Light rain coming to Southern California, with much colder temps and mountain snow later this week.
It’s a season that brought record cold snap temperatures to the Inland Northwest, with a record low of 23 degrees in Missoula, Montana, on Christmas Eve, that then returned for the Christmas holidays as temperatures were still below normal for the time of year during the first few days. With record low temperatures on Christmas Day, there was finally a break in the icy cold cold and we’re now in the mid 20s, which is still not normal, but is a return to normal after the harsh cold winter of 2015-2016.
A lot of this cold is due to a front that has been moving south of the area since September, when we had a cold spell that brought snow to much of the Northwest, including the Sierra Nevada Mountains. With a low pressure moving in, it brought the cold in from farther north, where there is snow and ice, but not as thickly.
With the cold air, snow cover on the mountains will continue, especially the higher elevations since a lot of the cold air will be going over the mountains. The lower elevations will be in the 50s, with some even closer to 50s, but we won’t have snowfall until later this week. That said, the snow is coming on top of a lot of other cold, so it is early, but if you have the chance, you might want to check out your local area and see if there is any snow accumulation.
The main factor will be that this cold will allow snow to come earlier than this time of year in the mountains, so your town might have snow for Christmas Day and Christmas Eve, but not much else.
You’ll also notice we’re finally seeing some ice in the river valleys of the Sierra, which will continue into the new year as it continues its drift pattern.
Meanwhile, at high elevation, we are in for much more cold this week along with cold rain, with the main thing to