February 1, 2019 at 4:51 pm

DETAILED: Major Pacific Storm Vladimir To Impact Southern California On Saturday; Damaging Winds and Torrential Rains Expected


Major Pacific Storm Vladimir is going to hit mostly on your Saturday, with light rain starting as early as overnight tonight in the metro zones out ahead of the front.  It’ll have high snow levels to begin with and my Squall-line Warnings are up, including timing, so read on for details.

A Squall-line Warning is in effect for the following areas; San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara County … Ventura/Los Angeles Metros … Orange County … The Inland Empire … San Diego County Metro to Mountains … Riverside Mountains …
A Major Pacific Storm is about to enter the forecast area, with the main impacts being on your Saturday.  Light precipitation will start as early as this afternoon/evening across areas west of Los Angeles with Los Angeles, OC, IE, San Diego seeing the warm-frontal light showers overnight into Saturday morning.  The front will take on the shape of a ‘snake’ with a very pronounced squall-line on radar by Saturday morning at San Luis Obispo and Vandenberg, hitting Los Angeles by the afternoon and finally The Inland Empire and San Diego by early evening.  This squall-line warning is for torrential downpours with very strong and damaging winds that will topple trees and power-lines so as I stated in earlier forecasts… prepare for that or you’ll have a nice hood ornament.  Rainfall estimations in my forecast model have well over 3-6 inches in the Santa Barbara to Los Angeles burn areas, including the LA / San Bernardino Mtn. Foothill areas and the adjacent valleys south of them with widespread 2-4″ in the coastal/valley zones, including the Holy Fire Burn Scar.  1-3″ is in my forecast for San Diego on the ‘weaker’ but do not take this system lightly at all.. it is a dangerous storm with those winds along the squall-line.   The waterspout watch is also included in this because with such strong shear in place and ‘some’ surface instability … I do think we will strong rotation on radar and even making it onshore as a small tornado.  Really wouldn’t matter much because the straight-line winds within the squall-line will be everywhere and damaging.  Vandenberg, you’ll see the 50-60 mph wind gusts as will San Luis Obispo.  The rest of the forecast area from Santa Barbara, LA, OC, IE, San Diego will see the 45 to 55 mph wind gusts.  I don’t think anywhere will be below 40 mph in gusts within any part of this warning area.

The following select areas is the timing as followed for the squall-line to hit on Saturday;

Vandenberg / San Luis Obispo – 6am
Santa Barbara – 8am
Ventura – 9-10am
Los Angeles – Noon – 1pm
Orange County – 2pm
Ontario – 4pm
Hemet – 5pm
San Diego – 5-6pm

This will have minimal if no thunderstorm dynamics on the main squall-line.  This will mainly be a very powerful wind/rain event.

Another Squall-line Warning went in effect here at Southern California Weather Force for these areas;  Kern Mountains … (Gorman to PMC) … Los Angeles and San Bernardino County Mountains … Antelope Valley to Metro High Desert …
A powerful storm front will move into the region on your Saturday, starting by morning in the VT/Kern Zones and shoving eastward over the day toward the Los Angeles and San Bernardino County Mountains, including the Antelope Valley and Victor Valley to Lucerne Valley regions.  This front is potent and has high snow levels.  I do NOT see low enough snow levels for a Winter Storm Warning on any part of this front.  Toward the end of the front, my snow models clearly do see the level dropping to both Wrightwood and Big Bear Lake for a couple hours or so.  Should this happen we could see 1-3″ of snowfall.. but NOT enough for a warning and most certainly not when the winds are gusting at what they will be… 60-75 mph … As they will fast diminish after the front’s main center passes.  I will assess this again on Saturday and I will issue a Winter Weather Advisory if the level does drop toward the end of the front to the main mountain cities .. but again … I am not going Winter Storm Warning with this.  Onyx Summit over 8,000 FT … you, however, will be under a Blizzard east of Big Bear Lake so travels in THAT AREA should NOT be made.  Use the snow charts below for your area as these are what I use in experiment now to forecast your areas.  I have Gorman/Frazier/PMC, Big Bear, and The RIM …  The rest of the warning zone for the high desert will be for damaging winds and rain with wind gusts out of the south easily at 45 to 55 mph.  Downed poles and trees are possible …

Areas at the Palm Springs Tramway could get 6-12″ of snowfall with higher snowfall at higher elevations.

To see the snow level charts for Big Bear, The Rim, Wrightwood/Cajon Pass, and Gorman keep looking below.

Waves with an behind the system will be 15-18 footers.  This is damaging and will cause beach erosion, including damaging the piers.  It is not recommended to be at the beach… and this swell will last through till Wednesday even behind this major storm and with the next system coming in later Monday into Tuesday.

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SCWF Rain Forecast Model
2-2-2019 Flood Risk Model
Top Wind Gust Model


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