Brace Yourselves: Another Atmospheric River Storm is Coming to Southern California
Southern California has barely recovered from the last atmospheric river storm that brought heavy rain and snow to the state on Wednesday, and now another one is on its way. An atmospheric river is a long, narrow band of moisture that transports water vapor from tropical regions to higher latitudes. It can produce intense precipitation and cause flooding, landslides, mudslides, and other hazards.
The previous storm dumped 0.24 inches of rain on Monday, 1.18 inches on Tuesday, and 0.78 inches on Wednesday in Southern California, according to data from weather_results. Some areas saw even more rainfall, such as San Diego County, which recorded 2.34 inches on Tuesday alone. The rain also caused power outages, road closures, traffic accidents, and evacuations in some parts of the region.
The next atmospheric river is forecast to flow into California between March 20 and March 23, fueling another storm that could be stronger than the previous one. A low-pressure system to the north and a high-pressure system to the south will help steer the river toward California.
According to weather_results, Southern California can expect mostly cloudy skies with no precipitation for Thursday and Friday. The weekend will be partly sunny with a slight chance of showers on Sunday. The temperatures will range from 45°F to 65°F during this period.
However, things will change dramatically next week as the atmospheric river arrives. The forecast shows widespread rain starting from Monday night and lasting until Thursday morning. The heaviest rain will fall on Tuesday and Wednesday with up to 3 inches possible in some areas. The snow level will drop to around 5,000 feet with up to 2 feet of snow possible in the mountains.
The storm will also bring strong winds with gusts up to 60 mph in some areas. This could cause downed trees, power lines, and debris. The storm could also trigger flash floods, landslides, mudslides, and rockfalls in areas with steep terrain or recent burn scars. Coastal areas could face high surf, rip currents, and beach erosion.
The National Weather Service has issued several alerts for Southern California ahead of the storm:
- A flash flood watch for Los Angeles County mountains excluding Santa Monica range; Ventura County mountains; Los Angeles County valleys; Santa Clarita Valley; Ventura County coastal valleys; Santa Barbara County mountains; San Luis Obispo County interior valleys; San Luis Obispo County mountains
- A winter storm watch for Los Angeles County mountains excluding Santa Monica range; Ventura County mountains
- A wind advisory for Antelope Valley
- A high surf advisory for Orange County coastal areas
Residents are advised to monitor local weather forecasts regularly and follow any instructions from authorities if they are issued.
The weather patterns in California are influenced by several factors such as El Niño/La Niña cycles, jet streams, high-pressure systems, low-pressure systems, etc. These factors can change over time due to natural variability or human-induced climate change.
To cope with wet weather and stay safe in Southern California:
- Check local weather forecasts regularly
- Avoid driving through flooded roads or bridges
- Follow evacuation orders if issued
- Prepare an emergency kit with food, water, flashlights, batteries, radio, etc.
- Stay away from downed power lines or fallen trees
- Report any hazards or damages to authorities