Pacific Storm Peter has been named and is a category three here at Southern California Weather Force. The system will ignite clear skies this evening out of nowhere into thunderstorms with frequent lightning in the metro to desert zones, lasting all night into some of Saturday. Find out the details and if your area is in the thunderstorm zone by reading on.
Pacific Storm Peter is a cutoff low system that is placed in center the Martin Storm Diamond. The Martin Storm Diamond is an imaginary diamond that is southwest of the forecast area. The center of storms that travel through this area have the best upper dynamics in our region, being northeast of the systems themselves. This region is what I look for when diving into confidence that we would see something over our land forecast area of Southern California. This is such a storm.
The upper divergence, moisture, and instability profiles have not been seen this strong since Pacific Storm Avery in Sept 2007, which delivered an incredible lightning show to LA/OC and part of the Inland Empire. The divergence profiles suggests the VT/SBA area will be on the north end of the system, which does have lifting as well for thunderstorm activity. It however will not be as severe as further east in the issued Severe Thunderstorm Watch zone.
Speaking of watches, I have two. The thunderstorm watch (link here) is for the Ventura and Santa Barbara area, which is expected to be the weakest of the activity. I will not be taking this system to San Luis Obispo or Kern County, much less anywhere north of the Gorman Pass latitude so area like Fort Irwin to Ridgecrest are out.
The Severe Thunderstorm Watch is for all of LA, OC, Riv, San Diego, and Imperial County, to the Southern half of San Bernardino County.
A trailing front will form with this as well for the low deserts, including Imperial County, Coachella Valley, and the CO River Valley forecast zones.
Some storms will produce local flooding, as well as gusty winds and even some larger hail, which could get to 1/2″ with the strongest cells.
The most concentration of severity within the storms will be in the Los Angeles, Orange, and Inland Empire areas, with weaker isolated activity toward Downtown San Diego due to a moisture issue where the event will not be as prolonged.
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