Millions of people are bracing for a major coast-to-coast winter storm
The Southeast and Lower Mississippi Valley are at risk from a “relentless parade of atmospheric river storms” expected by the National Weather Service
The National Weather Service predicted a “relentless parade of atmospheric rivers” over the next week, which would produce heavy rain and mountain snow. The Pacific is home to an atmospheric river storm that can cause staggering amounts of rain and snow.
The weather agency said on Monday that “confidence is high that this winter storm will be extremely disruptive to travel, infrastructure, livestock, and recreation in affected areas.”
In the Bay Area there was a chance of 2 inches (5 cm) of rain and in the Sierra crest there was a chance of 5 inch (13 cm) of rain.
The weather service office in Reno said that the valley would likely see gusts of as high as 50 mph and gusts greater than 60 mph. “Sierra crest wind gusts will likely approach 150+ mph as the strong subtropical jet moves overhead Monday. US-95 remains a big concern, especially for high profile vehicles Monday.”
States from the Rockies to the Upper Midwest – including Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota and Wisconsin – saw more than a foot of snow this week.
Slick roadways and near-whiteout conditions will make travel very difficult if not impossible at times for some of these areas. Power outages will also be possible due to very strong winds.
While tornadoes in December are uncommon, they are more likely across portions of the Southeast and Lower Mississippi Valley when there is a main peak in the fall and winter.
The threat of severe storms is in the South and southern central US. A slight threat for severe weather has been issued for parts of western and central Kansas and Oklahoma into northwestern Texas.
“The details regarding the areas most at risk from tornadoes will become clearer as the event approaches and smaller-scale trends become more evident,” Elliott said.
A so-called atmospheric river storm pulled in a long and wide plume of moisture from the Pacific Ocean. Flooding and rock slides closed portions of roads across the state.
The stretch of freeway from the California state line to the Nevada state line was closed due to zero visibility. Chains were required on much of the rest of I-80 in the mountains from Reno toward Sacramento.
The U.S. Forest Service issued an avalanche warning for the backcountry in the mountains west of Lake Tahoe where it said “several feet of new snow and strong winds will result in dangerous avalanche conditions.”
Parts of the state remained under flash flood warnings Monday morning, after a weather phenomenon known as an atmospheric river dropped historic rain levels on San Francisco, Oakland and other areas. But a second atmospheric river is predicted to arrive soon — and it will be as bad or worse than the New Year’s Eve deluge, forecasters warn.
California Snowpack is Double Normal for the State of California, and It’s Like Christmas in Reno, El Californo, According to Mayor Mark Baxman
At least 40,000 people in the state’s capital remain without power, less than the 200,000 people a day earlier according to the online map of the utility district.
The San Francisco Bay Area had power outages and fallen trees. Firefighters were called out to reports of trees falling into homes in 50 mph gusts in Monte Rio, a small town along the Russian River.
Monte Rio Fire Department Chief Steve Baxman told KRON-TV that no one was injured when houses were damaged by down trees.
The trees were dry due to the several years of dry weather and this is our first big storm. “Now they’re filling up with water and starting to topple over,” the television station quoted the man as saying.
In a 48 hour period, Twin Bridges received 48 inches of snow, while 46 inches fell in Lake Donner, and 44 inches fell in Donner Peak.
Californians are off to a great start with the snow pack, which is a good sign for the state’s water situation. The state’s water content was more than double normal late last week according to the California Department of Water Resources.
“The snowpack is about 225% of normal, so it’s more than twice what we’d be expecting this time in December,” said Mark Deutschendorf, forecaster at the National Weather Service office in Reno.
“It looks a lot like Christmas out here,” Deutschendorf said. It didn’t come with much wind, and it stuck to everything. It is like a picture postcard.
While he noted the snow totals so far are impressive, Deutschendorf said he is “cautiously optimistic” about this precipitation putting a big dent in the state’s drought.
A Massive Snowstorm in Olympic Valley, South Dakota, has Been During 24 Hours Counting since New Year’s Eve
The ski resort in Olympic Valley, California, wrote on its website that they were buried in thick snow.
