California is bracing for the arrival of another atmospheric river that forecasters warn will bring heavy rain, strong winds, thunderstorms and the threat of flooding to a state still digging out from earlier storms.
The flood threat will come from the combination of rain and melting of parts of the huge snowpack built in California's mountains by nine atmospheric rivers early in the winter and later storms fueled by a blast of arctic air.
Meanwhile, so much snow has fallen in the Sierra and other mountain ranges that residents are still struggling to dig out days after earlier storms. At high elevations the storm is predicted to dump as much as 8 feet of new snow.
Further south, the San Bernardino Mountain communities are likely to be spared another major snowfall, though the warm storm raises concerns about a rapid snowmelt. Authorities said creeks, streams and rivers could rise quickly, raising the threat of flooding.
The National Weather Service characterized the flood threat as “moderate.”
A low threat of snow is welcome news for 79-year-old Alan Zagorsky, who found himself shut inside his home in Lake Arrowhead, Calif. with snow blocking the door and stairways leading out.
“We’ve been through many a snowstorm but nothing of this amount, that’s for sure,” resident Alan Zagorsky, 79, said Wednesday as a crew shoveled his driveway. “Right now, they’re trying to find a place they can put this stuff.”