By Brian Lada – AccuWeather
The Pineapple Express will deliver another round of flooding rain to parts of the West Coast heading into the new week.
This is following up the first wave of moisture that surged across the Northwest and northern California late in the week and early in the weekend, leading to flooding and thousands of power outages.
While some rain fell over the region on Saturday, it has not been as widespread, nor as heavy and disruptive as it was on Friday. Heavy rain caused significant flooding in Ashland, Oregon on Friday as well as a landslide that closed part of Highway 66, KDRV-TV reported.
The storm associated with this second wave of moisture will impact the area on Sunday into Monday and is expected to be just as strong or possibly stronger than the first that impacted the West.
Flash flooding, mudslides and damaging winds are all possible from Washington to central California with the worst conditions expected along the coast of California north of the Bay Area.
Travel delays should be anticipated into Monday both at the airport and on the roadways. Motorists could face the biggest issues; however, particularly around the foothills of northern and central California.
The combination of the rain that fell from Friday into Saturday and the rain forecast to fall on Sunday into Monday can result in a heightened risk of mudslides and debris flows.
If these flow across roadways, it can result in closures that may last for several days until crews have a chance to clear the road.
Powerful wind gusts can also blow over trees, leading to additional road closures as well as localized power outages.
Rainfall totals topping 2 inches will be common along the coast north of San Francisco with the highest totals expected over the mountains.
Heavy snow is also forecast to fall over the mountains, but the snow is expected to generally stay above pass level, having minimal impact of travel.
When all is said and done, some locations in northern California may end up with over a foot of rain from Friday through Monday.
There is a silver lining to the abundance of rain falling over the West.
Despite the dangers that the rain brings, it is beneficial to the extreme drought gripping the West.
This will not put an end to the drought, but should put another noticeable dent in the drought’s severity.
Unfortunately, the rain will not spread into Southern California, one of the areas being affected the most by the drought.
The higher snow levels associated with this storm is also far from ideal.
“Snow levels, because of the warm subtropical flow, will be very high, above 8,000 feet most of the time,” AccuWeather.com Western Weather Expert Ken Clark said. “Therefore, while the rains are welcomed, though too much in some places is not good either, these storms will be no help in putting down a snowpack.”
Dry weather is expected to return to much of the region by Tuesday, continuing through the balance of the week.
After the rain departs, early indications suggest that it may stay dry for the West until at least the middle of February. However, it is possible that it remains dry until closer to the end of February, especially in Southern California.