This is definitely a storm to remember for sure. We’ve now received 7.5 feet of snow since December 1st. We received 34 inches of snow from Saturday to Sunday, the 6th largest total in 24 hours that we have on record.
The National Weather Service office in Rapid City, South Dakota, said travel through the area will be nearly impossible Tuesday and Wednesday, and possibly into Thursday.
Interstates in South Dakota could become impassable amid the blizzard conditions, resulting in roadway closures across the state, the South Dakota Department of Transportation warned Monday.
In Minnesota, the weather service in the Twin Cities implored residents to be cautious of the “potentially dangerous week of weather,” with the worst of the effects in the Midwest beginning Wednesday.
“The snowstorms that have hit Anchorage over the last week are historic in nature, bringing anywhere between 30-45 inches of snow to our city,” said Hans Rodvik, a spokesperson for the Anchorage mayor’s office, said in a statement to CNN Monday.
These areas need the moisture and have seen great relief to drought conditions in the past week. Tennessee went from 96 percent of the state to 46 percent this week.
Plus, major cities, including New York and Boston, can expect 1 to 2 inches of heavy rain from the nor’easter into the weekend before the storm system pulls away from the region Sunday,
Millions across the Northeast are under winter weather advisories as the massive storm system threatens to bring hazardous road conditions.
Hochul said in a Thursday statement that everyone should avoid unnecessary travel tonight and tomorrow. Stay off of the roads and if possible, work from home.
United, American, Delta, Southwest and Jet Blue have issued travel waivers for dozens of airports across the country, in order to keep people safe during this week’s snow storms, because the visibility at the airports could be poor, making air travel dangerous.
More than fifteen million people from the West Coast to the Central US are under winter weather advisories due to a powerful storm system that hit California on New Year’s Eve.
The big winter storm that caused whiteout storms, stinging winds and frigid temperatures in the US continues to cause travel havoc and cause warnings for potentially life-threatening conditions over the Christmas weekend.
Dozens of tornadoes were reported across 10 states since Tuesday. The deadly storms claimed the lives of three people in Louisiana.
And in parts of the Mid-Atlantic, the storm brought a quarter inch of ice was reported Thursday morning to the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia and Maryland, and about a tenth of an inch had built up in parts of Virginia.
Powerful winds whirled through the Upper Midwest as temperatures dropped to near or below freezing which resulted in thousands of people without proper heating.
CNN Weather Brief: A Multi-Wavelength Forecast of Farmerville, Louisiana During the Tropical Storms of August 8th and 9th
The mother and son of an 8 year old boy were killed in Louisiana when a tornado destroyed their home.
Another tornado in northern Louisiana traveled through the town of Farmerville was rated an EF-3, with 140 mph winds, according to the National Weather Service. At least 20 people were injured, and the tornado demolished parts of an apartment complex and a mobile home park, Farmerville Police Detective Cade Nolan said.
CNN Weather Brief is a weekly newsletter that contains a version of this article. You can get them 888-269-5556 888-269-5556 888-269-5556 during significant storms and every week.
The cold air can cause damage to skin in less than 10 minutes in most of the impacted areas, and some isolated locations can take less than five minutes.
In parts of Montana, daytime lows on Tuesday will be as low as -20 to -30 with sub-zero lows in the central High Plains. “Blustery winds throughout the region are responsible for bone-chilling wind chills, ranging as cold as -30 to even -60 degrees.”
Much of Florida will experience the peak of their cold on Christmas Day. It will be coldest Christmas Day since 1983 for Miami, Tampa, Orlando and West Palm Beach.
Snowfall and Power Outages in the Windy City, Minnesota, forecasted for late-night and early-night temperatures as a result of a Superstorm
A number of inches of snow is expected in central Minnesota Wednesday, with high winds creating the potential for a nasty storm. There is at least a quarter-mile of visibility when a storm with winds of 35 mph or blowing snow, reduces visibility to a quarter mile or less.
