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California Weather for the Weekend Bringing Heavy Rain and Floooding Risk

2 months ago
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California will see its relatively dry week disrupted by renewed rainfall and flooding threatens the weather for the weekend. Powerful Pacific Ocean storms arrive on the heels of this month’s deadly mudslides farther south.

A quick but drenching midweek rain and mountain snow event will provide a mere preview of a pair of storms that may unload the heaviest precipitation yet over recent burn scar areas. Meteorologists caution the path just offshore raises risks of additional flooding and mudslides.

Northern California Faces Initial Midweek Drenching

Before the weekend, a transient but moisture-rich storm will break Northern California’s relatively dry spell starting Wednesday night into Thursday with heavy rainfall. Locations near San Francisco may register up to an inch of rain accompanied by gusty winds up to 40 mph that could topple trees and branches weakened by consistent saturation.

Two to four inches are forecast along the northern coast into coastal Oregon with double that total in isolated areas by Thursday afternoon. The San Francisco metro area faces a flash flood threat as drainage systems struggle to handle the sudden influx of water overwhelming storm sewers.

Snowfall approaching two feet within 12-18 hours also threatens highways through the Sierra Nevada range’s high passes Wednesday night. Whiteout conditions with thunderstorms may lead to closures along Interstate 80 and other mountain routes, heightening risks of stranded motorists amidst the heaviest snow squalls.

Emergency planners caution the quick hitting system will largely spare Southern California’s already saturated soils for now. But its substantial tapped moisture influx sets the stage for successive tempests to wreak more damage upon the massive burn scar areas farther south that spawned deadly early February mudslides.

Officials have pre-positioned swift water rescue teams and search and rescue crews across Northern California in anticipation of rapidly rising creeks and streams.

The midweek weather event serves to precondition channels ahead of the heavier weekend rainfall to amplify flash flooding potential, especially near recent wildfire burn zones.


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