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Flood Watch For The Mother Lode

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Moderate to heavy rainfall associated with an atmospheric river will result in increased potential for small stream, and river flooding across most of northern and central California.

As a result, a Flood Watch remains in effect for the Mother Lode, the west slope of the northern Sierra Nevada and the northern San Joaquin Valley, from this afternoon through late Saturday night. A Flood Watch has also been issued for the Yosemite National Park valley floor, the lower Sierra Nevada of Mariposa County, the Mariposa County foothills and the central San Joaquin Valley from late tonight until late Saturday night.

Flooding caused by excessive rainfall is expected. Excessive runoff may result in the flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations. The concern is for areas that have seen excessive rainfall over the last month.

Creeks and streams may rise out of their banks. Flooding may occur in poor drainage and urban areas. Low-water crossings may be flooded. Storm drains and ditches may become clogged with debris. Extensive street flooding and flooding of creeks and rivers are possible. Area creeks and streams are running high and could flood with more heavy rain. Several area rivers may see rapid rises, but not quite reach flood stage. Isolated rockslides are possible in steep canyons.

You should monitor later forecasts and be alert for possible Flood Warnings and Advisories. Those living in areas prone to flooding should be prepared to take action should flooding develop.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for Yosemite National Park above 7,000 feet, from 10 PM this evening until 4 AM Sunday. And a Winter Weather Advisory will remain in effect for the west slope of the northern Sierra Nevada from 4 AM Saturday until 4 AM Sunday.

Heavy snow is expected above 7,000 feet. The snow levels will rise to mostly above 8,000 feet today into Saturday morning. Most of the snow will fall from late Saturday afternoon through Saturday night when snow levels begin to lower below the major pass levels.

Total snow accumulations will range from five inches to a foot above the 6,000 foot elevation. One to two feet of snow is likely above 7,000 feet. Three to five feet snow is anticipated above 8,000 feet.

Winds could gust as high as fifty to fifty-five mph over the higher elevations. Gusty winds could bring down tree branches.

Travel could be very difficult to impossible.

If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency. Slow down and use caution while traveling.

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