California is facing another onslaught of severe weather this weekend, with a winter storm expected to bring heavy snow, rain and the threat of flooding to parts of the state, which could put «lives and property» at risk.» great danger», warned the meteorologists. .
The storm is expected to affect the West Coast, particularly California, through Friday, bringing a «flurry of heavy precipitation,» the National Weather Service said.
The weather service’s Weather Prediction Center has issued a High Risk for excessive rainfall over California through Saturday morning, with severe and widespread flash flooding expected with the storm.
“Areas that do not normally experience flash flooding will be inundated,” the weather service said. “Life and property are in great danger Friday through Saturday morning,” he warned.
An «atmospheric river» already began moving toward California on Thursday, raising the risk of flooding, forecasters and other officials said.
“With abundant rainfall coming from these atmospheric rivers, we will again see the impacts of flooding,” Michael Anderson, a California state climatologist, said at a news briefing Thursday. He described some of the expected precipitation totals as «staggering.»
At least 10 rivers are expected to pass their flood stages, according to the California Nevada River Forecast Center since early Friday morning.
Heavy rain and high levels of snow are likely across parts of the state, and warm air associated with the storm is expected to bring rain on top of existing snowpacks up to 8,500 feet, the weather service said.
The highest levels of snow and heaviest rainfall are expected to hit central California, with «significant flooding impacts» possible in parts of the central coast and the San Joaquin Valley, the weather service said.
«Rain and snowmelt will cause flooding,» it warned, adding that the most significant threat of snowmelt and flooding is generally expected below 5,000 feet in areas with shallow snowpack. «Creeks and creeks in the Sierra Nevada foothills will be more vulnerable to flooding from rain and snowmelt,» she said.
Heavy, wet snow is also expected at higher elevations, with parts of Northern California and the Sierra Nevada expected to see heavy, wet snow that could make travel difficult.
The threat of excessive rainfall is expected to decrease significantly on Saturday, with the weather forecast center warning of a «Marginal Risk of Excessive Rainfall» in parts of California from Saturday through Sunday morning.
«The associated heavy rainfall will create localized areas of flash flooding, affecting areas experiencing rapid runoff and burn scars,» the weather service said.
The storm is one of a series of systems expected to hit the state in March, prompting California Governor Gavin Newsom to declare state of emergency on Wednesday to expand the state’s response to the storm and relief efforts.
Last week, Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency in 13 counties amid brutal storms. The Governor activated the California Guard and State Operations Center to provide state support to county-led emergency response efforts and to help coordinate mutual aid from neighboring areas.
The latest state of emergency will expand state efforts to 21 more counties, including «Butte, El Dorado, Fresno, Humboldt, Imperial, Inyo, Lake, Mendocino, Merced, Monterey, Napa, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Mateo , Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Yuba,» according to a news release from Newsom’s office.
“The state is working around the clock with local partners to deploy first responders and rescue teams to California communities,” Newsom said in a statement. «With more dangerous storms on the horizon, we will continue to mobilize all available resources to protect Californians.»
The storm is expected to move out of the Rocky Mountains toward the Plains, bringing showers and severe thunderstorms over parts of the Southern Plains and the Lower Mississippi Valley.
«Hazards associated with these thunderstorms are frequent lightning, strong gusts of thunderstorm winds, hail, and some tornadoes,» the weather service said.
The northern half of the system is expected to bring heavy snow to parts of the Northern Plains on Friday, as well as parts of the Upper Mississippi Valley on Saturday. Showers are also expected to develop in parts of the Middle Mississippi Valley, and snowfall is expected to reach the Great Lakes by Sunday.
The severe weather in California comes after a powerful winter storm brought blizzards and several feet of snow to the mountains of southern California in late February.
Heavy snowfall isolated communities and left some residents trapped in their homes. Wrightwood, a community of about 4,700, saw about 50 inches of snow, or just over 4 feet, according to the weather service.
Some mountain roads had just started to reopen this week after being closed for more than 10 days.