Pacific storm train brings punch of wet weather and renewed flooding this weekend – AccuWeather.com/en/
Californians got a welcome break from rain and storms following deadly mudslides that tore through southern parts of the state earlier this month. The floodgates to the Pacific Ocean will open again as AccuWeather meteorologists expect a storm duo to provide one punch of wet weather this weekend and into early next week.
Just before the weekend, a brief storm will break through a dry stretch of Northern California around midweek.
“After several days of mostly dry weather, there will be fast but heavy rain moving through northern parts of the state Wednesday night into Thursday,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Heather Zehr said.
“Some places along the Central Coast, near San Francisco, may pick up 0.50 to 1 inch of rain with this first event, with 2 to 4 inches possible along the Northern California coast through coastal Oregon,” Zahr added.
Heavy snow is expected to fall over the Sierra Nevada on Wednesday night, including Donner Pass on Interstate 80. One to two feet of snow could accumulate within 12 to 18 hours, increasing the risk of vehicles running aground.
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Areas of Southern California that received historic amounts of rain from the atmospheric river last week will be spared any precipitation for this round. However, AccuWeather experts say the next pair of storms will track farther south, increasing the risk that hard-hit areas will receive additional rainfall.
A new atmospheric river may form early next week
The week will end on a dry note before the first of two storms arrive along the West Coast over the weekend.
“This first storm in a two-part rain threat will likely bring heavy rain to some of the same areas that were hit midweek, especially the Redwood Coast of Northern California, which could increase the risk of flooding,” Zahr said.
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How much rain falls south into California will depend on the storm’s track, but the latest indications are that the Los Angeles basin won’t receive more than a stray shower or two over the weekend.
“Parts of Southern California will likely receive heavy rain from the second, more impactful storm, which is expected to arrive early next week,” Zahr said.
This storm is expected to move in on Sunday, February 18, and will take a track further south than its predecessors, allowing it to benefit from more tropical moisture. At least several inches of rain are likely to fall along parts of the Southern California coast and nearby high terrain.
“This could impact areas around the Los Angeles Basin and the north, which were some of the areas hardest hit by the recent atmospheric river event during the first week of February,” Zahr said.
Even with dry weather for more than a week before the next rainfall, the wet and unstable nature of the soil combined with additional rainfall can create the risk of dangerous mudslides.
AccuWeather’s Long-Range Forecast Team, led by Chief Meteorologist Paul Pastelok, expects the storm’s track to shift northward heading into late February.
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