Power outages will also be a concern for the Windy City as winds could gust as high as 50 mph on Friday. This will only exacerbate the storm’s impacts as wind chills will drop to at least 20 degrees below zero, possibly even colder.
“It’s night in the northern hemisphere Arctic regions and there’s snow and ice covering that entire area. So, you’ve basically got a source freezer sitting up there in the Arctic polar regions,” Greg Carbin, branch chief at the prediction center said. The cold air can hold on to some of the same characteristics, because there is lots of snow in the north-central United States.
Travel could be very dangerous later this week and be prepared to alter travel plans now. The weather service isrelaying the information.
A series of fronts at the West Coast could be caused by a so-called “bomb cyclone” over the Pacific Ocean. A potent atmospheric river that stretches to Hawaii is helping to fuel these fronts.
The agency said that the Cosumnes River and Mokelumne River were moving to the southwest and that it was possible that some areas would be flooded in the middle of the night.
Millions of people are at risk of not having a white Christmas due to this major storm. Some areas were already a given, considering there was snow already on the ground and the cold temperatures keeping it there.
There’s a 10% chance the DC area will get at least one inch of snow on Christmas Day. I would be willing to increase that chance up to 30% if the pattern comes together the right way, and it could increase a lot over the next couple of days.
The South is Braking Strong: A Winter Storm Warning Warning for Mid-Atlantic Winds and Power Shortfalls over the Last Four Days of April
WPLN’s Blake Farmer reported that as the front hit, parts of the South experienced wind chills of minus 20 degrees, and gusting winds knocked out power to thousands of homes across Tennessee and Kentucky. Emergency responders asked people in the region to stay home if possible.
Wind chill advisories are in place for Sioux, South Dakota, and Fargo, North Dakota, Tuesday, when the dangers of frostbite are settling in. The wind chill is going to be as low as 40 degrees below zero.
The NWS says the greatest snowfall could be in the mountains of Washington state, but lowlands in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming could see a foot of snow. The region could see some ice and snow on Thursday.
Chicago is forecast to be one of the hardest hit cities, where a winter storm watch is in effect starting Thursday night through Friday evening. Holiday travel might be stopped for many if the conditions are bad.
However, water pipes will be at risk of bursting, the weather service said. Amarillo, Texas, is under a wind chill watch.
The weather service in Fort Worth said that outdoor pipes will be at risk due to the cold and windy conditions. “Make sure to cover pipes and let faucets drip!”
The latest bulletin from the National Weather Service (NWS) names the cause as a “strong arctic high pressure system,” which swept down from Canada on Tuesday and appears poised to march towards the Southeast on Wednesday and Thursday, leaving a wake of life-threatening weather systems across 17 states.
The storm is causing havoc for travelers across the U.S., with nearly 1,500 flights canceled as of Saturday morning. There were more than 11,000 delayed flights on Friday.
A weekend power shortfall that left 180,000 New Englanders without service was resolved by Monday, but theAP reported that attempts to bring extra utility workers into the state for this week’s storm were stymied by slick roads.
The Mid-Infrared Forecast for Denver, DIA, and the Great Lakes: Weather Service Detection of a Category 3 Hurricane
Those venturing outside should dress in layers, cover their skin and change into dry clothing as soon as possible. But, experts say, the best prevention by far is simply to stay indoors.
Denver International Airport had the lowest recorded temperature of minus 24 degrees since 1990, and no other airport canceled more. At DIA, well over 500 flights — more than a quarter of all flights in or out of the airport — had so far been canceled Thursday. More than 400 were delayed.
Snow could fall as far south as Jackson, Mississippi, Memphis and Nashville in Tennessee and even Birmingham, Alabama, on Thursday. Little to no accumulation is expected for most of the southern cities, however, Nashville could pick up about an inch of snow.
The storm is expected to reach the force equivalent of a Category 3 Hurricane when it crosses the Great Lakes, and the weather service describes the strength of the low as a “once-in-a-generation” event.
“This is a case in which snow totals may not tell the whole story. Even small snow amounts, when combined with very strong wind gusts and plummeting temperatures, can cause poor visibility and slick spots on roads. The weather service said the sudden arrival of certain conditions can increase the danger.
