Hard Freezes through Friday- Snow on Saturday
Very cold air has entered the west and will be having a devastating effect on San Joaquin Valley agriculture the next two nights. A Hard Freeze WARNING is in effect for the south valley and also eastern Kern County desert areas. Lows tonight will dip into the 20s most everywhere- ranging from the low 20s in outlying areas like Lost Hills and Buttonwillow to the upper 20s in Bakersfield. Skies are clear, winds will be calm and the atmosphere extremely dry. Overnight readings will be near record levels Friday morning. Another bout of hard freezing weather is scheduled for Sunday morning through Tuesday morning in the south valley, with lows in the 20s.
A significant break will come on Saturday, as a strong wave comes down from the north to deliver re-enforcing cold air to California. But as the disturbance passes through, it will produce precipitation. I have a 60% chance for rain on Saturday in the south valley and a 70% chance in the mountains. Of note will be the extremely low snow levels, down to only 1,500 feet. Also a chance for some snow to actually reach the valley floor sometime on Saturday morning. Between 3 and 6 inches of snow should accumulate during the morning and early afternoon Saturday above 3,000 feet, with lesser amounts between 1,500 and 3,000 feet. Obviously, this event will threaten our major passes. So if you need to get to LA this weekend, go Friday evening or very early Saturday morning. A more detailed look at precipitation potential will be available tomorrow and Friday. But as of today, this is not a really wet system- but with the very low snow levels, travel over the Grapevine will be in snow for a much longer path than usual. That will tax Caltrans. A Winter Storm WATCH is in effect for the Sierra north of Kern County late Friday through Saturday. There, a couple of feet of snow are possible above 6,000 feet. Next week ridging moves into the state with warmer weather expected. Fog will also become an increasing possibility by about next Wednesday. Finally, there is a weak weather system that should move through our region late on Thursday next week. It may produce a few showers.
12-4-13 6:27 PM Chief Meteorologist MILES MUZIO