New atmospheric river poses life-threatening flood risk for California

Photo: AccuWeather (Fair Use)

AccuWeather meteorologists are cautioning that California could experience severe flooding, mudslides, and avalanches, leading to damage and life-threatening situations as a high-impact storm, rich in moisture and warmer air, is expected to hit the state towards the end of this week.

The upcoming heavy rain has the potential to cause rapid melting of snow on intermediate slopes and bring more snowfall to higher elevations, which could help alleviate the ongoing drought conditions.

Additionally, the storm system is expected to follow two recent cold storms that deposited several feet of snow in the Sierra Nevada region from last Saturday to early Wednesday.

Although the warmer temperatures associated with the upcoming storm may provide some relief from the recent cold weather, the negative impacts of the storm are expected to outweigh the benefits.

As the storm approaches California from the Pacific and moves inland, it will draw in warmer air from the south and pick up a plume of tropical moisture known as an atmospheric river, AccuWeather reported.

This could result in torrential rainfall in certain regions and heavy snowfall at high elevations of the Sierra Nevada and Siskyous.

The intensity of the storm will increase in Northern California on Thursday evening and extend to Central California by Thursday night.

Written by staff