Here is this week’s weather forecast by PG&E meteorologist John Lindsey.
An upper-level low-pressure system and associated cold front will drop from the north into the Central Coast later late Sunday into Monday. This upper-level low will generate rain showers throughout the Central Coast on Monday, with the greatest amount of measurable precipitation along the northwesterly facing hillsides along the coastline, as in Los Osos.
Total rainfall amounts are forecast to range between a tenth and a quarter of an inch. A dusting of snow is forecast in coastal mountain ranges, with snow levels rapidly falling to near 1,500 feet by Monday. Highway 101 over the Cuesta Grade reaches 1,522 feet.
This low-pressure system will set up a steep pressure gradient along the California coastline Sunday afternoon through Monday. This pressure gradient will produce moderate gale-force to fresh gale-force (32 to 46 mph) northwesterly winds along the coastline into Presidents’ Day. At this time, the strongest winds will probably occur Monday afternoon, with gusts near 50 mph along the coastline.
The upper-level winds (jet stream) will travel from Canada southward into California “Yukon Express” Monday through Wednesday. These winds will usher in a cold air mass into the Central Coast. In fact, the coldest air of the winter will develop Monday night into Tuesday morning, with the North County dropping to the low 20s and the coastal valleys into the low 30s. Minimum temperatures along the beaches will range between the mid- and high 30s.
Maximum temperatures on Monday into Wednesday will only reach the mid-50s under mostly clear to partly cloudy skies. However, the winds will make it feel frigid. A Gulf of Alaska cold front forecast to pass to the Central Coast on Thursday morning with gentle southerly winds and rain showers. This system is forecast to produce between a quarter and a third of an inch of rain. Snow levels with this system will drop to 2,000 feet. Strong to gale-force (25 to 38 mph) northwesterly winds and cool conditions will follow Thursday afternoon into Friday. Long-range models are advertising a wet-weather pattern developing by the end of February.
Increasing northwesterly winds will generate 8- to 10-foot northwesterly (320-degree, deep-water) sea and swell (with a 5- to 14-second period) along our coastline Sunday afternoon, increasing to 11 to 13 feet (with a 7- to 11-second period) Monday. An 8- to 10-foot northwesterly (310-degree, deep-water) sea and swell (with a 7- to 13-second period) is forecast along our coastline Tuesday, decreasing to 4 to 6 feet (with a 7- to 16-second period) Wednesday.
Increasing northwesterly (320-degree, shallow-water) seas combined with a long-period west northwesterly (290-degree, deep-water) swell will develop along our coastline Thursday onto Friday. This sea and swell will reach 5 to 7 feet (with a 6- to 22-second period) Thursday, increasing to 8 to 10 feet (with a 7- to 18-second period) on Friday.
Seawater temperatures will range between 53 and 55 degrees through Friday.
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At PG&E, the safety of our customers and employees is our top priority. Rain showers combined with cold overnight conditions in the inland valleys could cause black ice, sometimes called clear ice, a thin coating of ice on roads. It is practically invisible to drivers and can produce unexpected loss of traction.
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