Storm-weary California will get little in the way of reprieve this weekend, as the latest in a series of powerful winter storms has already trained its eye on the state.
In a bulletin published Saturday, the National Weather Service warned of a “relentless parade of cyclones” barreling out of the Pacific toward California, which was expected to renew the risk of flooding in some parts of the state this weekend. Heavy rain and mountain snow were expected to begin late Friday night in Northern California, spreading to Central California on Saturday.
The weather service’s Monterey office issued a flood watch advisory beginning at 4 p.m. Saturday and continuing through Tuesday for areas including San Francisco, Santa Clara, Monterey, Big Sur, the Carmel Valley, San Benito County, Pinnacles National Park, Los Padres National Forest and much of Central California.
Officials also warned of possible flooding of the Carmel and Salinas rivers in Monterey County, the Pajaro River in Santa Cruz County, the Russian River in Sonoma and Mendocino counties, the Navarro River in Mendocino County, Eel River in Humboldt County; the Sacramento River in Tehama, Glenn and Butte counties, the Tuolumne River in Modesto, the Mokelumne and Cosumnes rivers in Sacramento County, and Bear Creek in Merced County.
In Southern California, Saturday will be “really the last day of quiet weather for some time,” with clear skies and temperatures in the mid-60s, said Robbie Munroe, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Oxnard.
A powerful storm system is expected to move in starting Sunday night, bringing heavy showers and strong wind that could last through Wednesday, Munroe said. Another “more widespread, stronger storm” is predicted to descend on the region next weekend, he added.
Oncoming storms are expected to bring 1 to 2 inches of rain to coastal areas Monday and dump heavy snow in the Sierra.
Munroe said this upcoming storm system will bring “at least that much rain, if not more” as the one that rocked California earlier this week, causing flooding and mudslides, toppling trees and knocking out power to homes. Rivers and creeks, already swollen by earlier storms, overflowed their banks.
In Carmel, a 50-foot wave coursed through a home, submerging it in waist-deep water, smashing out windows and carrying off an attached deck, said Capt. Curtis Rhodes of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s San Benito-Monterey unit.
“I’ve been here for 17 years, and I’ve never seen anything like it,” Rhodes said.
Although the family who lived in the house was able to escape, six people throughout the state were killed in the storms, including three whose bodies were found in or around their cars after a levee gave way near Sacramento and a toddler killed by a toppled tree in Sonoma County.