Atmospheric River Threatens to Flood California

An atmospheric river pattern coming from the pacific has dumped almost a foot of rain in Northern California and is expected to cause flooding.

According to forecasters, the northwest can expect moderate to heavy rain, gusty winds, and high mountain snow from this next system.

Atmospheric rivers carry lots of water from the tropical regions near the Earth’s equator such as Hawaii towards the poles and can move an average of 10.5 trillion gallons of water per day.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has already warned of possible flash flooding in Dixie and North Complex fires Thursday evening and into Friday morning.

There is also a chance of a rare category 5 atmospheric river event on Sunday.

“An atmospheric river marked as a category 4 or a 5 is capable of producing remarkable rainfall totals over three or more days, likely to exceed 10-15% of a typical year’s precipitation in some locations,” explained Marty Ralph, director of the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes at UC San Diego.


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