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Storm Hitting Central, South Coasts Not Typical Winter Storm

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NOAA Image)
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Water vapor image of West Coast Wednesday morniing

So, why does the storm hitting the Central and South Coasts have the potential to drop so much rainfall?

The storm hitting our region isn’t a typical winter storm coming from the Gulf of Alaska. It’s one fueled a low pressure system off the coast, which is spinning subtropical moisture towards land like a conveyor belt.

NBC4 Weathercaster Fritz Coleman tells KCLU News the slow movement of the low pressure system opens the door for what amounts to wave of moisture, and high rainfall totals.  The stream of moisture is called an atmospheric river, but in the past was nicknamed the "Pineapple Express."

Coleman says rainfall amounts could be in the two to six inch range on the coast, and the five to ten inch range in the foothills, and mountains. 

He says while we have the potential for flash flooding, and debris flows in brush fire burn areas, he doesn’t think we’ll see the same degree of concentrated rainfall that we had in January which triggered the 1/9 debris flow in Southern Santa Barbara County.

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