Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS San Francisco Bay Area, CA
FXUS66 KMTR 280010
Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service San Francisco Bay Area
510 PM PDT Thu Oct 27 2016
...SEVERAL ROUNDS OF RAIN EXPECTED OVER THE NEXT FIVE DAYS...
.SYNOPSIS...Rain will increases in coverage and intensity through
the evening continuing into early Friday morning with periods of
heavy rain likely, especially for the coastal ranges of Monterey
County. Showers will taper off Friday afternoon. Unsettled weather
expected to continue Saturday before another front arrives from
the northwest with rain likely late Saturday night and Sunday.
Halloween afternoon and evening looks mostly dry with another
system possible by late Monday into Tuesday.
.DISCUSSION...as of 3:00 PM PDT Thursday... Satellite imagery
shows a rather interesting weather setup for this afternoon, with
three low pressure features present along the Pacific coastline.
Two of these weather systems have brought unsettled weather to the
area through the day and will continue to do so into this evening
and overnight into tomorrow, while one further north in the Gulf
of Alaska will bring continued unsettled weather this weekend.
A 566dm cut off low and associated surface front is presently
situated around 500 miles west of southern California and is
slowly shifting eastwards towards the state this afternoon. Latest
indication is that the surface front has also stalled where there cut
off low`s cold front approached the warm air mass of Tropical
Storm Seymour. Further south, Tropical Storm Seymour, while
continuing to weaken from being a category 3 hurricane yesterday,
is tapping into the moisture laden tropical air to its south and
advecting it northwards towards the state. Our forecast area
presently resides between these two features in an area where the
energy from the cutoff low is able to interact with the
overabundance of moisture exceeding 200% of normal from Seymour.
Due to the atypical weather pattern, we are seeing a flip of our
typical storm behavior. Instead, we are seeing widespread to
numerous convective rain showers preceeding the frontal passage.
So far today, these rain showers have been predominately higher
based (with bases at 6000-1000 feet) and have struggled to bring
in much, if any, precipitation to the surface. That said, an area
of enhanced convection and cold cloud tops is evident on infrared
satellite imagery just upstream of the region this afternoon where
numerous lightning strikes have also been reported. These cold
cloud tops are an indication of taller storms/stronger convection
and likely increased rainfall intensities. Thus, we should begin
to see much greater rainfall accumulations along the coast over
the next few hours. Additionally, further to the north, our more
typical stratiform frontal precipitation has brought more than an
inch to a few select locations in the north bay. This frontal
boundary has stalled out as of now but should slowly shift
southward through the next 18 hours and bring additional precip
accumulations. Generally speaking, most model guidance has also
suggested that the heavier precipitation will come no earlier than
5pm this evening and then persisting through the evening and
overnight. Rain is then anticipated to taper off by tomorrow
Model guidance was all over the place today, with a vast majority
of the models coming in half or even a third as wet as their
previous runs did. As a result, one of the main changes to the
forecast was in our quantitative precipitation forecast. Seeing
models diverge on a solution within 12-24 hours of the event is
increasingly rare as computation power increases. As a result,
much of the short forecast fell back upon radar/satellite trends
as nearly all models also failed to initialize as we had expected.
Currently, a flood watch remains in effect over coastal Monterey
county in anticipation of rainfall accumulations in the 2-4"
range, which could be sufficient in generating flash flooding and
debris flows over the burn scars from the Soberanes and Chimney
fires in that region. Winds are not expected to be much of an
impact with todays system as a result of the complicated weather
Looking ahead, the next system (currently in the Gulf of Alaska)
will arrive descend into the region midway through the weekend
with another round of widespread precipitation. A weaker system is
then set to arrive later Monday night, presently later than most
trick or treaters would be roaming about. Short wave ridging will
then set up by mid week next week leading to gradually improving
.AVIATION...as of 4:59 PM PDT Thursday...For 00z TAFs. Scattered
rain showers expected to continue across Bay Area terminals with
mostly VFR cigs and vsbys with the exception of KSTS that has IFR
cigs and vsbys at this time. Ceilings are expected to lower to
MVFR overnight and continue light to moderate rain. Light and
variable winds expected to continue through this evening becoming
light south southeasterly overnight...less than 10 kt.
Vicinity of KSFO...Periods of rain will continue through the night
with VFR cigs lowering to MVFR after 03z-04z tonight. Winds will
remain light and variable through late tonight becoming southerly
SFO Bridge Approach...Similar to KSFO.
Monterey Bay Terminals...Periods of light to locally moderate
rain will continue through the night with VFR cigs lowering to
MVFR after 02z-03z this evening. Winds will remain light and
variable through late tonight becoming southerly overnight.
.MARINE...as of 04:42 PM PDT Thursday...Light winds and seas will
continue through the remainder of the week...along with light to
moderate showers. a weak frontal boundary will pass through the
coastal waters friday morning...switching the winds out of the
northwest very briefly. winds will turn back out of the south by
late friday night...remaining light. the next cold front will
arrive from the nw on saturday morning. rain develops saturday
night into sunday with a return of gusty west to southwest winds
by sunday afternoon ahead of yet another cold front...along with
rapidly building seas.
.Tngt...Flash Flood Watch...Los Padres National Forest and
Santa Lucia Range including the
Soberanes and Chimney burn scars.
PUBLIC FORECAST: DRP
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