Heavy Rain Invading Northern Calif., Northwest
UPDATED 7 AM PST, November 29, 2012
UPDATED By WeatherBug Sr. Meteorologist, Julie Gaddy
Although one round of rain has passed onto the West Coast, the threat of soggy weather is far from over from California to Washington. Many waves of rain will arrive along the northern California and Pacific Northwest Coast through the weekend. Rainfall amounts could exceed a foot across northern California, with the rest of the Northwest and northern California seeing 5 to 10 inches. Significant flooding and dangerous landslides will be possible.
A low pressure system is swirling along the Pacific Northwest Coast, and will move little over the next few days. Southwesterly winds will sweep waves of moisture onto the Pacific Coast over next five days. All this moisture will be dumped over Washington, Oregon, California, and even Idaho.
The rain will be heavy at times; by Sunday, more than a foot of rain will have fallen along the foothills of the Coast Range and Sierra with 4 to 5 inches farther north along the Oregon and Washington coasts.
As colder air pushes in from the west, snow levels will fall to 6,000 feet. Therefore, only the highest elevations will experience heavy wet snow. Elevations above 6,000 feet will see 4 to 8 inches with places like Mt. Lassen getting more than a foot. Winter Storm Warnings have been issued for the Siskiyous and the northern and central Sierra Nevada, and also the Teton and Sawtooth ranges.
Flood Watches stretch throughout northern California and southwestern Oregon for Thursday to Sunday. Flooding will be exacerbated in burnt areas across Northern California caused by this summer`s wildfires. The lack of vegetation along the hillsides will increase the runoff of water and mud. Additional flooding is possible as a result of snowmelt in the Sierra Nevada.
In addition to the heavy rain, gusty winds will increase as the low strengthens offshore. The mountains will see the strongest winds, with gusts up to 60 mph expected. The Central Valley will see sustained 20 to 30 mph with gusts of 40 to 55 mph. These winds will make travel along Interstates 5 and 80, U.S Route 50 and Highway 99 difficult, particularly for those in high-profile vehicles, and could also lead to localized power outages.
Wind Advisories are in effect for the Sacramento and northern San Joaquin valleys as well as the eastern Sierra and south-central Oregon. High Wind Watches and Warnings stretch across the eastern Sierra, along the northern California coast and in Oregon`s Klamath Basin.
The heavy rain chances will continue through the weekend as the weather pattern remains stuck in neutral. The pattern won`t break until the central U.S. high pressure slides east, which won't happen until early next week.
Wednesday brought Round One of the heavy rain to the West Coast. Santa Cruz, Calif., reported 2.41 inches of rain, while Sebastopol, Calif., measured 1.43 inches of rain. Honeydew, Calif., saw 2.92 inches of rain.
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