Atmospheric river event brings new round of heavy rain and snow to California

satellite image of west coast us goes-west 0740 utc february 19 2024 f

An atmospheric river event continues directing subtropical moisture over much of California on Monday, February 19, 2024. Heavy coastal and low-elevation rain, thunderstorms, heavy mountain snow and high winds are all expected from this new atmospheric river event.

Excessive Rainfall leading to Flash Flooding is possible for much of the state today, NWS forecaster Kebede noted.

A Slight Risk of Excessive Rainfall (level 2/4) is in effect from Humboldt to Orange County as well as over parts of the Sacramento Valley and along upslope portions of the Sierra. Meanwhile, a Slight Risk of Severe Thunderstorms is in effect for parts of the Sacramento Valley where an isolated tornado will be possible.

A targeted Moderate Risk of Excessive Rainfall is in effect for Santa Barbara and Ventura where heavy rainfall will focus, especially over elevated terrain.

In addition, heavy snow will blanket the Sierra Nevada and Shasta Siskiyous today as well, with those mountains forecast to receive 30 to 90 cm (1 – 3 feet), with isolated places expected to receive even more snow by Tuesday morning.

The moisture feed into California will weaken considerably and sag south on Tuesday, February 20, but the threat of Flash Flooding will persist across southern California, in particular. Upslope flow into the Transverse ranges will support a renewed threat of Flash Flooding.

A Slight Risk of Excessive Rainfall is in effect from Humboldt down through San Diego County on Tuesday mainly due to sensitive soils from today’s heavy rain. Up to 30 cm (1 foot) of additional snow accumulations with locally higher amounts are possible over the Sierra and Shasta Siskiyous on Tuesday. Damaging wind gusts should continue into Wednesday morning before gradually weakening.


1 Short Range Forecast Discussion – NWS Weather Prediction Center College Park MD – 251 AM EST Mon Feb 19 2024


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