Northern California Friday night. And spread south into the central region over the weekend.
CAPITOLA, Calif. — California’s weather calmed Friday. But the lull was expected to be brief as Pacific. Storms lined up to blast through the state. Where a series of powerful weather systems knocked out power to thousands. Battered coastlines, flooded roads, toppled trees. And at least six people were killed.
Residual rain from the latest storm, a “bomb cyclone”, fell around the state. And battered the coast despite a drop in dangerous surf wave heights, while some areas were sunny. Roads flooded in low-lying beach towns.
Friday night and spread south into the central region over the weekend. Raising flooding concerns due to already saturated soils. Heavy snowfall was forecast in the Sierra Nevada.
“A very active weather pattern across the Pacific will continue to push strong. And fast-moving low pressure systems toward the West Coast.” The National Weather Service said. “California continues to experience heavy rainfall. And strong winds associated with these systems as we head into the first full weekend of 2023.”
To approach California with a later onslaught of heavy rain,” the service said.
Storms are atmospheric rivers, long ridges of moisture extending. Into the Pacific Ocean and capable of dropping staggering amounts of rain and snow.
Downtown San Francisco had its heaviest 10-day period from December 26. To January 4 since 1871 when 10.33 inches (26.24 cm) of rain fell. The all-time 10-day record was 14.37 inches (36.5 cm) in January 1862.
The storms are also dumping much-needed snow on the drought-stricken state’s mountains. Where the snowpack provides about a third of California’s water supply.
“It’s been a deep week with nearly 5 feet (57.9 inches, 147 cm) of snow in the last 7 days!” The UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab tweeted Friday.
According to the California Department of Water Resources. The statewide snowpack was 191% of normal to date and 76% of the April 1 average, which is usually the highest.
Storms have been hitting California since early November. A powerful New Year’s weekend storm caused widespread flooding. And four deaths in Sacramento County in northern California. It destroyed a giant oak tree that fell on Monday and crushed a nursery school in Marin County. The school was empty at that time.
That storm was followed on Wednesday. And Thursday by a “bomb cyclone,” a brief description intensified. By a rapid plunge in air pressure through a process called bombogenesis.
The coastal village of Capitola in Santa Cruz County. About 60 miles (100 km) south of San Francisco. Suffered perhaps the most damage as waves as high as 25 feet (7.6 m) crashed. Into homes and restaurants at the mouth of Socal Creek. Part of its historic wooden pier has collapsed.
Hurricane-force winds of 101 mph (162 kph) toppled buildings. And trees onto roads, downed power lines. And blew the roof off a gas station in South San Francisco.
National Weather Service meteorologist Warren Blier said the wind speed recorded. On the Marin County hilltop was the highest he could recall in his 25-year career.
The storms won’t be enough to officially end the state’s ongoing drought. Now entering its fourth year. Recent storms have pushed parts of the state out of the U.S. Drought Monitor’s. “exceptional drought” category.