Unseasonably dry conditions are predicted to come to an abrupt end this week as a series of strong storms move into Northern California in the next few days.
The Mt. Shasta area is likely to get precipitation amounts near half what is normal for the entire month of December, according to a Special Weather Statement issued by the National Weather Service this morning. Rapid rises in currently low-flowing creeks, streams and rivers are expected.
Mount Shasta’s National Weather Observer Frank Christina said so far in December, Mount Shasta has received .06 inches of precipitation, making it the driest December on record. He’s hoping for an abundance of precipitation to bring the water amount closer to December’s average of around six inches.
Christina said a high pressure “blocking ridge” is to blame for the unprecedented dry weather.
“In the summer, the ridges or normal, but not in the winter,” Christina said. “It looks like the ridge might break up a little tonight and let some systems through.”
Since July, Mount Shasta has received 6.42 inches of precipitation. The normal accumulation by late December is 14.32, he said. Last year at this time, Mount Shasta had accumulated 20.34 inches of precipitation.
According to the NWS, snow levels will start out high during the coming storm, around 6,000 to 8,000 feet, until Friday, when it will drop to near 3,000 feet. Winds from the south and southwest are expected to be “strong and gusty,” especially along upper slopes and ridges.