LOS ANGELES, California – California is preparing for a powerful and long-lasting atmospheric river event this weekend. The storm is anticipated to bring mudslides, damaging winds, heavy mountain snow, and has already prompted flood watches for almost 40 million residents.
The Weather Prediction Center has issued a rare Level 4 risk of excessive rainfall for Santa Barbara and Oxnard on Sunday. A more widespread Level 3 risk exists for much of coastal California, including San Francisco down through Los Angeles.
According to the National Weather Service, parts of the central and southern coastline of the state are expected to experience the most significant amounts of rain and flooding, including the Los Angeles and San Diego metro areas.
Governor Gavin Newsom has activated the state’s emergency operation center, which will remain operational 24 hours a day in the face of the impending weather.
The storm, which is expected to span from Sunday through Tuesday, has raised concerns about flooding, mudslides, and high winds, with some areas possibly facing up to 8 inches of rain in less than 24 hours. As a precaution, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office has issued evacuation orders for some communities and warnings about the incoming weather.
In addition to the heavy rainfall, the storm also brings significant snowfall, with forecasts predicting up to 4+ feet of snow above 8,000 feet in areas like Mammoth Lakes. Moreover, widespread winds of 40 to 60 mph and some gusts as high as 75 to 80 mph are expected, potentially leading to downed trees and power outages across California.
With the state already experiencing record rainfall and saturated ground from a recent storm, the impending atmospheric river event poses a serious threat to public safety and property in California.
As California braces for the impact of this intense weather system, residents are urged to take precautions and stay updated with the latest information to ensure their safety during this potentially dangerous storm.