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The precip is ending but the coldest temps are still on the way overnight

CA Valley Snow Tuesday afternoon
Posted at 4:18 PM, Feb 23, 2022

The storm system that passed thru the Central Coast Tuesday into early Wednesday didn't deposit much rain. A few mountain areas saw more than .50" but most places failed to get .10" outside of some of the Southcoast.

There was a variety of precip reported from a light dusting of snow in CA Valley to hail from Paso Robles and Arroyo Grande down to the Lompoc area.

The precip was winding down quickly for most early Wednesday outside of the Carrizo Plain where some snow fell Wednesday. Regionally the Grapevine was impacted by the expected snow and the Sierra also got some badly needed precip. But to generalize this didn't help the drought picture much. February will go down as another disappointment for rain with the deficit growing and not shrinking in what is typically a wet month for us.

Tonight the key concern is the projected cold overnight lows. The interior is on the way to a hard freeze with lows in the teens and low 20s. Temps will be sub-freezing for much of the night which can damage agriculture and be life-threatening for people if proper precautions are not followed. Pipes can burst if not protected and there is always some concern about heating elements and fire potential for unmaintained or rarely used heating equipment.

A freeze warning is in place for the Central Coast which is a similar advisory, just not quite as extreme for the lows. Lows can drop into the upper 20s for long enough to damage plants and raise similar concerns. And the Southcoast has a frost advisory which is also another step down in severity but nonetheless, plants can be damaged by temps which can reach freezing and cause areas of frost.

As a result the highs Thursday will be below average as well despite sun. However, given a few days the airmass will modify and highs will not only return to normal but into the mid-70s next week.

Looks like the next chance of rain is around March 7th, right now the GFS has a nice looking system on the charts BUT this is outside the high confidence window and we'll want to see more similar timing and intensity in upcoming runs before confidence increases.