Los Angeles — On Wednesday, the first of two atmospheric rivers steadily moved into California, prompting statewide storm preparations for flooding, heavy snow, and severe winds.
The storm, called a “Pineapple Express” for its long plume of precipitation that stretched over the Pacific to Hawaii
hit the far north initially and was forecast to travel down the coast through Thursday. Sunday is expected to bring a stronger storm.
The California Governor's Office of Emergency Services activated its operations center and placed people and equipment in weather-prone locations.
Cal OES deputy director of crisis communications Brian Ferguson called the scenario “a significant threat to the safety of Californians” with impacts expected over 10 to 14 days from the Oregon border to San Diego and from the coast to the mountains.
“This really is a broad sweep of California that’s going to see threats over the coming week,” Ferguson said. Late Wednesday and Thursday were forecast to bring the first storm's greatest rain and mountain snow.
Wednesday evening brought heavy rain and strong gusts to the San Francisco Bay Area.
The famous San Francisco cable cars were shut down for safety reasons. San Mateo County seaside community Pacifica received over an inch (2.5 cm) of rain in an hour.
STAY TURNED FOR DEVELOPMENT