Wet, windy storms pass through Napa Valley

2012-12-23T22:10:00Z Wet, windy storms pass through Napa ValleyPETER JENSEN Napa Valley Register
December 23, 2012 10:10 pm  • 

Napa County received a drenching over the weekend as storms brought heavy rainfall Saturday and Sunday, leading the National Weather Service to issue a flood warning for the Napa River through Sunday night.

Near Napa and St. Helena, the river was forecasted to crest 1 to 2 feet above flood stage Sunday night, with levels predicted to drop off Monday morning. That could lead to minor or moderate flooding, according to the NWS.

Winds and rains began lashing the Napa Valley on Sunday morning and continued into the afternoon, as part of a storm front that blew through the North Bay Area. The NWS issued flood watches or warnings for many of the rivers and creeks in Napa and Sonoma counties on Sunday.

Power outages were reported throughout the North Bay on Sunday, and were accompanied by reports of downed trees and power lines, a landslide covering a road on Mount Veeder, and water running over roads Upvalley.

The flood warning on the Napa River was preceded by a flash-flood watch earlier Sunday on several of its tributaries. Redwood Creek and Hopper Creek both ran above flood stage, according to water level data.

Near St. Helena, the Napa River was projected to crest at 17.2 feet, or about 1 foot above flood stage, and the NWS predicted minor flooding to occur along that stretch. It was projected to crest Sunday evening.

Near Napa, the river’s crest was forecasted to be 26.7 feet, or a little less than 2 feet above its flood stage of 25 feet, according to NWS. The NWS predicted it would crest in that stretch early Monday morning.

The NWS said the flood warnings would remain in effect until Monday, unless the agency cancels them.

From Saturday morning to Sunday morning, areas of the county received about 0.5 to 1.5 inches of rain, with plenty more falling throughout the day Sunday.

The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory and hazardous weather outlook for Napa County on Sunday. The agency said that winds as strong as 15 to 25 mph developed, and gusts as strong as 45 mph could blow through the southern portion of the Napa Valley. The winds and the rain had tapered off in Napa by late Sunday afternoon.

While weather forecasts called for Monday to be drier and clear in Napa, rain is likely to return for Christmas Day and continue through Wednesday.

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