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Pineapple Express Weather Phenomenon Brings Rain, Snow, and Possible Mudslides

Pineapple Express Weather Phenomenon Brings Rain, Snow, and Possible Mudslides

CALIFORNIA - The Pineapple Express, an atmospheric river, which originated in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii, is set to rumble through California this week, pouring rain at a rate of one inch per hour in many places and snow by the foot in the Sierra Nevada, according to Bloomberg.

Although the snow will provide a much-needed addition to the snow pack, which is currently 83 percent below normal, after last year’s wildfires, which left much of Southern California barren, the deluge of rain may pose a threat. Bloomberg reported that the widespread rainfall of up to four to six inches expected by Thursday's end may cause mudslides and flashfloods in the fire-affected areas.

This animation from NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory shows an atmospheric river event in January 2017. Atmospheric rivers are relatively narrow regions in the atmosphere that are responsible for most of the horizontal transport of water vapor outside of the tropics.

Weathermelon stated that this storm will be the biggest to hit California yet in this current winter season and that all harvesting in impacted regions will be halted. Rainfall for major growing regions in the state is projected as follows:

  • Bakersfield – 2”
  • Fresno – 3.25”
  • Modesto – 1.5”
  • Oxnard – 3.5”
  • San Diego - .5”
  • Santa Paula – 3.5”
  • Salinas/Watsonville – 1.35”
  • Santa Maria – 4.5”

Some crops that may be affected include strawberries, broccoli, celery, lettuces, other veg, citrus, and avocados.

With just under half of California facing drought, according to the United States Drought Monitor, will the beneficial snow pack offset the threat of mudslides and harvest delays? Stay with us at AndNowUKnow to find out.