Storm bringing rain, slight slide risk, but drought persisting
Written by Marc Albert
PG&E trucks staging in Sebastopol Monday evening, ahead of the storm. photo credit: (Credit: Marc Albert/KRCB)
The North Bay is in for a pretty good soaker this evening, with as much as four inches in certain places. Forecasters aren't expecting significant flooding, and add we're still a long way from exiting the ongoing drought.
After a strong atmospheric river walloped parts of the North Bay two weeks ago with as much as 10 inches, this one may seem rather weak.
Jeff Lorber is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Monterey.
"It's not going to be anything on an impact scale of the previous system in October, but it is still classified as an atmospheric river event," Lorber said. "There's going to be a good amount of rainfall and strong winds with this system."
Expect two to four inches over some ridges in the North Bay hills and between one and a half and two and a half inches elsewhere.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company spokeswoman Deanna Contreras said the utility is anticipating scattered power outages, especially at elevations where winds are expected to gust at 35 to 45 miles per hour. Contreras said any disruptions should be at a much smaller scale than October's storm.
Lorber said rainfall shouldn't be heavy enough, for long enough, to trigger debris flows.
Despite the rains, the North Bay is still in extreme drought, according to the US Drought Monitor. That's while much of the rest of Northern California is even worse off, in 'exceptional drought.'
Lorber said that's unlikely to change soon.
"Basically, it's going to take a series of storms, such as these, I mean, the drought in California has been building over a two year period, so, if we're going to go back to normal conditions, you figure you need at least one wet season of above normal precipitation and the seasonal outlook is not promising for that," Lorber said.
In fact, despite the roaring start, rainy season this year is expected to under-deliver, partly due to El Nino, say forecasters.
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