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Leaping Into Rain, Wind, & Colder Temps Thursday

Unsettled weather returns to the Central Coast Thursday as a broad winter storm system impacts much of the state. Southwesterly onshore flow will bring clouds and increasingly gusty winds into Thursday afternoon. We may see a few sprinkles/showers early in the day, but widespread rainfall will hold off until late afternoon when a cold front moves in from the northwest. Rain will be moderate at best and winds will be gusty but not extreme. We’ll get a bit of a break behind the front late Thursday night, but the low dipping down the coast will send multiple waves of heavier showers and gusty winds through our area during the day on Friday and through Saturday. All the while, temperatures will slowly cool to the point where our mountains will begin to see some snow starting late Friday night. Snow levels could get as low as 2,500ft which is close to pass level in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Some minor flooding issues and isolated wind damage seem likely into the weekend, and our shores will endure high surf.


Thursday: Mostly cloudy with isolated showers early in the day. Southwesterly winds slowly increase. A cold front will bring moderate rain to the region starting in the north in the late afternoon and then moving south through the evening. Highs in the upper 50s to low 60s.

Overnight: Scattered light to moderate rain showers. Breezy west southwesterly wind, with occasionally stronger gusts around 20-25mph. Lows in the mid-40s to low 50s at the coast, upper 30s to low 40s inland.  

Friday: Mostly cloudy with rounds of showers and occasionally gusty winds. Highs in the 50s to around 60ºF.  

… in effect from Noon Friday to 10am Saturday for portions of  the Santa Cruz Mountains and eastern Santa Clara County.

*Southwest winds 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 50 mph expected.

*Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects. Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result.

Use extra caution when driving, especially if operating a high profile vehicle. Secure outdoor objects.

…in effect from 10AM Friday until 4PM Saturday for the immediate coast of Monterey & Santa Cruz Counties.

*Large breaking waves of 15 to 20 feet along exposed, west-facing beaches.

*Dangerous swimming and surfing conditions and localized beach erosion. Large waves can sweep across the beach without warning, pulling people into the sea from rocks, jetties, and beaches. These waves can also move large objects such as logs, crushing anyone caught underneath.

Inexperienced swimmers should remain out of the water due to dangerous surf conditions.

…for the near coastal waters from Pigeon Point to Point Pinos (outside of Monterey Bay) in effect from 3PM Friday until 3PM Saturday

-Southwest winds 20 to 30 kt with gusts up to 45 kt and seas 12 to 17 ft expected.

…and for Monterey Bay from 3PM Friday until 3PM Saturday

outhwest winds 20 to 30 kt with gusts up to 45 kt and seas 10 to 15 ft expected.

… and for the near coastal waters from Point Pinos to Point Piedras Blancas from 9PM Friday  until 3PM Saturday

-Southwest winds 20 to 30 kt with gusts up to 45 kt and seas 13 to 18 ft expected.

Strong winds will cause hazardous seas which could capsize or damage vessels and reduce visibility.

Mariners should alter plans to avoid these hazardous conditions. Remain in port, seek safe harbor, alter course, and/or secure the vessel for severe conditions.

Showers may linger into Sunday—and there is a possibility we’ll see more on Monday. Mornings will be cold with some inland valley frost potential. Then, we’ll await the next system to come down the line, somewhere in the Tuesday-Wednesday time-frame. This one could also have brief heavy rain and gusty winds.

*Note: Any alerts from the National Weather Service in Monterey will be noted in italics above. Alerts may be edited for brevity or local clarification (in parenthesis)

This week's normal temperatures:

LOW: 45ºF
HIGH: 62ºF

LOW: 40ºF
HIGH: 65ºF

-The outlook from the Climate Prediction Center for March 7th - 13th calls for the likelihood of BELOW normal temperatures and ABOVE normal precipitation.

- ENSO (El Niño/La Niña) STATUS: 
El Niño Advisory, La Niña Watch
- ENSO Forecast: Transition from El Niño to neutral by Spring and then to La Niña by summer.
-Area drought status: Currently drought-free

Article Topic Follows: Local Forecast

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Erika Bratten

Erika Bratten is a weather forecaster for KION News Channel 5/46.


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