A strong storm is rapidly intensifying in the Pacific Ocean and was expected to become a bomb cyclone as it hits the California coastline.
The storm system is expected to bring life-threatening precipitation and flooding along with winds that are strong enough to cause significant damage. Residents of the state have been warned to prepare for power outages.
The storm began around 2,500 miles away from the California coast.
Meteorologists say the system is a gigantic moisture plume that is known as an atmospheric river that began its journey towards the United States from its origin over the tropical Pacific thousands of miles away.
Californians are preparing for massive rainfall amounts and possible flooding. The event, which has been classified as a Pineapple Express, could bring snow to some areas wreaking havoc on roadways full of commuters and causing disruptions to business.
Here we go again, but this time with lots of wind.#PineappleExpress heading our way for midweek.— NWS Bay Area 🌉 (@NWSBayArea) January 2, 2023
Checkout the plume of moisture peeling off the tropics, just NW of the Hawaiian Islands.
Monday/Tuesday are prep days.#cawx pic.twitter.com/F7Q6qbF5K8
National Weather Service said Tuesday, “Rivers, creeks, and streams are running high, particularly along the Cosumnes and Mokelumne rivers, and are expected to rise with more heavy rain."
Both rivers are in northern California outside of Sacramento and San Francisco. Sacramento is about an hour and a half drive inland from coastal San Francisco.
Meteorologist Jon Porter of AccuWeather said "There is a significant risk for flash flooding, and people should watch for and avoid rapidly rising water which can quickly become life-threatening."
“This will be a dangerous and high-impact storm for California, capable of producing life-threatening conditions and significant disruption which may last several days,” Porter said.
KSBY reported that authorities were already making locations for sandbag fillup available to residents California's central coast.