California is recovering from one storm and preparing for another

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CNN

Days after California’s “most impressive storm in nearly 20 years,” the state is completely saturated in many places — bracing for another round of flooding, hail, high wind gusts and even atmospheric river events this weekend. there may be pit clouds in places.

Storms here >>

Heavy rain fell on Saturday in the Golden State, where extreme drought caused by the climate crisis has led to massive flooding in recent weeks amid a catastrophic chain of ultra-humid atmospheric rivers – long and narrow. an atmosphere that transports moisture for thousands of miles. Recent storms have killed at least 18 people and left tens of thousands without power.

More than 25 million people are again under flood watch for much of California’s central coast, as well as the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys. Although this weekend’s rainfall is less than previous storms, the flood threshold is also much lower as the ground is completely saturated in many areas.

“This atmospheric river is moving more slowly than some of the other atmospheric rivers that have occurred in recent weeks, which should help limit the potential for flooding,” the Weather Forecast Center said. “It’s almost all of California; from the coast and from the Shasta and Sierra Nevada south to the Crest region, soil moisture is greater than 95%.

“Some parts of the state have received 15-20+” rains with >600% of normal rainfall in the last two weeks,” they added.

Unfortunately, the rain chances don’t end there: Another storm will increase the chance of rain and flooding across much of the state from Sunday afternoon into Monday morning before dry conditions end late next week.

“A stronger burst of moisture is expected Saturday ahead of a stronger Pacific storm system that will move inland throughout the day,” the forecast center said. “There is a slight, more widespread risk of excessive precipitation over northern coastal California as well as areas up into the Sierra where precipitation will continue beginning Friday.”

Rain and snow are also expected to spread across the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain West Saturday through Sunday.

Rainfall totals through Monday will range from 2 to 3 inches along the coast and inland valleys, with 4 to 6 inches possible near the San Francisco Bay Area and the Santa Cruz and Santa Lucia Mountains. . This can lead to some flooding as well as mud, rocks and landslides.

The National Weather Service office in San Francisco said: “Rain is a 100 percent chance of rain in the area, and deep moisture and heavy rainfall are expected, making flooding a concern again.”

San Francisco already has one of the 15 wettest winters on record with just over a month to go. With 4 to 6 inches of rain over the next three days, the city could easily make the top five.

A Slight Risk of Excessive Rainfall – Level 2/4 – There is a Warning, mainly due to very wet conditions ahead of the expected rainfall and leading to an increased risk of flooding.

“Forecast soundings show some instability in the Central Valley behind the front Saturday afternoon and into the evening, with possible hail, strong storms, and possibly a few trough clouds,” the Sacramento Weather Service office said.

River flooding is also a major concern, especially around the Russian River in Northern California and the Salinas River near Monterey. “Expect additional disruptions to mountain travel and recreation over the weekend as heavy snow moves into the Sierra,” the Reno Weather Service office said.

Mandatory evacuations for parts of San Benito County ordered Residents in affected areas were ordered to evacuate due to “severe flooding,” according to an online county report on Saturday.

Neighbor Santa Clara County issued updated evacuation warnings to residents this weekend. Residents are advised to pack essential items such as personal belongings, important documents, clothing and non-perishable food.

“Members of the community are urged to avoid roads, creeks, waterways and fast-moving water,” the statement said.

The Sierra will also see very heavy snow, with 1 to 2 feet on Saturday and another 2 to 3 feet possible by Monday. “The heaviest snow days will be Saturday and Monday, with less snow in between,” the Reno Weather Service office said.

Strong winds with gusts of 40 to 50 mph in the Sacramento Valley and 60 mph in the mountains will also accompany this system. This could lead to downed trees and downed power lines in what is now a very saturated area.

“The system will pack a decent amount of southerly winds and a strong wind watch will be in effect over the mountains of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties – the same strong winds will move into Ventura and Los Angeles counties Saturday night,” the weather service office said. said in Los Angeles.

The good news is that by the end of the week, forecasts call for much drier conditions in California, allowing the ground to dry out and river levels to drop.

“It’s been a long time since Californians have been happy to see an extended forecast of below-average precipitation,” CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller said. “But after the last three weeks, of course they are.”

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