A very cold storm system will move through the area through Wednesday, bringing a threat of rain and low-elevation snow showers and gusty winds along with a slight chance of thunderstorms with small hail tonight. Amounts will be small but the weather will be wild at times. Behind the system, it will be quite cold Wednesday night, temperatures dipping below freezing. Dry weather is expected Thursday through the weekend with a warming trend.
Gusty winds and light scattered showers for out Tuesday.
Tonight we expect to see the showers continue with a chance for brief periods of heavy rain. In general expect between a hundredth of an inch to a 1/3 of an inch. The biggest impact will be the snow coming into the mountains and interior valleys, this is where a winter weather advisory is in place until noon on Wednesday.
Due to the cold nature of the storm, lower-elevation snow will be a major impact with this storm. Snow levels are expected to drop to 2500 to 3500 feet this evening, then crash down overnight through Wednesday morning around 1500 to 2000 feet. Since there is not much moisture to work with and the better moisture fetch is farther south, we`re not expecting significant accumulations. Around 1 to 3 inches is expected mainly over 3000 feet. An inch or two is possible across the foothills of the Cuyama Valleys, and even a dusting to an inch on the valley floors. Since snow levels so low, icy conditions and light snow accumulations are a concern for the many major mountain and foothill roads. It is best to avoid travel along these roads, but if it is necessary be prepared for winter driving conditions.
Cold temperatures are also a concern for the next few nights. The low temperature forecast for Tuesday night is tricky because it will depend on the amount of cloud cover and wind. A Freeze Warning will be in effect for the Ojai Valley for the morning, but there is a chance temperatures remain above freezing if clouds dominate. Skies will clear through the day Wednesday as the upper-level trough exits to the east. Low temperatures early Thursday morning are expected to be colder, with widespread temperatures in the 30s, even at the coast. The interior will be quite cold in the 20s. Frost headlines may likely be needed.
A pattern change is in order for Thursday and Friday with dry conditions and weak offshore flow. Temperatures will warm up a bit with highs back in the 60s. Overnight low temperatures will warm up a little each night but still remain cold. High temperatures will rise back into the 70s and possibly lower 80s by early next week.