WeatherNation Blog

Record Heat in the West, But Winter is Coming

Good morning! Before you head out to vote, here’s a quick recap of the record-breaking heat that swept through the Southwest yesterday. The Santa Ana winds have returned, bringing with them some of the warmest weather the coastal regions of California will see all year. These winds blow from the Mojave Desert westward to the coast, and as the air sinks over the mountains and toward the Pacific, it warms adiabatically.

HIGHEST MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE RECORDS IN CALIFORNIA ON NOV 05 2012

CITY … NEW RECORD … OLD RECORD

ALPINE … 92 … TIED 92 IN 1976

EL CAJON … 95 … 91 IN 2006

PALM SPRINGS … 96 … TIED 96 IN 1991

RAMONA … 93 … TIED 93 IN 1976

RIVERSIDE … 95 … TIED 95 IN 1988

THERMAL … 96 … 94 IN 1980

FURNACE CREEK … 96 … 95 IN 1950 (DEATH VALLEY)

NEEDLES … 91 … TIED 91 IN 1931

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (USC) … 94 … TIED 94 IN 1898

LOS ANGELES AIRPORT … 91 … TIED 91 IN 1976

LONG BEACH AIRPORT … 93 … 90 IN 1976

BURBANK … 93 … TIED 93 IN 1976

PALMDALE … 84 … TIED 84 IN 1949

CAMARILLO … 98 … TIED 98 IN 1976

SANTA BARBARA … 94 … 87 IN 1976

SANTA MARIA … 94 … 92 IN 1949

Much of the western U.S. experienced above-average temperatures Monday. These record highs are impressive, but the heat will be short-lived. By the weekend, the West will sink deep  into below-average temperatures.

It’s going to be a dramatic change between now and Friday, with some locations experiencing a 30-40 degree swing in their daytime high temperatures. Here’s what that will look like for a few cities out west:

Not only will the temperatures drop, but our next chance for a large snow event presents itself late week/into the weekend. Over the next few days, it will be as if someone flipped the switch from summer to winter for much of the West. The storm is forecast to start sometime Thursday and continue on into the weekend.

This snow forecast above is valid for Saturday night, and shows nearly 2 feet of fresh snow into areas of Montana by then. The National Weather Service has already issued a Winter Storm Watch for almost all of Montana and a Winter Weather Advisory for the Lake Tahoe Basin.

It will be a stark contrast from the heat today, but who doesn’t love a little fresh powder in the mountains? As the weekend draws nearer, we’ll have more updates on which locations will be digging out and which ski areas will benefit the most.

Well, that was a nice little break from all this talk of the upcoming Nor’Easter. Tune in to WeatherNation for the latest updates on these weather stories and more!

And don’t forget to vote!

Meteorologist Miranda Hilgers

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