Some quiet weather develops in the wake of the last late-March storm

Posted at 7:31 PM, Mar 30, 2023

The last storm system of March isn’t likely the last rain of the season, but it could be the last big storm, with nothing significant in mid-range modeling. There are some smaller systems. There are two cold fronts ready to work across the area Monday and Tuesday of next week. Those fronts could produce some light showers, but the larger impact will be windy conditions and cooler temperatures.

Now we can look back at the system of the last few days, our forecast was for most locations to see less than 2” but hug the median. That is pretty much what happened:

The storm wasn’t without some interesting weather. This was a cold core storm and it managed to dust the Santa Barbara County Mountains again with some snow. The storm also produced this cold air funnel (or small rope tornado) yesterday around 4 pm in the Cambria area. These small funnels are very hard for doppler radar to spot. There was no warning for this system other than the potential for small tornadoes being a part of the forecast.

Lake levels continue to stay very high. Our weekly update illustrates that:

The US Drought Monitor continues to show diminishing drought across the state. Locally, we’ve been out of it for some time but there was improvement elsewhere in California. It is especially interesting to note the changes since the fall of last year:

What is next? Well, temps will be sluggish to warm over the next few days. Some early low clouds in wind-sheltered valleys are certainly possible after all the rain but other than that partly cloudy to mostly sunny skies are expected. I expect temperatures in the upper 50s to mid-60s for the next few days before that series of fronts knock temps back again early next week into the 50s for most. Mid to late next week more warming happens.

Again, the extended outlook has changed a lot over the last few days. Models now don’t show any significant storms into nearly the middle of April. Temps also look to creep back to near average in the 8–14-day time-frame.