Atmospheric river dumps heavy rain on California, mudslide destroys 2 homes in Sausalito


Atmospheric river dumped heavy rain and snow on parts of California on February 13 and 14, 2019, causing floods and landslides. Two homes was destroyed early February 14 and one woman hospitalized. Heavy rain will continue affecting parts of the state into this coming weekend.

The heaviest rain was recorded in Venado, north of Santa Rosa where 228.6 mm (9.04 inches) fell in 36 hours ending 22:52 PST, February 13. Ben Lomond Mtn received 132.08 mm (5.20 inches) during the same period, Cazadero 127 mm (5 inches), Bodega Bay MR 117.35 mm (4.62 inches) and Woodacre 110.99 mm (4.37 inches).

In 48 hours ending 05:58 PST, February 14, Venado recorded 315.97 mm (12.44 inches), Mt Umunhum 168.91 mm (6.65 inches), Cazadero 159.51 mm (6.28 inches), Ben Lomond Mtn 150.37 mm (5.92 inches) and Three Peaks (Big Sur) 143.00 mm (5.63 inches).

Big Rock Ridge registered peak gusts of 146 km/h (91 mph), Mt Saint Helena 128 km/h (80 mph), Cobb Ridge 127 km/h (79 mph) and Las Trampas 120 km/h (75 mph). (Data valid 05:24 PST, February 14).

San Francisco recorded 63.25 mm (2.49 inches) in 24 hours, making Wednesday, February 13 its 5th wettest February day since measurements began.

Flooding was reported in the Bay Area where roads have been closed. Local emergency services have carried out numerous high water rescues, mostly drivers stranded in vehicles.

Mandatory evacuation orders were issued for residents of Lake Elsinore and voluntary for other burn areas.

Two homes were destroyed and one woman hospitalized with no life-threatening injuries in Sausalito Bulevar early morning February 14 after a mudslide hit the neighborhood. 50 other homes were evacuated.

The woman was inside a home that slid off from Sausalito into a vacant home on Crescent Avenue. She was trapped inside and had to be rescued by the Fire Department.

Multiple systems will continue to impact the West into this coming weekend, NWS warns. Heavy lower elevation rain across central and southern California will continue a high risk of flash flooding into tonight with the possibility of mudflows near recent wildfire burn scars. The western mountains will continue to receive heavy snow.

The big thing that will make weather headlines through the end of the week will be the ongoing atmospheric river event affecting California, NWS forecaster Hamrick notes.

A strong storm system approaching the coast will have an anomalous surge of tropical moisture surging inland ahead of the cold front, he added.

There is a high risk of excessive rainfall on Thursday for the southern California mountains, capable of causing flash flooding and mudslides.

Farther to the north, the Siskiyou Mountains and the Sierra Nevada will get hammered with very heavy snow and blizzard conditions, with snowfall totals in excess of 30 cm (3 feet) for the higher mountains. Heavy snow is also in the forecast across the central and northern Rockies.

Featured image: Home destroyed after a mudslide in Sausalito Boulevard early February 14, 2019. Credit: Marin County Sheriff's Department

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