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Heavy Mountain Snow and Low Elevation Rain Continues in California; Fire Weather Conditions in the High Plains

A slow-moving storm impacting California will continue heavy mountain snow, low elevation heavy rain and gusty winds today before moving south and remaining across southern California through Thursday. Mountain snow will impact travel; and heavy rainfall may cause flooding and debris flows in Southern California. There is an elevated to critical fire weather risk in portions of the High Plains. Read More >

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for the Southern Sierra Nevada above 5,000 feet until 5 PM PDT Monday afternoon. The majority of this snow will fall tonight. Winds could gust as high as 50 mph on exposed ridgetops and near the crest. If you plan to travel, consider alternate strategies. If you must travel, remember to carry tire chains, plenty of food, a good deal of water, warm clothing, and a flashlight in your vehicle. For information on road conditions, including closures or delays, call Caltrans at 1-800-427-7623.
A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for the Kern County mountains above 6,000 feet until 11 PM PDT Monday night. The majority of this snow will fall tonight into Monday morning. Winds could gust as high as 55 mph through the Grapevine along Interstate 5, as well as on exposed ridgetops. If you plan to travel, consider alternate strategies. If you must travel, remember to carry tire chains, plenty of food, a good deal of water, warm clothing, and a flashlight in your vehicle. For information on road conditions, including closures or delays, call Caltrans at 1-800-427-7623.
A few strong thunderstorms are possible Monday in the majority of Central California, excluding the Kern County desert. Small hail, funnel clouds, and wind gusts near 40 miles per hour are some of the hazards associated with strong thunderstorms. In addition to dangerous cloud to ground lightning strikes, any thunderstorm can produce intense rainfall rates, leading to localized flooding.

 

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Why Do Forecasters Still Rely on Weather Balloons?

Twice every day, from nearly 100 locations in the United States, the National Weather Service launches weather balloons, carrying instrument packages called radiosondes. Radiosonde sensors measure upper-air conditions such as atmospheric pressure, temperature and humidity, wind speed and direction. The data is important for aviation safety, and meteorologists use radiosonde information to prepare weather forecasts.