California has been hit by heavy snowfall, damaging winds and flooding this week – and now another round of storms is set to hit the west coast this weekend.
“The incessant parade of Pacific cyclones will bring more heavy rain and mountainous snowfall to the West Coast, with a focus on northern California,” the Weather Center said Saturday.
Thunderstorms will move across the west coast over the next few days. The anxiety is not just about rain, snow and wind, but there won’t be much of a gap between the events for the water to recede or the cleanup to finish.
“We expect an even stronger storm to hit the state Sunday through Tuesday than the one we see earlier this weekend,” said Matt Solum, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s western region headquarters. “We encourage everyone to take time over the weekend to make any necessary preparations for the upcoming storm.”
More storms come on the heels of a powerful cyclone that flooded roads, toppled trees and left most Californians without power. Previously, the storm system on New Year’s Day also caused flooding.
Widespread flooding, gusty winds and unsafe beach and sea conditions will be major concerns for coastal communities this weekend. Higher elevations will experience heavy snowfall and strong winds, leading to a near blizzard for anyone traveling on the roads.
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Winds are predicted to blow around 40-50mph in the valleys and up to 70mph in the mountains, which is less than the storm earlier this week, but still nothing to shake off.
“While these winds will not be at the level of the previous/stronger system, it really doesn’t take much to knock down trees given the saturated conditions and weakened trees from the last event,” the San Francisco Weather Service wrote on Friday.
Even 40 mph winds can do damage when the land is so saturated with record rainfall earlier this week and the cumulative effect of new rainfall expected this weekend.
“Infrastructure impacts include, but are not limited to; river flooding, mudslides, power outages and snow loads,” the forecast center he said in a tweet.
Earlier this week, San Francisco experienced its wettest weather 10-day period in the register for downtown since 1871. More than a meter of rain has fallen since December 1 so far, and the forecast predicts an additional 4-6 inches of rain over the next five days.
Sacramento is also expected to see significant rainfall totals of 4-7 inches in the valleys and 6-12 inches in the foothills.
“Additional rain on already saturated soils will add to additional flooding concerns across much of the state,” Solum told CNN. “There will continue to be an increased risk of rock and mudslides across much of the state.”
More than 15 million people are under flood control across the state of California this weekend. There is also a slight to moderate risk of excessive rainfall across most of northern and central California on Saturday and Sunday. On Monday, it rises to the more common moderate risk.
The weekend’s rainfall will bring new concerns for local streams, creeks and rivers. Colgan Creek, Berryessa Creek, Mark West Creek, Green Valley Creek, and the Cosumnes River have ratings that are currently above flood levels or are expected in the next few days.
“Tuesday is probably the day you’ll probably need to watch the weather very closely as potential flooding in rivers, creeks, streams and roads and urban flooding will peak next week as all the runoff and heavy rainfall combine to create a mess,” it said. Sacramento weather service office.
In addition to heavy rains, there will be significant snowfall in the higher parts of the country.
“Snow totals are expected to be 1-2 feet, with some higher elevations reaching 3 feet or more, leading to significant impacts on travel,” the Sacramento weather services office said.
The La Niña recommendation is currently in effect for the winter months, before returning to a more neutral pattern in the spring.
The El Niño and La Niña forecast patterns published by the Climate Prediction Center give guidance on what the overall forecast might be over a seasonal period.
“During a La Niña, conditions tend to be wetter than normal in the Pacific Northwest, and drier than normal in Southern California,” said Marybeth Arcodia, a postdoctoral researcher at Colorado State University. “This is because the jet stream is being pushed further north and has a more wavy pattern. “
The problem is that so far Mother Nature has not quite kept up with the predicted norms for the La Niña winter this year.
“However, over the last three months Oregon has been a bit drier than normal and California a bit wetter than usual (the opposite of what was expected),” Arcodia told CNN. While El Niño and La Niña patterns typically have a large influence on seasonal conditions on the West Coast, “there are always additional factors involved,” she added.
One such factor was the numerous atmospheric river phenomena that hit California with intense amounts of moisture.
“Atmospheric rivers usually form in the winter months and can occur during El Niños or La Niñas,” Arcodia said, noting that their strength, frequency, and landfall can be influenced by larger patterns in the Pacific.
Michael Tippett, professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University, points out that the forecast patterns are not intended to be used on a day-to-day forecast scale, but rather for the entire season as a whole. This is why the study of patterns is so important.
“There’s an element of randomness that patterns don’t explain,” Tippett told CNN. “This can help us understand why one year is different from another.”