NEW: Some areas could get 15 inches of rain, others could see 3 feet of snow
NEW: Forecasters are warning that rivers in California and Oregon may flood by Sunday
The severe weather is expected to last through the weekend, at least
A vicious mix of wind, rain and snow that has deluged the Pacific Northwest since Tuesday isn’t letting up, spurring the National Weather Service to issue an array of cautionary guidance.
Forecasters from the National Weather Service’s Hydrometeorological Prediction Center expect that moderate to heavy precipitation will pummel the region through at least Sunday, with some areas getting more than 15 inches of rain and other getting socked with between 1 and 3 feet of snow.
The weather service has issued a hazardous seas warning for coastal areas in Oregon and northern California. Portions of coastal Washington, Oregon and California all face some sort of flood watch, warning, or advisory.
The threats won’t necessarily go away once this wave of rain abates. Many rivers and creeks already are at, near or above flood stage, a situation that the added precipitation forecast through Sunday and perhaps beyond won’t help.
The National Weather Service’s Hydrometeorological Prediction Center says from 4 p.m. PT (7 p.m. ET) Tuesday through noon Friday, dozens of places across the region received more than an inch of rain, with Petrolia, California, with 10.09 inches, atop the list. In some places, including some more elevated and dangerously windy locales, snow is falling; Ashland, Oregon, received 10 inches of snow, while Charlotte Lake, California, got 8 inches.
In the 24 hours through 7 p.m. Friday, San Francisco and Sacramento have gotten about 2 inches, while Santa Rosa got more than 3 inches, according to the National Weather Service.
Thousands are dealing with possible or existing flooding from the storms as well as hazards caused by downed trees.
Folsom, California, resident Michael Jimenez said that a clogged exterior drain had caused floodwater to seep into his home, forcing him to move as much as he could off the ground and feverishly towel-dry his floors.
“I ran out … to see if I could alleviate some of the water, and I realized … the whole house was flooded,” Jimenez told CNN affiliate KCRA, explaining how quickly the water seeped into his house.
The wet weather may have played a role in a fatal accident early Friday, according to KCRA. Police said that a Pacific Gas and Electric worker died after losing control of his truck and slamming into a traffic signal.
While some problems are localized, rising waterways – from the Upper Sacramento River to the South Fork Coquille River in Coos County, Oregon – are becoming bigger threats around the region.
The National Weather Service, for instance, predicts that the Russian River through Sonoma and Mendocino counties in California could go up to 24 feet – 3 feet above flood stage – on Sunday afternoon. The Navarro River, which also flows through Northern California, may crest at 31.5 feet around the same time, also above flood stage.
High wind watches warnings, or advisories are in effect for portions of Oregon, California, Nevada and Montana. Powerful gusts have been blowing through large swaths of northern California and Nevada, with top wind speeds around 80 mph in each state, according to the weather service.