Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016 2:30pm:
Two low pressure systems will influence desert weather the next two days.
The first system is off the Southern California coast as of Saturday afternoon, and will swing inland during the late afternoon and evening hours. Desert weather will become cloudier, with winds beginning to increase in many areas by about 3-4pm. Winds may initially pick up from the south southwest, and may hit the southern neighborhoods such as Indian Canyons, Cathedral City Cove, and South Palm Desert. Winds from the WNW will also begin blowing through the San Gorgonio Pass, along the I-10 corridor from Whitewater into Indio. Winds will eventually shift to the WNW for most areas early tonight. Winds will mostly be 20-30 mph, with a slight possibility of gusts reaching over 50 mph in some areas. As is typical with wind here in the desert; some areas may only see light winds, with highest chances of only light winds in Central Palm Springs between about Amado and Mesquite.
A slight chance of rain may accompany this first system, with only light amounts likely, and some areas remaining dry. Highest amounts should be 0.10 or under. There is a slight chance of a brief thunderstorm. Temperatures will drop into the 40's again tonight.
The nearby mountain peaks may see 1-4 inches of snow above the 5,500 - 6,000 foot elevation, with a dusting possible a bit lower than that.
The second system will quickly drop into Southern California Sunday afternoon and evening. This system is expected to have slightly less moisture but higher chances for stronger winds.
After a lull in clouds and winds on Sunday morning, winds are expected to increase once again during the afternoon and evening hours. Sustained winds have the potential of reaching 30-40 mph, especially along the normally windy I-10 corridor and some of the southern areas. There is a slight to moderate chance that even stronger gusts to 60-70 mph may materialize, which would create areas of blowing sand and dust. The stronger winds are dependent upon whether a "mountain wave" condition develops, which occurs when a temperature inversion occurs near the same elevation of the ridge tops, and helps the higher winds aloft to be forced down the back slopes of the mountains and into our local area. It is not 100% certain that such a scenario will play out, but some weather models are showing this is a moderate possibility tomorrow.
Scattered mostly light showers are possible in the desert, with mostly less than 0.05 inch possible. Most areas are likely to remain dry. The nearby mountains will have the opportunity to experience an additional 1-3 inches of snow above 6,000 feet.
OUTLOOK NEXT WEEK
Fair to partly cloudy weather is likely Monday through Wednesday, with slowly warming temps and mostly calm winds returning. High temps will return to near 70 degrees, with night time temps flirting with the high 30's to high 40's.
Late next week, the forecast becomes one of low confidence. Some models show a strong Santa Ana Wind condition, whereas others place another cool weather system directly over our area. Currently, the drier and windy condition is favored for late Thursday - Saturday. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, keep those patio umbrellas closed the next several days, and be sure loose yard items are secured in case the wind really picks up, as is quite possible the next 36 hours or so.
Happy late Thanksgiving wishes!