mudslides will be a huge concern in Northern California.
Moderate gale-force to fresh gale-force (32 to 46 mph) northwesterly winds with gusts to 50 mph along the coastline, partly cloudy and much cooler weather will return Wednesday afternoon into Thursday afternoon. Increasing Santa Lucia (offshore) winds will produce dry and clear conditions Thursday night into Friday, with cold nights in the 30s to low 40s and maximum temperatures in the 50s to low 60s.
Details are quite uncertain, but it appears a colder low-pressure system with low-elevation snowfall in the Sierra Nevada foothills and the higher peaks of the Central Coast is forecast on Saturday. The unsettled weather may continue into early next week before longer range guidance suggests dry weather may return for a few days in early March.
A 10- to 12-foot westerly (275-degree, deep-water) swell (with an 11- to 14-second period) will arrive along our coastline on Monday morning, increasing to 11 to 13 feet with the same period on Monday afternoon into Wednesday. Combined with this westerly swell will be 6- to 8-foot southerly seas late Sunday night into Tuesday morning. This westerly (270-degree, deep-water) swell (with an 11- to 13-second period) will decrease to 8 to 10 feet on Thursday. A 3- to 5-foot northwesterly (300-degree, deep-water) sea and swell (with a 5- to 17-period) is forecast on Friday.
Seawater temperatures will range between 54 and 56 degrees through Friday.
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This week’s PG&E safety tips: At PG&E, the safety of our customers and employees is our top priority. If power outages occur: (1) Stay away from downed power lines. Treat all downed power lines as if they are energized and extremely dangerous. Keep yourself and others well away from them and immediately call 911, then notify PG&E’s 24-hour emergency and customer service line at 1-800-743-5002. (2) Candles pose a fire risk. Avoid using them during a power outage. If you must use candles, keep them away from drapes, lampshades and small children. (3) If your power goes out, unplug or turn off electric appliances to avoid overloading circuits and fire hazards when power is restored. Simply leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn you appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.
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 email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @PGE_John.
This week’s temperatures
LOWS AND HIGHS, PASO ROBLES
LOWS AND HIGHS, SLO AND COASTAL VALLEYS