California to Experience Continued Stormy Weather Next Week.
On the heels of the latest major storm to strike California, another one is on track to arrive early next week and unload more heavy rain and snow to the beleaguered state, according to AccuWeather forecasters.
The energy that will be responsible for the next storm was moving through southwestern Alaska Wednesday. It will combine forces with Pacific moisture over the weekend as it moves south before it impacts the West Coast, and California most significantly, from Sunday night through Wednesday of next week.
Rain falls on pedestrians on the University of Southern California campus on Tuesday, March 21, 2023, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Unlike the most recent storm, it will deliver somewhat of a glancing blow to the state, initially moving south along the coast, instead of directly inland. That path, and the flow it generates around the storm's center, will lessen the impacts of what otherwise would have been another atmospheric river event. However, it will still deliver another round of rain that can exacerbate ongoing flooding issues, along with more mountain snow and strong winds.
It will be the continuation of what has been a very stormy March for the Golden State. The storm will also arrive amid a pattern that remains cooler relative to historical averages, which would support another round of significant snow in the higher elevations.
"There will be no rest for the weary in California next week," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Heather Zehr. "Fortunately, the overall strength and amount of moisture in the next storm will be lower, and it seems Southern California, which was one of the hardest hit areas from the last storm, might be largely spared from the heaviest precipitation."
Central and northern portions of California should take on most of the rain, snow and wind from next week's storm. The San Francisco Bay Area could notch more than an inch of rain again from Monday into Monday night or Tuesday. At about the same time, several fresh feet of new snow can fall over the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
Southern California, including Los Angeles and San Diego, could then see a lighter rain event, or a few showers, in the Tuesday through Wednesday time frame. It will be a far cry from the 1 to 4 inches of rain that fell in those cities and in the lower elevations from the most recent storm, breaking records in many areas.
Despite the lower rainfall amounts in the forecast, travel delays in Southern California from the rain and expected low snow levels are still expected. Along the Central California coast and into the Bay Area, where the rain may organize into heavier bands, the risk for flooding will be higher.
For ski resorts in the Sierra Nevada, it will add to a deep snowpack that will keep resorts open much longer than usual. On Tuesday, Mammoth Mountain announced on Facebook that It would be open until "at least the end of July" because of the 664 inches of snow that has already fallen this cold season, with more on the way. The ski area's all-time record for one season is 668 inches of snow.
The prospects of another storm will mean the percentage of California that remains in drought will continue to be whittled away in the coming days and weeks. The amount of the state experiencing drought has already dramatically fallen from nearly 98 percent to just 36 percent in three months' time, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor update.
Moving forward, many Californians will be looking for relief from the cool, wet and snowy pattern as the spring progresses. Fortunately for the storm-weary residents, AccuWeather's team of long-range meteorologists expects the storm train to slow down in April. In fact, the forecasters are predicting precipitation amounts, at least in Central and Southern California, to be below historical averages for the month.
"The storm track will likely stay focused farther north compared to previous months, as high pressure builds into the Southwest," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Joe Bauer. "However, there will still be bouts of rain and mountain snow on occasion deep into the spring."