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Quiet Christmas weather turns more active

Posted at 10:24 AM, Dec 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-25 20:41:53-05

It will come as a surprise to nearly no one that the Central Coast rain season thus far has been less-than-impressive. The Central Coast is 1-4" behind on rain. The good news is that there are two systems on the way. The first arrives later tonight into Saturday morning but this cold front essentially washes out over the area. The front is weak but the air actually has a little moisture to work with so some showers with less than .10" is possible.

The front is out of the way for much of Saturday and mostly to partly cloudy skies are likely.

Sunday clouds start to increase again ahead of the next rain system. I think the daylight hours of the Central Coast is dry with the first rain holding off until after sunset. Beginning on the north coast of SLO county and activity works down the coastline overnight into Monday morning.

The bulk of rain should take place overnight with scattered showers possible into Monday afternoon, but the system will be winding down over the course of Monday. When the rain ends the NW winds pick up at 15-30mph.

In terms of rain for the Sunday PM-Monday AM system. I'm gonna stick with my .10-.75" range, with perhaps some higher elevations seeing more along the SLO north coast. There is some modeling more bullish on this, I want to see a little more as the system draws closer before I go up on potential. You have two factors which are battling each other: the system has all the dynamics you'd want for a good storm except moisture supply. It currently looks like it won't draw up a lot of SW flow before arrival, if it were to do so it could be more efficient.

That said, rain rates for burn areas might need to be watched. Again the totals might not be much but if it came down fast there could be scattered debris issues. Something to monitor over the weekend.
The resorts of the Central and Northern Sierra should get a nice shot of snow between 6" to 12", even SoCal mountains will get a shot as well. Not too worried about Grapevine travel at the moment. Non-accumulating snow is possible there.

The system will draw temps back into the 50s and low 60s but after the system departs we could even see 70s return as early as Wednesday or Thursday for some.

Climate Prediction Center doesn't think much follows this system thru the 7th, there are some climate models suggesting the month could see some increasing activity after that but just something to watch as climate models can swing wildly that far out.