Here's how the next two atmospheric rivers will affect California


Forecasters have warned California residents that unsettled weather between Tuesday and Thursday will likely bring heavy rain, strong winds and snow in the mountains as another atmospheric river descends along the West Coast. Another storm will threaten the region early next week.

“Use today to prepare for widespread and impactful rainfall along with strong, gusty winds ahead on Wednesday,” meteorologists with the National Weather Service's San Francisco Bay Area office wrote Tuesday morning.

Flooding concerns, such as overflowing storm drains that can lead to road closures, will be widespread, and heavy rain could create localized areas of flash flooding, with urban areas, roads, small streams and burnt areas being the worst. most vulnerable, forecasters said.

The storm is predicted to be a moderate atmospheric river, and nowhere near the strength of an “Ark storm,” as they have been doing in recent years. rounds on social media in recent days. The forecast is also unlikely to be as severe as last winter's series of back-to-back storms that brought widespread flooding and historic amounts of snow to the region.

This midweek storm, while still having the potential to produce flash flooding and heavy snowfall in the mountains, is expected to move quickly, which would reduce the amount of rain falling anywhere.

A foot or more of snow is forecast over parts of northern and central California. The Sierra Nevada will receive heavy snowfall Wednesday morning through Thursday.

  • Tuesday: Light rain will spread over the Pacific Northwest.

  • Wednesday: A heavier column of moisture will move over California, with the heaviest rain falling over the northern Bay Area and Sacramento area Wednesday afternoon before moving further south in the afternoon and overnight.

Another strong weather system and possibly a “significant atmospheric river event” is “increasingly likely” to affect California late this weekend into early next weekend, Weather Prediction Center meteorologists said Tuesday morning. .

Despite many possible outcomes, the atmospheric river arriving Sunday into Monday has the potential to produce higher low-elevation rain and mountain snow totals than this week's event.

The worst-case scenario would be for the storm system to stall off the coast, which could prolong the rain and snow. This scenario would bring a high risk of flooding and heavy snowfall in the mountains, Los Angeles meteorologists warned Tuesday morning.

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