California is bracing for more rain and snow this week as a low-pressure system originating from the Gulf of Alaska is expected to affect the state Monday through Wednesday. The National Weather Service predicts that the system will bring heavy precipitation to Northern California early in the week before gradually moving south.
Although this type of storm would typically be considered ordinary, the already wet winter has heightened its potential impact. The rainfall and gusty winds could lead to hazardous driving conditions, road flooding, power outages, and fallen trees or branches.
The atmospheric river is expected to bring even more snow to the already buried mountains of NorCal, with some regions expected up to 80 inches. Mount Shasta is expected to see 4 feet, while areas surrounding Tahoe and the Easter Sierra could see up to 3 feet through Wednesday:
Southerly winds are expected to sweep across the Sacramento Valley, with gusts potentially reaching up to 50 mph. Peters noted that while the system would usually be seen as beneficial, the extreme winter conditions have made it more consequential than it might have been just a couple of months ago.
Forecasters predict that Northern California will receive 0.5 to 3 inches of rainfall from Monday night through Wednesday, with the heaviest rain anticipated on Tuesday in the northern Sacramento Valley and the foothills. Higher elevations are set to see 1 to 4 feet of snow. Peters explained that this additional snowfall is only exacerbating existing issues, with officials struggling to find places to store the snow.
Storm warnings have been issued in multiple counties, such as Siskiyou, Lassen, Plumas, and Sierra. Weather officials have urged residents to avoid travel during this period, cautioning that individuals could be stranded in their vehicles for extended periods. For those who must travel, it is advised to prepare for long delays and carry an emergency kit with extra food, water, and clothing. Residents staying home should also have a backup plan in case of power outages.
The already saturated ground in many areas raises concerns about the possibility of flash floods and landslides. Residents in affected regions should stay alert and follow updates from local authorities and weather services.
For now, residents are urged to exercise caution and stay informed about the weather conditions in their area. As the storm progresses, it is essential to prioritize safety and adhere to any guidance issued by local authorities.