Video: Major Pacific Storm Raylene On the Verge Of My Category Six; Major Flooding Expected In Burn Areas This Week


Major Pacific Storm Raylene is on the verge of becoming a category six on the one through six scale here at Southern California Weather Force, bringing a once in 100 year storm to the Thomas Fire burn areas and your forecast starts now.

Welcome to Southern California Weather – We have a major storm system that will impact the forecast region west of Los Angeles starting Tuesday lasting through Thursday at least.

The system, Major Pacific Storm Raylene, is a system known as an atmospheric river producing storm, or … what you usually hear as the Pineapple Express.
Back in November 2017 I predicted the core of winter would mainly be without many events until we start moving toward March.  After the new year my January forecast showed a system that would later be Major Pacific Storm Nikita, impacting the Thomas Fire Burn areas.

Of course I got flack for this as well with “it’s not going to happen”, “don’t listen to this guy”, what have you … but it happened… and those that listened are still alive today so it is up to you to listen or not.

Fast forwarding to this system..  March was going to be the month to watch in the forecast area and so it shall with Major Pacific Storm Raylene.  Charts here at Southern California Weather Force in the member section are being updated frequently through the event and micro-climate alerts are being issued accordingly.  I already am maintaining the official flood watch, which covers the fire scar zones and goes east to the Orange and Inland Empire areas for your Thursday.

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Between Tuesday and Thursday will be the worst of this for the burn areas.  When a fire destroys a hill-side, the ash and left over burnt soil stays intact.  When it rains, the water cannot get through that layer to the sub-soil layer underneath and it builds up on top of it.  It then slides down the surface like a mud and debris avalanche, destroying everthing in the path.  Similar things happen with volcanoes with ash build up and melting snow down the slopes, otherwise called a lahar.  This is the word I used back in January and it is no doubt it remains true.

I am maintaining the 10-15 inch mark so anything at 10 or 15 to in-between is a hit in this forecast for a small area of the Thomas Fire Burn areas.  Just because I say 10-15 inches of rain in this storm does not mean you will see it.  Coastal zones could have over 5-8″ of rainfall for the Ventura and Santa Barbara zones, however just a bit inland on the southern slopes of the Santa Barbara and Ventura Mountains will be the small zone of 10-15″ of rain, which will come down the mountain as a lahar toward the ocean.

Precipitation charts on the member section shows who will get hit the hardest, who will have a good rain event, and who will not see much from the system.  San Diego, I am sorry to keep saying but this event; while it will bring some rain there, it will not bring what the center of a Major Pacific Storm should bring.  Category Five or Six conditions will remain for the Thomas Fire Burn areas surrounding Montecito.

Areas in the middle of dangerous to non-event will be the Inland Empire, High Desert, and some Western Los Angeles/Orange County areas.  This is between the lower amounts in San Diego and the High amounts in Los Angeles.  The Atmospheric River is very thin so only areas west of you will see the deadly rainfall event.  As the system slides somewhat east with the front, it will impact the Inland Empire areas later Wednesday or on Thursday.

Snow level will remain high with this, well over 10,000 Feet.  Snowfall melting in the higher elevations will cause an upswing in river or creek flooding across the Kern County Mountains as well and a reason you are in the Flood Watch I issued.
Given everything I see here, Major Pacific Storm Raylene could be upgraded to my rare category six in a small area, with category three in Los Angeles, and category 2 in San Diego.  The category scale is a scale specifically developed by me for this region and has served well in past events, with the January 9th system being Major Pacific Storm NIKITA, a category five.

We dry off after this for a bit … but we are not done with this season.  We have all the way till May for my weather pattern forecast to maintain bringing more systems into the area.

So there you have it, Major Pacific Storm Raylene is on the verge of becoming my first category six system on the Southern California Weather Force scale, due in later Tuesday and lasting till Wednesday, stay tuned to Southern California Weather


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