California officials anticipate about two years’ worth of rainfall would fall across the Western US after one of the driest weather seasons in the region’s history and 70% of the Southern parts in a state of extreme drought.
Previously, Las Vegas residents only experienced rainfall on two separate occasions in the last 273 days. Phoenix, on the other hand, only had 15 days of rainy days last year, marking its fewest in any year on record.
However, weather forecasters anticipate a drastic change in the weather pattern that would provide much-needed rain across California.
Following the powerful winds that are blowing through Santa Ana this week that have already forced the shutting of power in about 270,000 households, the rainy weather is making its way south. The weather agency expects about three, and potentially four, separate storms that would hit the state in the last two weeks of the month.
Offshore in the Eastern Pacific, forecasters observed an area of high pressure building up and develop, forcing the jet stream to move from the north to the south. California has gone about ten months since the same weather pattern has been seen.
Residents observed the first of the opportunities on Wednesday as the weather system drew moisture from the Pacific into the Southwest. Officials have implemented flash flood watches across the Sonoran Desert of Eastern California and Western Arizona. The areas could potentially see up to three inches of rain through Friday.
Forecasters believe the weather pattern is the first of a series of wetter systems across California, which has averaged less than 2.5 inches of rainfall every year. Residents could expect to see about three to five inches of rain due to a storm every three to four days.
Arizona, Phoenix, and Yuma residents are also able to see the best opportunities for rain since the last precipitation on December 10 as the system slowly drifts east. Six out of the next seven days, Phoenix forecasts show that there is a high chance of showers, CNN reported.
Weather forecasters anticipate the weather system to stay until at least the weekend and would bring long-awaited rainfall across the region. Between Sunday and Monday, the entire Southwest part of the state could see showers.