The warmer than normal pattern persists into the weekend but there is a major change in the offing. Until we get back to normal, which for this time of year would be lows in the 30s and highs in the upper 40s, we will get a series of rain events that will more than likely generate some gusty winds.
Tonight, most folks will be able to enjoy the New Year’s Eve celebrations with little interference from the weather. Western counties may see rain earlier than midnight, but most should be dry until after the midnight hour.
The rain that is slated to arrive will be accompanied by some gusty winds. Although nothing severe is likely, there still exists a small chance for the rain to generate gusts near 60 mph, and that classifies as a severe storm. Again, small chance but not zero.
The much-needed rainfall will come and go very quickly and most of the rain is expected to exit the region before noon, earlier in the west. The skies will be able to clear a little before another round of rain arrive Saturday night into Sunday.
This event, we will call it round 2, will also begin in the west and move east overnight. As was the case with the Saturday morning line of rain, this too will have the elements necessary to develop gusty winds. This line may be a bit more active and the Storm Prediction Center has mentioned that a few isolated tornadoes may develop. Once again, this is being mentioned with a very low probability of becoming realized, but the chance is not zero. The timing of the line is late Saturday into Sunday morning.
There is yet one more line of showers to contend with and that will be in the afternoon of Sunday. This event, round 3, will be arriving from the west and will be a bit robust in nature. The temperatures over the weekend are going to remain relatively to near record warmth but this final round of rain will be followed by some much cooler air.
The line will begin as rain and end as a mix of snow and sleet. Then blustery winds follow and the winter season that has been delayed for so long will be here. The amount of snow will be tough to call since there will be little accumulation as the ground is no where near frozen. The possibility of a “Flash Freeze” is possible since the temps will drop dramatically, so icy bridges and overpasses on secondary roads is a good bet if that occurs. The skies should clear Sunday night and or early Monday and the cold and windy scenario will be in place. Lows Monday morning will be in the teens in the mountains and the 20s at lower elevations.
Dry and chilly pattern takes over next week.