View Rainy Christmas Week from the San Diego Atomospheric River — NBC 7 San Diego

San Diego, we may not get white Christmas this year, but it will definitely be wet.

Reverse storm systems — by a fuel Atmospheric river — This week will bring rain, strong winds, cold temperatures and light mountain snow to San Diego County.

During California Comrades to our North Storm weather was seen starting Tuesday, with the first hurricane system expected to reach San Diego County on Thursday.

The second system, the less powerful one, is moving on Christmas day.

From Thursday to Saturday, «there will be occasional rain waves through San Diego,» NBC 7 meteorologist Brian James said.

«It looks like the rain will start Thursday afternoon, and most of the rain will continue throughout Friday,» James said. «It will rain a little when we go all day on Saturday, but there will be some rain on Saturday as well.»

According to forecasters, when the hurricane triggered by the atmospheric river reaches the area, heavy rainfall will hit overnight in San Diego County from Thursday to Friday.

The National Weather Service has forecast more than two inches of rain in some parts of the district from this storm system alone. The mountains can see five inches of rain.

As for the snow, don’t expect too much. Highly vulnerable areas will be above 6,500 feet — areas not very high in San Diego — may be below 5,500 feet during a second, mild storm.

The biggest damage can come in the form of flash floods and strong winds capable of knocking down trees or power lines.

So far, no clocks or alerts have been issued, but they may come.

What is Atmospheric River?

Atmospheric river is a part of the atmosphere that draws moisture into a kind of stream invisible to the naked eye. There are usually about 11 above the Earth at any given time.

Those streams, not water, but compressed vapors, move from the tropics near the equator to the poles.

Each atmospheric river can measure anywhere from 250 to 400 miles and is over 1,000 miles long, about 25 times the flow of the Mississippi River, says NBC 7 meteorologist Ana Christina Sanchez.

While atmospheric rivers typically orbit at 10,000 feet above the earth, a meteorological system — like this week’s storms — can push the atmospheric river towards land, causing heavy rainfall.

Atmospheric rivers, the most common in the fall and winter, play an important role in California’s rainy season. About 25-50% of our state’s annual rainfall is produced by atmospheric rivers. Rain and snow levels vary widely depending on the exact location, time and humidity.

How will this storm affect my vacation trip?

Short answer: You may be vulnerable.

The National Weather Service said dangerous travel is possible, especially when there is heavy rainfall over California from Wednesday to Friday — and more flooding is possible.

«Floods and dangerous roads are a major concern in this storm system. Please plan ahead and use extra time when planning those vacation trips!» NWS wrote on Twitter.

If you plan to travel during a storm, the Emergency Operator in California has some tips on what to keep in your emergency car kit — you can pull weather radio stations from flashlight to hand-crank radio. Check out their list here.

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