Two new storms will make their way to California in the next few hours. The state’s twelfth atmospheric river hit cities on Sunday and will be in the area for the next few days.
The first of the storms, the National Weather Service warned, began Sunday by bringing in moisture from the Pacific. However, the second one, which will affect the Sierra Nevada area, will meet the conditions to be considered as a new atmospheric river as it will be accompanied by heavy rain, snowfall and wind gusts up to 50 mph:
The first in a series of storm systems is set to usher Pacific moisture into California today and then spread north quickly up the Pacific Northwest later today and into tonight. The heaviest snowfall is forecast for the Sierra Nevada with wind gusts reaching as high as 50 mph. pic.twitter.com/TAWdKHTGQK
— National Weather Service (@NWS) March 19, 2023
Risk of more flooding in California
The storm comes less than a week after a different atmospheric river and, according to forecasters at AccuWeather, could bring "significant" precipitation to Northern California as it moves across the southern part of the state. This could affect the flooding already in the area. AccuWeather meteorologist La Troy Thornton said: "Any vigorous downpours could further exacerbate river flooding concerns in Northern California."
AccuWeather's Chief Meteorologist, Jonathan Porter, said that the 1-2 inches of widespread rainfall expected through Wednesday is not conducive to the state's recovery:
Given recent rains and saturated ground, the threshold for additional rainfall that can produce a significant risk for flooding is reduced. Creeks, streams and dry washes, especially in the higher elevations, can rise rapidly resulting in quickly escalating life-threatening flash flooding in some areas. Mudslides, rock slides and road closures may occur once again.