The West Coast is in for yet another huge storm off of the Pacific Ocean going into the weekend. While the storm will be centered mostly over Northern California and Oregon, rain bands will be lashing as far south as the Bay Area and San Francisco.
Flash flood warnings have been issued in some places, while winter storm and wind advisories are in effect elsewhere in California.
Heavy Rainfall Over Parched Californian Countryside
In the first half of November, California had raging wildfires and was experiencing historic drought conditions. Now, the state can’t go more than a day or two without a massive downpour. While this is welcome in some sense, hydrating plants and revitalizing the water table, it also poses considerable flooding risks and could cause issues for road traffic.
Likewise, burned-out areas affected by wildfires can have significant debris runoff as a result of the heavy rain. The soot, charred debris, and burned matter can quickly pool and be moved downstream, which can cause debris accumulation in lower elevations.
Other heavy rainfall risks include the threat of mudslides, particularly in muddier regions like the Bay Area. People in San Francisco are warned of potential flash floods and mudslides that could occur late today as the rainfall moves in.
Heavy Snowfall to Come to Higher Elevations
Very heavy snowfall is anticipated to be on its way for the Sierra Nevada mountains, as well as other higher elevation regions of California. In Sierra Nevada, for instance, reports are calling for as much as four feet of snow in some places.
After the storm crosses the Rockies, the snowfall could come to Colorado and Montana, bringing as much as a foot of snow in places. As the storm moves over the weekend, it will likely join with a storm system brewing from Canada on Sunday evening as it moves over the Northern Plains and into the Great Lakes region.
That means that there is likely to be significant snowfall, as much as eight inches, in the Great Lakes region just in time for the Monday morning commute. Travelers in the area are warned to expect delays and to plan accordingly.