The Storm Report Blog For February 19-20, 2013
February 20, 2013

The Storm Report Blog For February 19-20, 2013

Left Map Analysis: Looking at the latest satellite image of the approaching storm system that is moving towards the California coastline; the yellow circle in the image highlights the area where the circulation is coming together this evening. This circulation will push towards the Southeast over the next 24hrs.

Right Map Analysis: The low pressure will come onshore over the Southwestern portion of California over the next 24hrs this will begin the process of a significant storm system to hit the region. There will be some regions that see a lot of rain while other places at the higher elevations will be dealing with significant snowfall amounts in the one to two foot range. This storm will slowly push into the desert southwest by the 20th.

Image Credit: Joshua Kelly

Looking at the potential impacts of this storm for certain cities and how they will be impacted. (These conditions are for February 19-20).

Los Angeles, CA: The morning should start out quiet; however, by the afternoon look for the showers to move into the basin associated with the storm system. Total rainfall amounts may be around a half an inch. The mountains to the west of LA will be dealing with snowfall and the snowfall heights will drop through the evening as the colder air gets in place. The temps for Los Angeles should remain in the 46-50F range for the majority of the storm. Winds will be from the northwest around 15-20mph which will create some low wind chills around the 44-48f range during the evening.

San Diego, CA: Rain showers will dominate the weather for the majority of the day, with total rainfall amounts around a half an inch. The higher elevations to the west of San Diego will also see the snow levels come down during this storm. Temps for the metro area will be in the 48-52F range for the duration of the storm. The biggest impact for the local area will be the winds forecasted to be around 15-30mph out of the Northwest during the day.

Phoenix, AZ: The majority of the day will be sunny, with the clouds and rain showers moving in during the evening hours on Tuesday. The region could see upwards to around three tenths of an inch of rainfall total during the storm. The temperatures for the event will be in the 55-59F range to start with, but quickly dropping to around 42-46F by the evening after the front passes the area. There will be heavy snow possible in the region; however, most of it should be kept into the higher elevations. Winds will be strong around 15-25mph from the northeast during the storm.

Reno, NV: As the storm pushes through the region, expect to see some rainfall along with snowfall during the day on Tuesday. Total Rainfall amounts for the region could be around a half an inch, while snowfall amounts may be near one to two inches by the evening hours on Tuesday. The winds will not be much of a problem for the area only around 10mph from the Northwest. Temperatures for the region will be in the 28-32F range during the morning hours, dropping to the upper 20s by the evening.

Santa Fe, NM: Tuesday the storm system will be to the west of the area; however, by the evening hours the storm will start to impact the area. Total snowfall amounts for the area will be in the two to four inch mark, with heavier snows in the higher elevations around the region. Temperatures will start in the 28-32F range and drop to the 20-24F range by Wednesday night as the heavy snow starts to move into the region. Winds will be from the northwest around 20-25mph with higher gusts, which will create blowing and drifting snow in the area.

Flagstaff, AZ: The region will start out nice on Tuesday; however, by later in the afternoon expect the snow to begin and last through a good portion of the day on Wednesday. Total snowfall amounts for the metro area will be around three to five inches, with higher amounts in the higher elevations around the area. The winds will be very strong out of the northwest around 20-35mph, which will create blowing and drifting snow for the area, creating dangerous driving conditions. Temperatures will be in the 28-32F range when the snow starts, but it will rapidly cool down with temps falling to around 20-24F by the afternoon on Wednesday.

Past 24hr Storm Summary: The last 24hrs this storm system has been mostly over the open Pacific Ocean moving towards the United States. The only impacts that have been felt so far have been limited to the marine side, such as high winds and seas over the region just to the west of California.

24hr Storm Impacts: The next 24hrs are going to get interesting as the storm system begins to push on shore over southwest California. The biggest stories that will develop with this storm are going to be the very strong winds that will move into the region, with many places throughout southern California, Nevada, and portions of Arizona seeing winds sustained in the 20-30mph range with higher gusts to near 40mph possible. The second impact will be the precipitation amounts forecasted to happen. There are many places in the higher elevations throughout the region that will be dealing with more than one foot of snow, while the valleys should mostly remain rain. During the evening hours, the freezing level is forecasted to drop fairly low to around 4,000ft in some places; this will create dangerous driving conditions for anyone that is going to be driving through the passes. The other big side to this storm will be the wind chill values and potential freezing conditions that could impact the farmers in the region over the next couple of days.

Image Credit: Mr Twister / Shutterstock

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