MOUNTAIN AREA — Hazardous weather conditions are in the forecast for the foothills and mountains in our region, as heavy rainfall and a threat of flooding is likely over parts of the central California interior this week. While the atmospheric river forecast is considered strong for any time of year, the fact that it’s coming in April is highly unusual.
Friday, Apr. 6 through Saturday night, Apr. 7, the National Weather Service predicts a storm system will bring an abundance of tropical moisture and substantial amounts of precipitation to the state, especially in the foothills and mountains. Mild air associated with this storm will keep snow levels well above 9,000 feet through Saturday.
Heavy rain totals from this storm system could result in flash flooding, washed out roads and bridges, mudslides, rock slides and debris flows particularly in the area of the Detwiler and Pier burn scars. Minor street flooding is possible in urban areas and in other areas of normally poor drainage.
Rising water levels are anticipated on rivers and streams Friday afternoon through Saturday night, especially over the higher terrain where the combination of rain and melting now will accelerate runoff. There is a possibility that the upper Merced River that flows through Yosemite National Park could flood for a brief time this weekend, says the NWS.
Residents should keep in mind that areas that flooded from the last heavy rain event could very easily flood again. If you live in a flood prone area or near streams and rivers, this would be a good time to prepare or review an emergency escape plan in the event high water becomes a threat to your safety.