Live updates: Winter weather and snow hit US Northeast while atmospheric river impacts California


Precipitation will gradually become heavier across California Tuesday as the latest atmospheric river moves on land.

Rain covers much of Northern and Central California with snow in the higher elevations of the Sierra Nevada on Tuesday morning. Rain is beginning to move into Southern California.

Rain rates of a half to one inch per hour are expected Tuesday, resulting in potentially significant flash flood impacts. The two areas of most concern for these impacts are along the central California coast between Monterrey and Santa Barbara Counties, and across southern upslope regions of the Sierra, near Fresno to Bakersfield.

Farther north, slightly lower rainfall rates are expected for a longer duration. Flash flooding is still expected, especially where snow melt enhances runoff along the central and northern Sierra. 

“The storm will create considerable to locally catastrophic flooding impacts below 5,000 feet elevation and is expected to shift south across much of the California Coast, Central Valley, and the Sierra Nevada foothills,” the Weather Prediction Center said early Tuesday, adding, “Creeks and streams will continue to be vulnerable to flooding from additional rain and snowmelt.”

In the higher elevations of the Sierra Nevada, new snow will be measured in feet on top of what is already a record snow levels for mid-March. This staggering amount of snow and, at slightly lower elevations, rain absorbed into the particularly deep snowpack will further compound ongoing snow load impacts and issues.


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