An atmospheric river battering California has prompted evacuations, a Presidential Declaration of Emergency and an increasingly dire warning that more heavy rains coming for parts of the state.
The central part of California was especially hard hit by the flooding: Dramatically flooded roads around Kern County and Members of the National Guard found flooding as they were deployed to assist first responders in Santa Cruz County.
Forecaster concerns are mostly concentrated away from the state’s major population centers. As of Saturday afternoon, Los Angeles and San Diego were clear of weather watches, warnings, and advisories; the San Francisco Bay Area was under an extensive flood watch.
Meanwhile, meteorologists said a winter storm could dump a foot of snow or more on northeast North Dakota, part of a storm that will affect parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan this weekend.
California storm impacts: Flooded roads, evacuations, breached levees
More than 9,000 California residents were under evacuation orders Friday. Rescuers rescued dozens of people Saturday in a Northern California farming community after the Pajaro River levee breached. In Tulare County of the Central Valley, another levee breach prompted evacuations on Friday.
Monterey County Board of Supervisors Chairman Luis Alejo said in a tweet that it would take months for residents to repair the damage caused to their homes by flooding in Parajo, a largely Latino unincorporated community on the Bay of Monterey.
“We need all the help we can get from our state and federal leaders to get our families through this devastating hardship!” Alejo said.
And in an unusual move, officials opened spillways on Lake Oroville for the first time since April 2019 because one of the state’s major reservoirs had too much water. State water managers have been grappling with how best to use the recent storms to help out of a severe drought.
California Weekend Forecast
A atmospheric river blasting California it will continue to dump rain and heavy snow across much of the state on Saturday.
The storm, known as “Pineapple Express” because it is fueled by moisture stretching from the Pacific to Hawaii, has caused particular concern as California’s mountains have packed a huge, expansive layer of snow after many other atmospheric rivers battered the state this winter. It is the tenth atmospheric river of the season in the state.
The snowpack at high elevations is so deep that it should be able to absorb rain, forecasters said. But the lower elevations could face a worrying mix of snow melt and precipitation at the same time.
Central California remained at risk of stronger and more severe isolated storms Saturday afternoon into evening, the National Weather Service said, and the Central Valley could see “hail, strong winds and perhaps a brief tornado.”
Rain in lower elevations and snow in the mountains of northern and central California were expected to be slightly less intense than in recent days.
atmospheric river:The weather phenomenon stretches thousands of miles from the tropics to the western US.
Another storm is headed for California
Some of the same areas affected in recent days with snow, heavy rain and flooding will see more of the same with the next storm, the weather service said.
The beginning of the week will bring “significant flood impacts” along the central California coast, the San Joaquin Valley, the Sacramento Valley and the southern Sierra Nevada foothills. The Bay Area should prepare for damaging winds beginning Monday night.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, more heavy rain and melting snow could lead to widespread flooding before another round of snow “further complements snow load impacts and issues,” according to the weather service.
All the rainfall in California brings good news for the state.
About 26 percent of the state is now considered drought-free, up from just 16 percent on Feb. 28, said Bob Larson, AccuWeather’s chief meteorologist, adding that the new figure doesn’t even include the two atmospheric rivers that They impacted the state on Saturday. and next week.
“It’s not ending the drought, but (it’s) absolutely helping,” he said. “Although it’s causing all sorts of problems in the short term, the bigger picture in the long term is a help.”
A strange winter ends:New data details record heat, strange snow patterns
Winter storm map
Like California, the eastern and northeastern US will continue to experience winter storms on Saturday before a calm Sunday, quickly followed by another storm.
A strip of the region between Buffalo and Binghamton, New York you can expect 6 to 12 inches of snow while NY you can get 1 to 3 inches.
The further east the storm moves, “it becomes less important,” Larson said.
western Massachusetts can receive between 2 and 4 inches of snow while Boston it looks like it will be spared from any major precipitation this weekend.
Come Monday, that will change with a nor’easter.
“It won’t be an extended hiatus,” Larson said. “But all New England It should be dry and calm in the middle by Sunday.”
Strong to severe thunderstorms are expected in eastern oklahoma and most of arkansas Saturday before the threat moves southeast into the southern half of Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia on Sunday.
US Weather Watches and Warnings
national weather radar
Contributing: The Associated Press