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Current Weather Pattern & Flood Threats

GOOD for all reporting stations


The second strong storm system of the year is beginning to wind down in our area. Still, some impacts will remain through the overnight including the potential for brief heavy rain and high surf. Cold air moving in will lower snow levels to 4,000ft by dawn and perhaps even lower into Tuesday afternoon. Along with this cold air, the atmosphere will become more unstable. Showers will continue to move in off the ocean and a few may be strong enough to have lightning and small hail. Shower chances will then continue into early Wednesday morning before ending. Another weather system will follow early Thursday morning with widespread light to moderate rain before we get a few days break.

in effect until 11AM today for most of Monterey County.

-Urban and small stream flooding caused by excessive rainfall is expected.

-Minor flooding in low-lying and poor drainage areas

-River and stream flows will be elevated

-Currently seeing ponding of water across the area

-Areas that will experience flooding include Salinas, Seaside, Monterey, Marina, Arroyo Seco, Jamesburg, Tessajara Hot Springs, Lucia, Gorda, Big Sur Village, Soledad, Greenfield, King City, Gonzales, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Carmel Valley Village, Sycamore Flat, Colman Canyon, Esalen Institute, and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

-TURN AROUND, DON'T DROWN when encountering flooded roads. Most flood deaths occur in vehicles.

in effect until 10AM Wednesday for the immediate coast of Santa Cruz & Monterey Counties.

-WNW swell of 15 to 18 feet at 15 to 17 seconds with the approaching storm system. This will result in large breaking waves of 20 to 25 feet in the surf zone as well as increased coastal run up.

-Highest risk at west to northwest facing beaches

-Breaking waves can sweep people off jetties and docks, and into cold and dangerous seas where hypothermia or drowning can occur within within a minute.

-Steep southerly wind waves will reduce the intensity of these waves Sunday into early Monday before dissipating. Larger waves are expected as winds and wind driven southerly seas subside later Monday into Tuesday.

A High Surf Advisory means that high surf will affect beaches in the advisory area, producing rip currents, localized beach erosion and sneaker waves.

Tuesday: Becoming partly cloudy with an isolated shower possible. Showers may contain brief downpours, small hail, brief wind gusts, and lightning. Cool & breezy with highs in the 40s to low 50s. Snow levels drop to 3,500ft.

Overnight: Rain tapers off briefly, with the chance of isolated moderate storms closer to midnight. Lots of high clouds, winds stay mild. Temperatures expected in the 40s across the area.

Wednesday: A few final showers drift through overnight with snow levels bottoming out at around 3,000ft. Then, skies become partly cloudy with another cool & breezy day. Highs in the upper 40s to mid 50s. Clouds increase late.

Extended: Rain arrives again early Thursday morning with light to moderate rain expected, favoring the coastal hills. Then, we’ll get some clearing with dry conditions expected into and through the weekend. Rain is looking likely again early next week. Highs will remain at or below normal for this time of year and mornings will be chilly

*Alerts in italicized text come from the National Weather Service, but may be reformatted.

This week's normal temperatures:

LOW: 43ºF
HIGH: 61ºF

LOW: 38ºF
HIGH: 62ºF


-The outlook from the Climate Prediction Center for December 21st – 27th calls for the likelihood of BELOW normal temperatures and ABOVE normal precipitation.
- El Niño/La Niña STATUS: La Niña Advisory
- Forecast into Winter: Weak La Niña

-Area drought status: “
Extreme Drought” for the entire viewing area with the far southeastern corner of Monterey County and far eastern San Benito County considered “Exceptional Drought”

Article Topic Follows: Local Forecast

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Courtney Aitken


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