Californians, you’d better secure your valuables! Snowfall is expected to hit the state soon, according to forecasters. As the mercury drops and the first snowflakes appear, it’s time to get ready for a magical winter season.
Whether you’re a seasoned snow lover or a beginner to the cold scene, you should prepare for this oncoming storm. The magic of a California snowstorm can’t be missed, so bundle up and get some hot cocoa ready.
Snow Storm Weather Forecast California
Day two of heavy rains, mountain snow, gusty winds, and the possibility for severe weather has arrived in California as a massive Pacific storm continues to hammer the state, as per the reports from CNN.
According to the Oregon Department of Transportation, Interstate 5 between California and Oregon has been closed since Tuesday due to the extreme winter weather. On Tuesday, the severe weather disrupted San Francisco Bay Ferry service, leaving tens of thousands without electricity.
At least 12 atmospheric rivers have pounded the state with a deluge of rain and snow in recent months, and this multiday storm will add to that. Inundated California can expect another inch or two of rain in the Bay Area and another inch or two in Southern California on Wednesday and Thursday.
“Rain rates could briefly reach a half inch per hour,” the National Weather Service office in Los Angeles warned. “Also can’t rule out waterspouts over the ocean and small tornadoes over land.”
The warning comes after a rare tornado ripped through the Los Angeles area last week, knocking down power lines and sending debris flying. The soil is already so saturated from the record-breaking winter that even if this system doesn’t provide as high rainfall totals as we’ve seen with earlier atmospheric river episodes, significant repercussions might still be seen.
The rain expected on Wednesday and Thursday raises the prospect of further flooding across the state. The Weather Prediction Center has issued a minimal risk of flooding for the areas affected by this system.
“Rainfall rates may briefly peak at 0.25-0.5/hr while relatively quickly moving across the southern part of the Marginal Risk. Still, saturated soils could support a localized flooding/rapid runoff threat,” the prediction center said.
The precipitation may also increase the likelihood of landslides and rock slides. “We still have road closures in the mountainous areas because of the sheer number of landslides and rockslides since we have been impacted by so many storm systems,” weather service meteorologist Roger Gass told CNN.
Up to three to four feet of snow may fall across the already record-breaking California snowpack at higher elevations. A “major avalanche” warning has been issued for the backcountry around Lake Tahoe in the middle Sierra Rockies.
“A powerful storm with gale force winds and high-intensity snowfall will lead to widespread avalanche activity in the mountains,” the weather service warned. “Large avalanches could occur in a variety of areas.”
Since December, repeated storm systems fuelled by atmospheric rivers have dumped tremendous amounts of rain and snow across California, causing mudslides and flooding and significantly alleviating drought conditions. On Wednesday, Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort in California’s Eastern Sierra reported that the resort’s main lodge had received 695 inches of snowfall this season. In 2010, 668 inches was the previous record.
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Given the exceptional snow, the resort declared last week that it would remain open through the end of July. The peak of the mountain has recorded accumulations of up to 870 inches. Wind gusts of up to 50 mph are predicted with this storm system, which might cause power disruptions.
The Great Basin, the Desert Southwest, and the southern Rockies will all feel the effects of the storm’s high winds as it moves eastward. “These high winds are forecast to continue into the Southern Rockies Thursday, with gusts upwards of 70 mph possible,” the prediction center warned.
The storm is expected to leave California by Thursday evening, ushering in much milder and drier temperatures for the remainder of the week. The state is seeing temperatures 10–15 degrees below normal during late March. Throughout the weekend, temperatures will rise gradually.
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