Alert Day: Strong Storm with Atmospheric River Expected to Cause Power Outages in Northern California

A strong storm in Northern California is causing widespread concern, prompting the weather team to call Sunday an Alert Day. The storm is packing plenty of moisture from an atmospheric river and is expected to bring the strongest winds of the season, potentially causing power outages across the region. Rain began falling before sunrise, with strong winds expected to spread northward throughout the day.

The forecast indicates heavy rainfall in the Valley, with totals of one and a half to two inches, enough to potentially cause street flooding and rises in smaller creeks. While river flooding is not currently expected, the Cosumnes River is projected to rise at Michigan Bar, though not enough to pose problems. The forecast also predicts shifting winds, with gusts of 40 mph in the San Joaquin Valley in the morning, increasing to 50 mph or more in the Foothills and the east side of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley.

Steady snowfall began impacting Sierra travel early Sunday, with snow expected to continue without breaks throughout the day and into the night. Snowfall rates over 2 inches per hour are possible, potentially creating whiteout conditions. Two to three feet of snow is still expected for the passes, prompting chain controls and possible road closures. The wind is expected to be less intense on Monday, but steady snow above 5,000 feet will continue to make travel difficult.

In Southern California, significant impacts from the storm are also expected over the weekend, with Monday’s forecast calling for breezy conditions and occasional rain. Authorities in LA County have already issued some evacuation orders due to the risk of mud or debris flows. Meanwhile, the Sierra Avalanche Center has cited a high risk of a backcountry avalanche.

Chain controls are recommended for those planning to travel to the Sierra, as conditions are expected to worsen with intensifying snowfall rates and increasing winds. Overall, the storm is forecasted to bring a variety of challenging conditions throughout California, and officials are urging residents to stay updated on the latest forecasts and road conditions.

For the latest breaking news and weather alerts, residents are encouraged to follow the KCRA weather team on social media and watch their forecasts on TV or online. Additionally, individuals can find the latest video forecast and watch a livestream of the newscast on the KCRA website. There is also a streaming option available on the Very Local app for Roku, Apple TV, or Amazon Fire TV.