The Rocky Mountain Cold Front, Snow Day, and State of Emergency: Brian Kemp, Andrew Biden, and Markovian Andy Beshear
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Wednesday declared a state of emergency due to the upcoming “historic low temperatures” across the state, with near zero or negative digit wind chills by midday on Friday.
The declaration will help “ensure that essential supplies, especially propane can be delivered for both commercial and residential needs,” the governor told reporters.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear also declared a state of emergency, with wind gusts expected to reach 40 to 50 mph on Friday and minus 10 to minus 26 degrees wind chills expected on Saturday. Beshear asked residents to stay off roads and to have a backup heat source.
“This is a very serious weather alert here,” said President Biden as he stood in front of the map of wind chill forecasts. “This is not like a snow day when you were a kid. This is serious stuff.
The cold front has moved so swiftly that temperatures across the Rocky Mountains plunged at record paces. On Wednesday night in Cheyenne, Wyo., the temperature dropped more than 30 degrees in just nine minutes.
In Texas, where a 2021 winter storm overwhelmed the state’s power grid and ultimately killed more than 200 people, officials said they expected the grid would hold up as forecasts called for cold weather but little precipitation.
“The grid is ready and reliable,” said Peter Lake, chairman of the state’s Public Utility Commission, in a Wednesday news conference. We expect to have enough generation to meet demand throughout the winter weather event.
The City’s Streetcar is Open for Winter Storm Travel. But How Much Will You Have to Lose? A Reply to City Council Mauricio Rodriguez
City officials stressed that crews were working around the clock to keep flights moving at the city’s major airports, O’Hare and Midway, both of which serve as hubs for major airlines.
More than 1,000 snow removal machines, 400,000 gallons of liquid deicer for runways, and 5,000 tons of salt will be in the hands of these hard working individuals.
In Kansas City, winter weather only brought an inch or two of snow. But temperatures were expected to remain below freezing for days, putting a strain on the city’s homeless services.
Several area shelters added beds this week, but many still reported being at or near capacity. The city’s streetcar was operating on Thursday, despite some people seeking shelter on the streetcar after crews worked overnight to clear the route.
The library is closed. Pete, who did not have a permanent place to live, said that if you went into a parking garage, you’d probably get kicked out. There’s not much you can do.
Three Winter Soldiers Killed by Flooding in Northern New York, and One More Involved at the Killing Branch of a Snowmobile Rental Business in West Yellowstone
Lisa Carter is the owner of a snowmobile rental business in West Yellowstone. We deal with cold all the time. We’re not doing anything extra because we’re used to it. We just don’t go outside.”
The high temperature in the area is expected to be minus 13 degrees on Thursday, but Hank said he would be working through the cold to keep hay for his animals.
Additional reports by NPR’s David Bradshaw in Chicago, Montana Public Radio’s John Hooks in Butte, and KCUR’s Sarah Hubbell in Kansas City.
Planes, trains, and automobiles were being disrupted because of road closings and flight cancelations were growing rapidly. In New York, flooding along the Long Island Rail Road forced part of the Long Beach branch to temporarily shut down.
“Christmas is canceled,” said Mick Saunders, a Buffalo, New York, resident who was two hours into blizzard conditions that are expected to last through Sunday morning. It was decided that it was safer this way, according to family and friends.
Two of the three people who were killed in north-central Kansas were believed to be weather related but need more investigation, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol.
The Kansas City Police Department said one person died in Kansas City after losing control of their car on an icy road. Police said that the vehicle went down the embankment, over the wall, and landed upside down in the creek.
The National Weather Service’s Watch Warning Graphic: A Food-Sink Storm, not the Kitchen Sink, as explained by Brian Trzeciak
“The National Weather Service’s Watch Warning graphic depicts one of the greatest extents of winter weather warnings and advisories ever,” the agency said Thursday.
“I called it a kitchen sink storm because it is throwing everything at us but the kitchen sink,” Hochul said at a press conference Friday afternoon. “We’ve had ice, flooding, snow, freezing temperatures, and everything that mother nature could wallop at us this weekend.”
