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Short Range Public Discussion
(Caution: Version displayed is not the latest version. - Issued 1916Z Jan 18, 2021)
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Short Range Forecast Discussion NWS Weather Prediction Center College Park MD 216 PM EST Mon Jan 18 2021 Valid 00Z Tue Jan 19 2021 - 00Z Thu Jan 21 2021 ...Strong, damaging winds and dry weather will foster an increasing fire weather threat for large portions of California over the next few days... ...Lake effect snow showers and squalls will bring locally heavy accumulations downwind of the Great Lakes... ...Unsettled weather expected over the Four Corners region with locally heavy snow expected for the Southern Rockies... The combination of a developing area of low pressure off the southern California coast and strengthening high pressure from the Rockies into the Great Basin will drive increasingly strong and locally damaging winds across much of California over the next few days. High wind warnings and advisories are in effect already across much of the state of California, and portions of the higher terrain including the Sierra-Nevada may see wind gusts as high as 80 mph. This will likely result in downed trees and power lines. The strong winds coupled with low relative humidities and the ongoing drought situation will significantly increase the threat of fires to large portions of California and especially the southern part of the state where an enhanced to critical fire threat has been identified by the Storm Prediction Center. The aforementioned concern for downed power lines may be a trigger for some of these fires. Meanwhile, the above mentioned low pressure center offshore of southern California coast may be able to gradually produce some light to moderate rain for areas a bit farther down to the south and east including the deserts of southern California and southern Arizona by the middle of the week. While the heaviest rainfall is expected to be situated south of the border across northwest Mexico, any rain will be beneficial across the Southwest as this entire region remains in a long-term drought. More significant precipitation totals are expected farther to the east over the southern Rockies in the wake of a cold front pressing south across the Intermountain Region and the southern Plains. Heavy snows are likely across the San Juan mountains of southwest Colorado and also the Sangre De Cristo range from south-central Colorado down into northern New Mexico. Going through the middle of the week, some areas are expected to see as much as 12 to 18 inches of new snowfall. The aforementioned front crossing the southern Plains will be a focus for some light to moderate rain farther east across areas of central and eastern Texas and the lower Mississippi Valley as an axis of showers accompanies the front. Farther north, cold westerly to northwesterly flow is expected across the unfrozen Great Lakes over the next few days. This will support heavy lake effect snow showers and squalls, with a notable focus downwind of Lake Erie across western New York State, and downwind of Lake Ontario across northwestern portions of New York State including areas near the Tug Hill Plateau. Going through the middle of the week, some areas across western New York are likely to see as much as 1 to 2 feet of new snowfall. Lake effect snow will also be continuing downwind of Lake Superior and impacting portions of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where some additional totals here of 6 to 12 inches will be possible. Orrison Graphics available at