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Are more storms coming to California? AccuWeather predicts rains will pause this week

The Golden State has suffered weeks of intense rainfall and mountain snow, but analysts suggest that there may soon be some respite for Californians.

Flood risk remains high in California

For much of the past month California has been struck with a series of storms that have dumped close to 100 trillion litres of water on the Sunshine State. The onslaught has sparked flash floods across the state and heightened the risk of mudslides.

But, after weeks of heavy rain, meteorologists at AccuWeather now believe that an end is in sight. Their latest projections suggest that significant rain and snowfall will pause in the coming days.

Storms from the central Pacific have drifted inside since the turn of the year, picking up moisture while moving towards the coast and bringing huge amounts of precipitation to the Western coast. This storm movement will continue in the coming weeks but they will be pushed northward by build-up of high pressure, moving the systems away from areas of tropical moisture.

But while actual rainfall should decrease, the threat of flooding and mudslides remains high. After drought for much of 2022 the ground in many areas quickly became saturated by the heavy rain and any additional precipitation could overwhelm flood defences.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom warned residents: “With more difficult days ahead, it’s critical that Californians stay alert to conditions in their area and follow guidance from local emergency responders to stay safe.”

Will storms return to California?

A period of relief looks to be on the cards for Californians, but AccuWeather analysts warn that it may not last. Their long-range forecasters suggest that severe storms, bringing torrential rain and mountain snow, could return in early February.

This is a stark contrast to the previous winter when rain storms were fairly infrequent on the West coast. The amount of rainfall is far ahead of levels recorded at this stage in 2022 and grass and other brush has grown in areas that have been arid in recent years.

The state’s water reservoirs are filling at a good pace and the United States’ Drought Monitor has removed the status of exceptional drought conditions from California.

However while this may appear a positive, there are concerns that the large amounts of brush growing could make more fertile ground for wildfires in the summer months. Last September California suffered a record heatwave that saw temperatures in Sacramento, California, hit 116F (47C).

Sadly this is a trend that looks set to continue in the coming decades, with extreme weather conditions becoming increasingly common.

“By mid-century, the spacial size of heatwaves in the US are expected to increase between about 50% to 80% from what they are in the current climate,” warned Bradfield Lyon of the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute. “The frequency will increase, the duration will increase, as well as the intensity.”


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