More storm to hit weather-battered California


High surf and hazardous seas are also expected in the Tuesday to Wednesday time frame…reports Asian Lite News

Another major storm system is set to batter California this week as scattered showers started in the southern part of the western US state.

The powerful storm will likely bring heavier rain, very strong winds and snow to the area late Monday night through Wednesday, Xinhua news agency reported, citing the US National Weather Service (NWS).

High surf and hazardous seas are also expected in the Tuesday to Wednesday time frame, according to NWS Los Angeles.

California has already been hammered by at least 11 atmospheric rivers this season, which brought heavy rainfall, snowfall, flooding and landslides, among other damages.

The latest atmospheric river, which struck the state last week, left soil overly saturated and vulnerable to new flooding and rapid runoffs, according to the NWS.

An atmospheric river is a long, narrow band of tropical moisture that gets carried along mid- and upper- parts of the atmosphere. When these systems move over land, they can produce intense rainfall rates and strong winds.

Colder atmospheric river systems can also produce significant snow at higher elevations.

According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, atmospheric river storms account for 30 per cent to 50 per cent of annual precipitation for the US West Coast on average.

The imminent storm system is expected to dump 1 to 3 inches of rain across the lower elevations and 2 to 4 inches across the foothills of Southern California through Thursday. Nearby Arizona could get up to 3 inches of rainfall.

The Weather Prediction Center on Monday raised the flood threat for portions of Southern California to a level 3 of 4, which is a moderate risk. More than 15 million people are included in the category in coastal areas from Los Angeles to San Diego.

“When adding runoff from the steep nearby mountains where rainfall totals may exceed 4 inches, numerous flash floods are likely,” the center warned. “The timing of the heaviest rain also favors added impacts, as they will likely be ongoing during the Tuesday morning commute.”

Thousands of residents were under evacuation orders Sunday in two small central California towns, Alpaugh and Allensworth. Officials worried roads could become impassable and isolate residents, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office said.

First responders from dozens of agencies, including the California National Guard, were out Sunday afternoon helping residents evacuate – a sight that has become familiar in the flood-ravaged state.

“The devastation is indescribable,” Tulare County farmer Brandon Mendonsa told CNN affiliate KFSN. “The water is still coming – this is far from being done.”

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