Atmospheric River Pounds California, Brings Severe Weather
A powerful atmospheric river storm is causing heavy rainfall and hurricane-force winds in California, leading to power outages and the threat of serious floods. The storm, which is the second to hit the state in the past week, has prompted a state of emergency declaration and flash flood warnings in several counties.
Storm Brings Severe Conditions and Disruption
Heavy rainfall and hurricane-force winds have hit California, causing widespread power outages and the potential for serious floods. This is the second atmospheric river storm to impact the state in recent weeks.
The storm arrived just as Los Angeles was hosting the Grammy awards, forcing attendees to navigate heavy rain. The National Weather Service issued a rare hurricane-force wind warning for certain areas, and a professional golf tournament was canceled due to the rain.
Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in eight counties, and flash flood warnings have been issued for parts of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties. The storm is expected to stall or reverse course, posing a severe risk of flooding and mudslides.
Impacts and Evacuations
The storm has caused significant disruptions, with over 900,000 homes and businesses experiencing power outages. Long Beach is expecting more rainfall in one week than it typically receives in an entire year.
Evacuation orders have been issued for residents in certain areas, including those affected by recent wildfires. This denuded terrain is particularly vulnerable to mudslides.
The Los Angeles and Santa Barbara areas are at high risk for excessive rainfall, with forecasters anticipating nearly continuous rainfall for 48 hours.
Warnings and Preparations
Officials are urging residents to take precautions and stay informed about the severe weather conditions. The storm has the potential for severe winds, thunderstorms, and even brief tornadoes.
Experts are advising people to avoid unnecessary travel and stay home if possible during the hazardous conditions. Peak wind gusts have reached 80 mph in some places, and rainfall totals are expected to be significant.
The storm is a reminder of the increasing risks associated with climate change and the need for continued efforts to mitigate its impacts.