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Weather Team

Strongest Storm of the Season

Weather Story: The strongest storm system of the season has arrived. The front has stalled along the Monterey/SLO County line. This repeated exposure could mean significant rainfall amounts for our coastal hills--especially the Santa Lucias. Those planning to travel Highway 1 down the Big Sur Coast Wednesday into Thursday should make alternate plans. Most of the viewing area will see an inch of rain plus, but totals could approach a foot in the Santa Lucias. Debris flows around burn scars will be a good possibility, so if you live on or near a scar, make sure you have a plan in place to stay safe and follow all evacuation orders. The front will finally eject southward on Thursday, but showers will continue to pile in behind it. Additional rainfall possible beyond Thursday as several, weaker systems take aim on the West Coast.

From the National Weather Service in Monterey…
***FLASH FLOOD WARNING***
for the Dolan burn area in Southwestern Monterey County

* Until 1:30 PM PST Wednesday.

Doppler radar and automated rain gauges indicated the atmospheric river stalled over the Dolan Burn Area, with moderate to heavy rain falling. Between 3 and 5.5 inches of rain have already fallen. The public is reporting of a mud slide across Highway 1 at mile marker 27. Therefore, flash flooding is ongoing and will likely continue.

Excessive rainfall over the burn area will result in debris flow
moving through the Dolan Fire burn area. The debris flow can consist
of rock, mud, vegetation and other loose materials.

Life threatening flash flooding. Heavy rain producing flash flooding in and around the Dolan Burn Area.

Life threatening flash flooding of areas in and around the Dolan Burn Area.

Some locations that will experience flash flooding include...
Lucia and Esalen Institute.

This is a life threatening situation for people in or near the Dolan
Fire burn area. Some drainage basins impacted include...Stony
Creek...Nacimiento River...San Antonio River...Big Creek North Fork.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

This is a life-threatening situation. If you observe movement of
soils move to higher ground immediately.

***FLASH FLOOD WARNING*** For the Carmel Fire burn area in Northwestern Monterey County in central California until 3:15pm.

* At 1205 PM PST, Doppler radar indicated thunderstorms producing
heavy rain over the Carmel Fire Burn Area. Flash flooding is
ongoing or expected to begin shortly.

Excessive rainfall over the burn area will result in debris flow moving through the Carmel Fire burn area. The debris flow can consist of rock, mud, vegetation and other loose materials.

Flash flooding caused by thunderstorms in and around the Carmel Fire Burn Area. Flooding of areas in and around the Carmel Fire Burn Area.

Some locations that will experience flash flooding include... Carmel Valley Village and San Clemente Dam.

This is a life threatening situation for people in or near the Carmel Fire burn area. If you observe movement of soils move to higher ground immediately.

***FLASH FLOOD WARNING*** For the River Fire burn area in Northwestern Monterey County in central California until 3:15pm.

Doppler radar indicated thunderstorms producing heavy rain over the River Fire Burn Area. Flash flooding is ongoing or expected to begin shortly.

Excessive rainfall over the burn area will result in debris flow moving through the River Fire burn area. The debris flow can consist of rock, mud, vegetation and other loose materials.

Life threatening flash flooding. Thunderstorms producing flash flooding in and around the River Fire Burn Area. Life threatening flash flooding of areas in and around the River Fire Burn Area. Some locations that will experience flash flooding include... mainly rural areas of Northwestern Monterey County

This is a life threatening situation for people in or near the River Fire burn area. Some drainage basins impacted include...Tularcitos Creek and Agua Mala Creek If you observe movement of soils move to higher ground immediately.


***HIGH WIND WARNING***
… for the Santa Lucia Range/Los Padres National Forecast, Southern Monterey Bay and the Big Sur Coast  until 1PM Wednesday

-South winds 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 60 mph expected, locally up to 70 mph in southwest facing slopes and coastal areas.

Damaging winds will blow down trees and power lines. Widespread power outages are expected. Travel will be difficult, especially for high profile vehicles.

People should avoid being outside in forested areas and around trees and branches. If possible, remain in the lower levels of your home during the windstorm, and avoid windows. Use caution if you must drive.

**Wind Advisory**
… for the San Benito County and the inland valleys and mountains of Monterey County until 1PM Wednesday.

-South winds 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 55 mph expected, locally in excess of 60 mph in the ridges and peaks.

Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects. Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result.

Use extra caution when driving, especially if operating a high profile vehicle. Secure outdoor objects.


*Flash Flood Watch*
… for the coastal mountains of Santa Cruz & Monterey Counties and the Diablo Range in Santa Clara County  through 4pm Thursday.

-A moderate atmospheric river will impact the region Tuesday through Thursday bringing prolonged periods of moderate to heavy rain along with gusty south winds. The brunt of the storm is forecast to occur between Tuesday evening through Wednesday.

- High confidence that thresholds for debris flows will be met for the following 2020 burn scars: CZU, SCU, Carmel/River, and Dolan. For non-burn scar areas, there could be rapid ponding of water in urban areas, and low lying areas with poor drainage. We also cannot rule out slides or wash outs in areas of steep terrain.

If you live near or on a burn scar: make sure you are signed up for your county's reverse 911 or other alert system and have a "go bag" ready. Monitor the weather for forecast updates and heed local official orders.

***GALE WARNING*** ...Coastal Waters from Point Pinos to Point Piedras Blancas California out to 10 nm until 3 AM PST Thursday.

South winds 25 to 35 kt with gusts up to 55 kt and seas
12 to 17 feet at 15 seconds.

Strong winds will cause hazardous seas which could capsize or damage vessels and reduce visibility.

Mariners should alter plans to avoid these hazardous conditions.
Remain in port, seek safe harbor, alter course, and/or secure the
vessel for severe conditions.


Wednesday: The cold front has stalled out across southern Monterey County and will likely stay that way throughout the day. Showers will continue to pile in at times farther north around the Monterey Bay. Heavy rain at times in the south. Blustery conditions. Highs in the 50s. Debris flows possible over burn scars, especially in the south.

Overnight: Heavy showers will continue at times for southern Monterey County, with showery conditions pushing into other locations throughout the night. Overnight lows will be in the 40s for most. Breezy.

Thursday: Heavy lines of showers will continue on Thursday. Highs in the 50s. Most of the rain will remain contained to the south early, but breaking apart to other areas throughout the day.

Extended: Showers taper off Friday morning with another weather system sliding by to our north Saturday with a few additional showers possible. Another, wetter system should arrive Monday into Tuesday.


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This week's normal temperatures:

--COASTAL CITIES--
LOW: 43ºF
HIGH: 60ºF
 
--INLAND CITIES--
LOW: 37ºF
HIGH: 62ºF

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-The outlook from the Climate Prediction Center for February 3rd – 9th calls for the likelihood of BELOW normal temperatures and BELOW normal precipitation. 
-El Niño/La Niña STATUS: Moderate La Niña
-Forecast into Winter: La Niña Advisory

-Area drought status: 
Moderate drought most of our viewing area.  A small slice of southeastern Santa Clara and northeastern San Benito Counties are considered to be in Severe Drought.

Local Forecast / Weather / Weather Authority / Weather Video
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Zach McIntyre

Zach McIntyre is the morning meteorologist at KION News Channel 5/46.

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