The Pineapple Express is heading to California with flooding, wind and snow starting Wednesday

The Pineapple Express is heading to California with flooding, wind and snow starting Wednesday

It's all aboard the Pineapple Express this week in California where some coastal ranges could see more than 8 inches of rain before the weekend, while Los Angeles and San Diego could be hit by more massive flooding.

The Rapid Pineapple River is an atmospheric river that creates a hose of moisture that begins near Hawaii and explodes on the West Coast. This atmospheric river can carry up to 27 times as much water as the Mississippi River, which equates to up to 10-15 inches of rain.

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“What we have now is a very active period where the upper level jet is extending across the Pacific Ocean,” Marty Ralph, director of the Western Weather and Extreme Water Center, told FOX Weather on Monday. “There's a lot of moisture being transported in a series of atmospheric river storms associated with that. It's kind of parked over the northwest for a few days here. Soon it'll move along the coast into California.”


Big effects:

Moisture from the Pineapple Express will branch north and drenching Washington and Oregon. The system is warm, so area forecasters are not expecting snow. The National Weather Service in Seattle is calling for the possibility of record temperatures through Tuesday.

Any rain will add to the already saturated ground the area has previously experienced, so river levels will rise, and some flooding is likely, along with the risk of landslides.

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“The good news here is it's going to be strong, it's going to be heavy at times, but it's going to be transient — it's going to move very quickly,” FOX Weather meteorologist Bob Van Dillen said. “So it won't stay in the same place for long.”

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Total rainfall forecast.
(Fox Weather)

Total snow forecast.
(Fox Weather)

“But even then, look at the amount of rain we're expecting across Northern California, basically starting on Wednesday,” he continued. “This orange shaded area is getting 3 to 5 inches of rainfall (in the Bay Area). In Northern California…it's 5 to 8 inches of rain.”

Above pass level, the Sierra Nevada could see 1-3 feet of new snow.



“From Wednesday morning until Wednesday afternoon, rain starts to fall in the northern parts of California, and there is a little snow at higher elevations,” Van Deelen said.

Flash flooding is likely from southwest Oregon south through Eureka, Ukiah, San Francisco and Monterey, California.

“Shallow soils on steep hillsides are approaching saturation,” the NWS office in San Francisco wrote in an advisory. “This combined with the expected rainfall means the potential for widespread, shallow landslides.”

Flood watches were posted ahead of the atmospheric river, which extends along the California coast from the Oregon border to south of the San Francisco Bay area.

Flood watches also extend inland and include cities such as Chico, Sacramento and Redding.

Wind warnings, high wind watches and high wind warnings have been issued across the region.

Wind warnings were issued for places like Chico, Sacramento, San Francisco, Monterey and King City for winds of up to about 60 mph.

High wind warnings have been issued for Northern California and parts of southern Oregon for possible wind gusts of up to 75 mph.

The authority warned that “damaging winds could destroy trees and power lines.” “Widespread power outages are likely. Travel may be difficult, especially for high-profile vehicles.”


The risk of flash floods shifts to the south on Thursday.

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Flash flooding is likely to extend from the Santa Barbara area south through Santa Clarita, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Temecula, Escondido and San Diego, the weather service said.

Friday to Monday

Heavy rain moves through Los Angeles and San Diego counties by late Thursday. The rain will continue on Friday. Rain then makes its way across Arizona and into New Mexico into the weekend.

“The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) has already indicated a moderate risk of heavy rain, heavy snow and high winds in areas of the western United States and possible flooding along the California coast and in Arizona from February 2-5,” he wrote. Western Weather and Water Extreme Center.

“Snow is coming, and that could be very favorable for the higher elevations, and the Sierra Nevada extends all the way through the Four Corners and northern Nevada,” Van Dillen said.

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