Another “Atmospheric River” of moist, dense tropical air will clobber California Monday morning with snow and rain – the fifth weather phenomenon in California since Christmas – while the state is being battered by severe storms, forecasters stated.
According to David Roth, a National Weather Service meteorologist at the Weather Prediction Center, the current round of gale-force winds and heavy rains swept across the northern corner of California on Friday. It then spread outwards into San Francisco Bay Area on Saturday and the central coast Sunday.
Roth said, “But, but…oh no! This isn’t over.”
A second storm system in the back-to-back parade will strike Monday, and continue through next week, at most, with Los Angeles and Sacramento impacted. It could also affect the San Francisco Bay Area, and possibly Oregon.
Roth stated, “It’s going get worse Monday.” Roth added, “We’re talking about 3-to-6 inches (15 cm-15 cm), rain and several feet of snow up the mountain… the area is saturated so we might see flash floods or rockslides.
Forecasters say that hillsides and canyons which have been scavenged by wildfires in the past are particularly vulnerable to rock- and mudslides.
Heavy rains were expected, and snow could fall up to 2ft (60cm) by Sunday at higher elevations in the Sierras. Snow accumulations of 1 foot (18cm to 46cm) have been measured this week.
According to Poweroutages.us, more than 34,000 homes and businesses were without power on Saturday afternoon. This was largely due to the loss of power in Mendocino County, northern California.
This was the third strongest and most powerful atmospheric river that has swept through California in California since last week.
Howling winds tore down trees that had been damaged by drought, and were not properly anchored in soil that has received rain. They also took down power lines and blocked roads throughout the area.
An NWS warning was issued Saturday that heavy rainfall storms could cause rivers and floods in large parts of Central California.
Six people died from severe weather in California since the New Year’s Weekend, with a toddler among them.
According to the NWS, the rapid succession of thunderstorms left San Francisco covered in rain for 10.3 inches (26cm) from December 26 through January 4. This was the wettest 10-day period in over 150 years.
Roth stated that “this isn’t nearly over” and the storm patterns would continue until January’s middle.