Maps and charts of California storms show the effects of precipitation and flooding.

Maps and charts of California storms show the effects of precipitation and flooding.


A parade of storms generally known as atmospheric rivers has introduced huge quantities of rain and snow to California since late December. The storms have brought about lethal flooding, crippling snow, harmful landslides, extreme thunderstorms and hurricanes.

Listed here are 5 photos that assist present the breadth and power of storms—a part of a climate sample that may final for per week or extra.

An atmospheric river occasion via the ages

Atmospheric rivers drain extra moisture above the oceans into slim cloud bands. As a result of these clouds are carried over land, they’ll produce heavy rain and snow for hours.

Wet water is an indicator of how a lot moisture is within the ambiance. Increased values ​​of settleable water correspond to better potential for heavy rain or snow. Starting from January 9 to January 23, the above rainwater forecast animation reveals a number of atmospheric river crossings that plague California with repeated heavy rain and snow.

The darkest shades of purple and brown characterize settleable water values ​​of 200 to 250 p.c of regular.

The horror of a hurricane of bombs

Atmospheric river approaches California. (Video: NOAA)

As is usually the case, the worst climate Mom Nature has to supply can usually be lovely when considered from above. Captured by the Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s GOES-18 climate satellite tv for pc, this picture reveals the low strain middle of final week’s “bomb cyclone” swirling over the Pacific Ocean because it approached the West Coast on Jan.

The bomb cyclone, a quickly intensifying storm with a central strain of a minimum of 24 millibars in 24 hours, was one in all a collection of highly effective storms which have repeatedly pushed atmospheric rivers into California in current weeks. it was only a few weeks in the past a different cyclone of bombs It developed alongside the Arctic entrance, exposing a lot of the nation to excessive chilly and a few areas to blizzard circumstances.

Historic rain hits California

Atmospheric rivers flooded California with copious quantities of rain. Up to now two days alone, ending at 4 a.m. Tuesday, the highlands in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties have seen greater than 16 inches of rain. 12.37 inches of rain in San Francisco between December 26 and January 9 qualifies because the third wettest 15-day interval since 1849. According to Bay Area meteorologist Jan Null.

Throughout this era, Sacramento recorded greater than 8 inches of rain and Los Angeles recorded greater than 4 inches of rain.

The heavy rainfall, anticipated to proceed till the anticipated finish of the mannequin round January 20, brought about widespread and extreme flooding, highway closures and mudslides. Whereas the incessant rain wreaks havoc within the quick time period, it combines with the snow to assist a big rain fall. dent in drought state of affairs that has plagued the area for a very long time.

California is flooded with rain. Will it alleviate drought?

Snowpack rising alongside the Sierra Nevada

As proven within the map above, snow cowl over a lot of the central and southern components of the Sierra Nevada is presently 200 to 300 p.c of regular for historical past. In some locations the snowpack has already exceeded the April 1 common. (April 1 is often when the snowpack is at its deepest.)

The rising snow cowl helps to alleviate California’s decades-long drought. This latest US Drought Monitor, printed on January 5, the central and southern components of the state have been upgraded from essentially the most extreme stage D4 (extraordinary drought) to D3 (excessive drought). Extra rain and snow within the coming weeks might additional alleviate drought circumstances in California.

Raging rivers rise from their shores

After years of drought, an excessive amount of rain, falling too quick, has pushed many rivers past the flood stage. One of many extra excessive estimates is for the Salinas River. The picture above reveals the place the river flows close to Spreckels in Monterey County, the water stage is anticipated to succeed in or exceed 30 toes, which is about seven toes above flood stage.

The consequences of heavy rain and floods have been disastrous and are presently at least 17 deaths It has been attributed to storms since late December. Rivers anticipated to be above the flood stage within the close to future, presently or quickly Tuesday afternoon embrace the Russian River, Salinas River, Carmel River, Santa Ynez River, and Bear Creek, According to the California Nevada River Prediction Center.

Thunderstorms and hail hit San Francisco Bay on January 10 as one other “atmospheric river” introduced extra extreme climate to California. (Video: Reuters)

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