California’s Flash Flooding Threatens Lives

Avery Ward, Contributor

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California will be plummeted with rain and varying snow levels on Thursday, February 14, throughout the night. This storm is predicted to boost the risk of life-threatening flash-flooding, mudslides, and avalanches due to the excess subtropical moisture. The rain storm will be powerful enough to create fatal situation for motorists, specifically along streams that are susceptible to flooding.

“An average of 2-3 inches of rain will fall along the coast from San Diego to Crescent City, California. However, rainfall of 3-6 inches is likely to fall along the seaside-facing slopes of the coast ranges and the western slopes of the lower and intermediate elevations of the Sierra Nevada” (MSN).

Where there are several inches to a couple feet of snowfall, it is likely for the snow on the roads to thaw out and add to the already excessive rainfall. Accelerated flooding along the streams and short-run rivers running out of the mountains at intermediate and low elevations is likely. The rain will fall on the major cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego and others to lead to events of urban flooding. The rain will cause motorists to slow down, which will increase commute times.

“Evacuations will be likely be needed in this situation,” according to AccuWeather Expert Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski (MSN). An estimation of 3-6 feet of snow will fall, with the maximum of ten feet of snow near the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Due to the snow in the Sierras, a few of the ski slopes may be dangerous because of the risk of avalanches.

The storm will move inland toward cities such as Palm Springs, California, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada, and Salt Lake City. Snow will also fall on the northern and central parts of the Rocky Mountains as well as some areas of the Wasatch Range on the Utah-Idaho border. “The storm will also pack a punch in terms of wind with gusts in the vicinity of 100 mph over the passes and high country of the Sierra Nevada. Gusts reaching 60 mph are likely over the passes in Southern California with gusts between 40 and 50 mph along much of the California coast” (MSN). Gusts of winds this powerful can lead to vehicles losing control. Trees can also collapse in the muddy soil and lead to power outages. Fortunately, conditions will recover over the lower elevations during Friday and Saturday. Nevertheless, there will still be random rain showers in the area.

However, it is likely that freezing levels will lower which will allow snow and slippery travel over the passes in Southern California during the weekend and the first part of the week. “It appears that additional storms will either continue to drop southward along the West Coast and/or pivot inland from the Pacific through the end of February,” according to AccuWeather Long-Range Meteorologist Jack Boston (MSN). This pattern will persist to bring a series of rain to the lower elevations and mountain snow in the future weeks with the risks as well as the continual drought relief benefits.

Source: https://www.msn.com/en-us/weather/topstories/california-at-significant-risk-for-life-threatening-flash-flooding-mudslides/ar-BBTxF7y?ocid=spartanntp

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