(Reuters) – California is bracing because of its wettest storm within the winter to be the “Pineapple Express” is defined to dump roughly 8 inches (20 cm) of rain and 8 feet (2.44 m) of snow on sectors of the state, raising chances of flooding and mudslides, meteorologists said.
The weather system, called an atmospheric river, gets its name within the flow of moisture that periodically heads east from waters adjacent to the Hawaiian Islands to soak the U.S. West Coast. It blanketed portions of Hawaii with snow over the weekend and was forced to drench California this week.
The San Francisco Bay area may very well be hit by flash flooding and falling trees as saturated ground gets nearly 8 inches more rain effective winds blow in, the nation’s Weather Service said.
To the northeast within the Sierra Nevada Mountains, passes could see between 80 and 100 inches (2-2.54 m) of snow through Friday.
Valley areas face flood watches over fears the relatively warm Pineapple Express system could initially drench areas – Lake Tahoe with rain, melting snow and swelling rivers.
“It’s giving the impression of the wettest storm we’ve seen this winter,” said Cory Mueller, a NWS meteorologist in Sacramento, California.
The system was among multiple winter storms hammering the states from Seattle to Boston, causing commuter headaches and hazards of power outages for numerous Americans.
WILDFIRE BURN AREAS
The Central and California coast can expect flash flooding and possible mudslides near recent wildfire burn areas, the NWS reported.
Up to two inches (5 cm) of rain were expected through the Los Angeles area between Tuesday evening and Thursday morning, the weather conditions service said.
“The morning commute are going to be a mess tomorrow,” said Scott Rowe, an NWS meteorologist inside San Francisco Bay area.
A string of winter storms have swelled snowpack in California to above-average levels, delighting farmers in need of water and skiers in the hunt for powder.
Seattle had its snowiest month in Half a century after being hit by three winter storms in February, depending on AccuWeather.
Ski areas like Sierra-at-Tahoe in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains have obtained 129 inches (3 m) of snow up until recently 30 days. The resort was compelled to close on Sunday after 30 inches (76 cm) of snow fell overnight, shutting nearby highways.
“It suitable for an incredible powder day yesterday,” said resort spokeswoman Sarah Sherman.