We had sunny skies and warm temperatures over the north state this afternoon. valley areas topped out in the high 70's to low 80's, foothill areas ended up in the low to mid 70's and most mountain areas ended up in the 60's to 70's this afternoon. Winds have out of hte north up to around 25mph today, with gusts up to 38mph in Redding.
Skies will stay clear overnight and we'll be sunny on Friday. Temperatures will start out in the mid 40's in the valley, in the 40's to low 50's in the foothills, and in the 20's to 30's in the mountains. High temperatures will end up in the low to mid 70's in the valley, and in the low to mid 60's in the foothills and mountains. Winds will be out of the north to around 10mph early in the day, but will shift to become out of the south in the afternoon. Gusts up to around 25mph out of the south will be possible in the valley.
A substantial winter storm is expected to arrive across northern California this weekend. Showers will start to spread from north to south on Friday night, but the bigger impacts are not expected until Saturday. A Winter Storm Watch has been issued for areas of the Northern Mountains from Friday night through at least Sunday morning down to 2500'. Up to a foot of snow looks likely this weekend. Snow levels could dip to as low as 1500' in that area this weekend. A Winter Storm Watch has been issued for areas above 2500' in Shasta, Tehama, Glenn, Butte, Lassen, and Plumas Counties from 11am Saturday through 11am Monday. This "Watch" will likely be upgraded to a "Warning" when we get closer to the weekend. Snow levels will mostly hover down to around 2500' in the Sierra but there will be a chance for snow down to around 2000' on Sunday afternoon through Monday. The current projections put 4 to 8 inches of snow down into the 2500' to 3000' elevation, and 15 to 30 inches of snow into higher elevations. Localized amounts of up to 40 inches of snow will be possible along the highest peaks. Valley areas are currently projected to get between a half an inch to an inch of rain through this weekend. There will also be potential for thunderstorms in the valley on Sunday. Winds will also be a factor. Portions of the Sierra could see gusts out of the south in teh 40 to 60mph range this weekend. Valley areas could have gusts out of the south in the 30 to 40mph range. Temperatures will top out in the mid 50's in the valley this weekend and in the low to mid 40's in most mountain areas.
Showers will become lighter Sunday night into Monday but will remain in our forecast. The latest projections are keeping at least a slight chance for showers in northern California through the middle of next week. Temperatures will also be staying below average through the middle of next week.