For Brian Trzeciak, the storm lived up to the warnings at his home in New York. At noon on Friday, Buffalo’s airport reported zero visibility.
“My mother lives about 30 minutes away and so does my sister and her family, in the other direction,” he said. We are all hunkering down in our houses until Monday, when Christmas is over, because we always get together for Christmas Eve and Christmas.
Flight plans were canceled more than 2,900 times on Thursday, and nearly 5,300 on Friday.
Icy Conditions in Seattle and Nashville: Traffic, Public Works, and Power Lines Shutdowns and Flooding Forecasts at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
Some areas will see both extremes. The Washington, D.C., region will fall below freezing late Friday and Saturday after a warm up to nearly 80 degrees on Thursday. Many places will be hit with strong winds.
The ice caused the closure of runways at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, where nearly half of flights going into and out of the airport were canceled, according to FlightAware. Further, all express services for Sound Transit, a regional transportation network in the Seattle metro area, were suspended Friday due to the icy conditions.
At least six people were reportedly killed in vehicle crashes, with at least four dead in a massive pileup on the Ohio Turnpike involving about 50 vehicles.
Meanwhile, WPLN’s Paige Pfleger reported that plunging temperatures are putting pressure on a power grid not accustomed to this cold, and that the Tennessee Valley Authority has asked local utilities to cut their electricity use. Customers in Nashville will experience 10-minute outages every few hours, until the power load stabilizes.
It’s a challenge getting the power back on in weather like this, according to ScottAaronson, the vice president of security and preparedness.
“Sometimes accessing these areas can be really challenging with downed power lines, with downed trees, with very icy roads. … Crews cannot go up in bucket trucks if the wind is higher than 35 miles an hour,” Aaronson said. “And so those combination of things will limit the ability of crews to get out there and get the power back on.”
Flooding peaked at as high as 9 feet along the coast in New Jersey because of heavy rains and high winds. Interior locations along the Hudson River also flooded.
Effects of the First Weak December 31 Flash-Flooding Day in Oregon and Washington State on Interconnect Flights and Public Transportation
“So that, unfortunately, really affects anyone who’s got a connecting flight, and we’re going to see a lot of people missing connecting flights with these long delay times,” Bangs said.
All 11 Western states are expecting rain or snow, with the largest impacts in California. In Oregon and Washington state, rain, snow and wind have knocked out power to more than one hundred thousand customers.
The trees that have been weakened by the weather in recent years could be knocked down by strong winds.
“The consecutive dry summers that we’ve had, especially the heat events like the heat dome, that really damages trees and it takes up so much of their energy to fuel their immune systems to fight off pathogens,” Bourgeois said.
The second wettest day in more than 170 years was on December 31 at the NWS site in San Francisco.
The greatest flash-flooding concerns are for the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, as well as the coastal portions of southern Oregon down through the Bay Area and to Los Angeles County.
The National Weather Service stated on Monday that it was ending the warmth. Between today and Tuesday, temperatures are on track to drop. Expect 15-20 degrees of cooling thanks to the approaching storm system.”
That means New Year’s Eve celebrations Saturday will likely be dampened in New York City and Washington, DC. Los Angeles, too, is expected to ring in a soggy new year.
California State Patrol Observation of Flooding and Rain in Sacramento, Calif., from Dec. 26 to Oct. 30, 2002, with the U.S. Highway Patrol
“Tuesday is probably the day where you’ll likely need to keep a really close eye on the weather as the potential for widespread flooding of rivers, creeks, streams and roadway and urban flooding will be at its highest during the next week as all the runoff and heavy precipitation comes together resulting in a mess,” the weather service office in Sacramento said.
Rain chances for New York City will increase through Saturday, with the heaviest rainfall expected between 7 p.m. and 1 a.m. Sunday. Temperatures will be near 50 through most of the afternoon into Sunday.
“The slight risk area mostly highlights places that are already high in soil moisture, burn scars and urban areas,” the Weather Prediction Center said.
