Extreme Weather

Arctic chill headed for Southland

Arctic chill headed for Southland

Spring might be just around the corner…but you won’t know it this weekend. Another cold, wintry storm is on the way…and this one is packing some potent dynamics, including jet-stream wind speeds of 130 knots…and a frigid temperature of – 40… both at an altitude of 30,000 ft. likely over Los Angeles at about noon, Saturday.

While rainfall totals aren’t likely to be impressive, very cold air will filter down to low elevations, with snow possible in some higher valley and nearby foothill locations during the day Saturday. The storm is expected to follow a more inland trajectory than last weekend’s storm, which tracked into Los Angeles from the Pacific. This weekend’s predicted storm should follow a north to south track closely paralleling the west coast resulting in more limited amounts of Pacific moisture.

But the center of the upper air disturbance – the source of cold air aloft, or triggering mechanism for the surface low and its associated weather is unusually intense, and forecast models suggest it will not decrease in strength as it passes over the Los Angeles area during the day Saturday.

Travel will likely be affected on some higher terrain thoroughfares, including interstates 5, 15, and Route 14 from Los Angeles north toward Palmdale on Saturday.  Snow levels are expected to drop to 2,000 feet, or lower.  This should be kept in mind for travel plans this weekend.

It appears, however that this system will be relatively fast-moving, with improved conditions arriving as early as Sunday morning.  The preliminary long range outlook for next week is for a milder westely flow aloft, with moderating temperatures, and it appears at this time storm systems will remain to the north of Los Angeles.

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