Flood watches, wind warnings in California as storm moves ashore

Yet another massive storm system slammed California on Monday as forecasters urged residents to be cautious for flash flooding and tornadoes.
Posted at 8:23 AM, Feb 19, 2024

Forecasters warned of flooding, hail and even tornadoes in parts of California as another heavy storm system moved ashore on Monday.

In Santa Barbara, 10 inches of rain fell in places, forcing swift-water rescues and closing Santa Barbara Airport after runways were covered in water.

More rain is expected in Central California into Tuesday.

There was a risk of "significant flooding" in central coastal areas of the state, according to the National Weather Service. Flood watches and warnings were in effect in coastal and mountainous areas, and are expected to continue through Tuesday.

Five inches of rain could fall in places, with more in isolated mountain regions. Mudslides could occur in places that have already been saturated by recent rainfall. 

Several feet of snow could fall in higher elevations. Officials urged residents to travel with caution.

This storm is expected to move more quickly than the back-to-back atmospheric rivers that drenched the state last week.

La Niña signals the potential for an active hurricane season ahead
Tropical Storm Arlene, the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season in 2023.

La Niña signals the potential for an active hurricane season ahead

Experts fear that the 2024 season could look similar to the robust 2020 hurricane season, which featured a record 30 named storms.


The National Weather Service had said Monday's risk for tornadoes was highest in the Sacramento Valley.  While tornadoes are rare in California, they're not unheard of. The state averages about seven tornadoes per year.