Heavy rain predicted as El Nino storms bear down on California

SAN FRANCISCO -- After all the talk, El Nino storms have finally lined up over the Pacific and started soaking drought-parched California with rain expected to last for most of the next two weeks, forecasters said Monday.

See Full Article

As much as 15 inches of rain could fall in the next 16 days in Northern California, with about 2 feet of snow expected in the highest points of the Sierra Nevada, said Johnny Powell, a forecaster with the National Weather Service.

To the south, persistent wet conditions could put some Los Angeles County communities at risk of flash-flooding along with mud and debris flows, especially in wildfire burn areas.

The brewing El Nino system -- a warming in the Pacific Ocean that alters weather worldwide -- is expected to impact California and the rest of the nation in the coming weeks and months.

Its effects on California's drought are difficult to predict, but Jet Propulsion Laboratory climatologist Bill Patzert said it should bring at least some relief.

Doug Carlson, spokesman for the California Department of Water Resources, pointed out that four years of drought have left California with a water deficit that is too large for one El Nino year to totally overcome.

Come April 1 -- when the snowpack is typically at its deepest -- water managers will be better able to gauge the situation.

"Mother Nature has a way of surprising or disappointing us," Carlson said.

The record drought in California has forced Gov. Jerry Brown to order cities to conserve water by 25 per cent compared to the same period in 2013.

El Ninos in the early 1980s and late 1990s brought about twice as much rain as normal, Patzert said. The weather also caused mudslides, flooding and high surf.

In recent weeks, a weather pattern partly linked with El Nino has turned winter upside-down across the nation, bringing spring-like warmth to the Northeast, a risk of tornadoes in the South, and so much snow across the West that even ski slopes have been overwhelmed.

Big parts of the country are basking in above-average temperatures, especially east of the Mississippi River and across the Northern Plains.

In Los Angeles County foothills beneath wildfire burn areas, residents braced Monday for possible flash flooding and debris flows. Workers in Azusa cleared storm drains and handed out sandbags, while in nearby Glendora, police announced restricted parking measures for steep roadways under barren hillsides.

Residents of the Silverado Canyon burn area in Orange County and the Solimar burn area in Ventura County have been told they may want to evacuate in advance of the storm, but have not been ordered to do so.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti warned people to clear gutters and anything in their yard that might clog storm drains; assemble an emergency kit; and stockpile sandbags if their home is susceptible to flooding.

An effort also was underway to provide shelter for homeless people.

"We want as little damage and destruction and as little death as possible," Garcetti said.

Between 2 and 3.5 inches of rain is predicted to fall across the coastal and valley areas of Southern California through Friday, with up to 5 inches falling in the mountains.

The first wave of rain started in Northern California with light showers Sunday and was expected to pick up strength and cover a large area of the region, the weather service said.

"This series of storms are definitely associated with the El Nino phenomenon in that the jet stream has taken a fairly significant southward trajectory in the Pacific on its return flow back into the California coastline," said Bob Benjamin, a forecaster with the weather service.

Forecasters say a second, stronger storm is expected to arrive in Northern California late Monday. At least two more storms are expected to follow on Wednesday and Thursday, possibly bringing as much as 3 inches of rain.

"Friday looks like a dry, clear day but more rain is expected Saturday," Powell said.

In Arizona, El Nino conditions will help push a parade of Pacific Ocean storms inland with light to moderate snow falling in the high country and rain in lower elevations, forecasters said Monday.

The National Weather Service says a series of weather systems will drop snow in the high country and rain in lower elevations as the week progresses.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Michigan, Flint to replace 18,000 lead-tainted water lines

    World News CTV News
    DETROIT - Michigan and the city of Flint agreed Monday to replace thousands of home water lines under a sweeping deal to settle a lawsuit by residents over lead-contaminated water in the struggling community. Flint will replace at least 18,000 lead or galvanized-steel water lines by 2020, and the state will pick up the bill with state and federal money, according to the settlement filed in federal court. Source
  • Son of Oklahoma homeowner kills 3 burglars

    World News CTV News
    BROKEN ARROW, Okla. - Oklahoma authorities say three would-be burglars have been fatally shot by a homeowner's son who was armed with a rifle. The Wagoner County Sheriff's Office received a call around 12:30 p.m. Source
  • Mohammad Shafia, convicted in so-called honour killings, ordered to pay wife's legal fees

    Canada News CBC News
    A man convicted of killing his three daughters and former wife in a so-called honour killing has been ordered to pay legal fees for one of his co-accused in the crime. A judge in Kingston, Ont. Source
  • Racist sword killer says he'd mulled racial attack for years

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK - A white racist accused of fatally stabbing a 66-year-old stranger on a Manhattan street because he was black says he'd intended it as "a practice run" in a mission to deter interracial relationships. Source
  • UN begins nuclear ban talks but U.S., Russia and China boycott

    World News CTV News
    UN talks aimed at banning nuclear weapons began Monday, but the United States, Russia, China and other nuclear-armed nations are sitting out a discussion they see as impractical. Supporters of the potential pact say it's time to push harder toward eliminating atomic weapons than nations have been doing through the nearly 50-year-old Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Source
  • 'A perilous pipeline': Indigenous groups line up against Keystone XL

    Canada News CBC News
    Indigenous groups on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border are speaking up about the Keystone XL pipeline, which has recently been given a green light by the Trump administration.Keystone XL pipeline gets OK from U.S. State DepartmentThe 2,735-kilometre pipeline project by Calgary-based TransCanada would carry roughly 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast, passing through Indigenous territories in Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and…
  • More than 1,000 arrested in protests against Belarusian President Lukashenko

    World News CBC News
    More than 1,000 people have been arrested in Belarus after weekend protests against the country's authoritarian president, Alexander Lukashenko, according to human rights group Vesna. The group said roughly 150 protestors had already been sentenced to jail terms of up to 25 days. Source
  • Rachel Notley, Brad Wall trade more jabs over budget philosophy

    Canada News CBC News
    Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall continue to take jabs at one another over their provincial budgets. Notley's government tabled a budget this month that relies on economic growth to reach balance in six years, while Wall's budget boosts the provincial sales tax and cuts spending with the aim of doing it in three. Source
  • 'Unprecedented' dinosaur tracks found in Australia's Jurassic Park

    World News CBC News
    Paleontologists have uncovered what they are calling an "unprecedented" number of dinosaur tracks in Australia. In all, 21 different types were found along a 25-kilometre stretch of rock on the Dampier Peninsula in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Source
  • Murder case against U.S. Border Patrol agent to move forward

    World News CTV News
    TUCSON, Ariz. -- The second-degree murder case against a Border Patrol agent accused of killing a Mexican teen in a cross-border shooting will move forward after a federal judge denied a motion to dismiss the charge. Source