Wine Country Rivers Are Flooding Due to Massive Rainfall
An atmospheric river in the skies above means flooding for actual rivers down below
Days of heavy rain–the result of what meteorologists are calling an atmospheric river—are causing flooding all over California. The northern part of the state is particularly hard hit, with many rivers at or near flood stage. On Thursday, February 14, this included both the Napa and Russian Rivers, in the wine country north of San Francisco. The Russian River is a particular concern, as it is forecasted to keep rising through Friday the 15th, eventually cresting 6 feet above flood stage.
The rain is expected to continue through February 16, though trouble may persist longer than that due to the fact that the current storm is a relatively warm one, causing heavy Sierra snow that fell earlier in the month to melt. And all that water doesn’t have much other place to go—the northern part of the state has received more than twice the normal amount of rain for the first half of February (nearly 5.5 inches in San Francisco, for example, where average is just under 2 inches), and the ground is too saturated to absorb more.