The next week will be mild to warm temperature-wise, with occasional showers here and there, although the mountains will likely capture most of that meager amount. High temperatures will range from the upper 50s to the lower 60s through the middle of next week. After a dry Thursday, there’s only about a 20% chance Friday through Tuesday any day will have any showers in the valley, with somewhat higher odds you will get some rain showers in the mountains. There is some indication a stronger storm pattern will set up starting the middle of next week.

rain shadow 1

Yesterday, I mentioned that air that moves upward can produce clouds and wind. In fact, much of my job as a meteorologist is wrapped up in trying to figure out where the upward vertical motion is and will occur. Air moves up… you can get rain. So how does this forcing upward happen naturally? This can occur several ways. A cold front will burrow under warmer moist air, lifting it. Converging airmasses at the lower levels of the atmosphere will have nowhere to go but up, and diverging airmasses in the upper levels of the atmosphere will draw up air from the lower levels. But land can also play an important part in vertical motion of the atmosphere. The Sierra Nevada will take moist air coming in off the Pacific and lift it, greatly increasing precipitation in the mountains.

I’ll finish tomorrow.