February 16, 2017 at 5:46 pm

Major Pacific Storm Lucifer Impacts Southern California On Friday; Upgraded To Category Five

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Major Pacific Storm Lucifer has been upgraded to category five out of the one through six system here at Southern California Weather Force, impacting on your Friday.  Lucifer is pending a category six, the highest on our scale.   Our rare Hurricane Wind Speed Warning is up for certain areas.  Damaging winds, fallen trees and powerlines, a risk of severe weather with a tornado risk, and flooding will accompany the system.  This strong of a surface low has not been seen in over 20 years.

Before we get into this article … Lucifer was chosen on a vote from viewers on the Southern California Weather Force Facebook Page.  I had no idea what kind of storm would fall on the “L” name but did predict because of the name it would be the worst one of the season … It’s also in the FB page itself.   The people choose the names … I do not …

The storm is hitting with some rainfall out ahead of the main front from Ventura County, north to Kern … west to SLO/SBA County today, which will spread eastward for a run at LA by the early morning hours.  This was predicted in the previous article, Click Here.

As for tonight … do feel that the calming wind ahead of the system for the LA/OC Coast/Basin areas , south to the San Diego Coast and Valley along I-15 Escondido will be prime for dense fog so if you are going to travel … take note on this fog as it will be very dense.

This is not even the main frontal zone so as it is raining on Thursday in these areas, don’t think this is the bulk of the system.

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That becomes realized on Friday when the front slams the area.  Given this, the main front hits areas west of Los Angeles on Friday during the day/evening … with Los Angeles south and eastward getting hit during the early night hours before midnight.  Widespread 2-4″ of rain looks likely in all metro areas …

Adding another section to this, such as thunderstorms and tornadic chances.  The system will have a unidirectional shear profile in the mid-levels, which means the winds are along the front and thus the isolated supercell potential along the main front with the damaging winds will not be there and thus a broken snake-like looking squall-line will happen … with isolated tornado potential.  After the front through Friday night to Saturday morning however is another story.  

This is when the low level flow remains the same in the VT/LA/OC areas and if storms do form behind the main front … enough low level shear will be available for tornado risks to elevate in that small area … but a lot of population exists so it will be monitored carefully … 

This is the reason this storm has been upgraded to a Category Five … PENDING a six … 

The wind with the system will be very strong in all areas for the most part.  Wind out of the Southeast will cause gusty winds to even hit Bakersfield, as they roar out of the Gorman Pass.  This is due to the storm having a stronger surface low west of the area at the time, which causes the wind to move toward the center of the lowest pressure.  Wind gusts could easily each 30-50 mph in the Kern regions on Friday.

Kern is not the only area that will see strong wind gusts.  All the areas along the coast and inland to the mountains will see those gusts with the front on Friday.  There may even be damaging winds in the Orange/San Diego County areas as a result of a stronger low level jet moving over.   The south flow will also generate strong gusts in the nominal windy areas of the High Desert and Antelope Valley areas.

Unlike usual storms that bring stronger west winds across the area, this system will have southerly winds as stated above and this would bring the wind concern down for Imperial County … which should get less wind and more rain.


SCWF Calculated Wind Gusts Friday / Friday Night (MPH)

San Luis Obispo  – 55
Vandenberg AFB – 56
Bakersfield – 53
Ventura – 41
Pine Mountain Club – 75
Los Angeles – 45
Anaheim – 50
Riverside – 50
San Diego – 50
Hesperia – 50
Barstow – 40
Lancaster – 45
Tehachapi – 60
Palm Springs – 30
Brawley – 30
Big Bear Lake – 75


This has strong low level shear dynamics, however the main frontal zone does not have much in the way of thunderstorms showing up in my numbers.  However, because of the low level shear, some cells within the front could spin-up waterspouts, some strong, and could even produce isolated tornadoes along the coast and somewhat inland.  This is mainly for Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego County.  Without lightning, this would probably be a Squall-line Watch alert issuance product on Friday.

Waves on Friday will be 10-12 Feet in all areas … coastal damage is expected in spots, lasting into Saturday .. .and calming more on Sunday.  Swells will be up again by the middle part of this next week with additional storms moving into California.

Snow with this will be starting in Big Bear as early as Friday morning.  Even though it’ll be above freezing, low level moisture content being dry means the flakes will reach the ground.  Snow level goes up during the evening and with the front … over 8,000 FT so turning to rain … before dropping back to 6,000 – 6500 Ft. overnight Friday into Saturday morning.  Exact amount is not quite known, but a dusting possible for Big Bear Lake on Friday morning … and additional alerts will be issued to you as the system is further analyzed.

Rainfall forecast is as followed in the map below …

San Luis Obispo  – 3.1″
Vandenberg AFB – 3.1″
Bakersfield – 1.3″
Ventura – 2.8 with Ojai at 4.5″
Pine Mountain Club – 3.0″
Los Angeles – 2.6″ Downtown with 3.5″ SCV
Anaheim – 2.7″
Riverside – 1.7″
San Diego – 2.3″
Hesperia – 2.0″
Barstow – 1.2″
Lancaster – 3″
Tehachapi – 3.0″
Palm Springs – 1.1″
Brawley – 0.5″
Big Bear Lake – 1.7″

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