Another ‘atmospheric river’ set to clobber California
Another “atmospheric river” of dense, moist tropical air will deluge California on Monday with rain and mountain snow – the fifth of the weather phenomenon since Christmas – even as the state is battered by storms this weekend, forecasters said.
The current period of heavy rain and gusty winds swept across the northwest corner of California late Friday and spread south into the San Francisco Bay Area and the Central Coast Saturday afternoon and will continue Sunday, it said. David Roth a meteorologist from the National. Weather Forecast Center of the Weather Service.
“But, oh no it’s not over,” Roth added.
Another in the parade of storm systems will hit Monday and last through at least the middle of next week, affecting Los Angeles, Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay Area and into Oregon.
“It’s going to get worse on Monday,” Roth said, “We’re talking about 7.5 cm-15 cm of rain, several feet of snow in the mountains… because the area is so saturated. you could see flash floods, mudslides, rockslides and avalanche”.
Hills and canyons already stripped of vegetation from past fires are particularly vulnerable to rockslides and mudslides, forecasters said.
In addition to the heavy rain, up to 60 cm (2 feet) of snow was expected by late Sunday in the higher elevations of the Sierra, where accumulations of 30 cm to 46 cm or more were measured earlier this week .
Tens of thousands of homes and businesses have lost power in recent days, and more than 34,000 remained without power Saturday afternoon, mostly in Mendocino County in northern California, according to the tracking site Poweroutages.us.
It marked the third and strongest storm to hit California since the start of last week.
Howling winds uprooted trees already weakened by prolonged drought and poorly anchored in rain-soaked soil, taking down power lines and blocking roads across the region.
An NWS weather alert on Saturday warned that the cumulative effect of back-to-back heavy rain storms since late December could bring rivers to record high levels and cause flooding in much of Central California.
At least six people have died in severe weather since the New Year’s weekend, including a baby killed by a fallen redwood tree crushing a mobile home in northern California.
According to the NWS, the rapid succession of storms that washed over downtown San Francisco soaked up 26 cm of rain from December to Jan. 4, the wettest 10-day stretch on record there in more than 150 years, since 1871 , according to the NWS.
Roth said “This is nowhere near over” and that storm patterns will continue into mid-January.