California braces for another major storm

LOS ANGELES: Another major storm was heading into California on Thursday, the latest in a winter parade that has already brought near record-breaking snowfall and torrential rain.

In the coming days, two atmospheric flows — moisture-rich weather systems pouring in from the Pacific — were expected to dump heavy snow on already buried mountain ranges and bring torrential rains to lower elevations.

Some areas could see up to 18 inches of rain, forecasters said, with a risk of flooding and mudslides in central and northern parts of the state.

Forecasters said the rain could fall in areas that previously had a lot of snow, causing a sudden runoff that rivers and streams may struggle to stem.

“A much wetter and warmer pattern is expected, particularly from Thursday night through Saturday, when heavy rain is expected,” meteorologist Bianca Feldkircher said in a video posted to Twitter.

“This will cause flooding and river surges, in addition to some snowmelt, particularly at elevations below 5,000 feet (1,500 meters).”

Southern parts of the state won’t escape the severe weather, although Los Angeles and its immediate vicinity were less likely to be hit by flooding.

But the National Weather Service in San Diego on Friday warned of “an incoming rainmaker” that could affect mountainous areas that have seen heavy snowfall in recent weeks.

“There could be some significant impacts on the #SanBernardino Mountains if rain falls on existing snowpack,” NWS San Diego tweeted.

“The deep snowpack will be able to absorb the rain, but the plowed roads and driveways may allow some water to run over them.

“Furthermore, the rain will put additional strain on the snow pack and further impair the structures. Clear the snow off these roofs if you can!”

– Brilliant –

Mountain communities in San Bernardino are still digging out of the last round of storms, with isolated settlements cut off over long stretches.

Three people were found dead in their homes as San Bernardino County Sheriff’s officers conducted welfare checks, Armed Forces spokeswoman Mara Rodriguez was quoted as saying by the Los Angeles Times.

People in the city had complained that they were unable to get medicine or even food after heavy snow blocked the roads.

Some places had received up to 2.5 meters of snow.

In Oregon, where rural roads were blocked by heavy snow, the Lane County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Service said they responded to a trapped motorist’s call for help.

“His vehicle got stuck in the snow and he didn’t have cell service to call for help (cell service is very limited in many of Lane County’s wooded areas),” they said on Facebook.

The driver wisely stayed with his vehicle and then got nifty.

“The man had a drone with him and attached his cell phone to the drone. He then typed a text message to a trusted individual describing his situation and exact location, hit send, and launched the drone several hundred feet into the air.

“The increased altitude allowed his phone to connect to a tower and send the message, leading to our teams being deployed and helping him out of his situation.”AFP California braces for another major storm

Russell Falcon

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