Flash Flood Concerns for Southern California

Rain and heavy snow forecast for California
Brian Bledsoe has mentioned numerous times over the last months why we think that this winter has the windy and warm for eastern Colorado, take a look at the amount of moisture forecast for drought-stricken California over the next seven days via the Weather Prediction Center.

Courtesy of WPC and Drought Monitor

No, this scenario won’t end the drought, but could certainly be a step in the right direction. Some of the heaviest rainfall for southern California will occur over the next 24 hours, with totals upward of 3” possible for the greater Los Angeles area as upslope kicks in. Mudslides will certainly be a concern for many over the next few days.

NAM total precip through 03z Wed via WeatherBell Analytics

This moisture will fall as snow across the higher elevations of the Sierra Nevadas. A Winter Storm Warning is in effect through Wednesday with the NWS forecasting 12 to 18” of snow, with 2 to 3 feet possible across some of the highest peaks.

Responsible for all this moisture is a big area of low pressure churning off the coast of California. Seen quite visibly in the image below, this system is pulling moisture in from points southwest of Hawaii. While this is big news given the state of drought in California, winter is the state’s rainy season, so a soggy week like this is not unusual. Last year’s dry winter months, on the other hand, were.

Environment Canada

NCEP OPC

Meanwhile the PNA is set to go strongly positive over the next 7 to 10 days, which reinforces the idea that we stay high and dry through the period across eastern Colorado.

WeatherBell Analytics

Brendan Heberton

Brendan is founder of Weather5280. He is co-founder of FreshyMap, and develops software for geospatial data analysis and visualization.

Denver, Colorado
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