Heavy rainfall and melting snow trigger Flash Flood Emergencies in California

Heavy rainfall and melting snow trigger Flash Flood Emergencies in California

Days of heavy rainfall and melting snow triggered Flash Flood Emergencies and resulted in at least two deaths in California. Unfortunately, another atmospheric event is gearing up over the moisture-laden Pacific, which could bring more rainfall and snow to the Golden State.

According to FOX Weather’s Michael Estime, this second powerful atmospheric river is just “insult to injury” to the state. A large part of California is currently under a Flash Flood Watch with another atmospheric river on the way. At least 34 counties are still under a State of Emergency.

The previous storm pounded parts of California on Thursday and Friday, but periods of rain, snow, and thunderstorms continued through the weekend.

An EF-1 tornado briefly touched down in Tuolomne County on Saturday, and Merced, California, in the Central Valley was even under a rare Tornado Warning on Sunday from a pop-up storm. Several Evacuation Orders were downgraded to Evacuation Warnings along rivers that continue to rise.

However, authorities warn residents to be prepared to leave again with the new rain threat. Before the event begins, around a dozen major river gauges were either near flood stage or above.

The supercharged storm moves in on Monday with the heaviest rain and snow in the evening into Tuesday.

The FOX Forecast Center calls for 3 to 6 inches of rain across the coastal ranges, foothills, and mountains below around 6,000 feet, with the tropical air from the Pineapple Express. Some areas could see over 8 inches locally.

This will mean more rain falling on snow with the possibility of deadly runoff and flash flooding. Some mountain residents are still trapped by snow while other homeowners can’t even get through the unplowed roads to check on their homes.

The weight of wet snow brings even more danger to the homes as roofs have started to collapse. The warm system could even raise the rain-snow line up to pass level. Quickly melting the near record-breaking snowpack could create catastrophic flooding and landslides. Communities above 7,000 are in for another 1 to 3 feet of snow.


The NWS is warning mountain residents of “roofalanche” when heavy, wet snow slides off a roof. One woman was killed in the previous storm when a roofalanche took out her porch and crushed her while she was clearing it.

Wind gusts from 45 to 60 mph and up to mph at the highest peaks will knock more trees down. Power is still being restored from the last wind and rainstorm, yet utilities are warning residents to be ready for blackouts.

The worst of the mountain winds will likely be on Tuesday. The NWS is already cautioning high profile vehicles like trucks to stay off interstates through the passes.

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