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Next Atmospheric River Takes Aim at N California As Floodwaters Rise

13 Mar 2023 11:55

Islam Times - California faces another atmospheric river event Monday that forecasters warn will bring heavy rains and mountain snow to some areas, potentially resulting in "considerable flooding" – as officials continued to respond to the last deadly storm.

The National Weather Service said the next torrent could exacerbate the severe flooding that overwhelmed the area in the past few days, including a levee failure that prompted widespread evacuations Saturday in farming communities near the state's Central Coast.

Across Monterey County, more than 8,500 people were under evacuation orders and warnings Saturday, including roughly 1,700 residents – many of them Latino farmworkers – from the unincorporated community of Pajaro.

The Monterey County Sheriff's Office upgraded an evacuation warning to an evacuation order Sunday afternoon for community members living near the Salinas River due to flooding.

Local schools and roads were closed and evacuation orders and warnings were in effect Monday for communities along Pajaro and other rivers due to rising floodwaters and the threat of further inundation.

Floodwaters continue to rise in Pajaro as crews begin levee repairs," Luis Alejo, chair of the Monterey County Board of Supervisors, tweeted Sunday evening.

Steady rain along the Sacramento River saw water levels continue to rise Sunday ahead of more forecast rain, as officials in Calaveras County, southeast of Sacramento, issued an emergency road closure due to flooding.

In the Bay Area, parts of Interstate 880 in Fremont remained closed, as crews continued to clear debris and mud from flooding from the earlier atmospheric river that struck California from Friday through the weekend as showers continued across the region Sunday evening.

Meanwhile, the southern Sierra Nevada appears to have recorded its largest-ever snowpack – more than 250% above its seasonal average, according to the California Department of Water Resources.

This next "potent storm system is expected to bring a moderate risk of flash flooding and heavy mountain snow over parts of California," per a National Weather Service forecast discussion Monday morning.

As the atmospheric river is set to hit Monday night, "strong dynamics and ample moisture" are forecast to bring "yet another heavy precipitation event" through the next few days.

"Additional heavy snow, to be measured in feet, is again forecast for the higher elevations of the Sierra Nevada," while "considerable flooding impacts are expected below 5000-foot elevation along the central California coast, San Joaquin Valley, Sacramento Valley, and southern Sierra Nevada foothills into Tuesday."

Atmospheric rivers are potent because narrow currents in the air can carry vast amounts of water vapor thousands of miles, from the tropics to mid-and-northern latitudes – and they've lashed California on several occasions this year.

Story Code: 1046485

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