Record rain on West Coast; nor’easter to target Northeast

Weather

(NewsNation Now) — A massive storm off the Pacific Northwest directed a stream of heavy rain, high-elevation snow and high winds over much of central and northern California, the Sierra Nevadas and the Great Basin on Monday.

Drenching rains and strong winds accompanied the weekend arrival of an atmospheric river — a long plume of Pacific moisture — into the drought-stricken state.

The storm barreled toward Southern California after flooding highways, toppling trees, cutting power and causing rock slides and mudflows in areas burned bare by wildfires across the northern half of the state.

Rainfall records were shattered and heavy snow pounded high elevations of the Sierra Nevada. The National Weather Service issued numerous flash flood warnings.

There were widespread power outages in Northern California, with Pacific Gas & Electric reporting Sunday evening that about 130,000 customers did not have electricity, though the utility said power had been restored to about 250,000 customers.

Flooding was reported across the San Francisco Bay Area, closing streets in Berkeley, inundating Oakland’s Bay Bridge toll plaza and overflowing rivers in Napa and Sonoma counties.

Workers clear branches on Mirabel Avenue during a storm in Forestville, Calif., on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Ethan Swope)

“It’s been a memorable past 24 hours for the Bay Area as the long-talked-about atmospheric river rolled through the region,” the local weather office said. “We literally have gone from fire/drought conditions to flooding in one storm cycle.”

The weather service called preliminary rainfall totals “staggering,” including 11 inches at the base of Marin County’s Mount Tamalpais and 4.02 inches in downtown San Francisco.

“It looks like yesterday was the 4th wettest day ever for downtown SF where records go back to the Gold Rush years,” the weather service said.

Nor’easter to Lash East Coast

The first nor’easter of the season is expected and could bring heavy rains and potentially damaging winds to parts of the Northeast.

An intensifying coastal storm system is targeting eastern Massachusetts and most of southern New England. A sustained period of heavy rain and damaging winds are expected from the slow-moving storm.

Flood watches have been issued by the National Weather Service for parts of New Jersey into the New York Tri-State area and southern New England.

The NWS also warned of offshore waves of 20 to 30 feet.

Power outages are expected.

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tornadoes in the Midwest

The National Weather Service confirmed an EF-3 tornado hit the southeastern Missouri city of Fredericktown on Sunday, damaging homes, businesses and the main electrical substation that feeds power to the city of about 4,000. 

One suspected tornado moved Sunday night through St. Mary, Missouri, about 55 miles southeast of St. Louis, before crossing the Mississippi River into Chester, Illinois, the National Weather Service reported. There were no immediate reports of severe injuries.

A large fall storm system developed over the central part of the country and strengthened as it passed over the St. Louis region, weather service meteorologist Jared Maples, based in St. Charles, Missouri, told The Associated Press on Monday.

The storms dropped heavy rain, leading to some flooding around tributaries and in low-lying areas, and spawned several suspected tornadoes in eastern Missouri and southwestern Illinois.

The weather service is sending out survey teams to confirm whether those areas were hit by tornadoes, he said.

People walk on the beach in Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico, Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. Hurricane Rick has strengthened a bit while heading for Mexico’s southern Pacific coast, where it is expected to make landfall Monday. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Rick had winds as high as 90 miles per hour (150 kph) and was expected to hit somewhere around the seaport of Lazaro Cardenas or the resort of Zihuatanejo. (AP Photo/Armando Solis)
Hurricane Rick targets Mexico

A slightly strengthened and compact Hurricane Rick roared ashore along Mexico’s southern Pacific coast early Monday with 105 mph winds and heavy rain amid warnings of potential flash floods in the coastal mountains.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Rick made landfall as a Category 2 storm about 15 miles east of the port of Lazaro Cardenas around 5 a.m. Later Monday, Rick weakened to a tropical depression and was 140 miles north of Lazaro Cardenas, moving north at 14 mph.

The U.S National Hurricane Center said Rick could produce flash floods and mudslides in the mountainous terrain on the coast. The state of Guerrero, where Zihuatanejo and Acapulco are located, said rains and wind knocked over some trees and damaged a road before the storm made landfall.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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