California to get break from storms, but not for long
The beleaguered state is set to get a few days of calmer weather conditions before another big storm with rain and snow arrives next week.
A swimming pool was left sitting on the edge of a cliff after heavy rains from a winter storm triggered a landslide in Oceanside, California, on March 15.
An extraordinarily active winter season across California has been full of moisture-laden storms that have helped completely erase persistent drought conditions in some areas due to epic amounts of rain and astonishingly high snowfall totals.
Compared to the summer and autumn of 2022, vast areas of extreme and exceptional drought have be wiped away. A significant portion of the state, 45%, is now considered to be free of drought or abnormal dryness altogether, according to the latest United State Drought Monitor report. AccuWeather meteorologists believe that all or much of California may be drought-free by the start of the summer season.
The unrelenting storms have also had numerous negative consequences as well. That was evident this week when another atmospheric river generated extreme wind gusts in the San Francisco Bay Area, flooding rain in the Los Angeles basin and feet of heavy, wet snow across the highest elevations of the Sierra Nevada from Monday into Wednesday morning.
The state will get a needed reprieve from storms for a brief period of time, but AccuWeather meteorologists are calling for a return of stormy conditions by next week
Prior to the next round of heavy rain and snow, residents across California will be given a chance to clean things up into this weekend as an area of high pressure settles in and allows dry and settled conditions to unfold. This weekend itself can feature a return of spotty showers, but the outlook into next week is where things could get dicey once again, experts say.
"While the [forecast of the] exact location and strength of this storm is still being fine-tuned, it does appear likely that residents in portions of California next Monday and Tuesday could see stronger precipitation rates and gusty winds return," AccuWeather Meteorologist Joseph Bauer said.
Another deep plume of subtropical moisture is expected to take aim at California early next week, putting many cities on alert for additional flooding problems beginning next Monday night. In addition to the flooding concerns, ski resorts across the Sierra may be flirting with the all-time highest snow total record before the end of next week.
"Snow levels can be lower through this next event as colder air moves in with levels of 7,000-8,000 feet to begin with, falling to 4,000-5,000 feet by the end of the event," Bauer added.
Over 600 inches of snow has already been measured so far this season at Mammoth Mountain, and surprisingly enough, that is not an all-time record for the ski resort. The infamous 2010-2011 season featured 668.5 inches of snowfall at the resort, a total that may be challenged before the end of the month.
The next batches of heavy rain and mountain snow will likely result in difficult travel, additional power outages and a multitude of other challenges by next Tuesday.
A slow eastward progression of the storm will likely keep hazardous conditions in place through Tuesday night and Wednesday. During this time, cold air filtering in around the core of the storm will also result in snow levels coming down. This storm will bring snow to much lower elevations than the system that moved through earlier this week, forecasters say.
Although the storm onslaught in California has worked wonders in the state's battle against long-term drought conditions, it has also caused challenges for residents due to the frequent flooding, mudslides and destructive winds. Yosemite National Park, famous for its snowy landscapes during the winter, has had to shut down as a result of too much snow.
Many reservoirs have also had to release water downstream since they have risen above their maximum capacity levels. Lake Shasta, Oroville, Don Pedro, Millerton and many others have essentially rebounded to their respective historical averages as a result of the hyperactive winter season.
Following the unsettled conditions on Tuesday and Wednesday, there can be another brief lull in the stormy weather across California next Thursday and Friday, but AccuWeather's team of long-range forecasters says more storms are likely into the end of the month.
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