California Storm: Rain and Wind Lash State as It Braces for Flooding

And with extra storms on the horizon, the mountains may see extra rain which will result in flooding.

“Now that we have now a saturated snowpack, we’re most likely not going to get much more storage from the rain that falls on it,” mentioned Andrew Schwartz, the lead scientist and supervisor on the Central Sierra Snow Lab of the College of California, Berkeley. “That means that if we do get rain, it’s probably that we’ll see some extra soften. So we’re actually simply crossing our fingers that it stays as snow.”

The state of affairs underscores California’s water conundrum: The state desperately wants a really moist winter, however any time it’s drenched by a giant storm, there’s additionally a threat of injury and chaos.

“This can be a prime instance of the specter of excessive flooding throughout a protracted drought as California experiences extra swings between moist and dry intervals introduced on by our altering local weather,” Karla Nemeth, director of the Division of Water Assets, mentioned in a press release.

The most recent storm is a part of a sequence of atmospheric rivers — channels of moisture from the tropical Pacific Ocean — that meteorologists anticipate will proceed till mid-January.

The atmospheric river that drenched the West Coast final week killed not less than 5 folks. One other storm system soaked California once more earlier than barreling east throughout the nation on Tuesday, spawning sturdy tornadoes, thunderstorms and flooding in elements of the Plains, Higher Midwest and South after dropping snow on Utah and Arizona.

That storm was anticipated to lower in depth because it moved towards the East Coast, the Climate Service mentioned. Extra rounds of heavy precipitation are anticipated to hit California on Saturday, and once more on Monday.

Shawn Hubler reported from Sacramento, Soumya Karlamangla from San Francisco, Jill Cowan from Los Angeles and Jacey Fortin from New York. Reporting was contributed by Julie Brown, Derrick Bryson Taylor, Christine Hauser, Judson Jones, Holly Secon and John Yoon. Alain Delaquérière contributed analysis.