Northern Slider Cold Front To Push Through Later Friday; Gorman Pass Shutdown Likely With Travel Warning


A northern slider system will bring the dynamics to shutdown the Gorman Pass so travelers beware.  It’ll bring lighter effects for the rest of the area, but dangerous surf conditions will accompany the system.  System starts Friday and ends Saturday as a fast mover so read on for details in your area …

Dense Fog occurred in the coastal San Diego County and Kern Valley zones as expected, consolation prize as well for Lompoc and Vandenberg.  The focus turns to tonight with the arrival of the surface front.  Not much lift present with it with only bring light showers through the SLO/Vandenberg zones.

We’ll have to wait till Friday morning (early) to bring this rain into the Kern Valley zones, which will fill in for most of the day there.  The dynamics to keep precipitation falling in that zone will dwindle off on Friday evening.  Only the mountains and very nearby foothills/valley areas to them will see precipitation and that is in the form of snow.

See the snow section below for that.  I’ve issued a Winter Storm Warning for the Kern Mountains of Gorman Pass to PMC.  The Gorman Pass will likely get over 8″ of snowfall on Friday night and this will be enough to start thinking about shutting the pass down.

All and all from Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, and The Inland Empire this looks like a trace of rainfall with more of course in the Foothill areas …

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Cold air behind the front will be widespread inland frost, with freezing high desert and Kern Valley temperatures.  Advisories/Warnings will be needed later for that.

Snow will start to fall across the Gorman to Frazier/Cuddy/PMC areas by later Friday with a snow level starting right on the Gorman Pass.  By later evening we should be having a dusting of snow up there, as high as 1″.  However that isn’t the focus of this warning.

The focus will be on Friday night with the strong northwest flow that will bunch the dynamics against the mountains there and squeeze out every single bit of moisture like ringing out a wet sponge.  With the snow level below 3,000 FT during that time-frame, snowfall ratios will be high above 4,000 and 5,000 FT and thus the snow will pile fast.

Sleet is possible down to 1,000 FT on the Kern County side of the base of the pass.

As for the Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, and San Diego County Mountains you’ll see the front move through later Friday afternoon and evening, with residual showers overnight.  The short duration of the moisture above 7,000 FT suggests that it will be hard to even get to 4″ in the primary Big Bear Lake area.  Snow level will be down to 4,000 FT with a possible dusting as far down as Anza in the Riverside County Mountains.  It will all depend on the track of this system and how much back-side moisture available for the Los Angeles and San Bernardino Mountains to squeeze out more snowfall on Friday night.  Final products will be issued over the day on Friday if needed.

The SCWF Snow Model has been updated and will update again for the LA/SBD/RIV/SD Mountains by Friday morning this time.  The Kern Mountains are the final forecasted amounts.

Thunderstorms with the front do not look likely.  There are concerns of a lack of moisture above a certain level for taller tops.  The best location for convection will be along the San Luis Obispo and Kern County border areas.  Couldn’t rule out isolated strikes.

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Surf will wind down this week with a departing mini-swell however surf will be up through 4 FT in the OC area by Friday morning, peaking to over 7-8 FT waves by Friday evening with the cold-front moving in, as well as strong west winds at the coast.  Lack of wind on Saturday will bring the waves back down below 3 FT in that area.  Santa Barbara’s coast will have 12 FT waves by later Thursday and lasting through Friday.

Wind alerts will be needed in almost all sectors of the forecast area with Friday’s cold-front and strong onshore flow winds, including all high/low desert and coastal regions.

Weather Event Agreement models are continuing to weaken the long range even more, and rain is slowly moving out of my long range forecast.  Confidence remains low at the moment for any further alerts and I’ll remain to focus on Friday’s system.

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