There were drivers stranded during a nine-hour stretch of the interstate in Colorado due to heavy mountain snow, widespread rain and strong winds.
Dangerous conditions Tuesday in Oregon left five people dead, including a 4-year-old girl, after severe weather caused trees to fall on passing vehicles, state police said.
The state transportation agency reported numerous road closures, including Highway 70 east of Chico, which was partially closed by a slide, and the northbound side of Highway 49, east of Sacramento, which was closed because of flooding. The highway was closed east of the capital city because of flooding.
Indeed, San Francisco experienced its wettest 10-day period on record for downtown since 1871, according to a Thursday tweet from the local weather service. The area soaked up more than 10 inches of rain between December 26 and Wednesday, the agency said.
The section of U.S. 101 south of San Francisco was closed because of flooding, according to the California Highway Patrol. Heavy rains created mud-colored water in San Francisco streets and a staircase in Oakland turned into a waterfall.
The storm could drop over an inch of rain in the Sacramento area before moving to the south. One ski resort south of Lake Vegas closed chair lifts due to flooding and posted a photo on social media that showed one lift tower and its empty chairs in the water.
The map, which was released by the agency, showed a wide range of totals in the region from less than an inch (2.54 centimeters) to more than 5 inches (12.7 centimeters) in the Sierra foothills.
A California Highway Flood Emergency Management Plan after the December 20th Santa Maria Grasso Unified Earthquake, Revisited
The photo of a car that appeared to be stuck in more than a foot (30 centimeters) of water was posted on the police department’s website.
The face of droughts is changing. “It’s easier and easier to get into a drought – even following a really wet winter – because we just have that growing evaporative demand and hotter summers.”
The earthquake that hit on December 20th caused roads to flood, according to the National Weather Service. The bridge was temporarily shut down last week because of earthquake damage, but could be closed again if the Eel River gets too high.
It was the first of several storms expected to roll across the state in the span of a week. Saturday’s system was warmer and wetter, while storms this week will be colder, said Hannah Chandler-Cooley, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Sacramento.
In addition to the heavy rainfall, another round of strong winds is expected to accompany the storm as it pushes inland, which could lead to even more downed trees and power lines causing additional power outages.
On the Sierra’s eastern front, flood watches and warnings were issued into the weekend north and south of Reno, Nevada, where minor to moderate flooding was forecast along some rivers and streams.
The California Department of transportation said that dozens of drivers were brought to safety on New Year’s Eve after cars spun out in the snow. The key route to the mountains from the San Francisco Bay Area reopened early Sunday to passenger vehicles with chains.
People were rescued from vehicles that weren’t moving because of flooding. At least one death was linked to the weekend storm, after workers in southern Sacramento County found a person dead inside a vehicle submerged in water near Highway 99, as member station Capital Public Radio reports.
The Sacramento County Superstorm on Sunday (Sunday, Dec. 7) wore a Black Hole: A Sobering New Year’s Resolution
The Rose Parade will be held on Monday due to the drying out of the region on New Year’s Day.
At least two people died in the storm, including one who was found dead inside a completely submerged vehicle in the early hours of Saturday in Sacramento County, and a 72 years old man who was struck by a fallen tree at a Santa Cruz park.
The Sacramento County area was particularly hard hit, with emergency crews spending the weekend rescuing multiple flood victims by boats and helicopter and responding to fallen trees and disabled vehicles in the flood waters, the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District said.
Then came more flood worries: Sacramento County authorities on Sunday escalated an evacuation warning for the community of Point Pleasant to an evacuation order, saying flooding was imminent and would “become incredibly dangerous after sunset.”
Forecasters in Northern California have a sobering new-year message for people who are reeling from floods and mudslides: the situation could get worse before it gets better.
According to the office, the Russian River is now at particular flood risk after three atmospheric rivers hit the region. The NWS also says the storm’s high winds could inflict severe damage in areas where the soil is already saturated with rainwater.
On Sunday, Sacramento’s Mary Spencer-Gode and other residents gaped at the damage on their street, where the storm toppled a massive elm tree on New Year’s Eve.
