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A strong storm system will bring occasional rain and heavy showers, into Tuesday. Big snows and blizzard conditions will occur in the Sierra, but only moderate rain totals for the North Bay.

After a break on Thursday and Friday, another cold low pressure trough is forecast to drop down over the West.

This will bring a storm that could send waves of showers over NorCal from Saturday the 4th of March through Tuesday the 7th of March.

This storm series could potentially bring the North Bay another 2 inches of rain over a three day period. More to the north and in the hills.

After the 7th of March, it looks like wet weather may continue. The latest models have us shifting from a cold and wet pattern, to a potentially warm and wet pattern. 

Here is the projected jet stream on the 5th, with our next big storm being driven into California by the jet stream curving around the base of the cold low pressure system. We’ve had this pattern for the past week or more.

After this storm, instead of building in high pressure, the models are showing a zonal jet stream developing, bringing moisture directly from the west.

This set up is more like the big atmospheric river storms we had late in December, and early in January. This may bring us wet storms, but warmer as well, from about March 10th to mid-month.

For now, the GFS, European and Canadian models all agree on this general set up. And that gives us more confidence it will happen. With the big snowpack, and rising snow levels, this could create flooding concerns similar to what we had earlier this winter. There may even be an atmospheric river plume or two associated with the storms. Too early to forecast that however.

The general trend is being picked up by the long range models, with much wetter than normal weather through the middle of March, and rain coming into California from the west instead of north.

The ensemble and deterministic 10 day anomaly forecasts through mid-March clearly show this.

This is still considered long range, and could change of course. But the amount of ensemble model agreement is giving forecasters greater confidence.

Batten down the hatches for a March that, for the first half a least, may be a Lion.

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