Shaun Tanner has been a meteorologist at Weather Underground since 2004.
By: Shaun Tanner , 6:42 AM GMT on November 29, 2012
The first storm in a parade of storms made its way through Northern California Wednesday. As expected, the storm brought areas of heavy rain and widespread moderate rain mainly north of the San Francisco Bay Area. Here are some Wednesday rainfall amounts for the hills north of San Francisco. These areas are normally the wettest for storms like what was experienced on Wednesday.
SONOMA COUNTY AIRPORT............. 1.27
SANTA ROSA........................ 1.14
VNOC1 VENADO 1260`................ 2.00
HWKC1 HAWKEYE RAWS 2024`.......... 1.54
PTBC1 PETALUMA-D ST BRIDGE........ 0.75
NAPA COUNTY AIRPORT............... 0.70
MSHC1 MOUNT ST HELENA 4140`....... 1.73
NRYC1 YOUNTVILLE CROSS ROAD....... 0.63
NAPC1 ATLAS PEAK 1680`............ 0.64
NAAC1 NAPA-LINCOLN BRIDGE......... 0.59
In addition, here are Wednesday rainfall amounts for counties farther to the north such as Mendocino, Del Norte, and Humboldt.
...DEL NORTE COUNTY...
(3 NNW) CRESCENT CITY (43 FT)(COOP) 1.00 IN
JACK MC NAMARA FIELD AIRPORT (ASOS) 0.86 IN
FORT DICK RIVER (GOES) 0.68 IN
GASQUET RS (387 FT)(COOP) 0.60 IN
ELK VALLEY (1705 FT)(COOP) 0.20 IN
1 SW HONEYDEW (370 FT)(COOP) 2.80 IN
WILLOW CRK 1 NW (464 FT)(COOP) 1.78 IN
BRIDGEVILLE RAIN GAGE (646 FT)(GOES)1.40 IN
KNEELAND RAWS (2737 FT)(GOES) 1.27 IN
4 SE MIRANDA (266 FT)(COOP) 1.00 IN
TRINTY RIVER AT HOOPA (333 FT)(GOES)0.96 IN
BIG HILL RAWS (3570 FT)(GOES) 0.92 IN
FORT SEWARD (217 FT)(COOP) 0.88 IN
ALDERPOINT GOES (923 FT)(GOES) 0.74 IN
REDWOOD CK NR (5 FT)(GOES) 0.68 IN
EUREKA,CA (20 FT)(COOP) 0.59 IN
ARCATA AIRPORT (223 FT)(ASOS) 0.48 IN
ORLEANS RS (433 FT)(COOP) 0.44 IN
YORKVILLE (1100 FT)(GOES) 2.16 IN
BOONVILLE RAWS (644 FT)(GOES) 1.57 IN
RUSSIAN RIVER NR CLOVERDALE 6NW 1.48 IN
FORT BRAGG 5 N (123 FT)(COOP) 1.38 IN
WILLITS HOWARD RANGER STN (GOES) 1.32 IN
UKIAH MUNICIPAL AIRPORT (AWOS) 1.29 IN
LEGGETT (703 FT)(COOP) 1.24 IN
EEL RIVER RAWS (1610 FT)(GOES) 0.94 IN
Now, I know what you are thinking. When you look at those rainfall numbers, they don't seem all that impressive. There is a lesson that can be learned from looking at these rainfall amounts. When a parade of storms like what the West Coast is experiencing sets up, the first of these storms often ends up being weaker than what the models had predicted. Arguably, this case could be made for the storm that moved through Northern California Wednesday. But, this shouldn't be the lesson for the rest of the parade. Often, this first storm primes the atmosphere with moisture that the subsequent storms could utilize bring very heavy rain to the state. This appears to be the case for the next two storms.
Second Storm Poised To Strike
A second storm out in the Pacific Ocean is set to move gradually closer to the coast Thursday, but California will largely experience a brief break from the wet conditions for much of Thursday. The second storm will be stronger than the first, washing onto the north coast of California in the afternoon and evening.
The severe weather map paints a story of what to expect in California.
Winter Weather Warnings are posted for the western slopes of the Sierra Nevadas as as much as 30 inches of snow is expected to fall to Friday afternoon for elevations higher than 6,000 feet. This is a fairly high elevation for snow level for the Sierras for a storm during this time of year.
Also, Flood Watches are posted for some rivers in Northern California. One of these rivers is the Navarro River, which currently has a stage of 2.9 feet. Here is what is impressive. The flood stage for the Navarro River at Navarro is 23.0 feet. That means that it is currently 20 FEET below flood stage, yet the NWS has determined that it is prudent to issue a Flood Watch for the river. Further, flood stage may be reached by Friday morning and the river could hit 26 feet by midday Friday. So between Thursday morning and Friday afternoon, the river is expected to rise as much as 23 feet. That is a tremendous amount of water.
This is the HPC precipitation forecast for the second storm. You can see a bulls eye of rain along the western slopes of the Sierras. The third storm over weekend is expected to be even stronger.
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