Series of Storms Arriving; Some Flooding But Basically a Typical Rain System

Stormy Weather by Kym kempA series of three storms will be impacting the Emerald Counties–Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity–over the next week. The first will be blowing in tonight and dump between five to eleven inches of rain. Then another will arrive Monday night staying until late Wednesday. The final will show up Thursday morning and persist until Friday evening.

Though Southern and Central California will see unusual amounts of water–an amount arriving only every 10 to 20 years, the storms will not impact the Emerald Counties as intensely, says Richard Lam, meteorologist for the National Weather Service. ‘We may not be impacted as much as a they are,” he explained. “This may be a typical rain system for us in Humboldt County.”

While other areas may experience intense flooding, our area is expected to only flood in “normal” areas such as the Ferndale bottoms. Streams and creeks will likely fill and push towards flooding. Even some of the main rivers may flood. “Some of the steepest river rises will occur in Mendocino County where the Navarro and Garcia rivers may reach flood stage,” according to the National Weather Service.

The storms next week are expected to coincide with the High Tide cycle which may make the flooding in Humboldt Bay area worse than normal, Lam explained.

The rains will start tonight and mountainous areas such as Kneeland are expected to get 40-50 mile per hour winds.

Chains required by Deb Lake

Chains required by Deb Lake

In addition, there is a winter storm watch from 10 p.m. tonight through tomorrow morning. Snow is expected to fall down to 2000 feet with accumulations of up to four inches in some areas.

Highways such as 3, 36, 199, and 299 are expected to be impacted.  There is the potential for significant snow, sleet, or ice that may affect travel, according to the National Weather Service.

There is also the potential for mud slides, tree falls, and power going out. Please prepare by having batteries, flashlights, food, water, and blankets.

Check this site or Caltrans Quick Map for road conditions before you travel.




  • What they fail to mention is that initial snow level for this weekend’s storm will be at about 9,000 feet, which will melt a lot of snow and add to the amount of water being carried in the streams and rivers. Let’s hope not too much of it melts before it cools off again. Also, 5 to 11 inches in one weekend is not “typical”, unless you’re talking about the King’s Range.

  • The rainfall varies so much in Humboldt it is hard to know what to expect. Typically 3 times more south of Cape Mendocino than in Eureka.

  • These storms impacting the Southern part of the state are sort of a GOOD thing!!! They NEED water desperately!!! The further outh you go in the state the drier it gets!!! Especially Hell-A & points South!!!

  • Wait is the snow level 2000 or 9000? I’m guessing it’s higher because it’s such a wet storm. I’m just wondering, is it going to be melting or piling up on me!!

    • As warm as the forecast temps are predicted to be I would say offhand likely it will be melting!!! Then of course refreezing into Black Ice!!!

  • Snow predicted down to 2000′ tonite, with majority at 3500′. In my watershed i noticed this last week the temp went up one degree every 500′ or so as i went down. And much colder above us. You can gauge your chance of snow based on your elevation, its still gonna be in the 30’s tonite.
    Since the snows predicted on more inland highways, ie no warning for snow on 101, if you live higher up on a more inland ridge you may see more snow/sleet than rain tonite until the warmer air comes in and the snow level rises to 6000′ tomorrow nite.
    Who knows tho, its a ginormous storm that could be erratic. Check out the satellite images on the noaa site, and follow NWS eureka on twitter.

  • I’m guessing it’s gonna be a warm wet ‘pineapple express’ not that I’m not enjoying the snow. It’s really fun to watch my creek come up too if it’s melty. No complaining it’s JANUARY 😊

  • Loving the 4 seasons, finally!!! Winter is so beautiful here, and humbling at times, which we all need.
    After having to water the rhodedendrons under the redwood trees out back last summer, the saturating water this season feels as if the forest finally released a sigh of relief after multiple years of stress.
    The freeze is a major part of ecosystems, often killing destructive bugs and of course ticks! As well as germs and bacterias that cause illness. Harder the winter, sweeter the spring 🙂

  • “I love the rainy nights”

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