After weeks of more snow slamming the region, another wave of extreme moisture is coming for the weekend. The national weather service says signs are pointing to a continued active weather pattern delivering massive additional amounts of precipitation with the arrival of an atmospheric river by Friday. As the NOAA models say, this system may carry up to 375 percent of the moisture that’s “average” for a California air mass to contain in the late winter.
Temperatures are also expected to rise, and Northeast California is expected to receive rainfall with this latest system. Concerns of a melting snowpack are growing, which could lead to severe flood risks. The Sierra Central Snow lab stated through social media, “in the event of a “fast melt event from warm temperatures or a warm atmospheric river, [there] could certainly [be] significant flooding. How significant depends on the atmospheric conditions at the time, saying it is something to remain vigilant of.
Since December into January, a total of 9 back-to-back atmospheric rivers poured 32 trillion gallons of moisture, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; the third annual snow survey was conducted Friday; the Sierra Central snow lab indicated a snow depth of 116.5”, carrying a snow water content of nearly 42 inches. That brings the snowpack to 190% of the average to date. Sean DeGuzman, snow survey manager, during the snow survey, said this year’s snowpack already rivals the record-holding year of 1982-1983.
The Central Sierra Snow Lab reported 49 inches of snow between Saturday and Monday morning, bringing its two-week total to 16 feet. In Quincy, a total of 17 inches was received in this same time frame, and you can continue to plan on more as it doesn’t appear to be letting down, as predictions indicate active weather through late March.