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A new storm will hit California, and another after that. March Wet Forecast


California’s extremely wet winter is turning into a wet spring.

Another atmospheric river will hit the state on Tuesday and Wednesday, with another likely after that.

The large amount of rain, and the snowmelt it could bring, is raising alarms about more flooding this week.

Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know:

What are officials concerned about?

Heavy rain continues to be a major concern with the incoming system, and the National Weather Service has issued more than 40 flood watches and warnings, with the strongest impacts expected as the system moves from the Central Coast toward the southern foothills of the Sierra. Flood watches have also been issued in Northern California, including parts of Del Norte, Humboldt and Trinity counties.

The storm will create “significant inundation impacts below 5,000 feet along much of coastal California and the Central Valley and over the southern Sierra Nevada foothills,” the weather service said.

What are the areas of greatest concern?

Once again, rivers, creeks and creeks in several areas are forecast to overflow their banks, including some, such as the Cosumnes, Salinas and Russian rivers, which are still in flood from a similar storm last week.

Along the nearby Salinas River, evacuation orders and warnings it remained in effect Monday for more than 10,000 people, with Monterey County officials warning of a “probable flooding of highways between the Monterey Peninsula and the rest of the county” from the oncoming storm.

Evacuation orders and warnings are also in effect in parts of Fresno, Merced, and Tulare counties, among other areas, and more than 30 evacuation shelters They are open statewide.

What is the prognosis?

Northern California: The storm is expected to be strongest in the Bay Area overnight Monday and into Tuesday, while the Central Valley and areas further inland should see the worst of it Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday.

Central Valley: Inland areas of particular concern are Merced County near Bear Creek, as well as parts of Mariposa, Fresno, Madera, and Tulare counties, which will see the most rainfall. Up to 6 inches of rain could fall in mountainous areas up to 7,000 feet, with up to 3 inches possible in the foothills and 1.5 inches in the San Joaquin Valley.

Southern California: Widespread rain is also expected in southern California, including up to 7 inches in the mountains of southeastern Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County, with the storm’s peak expected Tuesday. The Ventura River may be approaching flood stage, with smaller streams and creeks expected to fill.

What’s next?

Another atmospheric river may reach California between March 19 and 22, and potentially another after that, state officials said.

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