Powerful atmospheric river soaks California and the Northwest, triggers tidal flooding in Washington

An atmospheric river will bring rain to parts of Washington, Oregon and California starting Monday and overspreading more of the region with wet weather on Tuesday.

It will be a wet and windy week in the West as a series of low-pressure systems will bring stormy weather to the region.

The first system, an atmospheric river, brought heavy rains and gusty winds to parts of Washington, Oregon and California, knocking out power to well over 100,000 up and down the coast. 

On top of the storm, very high tides called king tides, combined with the strong winds and very low atmospheric pressure to flood some low-lying coastal areas.

Over 130,000 customers lost power in Oregon during the height of the storm, and over 30,000 were without power in California and Washington at various points of the storm, according to PowerOutage.US. Wind gusts topped 70-80 mph along the coastal headlands and mountain tops, while in the lowlands, Astoria, Oregon, hit a gust of 69 mph, and Seattle reached a gust of 55 mph. 

Wind Alerts
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Those winds took out towering trees in Tualatin, Oregon taking town powerlines. One tree in Aloha, Oregon, fell next to a home, and the branches pierced the home. 

Meanwhile, heavy rains and localized risk of flash flooding were the stories in California, with a soggy day up and down the Golden State. 

About a half inch of rain fell in the Los Angeles and San Diego metro areas Tuesday, while over 1.50 inches fell in San Francisco.  

Stockton and Modesto shattered daily rainfall records with well over an inch of rain. 


Heavy rains in the lowlands became heavy snows in the Sierra and Siskiyous. Chains were required across Interstate 80 along Donner Pass as up to 1-3 feet of snow was forecast for the pass levels of the mountains.

The West Coast gets a break on Wednesday, but a new storm will move through much of the West again on Thursday into Friday, bringing renewed rain across California and the Northwest lowlands and more mountain snow. 

Storm moves into Rockies later this week 

Meanwhile, after hammering the West Coast, the early week storm will begin to influence the weather pattern over the Rockies late Tuesday and last late into the week.

The FOX Forecast Center predicts 5-8 inches of snow is likely for most mountains, with over 1 foot possible in the highest elevations. 

Winter Weather Alerts
(FOX Weather)


For Salt Lake City, It should stay as a mostly rain event, but heavy snow is expected in the Wasatch Range. 

In Denver, 1-3 inches of snow will be possible, which may make for tricky commutes over the next few days.