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AccuWeather Long-Term Northern California Forecast Includes Potential for Dry Lightning, Continued Drought Next Fall

With more than 1.1 million acres across the drought-afflicted West already charred, 2022 is shaping up to be another year of extremely intense fire activity.

But with the release Wednesday of its official 2022 Wildfire Season Forecast, AccuWeather forecasting company has added a couple of gut punches to this year’s outlook for flame-battered Northern California and the North Bay region.

AccuWeather’s US Winter Forecast Calls for a Two-Faced Season for Millions

As Americans hunker down to weather the pandemic this winter at home, nearly every facet of life will remain upended to safeguard against the coronavirus. Millions are working from home and learning remotely and even holiday gatherings will look a lot different this year. Staying closer to home may mean fewer weather worries for commutes and disruptions to daily activities, but AccuWeather has you covered on what you can expect weather-wise as we navigate uncertain times.

Slow-Moving Storm Brings Much-Needed Rain to Southern California

In the wake of a storm that brought the first measurable rainfall to parts California in over a month, a second storm and much more efficient rain-producer will affect Southern California, southern Nevada and Arizona into Thursday.

“While the new storm will cause some trouble in in terms of isolated flash flooding, mudslides, severe thunderstorms and a major hassle for motorists, the storm will be very beneficial for drought and wildfire concerns,” according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

Storms To Raise Risk Of Isolated flooding Over Interior West As North American Monsoon Continues

Portions of the interior western United States will be at risk for localized flash flooding and isolated severe thunderstorms this week. Just about every state west of the Great Plains and east of the Pacific coast will be at risk for thunderstorms in the pattern. However, some of the most dangerous storms may target the desert areas. As July ends and August begins, a surge of humid air from Mexico is forecast to bring a significant uptick in the amount of shower and thunderstorm activity over the deserts and mountains. The weather pattern is no stranger to the region during the summer and is considered to be routine during the North American monsoon season that extends from June to September.

Humidity, Storms To Surge In Western US As Heat Eases In California

A pattern change will allow California to cool off a bit, but also cause drenching storms to erupt over the interior West. On Sunday, temperatures soared to near-record levels above 100 F across California’s interior. However, the record-challenging heat will subside early this week. An area of high pressure shifting eastward will gradually cause temperatures to drop across interior California and then the remainder of the Southwest. “The first to feel these changes will be California, when temperatures will start trending down on Monday,” said AccuWeather Long-Range Meteorologist Max Vido.

Warmth To Ramp Up In California, Southwest At Late Week Following Unusually Chilly Weekend

Following record cold across parts of California, temperatures will rebound to near-normal levels by the end of the month. During the Memorial Day weekend, afternoon high temperatures were held to the lowest levels in almost 10 years. Temperatures in Northern and Central California were mainly in the 50s to near 60 degrees Fahrenheit for the high on Sunday afternoon, while southwestern California failed to get out of the lower 60s.

More Storms Eye California, Western US Into Memorial Day Weekend

Additional storms bearing rain, locally gusty thunderstorms and high-elevation snow will take aim at California and the balance of the western United States into the Memorial Day weekend. “A block in the jet stream is forcing storms to take a much more southern route onshore into western North America than usual for the latter part of May,” according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson. The first storm in the series brought disruptive snow and record-setting rainfall to California last Wednesday into Thursday. The second storm brought more rain and mountain snow to California on Sunday. In the wake of this system, dry conditions will briefly take hold across most of the state on Monday.

March-Like Storm To Blast California With Drenching Rain, Mountain Snow and Severe Weather

After sunshine and pleasant weather grace California early this week, a powerful storm system will barrel into the state during the middle to latter part of the week. The return of a March-like weather pattern, driven by a large dip in the jet stream, will be the culprit for driving this rare storm into the West Coast. Rain will first move into Northern California on Wednesday before overspreading the rest of the state by Wednesday night and Thursday. By the time the storm moves into the Four Corners region later on Friday, the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and parts of Northern and coastal California will receive between 1 to 3 inches of rain.

A Look Back At The Specifics Of A Wild, Wet And Snowy Winter In California And The Southwest

Following a pretty dry 2017-18 season, the storms came back with a frenzy this season across the Southwest, helping to propel many places to above-average precipitation. It was a fast transition in California in November from the destructive Camp and Woolsey fires in the first half of the month to storms, flooding and mudslides by the end of the month. December had extended dry periods, and most places ended up with below-average precipitation for the month. As a stormier pattern led to frequent storms and atmospheric river events as 2019 started, the heavy precipitation events caused flooding, mudslides and heavy snow.

California Warmth Fades This Weekend; A Drier Pattern Overall Out West

As the month of April continues to chug along, the weather maps are looking more and more like the end of the wet season. Dry weather is starting to take hold. Thursday will likely be the warmest day of the week along the California coast, with highs reach the 70s in San Francisco and the 80s in Downtown Los Angeles. Across the interior, Friday could be even a touch warmer with temperatures approaching record levels in places like Merced and Fresno.