She told Capital Public Radio that the wind was going crazy. “We turned our TV off so we could hear it, and I was sitting in the kitchen, I heard a big ‘woosh’ and kind of the house moved.”
Analogues of the La Nia Weather System in California and Implications for Climate Change and Atmospheric Flows
“It is just a narrow area of highmoisture that moves away from the tropics towards the higher latitudes, usually before a cold front arrives,” according to Bob Oravec, a senior forecaster for the NWS.
Atmospheric rivers are more likely to occur in a La Niña climate pattern like the one we’re now seeing, with waters in the Pacific Ocean cooler than average. This is the third consecutive winter in which La Niña has prevailed, according to Climate.gov.
Forecasters have been raising alarms about the storm for days now, saying it could start to affect land as early as Tuesday night. The system was still on its way to the West Coast as of late Wednesday morning, despite predictions that it would move slowly.
Because of its expected longer duration and prodigious amount of moisture, the incoming storm “should surpass the Saturday night storm by at least an inch and likely more in the upslope areas,” the NWS office in Oxnard and Los Angeles said, adding that the rain is expected to taper off Thursday night into Friday.
“With the heavy rain expected, and already very wet soils in place, there will be an increased risk for rock/mudslide activity in the local mountains and canyon roadways,” the weather service in Los Angeles said.
The storms that run dry are needed more than ever to alleviate the dryness and bring in some rain, said a climate scientist at the University of Nevada, Reno.
An average atmospheric river carries more than 20 times the water the Mississippi River does, but as vapor. California is prone to floods from storms that come off the Pacific Ocean, and major floods have occurred before, but climate change is raising the stakes and millions of people will be impacted.
The chances of a disastrous megaflood occurring in California over the next four decades have doubled thanks to the effect of climate change.
“While some of the forecast rain totals are impressive alone, it is important to note that what really sets this event apart are the antecedent conditions,” the National Weather Service office in San Francisco said. Multiple systems over the last week have caused soil to become saturated and increased flow in rivers and streams, which could set the stage for this to become a high impact event.
“We anticipate that this may be one of the most challenging and impactful series of storms to touch down in California in the last five years,” said Nancy Ward, the new director of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, at a late-morning news conference about the threat.
Weather experts warned people in their coverage areas on Wednesday to prepare for potential power outages, and for travel to be threatened by high winds, debris and felled trees and power lines.
The precipitation can be extreme: A single atmospheric river “can carry more water than the Mississippi River at its mouth,” as NPR has reported. The systems’ winds are very dangerous and have long been warned by forecasters. Calaveras Big Trees State Park has a sequoia named the “Pioneer Cabin Tree”.
Excessive rain proved deadly Wednesday when a 19-year-old woman died after crashing her car into a utility pole on a partially flooded road in Northern California, the Fairfield Police Department said. The driver hydroplaned and lost control of their vehicle before colliding with a utility pole, police said.
A child was killed Wednesday when a tree fell on a home in Sonoma County in Northern California.
El Nios and La Nias in Nearby San Francisco, Calif., saw multiple floods and sinkholes over the weekend
In nearby San Francisco, some saw localized flooding, mudslides and sinkholes as of Wednesday evening, said Mary Ellen Carol, executive director of the city’s emergency management department.
The weather prediction center said that travel is likely to be dangerous in the mountains of Northern and central California on Saturday due to an additional 1 to 2% of snow.
Even a 40 mph wind can do damage when the ground is so saturated from record rainfall earlier this week and the cumulative effect of the new rainfall expected this weekend.
“Additional rain on already saturated soils will contribute to additional flooding concerns across much of the state,” Solum told CNN. “There will continue to be an increased risk of rock slides and mud slides across much of the state as well.”
The rainfall over the weekend will bring renewed concerns for local streams, creeks, and rivers. Some rivers such as the Colgan Creek and Mark West Creek are expected to be above flood stage in the next few days.
El Niño and La Niña forecast patterns put out by the Climate Prediction Center give guidelines on what the overall forecast can be during a seasonal time period.
