# Tuesday, December 23, 2008
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NRL VIS/IR Satellite Image - December 23, 2008 10:30 a.m. PST Click
NRL VIS/IR Satellite Image
December 23, 2008 10:30 a.m. PST

A potent appearing Pacific storm system is developing off the coast of Oregon and Northern California and headed our way. Significant rain, with snow at the higher elevations, is expected over much of the state.

Rain associated with this system is forecast to begin in Northern California this evening. At the moment, it looks like prefrontal rain could develop in the Los Angeles area tomorrow morning. Rainfall rates are forecast to increase Christmas Eve, and then taper off during the day on Christmas.

Although the models appear to be converging on similar solutions, there has been a lot of variability from run to run. This is due in part to the difficulty of the forecast. The intensity of the low, the path of the low center, the amount of moisture available to the system, the upper and lower level jet dynamics and other factors could change the amount of rainfall.

The HPC QPF forecast for the period Tuesday afternoon to Friday afternoon shows about 1.25 to 1.50 inches along the coast with up to about 3 inches in the mountains. These amounts could be somewhat understated. We'll see!

The system that moved through the Los Angeles area Sunday night into Monday was a little stronger than expected, with rainfall amounts generally ranging from about 0.1 inch to 0.25 inch. Here are some preliminary rainfall totals from the NWS.

Update 12/24/08 11:00 am. 12z NAM and GFS forecast a more westward track of the low and have backed off precipitation amounts forecast for the Los Angeles area. The 12z NAM generates about 0.6 inch at Van Nuys and the 12z GFS only about 0.26 inch for the storm. HPC's latest 2-day Quantitative Precipitation Forecast indicates precipitation amounts ranging from about 0.75 inch to 1.50 inch in coastal Southern California. On the other hand, the 06z high resolution WRF-NMM was quite wet, with precipitation amounts in our area ranging from 1.0 to 4.0 inches.

More information concerning Southern California weather can be found using our WEATHER LINKS page.