MOUNTAIN AREA — The National Weather Service in Hanford has issued a Hydrologic Outlook for heavy rainfall and a threat of flooding next week, as new storms impact the Central California interior during the next seven days. There’s also a Winter Storm Warning for snow in the Sierra Nevada above 7,000 feet. Either way, there will be water this week.
The next storm will track through the region rather quickly early this weekend, says the NWS, and is not expected to bring more than localized nuisance flooding.
There is currently a higher confidence than usual that the storm that follows will bring an abundance of tropical moisture into Central California from Tuesday, Mar. 5 into Wednesday, Mar. 6, along with substantial precipitation and a higher threat of significant flooding, especially in the foothills and mountains.
Mild air associated with this storm will keep snow levels well above 9,000 feet during this period.
Historically, heavy rain totals can bring localized flash flooding and associated impacts such as washed out roads and bridges, mud slides, rock slides and debris flows — particularly in the vicinity of the burn scars. Minor street flooding can occur in urban areas and in other areas of normally poor drainage.
Rising water levels are anticipated on rivers and streams during the middle of next week, especially over the higher terrain where the combination of rain and melting snow will accelerate runoff.
Residents should keep in mind that areas that have recently flooded or normally flood during heavy rain events could 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 have an evacuation plan in place in the event high water becomes a threat to your safety.
The NWS has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the Sierra Nevada from Yosemite to Kings Canyon and the Tulare County Mountains above 7,000 feet. The watch is in effect from midnight on Friday, Mar. 1 through 7 p.m. Saturday evening, Mar. 2.
A Winter Storm Warning for snow means severe winter weather conditions will make travel very hazardous or impossible. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.
Heavy snow expected above 7,000 feet with total snow accumulations of one to two feet expected, and winds gusting as high as 55 miles per hour over ridge tops and along the crest.
Continue to monitor the latest forecasts.