Another round of storms is expected to hit California

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SAN DIEGO — Thirty-six million Californians from Sonoma County to the U.S.-Mexico border are under a flood watch this weekend as the state faces the two strongest Early February storms.

Forecasters say rain and snow on the front will be enhanced by an atmospheric river, a hose of precipitation. This atmospheric river draws from tropical climates, making it the “Pineapple Express.”

“All Californians in the path of the storm — especially those living in Southern California — should prepare now,” California Governor Gavin Newsom said in a statement on Friday.

Serious flooding is possible across the state through Tuesday, with 6 inches or more of rain possible along the Central Coast and Los Angeles County coast, forecasters said.

If the upper limit of these estimates is reached, they could break rainfall records for the date and even monthly rainfall records, according to NBC News forecasters.

The storm is expected to hit the Bay Area early Saturday, then make its way up the coast to last impact San Diego.

The Bay Area could also be affected by damaging winds. The National Weather Service office in Monterey said winds of about 70 mph could hit the Central Coast community of Big Sur.

Floods are possible

An upper-level low pressure system could stall over California once it reaches the coast late Saturday, making flooding more dangerous, forecasters say.

On Friday night, Santa Barbara County officials issued evacuation warnings Two regions, including one affected by wildfires and another within the city of Santa Barbara. The warnings mean residents should be prepared to go out at any moment and should consider leaving as soon as possible, the county said in a statement.

Flood watches, which are issued when conditions are conducive to flooding, will cover the coast in Sonoma, Marin, San Francisco, Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties, and all of the Southern California coast. Some hours begin on Saturday and continue through at least the end of the weekend.

The University of California’s Center for Western Weather and Extremes in San Diego predicts the weather river will average a 3 — described as “strong” — on its scale of 1 to 5, which mimics the scale used for hurricanes.

She said there was a 40% chance of flash flooding along the Central Coast.

Newsom’s office said 8,300 state employees were prepared to respond to emergencies and damage related to the storm. Twenty teams of rapid water services and urban search and rescue personnel were deployed to areas up and down the state.

“When in doubt, stay home.”

The forecast for the Los Angeles area includes life-threatening flooding, damaging winds and heavy snow in the mountains, the National Weather Service office in Oxnard said.

“Many roads and highways will be completely submerged. Many trees will fall. Power outages are likely. There is still time to prepare,” the office said in a statement. Share on X.

The city of Los Angeles is prepared for serious flooding, Mayor Karen Bass said at a news conference Friday evening. “This is a comprehensive effort,” she said.

Police, fire and rescue personnel will be on standby, additional emergency and homeless shelters will be open Saturday evening, street crews are preparing to quickly remove trees and branches, and water and power crews are prepared to respond to power outages, Bass said.

Perhaps the most impactful preparation was in the hands of residents. “When in doubt, stay home,” she said.

In the central Sierra Nevada mountain range, snow is expected to fall at a rate of 2 to 3 inches per hour by Sunday, according to the National Weather Service, which has issued an avalanche warning.

“Avoid travel on Sunday,” the weather service office covering the Lake Tahoe area said He said.

Alex Tardy, chief meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said another system could hit Southern California on Thursday. Friday briefing video.

Classes have been cancelled

Nine school districts in Santa Barbara County have already done so Classes were canceled on Monday Before the severe storm.

School officials made the decision after County Mayor Bill Brown recommended closing all schools in Santa Barbara on Monday due to anticipated safety concerns.

The largest school district in the county, Santa Barbara uniformThe status of Tuesday’s lessons will be determined after confirming the conditions in each school on Monday.

Other districts in California have no plans to close schools.

Wet start to the year

The state hasn’t had time to dry out, after storms in January and this week brought heavy rain and some flooding to Southern California.

The road process began in earnest on January 22 with the wettest January day on record in San Diego. Rare and devastating floods in urban neighborhoods away from the coast. Three deaths in January are being investigated as possibly related to the storms, the county medical examiner reported.

A front late this week brought 6 to 9 inches of snow to the mountains of Southern California, flooding a street in Long Beach, leaving people stranded, federal forecasters said. At least four motorists were rescuedThe authorities said.

A portion of the Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach was closed due to flooding Thursday and reopened Friday morning, according to the RTA. California Department of Transportation. And to the south, parts of Leucadia community The city of Encinitas was flooded by the first of the two fronts.

Nearly 3 inches of rain fell in some parts of San Diego County, a rare amount for the relatively dry southwestern corner of the state.

Tardy said San Diego exceeded its usual rainfall amount for this time of year when nearly an inch was recorded Thursday, with two months of the year — February and March — still getting rainier.

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