Temperatures will be a little more seasonable for the next week with highs expected to stay in the 50s throughout. In terms of precipitation, several weak to moderate storm systems will move through over the next week, none of which at this time look particularly strong or wet. Most of the precipitation we get over the next week will be trapped up in the mountains (and we will be mostly rain shadowed in the valley), but an occasional valley shower could happen.
I mentioned the rain shadow, caused by the mountains. Before we can understand how a mountain can cause a decrease in precipitation, first we need to talk a bit about what causes rain and snow in the first place. In an oversimplified nutshell, precipitation can occur if you take moist air and cool it to the point to where the water vapor in the air condenses back to a liquid (or solid…ice…but for the sake of this discussion, we’ll combine both states here.) This forms clouds, which if the condensation continues, will form droplets big enough to fall out as rain. The best way to cool air is to force it higher up in the atmosphere, where the drop in air pressure causes a drop in temperature (see the gas laws).
Tomorrow, I’ll tell you where this is all going.
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