See the potent winter storm approaching Northern California
Meteorologists and weather nerds are getting excited about a storm approaching California.
They're flooding Twitter with satellite imagery of the cold front lurking off the West Coast. The photos taken from space show a menacing-looking mass of clouds swirling over the Pacific Ocean and ready to make landfall.
UCLA climatologist Daniel Swain shared one of the images on Twitter, writing, "Yet other amazing geostationary satellite snapshot from @NOAASatellites GOES-17." (See the image and others in the gallery above.)
The storm is expected to be potent and quick-moving, releasing a burst of frigid air, heavy rainfall, high winds and maybe some thunderstorms when it reaches landfall in Northern California on Thursday.
Southerly winds will crank up before the storm makes landfall Wednesday evening and continue into Thursday.
"With the strongest winds, we’re looking at 35 mph, maybe isolated gusts up to 50 mph," said Matt Mehle, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Monterey. "Winds will be highest over the coastal waters, along the coastline and in the mountains."
The rain will start in the North Bay late Wednesday night and spread southward into the central Bay Area by Thursday morning. The heaviest rain in San Francisco is expected after sunrise, and showers will continue through the day and linger into early Friday morning.
Rainfall totals from late Wednesday through Friday morning are forecast to range from one to three inches in the North Bay and coastal mountains, to half an inch to one inch in urban areas, including Oakland and San Francisco.
The system will be be delivering a blast of cold air from Alaska, and snow levels are forecast to drop to 3,000 to 3,500 feet with one to two inches of fresh powder likely on Mount St. Helena in the North Bay, Mount Diablo in the East Bay and Mount Hamilton in the South Bay.
Amy Graff is a digital editor. Email her: firstname.lastname@example.org.