Winter Weather Resources

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Updated Friday, February 24, 2017, 3:30 p.m.

While a few moderate systems will be coming through northern California over the weekend, Yolo County is unlikely to be significantly impacted. The relatively mild weather for the foreseeable future is a welcome relief, but still; local officials remain vigilant in monitoring our waterways which are expected to endure continued high volumes until at least April. Should conditions change, an update will be provided.

Updated Wednesday, February 22, 2017, 4:15 p.m.

Water levels that increased with the most recent storm, including the cresting of the Yolo Bypass yesterday, resulted with no significant reports of damage or major issues. A break in the rainy weather is expected to continue for the next few days. As a result, water levels are anticipated to decrease at the Yolo Bypass, down the Sacramento River at I Street and down Putah Creek from Lake Berryessa. The flows over the Fremont Weir should also reduce.

Another storm system is expected to move through the area from Sunday to Tuesday with less rain but high winds. Yolo County’s Office of Emergency services is continuing to coordinate with public works crews and public safety personnel to monitor the drainage systems and waterways.

As a resource for emergency information, visit Yolo County's website to opt-in to the emergency alert and warning system: www.Yolo-Alert.org. This notification system enables officials to provide essential information quickly when there is a threat to the health and safety of residents. It is already set up to dial AT&T and Verizon landlines. We encourage you, however, to opt-in to add personal cell and e-mail information to ensure you receive emergency notifications in a timely manner.

Updated Tuesday, February 21, 2017, 1:00 p.m.

The greatest precipitation and high winds of the most recent storm moved through Yolo County last night and tapered off this morning.  Fortunately, there were no significant reports of damage or major issues that arose.  Still, Yolo County public works crews and public safety personnel continue to monitor our drainage systems and waterways, including the Yolo Bypass.  The bypass is forecasted to crest today with no major concerns anticipated.

While we are enjoying a few days without rain and with some sunshine, we continue to ask residents to remain on high alert, to prepare for any emergency (visit: www.ready.gov for Go Kit lists) and to opt-in to www.Yolo-Alert.org to receive emergency notifications.  Yolo-Alert.org is part of a three county partnership with Placer and Sacramento counties.  If you work or recreate in those counties, you can also opt-in to receive their emergency alerts.

Update Monday, February 20, 2017, 1:30 p.m. 

As with much of California, local officials in Yolo County continue to remain on high alert as yet another significant storm system passes over our already saturated county. The greatest precipitation and high winds are expected this evening, tapering off tomorrow morning.

Yolo County's Office of Emergency Services is actively coordinating with public works crews and public safety personnel in all our communities to monitor our waterways and drainage systems, and to prepare for issues as they may arise. As with all rainy seasons, there continues to be some localized flooding and road closures which are mapped and provided on www.yolocounty.org.

Also linked on the County's website is access to opt-in to the emergency alert and warning system: www.Yolo-Alert.org. This notification system enables officials to provide essential information quickly when there is a threat to the health and safety of residents. It is already set up to dial AT&T and Verizon landlines. We encourage you, however, to opt-in to add personal cell and e-mail information to ensure you receive emergency notifications in a timely manner.

At this time, our public works and levee systems are operating as they should, but we do encourage residents to remain on high alert and be prepared for sustained power outages, localized flooding and even evacuations. Cache Creek, one significant water way in Yolo County, is currently experiencing normal conditions. To monitor Cache Creek and other water ways, link here. For preparedness resources, visit: www.ready.gov.

 

Winter Weather Preparedness

Severe Cold
Flash Flooding
Power Outages
Additional Resources

 Take a Tour of the 2017 Storm

Winter is here!!  Have you prepared?

As the seasons change, so does our exposure to different risks. The winter season in California is our rainy season which means the potential for flooding and freezing temperatures. The County of Yolo wants you to be prepared for the winter so we put together a list of some items to have in your disaster preparedness kit:

  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Flashlights with extra batteries
  • First Aid Kit
  • Non-Perishable Food
  • Water
  • Local Maps

The items above are a good start for disaster kits. Residents in flood prone areas should also remember to clean their storm drains, clean leaves as they fall, and have items like shovels, boots, raincoats and sandbags on hand. The Yolo County Office of Emergency Services (OES) strives to provide updated information so that you can have a better understanding of how the weather may impact your fall-time activities.  Check back often for updated information!  Meanwhile, link here for more preparedness tips

Severe Cold

With the winter season comes the chance for significantly lower temperatures. Under the right conditions, wind can push temperatures below freezing. Frostbite can occur in as little as 5 minutes when skin is exposed to the elements. The table below depicts how the wind can make the temperature feel even lower. Residents should take precautions and wear a coat, hat and gloves when the temperature begins to fall. Places such as libraries, churches, malls and other public place can often provide a refuge when the temperatures fall below freezing. Severe conditions are when the temperature stays below freezing (32°F) overnight for three days consecutively. When those conditions are met, the County will take steps to establish warming centers to assist those exposed to the elements. More information on sever cold can be found in our Severe Weather Hazard Annex v1.0 and within the Emergency Preparedness Resources.

NWS Wind Chill

 

Flash Flooding

With increased amounts of precipitation and our persisting drought, flooding can occur rapidly and become life threatening in a short amount of time (link here for flood preparedness and winter weather driving tips). This is known as a flash flood. Flash floods generally develop within 6 hours of the immediate cause. Causes of flash flooding include heavy rain, debris jams and levee or dam failure. These floods exhibit a rapid rise of water over low-lying areas. In some cases, flooding may even occur well away from where heavy rain initially fell.

There are many reasons that flash floods occur, but one of the most common is the result of copious amounts of rainfall from thunderstorms that cause flash flooding. This also occurs when slow-moving or multiple thunderstorms move over the same area. Sudden downpours can rapidly change the water levels in a stream or creek and turn small waterways into violent, raging rivers.

Click here to find out more...

Burns scars are another source of concern when we are facing heavy rainfall. When a wildfire burns away the vegetation on a hillside the ground becomes exposed. Grass and trees act a as natural absorbent of rainfall slowing the amount of water that the ground has to soak at one time. The Rocky, Wragg, Monticello, Jerusalem, Valley, and Elk fires that impacted us and our neighbors recently have left significant burn scars which pose an additional risk due to debris flowing from the affected areas. As a result the National Weather Service will be issuing flash flood watches when significant rain may impact those areas. A map of the burn scars can be found below.

Burn Scars

 

Did you recently see a Flash Flood Warning and wonder what exactly the warning was for?  View the map below and click on a shaded area to see more information about the warning for the area.  These alerts are issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

 

Power Outages 

Another common winter weather occurrence are power outages.  Link here for preparedness tips and where to get more information about power outages in your area.

Additional Resources

CalTrans Road Closures

County Road Closures 

CHP Winter Driving Tips

Floodsmart.gov

National Weather Service Sacramento

Power Outages

Ready.gov

River Stage Map

Storm Ready California

Have more questions about winter weather in Yolo County?  E-mail oes@yolocounty.org and we'll attempt to find the information you are seeking to post on this site.