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'Pineapple Express' Forecast To Drench The Parched West Coast

A weather map showing a rain forecast for the next seven days. NOAA hide caption

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A weather map showing a rain forecast for the next seven days.

NOAA

Weather Underground says a storm moving up the West Coast of the United States is the wettest to hit the region since 2009.

The good news, writes Weather Underground's Jeff Masters, is that the region has been hurt by a historic drought:

"Rainfall amounts of 3 - 8 inches are expected over most of Northern California, with snowfall amounts of 1 - 3 feet predicted in the Sierra Mountains.

"As noted by Wunderground weather historian Christopher C. Burt in his Monday post, California Drought Situation Improves, this week's storm may be the strongest and wettest storm to hit the region since October 2009, when the last major 'pineapple express' soaked the state. California is already benefiting from widespread heavy rains that fell November 29th through December 6th, and most of California is now running a seasonal precipitation surplus—the first time they've seen such since December 2012."

Some of the weather, however, could be dangerous. According to CBS News, the weather service is warning that high winds and heavy rainfall could result in damage.

The network adds:

"Mark Ghilarducci, the director of the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services, issued a warning that the storm will present a risk of flash flooding and debris slides in certain areas.

" 'This year was also a significant fire season for Northern and Southern California and burned areas are especially at risk for debris slides. Even regions that don't experience regular seasonal flooding could see flash flooding during this intense storm system, which could be the largest to date of this year's rainy season,' he said in a statement.

"Bay Area winds easily gusting past 50 miles per hour in urban areas and 70-80 miles per hour in the local mountains were forecast."

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