(KTXL) — California is preparing for another atmospheric river, this one expected to bring widespread flooding risks and “damaging” winds to Northern California.
The next atmospheric river is expected to hit California on Wednesday and it will last through Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.
The NWS has issued flood watches and high wind warnings throughout Northern California, and Caltrans has recommended people avoid driving as the “severe winter storm” is expected to cause difficult driving conditions. For those who have to drive, it recommends they download and check the agency’s QuickMap app or call 1-800-427-7623 for road updates.
According to the agency, Caltrans districts statewide are working with local and state officials in preparation for any storm troubles.
Since there has been little time for the region to dry off, the next atmospheric river is expected to cause more damage with rainfall overrunning the waterways and the wind affecting trees that sit on loose and still-wet soil.
The high wind watch is in place in Northern California with south to southeast winds being 25 to 35 miles per hour with gusts up to 55 mph. The winds have the potential to down trees and powerlines.
According to Meteorologist Kristina Werner, the gusts could potentially reach higher than 50 miles per hour.
“Area rivers, creeks, and streams are running high, particularly along the Cosumnes and Mokelumne rivers, and are expected to rise with more heavy rain,” the NWS said.
The NWS said that it is possible for much of Northern California to experience flooding. The Bay Area, Central Valley as well as up north as far as Redding and Eureka may see flooding.
A flash flood watch has also been issued by the NWS in the areas where wildfires have burned in recent years, including the August Complex, Dixie West, Caldor West, Mosquito, and River Fire.
The scorched soil is left dry and loose after a wildfire, setting up the possible mud and rockslides that can take trees, bushes and other debris with them.
This is the second storm to hit the state since the New Year, when an atmospheric river drenched the state starting on Dec. 30 and continued into the early hours of 2023.
One person died during the storm and flooding, found in a vehicle surrounded by floodwaters near Sacramento, where a power outage on New Year’s Eve left as many as 150,000 without power, some of whom have yet to see power restored.
This week’s atmospheric river is not the last of the rain California will see in the next week, as the state is expecting more rain throughout the weekend, according to the NWS.