Home » City Guide » ,

Major “Atmospheric River” Coming Tonight to Bay Area: How to Prepare

Because of wildfire burn scars, huge risk of flash floods and debris flows during upcoming major storm
By - posted 1/26/2021 No Comment

The National Weather Service sent an update this morning saying that after a brief period of calm, now “is the time to prepare” for the “Atmospheric River” of rain and strong winds which they project to affect the Bay Area on Tuesday evening.

Related: How San Francisco is Prepping for Major StormOutdoor COVID test sites closing, homeless outreach teams in place, flood barriers installed, extra tree crews deployed – 1/26/21

If you live near a “burn scar” from recent fires, it’s recommended that you have a “go bag”  ready in case you need to quickly evacuate. Locations near wildfire burn scars are especially dangerous during heavy downpours as they can trigger debris flows, flood roadways and knock out power.

What is an “atmospheric river?” – They are considered like “rivers in the sky” that be 250-375 miles wide, hold huge amounts of water vapor over the ocean and then release the water rapidly when they make landfall. Source: NOAA

Rain is expected to begin in the North Bay on Tuesday afternoon and then push southward and will increase in intensity with the heaviest rainfall projected around midnight on Tuesday night.

See updates at SF Gate and National Weather Service

National Weather Service Bay Area Updates: Website | Twitter

Update – 936 AM PST Tue Jan 26 2021 – Its the calm before the storm. Rain will develop in the North Bay this afternoon then spread southward through the Bay Area overnight with heavy rain and damaging southerly winds. High Wind Warnings and Flash Flood Watches are in effect throughout the region. The Atmospheric River is forecast to stall over Monterey county on Wednesday bringing copious rain to coastal Monterey county while numerous rain showers will persist throughout the Bay Area into Thursday. Shower activity should end by Friday morning with dry weather for much of Friday. A weak front will bring more light rain Saturday with another strong storm possible by early next week.