Wet, Active Pattern Returns to West Coast

By Courtney Spamer, Meteorologist
February 9, 2014; 3:20 AM ET
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A pattern shift will bring more storms through to the United States Pacific coast.

The drought-stricken areas of the West Coast will continue to get some relief in the coming weeks.

Like the rain and snow this weekend, some of the precipitation with these storms could be heavier, allowing accumulating snow in the mountains and significant rain at lower elevations.

A few waves of moisture moving in will bring precipitation to northern California, Oregon and Washington again before the middle of the week.

As long as the rain falls at a steady rate, the very dry ground will be eager to soak up as much of the moisture as possible. A lot of rain in a short amount of time, instead, could bring flooding.

This pattern would need to hold on for quite some time in order to make a significant dent in the large drought spanning the West.

As of January 2014, more than 18 inches of rain would be necessary to reverse the effects of the drought from the coast of Washington, along the Pacific Ocean and all the way to southern California. Some areas would need twice as much.

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In addition to wetter soil, these storms will bring down the wildfire threat. Additional snow could help boost the ski resorts from Cascades to the Sierra where there has been a need for West Coast snow so far this winter.


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