California is hit again by another atmospheric flow event
Days of torrential rain and melting snow that triggered flash flooding and have been blamed for the deaths of at least two people could return to the Golden State as another atmospheric event looms over the humid Pacific.
The weekend brought a lull for millions of Californians who were on flood alert and saw rainfall reaching 12 inches in some communities.
“By the way, what we are seeing right now is the first atmospheric flow. Remember, we have another atmosphere on the way, and just one of these atmospheric flows can carry as much water as 20 Mississippi rivers,” said FOX Weather meteorologist Michael Estime.
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NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center has already warned of a moderate risk of excessive rain, highlighting areas from San Francisco to Sacramento and points north to see Monday’s highest risk of flooding.
On Tuesday, the top threat zone will descend south and encompass much of central California.
In areas where flash flooding is considered “very likely,” there is at least a 40 percent chance that rainfall within 25 miles of a given point could become a problem.
Where is the system now and where is it going?
Energy that will make up the next event is northwest of Hawaii. As the atmospheric flow advances towards California, the FOX Forecast Center expects the system to strengthen and be able to produce effects similar to events observed back in March.
The low-pressure area is expected to approach the coast early in the working week, and before that, gusty winds could hit much of the west and offer only temporary relief from the wet weather.
The core of the system is expected to begin affecting the Golden State late Monday and will continue through Tuesday and early Wednesday.
“I think Tuesday morning we’re going to see the heaviest rain, just bullseye bits from Redding, California towards the Napa Valley and then working its way down the coast from Sacramento through San Francisco,” Esteme said.
After Wednesday, forecast models show the low-pressure system moving through the Rocky Mountains and eventually the Great Lakes.
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Expected amounts of precipitation and effects
Rainfall is expected to bring another significant flood hazard for elevations below 5,000 feet in northern and central California. These include the San Joaquin and Sacramento Valleys, the southern foothills of the Sierra Nevada, and the coastal region from San Francisco to north of San Diego.
Forecast models show between 1 and 3 inches of rain for many communities, with some spots, particularly along the coast and foothills, potentially receiving more.
Where rain and snowmelt meet, streams and streams prone to flooding are expected to face a renewed threat.
Before the event began, about a dozen major river gauges were either near or above flood level.
In addition to the risk of flooding, authorities warn that the already saturated soil could cause trees to fall and additional power outages. Winds of 20 to 30 mph gusting 40 to 60 mph could be common across the state, especially on Tuesday.
The low humidity is expected to result in snowfall amounts of a few meters in parts of the Sierra Nevada.
The expected winter precipitation makes driving on some roads almost impossible. Avalanche danger is expected to remain high throughout the week with the additional snowpack and winds.
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