Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Eureka, CA

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FXUS66 KEKA 212354

National Weather Service Eureka CA
354 PM PST Tue Feb 21 2017

Wet and unsettled weather will persist through much of the week.
Showers and a few thunderstorms may develop through wednesday
morning, some of which may contain small hail. Additionally, colder
air filtering into the region will allow snow levels to drop, with
pass-level snowfall possible.


(Tonight and Wednesday)

Well, things haven`t quite played out as we thought with earlier
forecasts regarding the hail potential or thunderstorm development
It appears this may be to some drier air aloft, as the latest SPC
mesoanalysis confirms mid-level lapse rates above 8 deg. C/km,
MUCAPEs above 500 J/kg, lifted indices of -1 to -3 (offshore), and 0-6km bulk shear values near 25 knots (sufficient for storm organization, but not too strong where any weak updraft would get torn/sheared apart). Thus, while we`ve received several reports of small hail, not one lightning strike has developed as of yet across the forecast area.

However, this may change later this evening and overnight as another
strong vort max crosses the region. Mid-level lapse rates will
increase further to near 9 deg. C/km, with colder air also dropping
snow levels from their current values of ~4400 feet, to just under
3000 feet by morning. This may help increase convective activity and
hail development, with some accumulating small hail possible with
the stronger showers or thunderstorms.

(Wednesday night through next Monday)

A general showery pattern will continue through the weekend and into
early next week, as onshore flow is maintained over the next few
days, followed by a series of systems dropping south to southeast
across the region in the flow aloft. These disturbances will also
bring bursts of vorticity/increased ascent to the area, allowing
periodic increases in convective coverage (and to a lesser extent,
intensity). The mainly north flow aloft will also help maintain cold
air advection and lower snow levels, at least through the first part
of the weekend, before the flow pattern gets modified to a west
southwest flow. Should this occur as forecast, warmer air with
increased moisture content would get advected across the forecast
area. While the long range models agree on this overall numerical
depiction, subtle differences in time and strength will have a big
impact on this. These details will become more clear over the next
few days as they get closer in time to affecting us, with an added
boost in model confidence likely occurring as they get sampled by the
RAOB network, which typically improves model continuity. /PD


Scattered showers will continue to move across the Redwood Coast
overnight. High resolution models indicate an uptick in coverage
between 06Z and 12Z and have included the mention of VCTS. Most of
the showers are forecast to end around KUKI over the next couple
of hours, with a few more possible Wednesday morning. Winds will
be light. /SEC


Winds have decreased to below advisory criteria, but seas continue
to flirt with criteria. The marginal Small Craft Advisory will
continue in the N waters thru 9 PM and the S waters thru 3 AM.
Wind directions will gradually veer to more northerly, and
northerlies are forecast to continue thru Thursday night. Winds
are progged to become southerly on Friday with speeds increasing a
bit N of Cape Mendocino. /SEC


All of the mainstem rivers are forecast to stay below monitor
stage for the forecast period with the exception being the Eel
River at Fernbridge. This river is forecast to peak at 17.4 feet
this afternoon around 4:00PM and to then fall below monitor stage
around 10:00AM on February 22nd. KAR

NORTHWEST CALIFORNIA COASTAL WATERS...Small Craft Advisory until 9 PM PST this evening for PZZ450-470.

     Small Craft Advisory until 3 AM PST Wednesday for PZZ455-475.



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