Weather Forecast: Flood Watch Starting Wednesday
Redding, Chico, Red Bluff
It’s been absolutely beautiful the last few days and we’ve got one more day of mostly sunny skies with highs in the low to mid 60’s before the first in a series of storms moves through the Northstate. The first storm is expected to arrive Wednesday morning with heavy rain and gusty winds tapering off to isolated showers by the second half of the day. The next storm arrives Thursday afternoon into the evening hours dropping yet more heavy rain over the Northstate. This is also when the tap into sub-tropical moisture comes into play, A.K.A “Coconut Connection” or “Pineapple Express.” This will keep the moisture streaming into the Northstate giving us long periods of steady rain lasting at least through Saturday if not longer. We should see signs of relief by Sunday or Monday when the sub-tropical tap is cut off.
Although we can’t give exact amounts of just how much rain we will see as it all will depend not only on where you are but also where the heaviest rain will be focused and that focus can change at a moment’s notice. That all being said, the 2 to 4.5 inches of rain we saw with the last series of storms will be light rain in comparison. Some of the long range forecast models are giving the valley between 4 and 8 inches of rain through the weekend with 10+ inches in some of the mountain locations. Snow levels during this event should be above 5000 or 6000 feet.
This amount of rain will give us the potential for flooding which is why the National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch for the Sacramento Valley and surrounding foothills from Wednesday through Saturday. The areas under the biggest threat will be people near creeks and streams. There will also be localized street flooding creating hazards of the roads and highways.
On another note, we also need to talk about the strong south winds that will accompany each passing storms with gusts over 40 mph. With the already saturated ground we could see the potential for downed trees and power lines and power outages will not be out the question.
Be sure to keep checking back for the latest updates as the first storm approaches.