A new series of storms triggered more rain in California on Thursday, raising concerns that already flooded northern and central parts of the state could be flooded when a powerful atmospheric river hits over the weekend.
In the Sierra Nevada, up to 5 feet of snow is possible in the mountains above Lake Tahoe, where a winter storm warning is in effect through Sunday morning.
The National Weather Service’s San Francisco Bay Area office said, “Rain will be light to moderate through Friday, this rain will continue to saturate the soil and make the pump prime for potential flooding.”
The weather service said a strong Pacific storm with a deep patch of tropical moisture, which brought widespread light rain to the area on Thursday, will bring moderate to heavy rain Friday night into Saturday night, resulting in flooding of rivers, streams and creeks. will increase from
The first storms of the week hit the state Monday into Tuesday night, and saturated soils haven’t had a chance to dry before the rains return. Seva said the pattern is expected to continue into next week.
On Thursday, the Sierra Avalanche Center issued a backcountry avalanche watch for the Tahoe area and south through Sunday morning. The National Weather Service in Reno said weekend winds are expected to gust up to 100 mph and 50 mph at lake level, where waves could reach 6 feet in height.
The Truckee River, which runs through downtown Reno, Nevada, was expected to be below flood level. But city and county officials said they are setting up more than a dozen sandbag locations as a precaution.
Forecasters said Southern California’s weather will remain cold through Friday and rain before moderate to heavy rain on Saturday.
The area will begin to dry out on New Year’s Day and the January 2 Rose Parade in Pasadena should avoid rain, but spectators camping overnight to ensure a good view may face temperatures in the 30s or 40s .