The atmospheric river storm steaming toward Northern California from Hawaii is likely to bring the wettest conditions the Bay Area has seen in two months.

The storm is on track to hit the North Bay by mid-morning Thursday, spreading across the Bay Area by Thursday afternoon, with the heaviest winds, rainfall amounts and disruption — from power outages to flooded roadways — on Thursday night into Friday morning, forecasters said late Wednesday.

“This will be similar to what we saw in January,” said Brayden Murdock, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Monterey, who predicted winds up to 50 mph in many areas. “Not as strong as the biggest one of those nine atmospheric river storms in January, but on the same level. Plenty of wind. Strong rain. And chances of rain through the weekend.”

The storm is expected to be a category 3 atmospheric river event, perhaps a category 4 in the Big Sur area, on a scale of 1-5, according to scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego.

CW3E AR Update: Warm #AtmosphericRiver to Bring Heavy Precipitation, Potential Flooding to California Later This Week.

Read more about this AR and the potential impacts of the storm on our website: https://t.co/8Glswmwqvq pic.twitter.com/evXX5kaZnH

— CW3E Scripps (@CW3E_Scripps) March 7, 2023

Cities around the bay are expected to receive about 2 inches of rain from Thursday morning to Friday night, with San Jose forecast for ab out 1.5 inches, the National Weather Service estimated. The East Bay Hills could receive 3 or 4 inches, and the North Bay Hills and Santa Cruz Mountains are likely to be soaked with 6 to 8 inches. In Big Sur, an astounding 14 inches of rain is forecast from the storm, Murdock said.

With the potential of Highway 1 being washed out again due to huge mudslides, Monterey County emergency officials on Wednesday urged Big Sur residents to stock up with at least 2 weeks of essential supplies.

In the Santa Cruz Mountains, where power outages and downed trees have been common all winter, locals took it in stride.

“People are buying generators, tarps, gas cans and chainsaws,” said Lance Lollis, a manager at Scarborough Home Center in Ben Lomond. “It’s like ‘here we go again.’”

Lollis said that residents can ride it out.

“This is round ten,” he joked, referring to the number of atmospheric river storms this year. “But we’re up here for a …read more

Source:: The Mercury News


Atmospheric river storm: When it’s arriving and which areas will be hit hardest

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