Mar 9, 2023Calinfornia braces for flooding caused by an atmospheric phenomenon
California braces for more rains and flooding, all stemming from an “atmospheric river” phenomenon.
Forecasters have issued flood watches, winter storm warnings, watches and advisories, wind advisories, and gale watches along a large part of the California coast, including some of the state’s central growing regions.
Precipitation is expected to increase on March 9, with rising snow levels and the threat of heavy rainfall and flooding to portions of the west, according to the Hanford, California, National Weather Service (NWS) office.
A moderate risk of excessive rainfall is in effect for March 9-10 for central California, including the Santa Maria and Salinas-Watsonville growing regions, and the central interior valleys as the threat of several inches of heavy rain are expected to affect the region, the NWS reports.
The forecast is affecting the North American Strawberry Symposium (NASS) in San Luis Obispo, California, March 7-10. Organizers of the NASS and the North American Strawberry Growers Association annual meeting cancelled March 10 tours of central California strawberry growing operations. Instead of visiting muddy fields during an expected continual rainfall, attendees will hear from growers at the conference hotel. Growers are scheduled to make presentations about their operations.
Rainfall at higher-elevations may contribute to rapid snowmelt, which could produce numerous flooding instances downstream, according to the NWS.
Excessive rainfall could produce flooding of rivers, creeks, streams and other low-lying areas. Storm drains and ditches may become clogged with debris.
The storm is expected to produce heavy damage and potential mudslides.
The storm hits as individuals and businesses were restoring operations from earlier storms, compounding the possible damage.
“While these latest installments in the series of moisture-laden storms this wet season across California will once again bring a variety of life-threatening impacts while promoting the risk of property damage, the storms will also provide additional drought relief, building on the relief from previous storms,” accuweather.com reported.
Accuweather.com predicts flood problems from the northside of Los Angeles to near the California-Oregon border, including Redding.
By Doug Ohlemeier