Massive storm on course for northern California

Posted on Dec 11, 2014

After dealing with a severe, extended drought across much of the state that had economic and societal impacts, California is starting to see precipitation in its forecasts again. The issue now facing residents in parts of the state, such as the San Francisco Bay Area, is the potential for major storms that could disrupt business operations and hobble infrastructure in the region during the week of December 8.

Winds and floods

Wind speeds are expected to reach 60 miles an hour in cities such as Sacramento. USA Today pointed out that the high gusts could detach holiday decorations and cause problems with flying debris. The state Governor's Office of Emergency Services also advised that flash flooding and landslides are possible throughout the affected area, especially in places where wildfires had previously weakened soil integrity. The Los Angeles Times pointed to a warning from National Weather Service meteorologists, who advised residents of the Bay Area to make preparations for dealing with the storm as soon as possible. The varied severe conditions based on location and elevation mean that many different potential hazards have to be considered.

Travel in doubt

With such a strong storm striking a large area - and one known for a high level of business activity - corporate travel will likely be impacted during and after the storm as well. Current predictions mention the storm lasting through the end of the week. Companies sending employees to the Bay Area and other parts of northern California have to maintain their duty of care obligations and make sure staff members are safe.

A weather pattern with many facets

USA Today reported that the storm will bring a variety of severe weather symptoms to the northern coastal area of the state and also impact inland regions. Depending on the exact location of municipalities in the path of the storm, they may experience high surf, heavy rain, snow and high-speed winds. USA Today said initial meteorological reporting from the National Weather Service predicted the storm to be the most severe in five years, and warned wind and rain would be especially problematic to those in the path of the weather system. Inland snowfall, which is expected mostly in and around eastern California, could reach 2 feet in some areas, while most of the predicted area of effect is expected to get at least 5 inches if not more.

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