12th atmospheric river this winter to bring more snow, rain to California

·2 min read

The 12th atmospheric river of the winter is making its way to California this week and is expected to bring more snow and rain to the already storm-battered state.

The National Weather Service San Diego said that the atmospheric river is expected to bring heavy rain to lower elevations of Southern California and heavy snow to part of the mountains. The Weather Channel predicted that the next stronger storm expected to arrive on Tuesday into early Wednesday will be accompanied by an atmospheric river that will especially affect central and southern portions of the state.

“Dangerous to impossible driving conditions will be possible high mountains, with still hazardous driving conditions elsewhere due to periods of moderate rain and strong cross winds,” the Los Angeles National Weather Service said.

The Weather Channel also warned that damaging winds could be a concern for central and southern parts of California, bringing high winds that could lead to power outages and tree damage. Los Angeles and San Diego are both under wind alerts, and could see wind gusts up to 60 mph in lower elevations.

An atmospheric river is a long band of moisture that transports water vapor from the tropics and dumps it as rain or snow when it makes landfall, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. An atmospheric river affected the state last week, bringing historic levels of rain to many parts of California, including Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Santa Maria.

The string of atmospheric rivers in California left some part’s of the state with above-average totals of rainfall, with Los Angeles totaling 24.49 inches of rain since November, which is more than double its historical average of 11.78 inches, according to AccuWeather.

The onslaught of atmospheric rivers this year in the state has cut down the longtime drought, with only 36 percent of the state in drought as of last week, compared to 98 percent in early October.

The U.S. Drought Monitor reported that no part of California is in an extreme drought, down from 35 percent of the state three months ago.

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