California to endure flash floods, mudslides as series of atmospheric rivers continues

At least 3 to 6 feet of snow also expected through next week

The weather situation in California could get worse over the next week, potentially bringing flash floods, mudslides and at least 3 to 6 feet of snow.

A series of atmospheric rivers continues to pound the Golden State with rain and crushing snow in the Sierra Nevada.

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An atmospheric river is a narrow flowing column of moisture responsible for producing significant rain and/or snow. These are most common along the West Coast of the U.S. with developing Pacific storms. The ribbon of moisture can extend back thousands of miles.

Atmospheric River

When this corridor of moisture extends trough the deep tropical Pacific, it is known as the Pineapple Express.

After a lull in the action early Friday, Northern California is expected to be slammed with torrential rain by Friday afternoon. The flooding rain will gradually shift into Southern California for the weekend.

Los Angeles could see more than half of the rain picked up all of last year in the first week of January alone. Downtown LA saw 7.18 inches through 2022. To date, more than half of an inch of rain has fallen with several inches of additional rain through the middle of next week.

Drought Monitor

While this may rid parts of the West of the extended, historic drought, the amount of rain combined with the terrain will create dangerous flash flooding and mudslides.

In addition to the multiple feet of snow already received in the Sierra Nevada earlier in the week, at least 3 to 6 feet of snow is expected through the middle of next week.

Hurricane force wind gusts will also be possible near the coast.

Future snow

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About the Author:

Jonathan Kegges joined the News 6 team in June 2019 as the Weekend Morning Meteorologist. Jonathan comes from Roanoke, Virginia where he covered three EF-3 tornadoes and deadly flooding brought on by Hurricanes Florence and Michael.