Atmospheric river flows through California with heavy rain and winds: live updates

2:30 PM ET, February 5, 2024

Wind gusts of up to 162 mph hit the Sierra Nevada mountains

From CNN meteorologist Mary Gilbert

Strong winds blew across California Sunday and Sunday night Atmospheric river fuel storm reached its full strength. Wind gusts of 30 to 50 mph were common along the state's coastlines, with gusts of 20 to 40 mph in valley areas.

But the strongest winds were concentrated in higher elevations, where some gusts reached triple digits.

The wind was howling Sunday night in the Sierra Nevada. Wind gusts of 140 mph hit two weather reporting stations located at about 8,700 feet in the greater Lake Tahoe area.

One of the stations, located at Ward Peak in Placer County, recorded winds of 162 mph just after midnight Monday. Strong winds are more common at high altitudes, but these winds are still exceptional for mountainous areas.

These strong winds are often associated with powerful storms such as Category 4 or 5 hurricanes.

Here are some other notable windfalls:

  • Pablo Point: 102 mph
  • Lagoon Forest: 102 mph
  • Route to Farm: 99 mph
  • Santa Clara: 98 mph
  • Loma Prieta: 98 mph
  • High Glade Lookout: 90 mi
  • Oakland International Airport: 60 mph
  • San Francisco International Airport: 58 mph
  • Sacramento Airport: 46 mph

The persistent storm-force winds subsided early Monday morning. Windy conditions are still possible on Monday – especially at higher elevations – but nowhere near the extremes that emerged overnight.

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