Soon after the ‘bomb cyclone’ pushes east of the Rockies, a new storm will approach the West Coast of the United States this weekend to set the stage for more rounds of heavy rain and mountain snow in California.

The storm will hinder return trips from Thanksgiving vacation as well as the resumption of daily commutes next week.

The weather setup will make the ignition of wildfires unlikely and may even put an end to the risk through the rest of the year. However, enough rain can fall to unleash urban flooding and lead to debris flows in recent burn scar locations, including the Kincade Fire that burned over 77,000 acres in Sonoma County, California, earlier this autumn.

While the heavy mountain snow anticipated will be a further boon for ski interests, snow and slippery driving conditions are likely at Donner Pass along Interstate 80 from Saturday afternoon into Monday night.

A storm at the jet stream level of the atmosphere is forecast to hover just off the California coast later this weekend to early next week. The configuration will create a plume of tropical moisture from the Pacific Ocean to Northern California beginning late Saturday night.

“This persistent plume, sometimes referred to as an ‘atmospheric river,’ will bring copious amounts of rain to coastal and low elevations and a great deal of snow to the Sierra Nevada of Northern California,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson.

About 3-6 inches of rain can fall over the lower elevations of Northern California during the early to middle part of next week. However, an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 10 inches can occur on the southwest-facing slopes of the Coast Ranges and hills of the Sierra Nevada.

Meanwhile, over in the high country, 3-6 feet of snow can fall from later this weekend to early next week.

“It is possible that Southern California catches an episode or two of heavy rain and mountain snow as well,” Anderson said.



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