California braces for ‘bomb cyclone’ as Pineapple Express is set to dump 8TRILLION gallons of rain – almost enough water to entirely fill Lake Mead
California is expected to be drenched in more than eight billion gallons of rain amid a ‘bomb cyclone’ that has the potential for power outages and deadly flooding.
Atmospheric rivers began hitting the state last week, toppling trees and blacking out roads. With the ground already soaked from the first storm, officials expressed concern about mudslides and flooding.
The Weather Prediction Center issued a Level 4 risk of excessive rainfall in Santa Barbara and Oxnard — an extremely rare advisory issued on average less than 4 percent of days.
A Level 3 risk has been set for much of the California coast, including San Francisco through Los Angeles.
Weather researcher Ryan Maue said the ‘bomb cyclone’ – a term that refers to a storm that rapidly intensifies over 24 hours – could dump more than 8 billion gallons of precipitation on the state.
The National Weather Service has expressed concern about the possibility of nonstop moderate to heavy rainfall throughout California Sunday through Monday.
More than 8,500 members of public safety organizations have been mobilized in anticipation of the storm, according to the governor’s office of emergency services
He compared the amount to the volume of Lake Mead – 8.5 billion gallons.
Nancy Ward, director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, said at a news conference Saturday that more than 8,500 members of public safety organizations have been mobilized in anticipation of the storm.
The threat of extreme weather was great enough that Gov. Gavin Newsom activated the state’s emergency operations center, which would operate 24 hours a day, Ward added.
Officials in Santa Barbara County stepped up the evacuation advisory to orders on Saturday.
The same day, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office issued evacuation orders for some communities, in place from 5:00 p.m. local time Saturday through 5:00 p.m. Sunday.
“While Ventura County remains one of the safest counties in America, it is prone to dangerous conditions that often occur during heavy rainstorms,” a statement from the sheriff’s office said.
‘Residents are asked to remain vigilant for changing conditions and if asked to evacuate, follow the recommendations provided by public safety officials.’
Crews could be seen laying out sandbags to prevent rising sea levels from inundating, while many beaches were closed indefinitely.
Storms lasting Sunday into Tuesday are expected to bring the heaviest rainfall, the latest in a series of atmospheric rivers pounding the state
Gov. Gavin Newsom activated the state’s 24-hour emergency operations center in anticipation of punishing rain and wind.
Totals of three to six inches are expected for Central and Southern California, according to forecasters
With the ground already wet from the first storm, officials are worried about mudslides and flooding (photo: A car under water in Long Beach Saturday)
At least six inches of rain is likely to fall from the lower central coast to the Los Angeles County coast, with up to 12 inches possible (pictured: clouds hang over Walton Lighthouse in Santa Cruz Thursday)
Flood watches were in place in Sonoma, Marin, San Francisco, Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties, as well as coastal Southern California, with some lasting at least through the weekend.
Forecasters say flooding is possible across the state through Tuesday. At least six inches of rain will likely fall from the lower Central Coast to the Los Angeles County coast, with up to 12 inches possible.
The worst storm is expected to hit the state between Sunday and Tuesday.
The WPC predicted at least eight inches of rain in less than 24 hours for portions of the Transverse Ranges in Southern California.
Maximum totals in excess of 10 inches are possible in areas where storms strike repeatedly in a short period of time.
Totals of three to six inches are expected for Central and Southern California, according to the agency. And in the mountains of Southern California, up to a foot of rain is expected.
Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson warned that some parts of the city could see more rain over the weekend than is typical in a year.
An expected rainfall of five to seven inches leaves the city particularly vulnerable to power outages.
Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson warned that some parts of the city could see more rain over the weekend than is typical in a year (pictured: a flooded street under a railroad bridge in Long Beach on Thursday)
Mono County, along the Nevada border, is the target for significant snow totals, including tourist destinations such as Yosemite National Park
The National Weather Service urged people to move their cars from flood-prone, low-lying areas and charge batteries and phones in case of power outages (pictured: A worker carries a hose down a flooded street in Long Beach Thursday)
The National Weather Service has expressed concern about the possibility of non-stop moderate to heavy rainfall Sunday through Monday, for a total of 48 hours.
High winds remain a threat across much of California, with gusts between 40 to 60 miles per hour — and some as high as 75 to 80 mph — carrying the potential for downed trees and blackouts.
San Jose and Salinas are threatened Sunday by severe storms, including tornadoes and damaging winds.
Snow is also on the horizon for some parts of the state.
Mono County, along the Nevada border, is the target for significant snow totals. This includes popular tourist destinations such as Yosemite National Park.
According to the NWS office in Reno, there is an 80 to 90 percent chance through Monday night for four-plus feet of snowfall at elevations above 8,000 feet.
The agency’s Los Angeles office issued guidance to travelers from Sunday through Tuesday, describing the atmospheric river as a ‘major storm with dangerous, even life-threatening impacts.’
Tips included moving parked cars from flood-prone, low-lying areas and charging batteries and phones in case of power outages.
The NWS also urged Californians to change their travel plans to avoid mountain travel — areas expected to see some of the heaviest precipitation.