March 9, 2021 at 9:16 am

FINAL FORECAST: Major Pacific Storm GAVIN Upgraded To Category Four, Impacts Southern California Wednesday through Friday; Complete Model Image Suite


Pacific Storm GAVIN has been upgraded from category three to now a category four, obtaining the name ‘major pacific storm’.  The system is very cold and is acting similar to Major Pacific Storm Daimyo in January with low snow levels, thunderstorms, and multiple storm impulses moving through, and this is a direct Cajon/Gorman Pass affecting system so read on for details and see the maps … Remember, Southern California Weather Force is closed from March 12th to March 15th, so if anything happens then, consider it you’ll find out if you really need or miss these forecasts or not …

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Major Pacific Storm DAIMYO is what I can pinpoint this being similar to.  This is why I do name and categorize the storms because I can go back by name in the file and see what that particular pattern had.  Major Pacific Storm DAIMYO was a category four.  Click here to read the final forecast for that one.  That system on January 25th brought low elevation snow and lots of sleet/hail to the Inland Empire as well after the main front passed.  What we are looking at with Major Pacific Storm GAVIN is a snow level below pass levels on Wednesday with the first impulse moving through.  Keep in mind that this system will have multiple impulses between Wednesday and Friday, mostly Wednesday and Thursday however.  They will be hard to time so I’d hold off on any outside events or projects until at least later Friday when the system departs to the east.

There are numerous shots of cold air with it aloft and this means widespread thunderstorms risks.  This is quite common for March as the sun angle is getting higher in the sky and the instability is stronger than during the winter.  Major Pacific Storm GAVIN will be the strongest thunderstorm producer of the 2020-2021 season thus far.  You may or may not see it, but I can tell you that most of the population will see them, even out in the desert areas in spots.

Gavin cuts off east of the region on Thursday and this is when the flow goes from north to south instead of west to east as it will on Wednesday.  North to south flow typically generates convection over the mountains, which moves into the LA/IE areas.  With the cold air in the region, we could see the flakes flying in some Inland Empire zones under any stronger storm.

One thing I will note is that the BIG BEAR LAKE areas will see far less than the Crestline/Running Springs areas, or the rim.  This is because of a lack of moisture most of the event above 16,000 FT will be present and the rim typically rings the storms out some before reaching far east into Big Bear Lake/City.  You will see snow, maybe 6-12″ as a margin but I do not see anything more than that.  The rim however will see the 2+FT snow amounts with this.

Gavin will remain a category four.  There isn’t a tropical fetch with it for a ‘major’ flooding issue nor are there wind gusts on the front over 50 mph.  Having those would certainly bring it to a category five, but a category four will be the final forecast number.

The SCWF model image suite below is so you can see your zone region covered.  Keep in mind that these are the most comprehensive images around.  They are touchy to the micro-climate and in the rain and flood risk model, you will only see the expected risk or amount.  Those models actually cancel out the snow so before you saw flood risks covering the mountains.  The new models remove that and make it easier to know what to expect.

SCWF Premium Members:  Click here for your model suite member section where you can control and zoom into anywhere covered.  Keep in mind, these are updated hours before social media.  The rest of the viewers read on and view below what’s offered for this event.

I control 10 counties in Southern California so there is a lot to say for various areas. The best I can do is let the images below speak for themselves. They are separated into five rows of six. Four zones that I control. If you are in Southern California, you are in one of these. Each is identical so zone 1 is the same on all the rows and so on.  Image 5 is Cajon Pass, and Image 6 is Kern Mountains including Gorman for you travelers.  Here is the key to the rows below.  They are extremely detailed.

Row 1 – Events Expected by Micro-Climate
Row 2 – Flood Risk
Row 3 – Rain Risk
Row 4 – Snow Risk
Row 5 – Wind Risk

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Row 1 – Events Expected by Micro-Climate

Row 2 – Flood Risk

Row 3 – Rain Risk

Row 4 – Snow Risk

Row 5 – Wind Risk

Martin Wind Gust Intensity Scale –

8. Extensive widespread damage.
7. Trees are broken or uprooted, building damage is considerable. – High Profile Vehicle Roll-Over CERTAIN.
6. SOME Trees are broken or uprooted, building damage is possible. – High Profile Vehicle Roll-Over Likely, Do NOT recommend Traveling in this zone
5. Slight damage occurs to buildings, shingles are blown off of roofs. HIGH WIND WARNING CRITERIA – High Profile Vehicle Roll-Over Possible if weight is not corrected.
4. Twigs and small branches are broken from trees, walking is difficult.
3. Large trees sway, becoming difficult to walk. POWER SHUTDOWN THRESHOLD WIND ADVISORY CRITERIA

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