Unexpected Storm Hits California
- by Maggie Mead
CALIFORNIA - Spring’s last gasp is headed towards California this week, with a March-like weather pattern bringing stormy weather to the state. Though earlier days in the week will see pleasant, pre-summer weather, the later days of the week will be blustery and miserable. But it’s not all doom-and-gloom for some weather experts.
“This late-season storm will help prevent a shortage of the water supply during the summer and fall across the state,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski said.
Driven by a dip in the jet stream, the rare storm will hit first in Northern California with rain before spreading across the state on Wednesday. The hardest-hit locations may see up to four to five inches of rain—around two to three times their normal monthly rainfall. For this late in the season it is extremely unusual to see a storm of this level in the region, and growing regions in the San Joaquin Valley will have to endure showers and thunderstorms from Wednesday night into Thursday, with localized heavy downpours and the possibility of light hail, according to AccuWeather.
Travel will be impacted, with roadways expected to be slippery with several delays on Interstates 5 and 80, as well as secondary roadways. Flight delays and cancellations in and out of Western hubs are also possible. Unsurprisingly, flash flooding is a risk in areas prone to flooding.
The incoming rain will bring with it chillier-than-average air, with high temperatures in the middle 60s across the Central Valley, about 20 degrees lower than the average May highs in the 80s. Even Death Valley will see temperatures only in the upper 70s. Snow levels are also expected to drop as low as 6,000—7,000 feet in the Sierra Nevada region by Thursday, with up to a foot of snow possible at higher elevations. Travelers in this region should expect delays.
Wind is expected to be not just cold, but gusty as well. The heavy winds may even bring severe local thunderstorms, with the possibility of hail.
"The potential for severe thunderstorms will extend well inland beyond California as the storm moves along to portions of Nevada, Arizona and Utah at the end of the week," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
There is a silver lining to this storm, as the rain and cool air will minimize the threat of fire by keeping vegetation and the ground saturated.
This abnormal weather shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon, with at least two more storms expected to his California this weekend into the middle of next week.
How will this unexpected storm impact crops and harvest time? AndNowUKnow will continue to report.