After nearly a year without rain, a series of powerful Pacific Storms are headed for Northern California this week, with up to a foot of rain and three feet of snow possible in the Sierra Nevada. The Storms, which are being fueled by a typical atmospheric river pattern, could cause flash floods and hazardous debris flows across a large section of the region that has already been ravaged by recent wildfires.
The moisture potential grows with each Storms, perhaps culminating on Sunday with a rare category 5 atmospheric river event. A jet of water known as an atmospheric river is expected to hit California on Sunday, according to a prediction computer model.
The Cal Fire-led Watershed Emergency Response Team has been gearing up ahead of the heavy rains, assessing and identifying the areas most susceptible to post-fire hazards, such as debris flows, flooding and rockfall. The areas of concern are where values-at-risk are below steep areas burned at moderate to high soil burn severity. For the Dixie Fire, is primarily along the Highway 70 corridor and portions of Indian Valley and Genesee Valley. For the Caldor Fire, this would be along portions of the Highway 50 corridor, and the low-lying areas of the Cosumnes River.