MaryBeth Arcodia is a researcher at Colorado State University who says that the Pacific Northwest and Southern California typically see wetter than normal conditions during La Nia. “This is due to the jet stream being pushed farther north and having a wavier pattern. “
During the winter months, atmospheric rivers are usually formed and can happen in El Nios or La Nias.
Prediction Center and State climatologist Mark Tippett: “We are going through a rough patch in southern California,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Deputy Director Michael Anderson
Michael Tippett, a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University, points out that the forecast patterns are not meant to be used on a day-to-day forecast scale but rather the entire season as a whole. This is why researching the patterns is so important.
There is something that is random that isn’t explained by the patterns. “This might help us understand why one year is different than the other.”
State climatologist Michael Anderson told a news briefing late Saturday that officials were closely monitoring Monday’s incoming storm and another behind it and were keeping an eye on three other systems farther out in the Pacific.
The city has underground communications infrastructure, which means there are more power and communication failures due to the rain.
This has led the prediction center to issue a Level 3 out of 4 risk for excessive rainfall for over 15 million people in the state on Monday including those in San Francisco, Sacramento, Monterey, Fresno, and Oxnard. A Level 4 out of 4 “high risk” notice may become necessary for Monday if the forecast guidance continues to increase rainfall totals, the prediction center wrote in their discussion Sunday morning.
There are areas of at least 5 feet of snow possible on the Sierra crest west of Lake Tahoe as the storm pushes farther inland. Waves can be up to 4 feet, the weather service said.
“Overall, there is high confidence (60-80%) that this wetter-than-normal pattern will continue through the next couple of weeks,” the weather service in San Francisco said. The continued presence of saturated soils could pose hazard into the third week of January if the rain is much more than normal.
The ice storm stretching from Texas to Tennessee will continue through at least Thursday morning, with expected ice accumulation affecting travel and possibly spurring scattered power outages, the National Weather Service reported.
In the morning, sleet and freezing rain fell across north and central Texas, with the NWS predicting that the road conditions would become more “treacherous” as the day went on.
With icy and snowy conditions on roads across the state Tuesday morning, a number of accidents have already been reported. At least one person died in a crash that the Austin Fire Department said was caused by a spike in multiple-car pile-ups.
“As we mobilize the resources Texans need to stay safe, I encourage everyone to remain weather-aware, check DriveTexas.org before traveling, and heed the guidance from local officials,” Abbott said in a statement.
Snow, Wind and Winds in California and the Eastern United States During the Super-Atlantic Cyclosing Event on Tuesday
Additionally, many schools and colleges in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas were planning to shut down or switch to online learning Tuesday, the Associated Press reported.
The Cascade Mountains could see as much as three feet of snow in the highest elevations through Tuesday, while winds in the Pacific Northwest have the potential to gust up to 60 mph. Seas just offshore will be as high as 20 feet, bringing large, breaking waves to coastal areas, causing beach erosion.
The National Weather Service office in California said that the amount of snow would make it necessary to close the passes for a period of time.
Blizzard warnings are in place for southern Wyoming, where nearly two feet of snow and winds gusting more than 70 mph will create blinding conditions. The weather service also warns of wind chills falling to 25 degrees below zero.
The NWS predicted even more warm highs in the East, with many record high temperatures possible, as it warned people of the winter storm.
Whether you are buried under three feet of snow and experiencing frigid temperatures or basking in the sunshine and record warmth, this week will touch nearly all corners of the country with wild weather.
The term the NWS Climate Prediction Center and many forecasters are using to describe the overall weather pattern is “anomalous” — for the unusual cold and warmth that people will experience.
In the East, people living in areas ahead of the storm can be forgiven for wondering if winter is already over, as they watch early blooms emerge. The temperature was expected to be between 10 and 20 degrees warmer than normal across the central and eastern US on Monday.
“Highs Tuesday will be similarly above average for most locations, including 70s expanding northward into the Mid-Atlantic,” the NWS said, “with only the northern tier cooling off as the clipper system passes through.”